Kevin Smith - Armageddon Expo

Report and Pictures by Richard K


Armageddon Expo 2001

Only five hours sleep. Needed to be at the Armageddon Expo at ten o’clock. Woke up with a start at a quarter to ten. No biggie, quick shower, no breakfast – wasn’t hungry anyway, full of anticipation. I was about to encounter the experience of what other fans worldwide and especially America took for granted.

I was in the car by 5 past 10 and trying not to speed managed to traverse the motorway in a good fifteen minutes. All entrances accept the main entrance was locked. There was a ten dollar entrance fee, I just spent 7 bucks on parking for 3 and a half hours parking.

Received my schedule of events and off to meet the stars.

Kevin Smith [Ares] was scheduled to talk to us at 11am. He was late by a good fifteen minutes. Just a normal bloke, wouldn’t think twice if you met him on the New Zealand streets.

There were about a hundred seats available and they were all used. I managed to find a good spot near the stage on the second row.

"Ladies and gentlemen. Mr Kevin Smith."

Kevin Smith strode towards the stage wearing a blue splotched short-sleeved shirt and dark jeans. His hair was unkempt and scruffy and he was unshaven. The Kiwi image was clear – this is who we are.

He looked at the little chairs on the stage and said, "I think I’ll stay standing."

"Shall we go straight into the questions? Anyone have a question."

Complete silence.

"Oh, allright then. I’ve got one for you." I said standing up.

"Okay, mate." He beamed.

"How come I’m taller then you? No hold on, I got a better one: Are Ares and Xena ever going to be together?" I asked.

He was stumped. It was one of those type of questions only a fan cold ask. He knew Season 6 wasn’t in New Zealand yet. So he attempted to answer. I cut him off instead.

"Don’t answer with ‘one in a billion’ either."

Kevin smiled and repeated the question to the audience. "The gentleman is referring to ‘Coming Home’ and no, we rely on the writers for much of the story line. I don’t think they’ll ever be together."

Interesting when you already know the answer to the question. It was a good icebreaker. There were a lot of Kevin Smith fans in the auditorium and I believe that even Kevin Smith was pleased with the attendance. The part that he plays is essentially a bad character.

Another unheard question, "Do you read about yourself on the Internet?"

"Who doesn’t?" he answers testily. "I use my computer for email mostly, but my kids browse through the fan sites.

"There was one time me and my partner were looking for a parking space. ‘You missed it.’ She nagged. ‘Allright, don’t give me any directions, I’ll find the next one.’ Eventually we found one and still arguing we were on our way. ‘You could have parked closer…’ I was about to say something when a fan came up and asked for my autograph.

When we were home the kids showed a webpage with an interesting story of our argument and autograph on the site."

"Did anyone read that?" he asked the audience.

A lot of nodding and agreements along with the denials.

Someone asked if he had any future plans regarding acting.

"Michael Hurst and I have been commissioned last year to do a 6 part TV movie this year. Its essentially about…ehm…well…me."

No further clues were given.

Silence again. Mesmerizing.

Someone asked if Kevin and Lucy sang at the Starlight Symphony Orchestra.

He said, ‘Lucy wanted us to sing the National Anthem with the choir.’

"You do know the words?" Lucy asked.

"Ofcourse…well…my kids know them." Replied Kevin.

On the stage Kevin had jotted down the Maori words on a piece of paper, trying to remain inconspicuous and noticing that the big ‘Clipsal’ TV screen was displaying his profile for all to see.

My final question: how many takes did it take to do the bedroom scene in Old Ares had a Farm

Kevin answered this one with a lot of passion. His description of the setting was near every detail that was seen from Carol Stephen’s video clips. You could tell they have had a lot of fun making Ol’Ares.

Renee rolled over several times, sometimes missing her mark and most of the time giggling in Kevin’s armpit.

The scene with the dog being overly affectionate with Ares was done with the subtle help of jellymeat [look closely, bits of jellymeat are still on Kevin when the dog is finished with him.]

After the show a groupie was formed and we were led like sheep to a lift. Now some of us were sharing the same lift to Level 5 of the Aotea Centre with Kevin Smith.

We followed the man to the other side of the level where tables had been set aside for autograph signing. There was a large queue for the ‘Farscape’ fans whilst the 10 of our group were trying to decide who was first.

Someone spoke to me, ‘Are you Richard?" she asked.

‘Yes.’ I replied.

‘I’m Debbie.’ She introduced herself. I was surprised. I only knew Debbie from the Internet.

We were here for the same reason and her connections are better than mine.

Dean O’Gorman was there too and after a friendly chat with him got my first signed autograph from him.

After Debbie got her cards signed I got the same privilege from Kevin Smith purchasing two pictures and getting them signed by him. I shook his hand and thanked him.

I went home very happy. The next day I would meet Ted Raimi.

That’ll be a separate post.

Richard Kloosterboer at the Armageddon Expo


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