BURBANK, CA, USA
Fri., Sat. & Sun.
January 13-15, 2006
Hilton and Towers
2500 Hollywood Way
Adrienne Wilkinson Jennifer Ward-Lealand
Steven L. Sears
2006 OFFICIAL XENA CONVENTION
Convention Report by KT
Con 06 Juicy Lucy Lawless
Part 1 and 2 | Part 3
Note: Things in quotes may not be exactly correct—but hopefully it’s close
to what Luce said.
Lucy was introduced with a fan made video cut to the song “Summer Nights” from “Grease”, which as we all know, Lucy performed in on Broadway. The video was titled “Better Sweet”. Nicely done, lots of sight gags cut to fit the lyrics. And a cool ending—that energetic group-kiss-blowing from Ares’ warriors to welcome Xena to Ares’ fortress, now turned into a cheerful send-off. That’s such a buoyant little ditty.
When it was over, an absolutely gorgeous new photo of Lucy lit up the screen. I sat there looking at it and thinking, “Oh Miss Ryan, you are blessed in your genes.” When the Irish are good looking, there ain’t a lot of people that look better than them. (When they’re not, well, it’s better not to bring that up. . .)
Lucy came from behind the curtain and her appearance triggered off absolutely thunderous applause, cheers and screaming hoots. She smiled at us and tried to talk but we were not finished with our standing ovation yet. She tried again and had to give up again. Finally things began to quiet down and we settled back in our seats, moronic grins splitting some of our silly faces.
Lucy had a Sharpie to sign the banners with. As she walked towards the banners, she sang a little “La la, la la” for us. (To distract us from realizing nothing was going on no doubt.) I have in my notes that she said, “There’s six million of them now out there.” I’m not certain what she was referring to. As she stretched up to sign the left banner, she
said, “Oh my nerves.” Then she walked over to the other one and again stretched up. And said in a little discovery type of voice, “I’m not as tall as I used to be.” Then, somewhat darkly, “XENA would be able to do it.” As she stretched she said, “I’m trying to sign Ren’s arm but I’m not even tall enough for that.”
She finished, turned to us. Asked us how we were doing. Someone yelled out, “Fine now that you’re here!”
Now don’t just “listen” to what Lucy says. You have to imagine a very energetic woman, flashing huge beautiful smiles at us over and over, grimacing in thought, running her hand through her hair at times, standing with hands on hips at least once, walking from one side of the stage to the middle, stopping there for a while and then walking to the other side and staying there for a while before starting back again, so that each
section of the audience could get good pictures of her, chatting with the audience who called out comments (some very dumb, but hey, this IS the con, ya know), fielding questions, being in turn silly, smart, thoughtful, playful, grateful, witty, humble, proud, charming, sweet, emotional and compassionate, all while seeming to enjoy the time she spent with us. Oh and yeah, in the middle of all of it, she also sang to us, a song she
She looked at us and said, “I’m at a loss now. I’m suddenly very alone.” (Referring to not sharing the stage with Renee this year I believe.) “Looks like a thousand people. I didn’t prepare a speech or anything. Thank you so much for coming out here. I can’t believe that.” She asked if anyone was here from outside the country. Hoots and yells and raised hands. “From where?” she asked. People shouted out, “England! North Korea!
Wisconsin!” Burst of laughter. Lucy looked a bit puzzled and asked, “Where?” The audience filled her in. She looked towards “Wisconsin’s” general area and smirked. “France!” someone else screamed. Suddenly lots of places were being yelled out. Lucy gave us a “Yeah, right” look and said, “You’re just making it up now.”
“It’s been a long time since we made Xena.”
“I was standing back there watching that video before I came out and it was hysterical. So funny.”
Lucy told us that her parents were in the audience as was her daughter Daisy.
She was asked about working on Battlestar. She had gotten the job because one of the high people had worked on Xena and wanted her to work with him on his new project.
She talked about having pitched a storyline to the producers of Battlestar Galactica. She said she actually pitched themes.
Okay! Having skipped over the next line in my notebook last night, I JUST managed to translate it through the clear eyes of a whole five hours of sleep. The apparent “major Phil condominiums in ice fr” suddenly resolves itself into being “Major philosophical conundrums in sci-fi”. Fully translated this means that she said that sci-fi cult shows could explore big philosophical themes “like we could in our show.” That these types of
shows could address issues that regular shows weren’t able to.
But she wasn’t pitching it for herself—she was just pitching the idea. It’s about someone who sets themselves up to be God. And then they asked her if she wanted to play the character. She said, laughing, “This is the only role that could follow Xena—God. We haven’t made a deal yet. There hasn’t been a formal announcement. We need to nail down the details. I would have to move my family there.” She said she has to consider all the ramifications and make a decision. But that she has agreed in good faith
to seriously consider it.
I believe she got a question on “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”. Either she or Sharon asked if any of us had been there. A significant number had. Lucy said, “So many people came and were just interested. I try to be loyal to you and responsible for what I align myself with. What Renee and I align ourselves with. We want to be protective of you all. The things you give to me, Renee, all the causes, Kevin’s family, Starship, thank you from the bottom of my heart. That’s why I can do this. The fact that you fans come wherever I am—I’m protective of that.”
She said she refuses to let people make fun of us, make assumptions about us as being just weird geeks. She tells them about us and how we support good causes.
Sharon then asked how many of us had been there the closing night, when actually, you know what, that night the show became much like a con in feeling than like a Broadway show. The actors were joking, the “fourth wall” was bridged, lines were adjusted to toss in references to the actors’ past works, there was lots of teasing between the actors and lots and lots of hammy overacting for the laugh. Totally over the top, totally a shared experience with a greater awareness of and sharing with the audience. Just like the cons, it was like a school play with all of us in the audience being the doting family members of the participants. (Except for the season ticket holders of course. Grin.) Lots of us had been there that night.
Lucy talked about having missed her cue at one point. Because she has worked in filmed media so much more. “On TV, you do your thing then you sit on your ass for 2 hours. I just didn’t have my stagecraft in place. So I went offstage and was standing there yakking it up”, when she was supposed to be running around behind the backdrop to get to the other side of the stage for her entrance. “I was a bit slack” she said in one of her funny voices that she uses to enhance what she’s saying.
“And I had run off stage with the boys from the swim team. So when I was supposed to be coming in another door, it looked like I was late because I had been having too much fun.”
“She was a fun character—a tart with a heart. For some reason, I get asked to play a character like that a lot.”
“I’m doing some singing. Why not? We’re alive. If you want to paint, you should paint. Some people don’t allow themselves to paint because they’re not painters. Paint anyway. Because if you do it, then you ARE one.”
Lucy answered a question saying, “L.A. Pride came to me” and asked her to sing. She talked about remixers Chris Cox and Scott Anderson. “Remixers are the kings of dance work. Get some of these really great guys on your side. That they do it for me—they ain’t doing it for the money.”
There was a new Lucy (not Xena) T-shirt for sale at the con. It’s a black T-shirt with a rectangle of yellow on the chest and a silhouette of Lucy in the rectangle, standing in a sexy, provocative pose with tilted pelvis, hands on hips, crowned by that wild mane of hair. And there were two options for the legend. Either just “Flawless” underneath the silhouette or “Flawless” underneath the silhouette and “Juicy” above it. You can see
the silhouette part on Lucy's official fanclub page: http://lucylawlessfanclub.com/
Her “long blond curls” came up. She said that Daryl Redleaf, a make up artist had done that. “He decked me out like a disco queen. I stuck it on that T-shirt. You can see me out and about and on the T-shirt. Who here today dressed to impress? Sharon. Have you noticed how she’s tarting herself up lately?” Then she and Sharon had a little teasing exchange about how Lucy was always wearing the same shirt. “Every time she comes over—I guess it’s my comfort shirt.” They were talking about the Space Needle shirt and the red-star shirt. Lucy defended being seen in the Space Needle shirt so often by saying, “I have FOUR”. She was adamant because Sharon was saying she had two. She likes to wear them because, “They look sporty. Don’t you think that’s okay? Why can you only see this once?” (Damn, I love Lucy. . . grin.)
Someone asked about the 10th planet. “Bring it on! Is this hysterical? Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto, Xena! Just update the mythology. It’s modern mythology. Xena is just as real as Jupiter or Pluto.” She said that people are saying, “We can’t name a planet after a cartoonish character on a TV show! They’d rather call it ‘Meenyo Maow’ or something”. (That’s a transliteration of what I think I heard--she made some vaguely Chinese
sounding syllables.) “What would have more consensus than Xena, which is
just as popular in India as here?”
She was asked about Xena’s costume being sent to the Smithsonian. She said she’d love to go there (I guess when they “install” the costume. Heck, why not? That would be kewl!) “I’m having a new sword made. The one I had was lost. Or stolen. It’s a big drama trying to import the costume. Everyone in the office likes to talk to you. I think they’re bored.” Then she laughed and said she shouldn’t say that. She said that it was always
something different. “’Do you have proof of how much this is worth?’ It’s not worth ANYTHING. Unless you love it. They squeeze you till you’re squealing.” She said that she stopped being nice about it and the costume arrived shortly after that. So now she’s just waiting for the new sword and chakram. Someone in the audience called out about maybe being able to score some from the people who had bought the props. It’s too bad the one she used on the show is missing. I don’t think she said where the sword
was being made—here or in New Zealand.
Okay, another update tomorrow, after some sack time. I'm getting too old for this stuff--I'm EXHAUSTED. I was noticing that well heck, I've been going to the cons for nine years now. And I noticed that the fans that I've been seeing every year are aging. They didn't use to have gray hair. Heck *I* didn't use to have gray hair! I noticed that the new photos for sale this year have "The second decade" imprinted on the lower right corner. A few of the guests referred to this, that love of Xena was now into its second decade. As I looked around at the "old-timers" around me, I thought, "Once we hit the third decade, we'll all be clomping out here in walkers. The seat rows will have to be set eight feet apart to fit us and our equipment. And I bet they come out with Xena brand Depends-- special Con 2015 price!" (Damn--can you imagine how long it would take me
to type up the reports when I'm that OLD!)
The bright spot is that a big stream of new fans, some of them VERY young join us each year. There were young women there who were saying things like, "I've been a Xena fan since I was five!" That one had her mother with her. And that was another thing--I met three new mother daughter combos this year. We've always had one set--a mother and her three daughters who come to the con every year. But all of a sudden, this grouping was multiplying all over the place. We got second generation fans going now. Gads, I'm starting to feel like a part of history!
No wonder I'm tired.
Con 06 Juicy Lucy Lawless Part 2
Lucy was asked about working on Veronica Mars. She said it was what
happens when “Somebody who you knew when is producing a terrific show” She
plays an FBI agent. “She’s hot on Veronica’s tail about this stuff.”
Now if you’ve never been to a con, you may not know that there’s a whole
subset of sophomoric responders (and you know who you are!) who revel in
in-you-end-oh type of humor. You know them, these are the grown bigger if
not grown up version of the people who were the kids in kindergarten who
used to go into ecstasies at any mention of underpants or good heavens,
the word poop. “Poopy-head” could keep them giggling for days. And
reliably, at this cue combining the words “hot” and “tail”, giggles were
heard skittering around the audience. Lucy continued, “Hot on the case.”
More and louder snickers. I think Lucy responded with a slightly
questioning “What’s going on our there?” look. Because she knows us and
also because the folks on stage often need comments or questions from the
audience repeated to them, she did give us that look at times. I’m just
not sure it was now. Finally she realized why people were laughing.
She continued, “Hot on the case about, I think there’s been some custody
dispute about the baby. I loved working with them. Love Enrico, Love
Kristin Belle.” (Note: We heard during Lucy’s stint on “Just Shoot Me”
that she was friends with Enrico, who played Elliot on that show. I don’t
know if this is totally true or if it’s fan generated gossip.) “It was
really nice to go on another woman’s show where you don’t get the freeze
put on ya.”
She told us she was surprised that she felt burnt out by the end of the
year. She hadn’t really realized how much she worked last year.
Someone had a question. Over the last few years, we’ve gotten a lot more
relaxed at the cons. So you can either come up to the mike to ask a
question or you can sit in your seat and scream it out. The people on
stage usually repeat the screamed question for the rest of us. (Well,
using the mike, they don’t in turn scream it back to us.) Lucy said,
“She’s wondering if I have any more bug movies planned. I loved working in
New Orleans. We had dinner with three of the kids from that show last
Two women at the mike told her they were from New Orleans and they thanked
her for everything she is doing for the city. They had a little gift for
her—a small, maybe two foot wide umbrella, colored and decked out for
Mardi Gras. So it had panels of traditional purple and gold with green
parts and sparkly bits on it. It was very nice. Lucy said thank you. They
said, “No—thank YOU so much for doing this for us. You get how unique New
Orleans is.” As they talked Lucy began to lightly twirl the umbrella very
slowly. Then she started to dance a little with it. While listening
intently the whole time. Heh.
They talked about how much they appreciated what Lucy did and was doing.
Lucy answered, “Anything I can do.” One of the women immediately piped up,
“Give me a hug?” Cracked me up. Lucy smiled and said, “I’ll give you a
hug.” I think they went up on stage to get them I don’t think Lucy came
down for it.
Lucy continued to talk about the devastation from the hurricanes. “New
Orleans is a gorgeous place filled with amazing people. Everybody was just
shell-shocked for an enormous time. They were flighty. It’s unbelievable
the things they have to do to prove they were in New Orleans. All their
papers are gone.” I believe that Lucy said she has a homeless person from
there living with her for now. She laughed as she said, “There’s a steady
stream of actors and homeless people coming through our house.”
Someone asked how she felt about having to put a real rat in her mouth in
“Locked Up, Tied Down”. Lucy said, “Real rat!? They didn’t give me a real
rat. Renee did eat squid (Editors note: Ah, the endless was it a squid,
was it an octopus debate) but it was not alive and people often eat squid.
I would never put a real rat in my mouth. And they wouldn’t ask me to.
They’re responsible people.” (Note: You know, what other show would even
have this as a serious discussion? Grin.)
Then, “I had a spider in my mouth but it went in on its own. The spider
had all the power. I’m lying there wondering, ‘Would it just crawl out?’
but it did come out on the other end.” Again, some people in the audience
began to snicker and chortle. Lucy stopped, looked around and then asked
people in the front row something, presumably, what people were laughing
at. Eventually it came out that the giggling was over her phrase, “It did
come out on the other end.” She was still not sure what the joke was, I
don’t think, but finally someone explained it to her, what coming out the
other end might entail (so to speak.) She got this disgusted look on her
face and then yelled, “Potty mouth!” at the woman in the front row. Who
replied, “Well, you said it.”
Someone asked Lucy about working with Gillian Anderson on X-Files.
“Gillian was cordial but remote. She wasn’t putting the freeze on me. She
was decent. I think she was just over it by then. She wasn’t interested in
another guest performer. I didn’t take it personally. I have no complaints
“Would you work with Faith Prince again?” (Her co-star in Gentlemen Prefer
Blondes.) “I always would. I learned a lot from her. She did have to rap
my knuckles once.” Lucy began to laugh in delight. “We were goofing off in
the background. Faith made it very clear that that would not be happening
again.” I found this intriguing, because I noticed during GPB that Lucy
was “acting” the whole time she was on stage. And wrote about it in a
review of the play. That in plays, especially musicals, most often people
in the background mostly sit very still so as not to detract from the
Well, this is what I wrote:
“The fascinating thing about watching Lucy constantly was noticing that
she was always Dorothy—she was always in character and always doing
something to show what Dorothy was thinking and feeling. She didn’t just
stand around waiting for her cue to come to life. Not that she was mugging
mightily or trying to steal scenes from the other actors—it was just that
if you were looking at her, you could see from her facial expressions and
small gestures, her shifting slightly in her seat, the tilting of her
head, that she was Dorothy, reacting to the people and events happening
And apparently, she SHOULDA just stayed still like most people do. Of
course, most of us Xena fans never took our eyes off Luce—no matter who
was doing what wherever else on stage.
Anyway, someone asked Luce about being crucified. “I hated it! I would
rather go into labor than pretend to be crucified again. You’re hanging on
a meat hook for hours and hours. And it’s always winter. You’re always
The fan told her what Katherine Fugate had said earlier about Lucy saying
to her, “I hate you for crucifying me again.” Lucy said, “I just always
The fan insisted that Katherine had told us that Lucy had told Katherine
she hated her and that Katherine said she had replied, “But you die so
Lucy looked at her for a minute, processing, and then said, “I’m not going
to tell you what I thought you said because (and she gestured to the woman
in the front row) Potty Mouth there. . .” We laughed and then Lucy
explained, “I thought it had something to do with thighs.” Then we had a
little round of Lucy leaning towards the audience, yelling at us, “Who’s
your momma! Who’s your momma!” And some in the audience yelled back,
“Youse our momma!” An odd little moment. Grin.
Hmmmm. Wonder how many times Rob heard Lucy channeling Mary Tyler Moore
going, “Ohhhh, Rawwwwb!” “Another crucifixion Luce”--Ohhhh, Rawwwwb!”
“Rats again Luce”--“Ohhhh, Rawwwwb!” Xena’ll be dancing again in this
I’d LOVE to see Lucy do that. (Of course, I waited fruitlessly all through
“Antony and Cleopatra” to hear Lucy suddenly put on her Rizzo accent and
call the dude, “Antny.” A missed opportunity for sure.
Another woman in the front row said to Lucy, “You talked to me on a cell
phone.” They had a short exchange and Lucy suddenly said, “I remember! I
was standing talking to you with one foot in the gutter.” She turned to
the woman she was teasing in the front row. “Don’t make anything of that,
potty mouth.” She told us that the woman’s husband had been working in New
Orleans on Thanksgiving. “This hurricane is ripping up families. You see
the terrible strain on the faces of the first responders. They’ve lost
their own homes. They’re working for little or no pay.” And they’re still
I saw only the back of the woman’s head but I believe that I’ve seen her
around the con for a number of years. It’s amazing how Lucy has touched so
many people. I mean, here’s this fan who goes to cons and then there’s her
husband working with Lucy in New Orleans on Thanksgiving. And how kind of
normal, in the face of devastation even though it’s such a coincidence is
it that Lucy talked to her on the phone—that the husband in the depths of
the grueling, exhausting, never-ending work thought about his wife’s
feelings, “Hey, my honey would love to talk to Lucy.” And it happened.
This is another example for Lucy of her work as just an entertainer being
valuable. That it brought a distraction and a joy to the relief worker and
to his family. That’s definitely worth something.
A fan asked Lucy to sing. She said she would “If Sharon will accompany
me.” She told us she would sing for us later, a song that she had written
herself. “I wrote it after meeting Lyle Lovett when I was on my way to
Texas for Renee’s wedding.” Lyle and Julia Roberts had already broken up
and he was traveling with his new girlfriend. Lucy said something along
the lines of “I was so jealous”, that if she’d realized that Julia was
gone. . .
My notes are a little confusing here, but it’s something like, “It was
something I said to him, I think because my kid Julius was such a live
wire on the plane. They liked the way he was and the way I responded to
him. They pressed their names and number on me. And I was too shy.” She
then put on her fan voice and posture and talked and acted all overwhelmed
and totally goofy with excitement that she had met Lyle and his girlfriend
and he had given her his number. (You’ll have to see it on the DVD.)
Then she became herself again. And said, “Get love when you can. I wrote
it because he had been with Julia Roberts and this new woman was such a
keeper. (Pause.) Not that Julia Roberts wasn’t”, she added laughing.
She was asked about being on Oprah. “I LOVE Oprah! When I was a new mother
with Daisy, I watched it all the time. (Note: I didn’t realize Oprah had
been on that long!) “I was invited on the show and my (I thought I heard
her say “my neighbor” but that doesn’t sound right—though with Lucy, who
can be sure?) said no, said wait until you’re big enough that you’re the
Lucy had forgotten that she had been the one to turn Oprah down. She
remembered it the other way. “I thought SHE had ditched me”. So when asked
in an interview about going on Oprah she said, “I guess she’s more of a
‘Touched by an Angel’ type of gal.” Lucy said that apparently word got
back to Oprah about what she had said. Lucy figures she’s going, “Who does
she think she is!” Lucy added, “I do love her. And I think she’s a great
cause for good. She’s an amazing woman. She came from great hardship as a
kid and is now a force for good.”
Lucy was asked what role she’d most like to play. “Hedda Gabbler. Ibsen. A
woman in moral peril. That’s always interested me. Cool roles for women.”
Question: “What do you miss most about doing Xena?” “Renee. We don’t get
to see each other enough.” Someone told her that Renee had been there
earlier, doing photo ops in her Fairy Godsister outfit from Shoe. “With
her tummy?” Lucy asked laughing. Then she said she would have liked to get
a picture with her. Someone immediately yelled out from the audience,
“Seventy bucks!” Now THAT was hilarious. Lucy said she thought Renee had
been there yesterday and hadn’t realized she was also going to be there
today. She got kind of excited and asked Sharon if Renee was still around.
She said something like, “I hope she’s hiding somewhere and is going to
pop out.” Sharon said in a “sorry” voice that Renee had left already. Lucy
got sad, kind of slumped and dropped her head down on her chest, her hair
covering her face. We all went, “Awwwwwwwwww.” I’m sure Sharon explained
later that Renee had been there early in the morning and had been done her
photo op by noon and took herself and her baby in the belly home. Lucy
wasn’t due on stage until 4 p.m. (? I think it was four—I don’t have the
schedule with me at the moment). That would have been a long wait for
Question: “If you could play any other character on Xena than Xena, who
would you be?” Lucy thought a bit and then said, “Autolycus. Because he
was powerful. He was very funny, but also, I knew when Bruce came on the
show that Xena was not going to be the boss anymore. ‘Cause he could stick
it to Xena. (Regular laughs and potty minds laughs start.) It was no fun
sticking it to Gabrielle. (Greater regular laughs MUCH greater potty minds
laughs.) He was outside the rules.”
Note: Very interesting decision. But my favorite is still Kevin Smith’s.
When he was asked, “If you could be anyone on the show besides Ares, who
would you like to be”, without hesitating a nanosecond, he ripped out
“Argo”. I almost hurt myself, I was laughing so hard. He brought such joy
with him when he came to the cons.
Someone asked Luce about her theater plans. She said a new thing had been
brought up. And to my confusion, I have a note about her saying, “Me and
my twelve year old daughter”. I remember hearing it and writing it but it
makes no sense. Daisy is 17 or so. She said it was in Minnesota. Some
audience members suggested it would be at the Guthrie Theater but she said
that she wasn’t sure where it was. People repeated, “The Guthrie! The
Guthrie!” She kept repeating that she wasn’t sure. (We are nothing if not
I believe she said someone named Jamie Rockers???? (can that be right?)
from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes was involved.
But it’s possible that if she did Battlestar Galactica, that “puts a crimp
“I never had so much fun as being on that stage every day, working things
every night. Xena was fun but drawn out.” I believe she also mentioned the
charge of getting the reaction directly from the audience. (Lucy talked
about that at the time, what a great time she was having. And it showed,
it definitely showed in the performances. It sure looked like EVERYONE was
having a great time.)
Question: Is goofing around on the set of Battlestar different than on Xena?
“You have to know your place on a set and give them room to be
‘starring’.” Lucy talked about becoming friends with the cast. She
especially liked James Olmos. And her, James, Trish and Grace(?) became
particularly close. “Takes a while to get there.”
She was asked if she would do Stargate. “Once you do one. . . I probably
wouldn’t do another genre. The critics would be all (and she adopted a
whiny, pompous tone) ‘Why are you doing another sci-fi? Shouldn’t you be
doing something different?” Either she or a fan brought up
“Commander-In-Chief”. Lucy said she loves Geena Davis in the role and
added, “A woman who is older than me, starring in a show—I love it!”
Question: Would you play Wonder Woman? (Laughter in the audience.)
“Yeah, I would. The critics would ask, ‘Why are you doing this?’ Cause it
would be so much fun.”
Okay, one more part and that should do Lucy. (Snickers and giggles from the
poopy-head crowd.) Grin.