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January 12-14, 2007
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Lucy Lawless
Renee O'Connor
Claire Stansfield
Michael Hurst
Robert Trebor
Adrienne Wilkinson
Jennifer Ward-Lealand
Patrick Fabian
Jay Laga'aia
Brittany Powell
Zoe Bell
Steven L. Sears
Rob Tapert
Liz Friedman






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Lucy and Renee Con Report

by KT

Lucy said something like, “Did you know Xena was a lesbian icon? I’m actually number 2. I’ll bring out number 1.” Renee came back out to great applause. I believe that Lucy said Renee had no idea what she was talking about. (There’s an online contest on a lesbian focused site where you can vote for your choice of hottest woman and Renee won number one with Lucy coming in second. Beating out many famous lesbeans (as one of my friend's father calls girls like her) like Ellen DeGeneres, Melissa Etheridge, etc. Go grrls! Grin.)

My first note after Renee returned was that Lucy said, “Renee, get my boots off, get my boots off.” I think she was talking about being on set as Xena. Or maybe at the show last night? Not sure.

It was interesting-Renee wanted to interview Lucy about the concert. She kept asking her questions about it and was totally focused on trying to find out the answers. She was intensly interested in hearing about the experience from Lucy. Lucy said that Sharlotte, her main back-up singer was more helpful than anyone. “Thank God I met Sharlotte through Duets.”

Lucy tried to turn the tables and focus on Renee. She said, “Your movie’s finished.” I’m not sure if Renee replied or not. Then she asked, “Have you already talked that to death?” “Yes”. Moving on. . .

Lucy: “2006 was hard work. Bloody hard work. Rob in New Zealand for 8 months. Me in Vancouver.” She told Renee that Renee’s house in New Zealand is doing fine. Than she laughed saying, “I used to think it was weird when my dad checked my house when we weren’t around. Just to make sure it was okay. Now I do it to Renee. ‘Backyard’s looking good. . .’”

Someone made a comment about Renee dancing at Lucy’s concert. Lucy looked out at the audience and asked, “Why are you so happy over Renee showing up?” We all kind of just stared back at her for a second. “Was it because the friendship was real?” I didn’t really hear anybody answer though there was a lot of "ambient sound" coming from about 500 mouths. Lucy continued, maybe even talking to herself, “That mattered to you.” I found that interesting, that she’s trying to figure us and our responses out. Heh. The next note I have says, “The whole bloody convention is here.” I’m assuming Luce said it about the crowd at the Roxy last night.

When Lucy first came out, she didn’t have a water bottle. Someone brought her one. Renee had left her water bottle on stage when she left. During the course of the joint talk, they managed to get the water bottles mixed up. Or at least Lucy did. Sometimes when Renee was talking, Lucy would pick up one of the water bottles, shake it and stare at it intently, hoping to divine its secrets. I believe she asked Renee, “Is this one yours or mine?” I don’t think Renee answered her.

I think it’s possible that we got the classic question, “When did you know that it was going to work, that you would be friends.” In reply, Lucy laughed as she always does when she thinks of the early Renee. She said that she looked like a freshly scrubbed chipmunk. Renee said to Lucy in a funny voice, “You’re so great.” Lucy, “Yes. I am.” Then Lucy said “But by about episode 8 she had straightened me out.”

Renee said in one early interview that Lucy used to have to stand on a box and that Renee sometimes stood in a trench so people wouldn’t realize that Renee was taller than Lucy. And that some of the fans actually believed that. Lucy said, “They believed it because it was in print.” And she said something along the lines of she and Renee would be friends forever. “Keep the good people in your life.”

Then she decided they should sing “that song”. Lucy was fumbling over some of the lyrics, trying to explain what song she meant. Renee was looking at her intently, trying to figure out what song she was talking about. Lucy said in exasperation, “You taught it to me!” It became apparent that it was a Texas themed song-someone near me in the audience began to fill in with the lyrics from (is it called “Dallas”?) “Big D, my oh yes” but then I think Renee realized what song Lucy was talking about and it was, “Deep In The Heart Of Texas”. Which of course is infamously one of the funniest bloopers from the series, when Lucy and Renee are dressed as vampire bacchaes from Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and Lucy bursts into singing this and eggs Renee into singing it along with her. I believe one of them said that everybody knows those lyrics and they began to sing it but it happens that almost no one, including Lucy and Renee really DO know the lyrics and though the audience tried to pull it off, it just petered out after a few false starts here and there, with people singing out different verses/lines, heck even totally different songs, all at the same time. (I’m betting Renee knows the words but Renee doesn’t particularly like to sing in public.)

Trying to sing this reminded them of a couple of years ago when they came out of a gigantic cake on stage, Renee wearing her beaded white go-go dancing girl costume from “Lyre, Lyre” and Lucy wearing Renee’s stand-in’s costume of the same outfit. They laughed hysterically, particularly over Lucy’s huge afro wig. Lucy said, “I looked like a clown. I thought no one would see it-figured it’s just a little con-nothing to worry about.” Then the Los Angeles papers picked it up and printed a picture of them with a little story on the con. Wound up in magazines too. Lucy gave her cackling laugh talking about what a debacle it became.

Someone asked about “The Darkroom”. Lucy said, talking about her horrible mother character, “Nobody can tell you how to get there. A director can help with suggestions, but you have to get there yourself.”

She was asked about D’Anna from Battlestar Galactica. She said she loves the complexity of the role. “She could just be a monster. She’s desperately searching. She’s somebody. . .know what? This is the thing about her. She has to fight to be accepted. She has to hide because what she desperately needs to do is forbidden. She’s an outsider in every single way.”

Someone asked about the nude scene of her with Jamie. Lucy replied that he wasn’t naked, he had a towel. She added, “I love Jamie but it would be like looking at my brother. It would be wrong.” The audience buzzed about this for a bit.

Now, later some of my friends said they thought it was a mix-up. That the question was not about D’Anna with Apollo (Jamie) in the locker room in Final Cut, but was instead about the recent BSG gag reel with D’Anna with Gaius (James.) Here’s where you can see it. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6307683077762423268&hl=en
(And thank you to Barbara Davis for posting this link on the Flawless list.


Six and Three come into a room where Gaius is. He is standing facing them and is stark naked. (Totally absolutely naked.) Trish reads her line, something like, “We have questions for you.” Lucy starts her line but just totally cracks up-she laughs wildly and says something like, “I was SO not expecting this. Oh my nerves! I’ve never seen anything like this before.” And she walks off behind a wall on the set. It’s a totally hilarious piece because Lucy is at that moment and with that reaction just SO the Mount Albert housewife she often claims she is. Roxy Lucy would not have reacted in this way. Grin. And I’m betting that if they heard her saying, “I’ve never seen anything like this before”, both Rob and Garth would be thinking, “Thanks, Luce.”

So we’re thinking that the fan was referring to Lucy seeing James naked, not Jamie. Or not.

Okay—I’ll give you some fan drama now. For Lucy and Renee, there were huge lines at the mikes that are set up for people to ask questions of the actors. Significantly more than we had had before.

One fan comes up to the mike and even though it is strongly requested that we not ask for hugs or photos with the stars or give them things while they are on stage, she asks Lucy for a hug. Although many in the audience groan, Lucy invites her up to the stage and does give her a hug. Which sets off more groaning from the audience—we know what this means. And indeed, it starts off a slew of requests for hugs. Which of course, cuts into the time the actor has to interact with ALL the fans. *Sigh*

A fan comes up to the mike. And says she’s been waiting for years to tell this story. She spends a lot of time filling in the background of her job and setting the story up. Some of the audience, already ticked over the hug requests, get impatient and start groaning and sighing over how long this story is taking. Finally the fan gets to the point of the story, which is actually a good one about troops in Bosnia watching TV and someone coming into the tent and inadvertently blocking the TV. At which point about 15 male and female soldiers scream out, “MOVE! Xena is on!” She added that a general made it an order to always have Xena shown to the troops.

A number of people came up to tell the grrls just what the show and the characters meant to them—how it gave them courage and helped them to be stronger people.

It struck me as we slid into this fan personal story telling that the con has come full circle. This is what it used to be like in the early days—endless requests for hugs, fans asking if they can come up and take a picture of themselves on stage with the actors which of course, once the actor says okay means they have to find someone to take the picture, people taking time that belongs to the whole audience to talk about their own personal Xena experience, etc. This had slowed down a lot over the past few years, but here it was again. To some of the audience’s displeasure.

One fan began talking about how much the show meant to her. She had a thick accent. Again we groaned and Lucy and Renee began to gently chide us. Lucy kind of held her hands up to us and did a little sweeping up and down motion indicating we should calm down and stop the groaning. Renee looked out at us and talked about how much courage it takes to speak publicly when it’s not in your native language. That amused me—that we got scolded by the grrls for being impatient with our fellow fans. Them grrls are just too nice. And patient. Of course, they hadn’t PAID to be there to see and hear themselves talk. So they didn’t feel they were getting cheated out of stage time the way some of us did by those other fans taking advantage of the kindheartedness of Lucy and Renee.

One fan said that she had always seen the show in Spanish. Lucy asked, “Did we sound sexy in Spanish?” The woman assured her they did to which Lucy replied “Good.”

We did finally get back on track. One fan (someone who obviously didn’t get the joke), came up and asked the classic question about “You Are There”, what did Xena say when asked if she and Gabrielle were lovers? Everyone else who has been asked this at cons usually stares at the questioner and then imitates the sound of the technical problem that the scene ends with. This time, the grrls started off by looking at her blankly. Then they looked at each other in a way that appeared they were hoping that the other one knew what ep or remembered the scene. After a bit Lucy ventured an answer, asking Renee, “Had we decided they were monogamous by then?” Renee nodded and said, “Oh yeah.” A slight silence and then Lucy said “I probably said something like, ‘I’m a raging lesbian’” (She struck a pose as she said this.) Then she looked at the fan and asked, “Are you disappointed?”

The next line in my notes says, “Oh no-at home we don’t play this game”. But I don’t remember what it’s referring to.

Next I have Lucy saying “When they gave her that stick-there was no stopping her”. Then she added, “There’s Gabrielle walking along behind the horse. It was so unkind.”

A fan presented them with a package. They held it and both looked at it. One of them said, “Is it ticking?” Lucy sniffed it. Then she asked, “Can we eat it?” Renee said, “It IS ticking!” I think they just handed it to someone to take off stage.

A fan asked Lucy about having met Barbra Streisand. I think she said Lucy mentioned it somewhere. Lucy laughed and said that she’d been taken backstage after Barbra’s concert. And she was introduced to Barbra and it was obvious to Lucy that Barbra had no idea who she was. Imitating Barbra’s thick New York accent, Lucy screeched out, “Lucy Lawless! Whad a GREAT name! Is it real?”

That was pretty much the end. Renee went up to sign the banner and while she signed it, she told us about a fan from England I think it was who was in a chair and hadn’t thought she’d be able to go to the con. A fellow fan offered to get her to the airport and on the plane. Another fan offered to meet her in LA and take her to the con. Renee was talking about this was just one example of how kind and generous the fandom is with each other.

While she was doing this, Lucy (still in the center of the stage) was once again staring suspiciously at a water bottle, shaking it and peering at it as she held it up to the lights. Apparently checking the bottle for crumbs and probably hoping they were indeed hers.

Then they stood together again, thanked us all most profusely for being their fans, for supporting their charities, for doing good works and being so good to each other.

And then the con was over again for another year. Sniffle.






AUSXIP - Australian Xena Information Page
AUSXIP Lucy Lawless - Xena  |  AUSXIP Renee O'Connor - Gabrielle