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Convention Information

SECAUCUS, NJ
Fri., Sat. & Sun. June 1-3, 2007
Crowne Plaza Meadowlands Hotel 
2 Harmon Plaza
Secaucus, New Jersey (minutes from Manhattan)

Guests

Lucy Lawless
Renee O'Connor
Brittney Powell
Charles Keating
Steven L. Sears
Rob Tapert
Zoe Bell
Meighan Desmond
Alexandra Tydings

 

2007 OFFICIAL XENA CONVENTION
New York

"The East Coast Visit of Lucy, Renee and Friends"

1 June - 3 June 2007

Review by KT
fsktl@uaf.edu

LUCY

Long, long, LONG standing ovation. So long that some people who had sat down actually got inspired to stand back up and start applauding again.

Lucy smiled at us and said, "Welcome to 'Joisey'. I love 'Joisey'."

I believe that someone brought up her debut appearance the night before. "That show kicks my ass. It's like a two hour stunt fight. You coming back tonight?" Of course we roared out our yes. She nodded and said, "I'm staggering back tonight." Then she copped an attitude and said in this whiny, teenage accusatory tone, "Yeah Renee, why DIDN'T you put me in your movie?" (I think Renee had left the stage already? Don't remember.)

Next I have that she said, "We're such a family. Go do your thing. The love keeps going around." But I'm not totally sure if she was talking to (or about) Renee or us.

She mentioned that she has a cameo in Ted's new movie. "I make a very profane little nasty boss."

Hmmmm. Every so often I'd suddenly realize that I'd stopped writing and was just enjoying watching Lucy.

I see now that I apparently "came to" and suddenly dropped a few notes on the page that don't really have any lead up to them. Lucy was saying something in a silly accent and she then added, "Do you speak English?" And then said, "Apologies to anyone who really uses that accent." Pause. "We were never big in Japan anyway."

Someone asked her what advice she would give to an aspiring actor. "If there's anything else you can do-do that. If it's a 50/50 choice-do the other. It's kinda gotta be a vocation. It's a religion. I fell off from that religion. Celebrity Duets put me on another track. One from my gut."

She talked about choosing to continue life no matter what's happening. "Bombing in Beirut? You gotta do it." She said as she has before that she doesn't want to be old and filled with regrets for what she didn't do. "Bugger that!" and she stomped her foot. "I get on stage and it's "Dee-dee, dee-dee."

She was asked which funny ep was her favorite. "Hurst." (Michael Hurst who played Iolaus and directed a number of eps for Rob.) Then she talked about being out of control working with Josh Becker. She said it was "a crazy one. The producers were away. Me, Ted and Josh did a stupid World Wide Wrestling thing. I threw away any of the rules to do with being Xena. The producers were away. I got scolded. . .What was the question?"

She told us she was very proud of "Old Ares Had A Farm". "Kevin's not riding easy-he's rocking on. Xena was not the main character in 'Ares Farm'. I took it back. I wasn't performing-I was just being. It was the time I most enjoy watching myself."

A fan quoted Mary McDonald (President Laura in Battlestar Galactica) about how dangerous it is to view someone as a total enemy. "Who's the enemy? Who's the friend." Lucy asked if there were any BSG fans. There were of course. (I wonder now if there were any JUST BSG fans or if they were Xena fans who were also BSG fans.)

Lucy talked about the quote from Mary. "Were the cylons bad? They had one god-like us. And they believe in that or not."

"The cylons are very New Zealand. Very egalitarian. They are all equal. (D'Anna) started to become a little bit like us. She broke the rules. She needed to be boxed. All three billion copies of her. Dean Stockwell has them on a chip in his pocket. He takes it to his playroom. When that bitch gets out, she's going to be PISSED!"

She was asked, "What scares you?" She answered, "What week? Fear is like a curtain. You have to burst through the trepidation."

"Serious TV scares me. The complexion is changing. Everything is morphing. They do 13 episode stories. It's called a wheel. There's a wheel of late night soaps. Football Wives would have been part of that. Had it not had too much truth in it. (They were concerned) it would take the shine off it. Unlike their own players."

She was asked if she wanted to be a director. "I'm not that kind of animal. Renee can do great interviews about the show. Her brain is data hungry."

She talked about how she didn't want to do the things director's have to do like clock watching. There was a question about acting. "I'm in precipitous free-fall. I do it out of feel".

People in the audience were yelling out questions. Lucy put her hand up and pointed, "You-in the back with the wristband." A number of people laughed and stuck up their hands to show her their own Creation wristbands. I'm not sure who was fooling whom there, but I'm betting on Luce.

I think she was repeating a question when she said, "Does Art imitate life or is it the other way around?" In answer, she brought up "Pleasure Dome", Rob's new picture about an aging diva. "I'm kind of living that at the moment." Now due to my rushed handwriting, I'm not sure if the next thing she said was "I have to watch myself" or "I have to water myself." It seems it should be "watch" but sometimes Lucy does have some unusual turns of phrases. I think she said next that she seldom has that feeling. "I'm too busy. I gotta pick the kids up from school."

I remember years ago her talking about driving Julius to school with Judah riding along and Judah having a little spat with his brother. And I was glad to hear that she not only got Julius herself but that she brought the baby along with her also. Didn't send the nanny-you know? The audience today was impressed by this also-they applauded her statement.

She said, "I can't really paint." (Some in the audience disagreed with her and said she could. I believe she denied any ability a second time.) "Can't really dance. I just feel. I write awesome letters. Truly, I'm a genius letter writer. I can be so savage."

"Maximum ego talking. I marvel at prose. It sounded like she said "Sebastian Frank and Evelyn Waugh".

She told us she's writing stories of her childhood. Her's and Rob's. She told us she kind of banded all of Rob's various relatives into a family she called the "Silwickees". (That's what it sounded like anyway. . . )

She talked about her parents teaching their kids non-consumerism. One year for his birthday, her brother was given a spider. It was a spider that had been living in the back lock of their door for years. No one had ever bothered it-they just didn't lock their back door. But that one year her mother "Blew it out of the lock somehow and stuck it in a jar and that was my brother's birthday present."

She said her mother had been the "Mayoress" of Mt. Albert for twenty years or so. She mentioned that her mother saw art in many places.

She told a story about her mother driving along and suddenly noticing some road kill-a squashed hedgehog on the road. She circled around in her car (Lucy pantomimes driving) and checked it out and then got out of the car and stood looking down at it. (Again Lucy is acting this out while telling it.) She thought the road kill had some very interesting patterns in it. She later told the family he was "a firm little flat feller". I think then a neighbor spotted her and she got self-conscious and drove away. She came back later in the evening with a shovel and began to scrape at the thing and I had the impression she meant to bring it home to show the kids. Of course, she looked up to see the same neighbor looking askance at her out there. Lucy was bent over, holding an imaginary shovel and looking up at the neighbor and giving a very sheepish, "Oh, hello."

"And that's my lineage."


A fan had a question about Xena being so strong and independent and I think what was Lucy's feelings about the way so many woman reacted to her. (This is the down side of people relaxing and yelling out questions from the floor-even when the star is good and repeats it, they repeat the gist of it and we miss some of the nuances of the questions. And we Xena fans are nothing if not nuancing question fools.)

Lucy replied, "I just thought, `Man, I'm lucky to have a gig."

Then she added, "And not just women, but men too. Anyone who's ever been afraid. And the friendship was a big part of it-everyone wants a friend."

Then my notes inexplicably burst out into, "Get busy-Jesus is coming." And then they subsides and once again Lucy is the topic.

Lucy talked about how every few years she gets into some dark moments. "Polar bears are drowning. I have to find a philosophy that can deal with that. This earth will survive. If a lot of us don't make it. . . that's okay. There are too many of us on the planet." (Editorial note: Yeah, I'd say that's dark. And of course we all know what Xena's remedy would be-"Kill 'em all!")

Lucy looked into the crowd and said, "Yes, Beautiful?" (Silence) "Yes, you." (And many of the women in front of me turned around to check out the beautiful woman Lucy was talking to.)

I think was Luce was trying to get her name which she couldn't quite hear. She said, "Spell it!" and then Luce began to do some signing on her arm. I believe the woman told Lucy that her 16 year old daughter was going to have a 16th birthday party but she chose to come to the con instead. (I ALWAYS love these multi-generation duos, trios, multiples that come to the cons. Just love these Xena fan lineages.)

I think it was Lucy who called her club costume a spacesuit, but she might have been repeating something a fan said. She was also asked if she worked out. She said she does yoga. Someone asked what kind. She answered (it sounded like) lianga yoga. The questioner wanted more details on what stances and Lucy said, `Now we're getting really arcane." She did mention some with those odd little animal focused yoga names (but of course I didn't write them down.) "I like to do hand stands-it's great for your back. And it short-circuits anxiety." Someone of course asked if she'd do a hand stand for us. Lucy said, "I can't do free-standing." Pause. Mumble "Xena could."

Hmmm. Wonder if she could do a handstand in her liquid show suit. But it was so tight that nothing would move-so she probably wouldn't get anything out of that. (Though we might. . .)

She was asked if she'd do an international tour with her Come to Momma show. "Maybe we should." Then, "I'm feeling Tokyo. . ."

The same question was asked about emotions in acting impacting an actors personal life.

"I'll just go there if its on the page. You want me to engender rage-I'll find it." (I found this fascinating-just lead her to it and she can conjure it up. I think she's mainly addressing how she doesn't have to think about or plot a way to achieve the emotional response-as she's been saying, she reads it and then she just "feels" her way to it.)

Someone said something and Lucy agreed, "The June 14 AIDS benefit". The fan told her it was going to be on August 5th. Lucy looked surprised and said no, but the fan insisted and they did a little back and forth. Then she said, "Then I can't make it." She has other plans. Then I think she added that she'd probably be able to make it work.

Someone said they'd heard that the song Xena sang to baby Eve was one Lucy's mother had sung to her. Lucy began to sing, "Take my breasts away". (sic)

GOOD GODS! I only this second realized this is not just a pun, it's a very appropriate bon mot, since in the scene, Xena is breastfeeding Eve. Damn-that's FUNNY! (That Lucy is just such a clever grrl. Grin.)

Then she sang an upbeat little ditty, "Don't cry little hedge hog". Then "No. My mother did not sing that. It must have been Joe's, otherwise we would have had to deal with royalties."

My next note says, "Rock n' Roll". And that's all it says.

Next paragraph: A fan asked what she hated the most about acting. "I hate asking other people to give you a job. I hated WANTING them to give me a job. Know what I mean? So I stopped that. I'm on a frictionless ride now."

Fan: "Was it hard to switch between accents?" Lucy said they had a voice coach. And she may have said something about needing it more in the beginning. She mentioned the word "Formidable" as being particularly hard for her to change. She said she told the coach, "NOBODY says it that way!" And she said she always said it the New Zealand way-you'd hear the New Zealand emphasis in the middle of her American speeches.

The choices were FORmidable or forMIDable. I THINK I say forMIDable but I totally confused myself while writing this with trying to figure out how I usually say it.

Ever the wordnerd, I went on dictionary.com and looked up formidable. And found this:

Usage Note (from the American Heritage Dictionary): Traditionally formidable has been pronounced with stress on the first syllable, but recently the pronunciation with stress on the second syllable, which is a common variant in British English, appears to be on the rise in American English. The traditional pronunciation is apparently still preferred by a large majority of educated speakers, however. A recent survey shows that 80 percent of the Usage Panel use the pronunciation (fr'mi(-d?-b?l), while 14 percent use (fr-mi(d'?-b?l). A few Panelists approved both pronunciations.

Hmmm. And I bet those "few Panelists" are happy to see Xena with either Gabrielle or Ares also.

She talked about the show last night and said they still had a few things to work on. "'Come To Me'-we're not entirely happy with it."

Somehow "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" came up. Lucy said it wasn't in the show. After a bit of discussion, she declared that it would be in the show that night since we wanted it in so badly. Once again, the hall rocked with cheers.

And then Renee returned.

Usually, they're kind of called back or at least introduced on stage. Renee just walked rapidly up to the stage with Luce. I think the poor woman may have been waiting endlessly for Lucy and/or the fans to stop talking for a minute so she could find an entrance. Like a person jumping rope and going for Double Dutch with friends-you know how the two girls would be swinging the ropes and the jumper would be watching them all closely and then very often her whole body would start to sway along with the rhythm of the ropes like a snake? Well, we didn't SEE any of that of course, but I was just sitting here imagining Renee swaying back and forth trying to find a quiet second to get out there with Lucy. And finally just swinging herself out through the curtain and up onto the stage.

I think we, (certainly at least I) need a break now.

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