Convention Report by Trish
Ah, the smell of Xenite sweat in the air!!
There is excitement in the air. Gina Torres will be there, along with Kevin Sorbo, Alexandra Tydings and the young lads from Young Hercules. Joel Tobeck, Strife, and Paul R. Coyle, the producer of Hercules will round out the day.
I must say, I'm not a regular Hercules watcher...pretty much watch it if LL is going to guest star. Having said that, I was more interested in seeing Alexandra Tydings and Gina Torres more than anything. And they did NOT disappoint either. Aphrodite came out with short blonde hair, looking for all the world like Jenna Elfman from Dharma and Greg. Although she put on this dumb blonde act, I personally believe it was just that...an act. I wasn't too pleased with the casual and rather vendictive remarks around me during her time in the limelight. Of course, my mother always taught us that if you couldn't say anything nice, just don't say anything at all. Now why is it that I hear Winnie the Pooh's voice in my head....? Sorry, off topic...anyway, I was quite taken with the slim dynamo..very captivating, a little whirlwind of smiles...always on the move, working the crowd. She came across as just talking to a small gathering of people..all people she knew. I must confess that I was so taken with this woman that I forgot to take one measley little picture. Gina Torres came out all smiles and stalked all over the stage, looking like she was in for 'a view to a kill'. Very predatory...just MHO. Boy, can she sing! I had these visions of her and LL singing in another musical and got heart palpitations! Wow! I did almost come to blows with the woman who kept getting to the mic and spout off how she thought Nebula could kick Xena's butt big time or that she wanted some actor/actress to pose for her or autograph a picture, or whatever...had she no shame? She was taking valuable time away from others that wanted to, nay needed to, ask. The line on both sides of the auditorium were packed. I felt sorry for the kids who ended up getting rather cool answers when it came to be their turn at the mic. Patience is a virtue but it sure does spend quickly. All in all, I found the Q & A period throughout this day to be very aggrivating and disorganized.
Ah well...what can I say? I talked to two Herculites in the elevator at breakfast who just kept going on and on about Xena getting her butt kicked by Nebula and that the Xena day was just NOT going to be anywhere near comparison. I was nice. I was polite. Then I told them yeah, no comparison at all. They left feeling mystified and l left feeling like...you aint seen nothing yet....bubububaby! And was I right!!
Well, they had some music video called Sisters that could really make a million or ten from us Xenites...yeah...the incomparible Aretha Franklin!! Yo, momma! Wow, the house was rockin. Then, I'm sorry to say, some fellow came out and showed us this CD-Rom interactive game presentation and most of the room got up and left. I was amongst them. After seeing a whiney, bratty Gabrielle sniveling up to a cold and distant not to mention 1 dimensional character supposedly Xena...that was it..Their voices just grated. I went out and shmoozed with some folks and watched some interesting folks dressed up as the warrior or the bard. Some were really, really very good. One couple acted out a fantasy of The Conqueror and The Slave...too much fanfic, methinks!...and the house was on its feet! Ah, but that was later. When I heard the crowd errupt for Clair Stansfield, I scrambled back to my seat. She's a Canadian!! My oh my. And from TO (Toronto, Ontario)! She was another babe on the prowl..she stalked the stage, plucked our heart strings, flirted, let the 'f' word slip a few times, added personal annecdotes and charmed her way into our hearts. She stands 6'1 and came out in tight black leather pants. The woman beside me remarked that the pants must be standard issue. Whatever, they sure worked. A short preview was shown of the new Xena ep "If the Shoe Fits"...some shtick on Cinderfella, methinks. Anyway, I suddenly knew I wasn't in Kansas anymore as the Joxerites came out of the woodwork around me...'Take me home, Auntie Em, take me home!', I wanted to shout. Then Steven Sears came out and really gave us a good accounting of where the show was going, why some eps were light and some heavy...all to do with budget. You make some light ones so you'll have more money to do the really great eps. Makes sense and now I'll stop whining about Cinderfella. We were then treated to some great bloopers and a few questions with Robert Field. Nice guy, told some jokes, worked the crowd...nice.
There was another auction, much like the one the day before but this one got...well, out of hand, IMO. A sword going for $31,000.00! Oh, please! Even if I had that kind of money to spend on me, I'd be putting it away for my kids. Or buying a new car, or feathering my rather threadbare nest. Ah well...what a Xenite won't do? Karl Urban was the next to arrive and arrive he did! He came aboard the stage like some Valkrye...all bluster, loose casual clothing and hair that had yet to feel the comb that day. He addressed the crowd saying he was in a mood...a mischievious one at that. He pandered to the crowd, openly flirted and at one point, felt the need to drop his drawers and show us the type of underwear he prefered. Cotton, form fitting, mid thigh boxers for those of you interested. I was changing rolls at that time so I DID NOT get the shot. However, I sat in C 11 13 so it would have been my word anyway. I found him to be the bad boy and he certainly bent over backwards to cement that idea in our heads. He did some rather good characterizations comparing Caesar and Cupid and even did some Mael for a kick. The poor man had some woman get to the mic and propose to him. He paused, looked thoughtful and then accepted. Depending on her psychiatric history, this might not have been the wisest choice. One never knows.
And then....yes, then it was Xena Time....the Creations announcer came out and read the riot act as to what kinds of questions would be tolerated and then introduced the interviewer. A befuddled hush ran through the crowd...and then a groan as the reality of the situation hit home...very little audience/performer interaction would be taking place. Ten people had been selected to ask LL questions and then that would be all. Well...the woman started off alright, leading in with her version of BTDT...yes, yes, no, of course, etc. Then it went downhill from there on in. The interviewer didn't come across as knowing too much about her subject. And the questions were rehashs of information we could all recite in our sleep. Heck, even my son knows most if not all of them. LL looked to the woman at one point and said 'l think they know all this' and then stood up and began answering questions from the ten people. Some questions and remarks were shouted out from the crowd and she began to sparkle. Not that she didn't before, but she was certainly more animated when she stood up and began pacing the stage. She was like this little busy bumble bee...pent up energy just waiting to get out. So full of life and so very gracious. She has to be the most genuine and unassuming person I've ever almost met. She talked of her appreciation for her fans, about not wishing to be anyone else but yourself because you just never knew what a person's private life was really like. I think she was hinting that her life was anything but non stop glamour. She spends quite a bit of time away from her child and husband and that must wear awfully thin after awhile.
The interviewer looked rather surprised at the overwhelming love the audience was sending Lucy Lawless, making her own part in the scheme of things rather one dimensional. I did like the fact that no one was given the opportunity to shout out 'will you marry me?' or 'my dog was beaten up and is in the hospital-can l get an autographed picture for him?' kinda question. But l also think a combo of both good interviewer and audience participation would be the best way to go. LL was motioned from the announcer backstage that her time was up and she was having NONE of it. The crowd whistled and shouted their approval and she graced our lives for another 10 minutes or so. Maybe it was longer...but not nearly long enough. I was finally faced with the LL Effect and was truly humbled by it. Here was a woman, big as life, so very talented, gorgeous, and had a personality to win over the hearts of even the most distant human being and she was just.....Lucy. She wasn't caught up in the wheels of FAME...she was just Lucy; a New Zealand girl who made it big. She came across as a friend, a pal, someone you'd really like on your team because you could count on her. She made me want to hug her and be goofy with her, both at the same time. She mentioned liking Meg as her most favorite character because of the comedy...and thoughts of another Lucy filled my head. She likes comedy but rarely gets to stretch her talent in that direction. A pity as I really think she's a natural.
Well, the evening wore on with autographs by row...and when I'd finally gotten to see KU and CS up close, take a few pix and shake their hands, it was almost 8:00 at night. A very very long day indeed.
Was it worth all the fuss with Customs? The three planes it took to get there? The fact that no meals were served on any of the flights I took down or back? Yup. And then some. It was a chance of a life time and I'm sure glad I took it.
Some of the downsides to the con were that none of the lists I'm on had a place where members could sign in and leave info regarding room numbers and hotels where they were staying. I found this very frustrating as I'd miss messages by word of mouth and not know how to contact them. The other complaint was that alot of the hotels were having maintenance done to them. Either the air was filled with exhaust from the mechanical crane as in Double Tree or things were closed off as in Bayview and Pacific Shore hotels. Life was spent either hurrying up to wait at the elevator or scrambling down six or seven flights of stairs and setting the alarm off. Oh well! Expect the unexpected, I suppose.