I haven't, in the past, however completely been involved with the fandom involved in such shows....keeping the geek side of my, otherwise intellectual and professional, persona firmly in the closet. That was until a certain show based in a galaxy far far away and the online community which is dgeek. And so on February 2-4 this year I tested the waters of the sci-fi convention, dragging my father...aka, the taxi driver....along for the ride.
How to explain a sci-fi convention to those outside the realms of fandom is a tough thing to do, since the majority of stars which I am about to mention will be about as useful as a fart in a sleeping bag for those not in the know....I, however don't care. I met people who I have much respect for and have followed their journey for the last three years...and it's not often a person gets the chance to meet and chat with such people in their lifetime.
So day 1....
I had heard on the grapevine that to gain good seats in the main hall for the talks it is essential that you get into a queue for virtual tickets (they let you in, in batches of 50) at stupid o'clock in the morning. now I am not, repeat NOT, a morning person and so kind, dear father (aka schmuck) made the walk in the freezing temps to the hotel to get in the queue for the virtual tickets. The plan nearly went the way of the pear however when, as the holders of the virtual tickets turned up they told dad that both parties had to be present. While I was blissfully in the land of nod, dad worked his silver tongue and blagged the extra ticket for me since it was our first con and we didn't know any better.
The first talk was from Dan Payne, a huge hunk of a man who plays mainly monsters on the show (both in SG1 and Atlantis) and is referred to as the 'do it' guy by the rest of the cast and crew because there's basically nothing he won't try out.
He told very funny stories of his time on the set of SG1 and a scene which meant he was buried under a pile of 'stage' dirt. He had a mask which was meant to enable him to breath which didn't do it's job properly and the poor guy ended up holding his breath for a stupid amount of time before someone yelled cut.
Equally as hazardous was a scene in a recent SGA episode which was to have his Wraith character pulled through the air and crash into a wall. (fun job, huh) It was the first time which Dan was to do such a stunt and he watch the stunt team attempt it with a weighted bag three or four times before he was called away (the bag hit a bridge and exploded when it hit a bunch of barrels before he left) He was attached to the harness without seeing a successful attempt and was no doubt s**ting bricks when they called action. He said that the flying through the air part of the stunt was kinda cool, the crashing through barrels and smashing into a wall....not so much.
Next up was Ryan Robbins, aka Ladon Radeem in SGA. What a very cool individual...he came with presents, always a good idea, T-Shirts for a new and online sci-fi series starring many of the recurring cast of the Stargates' called Sanctuary. He asked a few trivia questions about Stargate, lobbing the t-shirts into the crowd which was great fun. He talked about some of his other acting roles in some lower budget films, one of which involved him getting punched in the nose. The fake punch accidentally made contact and actually broke the poor guys nose, ever the professional he carried on knowing that the team had no money to re-shoot and thus the whole thing is in the movie....sheesh who knew that acting was so hazardous!
It was Ryan's first experience at a convention also and he seemed to be at ease very quickly....maybe too quickly. He shared a lot with us fans....maybe too much...lol, but he was certainly fun.
If I'm running through the guest talks quickly it's because all this happened over a week ago and my memories are fading fast. Next time....and there will be a next time.....I'm writing everything down!
The adorable Erin Chambers was on stage next. Looking gorgeous and completely different from Sora, one of the Genii in SGA. She was excited to be going to see Avenue Q later that evening with her hubby Carson McKay (!!!) who was sitting in the sidelines. I believe Avenue Q is much like the muppets, but they act like they're on acid and have potty mouth....it's supposed to be very funny. Erin answered many questions surrounding working with Robert Davi and going shopping with someone from costume to buy a knife for 'Sora'.
My favourite part was the discussion surrounding a fight scene she had with Rachel Lutrell....aka Teyla.....The scene in question involves her character to punch out Carson Beckett and have a brilliantly choreographed knife fight. Someone asked whether Erin preferred punching Teyla or Carson, the poor girl seemed a little perplexed mulling over the questions and stating that she only hits Carson when he deserved it. At which point her husband commented 'er I think she meant Carson on the show honey'. Poor Erin was very embarrassed at her 'blonde moment' while the crowd roared with laughter.
Carson joined her on the stage for a while as they discussed how the couple first met. I can't remember all the details but they had been friends with each others friends for some time thoughout college until finally at a party Carson walked up to Erin with his name written on the palm of his hand, shoved his hand into her face and walked away....how romantic!? Guess it worked though.
There was also some discussion on where her character, Sora, had ended up on the show, since she was taken into custody in the episode 'the eye'. Erin recited a theory about her character becoming feral and twitchy in a cell on Atlantis somewhere and a mad conversation she has with Weir when she finally comes to let her out.
This takes us up to lunch time on day one, and since I've waffled on far to long and Josh has invariably lost the will to live right now I'll continue the update another day.