The hardest thing I find about these Convention reports is the darned first line, sometimes there's so much to convey one doesn't really know where to start. This year I wasn't even sure I'd be able to make it to a con, money is always an issue and illness has also been a factor over the last 12 months. Still I kept an eye on my favourite organisers of the intimate, friendly an ultimately most value for money...Wolf. Fortunately soon an event was announced and with three fellas as guests who made the trip 100% worth while.
But enough of my prattle...on with the event......Wolf's Gateway to Sanctuary
Due to some unforeseen circumstances Robin was on his own for the first half of the con...poor fella may have been a little 'deer in the headlights' in a room containing over 40 slightly excited and sugar filled women (plus a couple of token blokes) but the incredibly laid back atmosphere of the con made for a very fun filled opening night and weekend. Due to Robin being on his tod he took his time going round all the tables on the meet and greet and while my little group waited ever so patiently (hehe, yeah right) we munched on a little too much sugary food stuffs and amused ourselves with a project of recreating scenes for the Stargate verse...all inspired by a lone mini mars bar...by the time we had finished we had jelly baby versions of half the cast a Goa'uld mothership, Stargate with DHD and Robin's name spelt out in the the toffee sweets off of Quality street no one ever eats. To his credit Robin gave us kudos for being the most creative table he'd been to that evening.
The was much chat about the latest series of Sanctuary and also much mickey taking of Robin's Bollywood dancing and when questioned as to the possibility of a musical episode one lass at the table made us all chuckle with her inability to keep a poker face as Robin talked singing, she also followed this with a blunt 'I never seen Sanctuary' when Robin asked the table about their favourite or least favourite episodes...prompting a mocked 'spit the dummy and storm off' from Robin.
Robin sat with us for much longer than at a usual con and when organiser Brian did try to move the chap on we growled at him to leave as we were having quite a deep conversation about SGU and it's failures at the time...Brian backed away from the rabid fangirls. Soon though it was time for the party so Robin's release was negotiated and we instead rocked the night away.
Robin Dunne Guest talk
Due to the more intimate nature of the con, this was a lot less a guest talk and much more a amusing and fun filled conversation amongst a group of mates who've been separated a little too long. To convey to tone of the entire weekend I refer you to exhibit A of when Robin was asked about what it's like working on Sanctuary
Apparently Robin is quite the prankster on set and it's probably not a good idea to ever give the fella a jar of peanut butter when in the vicinity of toilets...just saying. As for what he did to poor Damian Kindler, well if Robin wasn't using his excess energy in acting I'm thinking a career in 'evil genius' awaits.
As mentioned the tone of the convention was established very early on and my con buddies and I did nothing to draw things back to a more PG level of entertainment turning the most innocuous of words into full blown innuendo bingo (Frankie Howerd had nothin' on the 7 of us) and Robin had no problem picking us lot out as the gutter row, which lead to much banter.
'Not in that way'
Robin describes his interview technique & life on set
There was even, on occasion, some actual questions to Robin about Sanctuary and what's coming up. In traditional actor keeping it schtum style he would only mention that there's an episode called 'Normandy' which was great to make (and quite self explanatory in story) and one episode which is seen from Will's point of view...yes they actually let Robin loose with a camera on set...wondering if any of the outtakes will make it on the DVD extras.
Robin maintains a high sense of professionalism when representing team Sanctuary abroad and in no way becomes a 7 year old by making fart noises in a lift filled with Japanese business types.
How Japanese people stand in a lift followed by Robin making fart noises
Unbeknownst to me at the last convention I was at with Robin, he is actually quite the multi talented type...not in that way, sheesh...gutter! and a few years back he was involved in writing a series of family movies, the Roxy Hunter series. I'd managed to acquire them to watchfangirl.
As with any convention conversation between attendees veers between several different shows and actors and while Tina and I were mid conversation about one of our other favs, Murdoch Mysteries, Brain mentioned that Robin had in fact turned down the title role. Obviously this needed further investigation so I immediately questioned Robin on it. He was indeed offered the role of Murdoch and it was at a time when Sanctuary was just an experiment. I guessing it was one of those times as an actor that the final decision could have gone terribly wrong. I think I'd now struggle to see Robin as Murdoch, only because I'm a.) so used to Robin as Will and b.) so captivated by the chocolately goodness of Yannick Bisson's eyes. If you've never seen it...away with you now, and seek out the CSI Toronto off of the olden days.
Robin had us in stitches as he likened acting with life as a small child 'There's your socks, they go on your feet, there's tape on the floor to show you where to walk, eat now, you haven't learned your lines...don't worry here they are on a little piece of paper for the scene,' and my personal favourite was his ultra heighten glee, complete with little squeal and patronising clap, from a director as Robin gets a line right....tough job my arse! ;-)
Robin commented of the supporting cast of Sanctuary and how those characters and actors really help to make the show what it is. Personally part of the reason I love this series is the use of original material and established or well known characters from fiction/history and then the new mythology which is created. It really works well and is a refreshing series in amongst the hash of reality shows and crime dramas. It was when Robin was talking about Jonathon Young and his portrayal of Tesla, the banter and relationship with Magnus in the series, that friend Angie's bottle of coke decided to take the crown of the gutter filled weekender. With an almighty 'pop' the lid flew off prompting a quick 'I never get that kind of reaction when I'm talking about Will' from Robin. Naturally us lot in the front row were in bits for the next several minutes. Poor Angie turned a rather attractive shade of ruby red with a hint of magenta...not sure if she ever actually managed to complete the drinking process.
Now, one thing which is usually a big 'no,no' at conventions is the mention of fan fiction to the guests directly. Fan Fiction, by definition, is considered just for the fans and when some rather more excitable fans do bring up this side of the fandom it always leads to a rather awkward few moments...especially when the slash variety has to be explained. (anyone not in the knowledge of fan fiction or slash can find out more here but be warned once in the know brain bleach may be needed). So imagine our surprise when young Robin did just that, he seem truly fascinated be the concept, so much so that a Sanctuary story was found for him to read and ....well....led to this following situation.....
Just in case you missed it ;-)
And to make matters rather embarrassing for me, I was asked to read through the story to just check is wasn't too OTT or at least legible before it got to Robin. He read several little snippets, causing a mixture of guffawing and cringing amongst the audience, and I whispered to Angie something along the lines of 'wait till he gets to page six', of course I thought I'd whispered but hawk eared Robin picked up on our little conversation and asked us what we were giggling about. He started to flick onward to page 6 but then stopped, looked puzzled and asked me to be honest, that we were among friends and that had I written the story. I conveyed my most serious 'no' to which Robin merely pointed out that he had seen Lie To Me! cheeky bugger.
Jackanory Robin Dunne style
So here I shall leave proceedings for now...mainly just because...well...how does one follow Robin in his kegs reading and acting out fan fiction!