Xena, how come my name is never on the big sign?
Friday at the Con
(click on the pics for full photo or series of photos)
Our plane was delayed in Orlando, something about a sticky valve and rebooting the electrical system on board (which they did. Disconcerting, but all was fine). Unfortunately, it delayed our arrival, so I missed the first Video Mix in which they showed videos produced by the fans, and I only caught the tail end of Paris Jefferson's panel. No report on what she said. Sorry. She looked fabulous, BTW.
After Paris, a Blooper Reel was shown, and then Tim Omundson came on. I love Tim. He's always such a delightful fellow. He's funny, quick witted, handsome, charming...you get the idea. He showed us a picture of his beautiful daughter, talked a bit about being a father, and how great it is to work on Judging Amy with Tyne Daly. He also hinted that he may be doing Love Letters with Renee in London at the Strong Women of SciFi con in August. Someone pointed out to Tim that the April Cruise is also billed as Strong Women of SciFi, and wondered how he qualified, to which Tim responded with his best woman of SciFi impression. Funny. He ended his panel by playing "Eli's Blues" on the harmonica. All of the guests signed the large banners to each side of the stage, and as Tim signed under his picture, Adam (our MC), declared him an Honorary Woman of Sci Fi. (grin)
Next up was a short film by Deborah Abbott and Wendy Woody billed as Xena: Season Seven. Now, I saw parts of this as it was being made, and it was very creative. Deborah played Xena, and Wendy, Gabrielle, with another girl playing young Gabrielle (Robin Burmeister). It was kind of a ghost of Christmas past thing (without the Christmas part). It is seven years after Xena's death, and Gabrielle is still carrying around the pot (which I found rather amusing...let it go sweetie...). She has also turned into a lush and is a bit self destructive as she's haunted by Xena's death. Suddenly, Xena's ghost shows up and takes Gabrielle on a trip to her past and her not too pleasant future and eventual demise should she continue on the path she's chosen.
For the scenes of the past, Deborah and Robin re-enact some of the more famous scenes from the show (campfire scene from Callisto, fish catching scene from Altared States, the rock under the surface of the water scene from...errr...the end of Dreamworker, I think?). The really clever part of this little film is the use of actual clips from the show cut with the new parts they filmed, for example the Xena opening credits cut with Deborah and Wendy as Xena and Gabrielle when appropriate. Fun stuff. They stopped the tape at the end of the film, but there was more to come later and it was well worth the wait!
Charity auction up next, the highlight was a huge banner of Gabrielle that ROC will sign. It went for $3200. Then they showed a 15 minute excerpt from the Coffee Talk 2 Video, Renee and Lucy discussing, among other things, Lucy's motivation during the campfire scene in Callisto. Interesting.
Next up, Danielle Cormack. I'd never seen Danielle at a con before, and let me tell you, she is just delightful! Very humble and modest, quite shy at first, but she warmed up quickly, and was soon talking about *her* show, Xena, co-starring some other actors, she couldn't quite place the names...one is tall, dark hair, the other one is shorter, blond...they may be here this weekend...the names will come to her (snicker).
There are mics set up on each side of the stage, and guests answer questions from the audience. Someone asked Danielle to decipher The Price of Milk. She said it didn't make much sense to her either, and she mumbled something about the director and a crack habit (LOL).
When asked what one should do if you only had 4 days to spend in New Zealand, she said head for the west coast beaches. She has a very thick Kiwi accent and someone asked how she learned her American accent for the show. It's an ear thing, she said. She didn't have a dialect coach or anything.
She said she tried out for parts in Hercules and Xena 6 times, but was turned down every time. They said she was too hard, and they needed someone more vulnerable (she rolled her eyes). "Oh," she added with a chuckle, "And could you wear a push up bra next time?" (LOL) She said getting *a* part, any part, became a personal challenge so she just kept trying.
When asked about her part as Ephiny, she said it took her a long time to appreciate the impact her character had on the audience, and if she had known how much her character meant to people, then perhaps she would have fought to keep the character alive (but in a coma or something, she said...LOL).
She talked passionately about Kevin Smith, saying she thinks about him all the time. She said she feels he was under appreciated in New Zealand as an actor and as a man, and she applauds the US audience and Xena fans for recognizing what a truly gifted actor and all around fantastic human being he was.
She ended with a hysterical story about farting into a boom mic, and regaled us with the *unt song from Vagina Monologues, sang to the tune of Frere Jacques. (it was really another word describing the vagina, but a person in the audience was offended by the word (Danielle asked), so she shortened it to unt. Add a c to the beginning, if you haven't gotten it yet <g>).
After Danielle, they showed the rest of Deborah and Wendy's tape, which continued with a short film of the girls playing Dar and Kerry from Missy Good's Uber series. God, that was hysterical! The tape continued with bloopers from their Season Seven short. Hysterical as well. Nice job, ladies.
Friday ended with three winning entries from the video contest. They showed three or four per day. Apparently, it wasn't a "one is the winner" type contest, instead, they gave certificates to those chosen, and if the video artist was in attendance, they got to address the audience and take a bow. I suppose you could say the video shown before Lucy and Renee on Saturday night was the big winner--it certainly had the largest audience.
Mine wasn't shown this weekend, to which my ego screams, "What the hell?" (chuckle) Adam said they wouldn't have time to show all of the winners (scratching head), but certificates would be mailed out after the Con. We did get to see DJWP's Gladiators which was great, and another that has been a favorite of mine for a while, With One Look by Dreamquest (L. Adams). Deborah Abbott had a nice one as well. Congrats to all that had theirs shown! If you were one of the winners and you would like me to post a link to your video, email me and I'll make a list here. That video makin' thang is hard work, you all deserve all the recognition you can get.
Friday Night Cabaret
Friday night started with Claire and Danielle presenting a National Enquirer type slide show presentation called The Truth Behind The Chakram. Audiences would be shocked, shocked to learn that Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristofferson are Lucy's parents and Renee's parents are Ellen DeGeneres and Anne Heche! (I knew it!) It went on in that vein, sex change operations, crack habits, and Gary Coleman fit in there somewhere quite outrageous and funny.
Next out was Darien Takle, she sang two lovely songs in French, and then attempted one of her own from a CD she is writing. She promptly forgot the words and in a very endearing fluster excused herself to behind the stage where she retrieved the sheet music for the song in question and after announcing something along the lines of, "Ain't jet lag a bitch," she valiantly carried on without a hitch. Really sweet lady.
Tim Omundson aka Frank Sinatra was next, complete with cigarette, tuxedo, pompadour, fifties style mic, and Jack and Coke. He did several Sinatra tunes, my favorite being The Best is Yet To Come (and it was), as he handed out drinks to the audience.
Hudson rounded out the evening, joined by Forest Walsh as she danced to some tunes from the Chicago soundtrack. I had He Had It Comin' in my head all weekend after that! They were fantastic, really fantastic, and the fact that Hudson ended up in nothing but a black bra and panties had nothing to do with it. Honest.