Pasadena Center
May 4-6, 2001.

Friday 4 May

See my Con Photos

I arrived several hours late on Friday thanks to a 2 hour delay at the airport (Thanks American Airlines) and long queues for customs and shuttle buses, so consequently missed the beginning of the convention, Robert Trebor and Hudson Leick. Not sure how Robert was, but Hudson apprently wore another stunning dress, and bought her parents up on the stage with her.

Still getting my head together and seeing people, I also missed Zoe Bell and Paul Grinder - Lucy Lawless' stunt double and the second unit director. Apparently no one asked Grinder about "Married With Fishsticks"...

So, my first experience of US conventions was seeing Karl Urban on the stage. Karl looked exceedingly scruffy and wore a hat making it even harder to see him. My usual habit is to take copious notes, but I was far too tired. Consequently I can't remember much! Karl came across pretty well. He didn't give a lot away about his experiences on the show - well, he wasn't asked much. He did talk about filming the scene in "Destiny" where Lucy comes prowling towards him across the bed and how he was rather stunned by it! He did his favourite line for us too.."Break her legs", to great cheers! He mentioned how much bigger scale the "Lord of the Rings" movie was in terms of budgets and time on spent filming scenes.

Winding up the first day was Bruce Campbell, but sadly I missed him totally. I needed refreshments and met up with some friends. I'm sure he was very interesting!

The Friday evening cabaret featured Bruce again however, doing a comedy routine along with Ted Raimi. Now I like both of these actors, but their comedy act was ultra, ultra lame! Most of it featured Ted Raimi blacked up as an Indian mind reader. Hope Ted doesn't do that in the UK, shades of the Black and White Minstral Show, and very politically incorrect in my opinion. Apparently, they have performed this show at several Creation conventions...hmm..

Next up were the ladies singing. Ebonie Smith, Adrienne Wilkinson and Darien Takle backed up by a decent session band. Ebonie Smith did a sultry, set and showing off a nice warm voice once she got warmed up.
Adrienne Wilkinson seemed a bit nervous and had quite a difficult line up of songs. She has a good voice though, and I especially enjoyed the Bjork song 'Shh', although she had to have a couple of goes at it.
Darien Takle has worked on the stage a lot, and did a showtunes set showing off her fine voice. This is her first con, and she seemed to really enjoy herself all weekend.

However, by far the best thing about the cabaret was the special guest host. Hudson Leick is fabulous with a crowd, bantering and playing with the audience and being totally outrageous. She was a hundred times funnier than Bruce and Ted in my opinion. The woman is a star!

Saturday 5 May

Saturday was a busy day in the main hall. It kicked off with Adrienne Wilkinson and William Gregory Lee on stage together. Adrienne was a big hit with UK fans last year, but seemed to be in a much sassier mood throughout this convention. A lot of the ladies seem to have been hanging around that Hudson Leick too much I think...
Many of us were keen to hear about the filming of "You Are There". Adrienne said most of the other actors playing the followers of Eli had no idea what was going on either in the character, or why she was swearing like that. Greg was asked a few questions about Dark Angel, and also mentioned how he was going to play a character with a different name originally, someone NOT Joxer's son. Adrienne also told about how she didn't know she was going to play Xena's daughter. I really can't remember too much of what they said..Both are appearing in the UK in July, so I'll have my notebook ready.

Tim Omundsen is another natural in front of a big audience. He is a wonderful storyteller, and once again told the story about the big fightscene between Eli and Ares in "Chakram", but at least this time did make it clear that he invented the whole thing! He also retold the story about how Ted Raimi got Lucy and Renee to be really mean to him when he first arrived in New Zealand. Tim mentioned working with Tyne Daly on "Judging Amy", and his death scene. Best of all, he got out his harmonica and did a bit of Eli blues! Very good it was too...

The Charity auction was a high bidding affair, the most amazing sale, the $40,000 paid for the new chakram - an original from the show as used by Lucy, and signed. I think it was the same lady who bought the original chakram a few years back and the sword last year for big bucks.

Claire Stansfield was next, and managed to say about 10 words before swearing! I was impressed with how genuine she seemed in her appreciation of the show and how it had helped her, and also the impact it had made in terms of female lead action shows. Claire said that playing Alti really HAD helped her come to terms with herself and boosted her self confidence. She said she got Alti's voice straight out of "The Wizard of Oz" - the wicked witch of the West being the ultimate bad girl. She made us laugh by saying she and Lucy were both no good at golf so had given it up for shopping! She had a tape player with a telephone message from Danielle Cormack and Kevin Smith, although it was rather inaudible. Nice gesture though.

Quick Bit About the rest!
The cabarets were OK. Nice singing from Ted Raimi - fab voice! Also Tim Omundsen and Bob Trebor. Poor Karl Urban belted out a couple of Beatles songs badly and then go off! The Ladies were OK too. Adrienne Wilkinson had a few problems with Bjork's So Quiet, but Ebonie Smith and Darien Takle sang nicely enough. The main problem (confirmed by Adrienne Wilkinson another time) was that the singers had no monitor speakers, so couldn't hear the band properly, hence a few of them were a touch off key. Hudson Leick was HILARIOUS are guest compare on the Friday night. The woman is insane! Sadly, Ted Raimi and Bruce Campbell's allegedy "comedy" didn't raise any laughs at all with me. Lame doesn't begin to describe it, and I found Ted's Indian accent rather racist and offensive. The big hit with most people was the Triple X revue from Alex Tydings and Claire Stansfield. This was the two of them reading Xena Fanfiction. Very saucy ones generally - and ADORED by subtext fans. I though some were OK, but was sat with a few non Internet people who were totally confused.

The Main Event was of course, Lucy and Renee. There was a palpable sense of excitement about the crowd. It felt almost like mass hysteria building, and I was wondering what it would be like - whether people would go nuts or something. As it was, while they were onstage, it was almost eerily silent, as most of us listened attentively. Anyone talking got dirty looks from people around them!

The questions were posed by fan club president Sharom Delaney, and generally this worked well. There was a fair range if questions. Lucy, dressed in her Spiderman punk outfit (does the woman HAVE any clothes sense???) prowled around the stage restlessly, looking rather tense and giving her concentrated stare a few times when thinking about her answers. Renee looked lovely with her little bump (5 months pregnant she was at the time) and in contrast to Lucy, stood serenely and answered her questions calmly.

There was a large screen for those of us who were more than 15 rows from the front - and there were a LOT of rows in that hall! However, the camera seemed to focus on Lucy nearly all the time - even when she stood in the shadows to leave Renee in the spotlight - literally. As she was on the move so much, fans had to yell to make them show us Renee! However, people were very well behaved and very attentive. I know I jsut sat spellbound. I am looking forward to seeing that video as I can't remember anything they said in detail! It was a magical atmosphere, and I know I felt a tremendous sense of anti-climax when it was all over. In many way, with the show ending and then Lucy and Renee's exit, there was a sense that this really was "it". All over now... Still, it was an unforgettable experience.

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