Pasadena Xena Convention 2001
A Saturday Report by VC "Kiari" Noble
The Place: The Pasadena Center, Pasadena, CA
The Time: the three days after my 30th aka 4-6 May 2001
The Guests: (Saturday only) Adrienne Wilkinson, William Gregory Lee, Timothy Omundson, Claire Stansfield, Alexandra Tydings, Ted Raimi, with glimpses of Karl Urban and some of the cast/crew of The Privateers
I must begin by saying I went to this convention with what one might call low expectations. The usual gang of convention goers was down to just me and Lisa and we both lamented the fact that our friends weren't there with us. We missed everyone!!! Add the fact that we had done the previous two "big ones" die hard style (attending all three days, staying at the convention hotel, keeping people up until 2am, etc) and you had two resigned con-goers. We were only there for Saturday, with the possibilty of the evening's cabaret a distant thought.
The only sure thing I knew was that I was going to speak to William Gregory Lee. Even if it was just going to be in the Q&A line, I was determined to have a moment with him. I wanted to add something more to my Greg site and a moment with him would definitely do the trick. And I wondered if he would remember me. We had met at his first convention back in November. (Palo Alto 2000)
Lisa, website owner of Timothy Omundson Online, also hoped for a bit of time with Tim. Just to say hello and how are you. :)
Low expectations, right?
You wouldn't think that the restrooms would be a hot spot, would you? Well, last year (wow, time flies!) I spotted Jeremy Callaghan as he strode his way to the men's room. Then Ryan Gosling and his friend Scott Vickaryous bumped into my friend on their way backstage, probably from the men's room! And I think I heard that a couple of the Cleo 2525 gals were spotted in the ladies' room.
So why should it have been different this year?
Lisa and I went to the bathroom before the intro by Sharon Delaney. When we came out, Lisa spotted him.
"Val, look." She pointed toward the flashing camera lights and the small crowd gathered near the men's room.
After I figured out that is was William Gregory Lee, we headed that way. I had Lisa take my camera as we stopped just behind him. She went into the crowd facing him, camera ready.
Greg was signing autographs and taking pictures with fans, so I hung back a bit until I found an opening. Finally I just tapped him on the shoulder as he was finishing up an autograph. He turned, then broke into this huge smile! He remembered me!
He gave me a big hug and asked me how I was. He continued to sign autographs and I commented, "This is what you get for going to the bathroom."
"I didn't mean to do this," he replied wryly.
He went on and told me that he had received my questions but that he'd been in Vancouver for the past 8 weeks filming Dark Angel. (He's in the last 3 eps of the season.) He promised to get to them. I was just happy he still had them!
"What you've done with the site is amazing," he said.
"You've seen it?" I said. He smiled and nodded as we posed for our picture. (It seemed like a few other cameras went off when we posed. If anyone out there took a picture of me and Greg, I'd love to have it for my site! With full credit, of course...)
He had to get backstage. As he walked away, he said he'd talk to me later.
Lisa and I headed towards our seats. We were in general, so it really didn't matter where we sat. I was totally stoked! Not only had I gotten a picture with Greg, but he had actually remembered me!
"Do you still want to ask him a question?" Lisa asked as we sat down.
I thought a half second. "Yes," I grinned.
We sat through the musical salutes first. "It's My Life" (Bon Jovi) plays for Virgil's salute. Everytime I hear that song, I think of Greg! LOL!
As soon as Adrienene Wilkinson and William Gregory Lee were announced, Lisa and I joined the folks in the question line.
Alice from the WGL mailing list said hello from her place a few people ahead of us. Questions seemed to be evenly divided between Adrienne and Greg, though the closer I got, the more Adrienne questions there were.
A couple questions I remembered for Greg:
Alice asked if he had heard from George Lucas yet for the Star Wars movies. Greg got down on his knees and said, "I can only pray." (Can't wait to see that picture!)
Someone also asked him who his favorite Star Wars character was. His answer: Han Solo! (Good answer! LOL!)
Someone asked about the strangest fan experience. Adrienne said, "You shouldn't be asking us that here!" Greg told us about getting stopped in the street in Vancouver and being asked, "Is Lydecker still after you?" The ones who knew laughed. (Lydecker is the "bad guy" on Dark Angel.)
He also got the "How did you feel about playing Joxer's son?" question. He was actually supposed to play someone named Jerrick (and he spelled that out, hope I got that right), but Jerrick became Virgil.
When I got up to the microphone, Greg grinned at me. I think I said something about the both of them being great, but my question was for Greg. I asked him what his tattoo meant and could I take a picture of it. The crowd was like, "Ohhhhh?" Greg laughed, turned his back to me, then wiggled his butt at me. But then he posed his arm for me, saying, " Is this going to get on the internet?"
"Of course, " I laughed, snapping the picture.
"It depends on who you ask," he said, answering my question. "But for me, it means searching, searching for completion."
"I like that," I smiled.
Adrienne went to the other side to ask a question and as the question was for her, I motioned over to Greg.
I told him that I was hoping to talk with him and he asked me where I was sitting. After I told him, he said he would try and see me afterwards. It didn't happen then, but I wasn't too worried about it.
Timothy Omundson was next and since Lisa, my friend who runs his website, didn't want to ask him a question in public, I was up yet again. I ended up asking about LUCK OF THE IRISH, whether he did any of his own baseketball playing. That elicited a new story about how he SUCKS at sports. He was not a good athlete and he went on about how he got into acting to get away from sports like basketball and how horrible it was to get a job and then have them say, "And we want you to play basketball." He explained how he sucked playing against a junior high basketball team and such. Tim was absolutely great, so funny! I loved listening to him, even the stuff I had heard before.
Lisa and I knew we weren't going to get autographs, so we headed out to the dealers area and to the Privateers section. I had emailed Deborah L. Warner (producer of The Privateers) the night before, so I thought I should introduce myself and such.
When we walked in, Deborah was standing with some of the Privateers people, including a VERY handsome fellow. We checked out the pictures laid out and met Bobby Lento and Jack Donner. They were very nice. Lisa had to prod me, but I finally went up to Deborah and introduced myself. We chatted a little and I just had to comment on the VERY handsome fellow with the tattoos (who had moved to behind the Privateers table). (I believe I said, "The guy with the tattoos is distracting me. He's so cute!" Or something like that.)
Deborah gave a laugh, then asked if I wanted a picture with him. I glanced at Lisa, then said, sure! Deborah tried to get his attention, but someone else had to call him over and tell him that I wanted a picture with him.
The VERY handsome fellow introduced himself as Scott and he kindly obliged as Lisa took our picture. He stood and talked with us for awhile. He was so sweet! When we said we were only there for the day, he seemed a bit puzzled. Maybe he thought we were die hard Xenites. We told him about how we had met Karl Urban at previous conventions. I think I even mentioned getting a kiss on the cheek from Karl. LOL! We also talked about where we live (me- Bay Area, Lisa- LA area, Scott- North Hollywood) and where we're from (me- Bay Area, Lisa- Oregon, Scott- Orlando, FL).
Lisa commented on Scott's tattoos.
"Don't tell me those didn't hurt," she said.
"Oh, they hurt," he replied.
The tattoo on his left upper arm said, amongst all the art, "Social Distortion." The tattoo on his other arm was very colorful, but I can't remember what it was! Hmm, should have asked him if he had any other tattoos. LOL!
Scott asked us if we would like pictures, to which we of course said yes. Lisa, always thinking, said that he could sign them for us and he happily agreed. As he was signing, Karl came in, looking slightly scruffy. Lisa commented, "Karl looks like he needs a shower." I giggled, Scott said that Karl was going for the grunge look.
Scott signed pictures for us. Mine says "Valerie- Best wishes- Scott Levy." When he was finished with that, I told him how nice it was to meet him (and it was VERY nice) and hoped to see him again soon. Like the November convention in San Jose! :) He said he hoped to see us again soon...
Karl's entrance created a small crowd. He autographed and took pictures not only with fans, but with his fellow Privateers crew. I think they also had him answer some questions for the Privateers mailing list. Somehow, through all of this, we found our way to Karl. He gave me a "I might know you from somewhere but I don't remember from where" look. He was nice and signed our PRICE OF MILK flyers, then took a picture with me, then with Lisa. He was a bit frazzled, but it was still a cool moment.
As Lisa and I walked away, we thought about the chances of stopping by the Privateers section just before Karl's brief appearance. Oh, and of meeting such a sweet and VERY handsome Scott Levy.
Lisa and I headed back to the main auditorium and met up with Michel, a Young Hercules fan. We went into the Annex room where Timothy Omundson, William Gregory Lee, and Adrienne Wilkinson were signing for the gold patrons. The very nice crowd control guy let us stand there for a bit. I was hoping to catch Greg's eye. Lisa wanted to say hello to Tim.
Greg saw me and tried to tell me something, but I couldn't hear him. I watched as he spoke to someone who walked over to me and said, "I'm supposed to tell you that he hasn't forgotten you," probably not at all sure who I was or why she was even giving me the message.
"Cool!" I said.
"As long as you know what it means," she nodded.
I wasn't sure what he meant, but I figured that I could talk to him when he was finished. Lisa and I were hungry and we knew it would take awhile for them to get through the gold patrons, so we went out.
After a lunch of sushi and soda, Lisa and I headed back to the annex room, where the line was coming along quite nicely. We sat at one of the tables and waited until the last of the gold patrons went through.
Tim got up first. This was Lisa's chance to talk with him! She also wanted a picture with him when she realized he was staying a bit to take pictures, but I was torn because Greg was also almost finished.
A few fans had waited around and when Greg finally got up, he told everyone who was still there that he would be back. (He had to go to the bathroom.) So I turned my attention to Tim and took a picture of him with Lisa.
Greg came back just as Tim was leaving. He took care of the other fans first, glancing at me with a "can you hold on?" look. Of course, I waited patiently as he took pictures and briefly chatted with fans. He thanked them afterwards, then turned his attention to us at last.
Greg hugged both of us at the same time, giving me a kiss on the cheek. We talked for a few minutes about various things. He mentioned his upcoming appearances (the autograph signing May 26 in Santa Barbara and the London appearance the end of May/beginning of June). He's been to the website! He was impressed with the banner of Anything Once and I told him that the director, Dan Aeberhard had contacted me. Dan had some very nice things to say about him, I said.
Of course, it had to end. He gave us each another hug.
"Maybe you'll be at the San Jose convention in November," I said.
"If they invite me," he smiled.
"I'll write them! Tell them to invite you," I replied with a laugh.
There's a story that goes with how Lisa and I walked into Saturday night's cabaret wearing VIP stickers, but I think I'll just let you all make something up. Suffice to say, we got into the cabaret as VIPs. :)
It was so cool walking in with the VIP stickers. The VIP section was crowded, so we went to general and enjoyed the show from there.
The cabaret was fun! Alexandra Tydings and Claire Stansfield led off with a bit of fan fiction, centered heavily on the subtext. Some of it was very funny and they were both great. They ended it with a kiss that had everyone hooting!
Then the men were on.
Robert Trebor began the singing portion. He was great!
Timothy Omundson started his set with a Cab Calloway song. I think he was nervous, but he didn't have to be! He sounded great. Hmm, I wouldn't mind listening to him sing on a cool night. He thanked his parents between songs and had them stand up. He did three more songs, ending with Mack the Knife.
Karl Urban began by saying he couldn't sing, then gave us two Beatles songs. (He was supposed to do three, but left after the second song.)
Ted Raimi was the evening's end. He was fantastic! Another one I wouldn't mind listening to on a cool night. He's got a lovely singing voice.
Ted and Tim did a song together at the end, then it was all over.
We met Tim's parents. "This is Lisa, the one who runs Tim's site," Mr. Omundson said when he introduced Lisa to his wife. They were both very nice. I can see where Tim gets his sweetness. :)
Lisa and I drove into the night, amazed by our day's fortunate turns. What were the chances, I kept asking...
Even now, a week later, I am still giddy at the memories of Pasadena 2001. So much happened in just ONE day. What were the chances?!
My personal highlights: Seeing Greg and having him recognize me... Meeting Scott Levy and the other Privateers... Talking with Greg after all the other fans got their time... Walking into the cabaret with a VIP sticker...
My regard for William Gregory Lee intensified, if that's possible. He was just as sweet and adorable as the first time we met. I want to say that I still can't believe he remembered me, but what really floored me was the way he greeted me like a friend. I cannot tell you how touched I am by that. It made me feel special! :) So Greg, if you actually read this and get this far, THANK YOU for your friendly warmth. I adore you!
A regret? Hmm, not getting a picture with Timothy Omundson! What in the world was I thinking? Tim, you're a cool and funny guy and hopefully next time I actually take my chance and say hello!
And Scott Levy. What a sweet guy! He's this close (VERY CLOSE!) to becoming the next guy on my "list." No comments from the peanut gallery please!
"Save the Best for Last." Remember that song? Lisa played it while we were getting ready for the cabaret and I thought to myself, what an appropriate song! The best part of the day was the last moments with Greg and Tim. But when I really thought about it, the whole day was just the best. Maybe it just means that the last is always best...
report & pictures © 2001 VC "Kiari" Noble
picture of Lisa & Scott © 2001 LAS