Valerie Camcam Noble
For your reading ease, my narrative is divided as follows:
Prologue / Saturday, 19 September 1998 / Sunday, 20 September 1998 - Urban time / A question from the Thomsonian / Other things I remember / Deliverance / And finally / Reflections
Let me start off by saying that besides meeting my fellow Herc/Xena fans, I had two very important objectives for the Sacramento Convention. One, to deliver to Karl Urban a very gorgeous portrait of himself as Julius Caesar. This portrait was lovingly created by a very talented lady named Beth from PA and I was entrusted to give this artwork to Karl. My second objective was to ask Karl about Erik Thomson. The two of them worked together recently in the play Julius Caesar, so the query was not entirely off-topic. The question was, could I pull off these two very important objectives in a semi-intelligent manner?
Saturday, 19 September 1998
From my house in Hayward, I drove the long drive to Brentwood. From there, Missy and I headed out to Sacramento through the back way, up 160. A very scenic drive, lots of farmland and such. It took us less than two hours to get to good old Sacramento and we soon found the hotel.
The Radisson is set apart from main Sacramento, almost isolated from civilization, but quite pretty unto itself. The weather was warm and bright. We checked in at about four thirty or so. Our room was nice and I already had a message waiting for me!
Twas from Paula, to tell me that the gang was at Kate's house. I called and talked with Lisa, then with Kate for directions. Alas, Missy and I didn't make it to Kate's.
We headed out to find some food and drove the way long way to Arden Fair. We had dinner at El Toritos, then hit the stores. I wanted to go into the Virgin Megastore and there I bought the "Dance with Me" soundtrack. We also wandered through Barnes and Noble. Books and music, the important things in life!
By the time we got back to the hotel, we were tired. Lisa called me sometime before midnight and I headed to their room. Not a long walk, since a walkway divided our rooms. Lisa, Paula, and I chatted about stuff. Paula fell asleep but Lisa and I kept talking until about 3 in the morning. It was great!
Sunday, 20 September 1998
I guess I woke up at around ten. While I was in the shower, Kym called my room and left a message. With wet hair, I almost headed out to the lobby, but I heard noises from Lisa and Paula's room, so I went over there. Met Stephanie, Kristen, and Kate. Gads, I know there was someone else. Or was there? Tamara, was it you? They headed out and I promised to see them later.
Missy and I did the brunch thing at the hotel, which was actually quite nice. Then we took a look at the Hercules/Xena pictures that were laid out. I bought the Sovereign, a Hercules, Autolycus, Ares in the cave, and Ares and Xena.
After my purchase, I heard, "LOOK, IT'S VALERIE!" Twas Kym, of course. I saw the gang down the ways, already in line. Missy and I headed over there and met everyone. Tamara said, "Oh, you're the one I owe an article!" Then she began passing out copies of different articles and handed me mine of Erik Thomson. The picture almost floored me and I had to lean against the wall for support. Everyone was laughing, but I was just stunned by the gorgeous picture. (Oh please, let Erik not ever read this. <G>)
My camera was in the truck, so Missy and I headed outside to get it. When we got back, everyone was going in. We did likewise!
The dealer's room was quite spacious and everything was spread out. Lisa and I finally had our picture taken. (We first met last October in San Francisco and promised to get a picture "later." Well, it never happened! Then, in Burbank, we saw each other again and thought we'd have the whole weekend to take a pic, but we missed it yet again! LOL!)
I wandered by the t-shirt table and thought about getting the "Reign of Comedy" shirt, but I decided maybe later. (Didn't happen.) I couldn't resist the litho of Ares and with encouragement from Lisa, I plunked down the money for it. Chose number 88, since my seat number was A8 (plus 8 is my hubby's favorite number). Then I bought a Xena shot glass, since I'm considering collecting the things. (A dangerous hobby, the salesgal laughed. I must agree!) And I think that was it for my purchases!
Missy and I found our seats, which were next to Tamara and Kristen, and in the very front row! Great view of the stage. We watched the various videos, the blooper tape, and all kinds of stuff.
Sharon Delaney's slide presentation came up. My favorite, of course, was the slide of Erik Thomson. <G> When that slide popped up (yes, I almost fainted!), Sharon asked the audience if we knew who it was. I was the one who said loudly enough, "Erik Thomson!" To which she said yes. But she didn't know when or what and thought he was playing Hades. Well, I don't care who he's playing, although I've never seen Hades wearing a crown. The outfit is new, I think, and my, it's black leather with a cape. (Oh Ped, please say that picture turned out!)
Sharon also answered some questions and someone asked about Erik. (Are there any plans for him to appear on more episodes?) I actually knew more than Sharon! (Erik just finished an episode of Young Herc and probably won't appear in anything after that, as he's set to begin on an Australian show in late October.)
The auction was actually quite fun. I bid for the scripts (didn't get them) and the Ares plaque (didn't get that one either). Still, I enjoyed the whole thing!
During the trivia portion, Kym and I chatted and had Missy take pictures of the two of us. Tracie joined us and we took more pictures.
When it was time for Karl to join us, they couldn't find him. Someone said to check the bar. <G> Missy and I took a restroom run at that point and got back just in time to see the clips they had of Karl as Caesar. Then finally, the man was on stage!
"Break her legs! That's my favorite line," he began. Has someone mentioned his wardrobe? Well, if you started from the top, you'd have the tousled styled hair, black shirt with sunglasses hanging in front, and black pants. Not too bad. Then there's the shoes. Blue with yellow. I couldn't resist taking a picture. (The hubby says they look like Pumas. Anyone else?)
Okay, I can't remember everything Karl said. Between taking pictures and just listening to his rather lovely voice, it was just too much to actually remember what he said. So let's go for my personal highlight.
A question from the Thomsonian
Karl began talking about his recent theatre work (The Herbal Bed, then Julius Caesar). Well, I knew I had my opening. I raised my hand and got his attention.
Me: "What was it like working with Erik Thomson?"
Karl gazed at me quizzically.
Me: "On Julius Caesar."
Karl smiled: "Hey, this girl knows her stuff!"
Karl explained that the director was "old school, quite... pedantic." During Julius Caesar, Karl watched Erik Thomson and Marton Csokas because the two of them really took the director to task. If they didn't like the way the director wanted something played, they said so. Karl, on the other hand, would do what the director said, then try it his way another time, say on opening night.
Karl, looking back at me: "But Erik Thomson, he's cool."
Me, grinning widely: "Yeah, I like him."
Karl's voice dropped: "Ohh, you do? And what's your name?"
Karl, same sexy voice, repeated: "Valerie. Well, next time I see Erik, I'll tell him Valerie sends her regards."
Me, laughing: "Please, do that!"
Karl: "I will."
Me: "He knows me." (I meant to say he knows about me.)
Karl grinned: "Oh, he does? Okay."
Then Ped started laughing, really loud and he walked over to her side to ask her why she was laughing. <G>
Other things I remember...
Someone asked how he was enjoying his mug from KimD. Well, he knows her as Kimberly, but he figured it out and said, warm and sincere, "This woman Kim, she's amazing!" My toes curled for her at that one! My friend was there in spirit. :)
"If I had a tattoo, it would be here," he said, gesturing to his left tricep. That came after the question about Alexandra Tydings' tattoo. He teased us about showing us his tattoo, then said that he didn't have one. But if he did...
Kristen went up on stage to get him to do that charades routine. The Urban Cowboy. Twas a definite sight to see Karl whooping around the stage, moving his hips like he's riding a horse. Yup...
Finally, it was time for autographs. My chance to deliver the portrait! Surprisingly enough, I wasn't nervous. Missy went before me so that she could take a picture of me and Karl. Kym delivered her Jelly Flops, then Missy had Karl sign a picture, which she pointed out was for me. I told him, "I'm Val." "Hey, you're playing sweet, pulling that switcheroo on me," he said. I just smiled. Then it was my turn.
"My friend went to Cherry Hill and had you sign a portrait she did of you as Cupid. Well, she felt bad about not saying much to you, so she made this and sent it to me to deliver to you." I took the portrait out and unrolled it on the table for him to see.
He was utterly stunned. "Wow!"
"Isn't it gorgeous? I wanted to keep it for myself, but it's for you. It comes with care instructions," I said, presenting the papers with a flourish.
"Does this have her address?" He asked.
I grinned. "Yes. And," I picked up the mailer she sent the portrait in, "if you want to write me, this is my address. This one's hers." (I know, I'm shameless.) "Oh, and I'm supposed to get a picture of you for proof."
Missy took a picture through all of this, then told me to bend down closer to him so that she could get a picture of the two of us. I did as she bid and then suddenly felt his lips on my cheek! She took the picture just a moment later (which is why he looks the way he does). And I know I just turned RED. Yet somehow, I had the presence of mind to return the favor! I mean, it was only proper, right? So I gave him a kiss on the cheek as well. (He smelled good!) Don't ask me where I got the nerve because I don't know! (But I do wonder if anyone got a picture of that?)
And somewhere in there, I got him to sign the Caesar and Xena card I had. It's all a blur. I also reminded him to tell Erik that I said hello. He said he would.
I managed to make it off the stage and sank to my seat, holding my cheek. It's not like I'm the ultimate Urbanite out there, but I was still mighty thrilled. Silly, I know. Everyone was smiling at me. I couldn't believe he did that!
Since we were in the front row, we had to wait for everyone else to go through the autograph line. Karl took the time to talk to each and every person and had the chance to personalize everything he signed. It was fantastic! During this time, I took more pictures of him and everyone else.
We wanted a group picture and I know I said that we should ask Karl if he would take one with us. Lisa, Tracie, and I were sitting together as the line dwindled and Lisa said that we should ask him if we were planning on doing it. Tracie and I knew that Lisa wouldn't ask him, so Tracie said, "I'll go up there with you, Valerie." I knew this meant that I was the one to ask him.
So, with Tracie by my side for moral support and prompting, I asked Karl if he would take a group picture with us when he was finished. He said yes. The line was almost finished, so we gathered around and waited. Missy had the cameras ready as we got into position.
A bunch of us hopped onto the stage to sit and Karl asked, "Do you want me to go down there?" (A few of us gutter minded gals made noise about that one, which left him shaking his head. He knew he had led himself into that one!)
I was sitting near the center and he ended up in front of me, positioned strategically in front of Paula. I got to bring my face close to his during the pictures. KARL SMELLED SO GOOD!
My camera didn't flash, so I called out, "Missy, the flash didn't go off! Is it on?"
Karl asked, "What's her name?"
Kym and I both answered, "Missy!"
Missy tried again, but it still didn't flash.
"Missy, it didn't flash!" Karl called out.
She tried yet again and Karl yet again called out, "Missy, it still didn't flash!"
Missy just shook her head, but later said that she liked that he said her name. I think too, as Kym said, he just liked saying her name a little too much. LOL! (And my camera is one of those smart ones. It knew that it didn't need a flash because that spotlight was bright enough!)
Then, all too soon, it was over. We dispersed, thanking Karl for everything. He thanked us too as he disappeared backstage.
The gang of us slowly walked out and I mused aloud, "I wonder what cologne he was wearing?" Everyone burst out laughing. What did I say?! :P
After hugs and good-byes, we went our separate ways.
Missy and I headed back to the Bay Area as the sun set in the west...
This was probably one of the best conventions I've been to. The intimacy of it was great! We got to interact with Karl and he with us, which was the most important thing. And it was wonderful hanging out with fellow fans and friends.
Karl Urban was fantastic! I don't think I can say enough about him. I'm sure I'd feel the same even if I hadn't gotten the kiss, although that was definitely a wonderful bonus! Karl was utterly adorable, funny, and thoughtful. I can only hope he had as good a time as we did.
I must thank my very dear friend Missy for taking all those pictures! She's not a Herc/Xena fan, although maybe she's a bit converted now. At least to Karl Urban. He has that way!
And thanks to friends old and new! To Lisa for those Ares cards. And to Tamara for that Erik Thomson article. <THUD> To Tracie for the prompting. (And really, I wasn't gloating!) To Kym for being, well, KYM! Hi to my fellow Erik Thomson fan, Kristen. And twas a pleasure to meet Paula, Kate and Stephanie! Gads, hope I didn't miss anyone. :) Next time, we spend more time together!
And that's all from this Thomsonian/Smithsonian/LaPoncita and yes, Urbanite!
VCN aka Kiari
back to Sacramento Convention 98 ala Kiari