A Station Eight Fan Web Site
This is my con report from Le Gathering, Montreal 2004.
I have attended sci-fi/fantasy conventions since 1985. In my youth, everything was new and exciting and I always looked forward to the next opportunity to meet like-minded people at these magical weekend gatherings.
But like anything, it gets old after a while: one becomes jaded, or cynical, or bored. And for those of us who turn a hobby into a business, this is intensified by the "professional" angle that we maintain.
But at this convention, I re-discovered a pleasure that I haven't enjoyed in almost ten years: The sheer enjoyment of reveling in the appreciation of a wonderful creation-- in this case, Disney's animated TV series, "Gargoyles."
The show ended its run in 1997, but the fandom survived-- and have held a regular convention every year since that time. Understand: the show was over. It only ran three seasons, the last of which wasn't even the same production house as the first two (thus a dispute on whether there were three seasons, or really only two.) And yet, despite this, a loyal following of fans put forth the effort to make a convention happen, dedicated to this show, year after year in a different city each time.
I was always a fan of the show, but I felt no particular motivation to seriously join the fandom, until this year, when my good friend Lanny invited me to the convention. "You're a voice actor," he said. "You've got to come. Some of the voice talent from the show will be there." And then he very, very generously offered to fly me down on his air travel points, and put me up in his hotel room.
How could I say no? I looked forward to it-- and I hadn't been to Montreal since I was four-- what a fun opportunity!
So I flew down east, got picked up by Lanny and Derrick and off we went to the hotel.
The very first night, I saw the difference between this convention and so many others: The people who made it happen, and the guests around which the fandom is based. Lanny, it turns out, knew most of the convention staff personally, not to mention Greg Weisman, the creator of the show. We all went out to dinner the first night and I sat between Greg and Lanny and across from the con chair, Karine "Kanthara" Charlebois (six months pregnant and still the perfect hostess, she is TEH FABULOUS, or as we say in French, <i>absolument fameuse.</i>).
And there it was: meeting one of the guests of honour, the show's creator, who is a great guy and very open and-- and this is the part that really sent me-- just one of the gang. You'd never pick Greg Weisman out at this convention as the Special Guest Superstar Guy. He knows these people, and they know him. They're old friends. You can feel that vibe. They're used to each other, comfortable with each other. It's a feeling I haven't seen before in the otherwise drooling-fan-infested populations of other conventions.
I noticed that compared to other conventions, the dealer's room and art show were small. I realized this was because they weren't the focus of the convention, they weren't the <i>point.</i> The point was, and always has been as far as I can tell, the people. The fans I began to meet were happy to be there, as opposed to the dull whineyness of many convention veterans. They were from many diverse backgrounds, and there was a wide spread of age ranges. Artists, theatricals, computer techs, veterinarians, publishers... one couldn't pigeonhole this fandom into one demographic; they are, literally, from all over the place.
I met people that I knew only vaguely as names mentioned by artist friends of mine who were involved in the fandom. They too, had heard of me in similarly vague ways. Those barriers dissolved quickly as I was welcomed by everyone I met. Like I said, these people are all part of the gang-- in Gargoyle terms, we're all one big clan.
I haven't felt that connection in years. I used to have the same feeling with other <a href="http://www.elfquest.com">ElfQuest</a> fans in the late 80's, but since then had become jaded. These people, this Clan, re-awoke something in me that I thought I'd lost, like a memory of my youth but still present in the here-and-now.
The Radio Play, the main reason Lanny invited me and the reason I wanted to go, was so much fun I forgot that I was trying to be a professional and do some serious learning from the veterans of the biz. I auditioned for Greg Weisman, who made it very easy, explaining in a prior seminar what he wanted and how to give it to him, and with the help of Jen, miss CrzyDemona herself, they cast me (as The Ham Comedy Character, which tells me that they had me figured out from the word Go).
Here's the other magical thing about this: Keith David, the voice of Goliath himself, was meant to be at the voice seminar and the subsequent radio play. Due to complications he couldn't arrive until late Saturday night. Guess what-- I had an amazing time anyway. It says a lot about a convention that even when a major guest can't make it, that the fun just keeps on going. I know it did for me.
Keith arrived at around 11 pm Saturday night and he was welcomed-- he had brought his family and he sang karaoke songs after the costume contest. Once again, a miracle-- I can't think of any celebrity who would not only bring his family to a convention with him, but actually stick around and participate in a room full of adoring fans singing karaoke.
The magic of the Gathering, again.
On a personal note, I found the man inspiring. He was <i>resonant.</i> I could believe everything he said because I could feel the strength of <i>his</i> belief behind it. He spoke of the industry of acting and voicing, which spoke directly to me-- but his other anecdotes and stories were a pleasure to listen to as well, because he was sharing in an intimate setting.
Intimate settings seemed to be the name of the game, as Greg Weisman hosted his own "Mug-A-Guest" panels, in both the PG-13 and the "Blue" -- anything goes -- format. Sitting in the con suite, hanging out, anyone could ask him anything. He was accessible. He was friendly. He was candid, open, everyone's pal.
Again, something I've never seen before.
Disney is planning to release the first season on DVD on December 7th of this year. There was a film crew at the Gathering, filming us every day and asking for interviews with the fans. I volunteered, wanting to do my part to explain the amazing phenomenon that Gargoyles fandom is. I hope that I painted a good, clear picture and that something of that message makes it onto the "special features" of the DVD release, because this phenomenon is too cool to allow to pass unnoticed.
To my fellow Clansmates out there, the new people I've met and the generous friend who allowed me my first glimpse of this amazing world-- thank you. Thank you for a great weekend. Thank you for a truly magical experience. I can't say enough about a weekend with no downsides except perhaps:
- Fear me in battle at LaserQuest.
- Liz is a total SHARK at Mario Kart. Fear HER.
- Next year, in Las Vegas, I really hope to put together a smashing team for the Clan Olympics.
Thank you all. I know I'm looking forward to the future of this fandom, and my place in it.
To those of you reading this: The next Gathering happens around the beginning of August, 2005 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Go to <a href="http://www.gatheringofthegargoyles.com/">http://www.gatheringofthegargoyles.com/</a> and keep an eye for further developments. And remember: The sooner you register, the sooner the convention has more money with which to create a fantasy weekend of unparalleled enjoyment.
"And remember: The sooner you register, the sooner the convention has more money with which to create a fantasy weekend of unparalleled enjoyment. "
Truer words and all that.
Well, Michael, I hope to see you in Valencia this summer. There will be a ton of guests, including voice actors Keith David, Thom Adcox, Jeff Bennett, Bill Faggerbakke, Brigitte Bako and Edward Asner. Plus Voice Directors Jamie Thomason and Ginny McSwain. And that's just for starters. We'll have writers and artists and composer Carl Johnson, etc.
An L.A. Gathering is a great place to interact with professionals. Lots and lots of guests in a relatively intimate setting.
Check out www.gatheringofthegargoyles.com for more information.
Well, you wanted con reports...here's a long bugger. ^_^
I ran around like a chicken with its head cut off and went to work and packed and dropped my luggage with the zipper not zipped, thereby spilling everything across my living room. Ha ha aha. Made it out to the airport,where at TEN-THRITY at NIGHT, there was traffic all up the ass at LAX. V. Disgruntled, but made it into TERMINAL 2 in no less than 30 minutes. I shouldâve got out and walked, it wouldâve been faster. XD.
Anyways, checked in and dealt with the idiot ppl at the front desk ( Them: You have e-ticket! Me: I go international! Them: You have e-ticket! Me: Machine wonât give me a boarding pass because Iâm going _international_ you freak! Them: You haveâ" Me: Oh, for Godâs sake, just check me in!) I make it down to the waiting area for Northwest and whip out the drawing utensils. I had inked versions of all the pieces I was planning to show ( cuz I like, decided to do them Tuesday, instead of having a blank board XD) . I start working on the Puck/Wyrd Sisters piece and realize that Iâm a bit loopy. So I call my friend Teresa to let her know Iâm leaving (I forgot to tell her when I was going). Anyways, I work on that a while, then they call us for boarding. Nice ppl have pillows and blankets on every seat, which makes me happy. I planned to do some more drawing, but was so tired that five minutes into the flight, I zonked. So did everyone else apparently. I woke up when the head flight attendant with the accent from hell (Please fasten seat belllllllllllllllllllltttttttttttts for takeoff, Thaaaaank you, come agan!!!) told everyone that we were approaching Detroit. I was like, yes, is good, though I have various cricks from sleeping in non feasible positions.
Get into Detroit, find gate for Montreal. I sit down and furiously begin work on the âMoondanceâ piece. Am very, very, very tired, but know I need to finish, as I didnât finish the puck one and this one, plus the London one are infinitely more complicated. Get on plane to Montreal and end up passing out, so I didnât work on the pic anymore. Get off plane and wander through the âcorridors of doom!â, aka, the Montreal arrivals area until I get to customs. I g through, get luggage and then I see Liz (Sara Berkeley)! I call out and we hug and yay! I was just happy to see someone I knew. I meet Taylor, who is just in front and we all go out to the curb. I hang with them while we play âwhere is the van with Patrick in itâ. Laurean (Siryn) shows up not too long afterwards. We wait a while until they arrive and then they take the van and I jump a taxi to the hotel. Taxi guy is real nice and gives me a neato map and event booklet and circles relevant places. I get to the hotel and am blown away by how lovely it is. I canât check in, as the room isnât ready, so I wander up the street to get food. I come back and I wait around to see folks and an hour or so after I get there, I see Seth (IRC Goliath)! We chat for a while, until his roomies show up. About ten minutes later, Karine (Kanthara) and Cindy (Eden) and Rob (Talyesin) all show up, and I see Scott (Abram Wintersmith) too! SO I wander over and am like âHi hi!â. Kelly (KWSapphire) still isnât in yet. Liz and taylor show up and then Liz pawns Taylor off on me. We randomly meet Julie (Chameleongirl), who is our other roommate, so everyone but Kelly is there yet. The room is on her card and no one elseâs name is on the room so we canât check in yet. We end up curling in chairs and sleeping, until Kelly calls my cell.
Anyways, we go up to the room and I resume my mad frantic must draw frenzy. Kelly gets Tony and Andrea from downstairs and everybody chats in the room for a while. The other folks go out to meet ppls for dinner, which ends up being a flop, but I stayed in so I could work on the art. Eventually, around eleven or so, I think they come back and Kelly gives me the second half of her tuna salad sandwich. I gobble down and thank her. We sleep.
Mad frantic dash to finish art crap. Going nuts. Rest of folks get up and go to breakfast, _I think_. I sit around and finish up art. I am so happy when finished, I run down around 12:30pm and set up art stuff. I see Cindy again and Jen (CrzyDemona)! Jenâs hubby, Alan walks up to me and says âYouâre Trishanaâ and I am like âI amâ¦â. Hahahha. Alan has sexy knees XD. Anyways, I put up my crap â" Karine lets me borrow some black construction paper from her ( thank yooooouuuu!!!) so I can mount my stuff on something. After thatâ¦Iâ¦uhâ¦I donât remember what I did after that. XD I know I picked up my registration packet and said hi to Rob and Kelly roped me into doing clan Olympics with her, Julie and Kyffinâ¦derâ¦OH! Yes. Me, Julie and Kelly went to the French Staples office supply store and I had a fit because I bought some stuff really cheap there!!! After that, I went to Cindyâs costuming panel, at which time, the legend of Man-Faye became known and has since made its rounds through the con. XD They were filming and Cindy kept curbing her language and it was rather funny, ehehhee. âSon of biâ"er gun.â Anyways, after that was the opening ceremonies!! We went to that and it went incredibly long, though I dug the Ed Asner tape comment: âVampiresâ¦itâs what weâre not.â And I wonât even talk about the Team Atlantis audio. Those who were there know what Iâm taking about. Anyways, there was the first clan Olympics event at the opening and Cindy and Liz got a kick out of my âutterly confusedâ expression when Julie and Kyffinâs plan to put balls in a blanket failed and they didnât show up at the front until like 3/4ths of the way into the game. I couldnât see them, so I had no idea what happened or if I was just missing them. :P After that, apparently Genn (Ithil) sits with us and I notice, but Iâm not sure itâs my honeykins â" I hadnât yet met her in person yet XD. Anyways, it is! But I am taken away or I wander away â" we end up going to dinner at Le Marche, since we didnât go to eat with the staffs and stuff. We being me, Kelly, Julie, Kyffin, Ethan, Taylor and Liz. That was fun. :] I also gave one of the servers information about the Gathering!! I had forgotten to take off my badge. Anyway, we head back and Kelly, Julie, Kyffin and I go to a clan Olympics event. I think Liz and Taylor went up for the blue mug-a-gust, where Taylor experienced a revelation about Owen and Puck (hehehe). I donât remember what happened after that, but I do know that weâd gone to bed, then Liz comes back and she and Julie strikes up a conversation. Julie is a adorable giggle-box, but I was feelinâ the lack of sleep heavily and I apparently mumbled funny things in my delirium.
Thus the rampant : âMan...guuuysâ¦.geeeezâ¦â comment was borne.
Get up. I donât remember what happened, except that I got up. OH. Right. Went to breakfast with Liz, iana n Taylor at the hotel buffet, whichw as good. Then-- Clan Olympics. Trivia torute. Which was fun, but we got majorly shafted by the âspiritsâ. Itâs alright, but it was still a bummer. Hoepfully there will be a few more rules on what spririts can do.
Afterwards I went down to the dealers room, where I chatted with Cindy for a while and ended up watching the room because Cindy was drafted into doing the radio play auditions. XD Saw Jen again and we chatted some. I harassed Liz and Taylor while they were doing the artist alley thing. Finally saw some of Taylorâs work and Good GOD! Heâs got some AWESOME stuff and hasnât done commissions before O_O. Silly, silly boy. He seemed shocked that we all said weâd commission him. Oh and I made Cindy draw me Vic porn. XD *snuggles* Kyt draws me some Orcus porn as well, ayayayayaa!!!! Iâm such a fangirl XD I also got into a bloody bidding war over Cindyâs Brooklyn and Mary-Sue pic. My limit was at 45 bucks and apparently it went to 80. O_O Go Cins. I also devirginized her new sketchbook. Twice. I feel proud XD.
Anyways, Genn and Ian show up!:D:D So we go around Montreal and end up at a Second Cup â" like a Coffee Bean place. I marvel over the fact that there is clean air and thoroughly amuse my French Canadian friends, heh. We chat for a while, then eventually, we have to get back. Ian had to go do slave work for the con staff ( kidding XD), so me and Genn just hung out for a bit, until the banquet was going to start. Since she wasnât going, she left. Wish she couldâve stayed!
In any case, went to the banquet and Kelly gave my seat away, so me and Ian ended up at the table next to them. They drew Greg Weisman to sit at their table. Our table was a riot and completely nutters. It was fun, if a bit odd at times. Dinner was good, and Keith David finally showed up. Also, there was the âooonch, oonch, oooonch:â techno music from the folks in the room next to ours that kept interrupting things. It was very funny, heehhe. After the dinner, me and Ian helped Liz organize the masquerade stuff and then me, Kelly and Julie helped Liz with her costume and body paint. Funniest moment:
(Through the bathroom door)
Kelly: Liz, you alright in there?
Liz: *pause*â¦.eheheheheee. I have man boobies.
After which she opened the door and the rest of us just died, because she had man nipples that could be used as weapons. It was the chest plate. Heh. Anyways, we slather body paint on Liz and baby powder her and she looks awesome!!! Go down to the ball, where I chat with Cindy and Taylor. Rob wandered in and out, sporting his âPresident Lex Luthorâ look, ehehhe!! The masquerade was AWESOME. Everyone had RAWKIN costumes. Indeed, it was one of the best years yet. After the masquerade, there was karaoke. Keith David even sang some! But I died when Taylor sang the love boat and true to his words, everyone over 35 fell out. XD. It was a great rendition. ^_^ The YMCA song was suitably retarded, but fun, since no one could remember the words XD. I spent most of the night chatting with Andrea (Eliza Maza) â" a very cool and gifted gal. Iâm only sorry I didnât get a chance to tell her and her husband Tony (Archangel) goodbye on Sunday :/.
I stayed down there for many hours. Then I went upstairs and took a shower. When I got out, the rest of the crew was back. We ended up going to the con suite to chat with the folks. Greg was trying to stay awake until his very early flight out. We chatted and then we watched live action Sailor Moon on Karineâs computer. After that, I was done and we ended up going to bed at 4am.
The last thought on my mind: Alan has sexy knees.
(Thatâs what you get for putting your man in an above the knee skirt, Jen!)
Apparently Ian and Taylor knocked on our door that morning so we all could go to breakfast. Apparently I answered it. And I was told to go back to sleep. I think I told Liz about it too, but it really didnât matter. We were all zonked.
Um, I got up and went to the dealers room, hung with Cindy and stuff whilst waiting for Genn. She shows up with Felix! And he indeed has poofy hair XD. Me, Genn, Felix and Karine eventually go to get food â" I get General Taoâs! karine stays as long as she can, but she has a panel to do, so she leaves. The rest of us follow not long after wards and itâs started to rain! Yay!!!! I love rain and we donât get any out here in LA. We go to Karineâs Dynamic characters panel and I ask her to draw feet XD. After wards the closing ceremonies arenât too long away and we sit in the terrace, where we put static clinging balls in Genn and Felixâs hair. Kelly shows up for a bit and we bounce the ball around. Silver and Gorebash show up, along with Arno and Gorebash puts the balloons under his shirt and makes booby Gore! Hehehhe. Pictures are better than words. XD
Go to closing ceremonies, where I win first place for marker canon gargs and marker fanon gargs XD Very cool. I also sell all my stuff, except âMoondanceâ because I didnât want to sell it. ^^;; But I sold prints XD Go figure?
Anyhow after closing ceremonies, Keith david does autographs and folks sign up for the Vega 2005 gathering. I have Keith sign a cd that Tony and Andrea gave me!!! That was unfortunately, the last I saw of them *pout* as they left on Monday morning.:/ Taylor satisfies his âKeith david must sign art specially done for him to sign!â urges and Liz hits jackpot â" Keith wants her business card and work and buys it from her!!! Liz sports goofy look until I last see her on Tuesday. Iâm sure sheâs still sporting goofy look XD Iâm glad both she and Taylor had a good time ^_^.
Anyways, Genn and I are getting hungry and evil â" Kelly and Julie are at the business meeting, which runs long and so, me, Genn, liz, Felix, Ian and Taylor go to this crepes placeâ"MAN the food was awesome. We wander back to the hotel, and Genn and Felix end up leaving us (awww!). The rest of us make it in. Later I end up wandering up to the con suite and get engaged in after con âthank all that is holy, itâs over!â party, where I proceed to be groped by small children O.o. Iâll never be the same XD After a while up there, I end up leaving, and say goodbye to Jen! Whoâs not coming to the LA Ronde amusement park on Monday because sheâs _leaving_. *pout, grumble, pout*
Anyways, I wander back down to Scottâs room, where a video game thing is in full swing. I sit around and chat for a while, until Ian comes in. Folks were playing Mario party 4 and Ian kept having brain non-compute moments that left me, him, Liz and Taylor in stitches. Taylor even drew brains leaving the skull XD Anyways,w e eventually get kicked out, cuz Shaun wanted to sleep and we go to Mikeâs (Riverdell) room.
OMG. Noshing the nether nipples.
Mike has an awesome sense of humor. Scott shoved the controller for Mario Kart in my hands and I showed exactly how badly I can play. XD We all giggled a lot, then we ended up going to our room.
Got up. Went to La Ronde. The whole weekend, Iâd been suffering from some sort of feverish allergies. While I had a great time, my nose and eyeballs wouldnât stop running, so I was very subdued when we got to the park. Me, Rob and Cindy go to get food and then Karine, Patrick, and Shaun show up. We munch and I actually feel less vile. We wander for a while, and then Rob insists that we go n the dragon, the LAMEST ROLLERCOASTER IN ALL EXISTENCE. That was really funny. We then go on the ferris wheel and that was just awesome â" the view was spectacular. And the air felt so good! After that we ended up going on the vampire, which is basically Batman the Ride for those of you Californian folks whoâve been to Magic Mountain. We went on another ride after that, but then me, Karine, Patrick and Laurean, whoâd joined us before the Vampire, went back to the hotel. Rob and Cindy had left a few hours before. Shaun went to find Scott, so they could leave.
Anyways, on the way into the hotel, we see Keith David!! He gives Patrick the money for Lizâs prints and he asks us to sing happy birthday to his youngest girl! He was a very nice person, and his family had to be incredibly accommodating to deal with all of us. They were so graceful, I was very impressed. ^_^
I said goodbye to Karine and Laurean, then went to the room to zonk for a while. The rest of merry band was still at La Ronde. ^_^ I woke up later and wandered out with Patrick and another guy who I donât know the name of to find food. We walked in a giant circle and then settled on Tim Hortons. OMG, best iced cappuccinos ever! We go back and chill for a while, then folks show back up! We chat for a bit that night and stuff, since everyone except me and Julie are leaving on Tuesday. I also think this was the night that I ended up turning Taylor in Jadzia Dax with Julieâs stamping pens. XD HahHhaahha.
Kelly gets up really early and opens curtains. AHHHH.
She packs and gets stuff together, then she ends up leaving. It was very sad, because it was like âitâs overâ and that wasnât fun. We all get up and pack up our stuff and everything. I like Taylor and Liz go get breakfast and pick me up some toast. I learnt o work the coffee machine in the room and make my own coffee. The keys had stopped working for everyone when Kelly checked out, so someone had to stay and keep the door open.
Anyways, Taylor and Liz went and stalked Keith. They had the wrong room, then they had Patrick call Karine and get the right room number, but he wasnât there. They tried one more time and hit the jackpot. XD I swear Taylor had afterglow *dies* and of course, Liz was grinning and in a happy daze.
They ended up leaving and Julie got herself another room for the night. The room was Goregeous!!!! Afterwards, we went tromping around the city and bought stuff in Chinatown. We had really good charbroiled chicken at a little buffet and panini place. We went back and watched disturbing Discovery channel shows and then it was time for me to meet Genn in the lobby. We went down and Genn showed up. I bid Julie goodbye:/
Me and Genn tromped around with my luggage XD in the subway. Weâd gotten almost to her house and the sky opened up and rained basketballs. I loved it, but I didnât want to be in it. Thankfully, Gennâs Dad showed up and drove us the few block to the house.
They have a beautiful home and her kitty!!! *squeeee!!!*
Her mom makes a salmon thing and we eat and chat over dinner, then we retire to Gennâs basement and look at bishies and art and stuff. We talk too late into the night, then go to bed.
That morning, her mom plies me with fruit ( since I said I eat fruit in the morning) and then she drives us to the metro station so we wouldnât have to take the bus as weâd done the day before. She mentions, in idle conversation that a toxic gas cloud had rolled through the city that morning O_o.
Anyways, we get back to the hotel and I bid Genn goodbye and she goes to work. ;_;
I go to the airport, go through customs.
Customs: Where do you work?
Customs:What do you do for a job?
Customs: Are you alright?
Me: â¦too early for such complicated questionsâ¦..
I eventually get through and get on my plane. In Detroit, I ride the bright red train several times XD, then head on to LA, where my dad picks me up and my cat attacks me when I get home.
The end. XD
I remember staying up so late Saturday night, laughing for hours... and that live action Sailor Moon was truly freaky. Good times. XD (What the heck does "XD" mean?)
Stormy's Gathering Journal
Well, this was itâ¦the first time in 12 years that I wasnât spending my summer on a military base. The first time that I was free to attend The Gathering. The week leading up to the Gathering was a frenzy of artwork as I strove to have everything I wanted to show at the art contest ready to go. In the previous months, since I knew Whitbourne had been making plans for us to go together, I had been checking in on the Gathering website where I found out about the Phoenix Gate Anthology project. I submitted an entry and to my great pleasure found myself (and Whitbourne) selected to be in the anthology. The pleasure of publication doubled the anticipation for the convention.
We flew to Montreal on Friday morning, after a frenzy of last minute art framing, packing, and preparation. The convention hotel was just beautiful and in an excellent location. We met up with Jen âMercedesâ DeSalme and her brother Andrew âSombreroâ DeSalme, and enjoyed a nice lunch in Chinatown before heading back to the hotel. I ended up missing the first set of panels because Mercedes and I were in the art room setting up our art pieces.
This is when I learned the first lesson of The Gatheringâ"you canât do everything. The sheer amount of events going on simultaneously meant that it was impossible to do it all. Maui had attempted to recruit me for the Clan Olympics and Iâd intended to join in, but in the end I only made one eventâ¦the one held during opening ceremonies. The rest of the time I was distracted by art duties, writing duties, costume duties, voice acting dutiesâ¦on the other hand, the pace guaranteed never a dull moment! Still, I wish Iâd done more for Team Canadian Body Massage.
The only other con Iâve ever attended was Transformers BotCon in 2002. BotCon is a much larger show, with huge crowds and a real emphasis on buying/selling in the massive dealer room. It somewhat surprises me that Gargoyles fans arenât, for the most part, rabid acquirers of Gargoyles merchandise. However, this did mean that I was able to acquire a set of Gargoyles pencils in the auction for a price that didnât break my very small budget. Itâs also just as well that my point in going to the con was primarily to meet friends, rather than to acquire stuff. To suppliment my souvenir budget, I sold a toy with the help of the Morgans and used the proceeds to purchase one of Christine Morganâs books as well as a Brooklyn dangler.
Conversely, I was surprised at the amount of art in the art show that was for sale. Iâm very new to the field of computer generated art, doing most of my work in Prismacolour pencils. That means most of my art is one-of-a-kind and Iâm loath to part with it. Furthermore, Iâve occasionally experimented with colouring or accenting my art with glitter inks. The ink makes for a really neat sparkling effect; however, when I scan the artwork, the sparkle effect is entirely lost, leaving only the flat base colour. This means I love to show off my sparkling images in person, because trying to put them online doesnât do them justice.
That being said, hereâs what I chose to show:
1. A truly terrifying Ophelia and Angela drawn in âBratzâ style, with sparkling clothing
2. Original character Lady Bismarck of the Iron Clan of Bavaria
3. Original character Wagner of the Iron Clan of Bavaria
4. Demona, accompanied by a poem I had written
5. My sparkling Jetstorm jet that I showed at Botcon 2002 (and got on the Transformers DVD)
6. My sparkling Megatron and Tempest, also from Botcon 2002
7. Sonic Attack Jet, my first CGI piece
8. Sparkling Jhiaxus, also shown at Botcon 2004
9. Black and white Motormaster, also shown at OTFCC 2004 and Botcon 2004
10. Four My Little Ponies, each of which represented a different element
11. A Barbie doll dressed as Elisa, in the arms of Ultimate Goliath
12. A kitbash of Whitbourne
13. A kitbash of Wagner and Caligo
14. âThen and Nowâ: contrasting a truly hideous Wagner pic from 1996 with one I completed the day before the con
15. and finally, the long-to-be-remembered diorama âCaught in the Actâ, in which a custom-made Fox figure and Hardwired Xanatos stumble upon Broadway, Lexington and Goliath in stoneâ"wearing Barbie dresses, jewelry, and holding makeup.
Iâd hoped I might win something for my kitbashes. I was more than surprised to win not one but five art show ribbons.
First place B&W Sci Fi for Motormaster, King of the Road
Second place 3-D Fanchar for Whitbourne
Third place Pencil Sci Fi for the Elemental Ponies
Third place CGI Sci Fi for the Sonic Attack Jet
and Third Place 3-D Canon for, you guessed it, âCaught in the Actâ
(How will I ever top âCaught in the Actâ next year???)
After finally setting up all our art, Mercedes and I dropped in on Edenâs costuming panel. Although I already had my costume set to go, I found Edenâs panel very entertaining! :) I donât know much about costuming and this gave me great ideas for years to come.
Next came the biggest challenge of the Gathering: finding supper within walking distance from the hotel. For some reason all the restaurants we found in walking distance were either expensive, or else lunch-only, or else McDonaldâs. We finally found a sandwich shop, since we wanted something we could grab and go in order to be back in time for the opening ceremonies.
My favourite part of this was getting a chance to see and hear the Gathering-exclusive goodies: the original pitches for Gargoyles, Dark Ages and The New Olympians; the taped voice acting for the Atlantis ep featuring Demona, and the Bad Guys demo reel. After hearing about these things, believe me, there is nothing to compare to actually seeing and hearing them in person. I like Sphinx :) Gregâs involvement with the fandom is wonderful; unlike Hasbro, whose greatest interest at Transformers conventions is all about pimping their latest toyline rather than discussing the mythology that they created with the original Transformers, you can tell that Greg truly loves Gargoyles.
At this point, medical demands sent me to bed at 8 pm. I needed a long rest so I could stay up for the masquerade the next night. So Saturday morning dawned with a refreshed Stormy getting up in time to eat a good breakfast at Deli Planet in the train station before the dayâs events began.
The first thing I did was hit the radio play auditions, since Iâd missed the ones on Friday. Greg asked me to meow like a cat, and my first thought was âa cat saying what?â Having four cats makes me rather fluent in their language, which varies surprisingly depending on what theyâre attempting to communicate. So I started with a feline question (brrrrr?) followed by attempts for attention (mow? MOW!!) and concluding with the SmokeyDance (well, minus the dancing, I guess it was just the Smokey Song, that horrible cry Iâve awoken to for the past two years from a former feral who remains obsessed with the idea that he may someday wake up and discover that the past two years of life on our couch has been some kind of kitty dream. Every morning Smokey greets us with a cry of âFeedmefeedmefeedme OH MY GOD THE BOWL IS EMPTY Mom Dad Feedme OH MY GOD WHAT IF THEREâS NO FOOD LIKE EVER AGAIN, OH GOD OH GOD!!!â) And it goes something like meowrOWrowROWrOWrowrOWâ¦.
Greg started laughing and I had this feeling I was going to be cast as Cagney, though I did get to read Demona and be evil for a while. After my evilness, I dropped in on the auction. I had my eye on a Brooklyn dangler, but when a pack of Gargoyles pencils had trouble getting a bidder, I offered a dollar and won. The dangler ended up going higher than $20, way out of my price range; I bought one from the Morgans on Sunday. Still, I was happy to contribute my dollar to the auction for the Gathering fundraising. Next came our rehearsal for the radio play, and finally the play itself. I sat beside a girl who played Bronx and we discussed our relative animal experience; she works at a kennel, so has had as much exposure to dog language as I have to cat.
After the radio play, Whit and I headed to Old Montreal with Jen and Andrew for a wonderful dinner and some shopping. Jen and Dylan/Whit bought masks; Andrew got a necklace. My indulgence was completely non-costume related: I purchased a Spirit Feather with a leather thong handle. I burn sweetgrass and sage at home, and have never had a proper feather for smudging the smoke. The leather thong enables me to hang the large feather far out of reach of aforementioned four cats. We got back just in time for me to finish sewing the big Q on my Quarryman outfit and it was costume time!
The Quarryman costume was pretty easy to put together. I already had urban combat pants, army boots, a studded belt, some belt chains, and some wide black leather studded bracelets. The hood was made of an old T-shirtâs back sewn into a hood, with eye holes and a tiny nose hole; it didnât need a mouth, it was thin enough to breathe through easily, and it was stretchy enough to accommodate my glasses easily. The shirt was another black T-shirt with a white circle sewn on it; Iâd used black and yellow markers to draw the Q insignia.
The masquerade was lots of fun. There were some truly amazing costumes, and Iâm neither surprised nor disappointed not to have won in this categoryâ"my entire goal was to dress up and have fun despite my limited budget. The fact that I put together a good-looking Quarryman costume using only what I had on hand means I succeeded. In fact, I was told that no one has ever done a Quarryman before, and Iâm glad to have done something original.
I now turn to my only down note for the conventionâ"the advertised reading contest. The contest got cancelled due to lack of interest; yet I know of at least two other people besides myself who had written stories for the contest. The only instruction on the web page was to be ready to read at the Gathering, and we were; yet the convention organizers, having not received emails, presumed no one was interested. Had there been a request on the Gathering website to email the staff about our reading contest entries, we certainly would have done so. It was a bit of a downer to have worked hard on an entry and not have had a chance to share it. The staff offered that we could arrange our own reading; however, I found that I simply didnât have time. I really hope that in future years, the reading contest is continued so I can use my entry then; I also hope that communication about how to enter is a little clearer.
Sunday morning. Sleeping in meant the only breakfast option was McDogfoodâs if I wanted to eat something before the panels began. Flanker and I debated the relative merits of Rotten Ronnies vs Canadian Forces field rations while we waited. I grabbed some chow and arrived to watch Whitbourneâs Gargoyle Biology panel. After that, it was time for the PGA signing to beginâ¦what a kick! I have decided that doing book signings is something I could get used to :) I took the time to buy my Brooklyn dangler from the Morgans before the dealer room closed and Keith David arrived. After his presentation, it was time for closing ceremonies. This was when I got the good news about my art contest wins, scared Keith David with the sight of a Quick Strike Goliath in drag, and got him to sign my anthology.
Unfortunately, after that we had to go catch our plane. There was a little time to say goodbye to everyoneâ"Wingless, Dan, Rustbot, Lynati, Princess Alex, Spacebabie, Ethan, the Morgans, Flanker, and all the other people I either knew or had metâ"and it was homeward bound. I really hope Iâll get to see myself, and my friends, on the Gargoyles DVD this Decemberâ"that was a really great kick, knowing that features of the con will make it onto the DVD. It was a great convention, a great time. The Gargoyles fandom is really âcozyââ"this is one convention that hasnât been corrupted by emphasis on pushing products or corporate glitz. Itâs by the fans, for the fans. And that is something special. Kudos go to all the organizers for the work they did, particularly Eden who dealt with all my art questions from an art show newbie who didnât know how the panel/table system worked. Also kudos from a fandom that is based around the audience /participating/ rather than simply sitting back and watching. I felt so involved with everything all weekend, and that was a great feeling. All in all, I hope I can go to The Gathering again, if itâs half as good as this one itâll be more than worth it.
And see... you DID make it onto the DVD!!
I hope to see you and Whit again at G2006!
Sirynâs Gathering Journal
Thursday I had about 2 hours of sleep. This is mainly due to the fact I was drinking caffeine all night. Drinking caffeine was due to the fact of trying to finish the Gathering Programmes last minute. (note to future staffsâ¦do NOT do this, how it was pulled off at all was nothing short of miraculous).
So, my car came at around 6:45, I was fully packed and off. Went to airport, got on plane, and landed in Montreal.
With absolutely no one there waiting for me. So I waited, and waited, and waited some more. Finally I spotted Liz. Who actually was waiting to be picked up as well. She was with Trishana and Taylor. So, we began to seek out every van we could. Taylor continously sweared the next van would be the one to pick us up. I was swearing that some of the vans looked very familiar, and that the drivers were stalking us. (I was jokingâ¦somewhat).
Finally Patrick, Karine, Cindy, & Rob appeared. They showed me the Gathering Programmes, which I was very happy to see were printedâ¦until I saw a typo. DRAT. (I will go ahead and apologise for any and all evil typos in the programme to save time) But, I was happy it was printed, and looked cool. Especially since the last 2 weeks had been totally devoted to getting it finished.
We then went to Karineâs place, loaded up the car, and went to the hotel. At the hotel, I got my room, and there was much packing of the registration packets. To be honest, packing registration packets is my most favourite part of being on staff. I donât know exactly why. It is very soothing, the staff jokes and wonders what lies in store, and it is like wrapping tons of presents. Liz and I also whipped through the Programmes writing in the room number. (Which I specifically left out on purpose because you usually do not know what room the Con Suite is in until you get to the hotel.) We then stuffed t-shirts, pins, anthologys, and programmes into the packets. I was really giddy and happy. I was with my friends, everything looked fantastic, and I was really happy about the Â¨Programmesâ¦even though I continued to harass the staff and ask again and again if they REALLY truly looked OK.
Greg soon arrived after. I do not know why, but sometimes I feel really really shy around Greg. Not like OMG you are an amazing star kind of shy (even though he is), but more or less..Hi! You are really coolâ¦and I am going to just stand here and admire your coolness. Blah. But I usually get over it after about five minutes or so. (or force myself too by talking waaaaaayyy too much.) I think I have only ever been star shy around Greg Gular (character designer for Gargoyles) and Vic Cook (Storyboard artist) mainly because it is like HI! You do EXACTLY what I want to do when I get betterâ¦so..umm I am going to ask you a lot of dumb awkward questions, feel really weird about asking them, and then shut up for the rest of the Gathering. (They werenât here this year, but that is how I usually act when they are around.)
ANYWAYS, getting back on track. The staff & 2005 people were going out to the annual Letâs get Greg food deal. Unfortunately, there was some communication, and about 30 or so people were also waiting to go as well. So I volunteered to go down and tell everyone Sorry, You canât come. It really sucks that not everyone could go. I know how it feels. (I have been denied from outings like this before) But how are you going to fit 40+ people in a resturant with no reservation? *sigh* So, after waving everyone off, apologizing sincerely, I said the OK, and we all went out to eat.
(After speaking to Karine, dinner was in fact originally open, we just had to close eating because 40+ people was absolutely undoable. However, I never knew this at the time, and was going on the inclination that it was staff only, because that is what I always thought it was. I really wish EVERYONE could have come though, and I know it majorly sucks to be left out. So I apologise to said people for saying it was always closed. My bad. I am sorry. :/)
Nothing eventful, food. Greg lightheartedly teased me he has never seen me when I am NOT tired. (Which..I think might actually be close to the truth. ^_^;;;) Finally, tummies full and brains all mushy, we staggered back to the hotel. I found Kythera, and said hello to friends in the lobby. Kael greeted me and reconfirmed his videogame challenge to me. (more on this later) I then staggered to bed, and fell asleep for the earliest time in weeks (which was around 1am but still early..) No mattress ever felt so good.
I woke up majorly early. I got up at around 7am very nervous, hyper, and excited. I knew I wasnât going to sleep for any longer, so I changed into gym clothes and told a very groggy Patrick I was going to the gym. I then worked out at the hotel gym for about 30 minutes, then came back, grabbed a shower, and changed into my Con Staff clothes. (A really NIFTY design by Stephanie Lostimolio. Did I mention how kickass she is as an artist?)
I then pulled out the 2005 mascot (Blue eyes, as I affectionately call him). I started colouring and inking, and going back and forth. I had done some work the night before while waiting for Greg to show up. He was turning out pretty cool, which I was happy aboutâ¦because the last thing I ever want to give anyone is crapâ¦(which is a reason why doing my commissions takes so friggin longâ¦). Patrick then told me to get ready, and we went up to the Con suite and then out for breakfast.
We all went to breakfast, of which I only had tea. (diet). I was also the secretary at the meeting, and wrote down duties and responsibilities. Sadly, I should have really done this EVERY single morningâ¦however didnât. Hindsight twenty twenty. I highly suggest future staffs to go out to eat in the morning, because it helps the staff know who will be where and what you will be doing during the day. I wanted to write down the notes, because I like doing it, I donât have to talkâ¦too muchâ¦and I felt REALLY REALLY bad for the Volunteers messup.
Yesâ¦Si was in charge of volunteersâ¦but Si was so focused on getting the Programme done, she forgot to set up the proper schedule for the volunteers (I had one, however my entire computer harddrive crashed about two weeks prior to conâ¦PS. ALWAYS SAVE BACKUPS!)â¦so while she was able to catch some and ask them to help and where to be when, for the most partâ¦poor staff had to fill in a lot more than they should have. (And I really really really apologise for thisâ¦I still feel bad.. -_-;;)
Unfortunately, we came back late from breakfast. (There was only one waitress on duty), and there was a staff mixup on when things were supposed to be opening. We came back to a hotel of people waiting for registration. YIKES!! So Rob, Shaun, and I ran up to the consuite to set up things and get them ready. I worked at Registration for most of the morning. (Something I also like to do, because you get to meet and greet the fansâ¦and make everyone feel comfortableâ¦and it sets the con off to a great start when someone gives you a friendly smile. Rob said I seemed like a pro at it, I just like doing it. (Even though I am usually incredibly shy for the first few hours of the Gathering).
Sooo Con staff duties began. There was running inbetween Con Suite & registration. Running between registration & hotel rooms. Hotel rooms & panels, etc. If you are ever on a Con Staff, expect to work. You will be needed, people will look for youâ¦so be prepared to see very little of everyone else but staff. (it kinda sucks).
Karine & my lifedrawing panel went well, and the Disney DVD crew came in and taped us. After the panel, I bumped into someone who mentioned the DVD guys went to registration. I had to go there anyway for something (I forget now). Walking up the stairs..I saw the DVD guysâ¦filming the Gathering Programme! (Oh pleaseeâ¦..I hope they donât display the pages with the typos!) Still, it was REALLY cool and kinda a âGo ME!â moment. I then remembered to ask the DVD guys about the DVDs being multiregional. David said he was not sure if they would be, nor would they have influence concerning that, but he would mention it. He asked me what was going on, and I mentioned some of the panels, including Cindyâs. Cindy had been mentioning earlier she was afraid no one would show up for her panel, and was asking for moral support. So I sent the DVD guys her way. (Which, I am very glad I did, because TONS of people ended up showing up at the panel!)
I think I did something else afterwardsâ¦but I forget what. I did talk to people about Clan Olympics and random thingsâ¦.but again..some parts of con are a blur, and this is one of them.
At some time, Rob told me to go help with Radio Play Auditions. I saw a lot of friends including Gorebash & Seth (IRC Goliath). I was excited to see Gorebash there. He was getting fan guest of honour, and didnât even know it! I was sooo happy because he really deserved it, and it took all the self control I had not to spill the beans then and there. So everyone was asking if I was going to try out, to which I said I really couldnât because I had a panel at the same time as the rehearsals. Greg then saw me and told me I should try out. Since I canât really say no to peer pressureâ¦especially GREG peer pressure, I said I would try. The DVD guys then appeared, and filmed people practicing their lines.
At this point..I felt like the DVD crew STALKER. I was worried they were going to think I was stalking them just to get on the DVD. O.o They had just gone inside to tape Greg & Jen (Cryzdemona) doing an audition, when Carol appeared and told me I should go in and help. Nowâ¦I was a bit embarresed trying to explain the reason I didnât want to go into the Audition room because I felt like the DVD STALKERâ¦so I stalled..and then finally went in. The DVD guys left soon afterwards. I stayed and helped Greg & Jen. We said random jokes to each other and I drew. (I was the door person, so while people auditioned I sketched in my sketchbook to pass the time).
Finally..I think it was time for opening ceremonies? I canât remember, another blur. At some point, I RUSHED to my room, grabbed the 2005 mascot, and frantically worked to finish it during the ceremonies. (I also worked on it trying to distract myself from the soundtrack of the Team Atlantis : The LAST episodeâ¦which sounds VERY VERY wrong if you use your imagination) My defense, I was sitting next to Jen. Got it done just in time and handed it off to Chris.
Clan Olympics takes over. I am a little confused, because I thought that was VERY VERY lastâ¦.and was worried about 2005 not getting a chance to speak but sokay. It worked. I helped count plastic balls. Fun. Weird, but fun.
Chris spoke. Said lots of 2005 stuff. He showed off the mascot I drew. (funny, the mascot was wearing similar clothes to what he was wearing, and it wasnât on purpose!) People loved it. I think. Maybe they just liked it. (but that is OK too) Chris liked it. Lanny liked it. I was happy. They were the only two whose opinions mattered to me. I wish I had accomplished more with it. But I was relieved I got it done in time, and very very grateful they were pleased.
Blue eyes (the 2005 mascot) is kinda based off of Frank Sinatra. I love Frank Sinatra, ever since I heard all of his songs on the Qe2. So I was very happy to draw him when Chris asked me in 2003. However, he was a pain to draw. I did several caracitures of Frank Sinatra and they didnât work. I tried different ways of gargifying him. They didnât work. Finally, I got bored, and drew a beak on him. That worked. It looked more like Frank than any of the others. (No clue whyâ¦but it did). So maybe it was fate. I was happy. No main mascot (not including Otherconâs Death in this) has ever had a beak. So it was originally and fresh. And I will draw more of it.
Chris and Lanny like him. Yay. The 2005 con sounded really coolâ¦I just hoped things would work out. I had spoken to Chris earlier, who said its OK that I could not commit to the con, and that he was happy with me doing art. This kinda made me feel guilty..and paranoidâ¦can I really go to a con next year and NOT be on staffâ¦and NOT contributeâ¦and NOT do work?
So..Greg and some people (including me) went out to dinner again. And it was REALLY yummy and good. Greg, Zehra, and I talked about Japan, mythology, shakespeare, and a bunch of other assorted topics. (Yes, at this point, no longer shy about being around Gregâ¦see..told you I would get over it..always do).
Then was Gregâs Blue Mug a Guest, where people actually asked pretty low key questions. It was nice actually. There was a HUGE amount of people in the room, and I curled up next to Jen & Lanny. I asked three questions, then shut up. (They were interesting valid questions though!â¦I justâ¦wish I remember what they were..oh right! One was about what the Korean Gargoyles looked like, another was concerning what sort of production artwork from the show was still saved and around (aka..I WANT TO BUY ITâ¦before Anthony Zucconi doesâ¦)) I did ask about Vinnie, and asked if he was ever going to have a girlfriend. (Yesâ¦my selfish question for the evening..thankyou. Greg laughed at me..hehe. But that is okay, because it warrented a laugh.) I asked After a while though (after getting up about a million times to grab art supplies from the Staff Only room of the consuiteâ¦sorry about that people I stepped on..) I crawled and hid under the table of the consuite, and listened to Greg answer questions, and people chat and talk. I fell asleep at some point, but it was nice and warm..and a very comfy place to rest.
I think AFTER the mug a guest was over I went to bed. Or I talked to more people. I canât remember, because of the evil blur again. I just thought âOh noâ¦Friday is already overâ¦two days leftâ¦â
I woke up just in enough time that morning. I chewed on an atkins breakfast bar and staff went out to eat. After we all came back, everyone dispersed. Andâ¦a lot of attendees were looking at me on what to do. URK. I hate it when they do that. Greg was wondering where Jen was. I didnât know where she went to. So, trying to stall Greg & attendeesâ¦and figure out where everyone was. Not fun. Finally found Jen, finally found staff with keys, and everything was sorted out. I then rushed to Radio Play auditions and auditioned. If anyone is curious, I did the Broadway part. (I was going to do Xanatos, but a lot of people were doing that one, and I like being original).
I then went to the art show and worked at the Kid table. Becca Morgan didnât want to do facepainting, so I broke out all the art supplies I had bought for mask making, and we started doing that. (two more kids showed up as well, and we all made pretty masks which I hung up and displayed at the art show) They painted, they made masks, they had fun. I love kids.
Unfortunately, I had meant to relieve one of the staff members in the Con Suite sooner, and lost track of time. Jen had posted the Radio Play parts and said âSorry hun, didnât make Vinnieâ. I had known previously the Radio Play was going to be The Journey, and Vinnie, my fav garg character, was a part I wanted. But that is okay. In a Radio Play, ALL PARTS ARE GOOD PARTS! At this point, I missed my fiance, Tempest. Who really *LOVES* the Radio Playsâ¦a lot. He finds them fun, and Greg inspiring. Tempest is currently in the Middle East working on a consulting project, so getting a part in the radio play made me think of him a bit.
(There was something I did here..that was valid to mention..but at the time of typing I just have totally blanked on what it was..)
Karine just reminded me! I was told to go in the auction. YAY!. Auction. Taras and Sandman were hosting it. Much fun to be had. Lots of bidding. I walked away with a beautiful print of Rita Mâs artwork, some gargoyle pencils, a binder, a colouring book, two gargoyle clingers and a gargoyle folder.
I wish I could have gotten the Gargoyle Pogs..but that is okay.
The Gargoyle animation cel of Goliath & Elisa went for $455 Canadian. WOW. Awesome. Very very cool.
Gahh! Now I had to rush to rehearsals! (Karine took over for me at the auction, thankyou Karine!)
We only went through the Radio Play Rehearsals once, more would have been nice, but time is short sometimes at cons. The part of Vinnie was given to Mike. Good choice! He played a GREAT Vinnie. I could not have possibly come close, and I really really enjoyed his Vinnie. (Fangirl squeal here). Also, Vinnieâs last name is Grigori, not Gregarino. (hehe..just something I noticed while reading over the scriptâ¦and I hope mine is packed SOMWHEREâ¦. O.o;;;;)
Insert time for an interview here. Carol motioned for me to go down and speak with the DVD guys. I felt weird..I probably wonât be on the DVD. I got nervous, didnât know what to say, (mainly because I usually rehearse most things in my head before I say them). Soo..yeah. I answered the questions kind of dumbly. I was asked who my fav character was. I almost said brooklyn, but then said vinnie, and stated my reasons why. I forgot to add though that Vinnie is the only guy who would have the guts to face Goliath with a pie gun. Drat. There goes that hindsight twenty twenty thing again. I mentioned why & when I first started watching Gargoyles. I still remember. I used to babysit for a nurse, so I would come over to her house REALLY early in the morning. At 6am. Around the time Gargoyles was on where I lived at (at that time). I was channel surfing, and found Gargoyles. I decided to watch. The episode was Temptation. I was hooked.
I interviewed, not realizing the Radio Play was immediately after rehearsals. I got into the room just in time, and was the last one to sit down. Then everyone else came in. I got *REALLY* nervous. First lines of the Radio Playâ¦yeahâ¦no pressureâ¦NOT. (Gore or Seth was teasing me earlier about setting the entire tone for the Play, and not to screw up. %_%) Overall, we did well. Everyone did a great job, and LOVED Mikeâs Vinnie. (It is interesting to note Mike told me later he was trying to find me in the cast and look at me when Vinnie says âCan you believe it?â âI am a heroâ or something like that.
Must find that scriptâ¦.
Then it was time for the Banquet. I changed into my black ballgown (because sometimes..you just NEED to FEEL PRETTY!), put on makeup, and brushed my hair. I then went downstairs to the banquet. I sat with Lanny, Derrick, Mike, Karine, Jade Griffin, and another person. (Sorry, I forgot your name.. @.@) Now, if you havenât guessed, I love hanging out with Lanny and Derrick, just because theyâre down to earth..and I donât feel like a complete idiot when I talk around them. So we all talked at the table, and Mike talked about Reboot, another animation I loved, and we chatted all through dinner.
The food was amazing. I helped pick it out, but it was STILL AMAZING. Everyone at our table loved the food. We ordered wine. (DOH! Lanny, I owe you money..or artwork next Gatheirng for my share of the wine BTW..) All was yummy, delicious, and good.
Keith David appeared! YAY! Finally. (He had been delayed AGAIN because his movie had been rained out. He also spent 2 hours in costumes. EWW EWW EWW.) I raised my hand and said he was awesome in Chronicles of Riddrick. After that, I sat down with Chris Rogers, who showed me the computer programme he was using to take Gathering 2005 registrations. (yes, I am a tech geek sometimes, deal). So we were talking about random stuff. We got shushed, and we shushed, and then I went to go change for the masquerade.
Wee. Soo yes..changing. Patrick and I put our costumes on. I went from a beautiful black ballgown to pageboy clothes and a short blondhaired wig. (which didnât want to stay completely on.) After getitng my costume on, I lurked over to Cindy & Robâs room to see how they were getting ready. Then wandered back downstairs to help set up the banquet room for the Masquerade. (Which involved a lot of moving of chairs and explaining how people were going to walk and who was going to sit where).
Kaylee appeared looking smashing, and she pulled me over and asked if we were still going to do that thing I had mentioned. On Thursday, I had mentioned to her about cosplaying the knighting scene that Tom & Princess Katherine hasâ¦but having Tom kiss Katherine at the end. So, we practiced it. And waited in line, and practiced. (KWS was REALLY nice in letting us borrow her sword, thankyou sooooo much for that!)
Finally, our turn. I try to walk up slowly as possible. Do not laugh, do not laugh, be calmâ¦because if I laughed or cracked a smile I KNEW I wasnât going to be able to last. So I stepped up, took a deep breath, and said my lines. Kaylee said hers, and then I dipped her! Wee! I think people clapped and liked it? I was too nervous too tell. ((It took all the guts I had to pull that off without laughing or totally stopping etc)) Then of course I told the judges please not to vote for us because we were on staff. (And Staff is exempt from prizes)
BTW, our staff ROCKED for costumes! They were absolutely AMAZING. Greg was really impressed. When he gave out awards, he had all the staff in costumes come up.
I ended up getting the GorElisa award for crossdressing. Hehe. And then all people in Gargoyles costumes poised for pictures. It was fun, reminicent of older gatherings, and all in all good to have. Karaoke started afterwards and continued until the late evening. I would have liked there to have been dancingâ¦just because I *REALLY* wanted to danceâ¦and even changed into more appropriate clothing...but that was okay. People had fun. Chris took some people to the casino. I chatted with Lanny, Seth, Aaron, Mara, and a few other people. We chatted about fandom, vinnie, 2005 gathering, and other things.
Finally, pushed myself to bed and went to sleep.
No. Not Sunday. It isnât allowed to be Sunday. Sunday is when most people leave..and the Gathering is overâ¦and there were SOOO many people I hadnât hung out or talked to yet! (however this year, that wasnât the case at all!)
Karine, Shuan, Patrick & myself ran out for a quick breakfast. Or Rather, they did, and I munched on an Atkins bar. (see a pattern? I did this the entire conâ¦saved on money for food though). I then went immediately to the lifedrawing nude panel. The model didnât show upâ¦so we improvised. The model finally did show up, and finished up the panel with a few fully nude poses.
Then I went straight to the Con Suite. And I STAYED THERE. I stayed and watched 2nd season. I then realized my favourite episodes of the second season really involve the international Gargoyles. Almost all of those episodes are extremely well writtenâ¦.I also checked out more of Sora from Bushido, since I *AM* planning on cosplaying her at 2005. (I didnât have the costume finished in time for this year).
I think I stayed there until closing ceremonies, then I locked up, went downstairs, and sat next to Jen (again). Hehe. We are evil when together. Karine opened the ceremonies speaking in French. It was sooo funny. Everyone was giving her weird looks. I then started speaking to her in French (pretty much saying Speak English! They canât understand you!) hehe. It was funny.
I still didnât want the con to be over thoughâ¦There was SOO MANY PEOPLE I didnât get to talk too! I pre-registered Tempest & myself for Vegas. Iâm pretty sure we can go. At that point next year, I think any sort of vacation from wedding planning will be a good break. (Btw, Chris & Lanny suggested getting married at G2005. But as much of a fan as I am, I am not sure I am THAT much of one!) And, Gatheringâs always need money, as soon as possible. Plus, t-shirts to add to my Gargoyle T-shirt Quilt!â¢
Everyone was organizing a freeze tag game. I finally caught up with Zaius. I made plans to challenge him to the Soul Caliber II game after he got back. I went to the Con Staff Dead Dog party. Booze & Pizza. I donât care if it was breaking my diet. It was worth it. It was good. Greg gave all of the staff the Promotional Gargoyle DVD postcards that were distributed at Comic Con. (Vash, I will scan that and send it to you for GNC when I get back to the states.)
I must get more Godiva White Chocolate Liquer one day soon.
I got locked out of my room, hung out with Mara. Then Hudson and Zaius came back, and said I could stay in there room. The games were on! While Hudson and Zaius were getting drinks and caffeine, I played some Soul Caliber II, and got to the end without dying. Zaius came into the room and challenged me. We played. I won. We played again, I won. Hudson played me. I won. (yes, I beat Hudson, but heâs not used to videogame controls..he plays more online games). We talked about Doom 3. Hudson said I would love playing it. I beat Zaius some more, and then got tired and slept. Woke up at around 4am. Tried to get into my room again, and did so. Passed out on the bed after apologising for waking people up.
It was a good con. I still wish I had spoken to more people..but it was a good con.
Full of goodbyes. Some people went to La Rhonde with us, some didnât. (24 people went I think?) When we got back, we ran into Keith David, who shook our hands, and we sung happy birthday to his daughter.
In the evening, Karine, Adam, & I had Sushi, and Karine and I went over Gathering Expenses. Weâre in the Black. YAY. I wonât say how much, because there are a few more payments to be made (hotel, AV people, aritsts), but yes..money for next year. That is always good.
Karine & I have been checking on and off whether or not con journals have been posted yet. In fact, she suggested we sit down and type ours out now. Which I am glad she did, because I am not sure how much longer I would be able to remember everything. ^_^;; I told her that there may be bitching or whining, or things mentioned that she didnât realized even happened or was a problem. Because this is a Gathering. No Gathering is going to be perfect, there are always mistakes. However, if you are prepared with that knowledge, you will be more prepared to face problems when they do arise. You canât make everyone happy. You just need to make MOST people happy & have a good time and thatâs what is important. (That being said, all the journals we have read so far have been REALLY positive!) I am happy Karine wants to read them. I was worried about reading the ones for my conventionâ¦but those werenât bad either. (except for the banquet, which I still majorly apologise forâ¦)
I think all the staff did a great job. (I could have done better, but I always could do better.)
It was a great con. Next year is in Las Vegas. You have a whole YEAR to save up money and go to it.
Buy the DVD and go to 2005. No complaints, no half promises. You have a year to plan now. DO IT.
(and the sooner you register, the more money the con has to get awesome guests!)
That was a great read, Si.
But my favorite part is the following typo: "Keith David spent two hours in costumes."
Si is also on the staff for the 2006 Gathering.
For more information, check out:
Gathering 2004 was a blast
Went out to have breakfast at the diner with everyone and we parted ways. Lynati and Emambu are heading down to Pittsburgh and Aaron, Mara, Revel and Spacie have a very long haul to Houston.
Had a great time, but am depressed cause I hate this part... a lot.
I suppose I should now start my con journal.
Getting to this Gathering was planned out several months in advance. Revel decided he was going to drive up with Spacebabie and would pick me up since it was in Montreal and I was on the way. Then this expanded into my brother coming, as well as Aaron and Mara... which was going to be a very tight squeeze. Then Emambu and Lynati joined in with Emambu's car... which helped a lot. It became a two car caravan with walkie talkies to stay in contact.
Wednesday, August 4th.
Spent the entire day getting ready, packing and cleaning up the house for my six guests. Constant phone calls to see where they were, plus plans to briefly chill with my friend Ron and his girlfriend Natalie who are flying back to Israel on Sunday (so this would be my last chance to see them). Ron and Natalie were at a concert in the city, and would not be in till late, and Revel said the caravan to the Gathering (here after referred to as the Rogue Squadron for reasons you'll see later), wouldn't arrive till late... Alex and I had bets as to who I'd see first.
I get a call from Ron that he and Natalie are at the train station so I go pick them up, we chill for a bit watching a re-run of "That 70's Show". Then I get a call from Revel, they're lost in Croton, and it takes a bit of doing but we manage to talk them to my street and drive way.
Gods, except for Mara I have not seen any of them in over a year. It was great, and my kitchen was very, very crowded. We eat, we chat, Revel and Spacebabie set up the inflatable bed in the dining room for themselves and drift off to sleep while the rest of us relocate up here to check e-mail, chat, watch AMVs, etc, etc, etc. At some point I dropped Ron and Natalie off at Ron's house.
We finally manage to get to sleep at around 3:30 am, with plans to be out of the house and on the road by noon.
That does not happen.
Thursday, August 5th
We try to get up early, but considering this crew (I am very guilty of this as well) we don't all end up up till at least 11 am. Then it's a while to get everyone showered and dressed and out. Plus we need to go to the hardware store so Lynati can pick up some wiring for her wings. Afterwards it's to the gas station for gas and some sodas.
Finally around 2:30 we are on the the Rogue Squadron is on the road. We head south to cross the Tappan Zee Bridge and head north... Montreal is well over 300 miles away, but traffic is light and we're making good time, we figure it shouldn't take more than a five hours to make the drive. Plus we have the walkie talkies to keep contact between the two cars. I'm riding in Revel's SUV (which is gold and named Hyena) and Aaron is riding in Emambu's car... dubbed affectionatly The Mafia Cruiser. We're constantly in contact and only have to make one stop in this back water town. These are the parts of New York state I never see. There is a town in NY called Troy... and there's another one called Coxsackie... we had a lot of fun with that name.
Finally we make it to the border... which had hundreds of cars all moving at a snails pace... and why, because the Canadian border controllers are on strike... but since it is illegal for them to strike, they are slowing things up as much as possible. We sit there for about 90 minutes. Finally, we get through and everyone stops to use the bathroom... and funny enough, once we crossed the border the temperature just dropped that very instant... so out come the trenchcoats. Nice to have trenchcoat weather during summer time and at a Gathering.
We get back into our cars and start heading north another 40 miles to Montreal... where we enter what we called The Death Star Trench The high way was reduced to one lane surrounded by these concrete barriers... and Aaron grabs the walkie talkie and starts quoting from the original Star Wars movie all sorts of lines from when they are flying through the Death Star trench, and we're quoting follow up lines... this goes on for several miles, and I have to say it's a good thing no cars broke down because we'd have been fucked, there is no where on either side to pull off. We figured the Canadian High Way unions do the same thing as ours'... they waste money.
Finally we make see the Montreal skyline, which has the weird search light shining all over the place, so in the geek moment, I use my Frodo voice and way "We made it to Mordor. It's the Eye". It takes us a bit of time to find the hotel because none of the signs are written in English. Which leads to one of the great weekend quotes from Aaron.
Montreal is like Broadway. It's large, slightly confused, boring and can't read or write English.
But we finally find the hotel, which was easy to find, and check in, there is a crowd of people and Sapphire comes up to say hi... and I regret to say that I did not recognize her without her glasses, with longer hair, and with her tattoos covered... Sapph, if you read this, I'm sorry.
We check in, and immedietly my keys are handed to a bellboy... which I snatch back, I will find my room myself, and I don't want to have to tip him. We put our bags in our room, and come back down. Here we run into Seth/IRC Goliath... and a bunch of other people, I'm blanking out on names, I'm sure someone will remind me.
Hudson, Chris Rogers and his crew arrive and we immedietly start talking Gathering 2005. And at the time, Chris asks Aaron to be his Treasurer, and Aaron says yes. And for those of you who don't know, Aaron and I had a pact after Gathering 2003 that if either of us ever seriously considered being on con staff again, we'd commit ritual suicide. But the pact was broken, and I did not feel like ritual suidice anyway.
We all hang, and finally the G2004 staff and Greg Weisman arrives. Greg gives me some good natured ribbing for last year, which is fine, I have a sense of humor about it, and it is funny. Ironically enough, I was more at ease with Greg this year than at previous years, because there was still the celebrity Gargoyles creator thing going, but this year we were like old friends instead of series creator and series fan. And Greg is just one of the greatest people in the world any way. It was great to see him again.
It was really great to see Crzy Jen, cause I was always disappointed that she couldn't make it to Gathering 2003. It was really great, and finally as one con chair to another I went up to Karine to tell her it would all be over soon... I said it humorously though... but seriously, Karine did all this and was five months pregnant. Talk about an iron will.
The con staff goes to bed and the rest of us hang out with Greg Weisman in the lobby for about another hour. And afterwards we decide it's time for bed, had a long drive and we all need sleep.
To Be Continued...
"I dropped Ron and Natalie off at Ron's house"
You mean you're still allowed to drop people off?!!!
HAVE WE LEARNED NOTHING, PEOPLE?!!
Sorry, G. Couldn't resist. ;)
Here's my Gathering journal for the first two days; I'll post the Sunday bit when that's done, but it might take a bit of time to complete.
Friday, August 6
The preparations for the trip had kept Stormy and I up for longer than weâd expected; Thursday had dissolved into a parade of framing artwork, editing writing pieces, haircuts and packing. All of this had started late. We had gone to the Annapolis Valley in southwest Nova Scotia on Wednesday, to check out Digbyâs annual scallop festival and visit with a friend. We had only gotten back to Halifax at one p.m. on Thursday, and that left us with not a whole lot of time to do everything that we needed.
But it all came together. Somehow, in the end, it always does.
I didnât get much sleep that night â" we had to get up at 5 a.m. to get ready for the flight, but I was also trying to think about the Gathering and how I felt about the whole thing. I was excited about going, but I was also feeling a bit wary and ambivalent. I had recently sort of drifted away from the fandom by default, still talking to people but not writing much in the way of fanfiction or thinking much about Gargoyles at all. I had thought that it was a bit of natural progression, that I was making the transition to writing only original stuff and settling into my second year of medical school. Either way, I was wondering what the Gathering would do for that â" whether it would reverse the course, bring me back into the fandom, or whether it would just be an excuse to meet with people and have a good time before coming home and doing much as I had before. Last yearâs Gathering had given me a âpost-fandom bounceâ, so to speak, but last year I was still pretty involved. It was a question that was on my mind for most of the four hours I was trying to sleep.
We woke up at five, spent an hour getting showered and dressed and preparing the cats for another weekend without us, and then we were on our way. I made do without coffee, driving through the streets of Halifax and across the span of the Macdonald Bridge over the Narrows. Stormy was excited, looking forward to seeing everyone for the first time; this was my second, so I knew the score, and we spent much of the drive to the airport talking of what she could expect and what we were looking forward to. She was excited about the art show and the Phoenix Gate anthology (which we had both been published in), while I had my list of Gathering goals: buy Keith David a drink, get the Acadian flag on the DVD footage in honour of the 400th anniversary of Acadian settlement in North America, speak French as often as I could, and have a good time with all of the friends I had met for the first time last year.
I donât like flying that much, but I like airports, and the pre-flight experience was stressless. Check-in, breakfast, security screen â" all fine, save for the fact that my belt buckle dinged in the metal detector and I was asked to undo it in order to prove that I was not some sort of sartorial terrorist. We waited about twenty painless minutes to board â" I had my coffee and my Globe and Mail to keep me happy â" and then we were on the plane, settling in. I almost crushed poor Stormyâs hand when the plane took off â" have I mentioned that I donât much care for air travel? â" but aside from that, the flight was flawless, and we landed at Trudeau Airport about an hour later. We got our luggage and called a cab, and twenty minutes and thirty-one dollars later, we were at the Delta Centre-Ville. We checked in â" hearing the ominous phrase âking-sized bedâ â" and then went up to the twenty-seventh floor to find our room. Just the king-sized bed, room enough for three people. Problem was, we had asked Mercedes and her brother Andrew â" two more con virgins and friends of ours from our frequent trips to Maine â" to stay in the room. Only three of us would get bed space; the last would have to find somewhere to make the floor comfortable. By the time Mercedes and Andrew got there, I had already decided that it would have to be me. Iâd reserved the room and though there would be two beds, so the fault, such as it was, was mine. But that was okay; Iâd slept on less comfortable floors before, and I was sure that the magnanimity would make up for the mattress deficiency quite nicely.
We went down to La Terrasse to find when registration would start â" no one really knew, but there was a crowd down there, many old time friends including Allaine, Spacebabie and Revel, Mara Cordova and Aaron Wheeler, Kathy Pogge, and Ellen Stolfa, who I hugged first and longest. We all had a series of chats, and I met a few new people, including Tim, Christine and Becca Morgan, who were there as well. It was time for lunch, though, and people were splitting off and going their separate ways, and so Stormy, Mercedes, Andrew and myself started on our way to find people to hit Montreal with. We ended up going to Chinatown with Greg Bishansky, and we saw a nice part of the downtown before getting to the Chinese Quarter. Nothing seemed to open until eleven, so we had to wait a few minutes, and eventually we found a Vietnamese restaurant and had a fine meal. We got back to the hotel just in time for registration to begin; from that point on I had my Gathering badge, announcing to everyone that I was Whitbourne, and that I was with the fan crowd. And that was when the events started, and so we all started splitting up to check out what the Gathering had to offer.
I first went to the General Round Robin, presented by Spacebabie; the turnout was a little sparse, but that worked fine for the crowd, and I got to spend a little bit more time with Spacebabie, Allaine, Revel and Sarah the Great, catching up on old times since Manhattan last year. I was told, in no uncertain terms, that c-words were off limits (even if it were the adult round robin I have no doubt that same restriction would have held true) and then we started round-robining the scenario of Demona and Macbeth meeting in the Grand Canyon as a prelude to the events of âSanctuaryâ. I picked âwhiskeyâ as my word, but ended up using âsalamanderâ, and it didnât take long for the round robin to be hijacked with a running joke involving Macbeth inviting Demona for a ride in a dinghy. It seemed funny at the time, at least. After the round robin ended I went to look at the art room â" Stormy and Mercedes had set up their work, and the Icestorm Brooklyn that Stormy had painted to look like Whitbourne was standing proudly (drunkenly?) on his table. After that, I crept into the Combat lecture being given by my friend Flanker; he was having a good time, even though Hudson and Aaron, in the back, seemed to know just as much about weapons as Flanker, prompting him to jokingly ask why they were even there. It was a fun lecture on a subject I know very little about; I liked the sniper scope that was passed around, though I thought it sort of funny that whenever anyone got to look through it, they inevitably used it to line up the crosshairs with poor Flankerâs head. Poor guy.
Next came the radio play auditions, something that I didnât take part in last year but was looking forward to this time. I got my form, and filled out my preferences (any part, think I can do a Scottish/British accent, no to cats and dogs) and had a nice chat with Kathy Pogge before I was called in to the audition. I ended up reading the Brooklyn part in the audition package, and even though I was one of the last, Greg Weisman told me that I was the first to read for that part so far. âReally,â I said, though I was thinking âcha-chingâ. So I read the part, and then read the part again from a farther distance, trying to use all my experience as a drill instructor in cadets to get the emoting across. Greg seemed impressed enough, told me I had done a good job, and so that was the end of that audition. I went outside, met with Stormy, Mercedes and Andrew again; it was getting late, and we anted to find some supper before the fast-approaching Opening Ceremonies.
I canât understand the difficulty we had in getting food. Everything we could find in the cafes nearby was closed or too expensive, and it took us nearly fifteen minutes to find a sandwich bar that had enough to sate us. We grabbed our food and raced back to the hotel; I had time to eat half of my salad and half of the sandwich before people got called in to the ball room for the opening gala. I sat with Stormy and told her most of what to expect, though I was surprised at how many were there â" the room was full, it seemed, much better than last years had been, and even Greg seemed surprised. I got to catch up with Wingless, Gabarus and a few other old and dear friends. Karine Charlebois, the con chair, got up and gave a speech, and that was when Maui and Abe Wintersmith got up and hijacked the convention for the Clan Olympics.
I had been signed up for this by Flanker, and I owe him big-time for that. I had been conscripted onto Team Canadian Body Massage, a WTF name if ever I heard one, though I must confess that we had one of the fuller esprit-de-corpsâ to be found. It was a neat excuse to wave my Acadian flag, anyway, and try to get it on the DVD, but any pretense at dignity was soon gone as I stood in front of the Gathering wearing a ripped T-shirt, having plastic balls stuffed down my front. And we didnât even win, even though we cheated fair and square. I had my suspicions that it was rigged, though I at least got to shout âAcadie!â at the DVD crew, and that made things somewhat okay. During the aftermath, Greg Weisman found me and told me that they had forgotten to get me to try the accents during the radio play auditions, and so that would have to be one of my first goals for the next day.
The opening ceremonies continued with a pitch for the 2005 Gathering in faraway Las Vegas, and they sold me completely and utterly, so long as Iâm not doing an overseas placement for med school in Africa or Southeast Asia. After that, Greg took the podium, talked about the DVD release, and then showed off the goods â" the pitch reels, the storyboards, the concepts for some of the thwarted spinoffs, and the voice recordings for the Team Atlantis episode âThe Lastâ, all of which Iâd seen and heard but which Stormy had not. She was delighted, and I was pleased that I knew what to expect. With that, the Opening ceremonies ended, and I went out to do the social thing that was, is, and ever shall be the centrepiece of my Gathering experiences. I totally skipped out on the Clan Olympics for it, leaving Flanker in the lurch and causing Maui no end of grief (she hates me still, as far as I can tell), but it couldnât be denied; it was time to see Montreal. Poor Stormy had to go to bed â" she was exhausted from the trip and wanted to make sure that she could attend the masquerade the following night. So Ellen, Allaine, Princess Alex and myself headed to the outside world, bound for Ellenâs old stamping grounds from her McGill days and some of the Italian restaurants there. There was quite a bit of talk about writing and baseball and inclement weather â" I had lived through my first hurricane last year, while Ellen and Allaine had spent some time together watching the Cubs play. It was a fine meal with good friends, and for the first time in months I was hearing fanfic writers talk about stories that had nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with giant transforming robots. Itâs enough to make me believe in God.
On the way back, Ellen and I talked a little bit about fanfic, and I ended up mentioning that I was thinking of giving it up again. I told her that I felt I wouldnât have enough time, that I wanted to spend the writing time I had on work that I could publish, that there wasnât enough time to get my name out there if I spent it working on fanfiction. In her infinite patience, she told me that was fine, but then told me that if I really wanted to write fanfic then I shouldnât stop myself, because forcing myself to write what I wasnât interested in was a sure recipe for dissatisfaction and frustration. (At least, that was the gist of it; the conversation extended over several city blocks, at least). I had to admit that the original, artsy-fartsy stuff I had been writing had been utterly less than satisfying, and that the most success Iâd had so far had been with poetry and with a story based loosely on my fanfics, and that the rest was shaping up to be elegantly written garbage. So I had been given something to think about as we got back to the hotel, something that carried on into a conversation with Ellen and Alex in Ellenâs hotel room as we waited for the blue mug-a-guest with Greg to start.
We showed up with a few minutes to spare and joined the crowd; Greg was a few minutes later than heâd been scheduled (though he hadnât entered Keith David territory yet), and as soon as he showed up, the questions began. The thing was, for a blue mug a guest, the questions were surprisingly tame. They were mostly about the DVD rather than any positions or fetishes, and most of the revelations (that I was there for) had to do with special features and such, not like the bombshells of gargoyle sexual orientation that had galvanized the conventions last year. But that was okay, and the theory is going that had Thom Adcox been there then things might have gotten raunchy quickly. Or pantsless. Or both.
At about one oâclock, Flanker and I left the mug-a-guest and went out to explore a bit more of Montreal by dark. We ended up at a small tavern just off of Ste. Catherine Street (another goal!) where I had a pint of Stella Artois and he had a cup of coffee, though something got lost in translation, because he said that he didnât want any âfancy coffeeâ and the waitress apparently took this to mean that he did, in fact, want fancy coffee. But things were soon settled, and we sat and talked about military matters, his panel earlier in the day, and a few of his experiences overseas in Bosnia through the Canadian reserves. It was a great conversation, one that will go down as one of the memorable moments of the Gathering for me; we came back to the hotel and parted ways, and then I stumbled upstairs to bed. Stormy, Mercedes and Andrew were sound asleep in the bed; I got a few pillows from the front desk, found a blanket in the closet, and made a nest on the floor to try and while away the few remaining hours of the night, my first in Montreal.
Saturday, August 7
I had spent much of the night shivering â" the fan was up too high and it was bloody cold, and I hadnât gotten much sleep until I had cranked âer up to Saharan comfort. Nevertheless, I woke up at seven that morning raring to go, running on five hours of sleep. I went to the hotel pool for a brief swim, and then got back to go to breakfast with Stormy, Mercedes and Andrew at the Deli Planet cafÃ© in the Gare Centrale. We caught up on a few old-times stories, and then got back to the hotel in order to go our separate ways again. I went back to the Radio Play auditions, both to hold a place for Stormy while she checked out the art room, and to follow instructions and give my impression of Scottish and British accents. It was in a different room than the day before, so I followed a crowd of people to find it, heading for the auditorium. Maui was greeting people as we walked in, and she looked delighted to see me. âWitless!â she said. âYouâre coming back to Clan Olympics!â
âWait a minute, this isnât the radio play auditions?â I asked.
She punched me in the shoulder and chased me away, calling me nasty names.
When I finally got to the St. Charles room for the auditions, Greg called me Brooklyn and the âcha-ching!â sound went off in my head again; nevertheless, I tried reading Hudsonâs lines for the accent tests, and they went a little less successfully. Now if there had been a character speaking in an Acadian accent, I would have nailed it, but alas, there was no Avalon Tour episode about Goliath and the others ending up in Bathurst and having to speak in chiac and play the spoons, so I was out of luck. Stormy did well, too; she told me that she had been asked to meow like a cat, and she just imitated our Smokey doing his morning dance for food and attention. It apparently impressed Greg, much more so than Smokey impresses us. This didnât take all the allotted time, so I snuck into the Thrill of the Chase panel being put on by Spacebabie, Ellen and Christine. It was pretty neat; loads of cool suggestions about chase scenes, a discussion of the movie âMementoâ, and plus I got to talk a little bit about âTrailer Park Boysâ (my new favourite show â" go and find it, it should be on Bravo down in the States and most of it is on DVD now). That panel ended up going a little bit over time, as all of the best writing ones often do.
We stupidly decided not to get lunch, and instead just milled about chatting with friends and acquaintances, waiting for 12:30 when the radio play cast was announced. Both Stormy and I were chosen, as was the third member of Team Canadian Body Massage, and I could just imagine Flanker and Maui breaking down into fits of wailing and gnashing of teeth at our inconstancy. Stormy and I went to the room where people were getting set up for the weapons display by the Society of Creative Anachronism; we sat with Flanker, though I was not in the mood for watching people play with wooden swords and say âverilyâ a lot, and just before the demo started I announced that I was making the quintessential Canadian journey â" the Timâs run. Flanker gave a me a toonie, and I set out up University Avenue to score some Tim Hortonâs coffee. As I was making my order, I ran into some American fans who had never been in a Tim Hortonâs before. âThey take credit cards, right?â asked one of them, staring in confusion at the price lists and the wide array of crullers and donuts.
âWhy wouldnât they take a credit card?â replied his friend, looking confident in her ability to buy bagels with plastic. I thought that I might perhaps watch the show, but I chickened out, and told them that every Tim Hortons in Canada that Iâd ever been to was cash only. They looked vaguely horrified, but I think in the end that things worked out well.
I came back with the coffees to the weapons demo, and Flanker and I watched for a while. To my surprise, it was quite interesting, and the guys doing the swordplay seemed pretty cool. I think that after spending so much time in the insular cliques of medical school, the geekiness threshold is a little lower once you get to a place like the Gathering; fortunately, I got better. In fact, I figured that if my friends at school hadnât already googled my name and found my fanfic, then the fact that I had a chance at being on the DVD in my Dalhousie Medicine T-shirt would probably knock me out of the geek closet forever. I ducked out of the weapons show at the first break and went to watch the auction, long enough to watch a bidding war for an animation cell that went up to $455; it was a nice battle, but then it was time for the radio play auditions. I met Stormy and started heading for St. Charles; on the way we ran into Carole Wagner, who told us that the DVD crew had been wanting to interview us as one of the couples who had been brought together by the show. So we ran downstairs to the ball room to see if they were there; sadly, they werenât, and so we went back up to the auditions.
Greg gave out the parts first thing; I was awarded the role of Brooklyn, while Stormy got to be Cagney. We ran through the lines, floored by the sheer brilliance of the other actors, especially the two playing Elisa and John Castaway. Stormy went all out on her Cagney lines; I did my best to reach into the Brooklyn lines, especially the âparting is such sweet sorrowâ; I concentrated as hard as I could on every ex-girlfriend Iâd ever had for that one, and I thought it went fine. The audition ended on a positive note, and as Stormy and I left the room, Carole found us again and told us that the DVD crew wanted to try again.
We went down, and gave a ten minute long interview of which Iâm sure theyâll use about five seconds. It wasnât that hard for either of us; Stormy is money under pressure, to coin a phrase, and Iâm so used to TV crews an audiences, not to mention that I think I was born with a silver tongue. We talked about how we had come to discover the show, how we had met, how long we had been (I ended up making a crack about my parentsâ frustration with the lack of an official wedding that I hope to every God and saint they cut from the footage) and then we gave each other a soft kiss on camera. It seemed sort of lame, but I have my doubts that theyâd have used the raunchy French-kiss that Iâd wanted to give her, so maybe itâs all for the best. At the end, we were asked why we thought Gargoyles was so unique; I asked if I could be elitist, and then went off on a spiel about how it was a show unafraid to show its intelligence, and how it depended on becoming involved with the characters as though they were real people. Ellen was watching us do this and she tells me that she thought it was eloquent; I have my doubts, but when it comes to TV, Iâm always a bit self-flagellating. After that it was time to run upstairs and get ready for the actual performance of the radio play. We had to wait for the DVD crew to arrive, but when they did, we tore right into the performance of âThe Journeyâ, uncut and uncensored. I got a few wild whoops of applause when I stood up and was introduced as Brooklyn, which is always a wicked boost for the ego; Iâm not sure how well I did with the lines, though, especially since the DVD crew came up and caught me on tape a few times. Itâs something Iâd do again, though; loads of fun and lots of laughs. I got Greg to autograph both my and Stormyâs scripts, and then we went to drop some things off in the hotel room before Stormy, Mercedes and I took off to find some food and explore the city.
We walked to the metro station at Victoria Square, pretty much just to say we took it, and we rode it two stations down to the Old Port, or Vieux-Montreal. We walked past a bunch of weddings in the public square and got a bit of the flavour of the place; after a short search for a nice restaurant, we ended up finding a fantastic place called Le Grill. Uncrowded and tucked away in a sort of alcove, with just enough shade to make it comfortable. We had a criminally good meal; I ate filet mignon and drank draft beer, and my companions ate just as well. After that we ended up walking up and down the streets looking for interesting things to see, and we came upon the medieval store that a few people had been talking about, Excalibor. (Is that French or just charmingly misspelled? Iâm not sure). But the store was magnificent, and almost instantly I found a multi-coloured raven mask that I had to have. Mercedes bought a mask, and she and Andrew both bought pendants; only Stormy escaped, and she bought something at the native art store. Vieux-Montreal is horrific as temptation for impulse buys. We also went to see art galleries and a few of the streetscapes, including the magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral. I had not spent a lot of time in Montreal before this, only a few hours spent waiting for connecting trains to Toronto or Moncton, so I was glad to see a bit more of the city than Gare Centrale. We ended up walking back to Chinatown, where I saw the Fu-Dogs at the gate on Rue Saint-Laurent, and we got to see it at a busier time than the day before. I also managed to see the street-sign for Rue Sainte-Urbain, or St. Urbain Street, the literary turf of one of my greatest heroes, the incomparable Mordecai Richler, famous for bringing that street to life in books like âThe Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitzâ and âSt. Urbainâs Horsemanâ. Had I time enough and world, Iâd have walked on that street for hours trying to retrace the steps, sort of like a Bloomsday pilgrimage in Dublin only with smoked-meat sandwiches; alas, time was getting late and we had to get to the hotel for the masquerade. Stormy had to finish her Quarryman costume, and Mercedes and I at least had masks now, though few clothes to go with it. We got back in time and got the costumes squared away, and then we went down to see what things would transpire.
The costumes were amazing, even though my wicked raven-mask robbed me of any semblance of peripheral vision; we enjoyed the masquerade and the cosplays even to the tune of the nurseâs reunion singing karaoke next door. There were plenty of great costumes â" and I swear to God Iâm dressing up as Bonavista next year â" and lots of hard work and effort. Poor Lynati, though â" her Ophelia costume was great, even if it was also late, but she at least got an honourable mention for it. I still have that stupid âIâm a Gargoyle Whoâs Afraid To Flyâ song stuck in my head, every so often. Aneurhythms are dangerous things.
There was a party afterward, but we didnât stay; a crowd of us went upstairs to the hotel bar and had a few drinks. Stormy stayed till midnight, and Andrew came and had a few rounds, all the more poignant since heâs not legal in his home country. I med Sadistic Cow and a few others, and Ellen and I started a few conversations about misbegotten golf games and classical music. The DVD crew came up again, though without their cameras; theyâd had a long day, too, I gather, an I canât blame them for wanting a drink.
About fifteen minutes before one oâclock, when the bar was scheduled to close, Ellen pointed out that Mr. David had just appeared. She would know; sheâd been to the banquet and had been enchanted by the stories that he had told, I turned around and saw Keith David sitting at the bar, and almost unbidden, I announced that I was buying him a drink, and then I was suddenly up and walking toward him. I think I was a little bit lit; I certainly was more courageous than I usually am, and that explains why I thought nothing of walking up the bar and saying âMr. David, if you donât mind, Iâd like the honour of buying this round.â
He looked at me in surprise, then flashed me a wide and pleasant smile. âThatâs very kind of you,â he said. I fished a twenty from my pocket and gave it to the bartender; he then gave Mr. David a double shot of Muscovskaya (I know because I kept the receipt; howâs that for a souvenir?) that earned me only three dollars in change. I was startled, but I didnât show it; I left the toonie as a tip, then ran back to my table, got my beer, and joined Keith David for a drink. We had a long and pleasant conversation about medicine (he caught just from the way I talked that Iâm interested in psychiatry and thinks that I should go for it). We talked about his interest in the ministry and his belief that acting is vocation as much as his job. We talked about good-and-evil, we talked about memorable roles, we talked about ideal Canadian cottage country and the beauty of Montreal. He bought the next round, and so I can say that Keith David bought me a pint of Sleemanâs with as straight a face as I can manage. After a while, Ellen came over and introduced herself and told him a story about cremation magazines and centrefolds, and Keith laughed so hard that he nearly spilled something. It was just an awesome evening, and when it ended and Keith had retired for the night, the bar lights came on and we went back downstairs. So not only had I met my goal of buying Keith David a drink, but we had actually closed the bar down with him. The only think that would have made it perfect would be if we were in Halifax and heâd bought me a pint of Keithâs Pale Ale, but that would have been asking too much.
We went downstairs for a few minutes and congratulated Greg on the birth of his nephew, and then Ellen, Kathy Pogge, Alex Garg and myself went up to Ellenâs room for a nightcap. It was another brilliant conversation â" Iâm running out of superlatives, here â" that touched on writing, on Freudian slips, on language, and on the fandom as a whole. We shared book recommendations and tales of reading, had a few finals beers; however, I couldnât help but notice that a few times I had been talking about writing fanfic in the present tense, and I wasnât sure how scary that was. I noticed Ellen shooting me a few knowing smiles about it, though. Sheâs wise, that one.
Finally, at quarter past three, I was on the verge of collapse and so I reluctantly took my leave. I went back downstairs to my room, still giddy at the events at the bar and the receipt in my pocket; that night, when I lay down in my blanket on the floor, I had no trouble at all finding sleep.
You know, I haven't, of course, read any of your fanfic, but you are a GREAT writer. I mean, heck, I was at the Gathering. These journals interest me, and I want to have them on the site for ... promotional reasons, but that was such a great read. I'm really dying to read part two.
For what it's worth, I agree with Ellen generally. Write to your passion. Particularly since the study of medicine is your full-time job, what little time (and I would think it would be quite little) that you have free to write, should be dedicated to what you really WANT to write. And if that's fanfiction, so be it.
But maybe instead of fanfiction OR the "artsy-fartsy stuff", you might try your hand at original genre stuff. Get artsy with your characters after you know them well. That's been my route, generally. I like to think both in the series and the comic I'm writing now, that I've gotten artsy here and there. Even artsy-fartsy. But I ususally find I meet with the most success and satisfaction by starting out writing clean, crisp and with as little artiface as possible.
Anyway, take that for what it's worth.
Hope to see you and Stormy in Valencia in June.
I want to thank the Con Staff as well as Maui and Abe Wintersmith for working their asses off. I was anticipating this event since NYC last year, and my expectations were far exceeded.
Pre-Con: NYC 03 was my first con. I chat once inawhile online with folks, but I dont think I was too well known. Once the con was over, I decided I should contribute and participate more, in return for such an awesome weekend. I'm too lazy to be staff or volunteer, but hosting a panel appealed to me. Alot of them are about writing or art. I have no business telling anyone in this fandom how to write or draw. But I know alot about fighting, so maybe I could explain combat to people. So I offered to host a panel about combat, focusing on modern firearms. I was embarrased to see my name listed on the guest section under Greg and Thom for so long, since the I wrote my bio in seven seconds. Over in Bosnia, I submitted a story for the Phoneix Gate Anthology. I thought it was a shot in the dark. It was accepted, and when I saw my name in the list of the greatest fan writers ever, I was totally floored. Then I spent more time editing the thing than I did writing it! I still think its one of the weaker stories in the book, but no one spat on me at the con, so I guess its not that bad.
Also, I ended up getting a room with Abe and BrooklynX, two guys I've never seen. Well BrookX briefly in NYC. And I offered to pick up Wingless and Gabarus/Titanic in Ottawa. Then I haphazardly packed the day before the con.
Thursday: This year I did the hard core nerd deal. One day early and one day late (not counting stay overs in Ottawa). We picked up Wingless and drove to the hotel with only a few extra turns. They checked in their room while I stalked the lobby for gargoyles fans. (alot of us really stand out. Ten year old see through t shirts of Goliath are a dead give away). I followed BrooklynX into an elevator after I heard him mumble to someone that he was looking for me. It was funny. I spent the rest of the day wandering around old montreal with Sarah The Great (she really is!) and Abe. Then I pretended to sleep while Maui and Abe discussed the clan olympics, for which I was the only guy to pre register a team.
Friday: After breakfeast and some schmoozing, I had to get ready for my panel. Sarah helped my lug my bag of show and tell items from my car to the room. I waited out the round robin folks and started to set up. Just when I though the dry wipe markers were the coolest thing ever, Greg (I forget you last name dude, sorry) comes out of nowhere with a projector that plugs straight into my laptop with no hassles. Amazing! I think my panel went pretty good. Folks were asking alot of good questions. No one wandered away, and I think I won the approval of the leather trench coat clan. (they didnt make me their cheif...). My panel went over time, which I think is a good sign, and I ended up taking questions in the hall outside.
Then the opening ceremonies started and Abe and Maui succesfully hijacked it. It was the first and last time the team I registered actually came together. 3/4 of us are PGA authors, 3/4 are hosting panels, 3/4 of us were in the radio play. I ended up with most of Montreal being on my team at one point. My team did pretty good, we ended up being in 2nd.
I only had one question for Greg W at blue mug a guest, which wasnt as blue as NYC. (Some of you are very imaginative and/or perverted. God Bless!)Then Whitbourne and I snuck out for a drink. He was witness to the horrible verbal abortion that is my attempt at French. We talked about basically everything until O'Dark stupid.
Saturday: I was pretty busy with the olympics (I had to borrow from Arno's team, then I made her our hostage. I love you Cleo!!) SCA thingie, more olympics and then the radio play, then the banquet (I registered back when I had money...) then the masquerade. Somewhere in there I squeezed in looking at all the awesome art. You people rock.
Everyone seemed to like my Renassaince Hunter costume. I must confess that its actually recycled parts from a Star Wars fan movie I made. I spent a few minutes sewing red slashes on the mask. I figured Keith would get a kick out of it when he mentioned being trained in stage fencing. I got 3rd place, which was very exciting. I ended up yaking all night with Robert and Denis.
Sunday: As if I dont need my ego fed anymore than it was already. All of the PGA authors and artists got to sit behind tables and sign people's copies. I dont think alot of people had a chance to read as far as mine, so I made it through unharmed. We all got good seats for Keith's Q&A. That was awesome. A copy of the anthology was passed around for Keith, we all signed it. The closing ceremonies were exciting. I got Keith to sign my Platoon DVD. Syrth claimed me as her last minute Con Boyfriend. I got all psyched for Vegas. I found out that hideous 'Dark Fighter' backpack I found in Croatia sold at the auction for 46bucks or something crazy.
Robert aranged a laser tag trip that was beyond succesful. I dont think I've ever played with over 30 people, let alone over 30 exceptional garg fans! It was crazy. I had no idea how light Jade Griffon was. I had to toss her from room to room so the green team couldnt shoot her.
Half of us invaded Reubens after the game and they were great, letting us order food and be crazy weirdos even though they were about to close. Back at the hotel I fired some quick sketches into some books. Anything Rivendale tells you is a filthy lie. I ended up in Maui's room playing some insane singing game while drawing silly pics for Beedoo and Arno.
Monday: The end of the con always sucks. All of the cool people you got to meet are leaving, and you're only going to see them a year from now, if you're lucky. Sigh.
I ruined Wingless' tradition of nightmarish trips home. I pulled up front, he hopped in and I drove him to his house without incident. I crashed overnight in Ottawa and got back on tuesday around dinner time. I will now commence staring at the calendar for next years con.
See, gang! THE GATHERING IS WAY FUN!!!
I also think it's interesting that the MORE involved you become as a fan, the more you get out of it. It's certainly true from my point of view.
Hope to see you in L.A. in June '06 for the Tenth Annual Gathering of the Gargoyles!
If you're reading these journals and are intrigued, check out...
It has been a great con. Of course, Iâm saying this as the con chair, so this might seem a little head-inflated to say, but with all the great comments and the thank yous me and my team have received, I canât deny it. It has been a great con.
Patrick arrived on Wednesday the 4th, and Iâd taken the week off starting that day to work on the con. When he got here, Iâd ran errands, Iâd been putting stuff together, making the special passes for the SCA people and one of our auctioneers, and finishing up my art for the con. We started putting the badges together, and had a dinner of burgers and corn on the cob with Adam. Laurean finished the programmes that evening, so Patrick and I headed out to Bureau en Gros to get them printed (good thing they were open 24 hours). The next morning was spent packing stuff up, and then we ran errands -- first we picked up the programmes, went to get spray paint for Patrickâs Puck boots, drove to pick up Rob and Cindy, swung by the airport to get Liz, Taylor and Laurean (and met Trishana there at the same time -- she took a taxi to the hotel from the airport) and we drove back home where we met up with Kaylee who had just gotten in.
The lot of us headed out for food -- Poutine was a must for many -- and then came back to my place to pack up the van. We fit as much stuff as we could in there, split the team between the van and Kayleeâs car, and drove to the hotel.We checked in to the con suite, met up with Shaun, and while everyone was unpacking the van and checking in to their rooms, and assembled con packets, Kaylee and I drove to my work place to pick up the office supplies Iâd ordered, and then drove to pick up the Anthologies. When we made our way back to the hotel, we got help unpacking her car, and I called Jennifer to make sure theyâd made it into the country this time (long story). When Kayleeâs car was emptied, we drove back to my place, picked up everything that was remaining (I packed then, I didnât have time before) and then we drove back to the hotel. We left the art panel stuff in the van and made our way to the con suite. Carol, Jennifer and Alan were there, and we relaxed a bit as Jennifer, Carol and Patrick set out to get Greg at the airport. When they all came back, we realized that what we thought would be an intimate outing with friends to dinner had become a huge group, and sadly had to cut down the party to pretty much staff (and future staff) only.
We tried to have dinner at the Jardin Nelson, but were too late and their kitchen were closed, so we found another restaurant on the Place Jacques Cartier for dinner. I had a cream of vegetables followed by Mussels with leaks, and MAN that was good. Cindy and I both had the same thing and kept commenting to each other how good it was.
Back at the hotel later that night (Greg kept refusing to take my sweater and was protective of me because Iâm pregnant ;)), we decided to convene in the con suite at 9AM, to go have breakfast and kick off the day.
Friday morning, we went for breakfast in a restaurant on McGill close to the hotel. Service was slow because there was only one person attending the whole restaurant, so we got back late from our breakfast meeting. People were gathered in the soon to be registration area, and we got things started as soon as we could. Apparently, one of our dealers had shown up, saw that we werenât there, got the âI donât know what youâre talking aboutâ from the hotel, got angry and left, and they didnât come back for the entire weekend. Thatâs too bad -- I was really looking forward to having them in our dealer room. Well, I can understand their frustration and the fact that we were half-an-hour late, but still... their loss.
Ian showed up. Registration got started, and while some were dealing with assembling the art panels (oh crap, weâre missing two elbow connections, here are the directions to Home Depot, Patrick), others were getting the rooms set up, and people started posting their art up. Someone grabbed me and said, âKarine, you should be hosting your panel nowâ and I was surprised at how fast noon came around! I ran downstairs to get the Perspective panel started. Small group, but they had good questions, and I hope I was clear in my explanations. I ended the panel early since everything had been adressed and no one had any more questions for me, and headed back up to the con suite to make sure everything was under control. I grabbed my art and headed down to the art stage to get my art set up. I barely had time to look at the art on the structure I had space on when I was told to hurry up and set up the VCR for Opening Ceremonies. I realized most that day that being Con Chair means everyone is running after you for answers about EVERYTHING. I zoomed back upstairs, got the VCR and the boom box with Shaun, tried to plug make the setup work, struggled with it until Rob replugged the wires properly and Patrick pressed the right button on the projector... and I went âdâoh.â as the thing started working. We let people in and started up Opening Ceremonies.
Opening Ceremonies are kind of a blur right now because my brain blanked as to what I had to say (I forgot my notes). I did announce that yes, I was indeed pregnant and answered the questions Iâd been answering all day, so that people would know *grins*. We all got a turn at the podium, and Jennifer gave Gorebash the Fan Guest of Honour award, which he fully deserved. Liz started talking about the contests, and got âinterruptedâ by the Clan Olympics for their first event. That was hilarious, took a while to settle, but the we got the stage back. After we were done with all we had to say, after G2005 did their announcement, we passed the podium to Greg, and he did his routine which none of us will ever tire of. We saw the videos, heard the stories, and also heard all about the DVD and its release date of DECEMBER 7TH, 2004!!! (Mark your calendars!).
When that was done, we went out to Jardin Nelson again, this time being early enough to have the kitchens open. We had a wonderful meal, chatted a lot with each other (GeneviÃ¨ve had joined us for dinner, it was great to see her again) and then hurried back to the hotel for the Blue Mug-a-Guest. The consuite was PACKED when I got there (I had to make a deposit)and Greg was entertaining the crowd with stories and answering questions. Adam (the hubby) showed up and I was really happy to see him. We chatted with other people, and Greg commented that this was the tamest Blue Mug ever. Iâve had con virgins comment to me about how friendly this convention was and how much fun they had being with the fans. When Greg decided that his bladder was going to burst at 2 in the morning, I decided to kick everybody out, and sent them to bed. Adam stayed the night. *sigh* snuggly hubby.
Saturday, the alarm went off at 8 AM. I snoozed a couple of times to snuggle with Adam, but then Matthieu decided to give me a powerful kick in the bladder which got me out of bed faster that you can say, âIâll be right backâ. By five to nine, I had the consuite door open for the staff, and they all showed up with surprising punctuality. We opted to eat breakfast in the hotel restaurant, and headed out to our panels/registration/activities from there. I was being interviewed for the DVD at 10:30 that morning, but they ran a little late as they started with Chris Rogers; then I chatted with them, answered their questions, and showed them the t-shirts from all the previous years for the DVD extras. They filmed them all. When noon came around, Iâd greeted some of my SCA people, and showed them the way to their demo room. I ran up to the consuite to get changes into my medieval dress, came back down for the SCA demo and the Auction, shared my time between both, took over for Siryn in the Auction when she had to go to the Radio Play rehearsal. Marc(<lj user=âsandman7â>) and <lj user=âbaronscartopâ> did a great job at the auction, and not only did they SELL everything, they sold it in record time. That was the smoothest, most effective auction weâve every had in this con. (THANK YOU BOTH!!!) When that was done, I went back up to change back into regular clothes to attend the Radio Play: Greg showed us âThe Journeyâ but in his own way. And it was fun. I really enjoyed it a lot.
When that was over, I went to get changed into a nice dress for the banquet. Carol and Patrick headed out to the airport to pick up Keith David. I invited people in, told them to leave a seat open at each table because Gregâs and Keithâs seats were raffled off. Well, food was served, and after the appetizer and salad, I visited each table to ask how everything was, and to let them know that the menus were keepsakes prepared by our enthusiastic hotel contact, Daniel Fortin. He was excited about the menus and had shown one to me earlier in the day, and I really appreciated that he did that. People were happy to hear that, and they were happy with the food too. Main course was served, and then desert, and still no news of Keith. We were getting worried, and finally Keith, Patrick and Carol showed up -- there had been like 8 landings in 15 minutes and thus Customs was bogged down for 2 hours. Their food was waiting for them and when they got in, we started the Q&A, and Keith was such a good sport about answering questions as he was eating! Keith David is absolutely loveable -- I canât find any other word to explain it. Heâs warm, friendly, huggy, kisses on the cheeks for me, I was overwhelmed by how much joy he emanates.
When food was done, people headed out to get dressed for the masquerade. I took advantage of the pregnant belly to dress up as Pregnant Fox from the episode âWalkaboutâ, and played the role of wrangler for the cosplayers; then I ran up to get Keith for him to judge the masquerade with Greg, Daniel Fortin, his partner, and Christine Morgan.
The masquerade was AMAZING. It was incredible to see so many costumes -- so many CANON costumes! Even the large majority of the staff was dressed up! It was a great show, and people were impressed. So was the DVD crew. When the masquerade was done, I turned on the boom bax at Mix 96 to at least get some music going as we tried to get the Karaoke working. We had a lot of people up on stage singing, despite our technical difficulties. I had to run out and attend to several things like the hotel rooms for Keith and paying off Gregâs room and and O_o when I got back to the room downstairs, there was a huge crowd on the dance floor preforming YMCA with lyrics going like, âYoung man, something something something, I said, Young man, something something somethingâ and EVERYONE was singing along, it was HILARIOUS! Later on, I slow-danced with Alan, and Greg made me boogie, with the twirls and the dips and everything. I had a wonderful time. When we had to leave the room at 2AM, a small group of us headed back to the con suite with Greg, and with no intention of sleeping before Greg had to leave. In the con suite, we laughed, joked, told stories of hilarious things among which was my bachelorette, basically all of us were drunk from lack of sleep. Greg finally decided that it was time to pack and take a shower before he left for his plane trip back home, so when everyone left, I cleaned up the room as much as I was able and then collapsed in bed for a big 2,5 hours.
The evil alarm clock woke me up at 8. Hiss. I snoozed. It rang again. I snoozed again. It rang again. I snarled, got up and took a shower. I opened the consuite door at 9 AM as usual. I was barely coherent as a small group of us convened, and a few of us went to get bagels and cream cheese at the CafÃ© DÃ©pÃ´t I usually have coffee at every weekday. (I work just a few blocks from the hotel). I got back to the hotel, and as Laurean started up the life drawing panel, I got Gregâs room finalized, and made the deposit on Keithâs room. Then I got my paper to get to the art panel and saw that Laurean had volunteered to pose since our model had slept in until I showed up... in any case, I got half-an-hour worth of life drawing that morning.
I got my Phoenix Gate Anthology signed, and then went out for lunch with Genn, FÃ©lix and Trishana. We went into the Place Bonaventure, and had chinese food. We chatted quickly and had good food, and then I ran back to the hotel to host my dynamic characters panel, which I think worked very well. I got picked up as a Scavenger hunt item by one of the clan olympics team, and it got them bonus points. Wheee! Then I went back in the art room to find that takedown had already happened, and I was incredibly impressed by that. Keith was doing his Mug-a-Guest and being the great public speaker he is, had a more than attentive audience hanging on his every word. I was told he wanted an Anthology, and would like it signed, so I went to all the artists and writers who were doing the book signing, and got them to sign the book for Keith. I gave that to him with a pin as a souvenir, and he was very flattered. Then I announced Closing Ceremonies. The DVD crew packed up, and headed home at that point. Iâm sure they got tons of great footage -- I canât wait to see what they do with it!
Closing Ceremonies were delayed by an hour, but they were concluded quickly enough, with announcing winners for Clan Olympics, the Art Show and the Video contest. G2005 did another speech, and then we started a line for autographs with Keith while G2005 was taking registrations in the back. Shaun wanted a picture of me with Keith, and that man wrapped me in his arms for the picture, making sure he gave a good fatherly rub on my tummy and talked to Matthieu, too. wow.
When all that was done, the staff was rushed upstairs for an emergency meeting, and we learned quickly that it was a pretext to get us all in the consuite for the surprise that had been layed out for us. Scott Rogoff (Abram Wintersmith) had prepared a display of Godiva Chocolates, mints and alcohol for the staff along with a very sweet thank you card that was just beautiful, and very appreciated. Ian had been sent to buy booze as well, and we were ready to start up our Dead Dog party. And party we did. woot. I will save party notes for some other post.
Anyways, I got to bed fairly early considering, and by 11:30 I was out like a light. Then Adam called and we chatted for a while,and then I fell asleep again. Alarm clock went off and I snoozed once, then fell asleep over its muisic until I woke with a start, thinking âI need to clean this room and empty it before 10AM!!!â
Thankfully, I had help.
We got the truck packed and people in the lobby were purchasing their La Ronde tickets from the concierge, at the low price of 28 dollars instead of 34 at the park. I purchased my ticket at the park, being the pregnant lady with the no rides pass.
Man, we didnât last very long. We walked around the park, did some rides. Well, technically, I was allowed on the Grande Roue (ferris wheel), the minirail and the Spirale (a sightseeing ride up a tower at 312 feet off the ground), but not anything else, so I waited in line with friends, we chatted, had fun, and then I walked through and waited at the exit for them to do the ride. We went on two of the three ridesI was allowed on. Iâll talk more about La Ronde when Iâm more coherent -- itâs getting late now.
Patrick, Laurean and me got the van from the hotel and headed back to my place, where Patrick dropped us off and we emptied the van; then we collapsed, and eventually sent Patrick on his way back to the hotel once rush hour trafic had died down. Laurean and I tried to nap, but our brains were in overdrive, so we pretty much got up later and cooked up some corn on the cob while waiting for Adam to bring us sushi. The three of us shared sushi and chatted, and then had an early night. We slept very well.
All in all... a great con, at least from what Iâve been told and from how much fun I have had, regardless of lack of sleep.Would I do it again, be con chair? Talk to me in a month... when I actually come down from the high. Iâm tired, but I had a great time.
I still marvel at all that you did while "in the family way". I was exhausted just watching you, Karine. It's truly gladdening to me that the con chair is still able to have fun, despite all the hard work.
It was a great con. I know it's nearly two years later, but give yourself another pat on the back!
I wasn't there, but I'll post anyway because I am a fan and I share in your fun. :)
Friday the 6th
It started out like any other day. I got up, went to work and came home. The First thing I did was go on the computer to find out how people were fairing, making it to Montreal.
I found out about the GARG DVD and so I posted that in the Comment room at Station 8.
I read more posts, and then logged off.
Saturday the 7th:
I went online to find out anymore information. There was little info, but I knew they were all having a fun time.
Latter that day I read one of Todd's rambles on Shadows of the Past that I haddn't read the day before. I went out that night with ftiends, but all I could think about was 12/7...
Sunday the 8th:
I knew things were going to wrap up in Mount Royal, so I went on line. There was little more posted since Saturday, so I tried the Disney Website to see if Gargoyles was confirmed or not (it wasn't), but I still rejoiced at the thought of the 12/7 release date.
I went to bed that night with more great thoughts of the series and still awaited the plethera of gathering journals to pour in.
That is all I will say.
Actually this is cool too. Next year I want more non-Gathering Journals!
Con Report, 2004:
August 6th Julie and I wandered through the underground mall-thingy and found breakfast. The place we ordered from, The Cedar Grill, had very small bagels. Not even half the size of real bagels. Weirdoes. Anyway, then we spent hours wandering around Montreal looking for an arcade. We never found one, and since the registration desk was supposed to open at 10am, we headed back to the hotel. Of course registration did not open on time, but we did finally get our badges, schedules and shirts.
At Noon I hosted the "Con Virgin 101" panel. Not many people showed up, and the crowd was a little amorphous as people came and went. Still, we managed to kill time for an hour, before Julie and I decided to go swimming. The pool was heated, but not quite heated enough. We spent a half hour shivering before finally leaving. At that point I spent a lot of time running around looking for people- Kyffin, Ethan, Liz, Ian, Taylor, trying to get everyone settled into their rooms. Then Ethan, Kyffin, Julie and I practiced my skit for the cosplay. I also begged Julie, Kyffin and Karlyl to sign up for the clan olympics with me, and Taylor drew a Green Dragon sign for us to use during events.
Opening Ceremonies were much of the usual, though the first clan olympics event was set purposely to disrupt the ceremonies. Half of each team stood at the back of the room near a large bin of plastic balls. One person from each team stood at the front of the room. One person was the runner. The people in the back were supposed to bring balls to the runner, who then ran them to the person at the front and stuffed the balls into the T-shirt that the leaders were wearing. Kyffin and Julie had a good idea- they stole a blanket and were trying to load a bunch of balls in it for Karlyl to take to me. Alas, the plot was foiled by the other teams, who never let Julie and Kyffin fill the blanket. So Karlyl, providing much amusement to the onlooking staff, looked around helplessly as Kyffin and Julie were nowhere to be seen. Our team tied for last place, and was saved only because we managed to find a BONUS BALL.
Greg went through his usual shpeel, which we all love to hear. Then after opening ceremonies Liz, Taylor, Julie, Karlyl, Kyffin, Ethan and I went out for dinner. (Someone asked us if we were going out to the Crepes place with the staff. "No, we weren't invited." I replied.) We went to Le Marche, which was a neat concept, but poorly executed. The restaurant was set up like an open market, where you could wander from stall to stall and take whatever food you wanted. The selection was amazing, and the food was very good, however the place was so poorly designed that (as Kyffin put it) "The only thing harder than finding what you want, is getting someone to actually serve it to you once you've found it." Dinner was good and not too expensive though, so all was well in the end. We then had to be back for the next clan olympics event: A shot in the dark. There were targets set up on chairs, and we had to hit the targets with kooshballs to earn points. Again, the only reason we stayed in the game was due to BONUS POINTS, because another team was eliminated, and we're still dead last. By that point we were all so totally exhausted (even having fallen asleep waiting for our turn at the event) we all just went to bed.
August 7th started with a shower, and a review of Friday's events. Then Julie, Kyffin and I went to Tim Horton's for breakfast. At 10am we had to participate in the Clan Olympics. The event was Trivia Torture. In the interest of not being bitter, let's just say the "evil spirits" (Teams that had already been eliminated, but still got to participate by messing with the game) decided to help all the other teams, and screw us over, therefore kicking us out of the olympics since we were /already/ in last place. That didn't sound too bitter, did it?
Julie, Amina, Kyffin and I went out to find DDR. This time I was armed with a map from the concierge. The first two places he'd marked down were both empty buildings, but the third (the Pepsi Forum) finally turned up DDR. 7th mix and Extreme, I played several times, my feet hate me, I'm very happy. We took the bus back to the hotel and watched the Radio Play (The Journey).
After the Radio Play I got ready for dinner. Being that I wasn't going to wear any makeup, this was very easy. While waiting outside the banquet hall I had a few opportunities to get on camera (In case you didn't know, Disney had a film crew here all weekend, making a documentary on the con for the Gargoyles DVD, due out December 7th 2004!!) So hopefully *one* shot at least will make it on to the DVD. Dinner was good, though I don't know that it was worth the $55CAD price tag. The food may cost that much, but I didn't enjoy it that much. Karine at first announced that Keith David would be sitting at our table. Then it changed to Greg. I love Greg, but Liz was really looking forward to Keith David, so she was disappointed. However we had a great conversation with Greg all night, while Keith didn't show up til after dinner.
Julie, Kyffin and I practiced our skit several times, then performed it for Karlyl. She laughed her ass off, so we knew we had a winner. We were the first performers in the Cosplay, and people loved the show. Despite the fact that the lights did not turn down the way we needed them to, so we didn't quite get the effect we wanted. Ah well. There were great costumes this year, I took lots of photos, which are below. We won honorable mention for cosplay.. not that there was any competition. There was one staff cosplay, and staff is not eligible to win. Then the only other cosplayer won Best of Show because his costume and play were fantastic. So really, we got last place ;P
Karaoke and Dancing followed, though not really a lot of dancing. I had to lay down for a while because I was feeling ill. I went to the bar to get something to settle my stomach. A guy, Nate, came over and started hitting on me, and wouldn't let me go back down to the convention. Once I left, he even came down to the convention to see what it was about (which is fine because I told him he could). Luckily he left shortly, I think we were too weird for him.
I followed Liz upstairs and just socialized with Liz, Taylor, Karlyl and Julie. Taylor is fantastic, he really is. I'm so glad he came this year, I hope I get to see him again soon. We did wander up to the con suite for a while, but by 4am we were so tired, we decided to crash.
August 8th I did not want to get up this morning. But by about 10am everyone else was stirring, so I decided to get ready too. Julie and I spent a long time, again, looking for food. We finally found a Denny's-like place and asked for our food to go, and picked up breakfast for Liz on the way back. I just hung out in the dealer's room, signing the Phoenix Gate Anthology. It was weird, I felt like someone important or something :D
I hung out in the dealer's room for a while, signing the PGA and then listening to Keith David. Closing ceremonies came all too soon. Much more hanging out was done, waiting for dinner. I've also registered for next year's con, and volunteered to be the schedule coordinator. We had closing ceremonies, then the first official meeting of the Gargoyles Fans .Org corporation. I took minutes. The meeting ran for an hour, a lot was decided. I hopefully impressed Chris enough that I'll be allowed to do minutes and newsletters for the corporation (as secretary perhaps?).
Everyone not in the meeting left for dinner, so Ethan, Julie and I went to the same restaurant from which we'd gotten breakfast. The food was fantastic. When we got back from dinner we did a lot of goofing off, talking, playing video games and being silly. That's my favorite thing about the gathering- just hanging out with my friends.
August 9th At this point everyone is wholly exhausted, since we stayed up til the wee hours of the morning. Still, knowing that we had to be in the hotel lobby for the La Ronde trip by 10am, we all woke up early to get ready. Flanker, Ian, Liz, Julie, Karlyl and I wandered down to the underground mall and had tea cakes and other pastries. Flanker had a very large cup of coffee, which woke him up more by burning his tongue and less by caffeine :D And since few things at the con ever start on time, we didn't actually get out of the hotel until something like a quarter to 11.
What can I say about La Ronde? It's an amusement park. We rode a few coasters- the Monster was great. It was the world's largest wooden coaster at the time of it's construction, though whether or not that is still true is up for grabs. What a great, great coaster. We also rode the Dragon, the world's cheesiest and silliest coaster. It was amusing for the sake of it's lameness. Liz and I played DDR a few times. By the end of the day it was pretty much just Liz, Julie, Taylor, Ian and I in a group, and we had a great time with each other. Ian had to go home after our day, we were sad to see him go. We wanted to have dinner at La Marche, but despite the fact that they told the concierge they were open til midnight, their doors were locked at 10 when we got there. Dorks. We ended up eating at Tim Horton's, AGAIN. Not that I mind the sandwiches, which are very good. I just seemed to spend a lot of time there this weekend. I kept trying to go to sleep, but with the girls and Taylor chatting in the room, I kept wanting to join in. I didn't want the weekend to end. Liz did a con badge for me, YAY!
Link for photos: http://www.coloden.com/sapphire/g2004.html
It's good to hear about what went on Sunday and Monday, since in 2004, I had to take off VERY EARLY Sunday morning in order to be home in time for my daughter's birthday.