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RIPOSTES 2006-04 (Apr)

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Kaylle writes...

Kaylle's G2004 Journal (Part 2 of 2)

[Again, for the illustrated version, visit www.ladyavalon.com/gathering/gathering01.htm ]


Annie and I got up “early” Saturday morning and headed downstairs to audition for the Radio Play. We were some of the first people to arrive, so we were at the head of the line. I was a little nervous about the audition, but I’ve always been more comfortable reading and voice-acting than acting on stage, so it wasn’t too bad. I didn’t have the nerve to try growling or snarling in public, though, so I shied away from the gargoyle parts in the audition scripts. I read some of Elisa’s lines from an old draft of Awakenings, and they were pretty close to the final draft but not exactly, which made it easier to read them by myself instead of trying to mimic Salli’s performance.

After that we wandered out into Montreal and found a patisserie somewhere to have breakfast. I dropped part of my scone on the ground, but then we had lots of free avian entertainment. We then set out in search of a drug store and denture cream. I’d bought some fangs for my costume back in Ohio, and the guy at the costume store suggested using Fixodent to hold them, but I’d forgotten to get some. We didn’t have much luck, but eventually we found a tourism office and asked directions. The attendant was very helpful and gave us a map and directions to a drug store in Chinatown. We bought some denture cream and headed back to the hotel.

We headed back up to our room to work on our wings. Last year I’d had this idea that I could make wings that could be caped appropriately but that would spring open when they were released, the way the gargoyles do when they go into battle-mode. We’d been working on them off and on for months, trying different constructions, and we still weren’t done. I spent several hours sewing in the car on Friday, attaching the claws at the tips of the wings and the clasps to hold them shut. We hadn’t tried them on since, so we weren’t positive the clasps were in the right places, and we still had some problems with the straps to hold them on. The maid was in the bathroom, and we didn’t really want to interrupt her, but we only had a little time in between activities so we decided to just stay out of her way as best we could. (We tried to tell her not to bother making the beds, etc, but she didn’t speak any English). So we tried to be unobtrusive in the back of the room, me in my leotard with my five-foot wingspan and Annie trying to make the wings stay flat on my back ... Eventually we decided we could probably use the brute force method and tie them on with the loads of extra fabric we’d brought with us.

We gave up and went downstairs to check on the Radio Play. We’d both been cast, but we wouldn’t know who we were playing until the auditions. So we decided to poke our heads into the auction, which was just starting. I didn’t intend to stay, knowing I had no money to play with, but it was more fun than I expected watching us all go crazy for obscure Gargoyles merchandise. (The auctioneers were really fun, and they egged us on with reminders that the bids were all in Canadian dollars. “They’re practically worthless!”) I bid on a few little things and then discovered they had one of the Disney pins. I’d been looking for one of those since June, when I went down to Disney World and learned about pin trading. I had decided to get pins for the things I really love to display on my backpack at school, and the only one I was still missing was Gargoyles, but no one seemed to have those anymore. I was determined to win the one in the auction, and I spent more than I intended to, but I did win. Of course, once I realized it was still sealed in the packaging I decided I couldn’t possibly put it on my backpack and have it lost or stolen. So now I’m back on the market...

After the auction we rushed to the Radio Play auditions. I was cast as Fox and Annie was Angela. (We were a little disappointed that Keith wouldn’t make it, but the cast was great and we had a lot of fun even without him. The guys that played Vinnie and Jon Castaway stole the show, but everyone was good. And it was fun to have such a large, diverse cast! I would definitely try out again next year. Afterwards, I got Greg to sign my script and the oversized promo card from the series one trading cards.

Annie and I ran upstairs, changed our clothes, and then headed to mass at the Basilique de Notre Dame. The church was beautiful, although my pictures don’t do it justice. The downside was that the entire mass was in French. Annie and I both took Spanish in high school, so the service was completely incomprehensible to us. (I tried to keep track of where we were in the service, but I’m Lutheran so I don’t know the structure of Catholic mass particularly well anyway, except where it’s similar to the Lutheran service. At any rate, they seemed to have a few extra sections in there that I didn’t recognize, so I got lost pretty quickly.) The only parts I could recognize were the creed and the Lord’s Prayer, just from the rhythm of the words. I was proud of myself just for staying awake.

After mass, we rushed back to the hotel and went to the banquet. We sat with Alan and Carolyn, our friends from MGT3K, Brenda/Kaylee, and two other people whose names, I’m sorry to admit, I’ve forgotten. At any rate, we all had a lot of fun talking and laughing and making fun of various foods. We had some vegetables shaped like Wisconsin and Yoda, some dancing silverware, and a few brainteaser games before the meal was over.

Keith arrived towards the end of the banquet and was a great sport about answering questions while he ate dinner. I was taken aback by how down-to-earth and friendly he was. (Not that I expected him to be unfriendly, just that, like Greg, he wasn’t an aloof guest-of-honor, he was a friend). I could have sat there all night listening to the questions and answers, but we had less than an hour to get ready for the masquerade, so Annie and I beat a hasty retreat to our room.

Annie was going as Fox, so her costume was fairly simple to assemble. That meant she could help me get mine together, which was good because mine was a lot more elaborate. Silver leotard, silver makeup, pointed ears, skirt, bodice, belt, shoes, jewelry... and wings. (The denture cream ended up being completely ineffective, so I had to skip the fangs). Annie helped me paint my face, neck and shoulders and then we started wrestling with the wings. When we were done, my shoulders were killing me but the wings were staying on.

I finished painting my arms and legs while Annie got dressed and painted on her fox tattoo. We’d dyed her hair Thursday night, but it still didn’t come out really red. I liked the costume anyway; she looked so sophisticated in her gown and long gloves.

I ran out of makeup (despite the fact that a stick was supposed to be enough to do five or six faces, and I’d bought two of them) so my hands and arms ended up a little spotty, but it was the best I could do. By this point we were already half an hour late, so we took a few quick pictures and ran downstairs.

We'd had to come up with a name for me on my entry form (I was tempted to put "our kind don't have names" but I decided being a smart-aleck wouldn't win me very many points). I had originally planned to go as Demona, but I’d gotten some very cool silver fabric on clearance, and silver had been a color that was readily available in both makeup and dye. So I’d become “generic silver gargoyle with spring-loaded wings,” and I didn’t have a name picked out. We finally settled on Argenta, because we thought we remembered argentum or something similar was Latin for silver (turns out, luckily, we were right).

When we got out of the elevator on the convention level, there were a bunch of people waiting outside the door. “You! Are you in the masquerade? Argenta? You’re on right now!” I had been under the impression that the masquerade was a party, a masked ball. It turned out it was more like a fashion show. And my name had *just* been called. So I ran onstage and showed off my costume for the judges. I walked nervously across with the wings folded down, flicked them open (Annie claims people cheered for that, but I honestly don't remember anything), walked up to the judges and asked if I was done yet. By now I was feeling more than a little foolish to have driven 13 hours and painted myself silver! They said no, I had to "strut" (amid catcalls from the judges, which was amusing and rather flattering!). So I walked back and forth for a while with as much attitude as I could muster and then retreated to a chair on the side of the stage.

I was sorry I’d given the camera to Annie, because it meant I couldn’t take any pictures of the rest of the costumes, but after the masquerade we had a brief intermission to take pictures while the judges voted. We reconvened after 15 minutes for the awards. There were several of them, not all of which I remember. Becca Morgan, who looked really great as Bronx, won for best junior costume. Revel won the Thom Adcox Memorial award; not having met Thom, I’m not sure what that entails, but I imagine it has something to do with losing your pants... Korul’s costume was amazing, and predictably won Best of Show (I’m only sorry I didn’t see his “Rubber Ducky” performance!).

I won 1st prize for an original character, which floored me, but I was flattered and happy and Annie was thrilled (“We didn’t spend the last three weeks building spring-loaded wings for nothing!”). I got a lot of compliments on my wings and costume, and Annie got a lot of remarks on her Eye of Odin necklace. I had my picture taken with Greg and Keith, who were both really wonderful and complimented me on the costume. I was really surprised that Keith didn’t mind having his picture taken while holding the baby; I couldn’t imagine any other celebrity who wouldn’t go crazy at the idea of having his children photographed. But his whole family was down in the ballroom, playing and listening to the karaoke and having a good time, and Keith himself sang for us, so this was just another demonstration of how friendly and comfortable he was. (And it was a thrill to hear him sing... wow, wouldn’t the Gargoyles: The Musical episode have been fun?)

Annie and I were downright exhausted at this point, and as much as we love karaoke we were mindful of the fact that we had a 13 hour drive ahead of us the next day. So we decided to call it a night and retreated back upstairs. It was surprisingly easy to shower and get off all the silver paint (for which I was incredibly grateful!), and then I collapsed into bed.


I had to work on Monday and Annie had class, so we had to head home Sunday. I was sorry to miss the third day’s events, but I was glad to come at all, so I was willing to make some compromises. We got up at 8:30 (we thought it was 9:30, actually, due to some weird alarm clock malfunction that occurred sometime in the middle of the night), packed up our huge mess of costumes and fabric and makeup, and sneaked out to our car before the bellhops could catch us. When we went back in to check out, there were a few other con goers in the lobby, but I think most people were still sleeping. We stopped at the dealers’ room just to see if anything was open yet, but it wasn’t, so we headed back down to our car and said goodbye to the Gathering 2004.

I drove us to the border and then Annie took over. It was only slightly more difficult to get back into the US; the customs officer did ask to see our driver’s licenses and then asked us how we knew each other. We were tempted to tell him Annie was smuggling me over the border as a mail order bride, but we decided getting arrested wasn’t such a great idea so we told the truth (we met in high school) and he let us through.

After that the trip was mostly uneventful. I got out my laptop and set up some fanfic to convert to audio to take to work with me the next day; Merlin Missy’s All Through The Night, since I had it on my hard drive (one of the best crossovers I’ve ever read, and I don’t know anything about half the shows involved!). I then proceeded to talk Annie’s ear off in an effort to stay awake, waxing philosophical about all things Gargoyles, but eventually I gave up and took a little nap. We saw a car somewhere in New York with the license plate IMBATMAN, and I tried to take his picture but he was getting off the freeway and I couldn’t catch him.

We got back to Columbus safely around 10:30 that night, triumphant that once again one of our harebrained schemes had panned out, and already planning next year’s trip to Vegas. Thanks to everyone for making our first Gathering such a great experience, and a *big* thank you to the con staff for putting it all together!

See you all next year!

Greg responds...

It's fun to join the Gathering Players, isn't it? See folks, you just gotta audition for that Radio Play!

Response recorded on April 27, 2006

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