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Andrea "Elisa Maza" Zucconi writes...

Hi Greg,

Alrighty, another long, long con report for you... :)

Thursday, August 5, 2004

Ok, early morning. Brrr. We flew from our home in Melbourne, FL, to Atlanta, GA. While we were trying to figure out which gate they wanted us at, we ran into Sapphire (Kelly Creighton), and were immediately in Gathering-mode. Whee! The three of us were able to find the right gate, and thus we had a fun flight with Sapphire drawing cartoons for us and the flight attendant, who was very grateful. My personal favourite was and still is the ‘for the lavatory â€" how do I put this â€" er, liquids only, please!’ scene.

Montreal airport immediately reminded me a lot of Paris, as in very crowded and smokey. After a few questionmarks popped out of our heads, we found the right bus and headed to the hotel while Sapphire showed us her video collection from ‘City of Heroes’.

Then there we were, and met up with Liz, Trishana, Taylor and Julie. The seven of us went in search of food â€" Lix was convinced there was a ‘glass door that leads to an underground market in the basement of the hotel’. Okaaay… no such thing, but we did find a subway station a few blocks away, and since we found food there we were satisfied and happy so we agreed to let the subway station be Liz’ mysterious underground market.

Word got around that everyone was invited to a dinner that night, so we waited until 9:00, at which point someone said the dinner was giong to be at 10:00 â€" so we waited and starved, and as 10:00 rolled around it turned out the dinner was ‘staff only’ and we were to go hungry. Wah.

Friday, August 6, 2004

The day started with getting our registration packets and setting up the art show. We tried the breakfeast at the hotel bistro â€" which lead us to provide anyone tempted to try the same with a passionate warning against it. French cooking? Nah.

I went to Karine’s panel on perspective. It’s not that I don’t know how to do it, but I always enjoy the company of all the many other artists at the Gathering, and I am always interested in how others do things. You always learn something.

After that, we checked out the voice acting seminar, where Greg was left alone because Keith David hadn’t made it to Canada yet from his shoot in Miami. But hey, Greg likes the attention, and let’s face it, we are suckers for the man. ;)

Tony headed to the radio play auditions, while I went to Cindy’s costuming seminar. Never miss a chance to listen to a professional. Now I know how to porperly wash wigs. Yay!

We went out to find an accessory we needed for our costumes, which made us slightly late for the opening ceremonies (oops…). But luckily we didn’t miss much, and we got to enjoy Greg’s annual shpeel to the fullest. By now, every one knows the best lines (‘It’s better than Barney!’), and Greg gladly plays off of his audience. There were some new pieces in the show, so that was cool.

We went in search for some actual food, but all we could come up with was McDonalds… hee hee… ;)

Later that night a lot of people crammed into the Con Suite for the blue mug-a-guest with Greg. It was pretty much the least blue mugging we’ve ever had, but that was okay. It was an aquamarineish-mugging. We had fun. And were very tired when we finally stopped at about 1:30 am. Who needs sleep at the Gathering?? Defenders of the night and so forth.

Saturday, August 7, 2004

Saturday! We ditched the bistro and stuk with our cheese and snack cakes instead.

While Tony was in the radio play rehearsals, I watched the auction and sat on my hands real tight so as not to tempt myself. There was a good amount of money raised for charity. Even though I have to say, the auction has somewhat diminished over the last few years. Back in 1999, it was a huge deal, with lots of yelling and laughing. Maybe we can give it more attention in the future.

The radio play was very cool â€" it was Greg’s uncut version of ‘The Journey’. Some of these people really would make good voice actors. A very convincing Cagney, whoever you were! Cute.

A special thanks to Greg for making my day on Saturday by saying my Elisa-painting was ‘amazing’. It means a lot.

After the radio play it was time to get ready for the banquet. It is something of a tradition to dress up for the banquet, so I did. I mostly use the Gathering to show off the stuff I never get to wear otherwise! J/K. Well no, I do. In the hall, the film crew filmed us! Yay! They told us to tell our ‘Why we are married because of Gargoyles’ story to Sapphire (like she hasn’t heard it before ;)), and she told us her ‘How Gargoyles got me through High School’ story. We’ve heard each other’s stories, but you know what, we don’t mind telling and hearing them again. It makes us notice that bond that this fandom shares. It’s like being comfortably married for five years, and then your spouse says or does something that reminds you with a happy pang of why you fell in love with them in the first place. I love our fandom. We are indeed somewhat of a family.

We were lucky enough to have Greg sit at our table, even though poor Liz was disappointed it wasn’t Keith David, we had a great conversation with him all the way through an excellent dinner.

Finally, Keith David showed up, and even though he was served the food he never got to eat much as he was answering questions. He is a really smart and deep individual, and not afraid of sharing his thoughts with us, which we really appreciate.

Time to get into costume! Tony and I went as Tony Dracon and ‘Bad’ Elisa from the episode ‘Protection’. As a gimmick when we walked on stage to show off, we handed the judges a jar of jalapena peppers, which were so nicely set up through Keith’s monologue earlier! Thanks Keith! J The ball was awesome, great costumes and good times. I had to change before the dance though, my Bad-Elisa-top was a little dangerous to wear while moving.

Thank you so much Taylor for singing the ‘Love Boat’ song (that’s right, it’ll be written here for eternity)! That was the coolest! J

As the night grew late, people dwindeld to remove their gallons of body paint and fall into bed. However, there was a small group of people, including us and Greg Weisman, who were just not getting tired. So our little group ended up in the Con Suite, chatting and munching on random treats and having a grand time. Greg had to leave at 6:00 Sunday morning to be home in time for his daughter’s birthday. His original plan was to go to bed, but as 4:00 passed us by, he decided to just skip the sleep. Who needs it. Sometime after the point we were so sleepy-drunk we laughed histerically at anything (canadian picasso-mimes, chickens, ans Senior Tricordio) Greg had to leave to pack, and we finally went to bed. Thank you Greg for being so in touch with this fandom. You are the best, and we had a great time.

Sunday, August 8, 2004

Needless to say we didn’t get up early on Sunday. I gathered up my art show pieces that hadn’t been for sale (or hadn’t sold), and then we went to the closing ceremonies.

I actually got a bunch of awards for my piccies! Hurray! Seriously - it might just be a little ribbon from a bunch of friends, but you know what, it means a lot to an artist. We have a hard time finding jobs, a harder time finding satisfying jobs, or praise. At the Gathering, we support each other, and it helps. Thanks so much to anyone who voted for my artwork, and congratulations to all the other artists â€" you are all awesome.

After another short visit to the Con Suite, we joined a group and went to play laser tag and have pizza. And again, it was late, but this time we actually went to bed shortly before midnight. Whoohoo.

Monday, August 9, 2004

Homeward bound. Home is good, but we do miss the family that the fandom has evolved into. Thank you all for a great Con, and see you next year in Vegas!

Greg responds...

Andrea - As I seem to recall, you still owe me a good color xerox of that Elisa painting... ;)

Also aren't you two supposed to renew your vows at the Gathering one of these years...?

Response recorded on March 21, 2006