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Gathering Of The Gargoyles 2004
This year was my first convention, and I was almost unable to attend because of my work and a very limited budget. Still, I got lucky enough to get a week off and the money problem was resolved by staying at my sister who lives in Montreal (a few hours away from my home in Quebec city).
I got to the Delta shrotly before noon. At first, I was a bit anxious at being there, since I didn't know anybody and hadn't been involved with the fandom at all except for posting a few questions on Ask Greg a year ago. That, plus being a shy guy who has problem feeling comfortable with strangers, made me afraid of spending the whole con alone.
I began by going to the Con Virgin 101 seminar. There was only about five or six of us, but it was still fun. I was very hesitant to speak at first because my spoken english isn't all that hot, so jumping into a conversation is kinda hard. Still, I met a few people, got their business card and got a bit reassured about the other people at the con.
I then decided to go to the voice seminar with Greg. I was disappointed at first that Keith couldn't make it, but that didn't last long once Greg started talking. Man, I had no idea he was this young! Or at least, that he acted so casual around us fans. Reading his responses on Ask Greg for years made me build a very different mental image of himself, but I like the real version better :). He gave a lot of good tips about speed, following other people's cues and the importance of interplay between voice actors. I never realized just how important finding the character's motivation behing each line was. There were several readings by fans, from Awakenings Part V, MIA and Thrill of the Hunt.
After that, I took it upon myself to take part in the radio play audition, despite being scared like all hell of speaking in front of so many people. We waited in line for a while until we could get scripts, and I started talking to a guy named Michael next to me. He was really nice and very good with his voice, and made me a bit more comfortable talking to people despite my horrible accent. The documentary makers from Disney then stopped in front of us and asked us to play our part. When they got to me, I think I must have stayed there, laughing nervously for about aminute before taking the plunge and reading the part of Lexington. That part better be on the DVD after all the stress they put me through :). Then I finally got to audition before Greg, and he made me repeat to whole thing from the back of the room with great anger, and I sounded a lot better, because my voice tends to break up when I'm speaking too softly. I had a lot of chances to be picked up, since there were a lot of parts available this year.
I then headed to the dealers room and bought the convention t-shirt (it'd so cute, it'S got a mounty beaver on the back of the con mascot!) and the Phoenix Gate Anthology. I saw a lot of very good art, including Artemis Prime's Warworld Starscream (which I had already seen on a Transformers message board I usually hang out on). There was a lot of stuff up for auction, which was a shame since I didn't have much money to spend. After that I hung out with a bunch of people in the hall in front of the elevators. One of those was an artist (I didn't catch her name though) who was showing us all the pretty gargoyles she had drawn (including lots of naughty ones, especially the seven deadly sins :) ). After that I heard people talking about the banquet so I asked at the registration if it was too late to buy a ticket and they said yes unfortunately. If I can make it next year, you bet I'm going to pre-register for it.
By 16h40 I was hungry as all hell, having only had some cereals for breakfast. Fortunately I saw a guy with some McDonalds who told me he got it from a restaurant one block uphill from the hotel, so I probably beat some record running there, eating a trio and getting back within 15 minutes for the opening ceremony.
The ceremony was very fun, with the Clan Olympics highjacking the place for their first match. It made me regret not signing on. The plans for the 2005 con with the whole incorporation thing was very neat, and I hope it makes it easier for people like me to make a trip there. Greg then gave us a date for the first season DVD, yeah! Spread the word to everyone people, it needs to sell well to warrant the second season because that's where all my favourite episodes are! Oh yeah, Greg's 'manual' Power Point presentation for the DVD was quite... impressive *snickers*. It was fun to hear the tape from several people who worked on Gargoyles, including the great Ed Asner. I was glad to finally see the original pitch for the series, as well as all the stuff people kept talking about on the net like the pitch for Dark Ages and New Olympians and the now famous Bad Guys leica reel. It hurts not to be able to talk about it, because it was so cool! And although I haven't seen Atlantis, hearing Marina Sirtis playing Demona on the unmade episode was great. That, plus the fact that there was a lot of grunting and animal noises made quite a few people laugh hysterically!
After the ceremony, I put a flag on Quebec City on the map of where the fans come from, then stayed for the Gargoyles MST3K. It was the first time I was seeing a MSTing live and it was fun, although it was hard to follow because lots of people talked at the same time. We saw Kingdom, Revelations and Walkabout; I wish I had been witty and quick enough to participate.
I finally went home to my sisters at around 21h20. I was geting tired and didn't want to miss the subway. If I had been able to afford the hotel, I would have stayed for the Blue Mug-A-Guest. Not that I had questions of my own, but I'm sure there were a lot of twisted minds there...
My alarm clock went off at 8h30, but I didn't get up until 9h05. I was really tired after watching a movie last night with my sister and her boyfriend.
I got to the con just in time for 'Thrill of the Chase'. Although I've never really written anything, it was a fun panel with discussions about physical but also emotional chases and epic journeys as well.
After that, I went to Greg's Mug-A-Guest. He told us Keith wouldn't make it until late today, and I started to fear he might not make it afterall. There were a few questions about the show (Gorebash asked a question I didn't understand, and then ran away after getting an answer) but most of the panel was about behind-the-scene things, which I prefered personally. The comment I liked the best is the about his 'appreciation' for Disney's Atlantis, and the scene where he says the whole movie comes to a dead stop and where all the characters 'vomit' their life story around a fire :D.
After that, I headed to the registration desk to see if I was included in the radio play, which I wished I wasn't because I was starting to have second (and third and fourth) thoughts about it. And I got a part (unfortunately :) ), that of Lexington. But all in all, I was more glad than scared because now,I didn't have any excuse not to participate. We did the rehearsals and we learned that we were going to play 'The Journey'. I had four lines in all, and I was told to play them a bit more sarcastic and suspicious, but Greg didn't talk about my volume, so at least I got that part good.
The play itself was great and exciting, even though I was really nervous. I just hope my accent didn't show too much. Everyone was great, and I especially liked the people who did Eliza, Castaway, Vinny and Fleance. After it was over, I got Greg to sign my script, which was awesome since I didn't think we were going to keep them.
I then finish voting for the art contest. Too bad some of the one I would have voted for done by members of the staff. Alas, I didn't get the time to vote for the music video. There wasn't much left for me to do today, since I couldn't go to the banquet and I didn't feel like hanging around until the maskerade. If not for my sister and her boyfriend, I would have taken up the offer of the guy who was looking for a partner in harassing local pizza places in order to get what he wanted.
I was planning to go to the Gargoyles biology panel, but I was so tired that I pretty much slept until 11h00. I got to the con at around 12h30 and hung out in the dealers room until Keith David's Mug-A-Guest. I got my Anthology signed by the authors who were present, and I even met Stormy, whom I knew from a Transformers board I visit. I was actually surprised that she remembered my nickname (I remembered afterward that I had reviewed one of her Transformers stories a few months prior). I also talked a lot with the lady from FPS magazine (who's name I forgot, dammit!) about sci-fi and fantasy conventions in Canada. She was really nice, and was lucky to get a big hug from Keith David when he arrived.
Keith really surprised me. I mean, I was a big fan of his voice work, having heard him as Goliath (and in a kids show on PBS called Reading Rainbow where he once narrated a story), and, well, he just has a gorgeous voice! I was glad that people didn't ask him too many questions about his characters, because it's embarassing when fans can't separate the character and the actor behind it. Still, he impressed me a lot because he didn't hesitate to speak about his characters and their motivations (which reminded me of Greg's seminar about finding your character's intent). He was also very heartwarming and charming, and after finally seeing a picture of Sally Richardson, I understood why he said staying on the mike while acting with her was difficult :)
Then finally came the time for the closing ceremony. I was sad to have to go immediately after it ended, because I would have loved to stay for the lazer tag game later on and La Ronde on monday, but I had to get home to go to work tomorrow. I barely had enough time to take the subway to my sister's place, pack my things, eat supper at a local greek restaurant with her and her boyfriend, taking the subway again and finally catching my carpool for Quebec City.
You can be certain that if I don't lose my job during the next year, I'm going to save up for Gathering 2005 in Vegas next year. It's going to be a lot funnier to be able to stay for the whole thing, and at least I'll know a few people this time!
I remember that when Jen Anderson and I were casting the Radio Play, we specifically thought it would be fun to have a Lexington with a French accent. So you were really worried about that for nothing.
I'm glad you had fun. But I honestly can't remember if you made it to Vegas last summer. (Sometimes they all bleed together in my head.) Hope you're saving up for Valencia in June.