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Am I the last one to post a journal?? (Hope not...)
2004 Journal for Alan (Torvik)
I'm doing this all backwards.
It seems like most people get involved in the fandom, and *then* attend the Gathering. Not so in my case. My sister and I attended because we loved the show, and now here I am, looking to be connected to the fandom throughout the year as well. Funny.
I thought the con was great. It took a while for us to find our niche and the rhythm of things, but that didn't really dampen our fun at all.
I was drawn to the con for a couple reason, one of which was the acting aspect (voice and otherwise). I had put a big circle around the voice acting seminar on my schedule, and felt confident that we'd get there in time for it. However, because of our hour long flight delay, and trouble getting to our hotel (we stayed at the Days Inn down the street - $40/night cheaper AND we got a Shrek 2 theme room ;) not only did I miss out on the seminar, but on the RPG Panel and the first auditions. Disappointing.
Opening ceremonies were alright. I wanted to ask the pregnant lady who she was, and what her role in the weekend was. The first half didn't feel so much like a ceremony, as much as it felt like the ref laying out the rules before a wrestling match…
I enjoyed what Greg had to share, especially the pitches he had prepared. I liked the idea of Gargs 2198 (or whatever the year was) and Dark Ages. Bad Guys seemed a little contrived, and the rest seemed like an ever bigger stretch. (The Gate was 'just out of reach' for 40 years?? Reach a little farther man! Come on! ;) Still, it was a great glimpse into all the workings that boil below the surface that we never really get to see.
MGT3K (don't ask me to write it out) was fun, especially since I had found myself heckling episodes over the past half year since I had dusted off my tapes. I appreciated Jade when she invited Jackie and I to sit closer on the floor. I was like, 'Hurray, acceptance!' I gotta check the site out sometime to see if any of my lines got picked up.
We left after that, since we were kinda tired and weren't too interested in the Blue Mug. It was a nice walk back to our hotel. Only twenty minutes (downhill), and three Tim Hortons on the way. We felt far safer walking downtown Montreal at that hour than we would have in Winnipeg.
Jackie wasn't feeling so hot the next morning, so I caught a cab and went by myself. First off, I went to audition. The form I was given asked if I wanted only large part, only a small part, or whatever. Now I naturally WANTED a large part, but I didn't want to jeopardize my shot at getting anything by saying I ONLY wanted a large part, so I put 'whatever'. It also asked if I could speak with an English or Scottish accent. I didn't know what to put, but I knew I didn't want to limit myself, so I put a yes for both of them. Afterall, it didn't ask if I could do them *well*. (The back of the audition bundle had an early concept pic of Angela! Just another one of those fringe benefits of attending the con!)
I read Hudson's part for the audition. Since I started watching Gargs, I had adopted little Sottish hints to me speech, and I think that helped. I had also spent two months in London, but that didn't really help at all. My attempt at an English accent sound like an Irishman trying to sound Scottish.
From there, I went up to the ConSuite and watched Hunter's Moon 1-3. Good stuff. Good stuff.
Jackie and I were going to attend the SCA demo (whatever that meant) but we decided to help Mug Greg instead. I finally got to ask my question that had been sitting on 'Ask Greg .com' for half a year, and received a satisfying answer. (When he lead the clan, everyone probably called Hudson 'Mentor', not as an official name, per se, but a respectful handle all the same. After Goliath took up leadership, some still called the older gargoyle 'Mentor' but it wasn't as common, and had pretty much slipped away my the time they had reached NY.)
After that, were rehearsals. I checked the cast list, and sure enough, I was on it! Once we were all assembled, Greg called out each person one at a time, and announced which part they had. I tried not to get my hopes up. I really tried, especially since Kieth David wasn't going to be there to read the part of Goliath, and I knew that my voice had a certain resonance to it.
Finally, Greg reached the end of his list, and asked "Who still doesn't have a part?" I put up my hand, as did a guy in the front row. "Oh," Greg said, "So-and-So, you're Owen." Everyone clapped. "There must be someone who still doesn't have a part." I raised my hand again, and Greg announced that I would play Hudson's role, which I was pleased with. Then he said that they had seen Ed Asner (the original voice of Hudson) in LA, and they got him to sign the script, which I would be able to keep after the show! This made being Hudson *especially* ok. ( http://www.geocities.com/_zith/script.jpg Sorry about the horrible quality of the scan. I'm using my parent's computer right now X-(
The Radio Play was lots of fun. Sure, I only had 4 lines, but Hudson was mentioned often. When I heard the person read Castaway's part, I suddenly remember what an English accent was *supposed* to sound like. It'd obviously be fun to be a part of a Radio Play with a smaller cast. Maybe next year…
After that, it was the official time to watch the music video entries. A bunch of us crowded into an elevator and headed up to the ConSuite. Sadly, only 3 video actually worked on the laptop. Luckily, one of them was mine. I thought the other two were kinda cheesy and boring, while mine was fresh and punchy. (Well, what else am I supposed to say about my own video?) Yet, I saw that votes were also piling up for 'Learning to Fly' (despite the fact that Gargoyles clearly don't fly… ;) We cast our votes and left for our hotel.
Jackie and I skipped the banquet, because a) it was very expensive, b) we both wanted to take a nap before the long evening started, and c) we needed time to get our costumes ready. So we slipped back to our hotel and did the above.
We were going as Fox and Xanatos from 'Eye of the Beholder'. I had suggested the idea to her a few months ago, expecting that I'd have to do some major wheedling to get her to go along with the idea. To my surprise, she was excited about the idea right away. Lucky me.
Her costume was simple. I went to Value Village and found the longest trench coat I could find as well as an old, gold necklace I could take sections out of. I went to Michael's to get Fimo and some half marbles to make the Eye of Odin from, and I already had body paint to 'tattoo' her eye with.
My costume was a little more involved. I picked up some sleek black sweat pants from the aforementioned VV Boutique, as well as an equally sleek black t-shirt which would be worn over a dark purple long sleeve sweater. A pair of black socks and a dark brown pony-tail extension rounded off the simple part of the costume.
The tricky part was the jet-pack. I had grabbed a few screenshot of David wearing it, but still struggled in figuring out what exactly it looked like, since the shots weren't that clear. I went to Home Depot, and wandered around their duct-work section trying to put it all together in my mind.
It ended up being simpler than I thought. The only noticeable modification I made was changing the suit to dual-thrust from single-thrust. I found two duct-elbows that were big and wide enough to do the trick. I also bough four duct straps (2 for the belt, and 1 for each arm strap), and one plate to go across my chest. I used ordinary duct tape to hold it all together, and shiny waterproof tape to cover it.
The finishing touch was the easiest to overlook. I went to Radio Shack and bought two red lights, a switch, some batteries, and other little do-das that are required for electrical work. The guy working there was very helpful since I had never done anything like this before. I rigged up all the lights together, and they worked great, except they were a bit on the dim side, and the lights in the ballroom already had a red tinge to them.
That night we finally assembled all of our costumes together, and I think we looked great. Sure, I didn't have the goatee, and Jackie didn't have strawberry blond hair, but we were close enough. (I even put on extra clothes under my costume, just so I'd look more buff ;)
We arrived back at the con on time, but the dinner went long, so we spent time waiting around. Since we were participating in the costume contest, they asked us to wait in another room with the other competitors. We were an interesting look crew, to say the least. What I really like is that even though there were tones of people dressed up, there was only one overlap in costumes. (Double the Dracon means double the trouble, eh?) There were four Foxes, and even tow from Eye of the Beholder, but they were all different.
Once everyone was seated in the ballroom, we lined up outside the doors and waited to be called in. Jackie suggested that I carry her in to the stage. I was hesitant (afterall, my buffness was only because of the extra clothes I was wearing) but decided to give it a shot. I picked her up, and as we walked down the aisle I whispered to her, "I've never felt more heroic in my life."
I think it was our entrance that secured us the 'Best Couple' award. I was so very pleased with the outcome. Jackie and I enjoyed the rest of the ball, listened to some karaoke. I really enjoyed getting our photo taken with Jade. She was dressed up as Elisa from Eye, who of course was dressed up as Belle. It was SO prefect. I couldn't have planned it better.
I also pulled Greg aside and thanked him for casting me as Hudson. I think the role came with a certain mantle, and I appreciated having it placed on me. I also told him that everyone at home loved my voice, but I wanted to know what 'people from his world' would think of me. 'Would I be just another voice?' He said that I had a good sound, and that doing accent work might be good for me, but ultimately I had a Canadian sound, and if I wanted to work in an American market, I would need to learn how to turn it on and off. It was advice I could understand. Jackie and I left not long after.
The next morning we were back, ready for our last day of the convention. Jackie decided to sit in on the Garg Bio discussion (since she's majoring in it) and I went to help Mug Keith David, who had only arrived the night before, just in time for the end of the banquet. A couple of us had been sitting there for almost an hour, when someone announced that Keith had not been informed about the session, and would not be there until after lunch. Disappointed, I left to join the end of the Bio session.
The Mug-A-Guest was pretty good (although I did get bored with it after a while). The biggest highlight was Keith's answer when I asked 'What, other than perseverance, do you most attribute where you are at to?' Without batting an eye, he said "God". Apparently he had wanted to go into ministry, and decided that this was the best kind of ministry for him to be involved in. I found that real encouraging. It was a refreshing contrast from the 'go where the work is' and 'perfect your craft' advice.
The Closing Ceremonies were nice. They announced the art show winners for a while. I still wasn't sure if I had won the Best Music Video award. I had hoped as much, but I felt there were enough votes for 'Learning to Fly' to give me a run for my money. After the art awards, they gave the floor to the Las Vegas people for a bit, and said a bunch of 'Thank You's. I began to wonder if they had eliminated the music video contest because of low turn out. Then, just before they were going to finish everything off, Liz stopped the proceedings, and asked if the creator of the music video 'Faint' was present. And I was! I went up and collected my ribbon, well contented again.
After the official closing, Jackie and I got in line to get Keith's autograph. I took that opportunity to thank him for his words that afternoon, stating that it helped me remember the role my faith needs to play in my career. Once we were done with that, we headed out to make our way to the airport.
Jackie and I had a great time at the Con. We went, wanting to spend some time together before she got married, and we had an excellent time doing so. Our costumes were GREAT, I won the contest, I got to be in the Radio Play, and received good advice about voice acting.
I probably won't be in Vegas next year, but I think I'll get a supporting membership and try to enter another video. The year after, who knows? I'm also finding a number of people who have said to me 'Oh yeah, I remember that show. Whatever happened to it?' At which point I give them the big Dec. 7th speciel. (I hope it goes well…)
Well, it's almost Sept. 1st, so I had best read this over, and post it. Thanks again fandom for helping keep this going. Looking forward to being more involved in the future.
Alan/Torvik/Xanatos in a jet-pack/the music video contest winner/…
Know what? Just call me Tor.
Hey Tor, glad you had a good time. What exactly is a "Shrek 2" theme room anyway?