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The Gathering 2004 : Jade Griffin's Journal
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
August 5 - 9, 2004
DAY 1 : THE ARRIVAL
August 5th- Thursday
I'd been looking forward to another Gathering, having missed last year's con in New York. Not even the necessity of flying to a foreign country could dampen my mood. I couldn't wait for my voyage to start!
Having never traveled outside the US, I was grateful for some friendly assistance from seasoned passengers. None on my flight were headed for the Gathering but I find helpful people are more plentiful than previous pessimistic estimates calculated. Arriving the day before the Gathering at 6pm to the hotel, who should I see but the famous and welcome faces of Eden and Kanthara! Followed closely by a sighting of Siryn in the elevator, I was in the comfort of garg fan familiarity. My second home:)
It really is special, the feeling of Clan. We laugh, we share, we know and help each other, but it's more than that. It is a feeling for me that no matter what goes wrong, who cares! It will come out right. I know this because my good friends and fellow Clanners are here with me:)
That evening, I met two of my three roomies -- Mandolin and Kathy-- and had a nice dinner -- accompanied by Chyna Rose and Seri Wavelength-- where we talked on all manner of subjects, from anime crossover fics to garg biology.
BTW, the hotel is gorgeous, everyone is nice, and the food and rooms excellent. Thank you, Montreal Delta Centre-Ville!
I found more and more well-known faces (and names for those I'd never met irl) -- including Greg Weisman, creator of Gargoyles-- and don't get to sleep until roughly 2AM. But who could pass up Godiva chocolate bars and the offer of secrets revealed from Clan Olympics coordinator Abram Wintersmith? Thanx Mau and Abram!
DAY 2 : THE MISSION
August 6th- Friday
Up but not having eaten, I went down to the lobby to see who's about and the Mezzanine to get my badge for the con. It's nothing unusual that it was late setting up. No biggie. More time to gather and chat:) What we do best. I also began collecting room #s to relocate people later.
After registering, unofficially assisted a duo of con virgins with questions. Decked out in my homemade G'04 t-shirt and con badge, I musta looked fairly official looking because I got a lot of questions!
Time to set up art. I hurried back up to the room, grabbed my entries, and set my shtuff up. Grabbed a bite to eat and signed up for Artist's Alley, where artists can take commissions and sell their art on the spot. There for almost 1.5 hrs, and then at the end I received a whopping 6-person commission! There were so many awesome artists competing in the art show I felt a tad outclassed. Y2Hecate, Taylor, Sara Berkley, Noel Leas, Eden, Karlyl, and so many more. The garg fandom definitely has the most talened and creative people. But let's not forget the film crew hired by Disney to make a G'04 documentary. I'd been watching for signs of them, and saw them a bit that day. Hard not to lugging around a film camera and a boom mic:) But I wasn't trying to get in anyone's way, so at the Artist's Alley I stayed. And at every Gathering I attend, I do one thing besides my infamous Mystery Gargoyles Theater 3000 event (more on that later). I bring a picture to give away.
This picture has a rather touching story behind it. It is a memorial picture I did after learning of poor Granite's unfortunate accident that took her life, and I refuse to sell the picture. I want her remembered, and so I give the picture to others, to remind them of her, of how special we all are, and that we are a special group because we care so much about everyone, even those we met only briefly.
As I told this story to one fan stopping by, the film crew heard me. They came over and asked me to say the story again. Intrigued, they later came back and filmed me explaining from the start, and reading the lyrics that go with the picture, from Disney's Millenium Walk: "We Go On". I was so happy to have them interested in Granite's picture, I think I forgot to say my name! LOL. And yes, it was great getting on camera. Can't lie there.
Opening Ceremonies. We got to watch Greg's (aka Greg Weisman, series creator) usual delightful video collection of hopeful projects, and then got a little surprise. Greg had an audio tape of others we'd like to have as guests, saying hello to us from afar and hoping to see us in following cons! How sweet! And then Clan Olympics interrupted the whole affair with an intro of the teams and the first competition. Talk about wild!
Greg came back to the podium after the planned 'interruption'. He had important stuff to say, and we listened well.
"The first season of Gargoyles will be released on December 7th of this year, in time for the holiday season."
Ecstatic applause ensued.
"I have a mission for you." Greg said. "Even if every one of you bought ten copies of the dvd..."
And here we interruped with a hearty, "Only ten??"
Smile. "It won't be enough to get the show back. I want you, like missionaries, to spread the word. We need to tell everyone about it. that is the best thing you can do to get new material for the show. If it sells phenomenally well, we'll get that shot. So go out there, post it online, tell everyone you know, get the word out about the dvd. This is the pivotal moment, the make-it-or-break-it. Our only shot at this, but we do have a chance." Note: not verbatum
Even more ecstatic applause errupted.
So we now have a mission, and a good start.
Here's an even better one: Chris Rogers, heading the G'05 con in Vegas, informed us that the fandom is now a legal organization, with all the legal rights and priviledges thereof. We can write off Gathering expenses on our taxes, including travel, membership dues (Gathering admission), and probably hotel expenses! Can this really be true?? OMG! Exciting stuff! We are recognized!!
After Opening Ceremonies, it's time for MGT3K. Mystery Gargoyle Theater 3000 is a combo of the show antics of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Gargoyles. Basically, I invite con goers to join me in making fun of the episodes:) I get it all down on the net and post the 'scripts' on the official MGT3K website. For more info, see Mystery Gargoyle Theater 3000 for info and the scripts! I was pleased to see about 30 people attending. Ah, the faithful hecklers:)
The con does something every time I find fascinating. This year it was called the Blue Mug-A-Guest. In cons prior, it had no name I knew of. Basically Greg Weisman inviting however many will fit into the con suite to talk about whatever we want involving gargs or his other works. And I mean ask him ANYthing. This session was rated 18 and over, people. Frequently, though, we had mild queries for the Creator, and the room was totally packed. I think I counted 45 or so people in one small con suite, and you know how small those rooms are!
It was another late nighter but as always, I fell into bed around 2:30 AM, very happy and psyched.
DAY 3 : THE MASQUERADE
August 7th- Saturday
Aside from Keith David (voice of Goliath) being seriously delayed, the con was going great. So much to do! I had another commission, a pic trade with Taylor, the art show to cast my vote in, a few panels to catch, food, auditioning for the Radio Play, socializing, merch to peruse, the auction to bid at, and then dinner. Still no Keith David...
Many people dressed nice for the banquet, and let me tell you, I felt I should have. It's ambience. spoke nothing but elegance and decadence. Beauty, tasteful delights, and no small meal! Add that to great company and you get... Exquisite.
BTW, 2 things different in Canada than in the US-- Same # of bums on the streets but the shops all have open windows and walls! Instead of air conditioned buildings, they let the natural breeze cool you while you eat and shop. Cool:)
Keith David arrived and was very friendly, open, amiable, and very willing to tell stories, even after all the delays of flights and having his three children with him. He must really like us!
I and others had to depart w/o hearing all of his stories. Costumes to prepare!
Like many this year, I worked hard on my outfit. We wanted to look good. We all knew the film crew would be there, and so would Greg Weisman and Keith David. I hoped everyone would be surprised and pleased with mine.
Wow. What cool costumes! Echidna, Loopy, Princess Catherine and Tom, a pregnant Fox, MacBeth, Puck, Ophelia, Xanatos and a trenchcoated Fox from Eye of the Beholder, and fan characters galoure. There were lots more. Sorry if I haven't named you.
I decided mine needed some dialogue so I signed up to do the cosplay. I had ten minutes to come up with something as I waited in line to walk in! I also had a hard act to follow with Loopy's scared-of-flying gargoyle song and play. Dang, that costume rocked! But I'd give it a try.
"Jade Griffin as Elisa from Eye of the Beholder!"
My que! I jogged down the aile in my ball gown and up to the stage, flashing my con badge like a police badge.
"Elisa Maza, NYPD! Has anyone seen Fox and Xanatos??" Well, my entrance surprised many, as I looked just like Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Of course, this was from the garg episode Eye of the Beholder where Elisa dressed as Belle one Halloween night ;) I continued, "Aw, crap! They ditched me again! Every Halloween it's the same thing. And I even have the right wig this time, too. Oh well... Can't let this go to waste." Where I proceeded to 'rip' the bottom of my specially tailored gown off in a solide stroke and flash some leg, and a gun holster, before sauntering off.
I guess I made an impression. I won second place in cannon characters (costume). Truly the 'Belle' of the ball, everyone said I looked awesome. Everyone seemed to want to take my picture, or have one WITH me! (and if you have any please! I'll do a photo swap for a copy!!) They asked me how I made it, said I looked so cute! *giggle* Best of all was when Greg announced the winners : "Jade Griffin as La Belle Elisa!" Wow:) What a title!! I'll treasure it always.
We danced, we sang karaoke, we got Keith to sing and Greg danced. Eden dressed as Titania gave a superb rendition of Chicago's All That Jazz which drown out the mad-cat yowling of the next room over's horrid karaoke (and dang they were aweful! I hope Keith realized we were totally busting up because of them during his talking and not him. Major LOL!) Again, up until @ 1 or 2 AM.
DAY 4 : THE ORGANIZATION
August 8th- Sunday
Greg couldn't join us to rally for the closing ceremonies but Chris Rogers was more than plenty to stir the fire. Right after closing, the first meeting of Gargoyles Fans.Org convened. We discussed in parliamentary procedure fashion who would be elected on the board of directors (and we did that there), how to meet, how often, started discussion on publicity for G'05 and the DVD being synchronous. Tons of ideas, on all aspects of this exciting step in our beloved fandom. It is the fandom we support the most, you see. Finally, legal recognition! Can you imagine how rare that is? What other fandom has done that? I can't name any! We have that status. It makes me happy. With whatever we do next, we have already accomplished a lot.
DAY 5 : THE DEPARTURE
August 9th- Monday
Aw, gotta go. Laser tag last night in a 3-story facility and a tour of old Montreal that got me and Robert lost and I missed my flight. Did I mind? Naw. The spirit of the Gathering goes with me. It's a part of me. No... I make it a part of the Gathering. We all do. This group is so special:) We make it special, because we try, because we do, because we are there. At the Gathering or no, we are always by each others' sides. I go home, to Reno, to rl, but I never left my Clan. In fact, I just got closer:)
If you couldn't tell, this fandom is dedicated to the color and expression of creativity and to the enjoyment of life and fun. In spirit, we are gargoyles. We live, we love, and we'll defend and protect that with everything we've got. We are Gargoyles Fans, and we live!
Hey Jade, I guess you've retired your "La Belle Elisa" dress. But it's always great to see you...