March 19-21st, 2004
Crowne Plaza- Secaucus, NJ
|Stephanie Romonov: Lilah Morgan (AtS)|
|Nicholas Brendon: Xander Harris (BtVS)|
|Iyari Limon: Slayer in training - Kennedy (BtVS)|
|Robia Lamorte: Jenny Calendar (BtVS)|
|Robin Atkins Downe: Machida - "Reptile Boy" (BtVS)|
Whenever I sit in front of a blank screen and prepare to write about a con, the first thing that always goes through my mind is...where the hell do I start? I had so much fun that it's really hard to sit back and not feel overwhelmed by the weekend and my experiences. So, I suppose as usual, that I will start from the beginning.
Drove to New Jersey after work and was surprised that I didn't hit any traffic whatsoever. I got to the hotel around 5:30, I think, and went to the front desk to check in. As I was standing there waiting to check in behind a short line of other people, who comes up behind me to check in but one Iyari Limon. I said hello and smiled to her. She smiled back and said hello, but looked sort of wiped out from the flight so I didn't strike up any type of conversation with her - except in my brain which was screaming, "holy shit, don't say anything dumb because Kennedy is right behind you!" So of course I felt like a bumbling idiot while I checked in. After taking my things up to the room and checking out the beautiful view of the sunset over the water, I called rockgoddes to see where she and redeem147 were on the road. Thankfully, they were just crossing into Jersey on I-80 and would be there around 6:30. So I decided to take a nap since I had been up late the night before at a Flyers game. At some point after 7, they arrived and we got ready to go into NYC to meet up with drinkthepoisonx and jaydk.
When I checked into the hotel, one of the questions I asked was where the train station was...I was told that it was within walking distance so when we were ready to head to the station, I asked for specific directions and was then told that we had to take the hotel shuttle in order to get there. Huh? Eventually we got to the station and caught the train into the city where we flagged a cab and made our way to a little coffee shop called Teany in the Village. We had a great time hanging out and eating. This hadn't been the first time that I met Laura and Jane, they were in the room next to us in Tampa, but it was the first time that I really got to know them by hanging out and they are very delightful girls. Once we were done eating, Laura brought out all of the SavingAngel stuff - including flyers, postcards and pictures of the billboard truck for the SavingAngel table in the dealer's room. The folks at SavingAngel.org were invited by Creation to set up a table and promote the cause. So we set up a schedule for who would work the table during the day on Saturday and then we caught the bus back to the hotel to meet up with our last roommate, DeepBlue. The four of us then hung out and talked for a while, eventually falling asleep in the wee hours of the morning.
We got up, showered, ate and registered for the con. I bought a photo op ticket with Nick Brendon since I had never seen him before. After getting my photo ticket, I met up with the gang, and thefangirl, at the SavingAngel table in the dealer's room. The table was set up next to Robin Atkin Downes' table where he was selling autographs and pictures. My first reaction was, oh dear lord we're next to him. But let me tell you, after being next to him all weekend and getting to know him a bit, I've changed my opinion. I used to think he was a bit weird and creepy, but now I think he's one of the sweetest, funniest guys I've met at one of these things. He's really down to earth and a lot of fun.
Anyway, I sat at the table during Iyari and Robin's Q&A's since I had seen them both before and helped promote the cause. It was fun to meet so many different people who felt as passionately about saving the show as I do. I was a little surprised by those who would come up and start saying what a waste of time this was and that they weren't spending their money or their efforts on a losing battle. We tried to explain that every little bit helped, but some people just want to be negative. Oh well.
At 3:45, rockgoddes, DeepBlue and I headed to the Topaz room to get our pics with Nick. On our way there, we passed this guy carrying food back to the elevators and as I turned, I realized that it was Nick Brendon. He smiled and said hello and I just smiled at him. It was a very strange experience and the first thing that went through my mind was how much weight he's lost since the end of the show. About 10 minutes after that, it was our turn to go in the room and that's when I realized that the guy sitting in the chair looked somewhat different from the guy we saw in the hall. So I turned to rockgoddes and said, "Oh wow, I think that was Kelly!" Why did I think that? Because Nick was freshly shaved, looked a little fuller in the face and in slippers. The guy we saw in the hall was stubbly, thinner in the face and had on shoes. I thought for sure that Kelly was there with Nick. Once I got over the whole "Kelly might be here too" thing, it was my turn to sit next to Nick and have my pic taken with him. I shook his hand as I sat down next to him and he said "Nice, firm handshake you have there." I wasn't sure whether to be embarrassed or proud, because yeah, I do have a pretty firm handshake for a gal. So what did I do? I giggled and said thanks. Tee hee. Silly little fan girl. So after our pics, we walked back to the dealer's room, all the while stating positively that Kelly had to be here too, but later dzinkbird had a chance to chat with Nick at the bar and found out that he was there alone. We were mistaken. Apparently he had gone back to the room and quickly shaved and then put on slippers before the pics. It would have been way cool if Kelly had been there too.
Finally it was time for Nick's Q&A session so we all went into the ballroom and took our seats. Rockgoddes and I were lucky enough to be front row center and I was so excited!! So I sat down and took out my camera, turned it on and guess what happened...the batteries died. I panicked. There were only a few minutes before Nick was to take the stage and I prayed that the gift shop sold batteries. I hopped up and started walking briskly towards the gift shop and bumped into dzinkbird on the way so I explained what was wrong. I then took off at a much quicker pace and who was coming at me? Yep. Nick Brendon. I must have had quite the look on my face because Nick looked at me and smiled and said "hey there, where's the fire." All I could get out was "Hi! Bye!" and in the background I heard DeepBlue telling him that my camera batteries were dying so he had to wait until I got back. Lucky for me the gift shop had batteries - rip off prices, but hey, I was desperate so I didn't care how much they cost. I grabbed the batteries and flew back to the ballroom and thankfully, they were still showing Nick's intro when I arrived so I didn't miss anything. Phew!
Nick came out on stage and I fell in love. He is so funny and cute and adorable and just...sigh. Yeah, the drool was overflowing the buckets. He was just the picture of cuteness as he told us how he proposed to Tressa - taking her away and acting out a country music song about love and marriage. It was the sweetest thing and of course we all did the "awwwwww" because it was just too damn cute for words. Nick took a lot of questions from the audience and when asked who he thought was hotter, Spike or Angel, he answered Spangel. So I guess we now know who Nick 'ships even though he admitted he NEVER goes online...Tressa does all the questions for his website...he tells her what to say, but she does the posting. Of course someone had to ask if he would do the Snoopy dance for us, but since he was in slippers, it was a bit difficult for him to do. Instead he just sort of did a little skip. I cannot tell you how impressed I was with him...I am just in total awe and lust love.
Once Nick was finished with his Q&A, they took a quick break before the autographs. It gave me a few minutes to collect myself so that I wasn't a silly fan girl in front of him, because believe me, I was that bad. I couldn't believe how affected I was by him...I mean, for pete's sake, I've met James Marsters and Tony Head and didn't flip out like this. It was truly a sad sight! But that's okay because I thoroughly enjoyed myself and the view. *g* Anyway, both he and Iyari personalized the autographs and I was thrilled. However, Iyari pointed out that I had a hole in my sweater (I did), and I tried to explain that it was my most favorite sweater in the world and didn't think anyone would notice so we giggled over that.
Rockgoddes, redeem147, DeepBlue, thefangirl, soulmate815 and I went to dinner at the bar and who shows up? Yep. You guessed it. Nick Brendon. I about died...and I am not fannish at all. I must say, it was a bit difficult to eat my pizza while having a perfect view of Mr. Brendon. Sigh. Oh, sorry. Where was I? Oh yeah, dinner. We waited forever for our food and then before we were really finished we found out that it was 20 after 8 and the ice cream party was at 8:30. Yikes!! So we flew up to the room to get ready. I've never seen four women get ready as fast as we did!!
When we got to the ice cream party, there weren't any seats left to be had so we snagged the table by the piano and waited for them to bring chairs in. Once we were seated both Robia Lamorte and Stephanie Romanov stopped by to say hello. The batteries on my camera died again, but that was okay since I had plenty of time to go up to the room and get rockgoddes' camera so I could use her batteries (thank you soooooooo very much, hon - you're a life saver!) and when I got back, Iyari was sitting at our table eating her ice cream. She's very sweet and talked about how she spent several months in Europe after the show ended. It sounds like she had a really good time. Robin also sat with us for a while and thefangirl asked him how he proposed to his fiance, so he elaborated on that and it was very sweet and proper.
As the evening progressed, Robin got on the piano and started a sing along, which didn't exactly go too well - most everyone didn't know the words, etc. At one point, Robin called Nick over from the bar and the two of them sat at the piano singing. Nick was hilarious - as Robin played one end of the keyboard, Nick would pick certain spots to plink a key on the other end. They even attempted to do "I'll Never Tell" with the audience singing Anya's part and Nick trying to do Xander's lines. I'm not really sure if they ever got through the whole thing without messing up. Oh! They also sang happy birthday to redeem147! It was very cool.
Eventually, Robia and Stephanie came back around and we took pictures with them. My pic with Stephanie is on redeem147's camera and my pic with Iyari is on drinkthepoisonx's camera. However, I did manage to get a pic of me and Robia on mine.
Once Nick left the party and things started winding down, we heard that he had gone to the bar (again) so we decided to see if we could possibly go get pictures with him. When we got in there, there were quite a few teenies crowding him, asking him for pics and hugs so we hung back for a while and waited our turn. When I got up to him, I told him that I didn't need a hug, just a pic. His response? He rolled his eyes, grinned, pulled me into a hug, asked where the camera was and then kissed my cheek while rockgoddes took the pic. Le sigh! Nick Brendon kissed my cheek! Gah!! [/fan girl squee]
After all the excitement, I decided that I was going back to the room since I was exhausted and worn out. Plus, I just wanted time alone to fantasize about Nick. *eg* Seriously though, I was beyond tired and needed to lay down. I'd had a massive headache all day, probably from dehydration and lack of food. That seems to happen at cons for me. Next time I swear I'm taking a ton of water bottles with me.
More of the same as Saturday. Got up, showered, ate breakfast, worked at the SavingAngel table and chatted with Robin while he sold autographs. At 12:45, eatstake found me and I gave her the Flyers stuff from the grab boxes that I picked up for her at the Carnival last month. She's a very lovely woman and I really enjoyed meeting her! Hon, you and I so need to watch a Flyers game together!! Anyway, at 1 we headed into the ballroom to listen to Robia's Q&A. She's so pretty! Her Q&A consisted of her talking about her time as one of Prince's dancers, her faith, and when she worked on Buffy. Instead of going on about her religion, she handed out tapes of her story to those who were interested as well as her private email address. I was somewhat interested in hearing how she came to have her relationship with God since I always find things like that fascinating, but she only had 15 tapes with her so I figured I'd sit back and let those who were truly interested get them. I really enjoyed her talk and I understood why, as a Christian, she didn't like playing the First in "Amends". She didn't like the idea of the devil speaking from her character. I know that this sort of talk put off quite a few people, but that's who she is and I didn't mind it one bit.
When Robia was finished, we headed back into the dealer's room to the table where we hung out and chatted with Robin for a while before his Q&A. Since rockgoddes and I had missed his talk the day before, we decided to go to Sunday's since we had gotten to know him and wanted him to feel like he was important to us too. He kept telling us not to come because he wasn't going to be funny, but we insisted we would attend and heckle him to keep things fresh and exciting. Of course he threatened to pull us up on stage if we did that so we were good girls and sat in our seats without commenting. Of course, he kept looking at us like he expected us to pull something on him. At one point, he said something that rockgoddes and I found extremely funny and we started laughing, as did he. It was silly fun. And no, he didn't do his little German/Russian fairytale. *g*
Between the Q&A's they had some programming like BtVS/AtS videos and acting competitions, but I didn't attend any of those. It was more fun to hang out at the table and talk to other fans who came by to sign postcards. We were all chatting away and giving Robin a hard time - and getting pics taken with him when we realized that it was time for Stephanie's Q&A session. Whoops! Poor Robin...he felt so jilted. "So what am I? Chopped liver? Leave me for Stephanie. What's so great about Stephanie?" It was really funny and I kept assuring him that we would be back in time to say goodbye since he was leaving early.
Stephanie's Q&A was really interesting. She came out on stage and was amazed at all the flashes going off so she strutted around, stopping and posing for pictures like a model which I managed to capture quite nicely so make sure you stop by the photo section and check it out.
She was amazingly nice...not that I expected to see Lilah or anything, but she has always played such a great bitch on TV that I guess I just must have assumed that there was one lurking close to the surface, but that's not the case at all. She talked about the project that she's working on right now. It's a bio-pic about a famous actress whose name escapes me at the moment. I'm sure one of the other girls will know who it is. She and her husband are working on it together and she is very excited about it. Apparently she is married to a producer/director whose name also is alluding me at this time. I'm terrible with details, sorry. But anyway, she was a lot of fun to listen to and she said she enjoyed playing Lilah - her favorite scene was dressing up as Fred when she was seducing Wesley. She even sold pictures of her dressed like that at her autograph table. I didn't get one, but maybe I will at Toronto Trek. It's really cute!
Once the autograph session was over, we went back to the dealer's room and broke down the table and went our separate ways. On one hand I was glad the weekend was over so I could go home and sleep in my own bed (hotel beds are the most uncomfortable things EVER) and see SoccerRef, and on the other hand I was sad because I had such a good time with everyone that I didn't want it to end. My favorite part about these cons is getting to hang with people who have the same passion I do for the shows...granted, I like getting to meet the actors who played my favorite characters, but to me the most important thing is the people. And I'm so glad I got to meet so many new people. Thank you all for such a great time and now I'm looking forward to EuroTrip 2004!!
Oh, yeah, just so you know...this entire thing was made up. I lied. Everything you read here never happened. Instead we attended an X-Files con in Akron where we saw Cancer Man naked. Yep. That we did. Just ask redeem147.
The truth is out there. Trust no one.
Until next time...