Saturday I was up before 10am and headed down to the registration desk and hung out for a bit. At 10 I decided to catch the Asian Ball-Jointed Dall panel run by Andrea Zucconi. I’d seen pictures of her dolls and figured I’d check them out in person. The big thing about these dolls is just how customizable they are. Not only are there different parts to swap out, but you can even reshape parts and paint them to look any way you want. Andrea does this for a living and she showed some of her work; it was pretty impressive. Then the cost of these things came up and my jaw hit the floor when prices starting at $250 (for a “cheap” doll) and going very high up ($1000) were thrown out. Tony, Andrea’s husband, was sitting next to me and I offered him my sympathies.
After the doll panel I got in line to get Marina Sirtis’ autograph. $20 a pop, which is a bit awkward, but when the hell am I ever going to meet her again? I got two, one for myself and one for a friend. I had no clue what to say to her. I’m sure she’s heard everything a thousand million times before, so I just thanked her for coming out and taking part in the con.
I helped out at the registration desk for a bit so Patrick could go eat and catch bits of the Gargoyles voice acting panel. Sarah showed up and took over as she knew what she was doing. I just knew how to smile and say “let me go find someone on staff”. A few con guests arrived while I was at the table, including Michael Reaves. I didn’t expect to see him at the con and was excited to see him. He needed a con badge made up and the label printer decided his name was too long. Patrick arrived just in time to push the one button needed to shrink the font size down a notch and make the name fit.
I caught bits of the Gargoyles voice acting panel, which included Marina Sirtis and Keith David. It was a bit surreal to see Demona and Goliath sitting next to each other. That panel broke and was immediately followed by the Spectacular Spider-Man voice acting panel. I was able to catch most of this panel. The room was too narrow to fit all the cast and wrapped around on the sides a bit. We had pretty much the entire cast there at the panel. I asked Vanessa Marshall (voice of Mary Jane Watson) to say “Face it tiger, you just hit the jackpot” several dozen times. At least that’s what happened in my head. Her voice is pure sex. It’s like Laura San Giacomo’s (Fox) voice. Put the two of them in a scene together and forget about it. A million pants will need to be changed.
The whole Spidey cast were very, very cool. Very friendly, willing to share stories and talk about the business. They seemed to be happy and having fun with the whole thing.
After the panel, and in the same room, was the radio play rehearsal. Out of 40 or so fans who auditioned, only 13 slots were open and I was fortunate enough to get one. All the pros were there and given their respective on-screen characters to voice. I was cast in the role of Matt Bluestone. The radio play was an original script — a cross-over between Gargoyles and Spectacular Spider-Man. Greg wrote the thing in three days with very little rest (I don’t think you can call it “sleep”) during that time. He said he was a bit nervous about the script, but it was great. Tying the two shows together actually seemed to go pretty smoothly. And thank you Greg for finding a way to get Obsidiana into the script. I could never get tired listening to Elisa Gabrielli do Obsidiana.
After a quick read through it was time to do the show in front of an audience.
To be able to say I acted alongside the likes of Marina Sirtis, Keith David, Phil LaMarr and so on is crazy. How does that happen? It was very cool. Listening to Marina Sirtis voice Demona was surreal. It didn’t take her long to get back into form and *poof* there’s Demona. And she’s twice as scary in person. (That’s not a knock on Marina, it’s a compliment to her voice acting.) Darran Norris doing J. Jonah Jameson (LOUDLY) was spine tingling. The whole time I keep saying to myself “holy crap! it’s J Jonah Jameson! right there! RIGHT THERE!! HAH!”. It took everything to keep myself from giggling like an idiot when I had a scene with Marina Sirtis (as Margot).
The radio play went well. Everyone seemed to really enjoy it, including the cast both pros and fans alike. I’m told Marina Sirtis expressed that she had a lot of fun and was disappointed this would be the last Gathering.
After the radio play I went to the hotel bar with a few people (Susan, Joe, Rebekah, and a couple others I’m totally blanking on like an idiot) and had some beer. I intended to have real food as well but the Blue Mug panel was fast approaching and all I had for dinner that evening was a few Sam Adams. Which may have something to do with my behavior at the Blue Mug.
Early in the panel I was asked about getting on the interwebs and hooking into the projector that was in the room. Nothing had been set up and the panel had already started. No worries. I asked Scott, who was at the panel, if he could start setting things up while I went to my room and grabbed my netbook. When I came back it was a simple matter of plugging the projector’s VGA cable into the netbook and setting up the wireless connection on my machine. All went well and before long we had the Blue Mug Productions web site up and running. Just in time as BMP director Edmund Tsabard walked into the panel to talk all things blue. I walked through the site while Edmund talked about what it was all about.
It was pretty convenient, that tiny netbook. I could cradle it in one arm and play it like an instrument with my free hand. It didn’t take long to get into a groove. At some point Edmund left, but I was a bit busy with the pictures. Just as I was really hitting my stride showcasing the goods Greg Weisman popped back in. Oops.
The panel was light. A bit blue here and there, but nothing terribly raunchy. I just sat back and watched Nikki and Mara draw naughty bits.
After the panel was over Scott informed me of a secret plan to connect Rock Band up to the projector and sound system in the room and rock out with insane bass (until the hotel staff kicked them out an hour later), but I was wrecked. I headed up to the 24th floor with Tony to hang out for a bit with Greg, Jen, Tony, Mara before crashing.