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This wasn't my first con, but it was my first gathering. I was only 4 or 5 when Gargoyles first aired--so now, at the age of 20, it really felt like I was part of this younger generation just barely getting to the point of shouldering the responsibility of the fandom. There were people twice my age who lived with this show and supported it by attending the con, working with Greg and forming these very close bonds--it was really something to see, how your own love and appreciation is reflected in so many other people, especially when they've had to go farther for it, like maintaining the expense of the Gathering and bringing it back for so many years.
So I was a bit sad going in--my first gathering, and it would be the last one? It was hard not to feel this way at certain times, but mostly everything was so fun and exiting I was on cloud nine all weekend long.
I'm from Arkansas, and our NATIONAL AIRPORT in our capitol of Little Rock has a total of TWELVE GATES. This meant a connecting flight in Dallas, which meant a long delay due to bad weather, which ultimately meant arriving at the Gathering at 2 instead of 12, despite those handy hours we gained on the trip. Got my badge, and bought a copy of Bad Guys, talked with some people and eventually found my way for Thom's panel. It was so cool! He's such an interesting guy, and really really funny. I wish I had told him how when I was younger my cousin and I would fight over who got to be Lexington when we played Gargoyles, but I only thought of it after...oh well. Opening ceremonies: it was cool to see how many con-virgins their were--myself included. Huzzah for young blood, if I may cheer for myself. Seeing all the promos and clips was great, because I hadn't seen a lot of them. Was very late for supper, but my dad who came with me (I'm old enough to drive and vote and go to school out of state, but alone in LA for one weekend? Forget about it. But I love my dad and he's good company, even though he doesn't get Gargoyles or cartoons in general) was waiting for me and we got dinner at the hotel. Sushi and smoked salmon, like they don't have in Arkansas. So good.
I wavered and missed out on Keith David's mug-a-guest, so I went to audition for the radio play. Brought back all those delightful feelings I had in high school drama of the nervous audition, the fragile hope, and ultimate rejection. So I called a friend and CHILLED OUT. And I read for Gwen, and gave my best high pitched shriek. Walking away, and I swear I really thought this--I figured if I got any part at all it would be for the screaming bit.
Went to Cripsin Freeman's panel on Dragons for a lark and was really surprised. I hadn't expected it to be so good--it was really thought out, informative, and entertaining. I've been listening to Freeman in my anime for years (he brought be to tears for his work in Wolf's Rain, but I didn't mention that either--shoot!) but I never expected him to have the same passion for myths and folklore I do. I need to check out his site.
Then I stayed for the Gargoyles and the Spectacular Spider-Man voice panels--words cannot describe how hilarious they were. I asked a few questions but mostly listened and laughed, utterly content. After I shook Phil Lamarr's hand, and told him that I loved his work and could always tell when it was him, even though his range is so varied, which is true--that man has acted in probably every cartoon I've loved (and a few that I merely liked) since I was 11. I took a bit of time out to chat with Karine Charlebois, artist of Bad Guys. I want to work in comics or animation one day, so her insight was very useful. Thanks Karine!
After the voice panels I went to check the cast list, certain that I would merely be watching the players tonight and attending David Hedgecock's panel during the hour before the play--but my name was on this list! It felt like magic. And if wasn't magic it was certainly a little weird, as I had been given the role of the Pumpkin Bomb--the shrieking part. Score one for my intuition!
I was elated all night. Hearing all the actors reprise their old roles and work off of all the other actors WAS magic. It made it seem like that show I loved, those stories and those characters were still out there, just waiting to be brought back. It was amazing fun, and I shrieked with all my might! Phil Lamarr who sat in front of me, I'm sorry if I hurt your ears!
And after the play, I met my dad and we both walked and ate in Universal city. I gushed out everything to him, and while I'm certain he was extremely bemused he was also happy for me. A really wonderful night. Thanks Greg (and Mir. Thomason, and Victor Cook who thought up the screaming pumpkin bomb) for allowing me to be a part in that magic. I'll be the pumpkin bomb forever.
I attended both panels of the production process for both shows--if Saturday was all about fun and play, Sunday was (for me, anyway) all about fun and learning. I learned so much about how it felt to make a show, both from Greg and his comrades and from Victor Cook, whose mug-a-guest session I attended. Mr. Cook even gave me his card--the shining dream of working in animation (and um...the potential scary parts of that shining dream) seemed so much closer! I came in a bit late for the writer's panel, but still learned a lot. After the panel I shook Michael Reeves' hand, and I was really sad to hear that he was ill. He wrote some of my favorite shows on Gargoyles, and I hope he gets better. I also got Greg to sign my script, and told him how glad I was to be the pumpkin bomb. I still am, Greg! I still am!!
At the banquet I sat at Crispin Freeman's table, and had a nice dinner. The Q & A was also great then too--though I felt bad that everyone had to stand on stage like that; their feet must have been killing them, especially Greg. The Masquerade was great too. If there ever is another one, I'm definitely dressing up at least once. I had to leave pretty soon, as my dad and I had an early flight out Monday. So I didn't get to go at all on Monday, but I still felt that twinge of sadness that I'm sure was felt more acutely at closing ceremonies. I had a great time, but I had a long drive waiting to go to school once I got back home, and not enough time to say goodbye properly. I don't think I want to say goodbye.
Instead, I'll just say good night, and thank you. To Greg, to Michael Reeves and Vic Cook, to the con staff, to the guests, to the attendees and to the fans who couldn't go but were there in spirit: thank you. I hope I'll see you again.
Your shriek was stunning!!!
I'm glad you had a great time!