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Kaylle's G2004 Journal (Part 1 of 2)
[I have an illustrated version of this journal on my website, but as requested I'm pasting the text here. People who want to see the pretty version should go to www.ladyavalon.com/gathering/gathering01.htm ]
THE ROAD TO MONTREAL
(or, Useless Background Info)
I graduated from high school in 2000, and as a kind of graduation present my mother agreed to take me to the Gathering in Orlando. We bought plane tickets, reserved the hotel, etc. I was so excited!
Then I got a letter from MIT, where I was going to be a freshman in September. It turned out they have a summer program for incoming freshman, where you can live on campus and take pass/fail elective credit classes that are similar to the real courses youâll take your first term, by way of preparation for real college life. Iâd be able to get used to living on campus, meet new friends, and get a head start on college classwork. And it was free. But you werenât allowed to skip classes, and you werenât allowed to leave for vacations.
I, naturally, wanted to go to the Gathering, but being the sensible person I was I knew I *should* go to school. So I made a sort of bargain with God; I told Him Iâd apply for the program, and if I got in I would take it as a sign that that was what He wanted me to do. (This seemed like a very logical plan of action at the time.) So when I got in, I grumbled a lot (that might be an understatement, actually) but I went and I missed the Gathering.
Since then, every year Iâve intended to go and never quite been able to pull it off. Last year I started to design a pair of wings, only to run out of time to build them before the Gathering in NYC. I was just about ready to write it off as a lost cause when one day I received an email from tvshowsondvd.com, mentioning that Disney was going to send a camera crew to the Gathering this year in Montreal. They were actually taking note of the fans of the show, and I had a chance to be counted as one of them.
So I considered. My wings were still in pieces in my basement. Iâd just come back from a week in Florida and had no spending money left. I hadnât been online in ages, so none of the fans knew who I was. Plane tickets to Montreal were running $350+, but the drive was 12-13 hours.
But... Disney was paying attention!
So I emailed my trusty sidekick/partner in crime, Annie. âHey... Do you maybe want to go to Montreal? In about five weeks?â She thought I was crazy, but as usual we didnât have anything else better to do. So we broke out the wings. Started sewing and engineering and hot-gluing things together. And by some miracle it all came (mostly) together in time.
Weâd been up sewing till midnight or later the night before, but I got up at six to go to work. Somehow managed to stay awake all day (audiofanfic helped a lot) and picked Annie up on the way home from work. I still wasnât packed, so we had to head back to my house and run around like chickens with our heads cut off for a while. Annie became chief CD-burner and picked out some good driving music while I tried to find my birth certificate. We finally got on the road at 6:30 and drove six hours to Buffalo. We checked into the Howard Johnson and collapsed.
We were up again at 7:30 and on the road once more by 8. Annie did most of the driving this morning as I was a little zonked from driving the night before. It was ridiculously easy to get into Canada; no one even asked to see our IDs. âWhere are you going?â âMontreal.â âWhere are you from?â âOhio.â âHave a good time.â I guess terrorists donât come from the Midwest...
Traffic into Montreal was a pain, but we finally got to the hotel around 3. It took us another ten minutes to figure out how to get *into* the hotel, thanks to a number of one way streets, but at last we got checked in and parked and settled in our room. We went back downstairs to registration and got checked in there too. There was a sign-up sheet for the Blue Mug-a-Guest at the registration table, and it was full, which was a little disappointing; it felt like weâd just driven *forever* and we were being excluded from things for getting there three hours too late. (It turned out later that signing up wasnât required, and we got to go anyway, so all my disappointment was for nothing).
We wandered through the dealerâs room and art show, which was suffering from some power difficulties at the moment. I made a mental note to come back and buy one of the Demona T-shirts and a G2004 pin, which I never got around to doing. All the artwork was really well-done, by turns amazing and hysterical, and I was sorely tempted to buy a few things, but I resisted. (The one that stands out in my mind the most was the Phoenix Gate piece that was used as the cover for the anthology. That was just beautiful. I also remember being impressed of a shot of Elisa and Goliath overlying the NYC skyline. Iâm sorry I donât remember whose piece this was!)
Most of the con-goers in the vicinity seemed absorbed in conversations and activities, and we were feeling shy, so we went out into Montreal to find food. We found a Subway a few blocks away and got some sandwiches, then raced back to the hotel just in time for the Opening Ceremonies.
It was a little bit of a shock to see so many fans together in one place, so many people who loved this show as much as I did and wouldnât think I was weird if I talked about it for hours on end. I was surprised by how candid Greg Weisman was; despite having pored over the Ask Greg archives and reading Gathering journals from years past, I hadnât realized just how much Greg was âone of the fans,â so to speak. He wasnât the aloof guest of honor; he was just as excited to be here as we were.
I was also surprised by how many other con virgins were in attendance. Iâve been a fan of the show since early in the second season and just hadnât been able to make it to a convention, but a lot of the people I talked to were relative newcomers to the fold. It thrills me that weâre still attracting new fans, ten years later.
It was great to hear about the DVD (and the Powerpoint slide show on paper cracked me up!). Even though I know itâs a long shot, I would really love for Disney to take note of us and bring the show back on the air. The fact that they wanted footage of the Gathering seems like an awfully good sign, but Iâm not in the television business so I really donât know.
There was also a tape of greetings from Keith David, Frank Paur, Ed Asner, Bob Fein, and numerous other production staff. Keith slipped into the Goliath voice a few times, prompting a rash of delighted giggles through the crowd. Even though I *knew* he was coming to the Gathering (he wasnât there yet, heâd been delayed), even though I *knew* plenty of people had met him before and probably werenât as impressed by this anymore, it was suddenly incredibly cool to hear that familiar voice... Ed also seemed really pleased to be on the tape; he didnât slip into the Scottish brogue, but he talked with such a quiet dignity that it was easy to âseeâ him as Hudson (despite referring to his character as âthe old geezerâ).
After that Greg played the pitches for Gargoyles and for Dark Ages, The New Olympians, and Bad Guys. After years of hearing about them, I was excited to finally see the fabled videos. (I groaned a little when Terry was introduced as an MIT graduate--âWhy do they always go to MIT?â-- but Greg later explained that was sort of an inside joke, as a relative of his was an MIT grad whoâd studied English.) Watching the pitches and listening to Greg talk about the plans heâd had, I could see it all in my head, the way it could have been expanded into a multilayered universe like the ones Marvel and DC have. For the first time I understood the scope of the project and I was stunned by it.
We also heard the voice track for the planned Team Atlantis episode Greg had sneaked Gargoyles into. Having seen Atlantis only once, several years ago, I didnât remember most of the characters very well, but the Gargoyle subtext was intriguing and all of the voice actors did a great job. I do love Sheena Easton as the female Huntress, both Fiona and Robyn.
After the ceremonies, we stayed for the Mystery Gargoyles Theater 3000, which was a lot of fun. Annie and I met Alan and Carolyn there, who were also con virgins, and had a lot of fun just laughing and joking through the episodes. I was really surprised to realize theyâd never seen the show in its original run; they had just downloaded a handful of episodes off the internet and liked them enough to look for the rest. Itâs awesome that weâre still bringing in new blood, and even more awesome that they came to the Gathering.
After MGT3K was over, Annie and I went upstairs and ended up taking a quick nap before the Blue Mug. Weâd set the alarm for shortly before eleven and, amid many grumbles, we got up and went to the con suite. It was pretty packed, but we found some seats on the floor by the coffee table and ended up being at Gregâs feet. The room got even more crowded before we got started, but I donât think we turned anyone away completely. The questions ended up being fairly tame, compared to what I guess has been covered in previous years, but Iâve heard that attributed to Thomâs absence. I enjoyed it anyway; it was very cool listening to Greg just talking about the show, something he obviously loves very much. I asked a few questions, although I donât remember now what they were. Most of the conversation focused on the upcoming DVD and what-ifs about bringing the show back on the air. The conversation broke up at about 2 am and we all stumbled gratefully back to bed.
Wow, from such humble beginnings, you're now a major part of the fandom, hosting gargoylesdvd.com. Thanks!