September 17th, 2005

Toronto

Toronto SFX, Part the Fifth: Questions & Answers.

Part the First here
Part the Second here
Part the Third here
Part the Fourth here

blond_bear had checked with the people right behind her in line and they had no problem with us jumping in line with her since they knew ahead of time. We were only in line about 1/2 hour, but we kept getting shushed for talking in normal to low voices because apparently our voices were carrying into the room where someone else's Q & A was going on. About half way through the wait they divided the Gold passes and the Stalker passes into two lines again, which left us very close to the front of our line.

When we got in we ended up splitting up from blond_bear because I opted to sit a little farther back so I could be right on the center aisle for taking photos. Shortly after we were all settled in James & Steve came in.

There was a mike up on stage for James, and one down to the right of the stage (stage left?) for us to ask questions from. Steve explained that we would just line up there to ask questions & James said “anything goes.”

No one headed up right away, and just as I was thinking “What the hell, I'll go first,” another girl also stood up & headed on up. BB took pretty good notes during the whole Q & A, which I plan on stealing as soon as she posts them. I couldn't even tell you what the first girl asked because I was taking pictures and trying not to be too nervous that not only would I be talking to James in a minute, but I would also be speaking in front of a room full of people! Y'all know how I love that!

Since I knew I would kick myself later if I was in the same room with a chance to ask a question and I didn't, I had been contemplating what to ask for about a month or so! Well, I was up there and got the mike, and was relatively calm and coherent! My question/answer with James went something like this, quoted/paraphrased to the best of my memory:
Me – “Hi James”
JM – “Hi.”
Me – “I drove all the way here from Minneapolis, and we've got a great theater there called the Guthrie”
JM – “Yeah, the Guthrie's great”
Me – “A couple of Joss's actors got their starts there. Ron Glass from Firefly & Serenity, and before that some little show called Barney Miller was there in the late 60's. Also, and I know I'm going to mangle his last name, Vincent Kartheiser (insert manglization of last name here)” [confused look on James' face] “Connor on Angel, he's from Minneapolis and was at the Guthrie for a while…”
JM – “Really? I didn't know that. I'm jealous!”
Me – “Also, a couple years ago we had Mercedes Ruehl and Patrick Stewart there doing an amazing version of Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolfe. So my question for you is, when can I see you at the Guthrie?”
JM – “As soon as they'll have me. The Guthrie has a great reputation. It has a better reputation than the [theater I don't remember the name of] in Chicago. The Guthrie kicks broadway's butt. But yeah, I'd have to wait at least 10 years though because I have kids and I can't be uprooting them and dragging them around the country.”
Me – “Minnesota is a beautiful, wonderful, safe place to raise children”
JM – laughs


He then talked a little more about how good the Guthrie's reputation is and that he would love to be on stage there someday if they'll have him. He also said that by the time he could commit to it he would be so old he'd be limited in the roles he could consider.
At that point I passed the mike back to the next person and went back to my seat. Yay! I was coherent and not nervous!

Some of the other questions that I remember are that his favorite movie is Apocalypse Now, although “Die Hard was really good.” And when asked if he prefers to be on top or bottom he said “I'm sorry ladies, but I have to say on top” We weren't really sure why he felt the need to apologize for that… He also talked for a bit about his role on this next season of Smallville. He'll be playing Brainiac, and his alter ego will be a college professor named Dr. Fine. He's contracted for 7-10 episodes.

One of the funnier moments was when a woman asked about Steve. The way she phrased it was like they were a couple even though Steve's just his manager. It was something like “You and Steve have been together for a while now. How did you get together.” James totally got the joking nature of the way it was asked and he said into the microphone, “So, how long have we been lovers, Steve?” Steve was just outside the room in the hall and obviously only heard his name in the questioning tone because he peeked his head in with a “What do you need?” look on his face only to be greeted by several hundred women laughing. James then proceeded to tell us that he had to fire two managers before finding Steve and that Steve was fair, honest, and you don't fuck with him.

The Q & A was over way to quickly, and we were left with a few hours before we needed to line up again for the autographs.
At this point it was about 2:00 so we needed food! Also, the shirt I was wearing was kind of warm, and pictures were done so we first headed back to me & lucky13charm hotel to change. I also threw Chiana in my backpack as well as Sandy's CF drive so that I could download all my photos and clear the cards for the evening. With just a quick glance at some of my Q&A pics, I was very happy.

We went to a restaurant that blond_bear said was pretty good and ate for the first time since breakfast that morning. After food, it was back to the Convention center. As we were walking there we ran into a guy that BB knew from work. He was leaving for the day and so he gave blond_bear his press pass. His two friends had them too so they gave us all three. I had a press pass! Although we never really did figure out any use for it.
Chiana & Gabe

Test post

I've been using iJournal for my entries, pretty much since I got Chiana, but tags have been around for a few months now, and iJournal still doesn't have tags support. I have just started putting tags on my entries, but to do this I have to go back into the entry to edit it to add the tag. It's annoying, and the main reason I haven't really started using tags.
Today I decided to use my brain and see which other LJ clients are out there for Mac and I found Xjournal. It seems to have all the features I'm used to, plus tags and more stuff that I haven't looked at yet. This is my first post with it... We'll see how it goes...

*edit* and as part of my testing, this edit's sole purpose was to use the "edit last entry" function of the client. :)

*son of edit* I can also use this to edit old entries! Like, all of them. All the way back to 2002! This will be useful for my retroactive tagging. Three years of tags to add... Oy with the poodles already!
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Toronto

Toronto SFX, Part the Sixth: More Jayne, Hercules, and the James autographs.

When we got back to the Convention Center we went up to the autograph area again, and I got a Hercules pic signed by Kevin Sorbo, and the obligatory Photo With Moose.
Then we moved on over to Adam Baldwin’s booth so that lucky13charm could get his autograph on one of the Serenity mini posters for her brother. I actually remember our conversations with Adam more this time than the one the previous night.

I asked him which cities he’d gone to for the previews. I remember he said Seattle, and of course Edinborough for the premier, but I don’t remember what other one he’d said.
Then blond_bear was asking him about how the current version of the film was different than the one we’d seen. Adam said that of course the special effects and music were all finished, but he also said that Joss had trimmed out some unnecessary dialog, to which I joked, “Joss has unnecessary dialog?” and he laughed. He said the final cut is just a few minutes over two hours and it is just fantastic.

While we had been talking to him and I was looking at him I noticed a pretty deep scar on his cheek. Again, the part of my brain that is usually kinda shy had apparently been left behind in the US because as we were standing there and the conversation started to lull I said, “If you don’t mind my asking, how did you get that scar on your cheek? It really adds to the Jayne persona” He smiled and said that when he was three he fell off his tricycle into a wheelbarrow. Then he laughed and said, “No, wait, I was in a knife fight. Ooh, I got it in prison” It was very cute and sweet and funny. We all got our pictures taken with him again and continued on our merry way.

We headed to the Canadian Browncoat table and I was able to snag some of the free goodies to bring home for Niki who refused to skip her sister’s wedding to go to Canada with us.
The crowds trying to navigate the booths areas were just hellacious. When you are expecting that many thousands of people you really should make wider aisles. So we decided not to do any shopping/browsing and headed down to just hang out in the area where we were lining up for autographs.

We found blond_bear’s two new Browncoat friends and sat with them. Being the intelligent fans that we are, we had already divided ourselves into the two lines; gold & VIP. Unfortunately the hallway that we were expecting that we were going to be going into for the autographs (the same place the pictures had been) was overrun by Frodo fans. Elijah Woods was at the con and doing a signing that you needed a special ticket for. When James’ people came down to set up for the autographs and for passing out the photos, they had nowhere to go.

There were some pretty big conference/event type rooms just off the hallway where we were, so they arranged for one of those to be opened up and we filed into it in our nice orderly VIP first, Gold second line. There was a ton of room and so the line just kind of snaked around the outer edge of the room and when it stopped we all just plunked our stuff and ourselves down and basically just hung out.

As the photos came in batches they called out the numbers and we went to get them. Everyone was surprised at how much of a full body shot they were. Then my number was called and I went up and got my envelope. I was so nervous to open it because I was afraid I would hate it.

My first reaction was that mine was zoomed in, I didn’t get the crotch shot that everyone else did! And, I didn’t hate the way I looked. But James’ face? Wow! In my pic he was looking at the camera with that smoldering SEX! look that he does so well! And he was holding Moose with his left hand, with Moose just kind of resting on his palm that he was holding up flat. His right arm was draped up and over my shoulder and our heads were touching. The main thing I really don’t like about the picture is that we just don’t match. I have a really big smile and he has the intense gaze with no smile.

But as we were all comparing photos and noticing all the little details we saw that mine was the only one zoomed in so close. We eventually used our brains and figured out that the photographer zoomed in so that Moose would show up more, since he really isn’t a very big moose.

Shortly after the photos were handed out, James came in to start the autographs. It was really cool. He was at a table in one corner of the room, and none of us in line were really making a big deal about it because we knew we were all gonna be up there with our time with him at some point.

When I wandered out of the room for a bathroom break, I saw that Steve had the table set up outside the room where they were selling the pictures, DVDs, & Cds. On my way back in I stopped to talk to him.

Have I mentioned yet how much we love Steve Himber? He’s such a classy guy. He’s nice & funny & helpful & you can just tell that you don’t want to fuck with him, because you will not win!

Anyway, I introduced my self and mentioned the email I had sent him before the convention, basically asking if there was any kind of photographer’s/press badge or anything I could get to get up close at the concert to photograph it. He’d emailed me back right away saying he was sorry, but they really couldn’t make exceptions for anybody, but he hoped I’d be able to get some good shots anyway. That had been the answer I expected to get. I had figured that if I didn’t ask, I would have zero chance. If I asked and I only had a 2% chance he’d say yes, it was still 2% more than not asking.

So, I had introduced myself to Steve and refreshed his memory about the email I sent and before I could say anything else he apologized that he hadn’t been able to help me. I said that was ok, and that I totally understood, but that you never know until you ask. Then I also thanked him for responding to me right away when I did email him and told him how much I appreciated that.

We talked a little bit and he asked if I had gotten good pictures at the Q&A, which I said I did. I told him I was really looking forward to the concert too. Then I asked him if he had the “I want my Spike movie” postcards and buttons that they’d had for the taking on the table earlier at the photo shoots.

He said “Hold on a minute, I’ll go get them” and he was back in a second with the buttons. He passed most of them out to people who were standing in line right there and when he had one left he brought it over to me. I thanked him again and headed on it to so sit back down with the girls.

I noticed as I glanced at James (well, duh? Wouldn’t you if you were walking right past?) that on the end of the table where he was signing they had more buttons so I stopped to grab one for lucky13charm. I asked the volunteer at the end of the table if they still had the postcards too and she realized she had forgotten to put those out. She took a huge pile out of a box and put them on the table and said something about how she had to go give some to Steve too. She was looking kind of harried, probably from herding us all around as they figured out where they would be doing the signing, so I volunteered to run them out.

Then it was back to sit in line for a while more until all the VIPs had their autographs. While we were all sitting there Steve came around with a bowl of Tootsie Rolls and he was showing people a picture from the photo session. I’m guessing that James and he were goofing around either before or after the photos because it was a picture of the two of them. I didn’t get a real good look at it. After the question that had been asked earlier the two of them goofing around in a pic was even funnier.

Once the VIPs were done with their autographs we got up and got ready and made our final decisions on what to have signed. I was pretty much set on the photo I had bought because it was just such a nice looking photo. Hindsight and all, I actually had enough time that I could have taken one of the photos I took at the Q&A to a drugstore to have a print made and have him sign that… Ah well. When he was signing for blond_bear he said that the guitar he was holding actually belonged to David Boreanaz.

While we had been in line and when I was at the table getting postcards I was marveling at how calm I was. There was none of the frozen in place syndrome I’d had at the first sighting. Even at the Q & A I wasn’t as nervous as I usually am. I think I can attribute a lot of that to how James is so good at putting you at ease. At the photos, when I was asking my questions, and then at the autograph, when it was my turn his focus was on me. It never seemed like he just wanted to get through with it to move on to the next person so that it could be over. He genuinely seemed to want to connect with each person.

Now I know that people will think that is wishful thinking on my part or that he’s just playing a part, but I have met musicians and actors who really do give the impression that they are doing the autographs/photos because they have to, not because they want to. The only celebrity I’ve met whose openness and friendliness can compare is Virginia Hey.

I actually attribute a lot of my ease and comfort with him to the Friday hallway encounter. I was able to get my first fangirl “OMG! He’s. Right. There!” out of the way when it didn’t “count” and also when he smiled and thanked me he was just so darn genuine.

Anyhow, when it was my turn I put down the photo I wanted signed and he reached out and shook my hand. He asked how I was doing. I thanked him for what had been a wonderful weekend so far. I also said “If you come to Minneapolis, to the Guthrie, I’ll be there.” And he said that he really hoped he would be some day. There was an open Red Bull can on the table and after he signed I pointed to it and said, “Make sure you have plenty more of those so you can rock all night!” He laughed and said he would and then he reached out and took my hand again.

And that was the last one-on-one encounter I had with him.