|Current music:||Missing You - John Waite|
Catch My Breath (Collectormania MK 2012: Part II)
I can't believe that the events I am about to describe took place a week ago! Anyway, let's talk about last Sunday.
This time my first photoshoot wasn't until 10:55, so I did try to get a lie-in, but the rhinoceros in the room upstairs put paid to that. Never mind. Had brekky downstairs (the toaster was misbehaving but I got some toast in the end) and went off to the stadium to grab virtual tickets for those guests whose autographs I hadn't obtained yesterday before photo time. The car park was very full but they had parking marshalls for the Sunday and one directed me to a nice empty space. Even though I was later arriving than yesterday, there were more spaces around because it was waaaay quieter today. Karen Gillan and John Barrowman had been doing Saturday appearances only, for starters, so the crowds were vastly reduced.
First shoot was with Richard Kiel. He's not so spry these days (he was going around in a motorized wheelchair) so was sitting for his shoot, which in some respects is a shame because he's about 7'2", which would have made for a hilarious contrast with my 5'4". Still, he's so big he made me look delightfully petite and slim, relatively speaking. Everyone should have a picture with him. OK, vanity aside, he was a very nice guy too!
and I had plenty of time to mooch around (and say a quick hi to CBG and Ash at Incognito Comics) before the Star Trek talk. Unlike with the GoT talk when I was seated a fair way to the right of the stage, I was right in the middle so had a great view. John Schuck and Suzi Plakson held the fort for a while as Nichelle Nichols and Michael Dorn were delayed, but we had a good time asking them questions in the meantime. Good thing, too, because when Nichelle got in, she had the bulk of the remaining questions (and spent a fair while answering them). She told a marvellous tale about being about to quit Star Trek at the end of season 1 because she wanted to work on Broadway, but meeting Martin Luther King and realizing how important the role was - in that her character was doing the kind of stuff black people were marching to achieve - made her continue in the role. It was absolutely fascinating. Suzi was similarly moved, as she led the applause after that tale. I also learned that Nichelle hadn't really watched TNG because it was the first new ST thing after TOS and she found it a bit hard to adjust to that, but she loves DS9 (and Michael in it!). Michael didn't get too many questions himself as we ran out of time, but when asked about the new universe created by JJ Abrams in the recent film, said something very close to my heart, which is about how the tiniest of actions creates all these new possibilities, like the branches of a tree (or the Trousers of Time, as Terry Pratchett put it, although branches sum it up even better).
I came out intending to grab some autographs in the break before my last three photoshoots, but ran into the same problem as yesterday - most of the guests were at lunch! However, Phil LaMarr was standing at his desk, so I went over to see him and he was chatting to Jonny Coyne (the Warden from Alcatraz). Who was talking with a rather distinctive non-US accent. When they both looked at me, I couldn't stop my jaw dropping as I said, "I can't believe you're a Brit! I've been watching Alcatraz all this time and never noticed!" (Ironically, I've watched an ep since and he does have a betraying accent now that I know. Darn it!) He grinned at me, said his goodbyes so Phil could get back to meeting attendees (i.e. me!) and went back to his desk. I picked a Kit Fisto pic for Phil to sign and told him that while I did like Hermes from Futurama, Kit was my favourite non-dialogue-given Jedi in the live-action films, so I was glad he'd given him a voice. He put To Amanda, May the Force be with you!, Phil LaMarr on the autograph, hee. There was then a moment of confusion when I asked him how he enjoyed working on The Mentalist.
"I've never been on The Mentalist," he said. We then gazed at each other with mutual incomprehension for one minute, and then he said, "Are you thinking of Castle?" ("Crap!" said the Brain Cell.) Yes. Yes, I was. "Ah, the other procedural show," he said with a smile. I apologetically explained that I was a bit saturated, Tee Vee-wise, and that I could see him in the scene, but just couldn't fill in the right characters around him, but he didn't mind at all and seemed happy to chat to me. Talking about Castle got us on the subject of Nathan Fillion; Phil admitted that he had a gap in his Joss Whedon viewing pleasure as he hadn't seen Firefly or Serenity and I encouraged him heartily to do so (preferably in order so he gets the most payoff for it, although I warned him that Joss is still trying to make us cry. And that he had to see the gag reels!). I made my farewells and he grinned and said something along the lines of, "Really nice to meet you," so I think I made a reasonable impression in the end...
I think I grabbed Suzi Plakson's autograph after that although the timings are a bit hazy now. She was wearing the most fabulous black coat, so the first words out of my mouth after, "Hi!" were how much I loved it. It had a mantle which could be worn as a hood, same as my beloved grey one, which is falling apart but I can't bear to get rid of it, and of course black is even better. Suzi remembered me from the Star Trek talk (I was sitting directly opposite her with no-one in front) and said something like, "Wasn't that story of Michelle's about Martin Luther King great?" to which I agreed. Cue a brief discussion about the way chance encounters change lives (with reference to Michael's comment) and my hands were being rather expressive; next minute, the security guard started discreetly looming to the left of the desk. I was a teeny bit hurt, because I'm sure that guy knows me by now from various photoshoots and he was with CBG when I chatted to the latter at Hallowhedon 3, but I know he's got an important job to do and you can get genuine crazies at these things, so tried not to take it too personally, got my auto and made my farewells...
I think I met Jonny Coyne next. I'm afraid I discovered from him that Alcatraz is not being renewed for a second season, thereby proving that even JJ Abrams isn't immune from the dreaded one-season run. Boo! Without asking for spoilery detail, I did ascertain that we will discover some stuff before the end, but there'll also be a cliffhanger. "Bastards," said I. I asked him what he was up to now and he's doing a Western, so that led to a discussion about horses and the importance of breaking one's muscles back in after a period of not riding... We were so engrossed in that that I was surprised by Michelle breaking in with a tongue-in-cheek, "Shut up, Amanda," ("Wot?!" was my response) because it was time for her to take Jonny for his lunch break. Hee. Jonny also seemed glad to have met me (yay!). This is why I enjoy getting to see the less busy guests as there's less pressure and you can get to talk more.
After the break, it was time for my last three photoshoots. Lena Headey was first; a lot of people didn't recognize her because she's naturally brunette and some only know her as Cersei from Game Of Thrones (hint: the eyebrows give it away!), but I was familiar with Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles and 300, so wasn't surprised, although she was shorter standing up than I expected (only saw her at the desk on Saturday), and had a pixie-like look. Very cute.
Next was Brandon Routh; I think he was doing handshakes and "How are you?"-style greetings like Sean Astin. The final shot was with Roxanne McKee (Doreah from GoT, and I understand she's also been in Hollyoaks, if anyone's familiar with that). Had an amusing moment in the queue when the people behind whom I'd been queueing for Brandon ended up in that queue too, so we ended up chatting about cons while we waited, which was nice. As for the shoot itself, Roxanne had her hands firmly in her pockets the whole time so people knew she wasn't up for arms round shoulders or anything like that, but the photo turned out OK, so I'm happy with that.
Then it was time to wait for photos to come back. I grabbed autos from Nichelle Nichols and Michael Dorn at this point. I told Nichelle how much I'd enjoyed her talk (she thanked me graciously) and said to Michael that it had been great seeing him on Castle - yes, I'd got the right series this time) - and whether he'd enjoyed working on it (he said he did; I know few people are going to lie about that sort of thing, but hey, Nathan Fillion, right?). I never discovered where Roxanne was sitting and she wasn't on the seating plan, but she was signing somewhere, apparently. I was walking past Jonny Coyne's desk when I realized that I hadn't got a photo of him at all (unfortunately his photoshoots were not at times I could manage), so scooted over and asked him that as he'd gone to lunch when we were last talking, could I please have a photo? "Sure," said he, although when I started taking aim he said, "Don't you want to be in it?" to which I said, "Nah, I'd only ruin it." (I tend to look ghastly in desk photos these days.) He looked appraisingly at me for a second before saying, "You look kinda cool." (Thank you, awesome Metallica Death Magnetic Tour T-shirt.) I grinned and thanked him, but remained firm on the shot of him on his own, which is what I got. After which I thanked him muchly for the photo and scooted away again...
Richard Kiel was on a break and Sean Astin's virtual queue wasn't quite there yet, so I then grabbed some lunch from Asda (not so much choice this time as it was Sunday afternoon and only a few hours to closing time, but I managed) and went back to the Premier Inn to eat my lunch and flop out for a little while. After an hour and a bit, I figured the timing was about right so back to the stadium (the parking was thinning out even further, thank goodness). Sean Astin was on a break this time, but Richard was there, so I went to see him. He signed a Jaws pic from The Spy Who Loved Me and then asked if I had a camera without me even prompting (I wasn't going to ask because I had had my photoshoot with him). I took the camera out and he indicated that I could come round and sit next to him at the desk (because he finds it hard to get around, as previously mentioned). I figured that wouldn't look as bad as if I were to perch on the desk so handed my camera over and sat down. "Would you like to sit cheek-to-cheek with Jaws?" said Richard with a smile, to which I cheerfully acquiesced. That actually turned out to be a good pic (I look fairly slim again! Heh), although it's fascinating to see the contrast in our hair colour compared to that of the photoshoot; my hair always looks so much browner in the shoots. I couldn't think of anything to say, but got to shake his hand (it was massive) and tell him it was very nice to meet him.
Discovered that Sean Astin would be back any minute so queued up with the last of the stragglers. "He's bloody lovely," the girl at the payment desk informed me. Heh. Sean was indeed very nice and chatty. When he got to me, he was half-referring to the conversation he'd been having with the attendees in front of me and was saying, "Hanging on to the bitter end, huh?" He then asked if I knew where the phrase "the bitter end" came from. Clue: it was to do with ships. "Limes and scurvy?" said I hopefully. No, but Sean then proceeded to explain what it meant (I'll let you find out for yourself if you don't know!) and I was grinning because I love knowing bits of random trivia like that. Athough he claimed limes and scurvy were just pirates and I wanted to refute this as we Brits are of course called limeys because seafarers used to eat limes to prevent scurvy, so the pirates just didn't have any limes, just the scurvy, but decided not to push it. He handed the auto (involving a pic of Sam Gamgee of LotR) back to me and said, "Arrrrrrrrr!" "Arrrrrrrrr!" I replied, natch. I could imagine having some excellently geeky conversations with him, were there time to do so.
Then it was time to wait for photos. The hyenas were around the table again, but not so thickly as yesterday, so it was a little easier to squish to the front after a while and see what had come back. All bar Roxanne's had come back. Annoyingly, part of her shoot had been posted, but they'd delayed the next batch because they wanted to get Jason Momoa's Sunday shoot back at the same time. However, I ran into a guy to whom I'd been talking in one of the many photoshoot queues so we nattered away until the photos came back and said we'd look out for each other at LFCC. Stowed my final photo away and headed for the car. Ran into someone I'd met at Hallowhedon 3 and bumped into a couple of times over the weekend, and we walked back to our cars together (his ended up being parked right next to mine!), also agreeing to look out for each other at LFCC. He's got a Gold Pass for that like me, so I'm sure we'll see each other a fair bit while we're jumping all those queues, heehee. Drove back to the Premier Inn, packed and went home, dropping in on Marmpar on the way to show them my photos and autos as is traditional after my CMKs.
And that was my Collectormania MK weekend. Thank you for reading if you're still here, and here are some photos!
5 Doctors (Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Tom Baker, Paul McGann, Peter Davison)
Game Of Thrones talk
Star Trek talk (Nichelle Nichols and Michael Dorn)
Star Trek talk (John Schuck and Suzi Plakson)
Richard Kiel (again!)
(Post a new comment)