Look what my husband and I got yesterday at the DragonCon staff meeting! 15 years of volunteer staff gets you these!
I know you’re not getting what DragonCon is like from this post. Imagine you’re on a merry go round/roller coaster combination and you’re rushing up and down escalators, grabbing food whenever you can, surrounded by Storm Troopers and people in gorgeous Steampunk outfits (Victorian clothes) and every other costume imaginable and everything is happening all around you all the time.
Of course, I spend 5-6 hours a day in one room working Media Relations. It was kind of nice to have the occasional refuge from the madness, but the madness was joyous.
Sunday, I saw Sherrilyn Kenyon. She packed Centennial Ballroom, and was her usual charming, funny, earthy Sherry self.
Sunday night, I went to the Mad Scientist’s ball and witnessed the amazing singing Tesla Coils. I can’t describe them. Here is a video:
Oh yes, I also saw my friend Marc Gunn. I had got to talk to him and hug him earlier, and he signed his new CD “Happy Songs of Death” for me. He’s signed about 20 CDs for me over the years and all of them are just his name. But this time, when I got back to the Media Relations room and looked he signed, “To Rhetta, for years of support for the music. Thank you! Marc Gunn. I almost cried. It was touching. Then I went to see him perform and he was his usual nutty self.
Monday, I finished at noon and actually got to see three panels in a row! I saw “Ask the Authors” with Gene Wolfe, John Ringo, Lois Masters Bujold, and Kevin J. Anderson. I had been trying to see Gene Wolfe all Con. I loved his “Shadow of the Executioner” so much, and his other books just awe me. And it would not be the Con if I did not see KJA and the inimitable Ringo.
Then! Oh joy! I went to a panel with Peter David, Timothy Zahn, W.E.B. Griffith, a couple of other people (sorry, forgot the names) and…Peter S. Beagle! He is in my top five authors in the world, and after the excellent panel, I got to tell him how much I loved We Never Talk About My Brother and he THANKED ME FOR REVIEWING It! Peter S. Beagle thanked me! I could have died happy. What a truly great human being that man is, and he has the best voice ever.
I said goodbye to Dan and all the Media Relations crew and went to the wrap up party at the Space track with Ken. I didn’t talk about all the time I spent over there because it was late at night and I can’t remember the name of the scientists and physicists except for Bill Kiel. At the wrapup, we made and ate up the last of the liquid nitrogyn ice cream.
Then, I went and sat in line for an hour and a half for the Dead Dog party, which is called that because that is what we look, smell, and act like by that point. It’s a free dinner for staff. The food is barely passible, but it’s free and by that point that is important. Ken and the Space track were late and I sat with my former director and dear friend Sue Phillips from Sci Fi Lit track, Christopher Robin and his very charming and beautiful wife. Ken won a signed photo of Aaron Douglas from Battlestar Galactica. We aren’t BSG fans, but Aaron Douglas is another friendly celeb. We may put the photo on Ebay so someone can buy it who will treasure it.
Dan says if he is till director next year, I will have a press pass (because of the journal I edit.) I can’t wait for next year! I should be recovered by then!
In the meantime..I told Sue I will do the Sci Fi Lit website. I just have to keep DC going year round somehow.
By the way, the no. 1 lesson I have learned in 13 years of DragonCon is that the more recognizable the star, the nicer and friendlier they are, usually. If they are further down the celebrity chain, that’s where you get snobbery and attitude when you get it at all. 90 % of DC celebs are really lovely, though.
Friday… I had time off to go see William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. Yes, Laura, I saw Leonard Nimoy. He looks darn good, too. He and Shatner were very amusing together, although I hear Shatner was quite grumpy with the fans later. Seens that Nimoy keeps him balanced; they tease each other mercilessly. Nimoy was picking on him for not being in the movie. It seems that really is a sore spot: Shatner said he didn’t know why he wasn’t in it and that he hasn’t seen it. Someone asked if Nimoy was in the next one, and Shatner growled “If you say you’re in the next one, I am going to leap from this chair and tear your throat out.” But Nimoy said that they have just started writing a script and as far as he knows, he’s not in it. He teased Shatner about his memory and kept pretending he was going to do a Vulcan mindmeld on him. When someone asked Nimoy a question, Shatner pretended to pout, turning his chair away from the audience and claiming, “Don’t consider this pouting. Just pretend I’m not even here.” It was a fun panel, and a treat to see them. Here is some video. At the beginning, they are talking about George Takei, who has a bit of a feud with Shatner:
Most of Friday was busy, handing out the press badges and providing info. Our team worked together very well indeed. We all got along great and had a fun time working.
I did my Dan Simmons panel with my friend author Van Plexico and Sci fi lit staffer Christopher Robin (yes, his last name is Robin and his parents named him Christopher,) who is also a friend. It went extremely well.
In the evening, an interviewer needed a place to do an interview and Dan offered him our room. He was interviewing Brad Dourif, my favorite celebrity ever at DragonCon! For those of you who don’t recognize the name, he was Billy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Grima Wormtongue in Lord of the Rings, Doc on Deadwood, but is still best known as the voice of Chucky in all of the Child’s Play movies. The interviewer was late, bless him, so Cyd, Robyn and I got to talk to Brad. He is the nicest man imaginable with no ego at all. I told him that I met him at my first DragonCon 13 years ago when I was working the Tolkien track and he got lost and they sent me to find him, and he remembered that! He didn’t remember it was me, but he remembered the incident and how nervous he was because it was the first big Con he had done. He took pictures with all of us, and I will post mine if the computer will let me.
I also got to hear Dr. Seth Shostack, whoworks for SETI, Friday night. He was informative and funny as well, as almost all the scientists, astrophysicists, and NASA people are. It’s what makes Science track so much fun.
Saturday was another busy day (we were working 25 hours) but 3 of my hours were in the Walk of Fame. The first 45 minutes of that was great; the rest was pretty boring. But the first 45 minutes…! I met Dustin and Joe of the Ghost Hunters and talked to them for a while, so now I’ve met all the Ghost Hunters. I got to shake hands with Malcolm McDowell!!!! I told him about Rosie’s tattoo of him as Alex. He said that happens from time to time, that someone will have that tattoo, and he is always flattered. I talked to Gareth David-Lloyd, Ianto on Torchwood, who is just gorgeous and very nice. John Billingsley, who was Dr. Phlox on Star Trek: Enterprise and is now on Trueblood, introduced me to his wife and was just lovely. I saw but did not get to speak to Catherine Bach and John Schneider. She is back in Daisy shape and John Schneider looks really hot.
Other than that, I didn’t get to do too much Saturday besides work and take some photos of costumes as I went between hotels about 20 times, or so it seemed. (DragonCon is in 4 hotels, three of which are located across the street and behind each other in a row.) I did my panel with Van again and with Jean Marie Ward, a very good author who is funny and opinionated, and the audience was very interactive. We were talking about movies that should be made from sci fi books and movies that should never have been made, and we could have gone on for 2 hours instead of 3. But that’s enough about Friday and Saturday, I think.
Next and last post, Sunday and yesterday.
DragonCon is over and it’s time to try to get off Con time and return to the real world, not an easy thing to do! I want to upload pictures, but the computer won’t let me right now, so I’ll tell you about the con and share photos later.
I started out Thursday morning although the Con officially starts on Friday. I went to the memorial Robert Heinlein blood drive and gave blood Thursday morning; I got a cool t-shirt and a bleeding mug (when you fill it with warm liquid, it appears to bleed) for being one of the first 500. I am proud to say that DragonCon gave more blood this year than ComicCon, which is 3 times the size (even though we had many more than 30,000 people.) I believe the count was 1800 units, if I am not mistaken.
Thursday night, we had a press party. I got to hang out with my friend Dave Schrader from Darkness Radio, and Alan Ruck came up and introduced himself to me. I did not recognize him at first, but he has had roles on Star Trek and BSG and, to me, a bigger deal: he was Cameron in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Then, Bruce Davison showed up: I saw him on the new Knight Rider, which I hated, but he was good in it, and I remember him from movies and other roles. Krissy Swanson was there. But then…other staffers Katie and Robyn and I were thrilled…Barry Bostwick! BRAD for us Rocky Horror fans was there! We got to talk to him. He was just a lovely man, and showed us the Rocky Horror necklaces he made (he’s a potter) just for DragonCon. What a thrill! That man is TALL!
Ok, I see I am going to have different posts for each day or this will be a book. Next message will be about Friday!