Hi there Stargate fans!
I am Geoi. You say it like ‘Joey’. This was my first ever convention, and as such, my first ever convention report. I wondered how I should approach this article, then, as usual, I just started writing. This is what came out and I hope you enjoy!
I had an idea of what to expect going into my first convention. I only wish that idea could have prepared me for what was to come at the convention conducted at the luxury Hilton Metro Town Hotel in Vancouver.
Like any good science fiction fan, I had done my homework. I had asked advice. I even checked the Creation Entertainment site religiously. I’d researched every YouTube video of every previous convention involving the stars that would be appearing at the Creation Stargate Convention in Vancouver…. Dubiously subtitled, “Last Trip Through the Gate”, as it was to be Creation’s final Stargate convention in the home city of our beloved series. Where do I start?
I suppose I should begin by saying as a fan, I had been dying to visit Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada since the age of 15 when I learned that my favourite show at the time, The X Files, was filmed there. That was a regrettably long 18 years ago.
Since then, almost all of my favourite TV shows have been filmed in this illustrious city. Needless to say, I was greatly looking forward to going to Vancouver. Okay, that is just playing it down to seem cool… I was frakking stoked to finally be going to Vancouver!
I arrived on the Tuesday night before the convention, which kicked off gloriously on Friday with registration happening at noon. I did a lot of site-seeing, a lot of walking, a lot of Sky Train and Seabus hopping. I visited Granville Island, Chinatown, Gastown, North Vancouver, and all of downtown Vancouver, I’m sure. I got my fill, anyway.
Thursday morning, I met up with my roommates at the Hilton for the first time. Knowing that person online for so long had honestly left me with not a bit of trepidation or nerves. It was like a reunion, though we had never actually ever been face to face. Hugs were exchanged as ArcticGoddess1 (Patricia) invited me along with her to a meeting she had scheduled.
We met up with a lovely actress by the name of Brenda Anderson, and had a very stimulating and entertaining chat over coffee. Patricia had to leave for another meeting, but I decided I would quite like to hang out with Brenda a bit more. I found her to be incredibly personable and engaging, and honestly I very much enjoyed talking with her.
Brenda had driven up from her home in Surrey to hang out with AG, and when “third wheel me” mentioned that Grouse Mountain was something I would like to see, she offered to drive me up there. When we got there, she insisted on paying for my ticket up the mountain, and we had an amazing day seeing the sites and just hanging out. Then it was back to Burnaby for the night.
I met up with some members from the Gateworld forum at the Red Robin restaurant, just around the corner from the Hilton Metrotown. In case you did not know, (lol, if you are reading this, then you totally know, don’t you?) the con is held at that Hilton, which happens to be right on McKay Avenue. An added little secret fan-fetish bonus for me since McKay is my favorite Star Gate character.
The dinner was fairly (extremely) slow-coming, but none of us really minded the wait as we all had plenty to talk about. Not to mention the lovely and talented Frank Cassini was making rounds talking to every table. That guy is terrific, by the way. A real sociable, down to Earth type of dude who is genuinely interested in what the fans have to say. Major props to Arctic Goddess for hooking us up with that star encounter, I must say!
It was morning… THE con morning! I woke up and had breakfast in the hotel because I did not feel much like walking anywhere after ripping my legs up walking the streets and hills of this absolutely amazing region of the world. Since registration was not until noon, and I was feeling a bit more capable after a hearty Hilton breakfast, I moseyed around Burnaby a bit. I ended up back at the hotel just in time to be nearly the last person in the registration queue.
Then it was straight to the queue for autographs and photo-ops. Oh, my, gosh. Let me tell you this… They have all those tickets laid out like a smorgasbord of possible awesomeness. I had an idea of what I wanted to get, but when it came time to choose.
Well, I ended up spending more than I thought I was going to. I mean, dude, the tickets are right there! And my credit card was not yet near its limit. Anyway, I bought my photo-ops and autographs. Actually, later, I ended up buying even more tickets as the endorphins were flowing and my impulse shopping overtook me.
Friday during the con, I went to the Andee Frizzell panel. This woman is Ah-MAZ-ing! I highly recommend spending as much time as you possibly can listening to her. Her energy is absolutely infectious, and she is hilarious! What a wonderfully surprising treat!
I would have gotten to some more panels that day, but I had to take a break (lack of sleep, wow). Then it was time to get Robert Picardo‘s and Kate Hewlett‘s autographs. These were two of the three people that I was most looking forward to seeing.
I mean, as a massive David Hewlett nerd, I, of course, loved his film, A Dog’s Breakfast, and as his sister Kate was the co-star, I was really amped up to meet her. She had obviously won my heart in the role of Rodney’s sister, Jeanie Miller, on Stargate Atlantis, but she killed in A Dogs Breakfast. Not to mention how awesome she is as a screenwriter and songwriter.
She also kills it in her and David’s web-series, Assassidate. Subscribe to youtube.com/h0rrid to keep up to date on that! AND, one of her short films, She Said Lenny, is available on YouTube as well… Look that up too! Okay, I have to admit, I have a bit of a girl-crush on her. She’s just so smart and funny, and talented, and pretty, and… I don’t know… Articulate! Gosh, I just cannot say enough good things about her. Kate Hewlett love… Get some!
The other “star” I was stoked to see was Robert Picardo, is the doctor from Star Trek: Voyager, and he is Richard Woolsey; two characters that captivated me with their development throughout both franchises. He is very lovely and classy too, by the way; as if you would not have guessed that. I mean, he is a truly kind soul, and I think the world of him. I was very happy to have not been disappointed by meeting him.
After I got autographs from Kate and Robert, I went back up to my room for a bit, then met Arctic Goddess in the hotel lounge. We had a few drinks and talked a bit, and before we knew it, the Creation Celebrity Cabaret was over and it was time for karaoke!
I missed the cabaret, which was sort of a bummer, but getting to hang with ArcticGoddess1 was probably worth more than anything I could have seen in the main room. She’s a great woman, and we had a fantastic chat.
During the karaoke event, I met one of my dGeek.com friends, Constance, who recognized me from my avatar, and we drank and sang and met up with another super-fan named Theresa, who will be a life-long friend too.
It was crazy fun, and I met a few more people. We went out on the balcony to smoke and met another dGeek guy called Darnell, who was very cute and awesome, then got into a political discussion which made me drink more and forget most of it. That was probably for the best.
Then I was awake at around 8 am the next day, and had nothing to do, so I killed time until photo-ops with Kate Hewlett and Robert Picardo (not at the same time). Then I went and had some lunch at the Metropolis Mall. I came back at about 5:30pm and thought I’d lay down for just an hour, then go get Chris Judge‘s, Kavan Smith‘s and Chuck Campbell‘s autographs at 6:40pm. I woke up at 2:30 in the morning.
I had slept through the autographs and the desert party! I laid in bed playing Angry Birds and listening to my boyfriend’s music until about 5:30, then got up, took a shower, and went back down for breakfast again.
What a wasted Saturday was. All the opportunities I missed out on kills me to think about. I could have been chatting it up with Chris Judge and Kavan Smith and others at that party, and I missed it because of exhaustion. This is an important lesson for all newbies, I now know… Make sure you are well rested!
This was David Hewlett day! I had the A Dog’s Breakfast breakfast event at 8am, photo-ops with David, a Meet and Greet with David, a photo-op with David and Kate both, David’s panel – which was shared with Joe Flanigan and Paul McGillion, and David’s autographs. No freaking way I’d be missing any of that. Throughout the day, however, the nerves got to me, and all my non-queue time was spent in the hotel lounge with those two lovely Australian blokes, Ian and Tom. I did not overdo it or anything, so I was good… Though still nervous.
First, there was the Breakfast. Chris Judge came to our table first, and he was awesome! So sweet and kind and funny, and very gorgeous to look at. Yeah. He is very hot. Then David arrived! As soon as David sat down, he started talking, and OMG, did not stop talking at all. This was him without breakfast and grumpy, as he said. He was very chatty and funny though, so I do not think he was totally honest about the “grumpy” bit.
As his handler was making him leave our table, I tapped his arm and pointed to my friends, Mary and Constance and said, “Hey, we’re your dGeek girls.”, to which he replied, “Oh my God! Really? Why didn’t you say anything? Well I guess I was talking too much.”. I introduced Constance as ovolactopesco on his site, and then Mary introduced herself as scarym1, and I then introduced myself as Geoi (Joey). He shook our hands and thanked us, then his minder took him off to another table and we were sad…. until Paul McGillion sat down.
Paul asked how everyone’s morning was going, to which I replied, “Great, now that you’re here.”, with a smile. He pointed at me and grinned, saying, “Aww, a real charmer here… Sorry about the Canucks.”, because I was wearing my “Nucks” hat. I said thanks, and we chatted very easily with him throughout the entire time he was with us. I think everyone who wanted to talk to him, got to talk to him. It was seriously very easy and nonchalant. What a gem of a man. Truly.
After Paul McGillion left us, we had a few turns without any company, and Kate finally came around to us. She had been to every table (there were eight, I believe), and had been talking a lot at all of them, so she asked if we could just go around the table and everyone tell her a bit about themselves.
She took plenty of time with everyone, asking us engaging questions, and seeming to genuinely pay attention to what everyone said… It actually made me wonder if she and David were actually brother and sister! LOL! Kidding. But not really. She is very polite. Very much a lady. Did I mention I love her? She is great.
Once the breakfast had concluded, I went straight to the photo-op line for David Hewlett. I had bought two tickets for him. I paid $100 for two photos. It was totally worth it, in my opinion. When I got up to the front of the queue, David finally noticed my dGeek shirt and made mention of it.
David said to me, “Now are you G-E-O-Davis on twitter and everything?”, and I said, “Yeah, Geoi (Joey), that’s me.”. He said, “Oh, I did not know how to read it.”, to which I replied, “Yeah, some people don’t.”. I thought that sounded a little snarky after I’d said it, but luckily, I don’t think he was paying much attention.
He tried to force his normal pose on me, but I asked him, “Can I have a huggy pic?”, and he said, “What?”. I repeated, “I want a huggy pic, if that’s okay.” He replied, “Oh, you want a hug? Sure.”. So I wrapped my arms around him and laid my head upon his chest and cherished the moment. When the photographer snapped the picture, I let him go (even though I did not really want to, wink, wink), and he said, “Wow, now that was a hug! I should have thought to breathe in first”.
I apologized, then as he was trying to usher me off, I informed him I had another photo-op to go. He answered, “Oh, okay! Well, what do you want for this one?”. I thought for a moment, then said, “Can we do the snarky McKay?”, and he seemed really excited and replied, “Sure! We can definitely do the snarky McKay!”. We posed and he shook my hand, then off I went to the hotel lounge where I saw Chris Judge getting breakfast. I may have stared, but I don’t think anyone noticed.
The panel with David Hewlett, Paul McGillion, and Joe Flanigan was up soon after, and I went to that. I had a question I wanted to ask David about A Dog’s Breakfast, that I had been saving for an opportunity when he would actually receive and answer the question. When I mentioned that I had an ADB question, David blurted out, “You couldn’t just ask me on dGeek?”, to which I replied, “You don not answer your questions.”. Then, I suspect out of spite, he pointed out my shirt to everyone and said, “That’s a dgeek shirt she is wearing, by the way.”. Then everyone looked at me!
My face turned instantly red and I got very nervous. I started stuttering and wanted to just disappear. Anyway, the question was about something specific that I was truly curious about. There is a part in the film where David’s character, Patrick, jumps out the bathroom window and Paul’s character, Ryan, is dressed up as a female detective wanting to ask him some questions.
Patrick’s line is, “Okay well, ya know, shoot. Well, don’t shoot, but, ya know, fire away.”, and that is verbatim what Ford Prefect says to the Vogons when he and Arthur are first discovered aboard the Vogan ship in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I asked if that was an intentional reference to Hitchhiker’s Guide, and he replied that he didn’t realize it was exactly taken from Hitchhiker’s, but he loves the books, so if it is, then yes, it is an intentional homage. I totally caught him off guard, I think. I was hoping he would say it was intentional though, because that is frakking awesome!
Trying to settle my nerves for the meet and greet I had with David, I went back to the lounge and had three pints of beer, then left, then figured they wouldn’t start on time since David was in the photo-op with Joe and Paul together. So I turned back around and had one more bottle of beer. I went to the meet and greet room where I was the first one to arrive. I drew a number from a bottle and ended up with the seat one away from David’s left.
I was sort of bummed that I did not get to sit next to him, but still quite happy to be there. I know that the $250 I spent on the meet and greet ticket supposedly goes to charity, which is great and all, but I’m not a person who is in a position to just give that much money to anyone, so I sort of felt like I was paying for it. That said, I do not feel awesome about feeling that way. I would much rather be happy to be giving away $250 to charity.
Anyway, back on track… A few other people showed up, and one woman drew the seat right next to David. She (plus five of the other people there) had been to a few meet and greets with him in the past, and she offered her seat to me since I was the “Newb”. I took it!
David came in once he finished his photo-ops and said hello to us all and took his seat. I couldn’t stop staring at his head. He really does have tiny ears. Cute ears, but he had mentioned they were small on twitter once, so that is all I could think about at first. He then started talking…and talking…and talking. I cannot really remember a whole lot of specifics, but I know I did not get to ask him anything I had wanted to ask him because the conversation did not flow. He started on about complex computer languages, which normally I am very interested in since my boyfriend is a bit of a code monkey, but he definitely controlled the course of the conversation.
I did find out a few things I did not know about him, which was really what it was all about, for me anyway. I learned that, in the 90′s, when he was working on Kung Fu: The Legend Continues (KFTLC), he actually got so frustrated with acting that he quit! He quit taking auditions and went to work doing IT for a voice mail company. And his nickname that people in the office gave him was “Hacker”, because he would search out flaws in their security.
David would work 20 hours a day and loved it. The reason he was frustrated with acting at that time was because, on KFTLC, he would be called in a lot, in fact, a lot more than he was ever actually on the show (which absolutely infuriates me because I loved Nicky Elder, David Hewlett’s character, so I can imagine how he must have felt), and they would have all these scenes for his character, then they would just get cut because David Carradine was a junkie at the time and “OD’ing” all the time.
He said David Carradine would fall to the floor and have a seizure and the crew would act like it was no big deal because it happened so often. He said that he had gotten into acting to act, to get out there, not to learn lines that he would never use. He said they paid him a lot of money to be on that show, and he got paid for every episode he was supposed to have been in, but that he really just wanted to do the acting.
David got pretty jaded by that period in his professional career. He also said that, as we Geeks know, his main mode of transport from age 16 to almost 30 was a motorcycle. He never owned a car. But one night, after he had worked one of those 20 hour days at the voice mail company, he literally fell asleep while riding his motorcycle home. He woke up as he was crashing into the guard rail, and although he was able to get control of his bike back, he sold the thing the next day because he just knew he was going to kill himself on it if he kept it. Then he talked a bit about his family. He was very candid and honest about it all, and I would say it was 2/3 of a paycheck well spent.
At the end, I told him I had to say hello to him from a couple of members of his Gateworld “thunk” thread, and I wanted to show him a video of this song one of the dGeek girls had written and sung for me. He let me show him on my phone, and he loved it. David is quite the talker, but he’s also more considerate than he seems to be. He didn’t have to offer me any extra time for that video at all. His place is still firmly held in my list of favourite people.
Having learned from my first con experience, my next convention will include more sleep, more pictures, more video, more panels, more autographs, and less site-seeing.
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