Hello again, Stargate Fans!
Here we are on Day Three and Final of Creation Entertainment’s Stargate Chicago convention! Adrenaline came in handy this morning – I had barely slept the night before for excitement, but even on two hours I was up and ready to go almost thirty minutes before the actual convention started.
After a thorough check and double check of all the items I would need for the first highlight of the day, I finally made my way out of my room six floors up on the Westin O’Hare down to the Grand Ballroom convention floor.
Granted, the lines were a bit insane and therefore I spent a lot of time sitting against the wall, (and chatting with a fellow David Nykl fan, how happy was I to find someone else to geek out with!), waiting for my row to be called, but it was well worth it once I started nearing Joe’s table.
For those of you who have never gotten an autograph, it is a really fast process – or at least the way Creation does it, it is. The actors can decide to slow down or speed up the line at their discretion, At the table, you hand your signing item to a con volunteer, who then slips it in front of the actor or actress, who then signs it and hands it to you. Any number of things can be said during this process, but they’re not kidding when they say it can last only 5-7 seconds, (or up to 30, if the actor is chatty). That being said, my autograph with Joe was over in a flash, a glance at tousled hair, a look into his eyes, a flourish, and gone. But it would not be the only time I saw him today.
David Hewlett took a bit longer, making quips and jokes with the people in line. He did very much like my signed item, and I managed to fire off a ‘pleasure to meet you’, which he eagerly and brightly returned with a ‘likewise, thank you for coming out!’ And then, kawhoosh, I was back in my seat. It would not be my only time seeing David today.
David DeLuise was the first onstage. He’s extremely personable and a vivacious laugher. The running gag throughout his time on stage was his amount of kissing time with Amanda Tapping, something our second guest of the day did not get to experience, (and David did not let him forget it). David enjoyed questions from fans about his time on Wizards of Waverly Place, and even did a couple ‘blast to the pasts’ talking about Gilmore Girls.
Our second guest of the day was the witty J.R. Bourne, (who emphasized that there are no periods in his name). Ribbed by David DeLuise for not being able to kiss Amanda Tapping in Stargate SG-1, JR struck back about one of his films called Stuck, in which he mentioned: “much, much kissing.” JR also had a lot of fun with his phone onstage, calling out various Blackberry, Android, and iPhone users as to which was better. He also hilariously Tweeted a picture of the audience with the caption: “Wishing you were here.”
After grabbing a quick lunch, I finally took my seat for what the Master of Ceremonies called: “one of the highlights of this convention.” Excitement doesn’t even describe – and once David Hewlett walked out onstage, the room went predictably wild.
David Hewlett started off the talk mentioning the wonderful video that had introduced him, (Randy Newman’s “You’ve Got a Friend in Me”), and wasted no time propping himself up as buff Buzz to Joe’s more gangly Woody, (a comparison that got a series of laughs). He then began to answer a few fan-based questions about his work on A Dog’s Breakfast, (which got a huge cheer), and some more general questions such as: “If you could go back in time and change anything, what would it be?” (David’s joking response was: “The birth of Joe Flanigan”).
David stopped the whole audience in their tracks when he suddenly looked over and said: “Hey, that’s our Gate,” recognizing the piece of the Stargate onstage. He walked over and touched it tenderly, looking out at the audience with an expression that certainly teared up MY eyes. The moment held…and then he got asked a segue question. The question was: “Did you ever stand in line for an autograph like us?” And from the back of the stage, behind the curtain, a voice calls out: “Joe Flanigan!”
Joe marched out on stage to raucous cheers, and he and David greeted each other heartily. From that moment on, the questions got wilder, and the laughs went to absolutely constant. While a couple fans asked about McKay’s lines on the show and the importance of getting the physics right, one had the guts to ask about John and Rodney’s ‘relationship’ on the show, which brought no end of laughter from everyone, (Joe and David included).
My favorite story of the night is one that has been told before – a time when David Hewlett was mooned. We’ve heard the story from everyone’s point of view EXCEPT David’s, so when he finally told it he had to stop several times to let the audience stop laughing. At the end of their discussion, we as an audience rose to give them a standing ovation. Sounds like the perfect end to a convention, no?
It got better. On impulse, I decided to catch a photo op with David Hewlett. Luckily there were still tickets. I booked it down to the room where he was. On my way down, I encountered Joe Flanigan. It was only a brief exchange as he was heading out after a long photoshoot, but he made a joke about a fan who was darting into a bathroom with a hairdryer, then shot me a ‘who knew’ look. I shrugged back at him and we shared a half-smile before he vanished. No time to chat, but certainly a memorable experience!
The photo op with David was speedy, no more than 15 seconds, but another breathtakingly memorable experience. I added a little squeeze to the hug I gave him, and grinned big for the picture. He gave me a grin and joked about me ‘never letting go’, which resulted in me blushing (and the room) laughing.
I got one final glance at David as he was leaving the hotel for his flight, a half-second of eye contact when he passed by. And then he was gone – and the convention was over in one swoop.
As a first-timer to conventions like this, I have to say my breath was taken away. I also have to say I am now a con junkie. This was only the first of many! Thank you for coming with me to this one, and I hope to see you all again at the next!
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I and the WHR team look forward to and will be Seeing You on The Other Side“!