Welcome Gatecon and Stargate fans!
With many Stargate guest panels, photo and autograph sessions, vendors, and various other exciting events throughout the weekend, there was never a dull moment.
Day 1 – Thursday 8 September 2016
The festivities began with a harbour cruise where attendees enjoyed the views, a nice lunch, and talks with Richard Dean Anderson and Sea Shepherd Australia’s Jeff Hansen, and Canada’s Simon Ager. The day ended with an evening of mingling. Several of the weekend’s guests attended the Meet and Greet with the fans. (Please click here to see Richard’s interview).
Day 2 – Friday 9 September 2016
On the first day of panels, there was a common question asked to all guests. What do you prefer, cats or dogs? Corin Nemic likes cats, but doesn’t like living with them for the obvious reasons. Andrew Jackson has 3 cats. Erick Avari has a Boxer. Carmen Argenziano has a couple of dogs “with my wife, who also has my house”. Mike Dopud has a parakeet and gerbils and says his son is raising some Queen ants.
All the guests have been having a busy year. Virginia Hey, who lives in the UK, has been away from acting for a few years and has started getting back into it.
Andrew Jackson, played Supreme High Councillor Per’sus in Stargate SG-1.
Among many other roles since he became an actor, Andrew recounted a serious real life story of when he accidentally blew the cover of an undercover cop while doing some gangland research for the series Gangland Undercover!
It was very nice to see Andrew at GateCon. He has been successfully doing some cartoon work and great projects including three act adaptation of Frankenstein.
Carmen Argenziano has, as he says, “been doing nothing. I’ve been waiting all year to come here”. Seriously, he has been busy. He filmed Future World with Snoop Dog and James Franco, has been teaching acting, is directing a play, and completed Don Quixote, also with James Franco. Most recently, he is working on Aurora (working title) with John Cusack.
While also having had surgery for a ruptured bicep tendon, Mike Dopud has been in Virtual Revolution which has screened in six film festivals and won best film at DragonCon. This film will be released in November. He stated that the director loved that he could do his own fight scenes. Mike has also recently been in episodes of Dark Matter. (Please click here to see our interview with Mike Dopud, Jodelle Ferland and Roger Cross.
Tony Amendola described his own injuries. He had been in a musical in New York and the platform gave way and he injured his rotator cuff and back and was off for a year. He spent that time re-evaluating what he is doing with his life.!
Tony sold his house, packed his RV that is dog is not happy with, and went back to a Shakespeare company he worked with previously. He says that he is in a transitional state.
Tony wants to buy land and build a tiny house. He is currently in a film called Project Eden with Mike Dopud and Cliff Simon. He had been in a Scifi pilot in LA called Hieroglyph that didn’t go anywhere due to change of heads of the applicable television station.
Tony received a loud cheer from the fans when he said that the new Stargate movie is being written now and “if they don’t cast me, I’m going to kill them!”.
Mike finds the audition room weird; it has a weird energy. Andrew told a story of the dangers of rehearsing in weird places. He was once on a train and was sitting by himself going over his lines. There was a lady on the train who was “freaked out” by him. He had gone to get a drink and the barman told him to apologise to the lady because she thought he really was a gunman who was going to shoot everyone on the train.
Carmen was asked if he would become a snakehead if the Tok’ra were real. He said he didn’t want to be a snakehead but he would become a Tok’Ra.
Some of the guests do accents. Andrew does Russian, Icelandic, and Belfast Irish. While filming Big Wolf on Campus, he played a Russian. His nephew was being bullied at the time. He took care of it….After being approached by an imposing Russian who told him that the Russians were watching him by satellite, the bully left his nephew alone.
Because he hails from Montreal, Mike plays a lot of French characters. Some French fans would tell him that he had a terrible accent but as soon as he started speaking perfect French, it was ok.
Day 3 – Saturday 10 September 2016
Saturday’s guests included Alex Zahara, Dan Payne, Sharon Taylor, Christopher Heyerdahl, Simone Baillie, Aaron Pearl, Jill Teed, Patrick Currie, and Tom McBeath (as in the title character in the Scottish Play), and Garwin Sanford (see Garwin’s interview below).
Alex is currently appearing on stage at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage in Vancouver in Baskerville : A Sherlock Holmes Mystery. When asked if he had taken or was given anything from any production he said he has the Viking helmet he wore in the 13th Warrior. Sharon sometimes asks for costumes.
Simone always wants something from set but never gets anything, although she was invited to the Battlestar Galactica wrap party. Chris “accidentally walked away” with his Todd lenses and teeth from Atlantis. Both items were auctioned that night at the Sea Shepherd Charity Auction. When asked about his time on Hell on Wheels he said he felt like he was playing five different characters as the character changed every season. He was also happy with how the Swede’s story ended.
Chris thought the episode was extremely well written and loved that they wrote the Swede’s backstory. Currently, he is doing two shows; Van Helsing, being filmed in Vancouver, and Tin Star, filmed in Alberta about the oil industry. When asked if his character in the latter was the hero, he replied “he’s in the oil industry”.
This was Aaron Pearl’s first convention. Seeing him on stage, you would never know it. He seemed very relaxed and comfortable. He has known Dan Payne and Tom McBeath for a long time and loved spending time with the late Don S Davis while filming his episode, 1969.
He doesn’t watch a lot of television or anything with himself in it. Not out of fear of watching himself but because he doesn’t want to influence himself. He looks up to his family and to one guy he worked for as a teenager. He says he got a lot of advice from him on how to do characters. He loves meeting his fans. He loves people and chatting, and he loves dogs. He has two of them.
Getting onto Stargate wasn’t an easy task for Jill Teed. She auditioned 17 times before she was finally hired. She finds it excruciating watching herself on film. Her favourite show is Game of Thrones. Like Aaron Pearl, she loves meeting and talking to people. She says fans can be an inspiration. She likes random acts of kindness and real, true, grounded, solid people…like Morgan Freeman. In response to the cats vs dogs question she is “dogs all the way”.
Tom McBeath auditioned many times for MacGyver but never got hired. While on Stargate, he said he didn’t feel military. He started out in theatre where you can’t really watch yourself. The people who influence him change over the years. In school it was a set designer, then there was Amanda Tapping, and then older film actors from the 40’s and 50’s. He was scared with his first convention experience, not knowing what to expect but it was a great learning experience. There is one convention company he will never deal with (he named it, but we will not) because he feels they keep the fans away from the guests and he likes the contact. Tom gave the best answer all weekend to the cats vs dogs question…”I love all animals”.
At a fan’s request, Patrick Currie told the infamous story about his hair during his time as Fifth on SG1. The fans laughed as hard as they did the first time they heard the story. He watched Stargate in the beginning for a bit but didn’t really like watching himself. While he still acts, he is moving on to writing and directing. He has directed his first movie, a short called Meet Cute which he also co-wrote. His mentor is Amanda Tapping. He has great experiences with his fans although it did freak him out the first time one showed up in costume as one of his characters. He does not have any pets but prefers dogs and cannot stand cats.
Prior to the Sea Shepherd Charity Auction, members of Sea Shepherd took to the stage. Sea Shepherd was started in 1977 by Captain Paul Watson.
He is still unable to travel to Canada, and appeared at the convention via a Skype video conference. He thanked Richard Dean Anderson for all he has done with Sea Shepherd, saying “we can’t fail with MacGyver with us”. The auction was a huge success.
Many of the convention guests assisted in displaying the items up for bid, showing their fun and, sometimes, crazy sides. They made it a very fun, entertaining way to end the night. In the end, $41,665 was raised for Sea Shepherd.
Day 4 – Sunday 11 September 2016
Roger Cross likes filming. He has not done many conventions but enjoys meeting and hanging out with people he works/worked with and has not seen in a while. He plays volleyball, loves his Grandma’s fried chicken and would tell his 16 year old self to buy Google stocks. His most prominent memory of Stargate is that it is dangerous when you get tied up. You tend to get left there. Roger was asked how he felt about filming Continuum in Vancouver as Vancouver. He liked it because they didn’t have to hide anything and pretend it was somewhere else. He feels the show ended too soon, like an earlier series he was on, First Wave. He thinks that First Wave could easily be redone today and still be relevant. When asked if he would like to be in it if that happened, he had a wide grin on his face and said “absolutely”. Besides Dark Matter, he loves Game of Thrones.
Mike Dopud would tell his 16 year old self to have more fun. On Stargate, he started out as a stunt guy. One of his fondest memories is Richard Dean Anderson asking him “how many times have I killed you?” He loves his kids and misses time with them when he is working. He coaches them in hockey. When it comes to conventions he feels like the fans make them fun. A con is a big family. During this panel, the trailer for his film with Cliff Simon and Erick Avari, Project Eden, was viewed. This is a must see.
Jodelle Ferland loves to be creative. She paints, draws, makes jewellery, and has her own Etsy shop. She would tell her younger self about Dark Matter, that she is going to be on a cool tv show, things are going well for her and to keep working. She loves cons because she can travel and meet her fans. While working, the studio is her life for about 5 months. She found it to be fun being a child actor in horror films like Silent Hill. She had most fun on Atlantis as she loved the costumes. She’s not much of a prankster. She likes simple pranks that aren’t mean like putting googly eyes on things in the fridge and when the family opens the fridge door, all the food have faces. A true geek, she loves Doctor Who, Supernatural, and New Girl. When asked if the older cast members are protective of Jodelle, they all said they are like a family and take care of each other.
Andrew Jackson loves Gatecon. At other cons, the fans do not have as intimate a response to the guests, an echo to a statement previously made by Tom McBeath. He also loves filming as every experience is different and was blown away by the sets on Stargate. What would he tell his younger self? “Don’t worry about being skinny. Be comfortable in your own skin and relax”. He loves to prank. While on an episode of Criminal Minds, he used a fart machine in a chair to get back at a cast member. His favourite shows include Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, and Penny Dreadful. This particular day of the weekend was a special one for Andrew as it was his birthday. A small cake was brought out for him and the entire room sang Happy Birthday to him.
The first thing Richard Dean Anderson said when he got on stage for his final panel of the weekend was “I’m a lighting director’s nightmare”. He said this as he was rearranging the table and chair on the stage.
His daughter started college this year. She had a request for him. Starting next year, she wants to travel and explore with him. That’s what he’s going to do. When asked for advice for new parents, he said to let them grow and make mistakes and learn.
There was a surprise guest on stage with Rick this day. He asked for some ginger ale (Canada Dry) and who should bring it to him but Walter Harriman himself, Gary Jones. This is the first time the two have ever been on stage together. They truly enjoyed each other’s company and it was like watching a couple of old friends catching up.
They both love Vancouver. For Gary, it has everything. It’s big enough for lots of productions but you can still branch out. He does not like Winnipeg. He thinks it is small, flat, and too spread out. Rick feels the same way. He loved the access to the mountains and riding his bike to Squamish.
At one point, it became clear how they both feel about a certain presidential nominee. A baby cried and without missing a beat, Gary said “Donald Trump asks to get that baby out” to which Rick said he couldn’t hear that name without cringing. “As an American, I apologise to the world for that man.” The applause to that statement was deafening. They moved on. They were asked if they had any military training for Stargate. For Gary, in “There But for the Grace of God” he was only asked “have you every fired a machine gun”. Rick agreed that there was not much formal training. Rick said that he would never be able to go to Japan or the Faroes and watch the whales being slaughtered. He would not be able to take the emotional impact of seeing that. But, he would want to meet those people and take them on without tools because “they are tools”.
The rest of this day was devoted to catching up and saying goodbye until The Invasion next year. Yes, everyone, Gatecon plans to do this all over again in September 2017 – same city, same hotel, and, very likely, the same dates. So watch for that on their web site: http://www.gatecon.com/forum/index.php
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