The Saturday Los Angeles convention was actually just a very long Friday! How is that possible? Wormholes! So we will start with the WormholeRiders team hanging out until all hours with fans, photographers, Cliff Simon, Ryan Robbins and a surprise appearance of Patrick Gilmore (not pictured) of Stargate Universe at the Friday night Karaoke Party at the Marriott hotel near LAX! Unfortunately, I had I to leave the hotel before MeaganSue and ValaBlack sang with Ryan Robbins. I was staying with an elderly and sick relative suffering organ failure and it was important to me and my family to spend time together.
The driving time from the Marriott hotel at LAX to Temple City was approximately 80 minutes in each direction. Normally I would stay at the hotel, but as such my convention days were extremely long. No complaint, just the facts Maam, to borrow a phrase from Die Hard 2!
Driving back ‘home’ my thoughts were filled of Cliff Simon and Ryan Robbins and their wonderfully genuine and sincere manner. All were astounded how friendly they were and how they chatted with us and many more convention attendees to everyone’s sheer ecstacy! I arrived back in Temple City at about 2:30 AM (Yikes) to upload photos and my initial report from Friday to a horror! The local cable Internet company was having major system failures! Each time I would attempt to upload, the cable system would seize up. Fortunately, it stayed up long enough to file my report, but with all the trouble, I finished barely in time to get in the shower and get back for the Saturday morning the Los Angeles Stargate 2009 convention breakfast hosted by Creation Entertainment. Translation: No sleep Friday night!
Saturday Los Angeles started with a conference call with the editors and reporters team. Naturally the excitement from the Karaoke party dominated the discussion. I mean really….. Cliff and Ryan in specific hung out with our Los Angeles team for hours! WOW! Thanks Cliff and Ryan!
After the team conference call, it was time for the SOLD OUT Stargate Breakfast with no less than the likes of Gary Jones and Paul McGillion! Much like past Creation Entertainment convention breakfasts the food was great and the environment of chatting with fellow fans was superb! Greater of course was the time that Gary and Paul spent visiting each table at the breakfast. Per request from Creation Entertainment, which all honored, no photos of the stars are allowed at the breakfast tables, but the wonderful part of this sub-event is that the discussion with Paul and Gary was much more like chatting with old friends. Discussion at our table centered on how they were doing in their personal lives rather than fawning over them as stars. Based on this reporters observations of the happiness and delight of the fans, it is this intimate nature of interacting with the stars as real people that makes the Creation Los Angeles Stargate 2009 breakfast a very special event!
After the breakfast was the biggest day in terms of the number of stage appearances (5), starting with the very popular Ben Browder, Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell! Ben delighted the guests with stories of pranks and memories of his time on Stargate SG-1. Ben shared with us what he is doing in his personal and professional life. One of the most enjoyable parts of Ben’s appearance was when Farscape stars Lani Tupu, Gigi Edgley, Dean Haglund and Virginia Hey came in to ‘harass’ Ben. It was a crackup! After each Farscape star departed Ben orchestrated a big shout out for each of them! We were a bit sad when Ben’s time on stage was up, but we knew that Ben would be appearing with Claudia Black on Sunday at a time which did not directly conflict with other Stargate guests (Michael Shanks for one!). Ben left the stage to a roaring round of applause!
Next up at Saturday was Gary Jones, aka Chief Master Sergeant Walter Harriman! Perhaps the most beloved non main story character in Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis and the Stargate movies, Gary is such an entertaining individual! As we mentioned, we had seen Gary in the Creation Entertainments ‘Starhole’ improv theater the night before and at breakfast, but his time on stage was nothing but fun for the fans. Walter of course shared the now famous story of how he got his characters “name” on the show. We will not repeat the story at this time, but as many know the name ‘Walter’ came from the SG-1 episode ‘2010’ when Richard Dean Anderson ad-libbed or coined Gary’s characters first name. Always a fan favorite, Gary had the crowd literally ‘in stitches’ throughout his appearance Saturday afternoon!
Why of course the fruits of our labors over the years with the ‘Save Carson Beckett’ campaign, the one and only Paul McGillion! Paul is so well liked by the fandom, the din from fans clapping and hooting seemed to take several minutes to fully calm down. Not a person to stay still very long, Paul was all over the stage and was very entertaining. Of course with Paul being the first Stargate Atlantis star to appear the question and answer period had focus on the Atlantis movie, “Extinction”. Paul shared that the Atlantis movie is ‘Green-Lit’ (approved), but is stuck (like many of us) in the throws of the current economic recession, lacking production funding. Perhaps the funniest story was of Paul’s interview / screen test for the role of Carson Beckett. Instructed to play the role with a English accent, Paul however decided to do his native Scottish accent instead. What did TPTB say? Fine! Paul thought for sure that he would not get the role! As we now know, his accent was the correct move and we had many years of Dr. Beckett! Paul also indicated his role would be reprised when the production funding for ‘Extinction’ is located!
The next guest Saturday (late afternoon) was the fantastic Joe Flanigan – John Sheppard or ‘Shep’. Creation had expanded the general admission seating for Joe’s appearance. Even so the ballroom was 100% packed and completely SOLD OUT! Joe also is not one for doing much sitting in the directors chair placed on the stage! We were impressed with the warm welcome Joe received. This fact was quite evident during the question and answer period when the lines at both microphones on opposite sides of the room were literally backed up all the way to the exit doors! We had a few questions for Joe that fans had sent to us, but with the taking of dozens of Joe’s pictures (for our fan news coverage), by the time I got in line, it was too late! Jumping ahead to the autograph opportunity with Joe, I noticed that like myself, Joe enjoys a little Single Malt Scotch! I was tempted to pull out my Creation Entertainment Stargate Universe shot glass and enjoy a little Scotch ‘neat’ with Joe, but I knew that would have to wait for another event currently in the planning stage!
Per our normal convention reporting procedures, we will have a detailed report on Joe and all the stars who appeared at the Los Angeles Stargate 2009 convention coming in the future! Suffice it to ay that the crowd was enchanted with Joe Flanigan. We look forward to seeing more of Joe as John Sheppard in Stargate Extinction!
Last up, but perhaps the most important Creation Entertainment guest in the opinion of this reporter was one of TPTB, Mr. Martin Gero, producer of Stargate Atlantis and writer consulting producer of Stargate Universe.
What was surprising about Martin’s appearance was that he played to only a 50% full house! In talking with a number of fans about Stargate Atlantis, it was clear that many fans never forgave Martin for killing off Carson Beckett nor the ultimate cancelation of SGA (which he was not ultimately responsible for). I then tried to explain to some the business aspects of the situation. Also that the Save Carson Beckett campaign was partly responsible for bringing together many of them whom otherwise would not have ever met! Many of whom we know became good friends as a result. Most I talked with understood the business aspects and agreed, but not all. Because of the smaller number of fans present for Mr. Gero, I was able to ask several questions about Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe. I had wanted to comment that SGU is much like a four act play with only the first act completed, but time ran out for a third round of questions. Martin shared many thoughts about SGU which confirmed that SGU would be much more like the Stargate fans have loved for the past since the movie and the 12 years since Stargate SG-1 first premiered on Showtime in 1997. For Atlantis and SG-1 fans this was welcome news!
We will have much more on Martin Gero’s surprise appearance at Creation Entertainments Los Angeles Stargate 2009 in the future. However, since his appearance was a surprise announced just prior to the convention, there were no photos to purchase for Martin to sign! Luckily we had our SyFy Stargate Universe Press Kit with us (to watch SGU when not busy – right …like that happened and we had time to watch our DVD’s)! During the several minutes we had with Martin at his autograph table, Mr. Gero signed our SGU Press Kit! Now we only have the entire TPTB and the entire cast signatures to go! Finally, in chatting with Martin at the autograph table, I mentioned my analogy that SGU had just finished the ‘first act of a four act play’. He agreed that that was a fitting description. I enjoyed meeting Mr. Gero and look forward to his contributions as consulting producer and scriptwriter for Stargate Universe. Thanks Martin!
After the stage appearances came the autographs with the days stars Joe, Gary, Paul and as mentioned one of TPTB, Martin Gero. One thing I was grateful for was being a Gold Pass Creation Entertainment Member! Having a “B” row seat allowed me to get the autographs and still have plenty of time to chat with the WormholeRiders reporting team and with other Farscape and Stargate fans in the lounge areas.
At this point, I had a couple of hours until the Saturday Night Dessert Party and I took a nap (much needed). I know this, I will be staying AT the hotels from now on. Losing almost 3 hours a day commuting to and from the convention is not recommended!
When I awoke from my nap, dazed, confused and excited (to be quite frank), I changed into my evening outfit and went to the cocktail dessert party. As you can see many were dressed in costume! The place was already packed. Our two Farscape reporters MeaganSue and ValaBlack where upstairs in the hotel lobby eating pizza and mingling with a number of Farscape Fans from Terra Firma and our friends at Claudia Black On-Line. I was introduced to many peoples I had only heard of on-line and it was very pleasant to meet the faces behind the names.
At the Creation Entertainment Dessert Party, the number and types of delectable petit-fours, ice creams and chocolates quickly went into my gullet and I was suddenly re-energized with a sugar rush I had not experienced in a very long time! There ought to be a law against sugar! Just teasing. The Los Angeles Stargate Farscape Dessert Party featured appearances primarily from Farscape including Gigi Edgley, Jonathan Hardy, Paul Goddard, Lani Tupu, Wayne Pygram, and Rebecca Riggs. The only Stargate star at the dessert party was Gary Jones.
After about an hour at the party, at 11:30 PM I felt I must leave to get some sleep having gone without for nearly 44 hours! I headed to the car and realized it was unsafe for me to drive. Not because of drinking, I did not have any alcohol Saturday night. No, it was from sheer exhaustion from all the fun provided by Creation Entertainment and lack of sleep! I decided to close my eyes for a short nap. I woke up nearly 5 hours later at a little after 4:00 AM Sunday in the car! Yikes!
I then drove ‘home’, took a shower, changed clothes and immediately drove back to the convention. I was actually early for Sunday Los Angeles Stargate Farscape 2009 breakfast! What fun that was! I will start my next report at the Sunday breakfast.
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