Shanks to Meet You! An Interview Experience with Mr. Michael Shanks at Dragon*Con!

This year at Dragon*Con, I had the privilege to conduct an interview with Michael Shanks with his expressed permission and kindness. Click to visit DragonCon 2010!Seated on the other side of his autograph table (like the devoted ‘reporter’ and MS fan that I am), we were located within the Walk of Fame with his expressed permission and the documented position with regard to an official Dragon*Con letter dated August 26, 2010. Mr. Michael Shanks allowed me the opportunity to interview him and observe first hand his interactions with fellow fans coming up to express their opinions and overwhelming regard for him as an actor and human being.

WormholeRiders. Click to visit & follow WHR on Twitter!I have been reporting on Mr. Shanks professionally for over 6 years at numerous conventions where my deportment and presentation has always been above reproach as evidenced by numerous reports and news articles I have published including here and here for WormholeRiders News Agency.

This interview with Mr. Shanks was the result of great effort by many parties involved that assisted to make this report possible. I thank all those who contributed positively for the opportunity to interview Mr. Shanks. As a whole the interview took place over the course of two days Sunday and Monday September 5 and 6, 2010. I will admit, due to issues that no one would like to hear about, I was a bit unprepared (question-wise) when Mr. Shanks expressed interest and approved to do the interview right then and there at his table. Therefore this portion of the interview is extemporaneous in nature.

The first thing that came to mind for me to ask was what he could tell about his current work on Smallville, where he is returning as the amazing superhero Hawkman (aka Carter Hall).

Michael Shanks as Hawkman in Smallville!
The character is set to make his next appearance in the episode ‘Shield’, premiering October 1st in Smallville on the CW, a Warner Brothers company. According to Mr. Shanks, we will find Carter Hall in Egypt hunting down Lois Lane. There, Carter tells Lois of hisClick to visit Smallville on the CW! relationship with Shayera and how it parallels Clark’s relationship with Lois. Hall informs Lane that Clark will need Lois down the line if he is going to succeed in his endeavors. Mr. Shanks also said that he is going back to shoot another episode later in the season, though he didn’t know the name of the episode at the time.

Michael Shanks as Hawkman and Lois Lane in Smallville!

I next asked Mr. Shanks about what other projects he is working on. He started talking about Red Riding Hood, a Warner Brothers film Click to visit Warner Brothers Pictures!which just wrapped shooting up in Vancouver featuring  such well known celebrities as Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman, Julie Christie and Virginia Madsen. Mr. Shanks plays a blacksmith in the movie. I had found out at Creation’s Stargate Convention in Chicago that Mr. Shanks went through actual blacksmith lessons for the role.

Mr. Shanks told me he could not say much about the project – that they were being all ‘hush, hush’ about everything, even call times. With the whole internet age today, where everything is being leaked online, the studio wants to make sure that stuff stays under wraps until the very last minute. I agree that rumors do not belong since we here at WHR deal with vetted facts.

Michael Shanks at ChiCon 2010
At this point, due to last minute approval by Mr. Shanks of the interview, my lack of proper question preparation started to show (which I apologize to all about) and I asked Mr. Shanks some more ‘everyday’ type questions. I asked his opinion of the Vancouver Canucks (we are both fans) for this coming season, and he believes they will do well. With the additions they picked up in the off-season, he has high hopes for their success (but mentioned, as every Canucks fan knows, that is how it always is up until that second round in the playoffs). I inquired into his personal taste in music (simply because it is something I have not really seen much about before on the internet) and Mr. Shanks said he likes lots of different types of music, but is really into the head-banger stuff. “It confuses his kids”, he said, because it is not like what his wife Lexa Doig prefers at all. He made mention of Linkin Park specifically, which gave me a sense of personal joy because Linkin Park is also one of my favorite musical bands.

During the interview all questioning was done in breaks between people coming up to his table to get autographs or just have a moment to talk with him. Being able to observe the interactions of Mr. Michael Shanks and his fans from the outside was a whole new, and enlightening, experience for me as a reporter. I was honored that Mr. Shanks allowed me the privilege of watching of people as they come up and thanked him for the many characters he has portrayed in his acting career. Even more interesting was how Mr. Shanks inspired each of them to choose the path in life that they did.

Michael Shanks as Victor with "Michael" in Burn Notice!

Many people came up and thanked him for his portrayal of Victor on Burn Notice and for Hawkman on Smallville. One lady mentioned how she had yet to watch the season 2 finale of Burn Notice, ‘Lesser Evil’. I made sure to share with her  to ‘be prepared’ when she watched it (but to definitely watch it), and then informed Michael as the lady walked away that I cried when Victor died. As is expected by the fandom with Mr. Michael Shanks, he gave a gleeful snarky reply in return saying ‘Well, I think anything could make you cry. You pull out your nose hair and you cry!’

Dr. Daniel Jackson with Camera SGU Subversion!
Another woman came up and informed Mr. Shanks that she had pursued a career in linguistics because of his portrayal of Daniel Jackson in MGM’s Stargate Franchise. He told her he was ‘sorry’, which I know from personal experience is his usual humorous reply to such things, and she let him know that she is mocked relentlessly by her friend – who, ironically, is named Daniel Jackson. Michael thought Click to visit Stargate on MGM Dot Com!this was interesting and mentioned how he had yet to meet one himself. It was not too long later that a guy came up in line and started speaking to me, asking me if I was just a really big fan. I joked with him, saying I was a Michael Shanks groupie, and he got a kick out of it.

He then informed me that he was coming up to see Michael Shanks because he enjoyed his work and because his name was Daniel Jackson! Knowing what had occurred not too long before, I was tempted to say something, but did not want to ruin the moment for either of them. So I waited anxiously as Daniel came up to Michael and introduced himself. Michael Shanks loved it himself, turning to me and pointing while stating: “there he is!” We all wanted to see some proof, but “Daniel Jackson” was prepared for this and had his I.D. almost at the ready to prove what he was saying.

It was these experiences, and others that day, that inspired me later on in the evening (after leaving Mr. Shanks table) to come up with additional journalistic questions that I could ask him the following day. Keep an eye out for Part 2, where I will feature such questions and happenstances that occurred in my second encounter with my Michael Shanks interview experience for WHR.

Before I end, I would like to thank first and foremost Michael Shanks for giving me this opportunity to interview him in such an ‘off the cuff’ manner. I would also like to express many thanks to all my fellow convention goers who I had the opportunity to chat with while at Mr. Shanks table, none of whom minded my presence there. It is out of respect for these fans, as well as for Michael’s extreme generosity, that I did not record any of this interview to video.

As always thank you for reading and visiting WormholeRiders News Agency. Please feel free to leave a spam free comment here or as many people do, feel free to visit me on Twitter by clicking the text links or my avatar below.

DannysGirlSG1Click to visit Dannysgirlsg1 (Pip) on Twitter!

dannysgirlsg1

13 thoughts on “Shanks to Meet You! An Interview Experience with Mr. Michael Shanks at Dragon*Con!

  1. Hi Mandy,

    Thank you. I am most impressed with the professional quality of your interview with Michael Shanks! I know without a doubt that you worked very hard for many years supporting his career. Most telling is that Mr. Shanks himself agreed to the interview and permitted you to return a second day. That speaks volumes with regard to his faith and confidence in your professionalism as a reporter.

    I only wish that in certain quarters people could recognize the difference between your professional ‘reporters hat’ and your “personal” fan fiction work where you so often blend humor into your support of Mr. Shanks career. *SIGH*.

    In closing, I and many thousands of others are looking forward to part two of the interview with Mr. Shanks when you have the time to do so from the educational aspects of your ongoing pursuits. Of note is that the volume of traffic increased significantly. Great job!

    Best Regards

  2. Always looking for the con reports! ( I love SGU and SG1 ssns 1-7!) Its a nice fan report, but you look a tad young to be claiming 6 yrs prof. ‘reporter’. I’ll buy you’ve been a fan since 12-14 y/o though. Would love to know gossip, like his falling out w/Judge, or non-gossip like working w/ the excellent Robert Carlyle, his changing expectations as an actor as he gets older from his aspirations as a young actor, etc. Looking forward to Part 2!

  3. Hello Auggie,

    Managing editor here. Thank you for your comment.

    DannysGirlSG1 background was checked prior to here joining the team. She is a bit older than you imagine but that is confidential. That is a nice compliment to her and her writing skills as well. In any event 6 years it is! Part two coming soon.

    Best Regards

  4. I have to disagree with your claim that “none of [the fans] minded my presence there.” Were any of the fans actually asked?? I definitely minded, as did the friend with me. It was very off-putting to have someone sitting at Michael’s feet (!) with notebook and pen in hand recording conversations that are supposed to be private. It is inappropriate and unprofessional of you to report those conversations without the expressed consent of the fans involved. In addition, Michael was distracted by your presence, which negatively affected fans’ interactions with him since he was unable to focus on those interactions.

    I certainly understand your desire to interview Michael! However, a private interview would have been much more professional than sitting at his feet for entire 2 autograph sessions, particularly since the fans (who are *paying* for time with him) had no say in the matter, and also didn’t have the options of returning at a time when you were not present.

  5. First, I apologize for the “none of the fans minded my presence there” thing. I had intended to put ‘seemed to mind’ and clearly didn’t realize I hadn’t (you know how things go when you read over your own stuff…You read it the way you intended it to say). So, an oversight that I again apologize for.

    Second, if you read the interview through, you’ll see that I say (numerous times) that I was there with Michael’s expressed permission. It may not come off quite as clearly, but the idea do to the interview there, at the table, was his idea. He expressed interest then and there and I agreed. I did not mean to be a distraction to Michael or to any of you (the fans), and if I was I apologize.

    While I was at the table, many fans who did not pay for an autograph ticket were given the opportunity to come up and speak to Michael – a lot of them even got pictures taken. I was not present for 2 entire autograph sessions…I was there for the majority of them, and I made sure that I let people know I wasn’t there to put myself before them. If you were not able to come back and talk to Michael after you paid for your autograph, I’m sorry – that was not my fault. And as for the paying for time with Michael, I have paid plenty, but the nature of what I have spent in regards to what isn’t relevant.

    I, again, apologize if my presence was disruptive. It was not my intention. Just know I wasn’t there on a whim – Michael said I could be and the impromptu interview style was his idea.

    I do appreciate your comment.

    ~Pip

  6. Hi Michelle,

    Managing editor here. Thank you for your comment. I must agree with DannysGirlSG1, this interview was time and place was chosen by Mr. Shanks. Additionally an official letter from Dragon*Con dated August 26, 2010 approved of these locations due to an extremely high number of interview requests they were not able to process. Normally our interviews are conducted in a private setting. However this is not always depending on the situation at a particular convention or venue. I am confident that you understand such situations at large mega cons like DC.

    Your IP address says you are from Australia. I trust that you had a wonderful time in Atlanta and a pleasant as well as safe journey home. Thank you for visiting WHR. We have many wonderful surprises coming in the closing months of 2010, in 2011 and beyond. Thanks again!

    Best Regards

  7. We just couldn’t leave your website before saying that I really enjoyed the quality information you offer to your visitors? Will be back soon to check up on new posts

  8. Thank you for reading and responding to my post.

    I’m not disputing that you had permission for the interviews. I also understand that Michael is busy, and it was convenient for him to combine signing autographs with an interview. I’m just pointing out that the combination *wasn’t* optimal for all of his fans. While some of them may not have cared, the fans weren’t given the chance to say whether or not they minded having someone listening to and taking notes on their interactions, or joining in on them.

    My bigger issue is the ethics of reporting on fans’ interactions without their permission. Fans are not “in the public eye” and their privacy should be respected. If you did get permission from each of the fans you reported on, then I apologize, and respectfully suggest that you indicate that in your reports. Otherwise, private conversations/interactions should remain private.

    I hope you take my comments in the spirit in which they were intended. You can’t improve your skills as a journalist if you’re unaware of things that can be improved.

  9. Hi Michelle,

    Thank you for stopping by WHR again. I think you are missing the point, news agencies like WormholeRiders News Agency do not need permission to use quotes from persons in what are considered public venues. This fact has been taken all the way to the United States Supreme Court after years of well considered debate on the subject. The quotes used herein are innocent in nature and do not represent anything other than the truth in news reporting.

    Once again, thank you for visiting WHR!

    Best Regards

Comments are closed.

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