Not to play favorites, but of all the conventions I attend, Dragon*Con is my favorite. Ok, so I am playing favorites. Whatever! I’m allowed! It’s an awesome convention. If you’ve been, you understand. So… this was my third year at Dragon*Con. I was looking forward to seeing a lot of Stargate actors as well as Pierre Bernard, Jr. Pierre happens to have been on Stargate too, but he’s better known for his Recliner of Rage skit on the Conan O’Brien show.
Alright, so I flew up Thursday for the con with two of my con buddies. They are also fellow squirrels (fans of David Hewlett). We were all sad to learn that David Hewlett was not be able to attend the convention but I understood these things happen. Maybe our Squirrel King could go next year?
After checking in to my hotel and getting my badge I walked around the con hotels for a bit and ran into old friends. Thursdays are good for that. Then I decided to donate blood. I do it every year and am proud to say we donated more blood than Comic-Con. Woot! Go us! Plus I got an awesome Dragon*Con blood donor shirt. I think every year the shirt will get you into the ice cream social for free so if you love ice cream and love saving lives… DONATE!
After that I had dinner plans with Pierre! It ended up being a group of Pierre’s friends and squirrels. Pierre joked about being married to me and he ended up adding some more wives I think. This is the stuff that happens when Pierre is around. He’s a keeper! At dinner Pierre reminded me that he would be doing sketches for the Stargate Multiverse Track Room for the Lupus Foundation charity (DONATE!). He’d made me promise I’d let him sketch me when I’d met up with him at ComicCon. I told him I wouldn’t miss it. I knew I had to go to the Stargate Mutliverse Track Room party Friday night or Pierre would never let me forget it.
The first panel was Paul McGillion and Martin Gero. Anyone who knows about Stargate Atlantis might find the irony in these two being on a panel. Gero is the one “responsible” for killing off Carson Beckett. Yes, I want to shed a tear here. I’m a huge fan of Carson’s. I cried bitterly when he was killed off. And the word “Sunday” haunts me now. It’s an episode I can’t watch. So, I wondered how the panel would go. I knew the fans would probably ask some pertinent questions of one Mr. Martin Gero. No question who would be sitting in the hot seat for this panel.
And almost right off the bat the two start joking about not speaking since Carson was killed on Atlantis. I also want to mention this was Martin Gero’s first time at Dragon*Con. I was disappointed he didn’t have a spot in the Walk of Fame. I would have bought his signature and maybe even a picture! Paul said that his character on Sanctuary will be back and people who hate him even more. Oooo! I’m intrigued! I love to hate a bad guy. Especially when the bad guy is played by such a sweetheart like Paul. When asked about David Hewlett, Paul said he’s just like his character, Rodney, on Atlantis, but is more annoying in real life. Also, according to Paul, Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles of Supernatural are Stargate fans. Who knew?!
Martin didn’t say much about the Stargate Atlantis movie, Extinction. He did confirm that Paul McGillion will be in the movie.
And all too soon the first panel of Dragon*Con was over. However there was plenty of good stuff in store for me. I ran into Pierre and managed to have lunch with him and some friends. Then I headed to the Walk of Fame. I really wanted to get Chris Judge’s signature. I’d never met him so I was really looking forward to it. Teal’c is one of my favorite characters from the Stargate franchise. Chris couldn’t be nicer. He’s got one of the best smiles. It’s hard to believe he’s Teal’c. I mean, Chris is only similar to Teal’c in that they’re both good men. Other than that they’re like night and day.
After the Walk of Fame I headed back to the next Stargate panel. For some reason we were spoiled and had two Stargate panels in one day. I don’t know if that’s been the case in the past. The panel had a lot of big names for Stargate. The panel was Chris Judge, John de Lancie, Ben Browder, Martin Gero and Corin Nemec. I’d heard Chris Judge is hilarious at panels. The rumors are ALL TRUE! He had me laughing so hard. I felt sorry for John having to deal with our crazy Stargate boys. Chris admitted to being a Big Bang Theory fan. Martin Gero said he’s a Friday Night Lights fan and was behind on the show. Then Ben Browder told Martin a spoiler. Too funny to see Martin squirm and yell, “Spoiler! Spoiler!”
The panel covered a lot. From when we can expect the Stargate Atlantis: Extinction movie to how to know if an actor is really good or not. Martin said it’s hard to say when we can expect the movie. John said if you want to know if an actor is conveying the emotions turn the sound off and just watch.
Then the panel was over. It seemed like ten minutes but it had been a full hour. I was sad until I realized I had the Stargate Multiverse Track Room party that night. Exciting!!! Pierre would hopefully be sketching me. I headed back to my hotel room, got all dolled up and then walked the thousand blocks to the Sheraton where the track room party was being held. Ok. It wasn’t a thousand blocks. But I had on some killer heels and it seemed like a thousand by the time I got there.
At the party were tons of squirrels and other friends. Some of us squirrels got in front of the green screen to do a Stargate group picture. It was pretty cool because they had Stargate uniforms to wear if you wanted. They even had weapons! We decided not to dress up since there were so many of us. After the group picture Pierre was ready to sketch me. It was a little odd to be sketched. Pierre kept staring at me and I kept wondering if I had broccoli in my teeth. Yeah, it feels like that. However, when done it was all worth it. I have a beautiful sketch now! I love it. Pierre was very, very kind to me. I think I look like a Barbie or a Disney princess. Which is a big compliment to Pierre. As a little girl I wondered if I could be a Barbie doll. Not Barbie but one of her friends. And I still wouldn’t mind being a Disney princess.
After the party I headed back to the Marriott’s bar and restaurant, High Velocity to meet up with friends. We usually hang out there at night since it’s such a great place to people watch. I got the fantastic news that the track room party raised over $1,000 for the Lupus Foundation. Go Stargate fans! Then I called it a night. Saturday was going to be another busy day and I needed to be bright eyed and bushy tailed.
Thanks to my lovely assistant, Katrina (tehbella on Twitter), I learned that Corin Nemec will be on Supernatural this season. He also said he was going to be a lead actor on Atlantis but the powers that be decided to go in a different direction. I think I would have liked Jonas Quinn on Atlantis. I actually liked his character on Stargate SG-1.
Next up on my agenda was a Stargate Mega Panel. Now, waiting in the longish lines I do I’m used to be asked, “What’s this line for?” Sometimes people are trying to line up a bit early and don’t want to get in the wrong line. A guy walked up to me and asked what I was waiting in line for and I told him Stargate. He said, “Oh. Ok… uh, what’s that?” *sigh* And once again I’m reminded I’m a massive geek. Which is ok, because the non-geeks out there are really missing out on some fabulous stuff.
The mega panel had Jason Momoa, Alaina Huffman, Lexa Doig, Michael Shanks, Martin Gero, Ben Browder and Paul McGillion. I was super excited about this panel. Before they brought the guests out Jen, the track room leader, introduced a guy named William. No one knew who he was. He came out on stage and Jen said he had a question for someone. He got down on one knee and asked someone named Jessica if she would marry him. Seriously AWWWW!!! She said yes. I’m such a sucker but that was a sweet moment. And such a great way to start the panel. Wherever you are, Jessica and William, if those are your names, I wish you the best. I suggest you get married under a Stargate. I would!
Once they brought the guests out I was thrilled to see Paul McGillion hold up my David on a stick. He said, “Let’s talk about David Hewlett. Oh wait, he’s not here, let’s not.” And he put the David on a stick down. It was a way of getting at least a piece of David at Dragon*Con even though he couldn’t be there. I just want to say that David was missed and he would have made the whole experience this year at Dragon that much better.
The panel was even more fun than the last. Jason was busy bothering Alaina and Paul, while Martin and Michael were all very snarky. Jason talked about a practical joke he played on David Hewlett. Trust me, I wish I didn’t know about it. I will spare you the gruesome details. And they are quite gruesome. Paul joked that he and Jason were both up for the part of Conan. Paul reminded Jason that he can kick Jason’s butt. Actually, I don’t think he’s kidding there. I’ve heard Paul is quite the accomplished wrestler. Just keep in mind never mess with him.
What shocked me was learning Martin Gero used to work at Starbucks. Anyone who knows me even a little knows I’m a massive Starbucks addict. I knew there was something I really liked about Martin! He can make me my grande iced caramel macchiatos with extra caramel! Yes, this is how my brain works.
I love the banter between Michael and Lexa. At one point Michael got snarky with Lexa and she moved all the way at the other end to sit with Paul. But she “fell” out of her chair and Paul had to “rescue” her from the floor. I’ve heard other fandoms have something called “serious discussion” panels. I am not familiar with that term. And I hope I never am. Because the type of panels I love are the hilarious ones. The Stargate fandom does not disappoint! Even if you’re not a Stargate fan I think you’d enjoy their panels. Unless you’ve had your funny bone surgically removed.
How crazy was the panel? Well, Jason literally brought out beer to drink. A bucket full of beer, actually. And he ended up drinking them all before the panel was over. Michael said he would send Paul out to the crowd to hug everyone. And Michael told the tale of how Lexa scared Ian McKellen (Gandalf) because she got so excited to see him. Yes, apparently even stars get star struck. Then Jason ran off stage only to come back a few minutes later with more beer. That’s right, more beer!
After the panel Lexa was kind enough to take a picture with her twitter minions. I hear they are now called crickets. Ha ha. So… I’m a squirrel AND a cricket? Oh dear.
Pierre texted me wondering if I was up for some karaoke. Now I know what you’re thinking: Where is the video?! Well, let me tell you all about Saturday night. I dub it the night of con party hopping. We set out to a place nearby that had karaoke. Once all of us get inside (I think there were like ten of us) and we sit down Pierre looks at me and says, “Ok. How do we do this?” Bwuah? I’ve never actually done karaoke in public so I had no clue. Turns out, only one of us in our group had done karaoke before Saturday night. Although I’d like to say she was the only one willing to admit it. She went up and found out it was a two hour wait. We bailed and looked for the next party.
We were told of a Firefly party at the Westin. So to the Westin we marched! Outside of the Firefly party I saw what I thought was a person dressed as a candy corn. That was until someone in my party yelled out, “A giant Jayne hat! Whoa! Cool!” Then I realized it was a Jayne hat. I’m sharp like that. We walked into the party and realized it wasn’t exactly what we were looking for. It was packed but there wasn’t much dancing and it seemed a bit too loud for talking. So we went in search of the next party!
Right down stairs (so convenient) was a party going on that sounded like it might be fun. Techno music was booming and inside it was dark but people seemed to be dancing and wearing glowing necklaces and bracelets. Pierre asked and was told it was free for anyone. So we all went inside. Uh… let me just describe what was inside the dark-lit room: a couple people dancing, a DJ and his assistant, someone dressed up like a lizard person doing something that could be described as dancing and an ironing board. No I’m not joking and actually I hadn’t been drinking. An ironing board was set up in the corner. Why? I was afraid to ask. So, we left to find a better party.
The Star Trek party was more our speed, it turns out. We did some dancing and I was able to get a screwdriver at the bar. Woohoo! We hung out there for a while then decided we all had our fill of dancing with Klingons and Star Fleet personnel. We headed back to our usual spot at the Marriott and did some more people watching. This time Pierre came with us. And he ordered dessert and let me eat some. What a way to end the night.
I checked out the vendor rooms. The first booth I saw was Her Universe. If you don’t know about Her Universe I am all too happy to tell you! It’s a clothing line for geek girls like me! Right now they’re doing Star Wars. I was able to speak to Dan Madsen about it. He says they have plans to expand. They have signed a deal with Syfy so we may be seeing products for shows like Eureka, SGU, Sanctuary and Warehouse 13. They’re thinking of Stargate, Lord of the Rings and others to be included in the line. I ended up buying a pretty cool Darth Vader thermal hoodie. I can’t wait to wear it this winter. I’ve also heard they have light saber lipstick. So keep checking www.heruniverse.com for more products for us fan girls. Squee!
The Sunday panel included Jason, Alaina, Michael, Martin, Lexa and Jewel Staite. I don’t know if I’ve attended a panel with so many women. It was another funny panel. When Jewel discovered Alaina was on twitter she said, “Oh! I’ll follow you!” At one point Alaina was asked if she was worried about TJ given Stargate’s history with killing off doctors. She was quick to point out that TJ is NOT a doctor and NEVER will be. Which made everyone laugh.
Lexa had apparently never heard of the Syfy movie Sharktopus. She had to clarify, “Sharktopus?! Is that what it’s really called?” Yes. It’s really called Sharktopus. Good times! Jewel said that you can always count on David Hewlett for a sandwich. Unless there’s one sandwich left. That sounds like the David I know and love.
In the middle of the panel Paul McGillion crashed it. And just when I was thinking the panel needed more Paul. Excellent timing!
Jewel explained the difference between Nathan Fillion and David Hewlett. Nathan’s a prankster, David’s a whiner. And there you have it! In case you had trouble telling them apart. Ok no one had trouble telling them apart. But poor David. He wasn’t there to defend himself. Maybe that will teach him a lesson. Just kidding!
Right after the Stargate panel was the Stargate Multiverse Track Room Auction. I’m very proud to say that for the past couple years the Stargate auction has brought in more money than the Dragon*Con auction. Stargate is the only track room that has an auction separate from the rest of the con. In other words, we rock! The goal was set high for us this year: $10,000. But we had an ace in our pocket: Paul McGillion would be MCing for the first hour.
If you’ve never been to the auction at Dragon*Con you seriously don’t want to miss it. I remember not wanting to go the first year because I thought it would be boring. I was so wrong! The auction is very exciting and I wouldn’t mind taking home some of the items up for bid.
The auction this year did not disappoint. Paul would “tease” participants by asking why they didn’t like the babies, because it was for the babies. Actually it’s for Lupus. But that didn’t stop Paul. Martin Gero donated some very cool art that brought in a nice chunk of change. We quickly broke $10,000. Then QMX came out with their announcement. Evidently they have an employee suffering from Lupus. They wanted to donate something special to the auction. They have designed an actual Zat gun. Well, not one that can actually shoot people. But it’s an exact replica from the ones used in the series. When available for purchase the zats will be around $1,200-$1,500. However for the auction we were able to bid on the prototype zat OR the first one off the line. The bidding started and quickly was out of my price range. It went past $1,000 and kept climbing. Before I knew it the zat was at $5,000. The two people bidding ended up making a deal, one would get the prototype and the other would get the first one off the line. The auction just brought in another $10,000!
I want to take a moment and say I’m so proud of us Stargate fans. We were are generous, wonderful people. I’ve been proud to contribute every year to whatever the charity is. However I have a cousin with Lupus and so this charity in particular is important to me. It did bring tears to my eyes to see how much money we raised. Congratulations! Job well done!
Game night was next on the agenda. I watched friends play Stargate themed games and I sat and vegged out. I had one day left of the convention and I was hoping I’d have the energy to make it through. I had to laugh when they announced that someone had lost a goa’uld symbiote.
I woke up feeling a bit exhausted. And I had to pack. Bleh. Not my favorite part. I may have mentioned this before but I really hate packing. I’m not sure what’s worse: packing to go some place or packing up to leave some place? Each have their problems. I packed quickly and decided to head off to the last panel so I could get a good seat. I could finish packing after the panel.
By the time I got to the Marriott the line was already out the door. Ugh. I sat down outside and waited in the chilly morning air. Soon I was inside and hearing the great news: Stargate fans raised $28,075 for Lupus! Go us! Seriously awesome!
Then the panel started. I literally laughed out loud when Ben Browder told his elevator story. One thing Dragon*Con is famous for is elevator stories. Ben said he got onto an elevator and a guy got on cosplaying as John Crichton. Ben was excited to see him until he realized the guy didn’t recognize Ben! Awww, poor Ben. Then Jewel told her elevator story. She got on and there were several people already on it. A man asked her if anyone had ever told her she looked just like Jewel Staite. The other people laughed and the man said, “She does. It’s a compliment.” Aww, poor Jewel! That’s exactly the sort of thing I imagine would happen to me if I was famous.
I learned that puppets are the biggest divas of the acting world. Ben filled us all in on it. They have a huge entourage and are highly protected. Ben said that if something happened to the million dollar puppet the show is screwed but if something happens to him they’ll just get another white guy. Then he told us a story about working on Farscape. He had the idea to fake punch the puppet. He told the puppet handlers but not the puppet master. When they shot the scene he ran up behind the puppet and punched so it looked like he’d hit the puppet in the head but really he missed. He said while they’re still rolling he hears off stage, “NOOOO!!! NOT THE PUPPET!” I cracked up when I heard that.
And then the last panel of Dragon*Con was over for me. I wanted to cry and then I remembered something! I had an interview with none other than Pierre Bernard, Jr.! I went back to my hotel where I was meeting him and finished packing. Then I headed to the lobby and found Pierre. He was looking for a way to get breakfast. We were able to set aside some time and I interviewed him. Yes, he says he’s my husband. Legally? No, he’s not. But don’t tell him I said so. He gets irritated with me when I don’t go along with him. So as far as YOU know, Pierre is my husband.
Before I knew it I was all packed up and on the Marta on the way to the airport wondering where the last four days went. This was a crazy convention. But aren’t they all? Until the next one! Thanks for reading and as always feel free to leave a comment here or you can reach me on Twitter. Just click on my twitter name whovian99.