As with any convention, there’s the laughter, the “what the…” moments and just the downright interesting parts…both good and bad! Chevron 7.5 was no different.
Understandably, I think most people went into this convention with heavy hearts after both Teryl Rothery and Michael Shanks not able to attend at such a late date, but the guests who were there definitely managed to shine a light to the weekend.
It all started with the opening on the Friday evening which was brief but not without it’s funny moments. Tony Amendola was first announced and was glad to be there as he should have been (planned to be) at the last convention Chevron 7.4 by Massive Events.
He was followed by Sarah Douglas, who seemed a little overwhelmed at the response to her announcement. She jokingly said “Hi” in a little scared voice but also said she was looking forward to meeting old and new friends alike.
David Nykl totally played up his announcement with Superman jumps until he got to the stage and did a very dramatic bow!
The next guest announced was Andee Frizzell, who is seriously so, so crazy but an absolute delight as well. She copied David’s entrance but then her mic didn’t work. Cue: the organisers being labelled “jerks”!
Kavan Smith came up next and apologised for looking “like a tramp, a hobo” and eventually took his hat off after a little heckling! He looked exhausted and it sounded like he hadn’t been in the UK long at all!
Last but not least, was Lexa Doig and it was decided that she likes her heels! She acknowledged that it took her twice as long as everyone else to get to the stage, “And now I show off the shoes.” They were very nice shoes though, it has to be said!
They talked a little about their flights to the UK: Andee had alcohol on hers…good old BA! Tony flew Kiwi airlines, and was happy his flight took an hour less than it was supposed to. Sarah came by train up from Stratford, whilst the other 3 flew over from Vancouver…they reckoned they were probably on the same flight and in the same bar beforehand but just didn’t realise, although Lexa hoped the person kicking her seat wasn’t Kavan!
Most notable event though, was Andee turning on one of the MCs and ordering him to ‘kneel’ wraith-style followed by her dancing and singing “I still got it”. It was also established during the opening that Kavan and Andee would be the “wallflowers” of the weekend.
The main part started on the Saturday morning with the photo sessions. All of mine were on the Saturday (or supposed to be, I apparently can’t tell the time and missed one, so got it Sunday instead!). My first one was with the absolutely lovely Lexa Doig. She was taking the time to speak to everyone before the photos and finding out names, where people were from etc. Just a really friendly lady, and far more awake than everyone else at 9am!! And just a note on how pretty she is in person as well, and her hair was shiny enough to rival mine according to the crew. Completely random, and a “you had to be there moment” I think, but amusing all the same.
Next I headed to get a few autographs while I had a break. Poor Kavan seemed a bit jetlagged because he asked me about the umlauts in my name but I’m not entirely sure he understood! Tony asked the same thing, so I think they probably think I’m German now…it’s a reason to actually brush up on my German at least! And David just wanted there to be a photo of him smiling from Atlantis because all the stills he’s ever seen or signed have been serious poses! Bless.
I then headed back for my photo with Andee, and you don’t realise how tall she is until you’re dwarfed! And to make matters worse for little old me, she was wearing heels. The solution: walk up and say “You do realise you’re going to make me look really small.” And be met by the enthusiastic response of “I’ll crouch” and Andee jumping down. Highlight of my photos, for sure. I had a quick turnaround after that for my photo with Sarah. The poor photographer, honestly. She was so funny and just kept babbling away talking to people whilst posing that I think the photographer had to take quite a few shots of each person because she’d start talking again just as he took a photo!
The photo with David was next and the one thing I remember is the whole hair palaver. The photographer pointed out that my hair was a bit windswept at that point (which was lovely of him by the way, because I was able to sort it out at least!) and it prompted David to look at the photographer as though to ask “What about mine?” and start playing with his own hair. It’s funny though, how he was smiling with teeth during that debacle but he pulls a serious face for the actual photos! Ah well. I still like the photo! Then was the photo with Kavan, and man, does he pull you right in for it. Not that I’m complaining at all!
At that point, I missed my photo with Tony because I went for lunch and lost track of time. Whoops! I did however learn to tell the time and make it to the first talk on time! The only problem I have is that my memory does not like the fact that the talks head out onto so many tangents in such a short space of time, so the recount of all the talks will probably be quite s ketchy!
First up were Lexa and Tony, and Lexa wanted “to start off by saying [she] will take any questions for Michael. [She] loves putting words in his mouth!” And talking of Michael Shanks…the main story seemed to focus round the Shanks’ trouble with bears and racoons. Apparently they laid a new lawn but while waiting for it to ‘set’; it kept getting torn up by racoons in the middle of the night.
They tried everything to keep the racoons away, including camping out all night to try and catch them, and Michael using a BB gun which alas, apparently had no effect on the racoons as they looked at where the gun had hit them, looked back at Michael and carried on! After that, Michael and Lexa’s brother wanted to get paint guns to aim at the racoons but Lexa was like “Hell no! You are not doing that!” much to their disappointment. It ended in them covering the lawn in mesh netting so the racoons couldn’t even get to it.
Tony chimed in with how he knows he’s been away from home on a job too long because when he gets back, his wife always tells him there’s a new possum nesting somewhere in the house and it, of course, has a name. The best one he could remember was when there was one behind the oven and his wife said “’No, there’s something really wrong with this one.” And it looked like something out of Alien because its stomach was moving but it was actually just carrying its young in its pouch. His reaction was “Well what could I do?”, so I presume he just let the possum family stay! And there was the time when he found a possum living under the mattress of his day-bed, and thinking “Why move out? It knew when it had it good!”
Continuing the topic of animals, there’s also a lot of bears (or as Lexa pointed out for us Brits, the Canadian plural is simply still ‘bear’) where the Shanks’ live now, and Lexa wasn’t used to just having a bear wander across your garden. So one day, she was in the kitchen washing up and she saw a bear just looking through the window (cue meerkat like impression of the bear).
Long story short, she remembered Michael had told her bears didn’t like noise so she started screaming and yelling “blah, blah, blah”. The bear apparently looked at her like “What are you doing?” at which point, she ran off yelling “Bear, bear, Michael, bear!” He picked up pans to bang together, opened the door then shut it with “Hell no! I’m not going out there!” It was a Momma bear and her 3 cubs looking for shelter from the rain. A while later, the bear clan were traipsing across the garden and Lexa felt sorry for them and decided that “Maybe we should just let them in.” Michael looked at her like she was crazy, apparently.
Back on the actual topic of Stargate, someone asked Tony something about Bra’tac, and I just remember the answer being that all he knew was he’d got the role of a 133 year old alien, so he trundled to the set and to the make-up trailer ready to find out how much he’d need in terms of prosthetics. The main make-up artist looked at him for quite a while and from all angles, and then declared that he didn’t need anything doing. Bless! Tony reckons the art of flattery has long disappeared!
Also asked was their favourite thing about being part of Stargate. Lexa answered that it was definitely working with Beau Bridges because he’s such a legend…and that she would have said working with Michael but they hardly had any scenes together. This apparently wasn’t such a bad thing! Tony wasn’t sure because he enjoyed the whole experience, but then decided that he liked Bra’tac’s fight scenes, especially when it involved knocking Richard Dean Anderson to the floor!
I think someone also asked about how they filmed the symbiotes and Tony said it was an interesting experience because they had to hold a prop of the symbiote and wiggle it around when needed until the animation could be put in afterwards.
Slotted in next was an episode screening of “Tabula Rasa” with commentary from David and Kavan who decided that the show was basically about tic tacs and Kavan kept chanting “tic tacs” every time Lorne or his team would take the tablets. They also reckoned that when Amanda [Tapping] and Joe [Flanigan] looked like they were always thinking intently, it was because they were making up their lines as they went along. There were also a lot of imitations of Jason [Momoa] grunting “What?” as it was supposedly the only thing he ever said! Kavan also pointed out that obviously his men were highly trained because they missed Carter, McKay and Zelenka hiding in a small room, which would be impossible really because he never misses an attractive blonde!
After that, there was Sarah’s talk…well it was more of a Q&A w ith the MC and an insight into her career. There was lots of talk about Superman and how she’s only just come to terms with being known as “that girl from Superman”. She also mentioned how she got the role in the first place after having 8 auditions cancelled and having to be persuaded to go to the 9th one. Which when she did, she was kept waiting at the studio and then proceeded to yell at the director for keeping her waiting because she “was a serious actress and shouldn’t be kept waiting!” even though she was only early twenties! It worked in her favour though because they were apparently looking for a super bitchy character. As part of the audition stage for the role though, she had to try flying on the wires. Sarah said she turned up for that part all seriously dressed in a tutu and ballet pumps, and the girl who flew before her was in the skimpiest outfit…and apparently wearing no knickers as the crew on the ground pointed out because they were disappointed that Sarah was!!
In terms of Stargate and playing Garshaw, it was a blast even though she didn’t entirely understand the whole alien concept and took the inspiration for bowing her head from the nodding dogs you put in the back window of your car! She also added that she thinks Amanda [Tapping] is amazing for putting up with the boys because they were constantly making rude noises, telling jokes and playing pranks! You can just imagine it too.
After a short break, it was time for the talk with Andee, Kavan and David. I’m not sure there’s much else to say other than it was…enlightening. Right at the start, David came on stage first and when Andee followed, he pretended to be sizing her up, which she took full advantage of with being far taller, and he jokingly cowered and sat down.
Earlier in the day, someone had told Andee that they were originally from Bubbenhall but she heard it as Bummenhole and said she just had to tell everyone, and she ended up shouting it out quite a few times during the talk! However, Kavan being Kavan did come back with the response of “You know you won’t get pregnant if you do it in the…”
Back on track, the main focus of the talk was on Andee’s prosthetics and how it took 8 hours the first time but they eventually got it down to 5 hours as the series progressed. However it meant that she was always the first and the last one on set, and one time, as she was in the shower in her trailer, washing away all the excess make-up, her trailer started moving and apparently they were towing it away with her inside screaming and clinging to the shower rail! She also mentioned how she had to be driven everywhere even after the prosthetics were off at the end of the day, because the contacts gave her pin-hole vision so anyone could be around her and she wouldn’t realise, therefore she wasn’t allowed to drive.
Also, because the only time people saw her on set, she was in all her prosthetics, when it came to the wrap parties, no-one would recognise her. She’d be walking up to people and trying to talk to them and they’d just look at her and walk away. So eventually, after being ignored by one of the sound technicians, she walked over to her and her husband and burst out with “Oh, so this is how it’s going to be. Yesterday you had your hands down my pants and now you’re ignoring me!” Apparently the look on the husband’s face was priceless and Andee didn’t realise what she’d said til much later!
Someone also asked all of them if they’d ever left set in their make-up…which as Kavan and David pointed out, that question only really applied to Andee. And as the Queen of hilarious stories, she had in fact done so. She’d been on set early as usual for prosthetics but took a break to do a coffee run and drove 10 blocks to the nearest coffee shop. She was standing in the queue and ordering her coffee all whilst being in nearly full wraith make-up…and I mean everything minus the hair, which meant she just had a skull cap on with her hair sticking through a gap at the back!
Talking about the Wraith, Andee was asked what it was like having Joe [Flanigan] on his knees in front of her. The response: “What was it like having Joe Flanigan kneeling before me? Hellooo, have you seen him? What do you think it was like?!”
I can’t even remember how it came about but I remember Kavan just heading out on a tangent and telling us he had “loads of kids, but the 2 I’m going to tell you about today are the 2 I live with…” and later on when asked who they would feed to the Wraith if they could, Kavan nominated his kids as long as he could have them back for birthdays and Christmas…although he was fine with it if they left the Wraith-y stuff over their mouths to keep them quiet! David and Andee (to much applause) nominated McKay as the best choice!
Although David didn’t manage to get a word in edgeways with Andee babbling on, he did make some priceless comments on her stories! And he of course lowered the tone when they were asked what they would tell aliens was the best thing about Earth. After unanimously deciding on beer, David chipped in with “Oh, and boobs.” which was followed by a whole conversation between him and Kavan on women and boobs. What can you say? Men!
My friend also asked a question about Kavan’s role in Human Target but he didn’t understand the question so Andee said she’d translate it for him. The translation was “What colour underwear are you wearing?” and without even thinking: “Blue.”. When he actually worked out the question and the fact it was about his British accent (Because he’d been talking about Amanda [Tapping]’s British accent during the screening), he told everyone that all he’d had to say was “Blimey”…which started a whole new round of saying “Blimey” in a British accent then yelling “Bummenhole.”
It was also during this talk that Kavan brought up the subject of who could make the most annoying noise for the longest amount of time. He then proceeded to make a high-pitched, really scratchy “Eeeeeee” that seemed to last forever, or at least until David pretended to turn him off!
After that, it was time for the auction which looked to be a success judging on how much some of the items were going for. But the auction wasn’t what people had hung around for really, it was of course the big announcement for Chevron 7.6…even though I think a lot of people had already figured it out! The room went dark and the video started playing, and I’d decided to stay calm because I thought I’d guessed, but then it came up that Teryl Rothery was going and I am unashamed to admit that I did squeal along with everyone else! However, no surprises that the subsequent announcement of Richard Dean Anderson did raise the roof!
On Sunday morning, I only had a couple of autographs to still collect. The slightly odd thing was that I got talking to Lexa about the party the night before and she did remember me as the girl in the heels with the gun. Whether that is good or bad, I have no idea, and didn’t want to ask!! On Andee’s autograph desk was a pile of chocolate, because she’d mentioned loving chocolate, so now she’s decided that at her next convention she’s going to announce what alcohol she likes and see if any turns up on her desk! Andee was still crazy and taking time with each person. There was a young child in front of me, and when asked what her favourite Stargate show was, the kid answered with Atlantis and Andee started celebrating. I then, obviously, had to say to her “Is this the part where I say SG1?” at which point she started joking she should kick me out of her queue, so we stuck to Atlantis talk.
Getting my autograph with Sarah was slightly more serious, because when she asked where I lived, it came up that she’d done a play in my hometown many years ago. Comparing what the city was like then and now (with much laughter), we came to the conclusion that I should move away. It was actual ly really nice to have a British guest there because as lovely as the other guests were, when they asked you where you lived, it was just a courtesy because they didn’t really know!!
I then headed for my photo with Tony, and honestly, he is just so nice, especially seeing as I nearly ran into him the day before just outside the photo room. Although it has to be said, that he loves wearing that hat! And just for photos too!
Afterwards, I headed into the hall for the first talk with Andee and David and it started with the craziness that would carry on throughout. As always, David likes to mak e an entrance: from the Superman jumps on Saturday, to racing around the whole hall and then stopping at the camera to pretend to film the stage on Sunday. It only continued with the rule that flash photography is only allowed for the first few minutes, and then there’s a countdown; a countdown which they both decided to dance along too. Followed by David making Andee stand up and it coming to light that she’d laid an egg, and then taking apart their mics and using the fuzzy balls as noses. Comedy gold!
Again, there were lots of Wraith stories from Andee, the most notable being when she had to be submerged in full Wraith outfit and make-up, but they hadn’t foreseen the problem of her hair, face prosthetics and pants being made partly from foam. So she got in the water and after a few seconds she could feel her hair and face being pulled upwards and inflating, followed by her pants, and in a last desperate attempt to stay underwater, she grabbed the weight at the bottom of the tank; except that didn’t work out, because eventually that started floating upwards too!
Long story short, she was supposed to rise out of the water very slowly and gracefully, with a calm face…instead she shot out of the water, screaming! The crew apparently wanted to re-shoot that scene but she flat-out refused after that palaver! Yet that wasn’t the end of it. Her prosthetics went right down to her neckline and when she took it off later, she was left with a ring line of hickeys where the foam had pulled at her skin!
David then talked about how there wasn’t really a name for his character when he got the role, but he knew he’d made it on the show when Zelenka got a first name! And also how Zelenka was obviously more intelligent and more well liked that McKay.
He also spoke about the fact that he could get away with saying what he liked in Czech, on set, so he made the most of it! Apparently there are some episodes where David is just swearing in Czech purely because no-one knew any different!
After that, there was the quiz, during which it was established that Kavan paid no attention to character names or which episode was which because his answer to everything was “What the —-?” or “Who the —- is that?” It was actually amazing that his team won! Although when Lexa demanded “What planet are you on?!” at least he managed to answer with “Um…Atlantis?”
Following that, there was a quick break where Tracy (@honesthunny) managed to find me, and being the absolutely wonderful person she is, gave me one of the places she’d won for the guest encounter with Lexa. The whole time was pretty much just laughing, as Lexa told of her latest project, her favourite music and books, amusing stories of Vancouver and how no-one recognises her there, along with an embarrassing story of when someone actually did! And we must say thank you to Lexa because she has given us permission to post everything that was talked about at the encounter, but I’ll let Tracy do that because she has all the notes and it was all down to her that I was even there in the first place!
After that encounter, we headed back to the hall and found that Tracy had also won 2 places for the encounter with David, but we decided that I’d go to the talk with Kavan and Lexa while she went to the encounter so we had both angles covered.
The talk with Lexa and Kavan was just out of this world…I don’t think there was even a running theme throughout it. They started by swapping funny stories of their kids, including Kavan taking his son to the toilet and his son proclaiming “Woah Dad, you have a huge penis!” to which his reply was apparently “Uhh, thanks.” Although Lexa did wonder how many penises his son had to compare it too, and Kavan cheekily replied with “Well I’m not home much so who knows?!” He then turned the table to Lexa for funny kid stories.
Her first one was her son wanting to go out in the winter wearing shorts and when she told him he couldn’t go out in them and had to go and change into pants, he asked who had made it cold and she replied with Mother Nature, and being a curious child, he asked who told Mother Nature it had to be cold and she told him God. At this point, her son asked who God was and Lexa was starting to panic internally, trying to think of a way to explain it when her daughter stepped in and just said “God is the president of Earth.” Atta girl! Seriously, best response to that question I’ve ever heard.
The other one was about Earthquake drills at her kids’ schools, seeing as Vancouver is on a fault line. Because as Lexa said “Obviously if there was an earthquake, there’d just be a long line of parents chatting away and waiting for their children to be brought to them!” Although during this drill, Lexa was talking to another parent, and her daughter kept whining and trying to get her attention but Lexa told her to hold on and not interrupt, so when she eventually turned to her daughter and asked what was up, her daughter just looked at her and went “I can’t remember what I was whining about Mommy!”. Lexa reckons it was one of the cutest things ever!
They were then talking about how thinking you’re cool will always come back and bite you, with Lexa saying she wished her younger self hadn’t thought she was so cool which resulted in a couple more stories. The first of which she was going to meet a friend, but there was a huge traffic jam so she decided to get out of the taxi and walk. I can’t remember which city she said she was in at the time, but there was a garbage strike, so the streets were lined with bags of rubbish, which only made her embarrassment worse. Basically, she was walking down the street and got wolf whistled by a car of young men, so she turned round and said “Easy boys!” (Kavan: *in disbelief* “You actually said that?!”) then turned round again and walked straight into a pole, staggered backwards, lost a shoe and fell into a pile of garbage. She surmised it wouldn’t have been so bad had the traffic been moving, but the same people who had seen her fall, then watched as she pulled herself up, searched for her shoe then carried on walking down the street as though none of it had happened!
She also talked about bad 90s fashion and wearing a faux leather mini-skirt and jacket, and thinking she looked hot because she was practically getting marriage proposals as she walked down the street. It was only when an older women pulled her aside and pointed out that her skirt had ridden up, did Lexa realise she’d walked goodness knows how many blocks with her butt hanging out. And now that she was conscious of that fact, she also realised that the skirt rode up every 5 steps with the friction from the jacket. It was then that she “realised the marriage proposals were for my butt, not my face!”
Kavan then talked a little more about his family, and bless his wife, the stories he tells. He told of how they had a housewarming party not long after they were married and that when his mother asked his wife why the dog was called Lucy (because she’d had the dog before she met Kavan), his wife answered “Because I heard that dogs respond well to names with hard K sounds.” At which point, his family just looked at him like: “You married her for her brains then.”
Typically, Kavan then started making boob gestures before turning to Lexa and asking “How big did your boobs get when you were pregnant?” She replied “Massive.” And got “Cool!” plus an immature grin in return.
The only Stargate related part of Lexa and Kavan’s talk was when Lexa continued her Scottish accent from the earlier quiz and asked if Kavan could do an impression of Paul McGillion. The smart alec answered with “Sure, give me two pieces of buttered toast.” There was no reply to that. At all.
And then sadly, the final talk and closing ceremony were upon us. The only question I really remember from those though, was about party tricks. David showed everyone a coin trick and no-one else could think of anything until Andee showed us a yoga trick. Kavan then turned to Lexa with “Hey, what was that trick you were telling me about earlier? Something about tossing salad with your vagina?” She just looked at him in total shock, surprisingly! It turned out that they’d been joking about being able to launch ping-pong balls from a vagina although as Lexa pointed out, “I don’t know where you got salad from ping-pong balls!” and the conversation just went downhill from there…
All in all, it was a brilliant weekend against all the odds, all the guests were charming and it was lovely to see old and new friends alike. I hope this report has managed to share at least some of the spirit of the Chevron weekend!
Thank you, as always, for visiting and supporting WormholeRiders. Please feel free to leave a comment either on here or on twitter, by clicking on the image on the left (for the WormholeRiders account) or on the image below (for my personal account).