CALLING ALL SANCTUARIAN GATERS!
Gate to the Sanctuary was an incredible Stargate and Sanctuary convention, held in Sydney by Culture Shock Events, and in Melbourne by Hub Productions. On the weekend of 11-12 December, 2010, several hundred extremely blessed fans had the opportunity to meet with some of their favourite artists, including Amanda Tapping of Stargate and Sanctuary, Robin Dunne of Sanctuary, as well as Carmen Argenziano (Stargate) and Chuck Campbell (Stargate and Sanctuary)
Further to my convention report, and the transcript of Robin’s panel, below is the MUCHLY anticipated, sublime and utterly inspiring transcript for Amanda’s hour of magic. Amanda’s panel was the most memorable for its soul, its beauty, its crazed goofiness, the hysterical giggles, the moved tears, and its intelligent and thoughtful Q&A.
Please note that these are written exactly how they are spoken. I chose to leave in the ‘umms’ and ‘aahs’, the little vocal nuances, so that you may read it exactly as was spoken by HER, and not by anyone else. I did not want to filter it, but left it as it is so that you may hear it as Amanda told it. It is not a written report, but a transcript of spoken language, and should be read as such. I have also tried to include descriptions of actions and facials expressions where possible. In the case of Amanda, it’s kind of essential!
I hope you enjoy the panels as much as we did! May you finish with a painful stitch, inspired beyoond belief, a mind in smithereens, and a heart exploding with love…it’s all about the living experience!
Please also note that this transcript continues on DIRECTLY from where Robin’s left off!
A day NEVER to be forgotten…
(Bouncing and clapping in seat)I wonder who’s up next?! I’M SO EXCITED!!!!! (laughter and cheers)
Moderator: Amanda Tapping everyone!! (MENTALLY UPROARIOUS SCREAMS AND CHEERS)
Amanda: I look SO MUCH COOLER on TV than I do in real life! (laughter) I can’t believe how COOL I look!
Wow…Can I get a copy of that? Wow…for the days when I’m feeling a little low! I’ve had a lot of bullets in my time…HELLO EVERYBODY!!!!
Amanda: Hi MELBUN!…Uh..Melbun, you never say ‘R’s in Australia (laughter). Um ARRRRGH. That’s Olivia’s favourite joke; What’s a pirate’s favourite letter? ‘ARRRRRR!’. Um HI! I’m so excited to be here, thank you so much for having me, for being so gracious. I have to say one thing: Australians. What is it with you guys and your eyes?! I have never seen more beautiful sets of eyes anywhere in the world (AWWWWW). I’m not kidding you!..I’m not, (to an audience member) YOU..HELLO! I’m not kidding! I…every time I…What do they put in the water here?!
Audience member: FLUORIDE! (laughter)
Amanda: YEAH! Brilliant, I’m blown away…I’m not kidding! So there’s..
Audience member: It’s the Vegemite!
Amanda: It’s the Vegemite. I confess, I like it! (CHEERS) But I’m from England originally and we have Marmite which is not that different. (cheers) Thank you very much! My favourite thing to do when I go to London, is to find like a, you know, a grungy little local caf’, and have a cup of tea, and toast and Marmite. And that’s…my start to the day *giggles*. That’s my dirty little secret!
Ummm…what…AH. Okay, I’m in *goofy voice* Australia. Last week I was in Nepal (CHEERS), hence all my accoutrements. But I, for those of you that don’t know, I just..I feel like I have to tell you a tiny bit about Nepal, uh…and then we’ll get into questions.
Um. About a year ago I started a foundation called Sanctuary for Kids, and uh *cups mouth* www.sanctuaryforkids.org (laughter) and uh..one of the charities that we support..- we support really small..it’s a very grass-roots charitable initiative that we started. And honestly we started it because of you guys. It was my understanding after a …decade plus *ironic grin* in the scifi genre – a decade and a half, alright I’ll be serious! – that, um, I have never met a more…aaah…more socially connected, socially aware, generous group of people that is scifi fans. It BLEW MY MIND every time there was an auction, or every time I go to England and do the GABIT events..that there…we raised SO much money for these incredible charities, and I think “What…these people are so CONNECTED, they really GIVE A HOOT” and it’s so beautiful.
So THAT’S why Sanctuary for Kids was born, not only because we see, um, how incredibly lucky we are that we’re working in our industry, but also that we’re incredibly lucky to be connected to such an amazing and generous group of fans! So that was sort of the impetus for Sanctuary for Kids. And VERY grass-roots, no overhead, um..Damian Kindler and I cover all the costs of administration and people and banking and blah blah blah. Um…but we just do small online auctions, and we do, you know, little charitable conventions and things so…Anyway that’s the impetus behind Sanctuary for Kids! Um, and we support really, really small charities. And one of them is the Nepal Orphan’s Home which Kamil, who used to run my website, volunteered at. And he came back, and he sent me the most incredible email and pictures, and he said that “I am transformed, this place is amazing!”. And so I started doing some research, and hooked up with the people who run it, and so…Jill Bodie, who is the other person behind Sanctuary for Kids, and myself got to go to Nepal. And uh…we were in Kathmandu, we visited with Nepal Orphan’s Home, as well as some other groups while we were there, um …groups primarily dealing with trafficked women and children. HEART-WRENCHING stories, but this speaks to the incredible resilience, and open hearts, and beauty of the Nepali people- that EVERYONE we met was so gracious, and so uh…LOVING. And the GIRLS at this orphanage…there’s one house of boys, but I stayed at Sanctuary House. Partly because of the donations that we have made, they were able to open another house, and they called it Papa’s ‘Gumba’ House, and ‘Gumba’ is the Nepali word for Sanctuary. So, uh, again..(‘aww…wow’ from audience)…yeah the power of fandom and the power of just a simple movement.
So twenty-seven more children were added to the orphanage roster, and it united seven sets of sisters, this one house, who had been separated, and potentially would never see each other again, um, and they were reunited because of Sanctuary House. Uh, so we got to go. So it was an incredible gift, to be able to go and see what they needed, to uh..to crank lanterns that our crew all contributed money to buying these crank lanterns, because in Kathmandu, for 15-18 hours a day they are without electricity, and um…crayons, and art supplies. These kids were..phenomenal. And Happy. Brilliant, beautiful children, who will change this world. Um, the one thing that struck Jill and I while we were there was the incredible need and we felt “God we’re just tiny drops in the bucket”, and you know, I feel like that…as an actor in this industry, and sometimes you feel like that as a fan, and we’re…we’re just a drop in the bucket.
But honestly from that drop in the bucket, AMAZING ripples emanate. And that –uh- it was never more clear than when we were in Nepal, that that’s what was happening. That, you know, 132 children at this house are being educated. And you know, they say, if you educate a woman…you educate the village, and therefore the ripple effect! So, uh, KUDOS to you guys for your support. But um, if you wanna check it out, check out sanctuaryforkids.org, and there’s actually a blog called the Nepal Blog. And there’s pictures of some of the kids…so uh…if you get a CHANCE.
(At this point, Amanda’s voice was breaking with emotion)
(Moderator asked for cameras to be put away, so that they could bring the microphone to people)
Amanda: Oh great, there’s gonna be a lot of pictures of Amanda in Melbourne…Please don’t post them on the internet. There’s about twenty-seven THOUSAND bad pictures of me on the internet. I ENCOURAGE you to put the good ones on! *GRINS*
Um…what else can I tell you? WE FINISHED SEASON THREE! We are SUPER-EXCITED about it. I know a lot of you are up to date on it, thank you very much for watching! Um, but I’m still, you know, very much a part of the Stargate franchise, so feel free to ask me questions about that as well. Um… hard to take off those army boots, I tell ya! (laughter). A couple of girls brought two replica P90’s (laughs) during the photos…*smooshes* I WAS SO HAPPY 😀 ! (laughter). It’s just really sick, because I HATE GUNS! But you know uh, there’s something about the zen that I found as Sam Carter with a gun that…belied my inner turmoil *chuckles*(laughter). So when I started playing Helen, and I was wearing stilettos and pencil-skirts, I just like..I…I was doing this scene and Martin said “What’s WRONG Amanda?!?” and I was like *mutters out side of mouth* “Can’t I, you know, just carry a gun?” (LAUGHTER). “You’re going to your library!” – *whispers* I know, but…maybe she has a P90!” (LAUGHTER)
YAH!. But …still. Okay. HI! Let’s start with some *giggling* questions!
Q1: Hey Amanda
Amanda: HI! 😀
Q1: If you could describe the relationship between Jack and Sam in a few words, what would that be?
Amanda: I think it’d be ONE word. FRUSTRATING!!!!!!! (LAUGHTER AND CHEERS) SERIOUSLY…..COME ON!!!
Rick and I actually talked about it not that long ago, and I had been asked so many times “Do you think they should get together, do you think..”. YES DARNIT. JUST ONCE, just get it out of the way! GOD! One night of crazy passion…where they *suggestive gestures*…(LAUGHTER) I don’t think that’s too much to ask…on SO many different levels! (LAUGHTER) But yah, I think it’s really frustrating. I mean, it’s usually respectful and loving and all those wonderful things…FRUSTRATING!!! is what comes to mind.
Q2: (gorgeously British guy sitting behind me): Hi Amanda, um, welcome to Melbourne! So nervous…(laughter) sorry! This is the most nerve-wracking experience since I got married! So um…uh..where to start. So, both Dr. Helen Magnus and Sam Carter, they’re both SUCH amazing characters, and they’re wonderful, I think, to so many of us, they’re STRONG female characters, but they don’t rely on being…you know..adopting male, or kind of macho…I mean they’re somehow so powerful and so feminine. They’re sensational! And my question was, how much influence have you had over the years with both characters, to be able to say to the guys…you know..”Can I go this way with Sam, or that way with Sam”…just you know, kind of put that out there…and …you know…stick up for women, and wave the flag!
(Giggles in audience)
Amanda: Yeah…RAR RAR! (LAUGHTER) It’s a great question! Um…Here’s a prime example: In the Stargate pilot…Sam Carter has that…*rolls eyes*..
Q2: YEAH the line…the line!
(Audience: Say it!)
Amanda: *Magnus accent* Would you like me to say it?
Amanda: It goes..aaaah: Just because my reproductive organs are on the inside instead of the outside, doesn’t mean that I can’t do whatever you can do…
(CHEERS AND LAUGHTER)
Amanda: HONESTLY I think every woman in this room would agree, we’d NEVER say that. (laughter) Even though it’s absolutely true, it…ah…IT’S JUST NOT SOMETHING THAT WE SAY! (laughter). So I remember, it was the pilot and we were under a contract whereby they could fire us after the *chuckles* the pilot if they didn’t think it was working out. So we were all *chuckles* on our ABSOLUTE best behaviour (scatterings of chuckles), so I was like “I WILL SAY WHATEVER YOU WANT ME TO SAY!” (laughter). And then as soon as the contract were, you know, okay you’ve made it through the pilot and you were continuing with you character *chuckles*, I was like *stern look* “OKAY..yeah.” (LAUGHTER)…”women don’t talk like this!”
So, I remember sitting down with the writers and saying “STOP trying to write what you think a strong woman would say…and just write a human being, right? As if you’re writing for a man, if that makes it easier, and I will bring an inherent femininity to it, EVEN if only my virtue of the fact that I’m a woman!” (laughter) This I did bring to the table! “But there will be an inherent femininity, just write a normal human being, don’t write a woman trying to prove herself in a man’s world, ‘cause it..the more you red-flag the fact that, you know *thick Texan accent* “I’m a woman in the military!”, the more boring she becomes! You know, we get it. You’re a chick with a gun…OKAY! Just write a cool, interesting smart character! And uh, the writers, to their great credit, did exactly that, and for me it was…we steered a little bit away from the vulnerability, and I think it deeply important that as much as we show a character’s strength, we also have to show the weakness. And i think the true power of a hero comes in their failings, and the, you know, the learnings from those failings! Um, so that was always my sort of bent with her, and they listened! And honestly after a few years, it was so much a part of each of us, our voices…you know Michael brought so much to Daniel, Chris brought so much to Teal’c, and so on and so on, that it became them. I mean, Don Davis WAS General Hammond!…(stirring of sympathy in audience)….heh…yeah..I can barely say his name without crying, still. Um…but that was, you know, Teryl came in and she WAS Dr. Frasier…and the things that she did. So EVERYONE informed their characters, and so…by virtue of the fact that we were on for so long I think.
Now with HELEN, I got the script that Damian had written in 2000, and aah, really I didn’t deviate from that very much. Except that we…it’s important to me with Helen because I don’t GET her, all the time, I don’t UNDERSTAND the choices she makes. Which is COOL. ‘Cause she’s 160, and I SHOULDN’T understand her (LAUGHTER). Sometimes I FEEL *chuckles* like 160! But there’s a loneliness there, there’s a wariness, and a WEARINESS of the world that she has, that I don’t necessarily understand. But I bring, I think um…aah..when I’m talking to the writers I think she really WOULDN’T make that choice. But she MIGHT make that choice. And at other times I would go I DON’T KNOW if she’d make that choice, let’s make her make that choice, let’s see her screw up! I love it! So, I don’t know *chuckles* if I answered the question or not…I’m just rambling! You see I’M NERVOUS!! (laughter). But um YES. I think After a while the actor does start to… inform what’s happening, and I’m just really incredibly proud, and privileged that I’ve TWICE now been able to play really strong…who I THINK are really cool, interesting women. (APPLAUSE)
Q3: I heard in an interview, regarding the extended season, that I THINK the thing is that because you know that you’ve got the time, that it’s a lot more pressure, but it’s a bit more of a luxury for you…
Q3: ..um…and that’s how you were choosing to look at it. Then you said “Ask me in ten months”. How has it been? (laughter) Not that it took ten months, but how’s it been?
Amanda: AWESOME! It’s awesome! I forgot, you know Stargate was such a machine; ten episodes, take a little summer holiday, ten more episodes. And you just ground it out. And after ten years of getting up at 5:30 or 6:00 in the morning, and working till, you know, 7:30 or 8 o’clock at night, you know, it just becomes…your life! And with Sanctuary we only did 13 episodes, and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited, and did another thirteen and it was like “OOOH this is NICE! Thirteen is NICE, I have a LIFE!” And then…we got twenty, and still I say it’s a huge luxury. We did what we did with Stargate, modelled, did ten episodes, took a summer break, and we’ve just finished the last ten. But honestly by the end we were all….*audience chuckles*…a little bit coocoo for cocopuffs!(laughter) It’s a privilege. Honestly, because I think the story fits better, the arcs are more interesting, I think, what I LOVE, and I don’t know if I’m alone in this, but I think that fandom…me BEING a member of scifi fandom…I don’t WANNA be spoonfed the answers! I don’t WANT somebody soft-pabbleming (?) me going “HERE, this is what we mean by that!” I wanna wonder, I wanna ask some weird questions and NOT get answers, and go “*STARES*…(laughter)… I guess I’ll have to watch NEXT week’s and find out what the hell they were talking about!” It makes sense to me! Because I think we’re an intelligent group of people, who don’t NEED to be told what’s happening.
Audience member: There’s always more guessing going on…
Amanda: EXACTLY, this season we’re trying to do that, much to certain networks…chagrim *makes face*. You know, “The audience isn’t gonna know what you mean”…*STARES…rolls eyes* (laughter) “well…*goof voice* I THINK they’re SMART!” (laughter). Yeah, so it’s been great.
Q4: Hi, my name’s Gochin (sp?)…
Amanda: HI! 😀
Q4: …I just want to say that, you know, I think you’re an amazing person, and you’re an amazing actress….And…yeah…I just…
Amanda: *goof voice* GOSH! (laughter)
Q4: Um, I’ve noticed that the music of Sanctuary is very beautiful, and there’s a very specific melody, and tune to all of it, and I was wondering if you, personally, had any kind of say in the choices for the episodes? And also, um, whether they were specifically chosen to suit the theme or something…or if it was just “Oh that one sounds pretty”…
Amanda: YAH! I’ll tell you what’s happened.
Okay, so in Season 1 we had Joel Goldsmith, who was the composer for Stargate…was AWESOME, awesome composer. Ah, VERY orchestral in his..in the way that he writes his music, and we were very lucky to have him. But we are really striving to be a 100 percent Canadian show, and part of the issue was that we had an American composer. So we found Andrew Lockington who I think is ABSOLUTELY brilliant, and what Andrew brought to the table was a very world theme, ah, much more um, drumming…less orchestral and much more world music kind of feel to it. What happens, and this is part of the beauty of being a producer, is we do what we call ‘sound spots’. So, we’ll watch an episode with Andrew on the phone (he’s in Toronto and we’re in Vancouver), and we’ll watch exactly to time…and he’s on the same computer..to time. So we’ll watch the episode, we’ll pause- anyone can pause at any given time, and can say ‘here we need some more drum’ or ‘here we need some more of this’ or ‘wouldn’t it be great if we could get a big sweep into this scene’ or ‘let’s not have any music in this scene’. So we actually do, um…to a degree..aah, inform how the music plays out. And then we just leave it in Andrew’s incredibly capable hands, and he comes up with stuff way better than we could *chuckles* ever imagined! So in terms of where the music is placed and the, uh, the sort of temperature of it. Yes. But then it’s up to him. And aah, I think he’s brilliant, personally.
And I…I know that now that Syfy International only shows the ten second opening title sequence…right? (mumbles in audience)…*Amanda makes a face*…YEAH not into the ten seconds! (laughter). We fought REALLY hard, because aah, we have a BEAUTIFUL thirty second opening title sequence, and aah..I think everywhere else in the world, except for Syfy…um…because they decided that um…*snirks* you wouldn’t stick around if it was thirty seconds *makes face* (LAUGHTER). ALL of their shows have ten second opening title sequences. I’m never gonna work for this network again, apparently *chuckles* ‘cause I keep telling people bad things about them (LAUGHTER)…*goofy voice* but I LOVE Syfy, and I owe a GREAT career to them…BUT. Ten seconds. It was like ‘Seriously? The audience is gonna…you guys are gonna stop watching ..AWH *SIGH* it’s twenty-seven seconds *SLUMPS*” (LAUGHTER).” I don’t CARE what happens between John and Helen…*shuffles away*”
Audience member: Bring back the Stargate intros…that were like…
Amanda: YEAH! Exactly, and they just keep getting smaller. So no it’s..ten second into the scene. The REST of the world gets thirty seconds. And that…again it’s now ANDREW, doing the opening title because part of the problem was… that Andrew was having, was that Joel’s music was very orchestral, and he’s trying to feed that into the first scene. You know from a…ah..it was too much of a JOLT in music styles, so now Andrew does it all. So…*chuckles* did I answer your question? (laughter) I tend to RAMBLE on… wow…
Amanda: HI!!! Up there!!
Q5: *mutters* My friend Miranda thinks I have this one game where I like to ramble on…*chuckles*
My question is…now, you’ve done a lot of scenes with David Hewlett when you…went over to Atlantis…
Q5: ..and your guest one when you did ‘Grace Under Pressure’, did you enjoy it more…doing that episode, or the one where you were with Jewel and you all fell down into the shaft…
Amanda: OOOH TRIO!…YEAH…I LOVED doing that episode! Aaaaaaaaand I… I couch this by saying I have an incredible and ridiculously paralysing fear of heights. And uh, and I was supposed to be like, the one who walks across the beam all ‘yo, yo!’ and THEY’RE the ones who were supposed to be scared, and they were just, like, hangin’ out on the beam…like..*relaxes*. But we had a BLAST. That episode, just in particular, it was very strange…we were on a gimble set, and this metal box..aaah..up on these rafters, DUST falling on us, DIRT, and aaah…we laughed. Our. heads off. I just…I COMPLETELY remember shooting every day of that episode, it was SO much fun. So THAT for me, um, but not only because of the character interactions, but because of the personal interactions…between David and Jewel and I. And just being goofs in the makeup trailer. I LOVED, you know, getting covered in dirt…you know, I love that kind of stuff..so..it was really fun.
‘Grace Under Pressure’ was, you know, had it’s OWN *goofy voice* sense of fun! (laughter) But that was…aaah…yeah that was *chuckles*. That was a strange episode for me. Ah…David’s..aaah, WIFE was there, not quite then his wife…Jane, was his ‘fiancèe’ at the time. And aaah, so that was…awkward! (LAUGHTER) It was like ‘I love you Jane! I love you…*pulls face*’ (laughter).
Q6: GOD you’re pretty!…sorry…(LAUGHTER). Much prettier in real life…umm *Amanda’s making shocked faces* (LAUGHTER)….(couldn’t hear what she said)…
Um…I just..we saw you when we were watching ‘The Tok’ra’ and you just peeked in, down there with Robin, and had a peek. What was the thing…what runs through your mind, seeing, like, those images of you from so long ago…with that hair..and…
Amanda: *sobs* I was SO YOUNG!!!! (LAUGHTER)
Q6: ‘Cause it must be stranger when…I mean, a lot of us see photos from we were younger but, like, you’ve got…over ten years of your life on…
Amanda: *Stunned face* YEAH. (laughter)
Q6: So what was that like, to watch back…from your perspective?
Amanda: It’s actually, now I can look back on that with a much greater sense of detachment, and really appreciate what the show was. And go ‘AWW yeah, that was the first day that JR Bourne and I met, and …and we hung out for seven hours talking, and we, you know, these scenes happened so beautifully and…you know, so I can look back on it now…much EASIER than I could. You know… I couldn’t WATCH Stargate for the longest time, ‘cause I was so self-critical about everything. And NOW I step back and go ‘Well…it was a FUN show, and that…’ I remember the moments BEHIND them. The moments. And it is HONESTLY really FREAKY…to see…the videos that are put together *chuckles*, you know, of the transformation of Sam Carter, and of Helen. Uh…it…yeah. *whispers* OH GOD! (chuckles in audience) I’m like, ageing…before my eyes. There’s no denying that!…(Audience member: Aging gracefully!) …thank you VERY much! But yeah. It’s really weird. My DAUGHTER watches , you know, like…I got a video from a fan, and I put it in and she *chuckles* was like *shocked face*‘Mama!’, and I was like *wide eyes*“I know.” (LAUGHTER).
Q7: *mutters* Okay you’ve got the mic, now don’t screw it up! (Iaughter)
Amanda: *grins* NO PRESSURE!(Iaughter) Everyone’s listening!
Q7: Well, first of all I would like to say that, well, for the better part of, well, fifteen years of being just…NOT just a strong role model for women, but also a good match for most men, knowing that…you could probably take them ANYWHERE. (LAUGHTER)
Amanda: *GRINNING BROADLY*
Q7: ..I’d just like to say that, I don’t either way pertaining to Stargate, and Atlantis..and Sanctuary, you’re just a GOOD role model to watch on the screen. So, I just wanted to say that…
Amanda: Thank you!
Q7:..And, my question is..um..I’m not sure if it’ll ever happen. The SG-1 third movie. Would you be in it?
Amanda: *wide eyes* I hope so! (LAUGHTER)
Q7: But if they..asked you, would you…
Amanda: Oh God yeah! Yeah, I mean…aah.. I was asked this in Sydney, and I don’t KNOW if it’s ever gonna happen, it would be great. I …I don’t know if the ship has sailed on that. There was so much BUZZ about it for a long time, and we were all very excited. And then…the buzz sort of died, and after that we heard about MGM having trouble…and you know, all manner of different scenarios were being spread and…and we didn’t KNOW. And now, were just no hearing anything, so I, I don’t know. Maybe…someone would like to write one, and we could all do it! (laughter). (audience member makes a comment, perhaps about the movie campaign?) Oh is there? Yeah, I would ABSOLUTELY. I mean… I will NEVER turn my back on Stargate…that…it’s just such a HUGE part of my life. Yeah. And the boots are SO comfortable!*GRINS* (laughter). Who could say no? I mean it’s….Win, win, win!!!
Oh…HI!!..YOU FINALLY GOT THE MIC!!
Q8: Hi Amanda *very tearful*
Amanda: Hiiii! (laughter)
Q8: (quietly) I’m losing my voice…um…I just wanted to say..thank you, um, you’ve given me a lot more confidence, and you’re an Angel, and thank you…for…*buries face*
(scattered laughter in audience and THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE)
Amanda: Oh please! *goofy voice* You’ll make me cry! (laughter)
Q8: Amanda, my question is, back in webisode four…
Amanda: *stares wide-eyed trying to remember*…UH HUUUH…(laughter)
Q8: What did Druitt say to Magnus?
Amanda: What did…?
Q8: Druitt, say to Magnus?
Amanda: *trying to place it* Okay, so we shot it as a two-hour pilot…so…that would be… about halfway through*stares*…(chuckles in audience). Where were we…? (laughter)
Q8: Magnus…was tied to the chair…
Amanda: OH YEAH! And then he…yeah. And I say “Are you gonna carve me up like one of your whores?’ and…
Q8: Yeah…no just before, when he starts like…
Amanda: *staring totally lost* (chuckles in audience)….Let’s call him! (laughter). I don’t…..CRAP! *staring*(laughter). I think he said ‘I still love you, you gorgeous thing’ (awww-laughter). I THINK that’s what he said. Yeah. It might have been ‘I hate your guts you evil BITCH’ *GRINS* (LAUGHTER). I think it was ‘My God, you’re even better-looking close up’ (LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE). Kinda! (audience chuckles)
Q9: Uh Hi! First, welcome to Melbourne!
Amanda: Thank you!
Q9: I hope you’re enjoying your time…I have two questions for you. The first one is just a short…little one, the second one is SLIGHTLY more involved. The first one; If you could live in any of Helen’s decades, which would you live in, and why? And of the decades she’s lived through, if you could live through any of those, which one would you live in and why? And the second is, um, you’ve often spoken of your background in theatre, your training in theatre, you’ve had years on the screen now, and television. And you’ve had a very significant role now, behind the scenes, you’ve done directing, and I was wondering which of those transitions was…the most challenging, but also the most rewarding for you?
Amanda: Uh..okay. First question. Um, I think she would go back to the twenties *nods*…the roaring twenties, BEFORE the *chuckles* Great Depression. Um…at a time when women were a bit more liberated…I’d LIKE to say the sixties but I think Helen is too much of a *chuckles* control freak. (laughter) Except for the sexual liberation part…but I think all the other stuff…she’d…boot it! (laughter). *whispers emphatically* Silly woman, SILLY WOMAN! UM…but I think maybe that the roaring Twenties, I think that was a time of, sort of, decadence and fun and…and political upheaval…and…women were a little, were staring to get a little bit more liberated, uh I think that..YEAH. THAT’S my answer for today *grins*(laughter in audience). Ask me again tomorrow!
Um…second question *stares up*.
Q9: Span of you career..and what…
Amanda: Oh yeah, yeah! Oh YEAH! (laughter). *sings dorkily* HEEEEEEY GOOD LOOKIN’ (laughter). THAT’S what he said to me! (laughter)…I think the transition to…(laughter continues) *chuckles* I don’t know WHERE that came from…I’ll tell you that story in a minute! AH…the transition to producing, for me, has been really incredibly rewarding, because I never quite understood what exactly a Producer did, like the full extent of what they did. And to be able to sort of, have a hand in …in the MINUTIA of putting together an episode, of going through a sound spot after the fact, or doing the final mix on an episode and going ‘Oh you know what, we need another clip of the gun here, a screech of tyres here…’the LITTLE things. I LOVE that. The details. I really, really enjoy that. Um, I would LOVE to go back on stage, um…time permitting, and it just hasn’t been.
Um, a few years ago I got the chance to do the ‘Vagina Monologue’s in Toronto, and um…(scattered chuckles in audience) *grins* (LAUGHTER)..*dorky voice* Sheee saaaaid “Monoloooogues…”(LAUGHTER). And uh…it was to raise money! To raise awareness against violence against women…um…Awareness FOR…AGAINST violence against…*chuckles* you know what I mean (laughter). And I had not been on stage for such a long time, and I literally had this moment, which was very telling for me, which made me think I gotta get back on stage, where…I was about to go on, and I saw the stage door, and I was like *STARES* (chuckles in audience)…*glances around awkwardly-breathless* I wonder if anyone would notice..if I just…left! Then I..I literally PANICKED, I literally went *anxious*. And uh, it was very telling for me, because I used to LOVE that pre-stage rush, you know that moment before *takes huge breath-EXHALES* HOHKAY! I used to LOVE that feeling, and then it scared the LIVING DAYLIGHTS out of me and I thought “UH OH, *dork voice*I’d better get back on stage!” Um, so eventually I would like to do that, I think THAT would be the full circle that I need to, you know. I always say, creatively you need to scare yourself…it..I think IN LIFE you need to scare yourself, as soon as you start to become complacent, do something that scares the CRAP out of you! And you…feel alive, which is what directing is for me. And what producing is. So now it’s going back on stage. I’ll just pretend I’m doing a play right now! (laughter). Yeah…
Q10: Hi, how are you…um..
Q10: My question was, um, which historical figure or mythological character would you like to see on Sanctuary in the future?
Amanda: *GRINS* Elvis! (LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE) *chuckles* Naw I’m kidding. There’s a bad…you’re gonna leave aren’t you! *thoughtfully* Who should I say that would make you happy? Ummmmmmmm…..John F. Kennedy. I think she knew him well *coy smile* (LAUGHTER).
I think that uh…Yeah I think that there are some amazing political figures that we should explore, because for..Helen has such an interesting history, politically. But I would also really like to see some strong women, from the past. On the show. Um, dive back into that part of Helen’s past. (audience member: Eleanor Roosevelt…) Yeah! Eleanor Roosevelt would be amazing! Amelia Earhart would be amazing. There’s a whole bunch of them; Dorothy Parker would be really cool, ‘cause she’s kinda weird and that would be fun (chuckles). Ummm some great artists. I mean, like..yeah I. Honestly, I think we showcase some really strong men, I think it would be great to showcase some really strong women…from history. Um, so I’ll say Eleanor Roosevelt, ‘cause I want you to be happy!*cheeky smile*(laughter). Molly Brown…*to audience member* yes! We did a brief reference to her in the ‘Next Tuesday’ episode. I TOO am suddenly remembering the names of episode *grin*(laughter). You know, people ask me ‘Do you remember the episode such-and-such from Stargate..?” and I’m like *whispers* “What happened??” (laughter). But yeah. Strong women!
Q11: Um…two questions!
Amanda: UH HUH!
Q11: The first one is, um, at the beginning of ‘Pavor Nocturnus’ (Amanda: yes!) um, it looks like it was a really difficult one to shoot, and also a fair amount of the set was built, rather than green screen (Amanda: Yep!). Um, it looks really cold and…what was the experience like with the intensity? Because Robin was talking about it as well…
Amanda: It was..aaaah…it was a VERY scary episode. Um, and it wasn’t being wet and cold. We shot the majority of it in-house, on the stages, uhh , besides the matte paintings that you see of the ruined city, most of it was a practical set. And it’s amazing to me what our set decorators were able to do, in creating the city-scape with the, you know the plastic sheets and the..our special *chuckles* special effects guys, have this, like, CRAZY love of Hudson sprayers…which are like fine mist sprayers, and fans. And they put the HUGE fan, and this water, and they all look REALLY happy about it (laughter). Then they throw dirty leaves at you…(laughter). So it was a VERY uncomfortable episode. The shower scene in particular, obviously, was one of the scariest. Um, a lot of our crew members walked off set. Not…walked off and never came back…they were like ‘it’s too much, we can’t handle it’ and they left. Um, because it really…it really was an awful scene to shoot. But it was an IMPORTANT scene to shoot, um, for Helen’s vulnerability, and to speak to the absolute anarchy and chaos that was happening. The WEIRDEST thing was Robin. He walked onset with this crazy hair, and this eye and this MASSIVE intensity that FREAKED me out! (chuckles). And he..in the scene where he sort of yanks Helen up, right off the top, I … I had bruises for weeks. Because he *grits teeth* GRABBED SO…HE WAS MEAN! (laughter). Next time you see him in the autograph line, KICK HIM!!! (laughter and some applause). The whole line…this can be our little secret! *grins* (laughter). But yeah, it was..uh..a VERY intense episode. It was VERY wet and um…but YEAH. That sort of speaks to the whole philosophy of SCARE yourself! It was scary! And so afterwards we were all like PHOOOO!! It felt great!
Q11: And the other question is um, in the sort of …three seconds Syfy told about Season Three, you talked about it being more romantic. Can you, talk more about that?
Amanda: *Exhales frustratedly* Helen should have …more fun relationships than she does *frustrated stare* (chuckles) EVERYONE ELSE…is getting (scattered chuckles). Just get some. (laughter) Get some… dot, dot, dot! Aah…so Will finds romance, Henry finds romance, I don’t know if the five years are up for Biggie and it’s time for HIM to find romance (laughter).
Uh, Helen…There’s only one scene, I think, which is truly romantic in Season 3, and I don’t know if you’ve seen the episode ‘King and Country’ yet (resounding YES!). Right, okay, so THAT SCENE…I would like to take credit for, so I will! (laughter) And um, I had this WEIRD sort of daydream vision, because I think part of the problem with…part of the problem…*dorky voice* Part of the problem with Helen and John *chuckles*, is that. Um. It’s SO HARD to fathom what this love is. Because he’s a DICK! (LAUGHTER) And..but she… He is her FIRST. LOVE. He…he’s her Jack O’Neill *smiles* (laughter). Unrequited! Uh, no but HE’S her first love. He EMBODIES the innocence, the joy, the first BLUSH, um…of True… Love .Until he became this hideous thing! And, she blames herself for that…even still, um, knowing all the other variables in place. And I think that there’s just this…nobody else, besides Tesla, and Watson and Griffin, well Griffin’s now dead and Watson’s now dead! Nobody else understands that! The depth of that loneliness, the history, the…so…I had this vision …
(Mobile phone in audience rings)…do you want me? *grins and mimes holding to ear* (laughter).
Uh. I had this vision, of Helen taking a moment. So I went to the writers and I said “Could, we..in this scene…find a moment where Helen just takes that: It’s safe, he’s not gonna wake up, she just wraps herself in his arms and *EXHALES*. Because he’s the only one…who would understand, the loss of a child, the depth of despair, she’s dying, finally…like…everything. The weight finally hits her, and nobody else who she could turn to. But she couldn’t turn to him AWAKE, because that’s all..you know *dorky voice* ‘cause then all SORTS of weird stuff happens! So that…I asked for that moment of…and I talked to Christopher about it and we both just LOVED it. It’s a great moment to play. So that’s the extent of her romance, with a guy she’s KNOCKED OUT! *chuckles* (laughter). *dorky British* Caught in Cambodia, wraps herself in his arms *chuckles and punches air* WOOOOH HELEN!! (LAUGHTER) YEEEEAH that’s romance! *nods*. I’ll take what I can get!
*To audience member* HEY YOU GOT IT, YAY!
Q13: We’ve been talking a lot about you being a role model for a lot of people in this room, and all around the world. What’s it like now, that you’ve got a career, you’re producing a show, to be a role model and a mentor for a lot of the younger actors that belong to your show?
Amanda: I take it very seriously. Uh, I think that..um…there weren’t a LOT of women, when I was starting out, who were doing…uh…everything that I’m trying to do! Um, or that, basically, had the time! So I’m really…I’m really CONSCIOUS about trying to …to talk to young women. I work with women in film, in the Flashforward program, I do a mentorship program with them. I have a DAUGHTER. And I think it’s really important that she understands that…there’s a whole…you know, there’s a whole world of possibility. And that it’s gonna be hard and crappy at times, but then it’s okay. Um, I…but with Agam. Agam’s constantly coming up and asking me stuff and it’s very cool, same thing with Emilie. I DO take it very seriously, because I think…I was really lucky. And I feel that somehow *chuckles* I’ve sort of stumbled into this crazy life, and I LOVE it, but I’ve been given a great gift…and if I were to not…share it…that would be really…dumb. (chuckles all round). Uh, I remember, before I directed Stargate, I sat on a plane to LA with Helen Shaver. And she was directing ‘Judging Amy’ or something at the time, and she was in ‘Poltergeist’. I don’t know if you know who she is or not, but um. She’s a female director and, um, SHE. WAS AWESOME. She totally mentored me the whoooole flight down to L.A. I was like, you know “this is what I wanna DO with the scenes” and blah blah blah. And I thought “If I can do what SHE’S doing, that’s great”. There’s another director, Ann Wheeler, who’s one of my favourite female directors. And she that kind of woman too, she’s like “Come to editing! Come and sit! Watch what I do!” Which I think is so cool! So, yeah.
Q14: Hi Amanda!
Q14: Um, I was just wondering. Aaah Robin was talking about practical jokes on the set (Amanda: AHA :D!) and I was wondering if you had any really, really funny moments that you can remember?
Amanda: Well…Robin’s big thing, as you ALL know, is taking his pants off (LAUGHTER). Which is why I wrote ‘THIS IS MY BUM’, because I’ve SEEN it so many times!(laughter)*makes a face* (LAUGHTER). Don’t tell him I said that! Uuuh, so..the big thing *sighs* practical jokes is hard because our cast is really funny, and so the biggest thing we do is crack each other up off-camera. And it was the same thing that happened on Stargate. It would be… you know, Michael and Chris behind the lens, you know, making stupid faces..or, and trying to get you to break. And that’s the biggest practical joke that actors ever play on each other. I mean with Christopher, it’s taping…duct-taping you to chairs (laughter) *chuckles* It’s funny! …until everyone leaves the room and you have to pee! (LAUGHTER)
But, I told this story in Sydney about Christopher’s flatulence…and I’ll BRIEFLY tell you now. Um, he has this horrifically gaseous body (chuckles in audience), um and…he would constantly clear rooms with like, you’d walk into the room and go *complains*“Oh God… Christopher we BEGGED the caterers not to serve beans!” …and we would, you know EVERYTHING we could do, our ..Our craft service guy had like, bottles of Pino up against the back wall, to stop Chris’s gas, and it never worked. So he finally had his own, when he had to wear a full NASA space suit (LAUGHTER). THE REAL DEAL. And he got bolted into it. And then the helmet came on. And the GUY FROM NASA was THERE, putting this thing on! And…(chuckles all round) We all sat back and were just like *waves hands*..it…it HAS to happen (LAUGHTER)! We watched him go, you know, from his delicious chocolate brown, to this weird shade of green *chuckles* (LAUGHTER). It was nice,…himself. His face was kind of *screws up sour face* (LAUGHTER). And I swear the entire crew had tears in their eyes from laughing so hard (LAUGHTER). That’s KARMA! *grins*. That’s not a joke, that is KARMA. Yeah…I wish we’d filmed it!
Q15: Um, you have acted with Christopher Heyerdahl in every series from SG-1, to Stargate Atlantis, to Sanctuary. Which character, out of the five that he’s played with you, is your favourite? And why?
Amanda: Druitt. Although..umm.. I really like him as Biggie. Uh, although…ahh..I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Helen never refers to him as any… she never calls him ‘Biggie’ or ‘The Big Guy’ or…she never…One day we’ll actually reveal what she calls him. It’s interesting with Christopher, obviously I have more to do with him on ‘Sanctuary’ than I DID on the Stargates, but um. There’s just such a great connection when he plays John, and there’s such a..aah..well..it’s a very interesting passion between the two of us when we play those characters together, and I LOVE it. Like, as actors we sort of HOOAH! There’s a connection, it feels so real and great! Yeah, but when he plays Biggie, he’s a completely different guy! He walks onto set and he is a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT GUY. And he’s …a bit more aggressive, and he’s …bigger *chuckles* which is weird, because he’s tall and big as he is! But he’s…he’s SO interesting to me as an actor, how…how he transforms himself. Um, and the relationship between Helen and Biggie is soooo…gentle, and they’ve known each other for so long, and they have such a deep friendship. And with John it’s all about passion. So, but I think John. Because I can actually look at Christopher’s face. When he’s Biggie I forget he’s Christopher, I TRULY do. Wow….till he slaps (laughter). But yeah, I think John.
Q16: Hi Amanda, how are you?
Amanda: Hi! Good thanks!
Q16: Ah, look, just a two-part question! Any chance of, aah, an episode of ‘Sanctuary’ starring Richard Dean Anderson? (laughter, Amanda: OOOH YEAH!). If so (laughter)…If so what…as you’ll be HIS boss, what would be the most interesting abnormal you would make him? (LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)
Amanda: *smiling* I would give him some REALLY special skills (laughter). Ah, we actually tried to get Richard for the webisodes to play , um, Helen’s previous assistant…aaah…and I think there’s this sort of weird video blip that Will looks at. It ended up…ROBIN ended up doing it, in full make up, which is really cool. But we wanted to get Richard to do that, just play this cranky, crazy *chuckles* old FART (laughter)…who’s dying ‘cause of all the experiments he’s done with Helen and…I thought THAT would be really fun. Um, but we have yet to get him on the show…But if we did. I don’t…I don’t think I’d make him an abnormal. WELL I mean he is…*chuckles* just by being Richard (laughter) Dean Anderson *chuckling*. Have you all met him? (YEAH! He was here earlier on in the year) YEAH. So…ah, he doesn’t…*chuckling*…really need makeup or anything (LAUGHTER). He’s just weird (laughter). Lovely. Um, yeah I don’t think I’d cover up that beautiful mug with any prosthetics or anything. I think in one of Helen’s…*cheeky smile* (LAUGHTER)…I think it would be a really lovely full circle if, uh, SAM doesn’t get it on (LAUGHTER), then Helen could at least get it on with somebody who *chuckling* looks a LOT like Jack! (LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE). But yeah. And of course there’s the whole Richard-Dean-Anderson factor for ME! (laughter)
Q17: Hi, um I’ve got two questions. The first one is; Is there any chance in Season 4, you would come down and film here.
Amanda: Oh I would LOVE to, are you kidding? My God, I think there’s a Melbourne Sanctuary, don’t you? (YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES!)
Q17: Um, the second question was; Did you do all your stunts in ‘Breach’ yourself?
Amanda: Um, I think there’s ten…LESS than ten shots that aren’t me.
Q17: Because it …was amazing!
Amanda: YEAH. Thank you! That was aaah, I have an AMAZING stunt double, aaah for fights. Her name’s Ashley. She. Is. AWESOME! And ah, so she taught me all the fights. Rob Hater is our fight coordinator, and uh, the two of them taught me all these fights. But I’m like “No let me do it, let me do it” and obviously it’s easier to FILM if it’s really me. Um, so there’s a couple of things like, when she does the pipe thing over her head, that is HER going over her head, but the rest of the stuff is me. Um, and I think it’s because…that I’m…too much of a spaz (laughter) to have this *chuckling* long metal pipe to swing around my face! (laughter) Um, and that drop from the ceiling is HER *COUGH*…*cough* sorry! *HAAAAACK* (laughter) And uuuuuh, there’s a couple of sequences in the, aah, hammer/machete fight, that are her. Um, but for the most part…YEAH…I got my ASS kicked! (chuckles) But I got to do some kicking too! (Yeah…it was pretty cool!) YEAH, Ian Tracey, too, is a PHENOMENAL actor. We fought REALLY hard to get him, he’s just SO great. Um, so the two of us had a lot of fun *laughing* beating each other up! *smiling* I’ve got a…I’m kind of a fan of his…kind of…I am! I’m a fangirl…ah…so it was like *chuckling* “Uh…okay…*breathes* Really?…uh. Okay…you really want me to punch him?!” (laughter) But it’s really interesting, when you get actors who actually understand, ‘cause he’s done a lot of stunts, of his own stunts, himself. And you get actors who understand it, it’s REALLY FUN to play that you’re…kicking the CRAP out of each other! And very rarely…land a punch! You know, I’ve actually…punched, one of our stunt guys, Clint, on three different shows (laughter). He’s really cute, like…REALLY CUTE. Aaand maybe that’s why I keep connecting him *demonstrates* “Oh…OH!…OH I’M SO SORRY…here let me help you up!” (LAUGHTER) That’s why, I dunno. Umm, but it…it’s…usually I’m pretty good about swinging punches, but for some reason I…actually in ‘Pavor’ I punched him, I elbowed him right in the chin *demonstrates* “oh CLINT!” (LAUGHTER) *goofy voice* I’m blushing now! (chuckles)
Q18: Hi Amanda.
Q18: Just, um, one question about two episodes of Stargate. Um, how much fun was it to do episode 200? And how emotional was it to do ‘Unending?’
Amanda: Uh, okay. Aaaaah. ‘200’ was sort, of, the episode where we got to do EVERYTHING we ever wanted to do! Um, all in one episode. And aah we had a blast! I LOVED ‘100’, I loved ‘200’, because when you get to 200 episodes you ought to be able to do something completely irreverent and silly and fun. And sort of, the things…that a fan had written you about, or things that we’ve asked the writers about or things the network has said ‘no’ to. ‘200’ is like, *goofy voice* “Let’s DO it!” So we GOT to do it, but it was REALLY fun. We laughed a LOT during that episode!
Um, ‘Unending’ was aah, I’ll NEVER forget the moment, um…aah, and I think there’s a lot of pictures that have made their way out into the world. Um. Rob Cooper was really smart, ‘cause he waited until the VERY last scene, VERY last day, for us to step through the Stargate. The VERY last shot we did on the series was…stepping through the Stargate. And…we were bawling. Christopher was bawling. He could barely…he…they were like “Cut. Are you okay Chris? Just your…make up…” (laughter) *does Chris impression, crying and whimpering*(laughter). We, we ALL were. It was, it was INCREDIBLY emotional, and Rob Cooper, again, was REALLY, REALLY smart to save THAT moment. Because we thought “God, this is the last time we’re gonna walk through the Stargate on this television series” It was really, REALLY emotional! And it was RELLY…it was like, WEE hours of the morning, and ALL the production staff stayed. And so like, the entire GATEROOM was FILLED, with people who had worked on the show for ten years. People came BACK, who hadn’t been on the show for a few years, came back just to watch that moment. And then the coolest thing happened, was: Michael, Christopher and I snuck upstairs, we went through the control room, and up the spiral staircase to um…the briefing room. And the three of us just stood there and looked down at the Stargate, and we put our arms around each other and we were like “Wow. So that happened”. Umm, because that’s how we started! The three of us aah, found ourselves around the corner and saw the Stargate for the first time before the pilot. And ah, I remember turning to Michael at that moment, before we had even SHOT…you know…a roll of film, going *chuckling*“Oh my God! We’re working on a really cool show, LOOK AT THAT THING!” (laughter) “It’s HUGE!!” And we were SO EXCITED, and so…you know…YOUNG, and “Oh my GOD this is, you know, our first big series for both of us!” and we were just like “aaah!” and then Chris joined us, and the three of us were just like “WOW. This is gonna be GREAT!!!” Flashforward to ten years later, when we were like “Oh my…GOD ten years!”. It was veery emotional, but REALLY, really beautiful. And it was…we didn’t even say a word! Except for “wow!” Just…we all kinda looked at each other, SO many people, and everyone’s talking and crying…we sort of FOUND each other, and went *wow!*. And uh, it was REALLY beautiful. Yeah, very….*sheepish smile* (chuckles).
Mic handler: One last question…
Amanda: WHAAAAAAAAAAT?!?!?! (groans and complaining from audience) AWwww COME ON! *makes face* (LAUGHTER) I don’t have to be anywhere at the end of this panel!…*mumbles* just the autograph line…*mumbles*
Q19 (Me): Hi Amanda! (Amanda: HELLO!) Welcome to Melbourne! (Amanda: THANK you!)
Um, I’ve got two quick questions…at the end of Season One, you had…um…Babz Chula, guesting with ‘Sanctuary’, and how…how was that to work with her. Because obviously, what happened afterwards (Amanda: Right…yeah…) She seemed like..(Amanda to audience member: Oh she’s asking about Babz Chula…) and she seemed like, before she came on ‘Sanctuary’ as well, um, I know she was a role model for a lot of young Vancouver actors as well. So um, what was it like working with Babz on the show? And also (Amanda: She’s an AMAZING woman…sorry..!) …SORRY! Um, The Sanctuary Experience. The auction…was AMAZING. I mean, I don’t know about everyone else here, but we felt the energy (Amanda: YEAH!) across the oceans. I mean, everyone was just…over the moon, and we were wondering where the fund from that went to?
Amanda: OKAY! Alright, so the first part of the question was about Babz Chula, um….I dunno if..uuh…all of you know who she is. She’s…WAS…sadly..uuh…passed away. An INCREDIBLE local Vancouver actor, activist, role model…amazing, AMAZING, FEISTY woman. And, I had ALWAYS wanted to work with Babz. And we were both being honoured for…a…women in film…I won a Woman of Vision award, and she won Woman of the Year. And, uh, so AT this event, the two of us…uuh… so EVERYONE came up and gave these very nice speeches and thank-yous, there were ALL these different awards being given out. And then I got Woman of Vision, and she got Woman of the Year. And I gave this completely irreverent and goofy speech, and then Babz came up and gave a completely irreverent and goofy speech, and so the two of us were just like “YEEEEEAH!” (laughter) “AWESOME!” And I said, “I would LOVE to have you on the show!”, and she said “I’d LOVE to do your show!”, and I went “…oh…well ALRIGHT!!!” (laughter). And so we wrote her a part. And that was it! Um, I never got to really work with her! *chuckles* Which SUCKED, I was like “Why did you write her a part where I’m not even…I don’t even TALK to her? *stares hard*” (chuckles) “I…I…*sighs* it’s BABZ CHULA, and SHE’S WORKING WITH OTHER PEOPLE!” I’m…I really…I’m peeved! But as much as I get peeved…HMMM *makes face* (laughter). Uhh. So I didn’t get to work WITH her as an actor, which…yeah…SUCKED. SHE brought something…the role is written for a man, aah, originally in the script it was a MALE doctor, and aah, we thought “Wouldn’t it be really interesting if it was a woman, and we played up the MATERNAL side of this …creepy scientist”. And she just…she did a beautiful job. We just…put it in her hands, and said “Do WHATEVER you want, because we know you’ll bring something incredible, to the table” Umm, so yeah. It was amazing. Amazing. Uh, she passed away last year and…aah…there’s a big hole in the Vancouver acting community. She…touched a LOT of people. She passed away shortly after I…ah…one of my best friends passed away, from…from cancer. And so it was a really…it was a tough beginning… it was the beginning of this year! So it was…a tough beginning to the year to lose somebody that special.
Um….*stares into corner* OH! The Sanctuary Experience. Aaah. Sanctuary Experience was aaah run…aaaah a Vancouver convention in the summer! Aand, aah, we raised aah…ALL TOLD, ah, about $100,000, for Sanctuary For Kids, which was…PHENOMENAL, ‘cause there’s 250 people in the audience (amazed mutterings) and, YEAH! It was…ALL the actors donated time, the crew, EVERYONE…I mean everyone donated everything, and we raised…an INCREDIBLE amount of…I thought we’d get away with maybe $20,000! So a hundred thousand was insane. Um, THAT money has gone…uuuh…to, Nepal Orphan’s Home. We’ve also started a new, um, partnership with Next Generation Nepal. Uh, Nepal Orphan’s Home specifically, aah, we were going to but the vitamins, multi-vitamins for the children. And, uh, INSTEAD what’s happened, which is actually WAY better, is they were doing a…they were getting a mid-level grade of rice, they’re now getting the top level which is…packs far more nutrients. They’re getting double the amount of vegetables and fruits, and they’re getting chicken twice a week instead of…once a month! And the energy…aah…I got an email literally THE DAY before I came to Australia, from Michael Hess, who runs Nepal Orphan’s Home, saying “You won’t believe how much energy the girls have, aah, so much brighter, and so much, you know, more focused on their schoolwork, and just…simple nutrition”.
So that’s where…a big portion of the money went. Also to a local organisation in Vancouver called the Atari Tip Program, which deals with…homeless teens, transitioning to housing, and…homeless teens with children. So, it’s getting them off the streets into affordable house…housing, and helping the transition into lives that don’t involve…ah living on the street. So, it’s been amazing, yeah. We donated …aah…a bunch of money for bus passes! Quite simple, right? But when you’re on $600 a month and a bus pass is seventy dollars, that’s…a MASSIVE part of your budget. So, to get a bus pass gives them absolute freedom. They can get to their training, they can get to their schools, they can get to their jobs…aah. We didn’t limit it to bus passes! You know if there’s…there’s a guy who, ah, got an aaah apprenticeship! On a construction site. And we bought him…steel-toed boots! And a hard hat, and now he can go to work! So it’s…it’s the little things, but those are the things that…the little drop, big ripples! But yeah, it’s really done some…phenomenal…but yeah…
(MASSIVE APPLAUSE, CHEERS)
Wow you guys ask great questions!
Carissa: Before she leaves, we’re going to do one of those LOVELY teeshirts…
Amanda: III am NOT taking off my top! (laughter) I don’t look nearly as good topless as Robin! (comments in audience) well maybe…to some people..(chuckles)…I…I’m NOT gonna take off my shirt *chuckles* but I will put it on! Umm…HEY. THANKS guys! I…that was AWESOME. I feel like, you know, I watched the end of Robin’s talk, and it was really funny and…and great, and I felt just a little bit… maybe I was BORING…but um…aah, you asked really beautiful questions and I really appreciate it. And I LOVED Australia (to audience member), yeah thank you!
AAAAAH, so I get to stay in Melbourne for a few more days, ‘cause I have my daughter, Olivia, and my MUM! (“YEAH!” from guy in the audience, punching his arms in the air. Chatter and excitement) YES!! *points* My mum’s new BFF! (LAUGHTER) *laughing* they were sitting in the hotel lobby in Sydney, and Vance *laughing* just struck up this conversation with my mum! And…he’s like “So, you know, you’re a fan?” she’s like “Yeeah…okay…o.O” (LAUGHTER) Y’know: “Where are you from?”, “Vancouver…”, “OOH you came a long way!!” (LAUGHTER). And they had like, this REALLY CUTE conversation where they….and finally my mum was just like *leans over and whispers* “I’m Amanda’s mum…” (LAUGHTER). GOSH….*chuckling* she refers to him as her new best friend *grinning* (laughter).
AH! Okay thank you…*Is given teeshirt and marker*…okay WOW What do I do?! OH MY GOD, Robin is not going to *mumbles*…
(At this point, Amanda put on the shirt and started pulling funny faces as she tried to draw on the left side of her chest) *deep, thick voice, goofy grin* AM THRYING TO DRAR ON MAH SHIRRRRT!! (LAUGHTER) *draws and colours in heart over her own* So I do these heart paintings! And uuuuh, now OLIVIA *trying to draw on very awkward place, making faces* I’m SELF-colouring! (LAUGHTER) I do these, HEART paintings, and aaah, my daughter Olivia has just started doing her first canvases, and uuuh *chuckling* so this is ALL she draws! But it’s beautiful, so homage to her.
*Finishes drawing* Ummm, alright! So I think we should all wear our hearts on the outside. Dorky, I know! I can’t do anything funny, I’m not gonna draw a penis (laughter) aah…or…nipple rings, or anything like that…*drawing* and I apologise!
Umm, alright. Does anyone wanna draw something?! (chuckles in audience). *British accent* NOT ON MYYY NUBBINS!! (LAUGHTER)
(PaganX gets up from front row to draw something…expectant chuckles. She crouches behind Amanda and begins writing. Amanda alternates between a screwed up awkward grin and outright silent giggles, people are laughing at her. She’s muttering about how weird it feels.
PaganX finishes writing and hands her the marker with a big grin, while Amanda twists around to see what she’s written) OH IT’S MY GUNBUM!!!! (laughter and cheers) YAAAAAAAY! THAT’S PERFECT…yeah…I dunno if you guys know it *big grin,giggles *proudly* I have a GUNBUM!!! (laughter) And uuh, on the show (Carissa hands out mic to her) oh right…*yells* ON THE SHOW!!!!! (laughter) Ah…nobody could figure…like…the CREW started asking “where is she getting her GUNS from?”, because I wear these tight skirts, and these stilettos, and all of a sudden I’ve got…like an AK-47 (LAUGHTER).And uuh, so we decided that I have a gunbum *grins* (laughter) AS you do! Um, one of the great things about doing scifi is *laughing* anything is possible! (laughter) I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the show “The Backyardigans”, it’s a little kids show (cries of YEAH! In the audience), I don’t know if you get it here, but they like, produce props…from behind their backs! So aah, and Olivia is OBSESSED with ‘The Backyardigans”, and so…I’ve just decided I’m *chuckling* a Backyardigan, and my special talent is MY GUNBUM! (laughter) Yeah! Umm…
Carissa: Was there someone else?
(A guy gets up and Carissa hands him the marker. He approaches Amanda slowly and she seems terrified)
Amanda: *deep and shaky* I’M AFRRRAID!…(laughter. He goes behind her and begins drawing on the back of her right shoulder. Amanda’s face is torn between looking scared and looking awkwardly amazed) No I’m not afraid! I’m not afraid at all…*awkward facial expressions*…(Writer is saying about how she shouldn’t be afraid, it’s something nice, and it was nice of her to come) Oh thank you! (he keeps writing. She’s grinning expectantly) What is it? What is it?!?! (chuckles in audience) Uh ooh…Uh oooh…UH OH (laughter)
(Writer is just finishing up when we hear a familiar voice from the back of the room):
OOOOOOOOOOOHKAY, HERE WE GO!!!! (UPROAR OF LAUGHTER AND CHEERS. Robin’s standing there nodding his head comically and grandiosely clapping his hands in preparation for the shirt-fest. Amanda is laughing as her writer finishes writing on her shoulder. MENTAL LAUGHTER AND CHEERING)
(Writer finishes and gives Amanda the marker. She peers over her shoulder)
Amanda: “OMG Amanda wore this!” *turns to Robin and exclaims emphatically* See?! NICE..and POLITE! (laughter)
Carissa: *pointing and grinning* I believe there’s a charming gentleman up the back DESPERATE to draw on that teeshirt!
Amanda: *stares challengingly at Robin* Bring it! (laughter)
(Robin swaggers purposefully down the stairs with a grin on his face and hands in his pockets, everyone is laughing. Someone is singing the ‘Star Wars’ march in accompaniment)
Amanda: Oh…OH OH!
(Robin pauses halfway down, throws back his head with a MWAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! Laughter! He reaches the bottom of the stairs, right in front of Amanda, and approaches her)
Amanda: Wow, look at you walking all… butch-like! (laughter) *leans forward* You’re still in the running towards becoming America’s Next Top Model!!! (LAUGHTER and some claps)
(Robin takes the marker from her and stands back, slightly to the left, so he can choose where to start first. Amanda puts her hands on her waist and pushes her chest right out, emphatically smiling and throwing her head back slightly. Robin has a fit and drops his pen in shock, like some kind of hormonal adolescent. Amanda breaks the pose and folds over, clapping her hands in hysterical laughter. Everyone is cracking up!)
(Robin goes behind Amanda and splits his legs to the side so he can reach her lower back. Amanda’s standing nervously making ridiculously frightened, awkward and goofy faces at the audience and trying to figure out what he’s writing)
I..I don’t trust him!…(LAUGHTER)*frightened giggle* Can you see what he’s actually writing?!….*more faces* (LAUGHTER) IT HAD BETTER BE ANGEL WINGS! (LAUGHTER)…
(Robin has a smug grin on his face, and Amanda’s face is getting more and more anxious by the second, laughter continuously! When he’s done, Robin grasps her by the shoulders and turns her around to face him. Her teeshirt reads: MAGNUS IS HOT!!!! UPROAR OF CHEERS, CLAPPING AND LAUGHTER. He whispers it in her ear and she collapses in helpless laughter. Once the noise has died down…)
(Amanda grasps the back of the chair, and assumes a seductive pinup pose, arching her back, and assuming the most cheesy, wide-eyed, open-mouthed look on her face. Everyone is in hysterics! Robin stands back and doesn’t know what to do, staring at her in awe, like a teenage boy. Finally he drops the pen and grabs his crotch, doubling over, and waddling awkwardly to one side, exclaiming,
Robin: “OH,..OH MY GOD!!…*waddles embarassedly* this is a bit awkward, I gotta go!!!”
Amanda breaks her pose in a fit of laughter. Robin recovers, grasps her shoulders, and turns to face the audience with her back to us so that he can write on her…AHEM…shoulder. Amanda throws her hair back seductively, and pushes her chest out, Robin can’t restrain the grin as he starts to write on her…erm…SHOULDER. Everyone is laughing their faces off!)
(When Robin is done, Amanda takes of the teeshirt, and grabs the marker herself . She lays the teeshirt on the counter and starts writing. Someone yells “Write ‘Property of Jack O’Neill!”)
Amanda: “What?”, (“WRITE PROPERTY OF JACK O’NEILL!!”), (LAUGHTER) Amanda: “YEAH!!!” and she starts to write)
Carissa: So we may start the bidding whilst Amanda is…scribing.We’re gonna start the…
Amanda (interrupting): This is totally dorky! This is exactly who I am. I’m an idiot. Not an idiot, but I’m kinda, you know, lame and dorky, and I ..OWN IT! (chuckles) I uh…I uh…YEAH! (Call from audience: ’Me too!’) YAY! I totally own my dorkiness, so aah.. (calls from audience:’ It’s what we love you for!!’,’You’re our role model!’) THREE of my favourite sayings *holds up teeshirt*…
Carissa: So, can we start the bidding at two hundred dollars. We’ve got 200 in the front row there…220…350..sorry 250! Three hundred! (comment from audience : “yeah I think I’ve got enough in here…” laughter)
(A guy calls out: “One thousand!”, “OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH ONE THOUSAND”, Amanda looks up from the teeshirt with the most shocked, wide-eyed, bunny-in-the-headlights-of-a-car expression to stare at him in AWE. Everyone cracks up at her facials)
(SCREAMS, CHEERS, LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)
Robin: That was GREAT!
Amanda: This is uuuuuuh…*mumbles aside* I’M NOT EMBARRASSED. I OWN my dorkiness! (laughter) ….I’m a LITTLE embarrassed! (laughter)
(silence for some time)
Robin: I think he won (laughter)
Carissa: There are a lot of high-flyers in the audience, I wouldn’t bet on it!
Amanda: *holds up teeshirt* Okay these are three of my favourite sayings: Live Peace, Speak Kindness, and Dwell in Possibility (AWWWWWW applause and cheers). Before my friend Cynthia passed away, I gave her this necklace because she was going through and incredibly difficult time with chemo, and she wore it…and..uh, I believe is STILL wearing it. Um…uh..yeah, the saying “Dwell in Possibility”, because I really believe that it can change…*chuckles* I’m getting sooooo dorky! (LAUGHTER) *goofy voice* I CAN MAKE MYSELF CRY! (laughter) YEAH but these are three of my favourite sayings. So there you go! AND AAAAH. I have a gunbum!!! So…I’VE GOT EVERYTHING! (laughter)
Carissa: One thousand dollars going once!…
Amanda: *remembers to sign* OH…CRIMANY! (chuckles)
Carissa: One thousand dollars going twice…sold for one thousand dollars (UPROAR OF CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
(Amanda stares at the winner mouthing silently: ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS *GAPES*…LAUGHTER)
(The winner, of course, gets to take her top off. He walks straight up to Amanda and tries to grasp the bottom of the teeshirt. Amanda embarassedly shuffles away laughing awkwardly, then shakes her hair back, grabs his wrist, and coyly tries to drag him into a dark corner. She finally, with much blushing and giggles, lets him grab the shirt, and he pulls it up off her while her face is blushing and grinning cheekily. CHEERS, LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)
Carissa: Put keep clapping for the LOVELY…(is drowned out by SCREAMS,CHEERS AND DEAFENING APPLAUSE WHICH TRANSFORMS INTO AN EPIC MINUTE LONG STANDING OVATION UNTIL AMANDA, GRINNING AND WAVING, LEAVES THE ROOM, ALONGSIDE ROBIN DUNNE)
Amanda: BEST AUDIENCE EVER!!!!!!! (CHEERS AND CLAPS)
I sincerely hope that you enjoyed these panels as much as we did. From all of the lucky admirers who were able to attend, I think we can say that this day will always be in a corner of our hearts for the inspiration, the stitches and the tears that it manifested.
Thank you for stopping by WormholeRiders News Agency and reading. Please feel free to contribute to the discussion below, or visit me on Twitter by clicking the button down there, or my avatar at right!