The First Evil (asta77) wrote,
The First Evil
asta77

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Finally, My Recap of the Chciacgo Con

My apologies for not getting to this sooner. I finally completed my Con report. That's the good news. The bad is it's incredibly long. I originally intended to split this up, but I just kept writing and writing and four hours later exhausted nearly everything I could recall.

I have no reports as to what happened Friday at the Con since I wasn’t there. I heard that the reception went off much smoother than last year with the exception of DB who didn’t attend as planned due to his plane being delayed. Apparently, there were some disgruntled fans because of that.



We (lynnb, Cindy, and writteninstars) arrived around 11:00am Saturday in order to register, hit the dealer’s room, and be in our assigned seats by 12:15 when they would begin calling by row for autographs. Registration was a breeze and I picked up a B&W photo of Christian to autograph. Sadly, they only had one photo of him for purchase as opposed to the eight or so they had for David.

We then made are way to the dealer room so I could pick up something for Stephanie to autograph (I already had my Sunnydale High Yearbook for Elizabeth to sign). We weren’t getting an autograph from David since we’d purchased our tickets before he signed on and didn’t want to spend another fifty bucks. Really, I don’t care that much about the signatures - I’m there to see them and hear them speak. The nice thing about the auto’s is you get a few moments of time with the guests, especially Christian who was my reason for being there.

The dealer room was better than last year, but still relatively skimpy. And, shockingly, practically no Lindsey/Christian merchandise (and way too much Angel/Buffy :p). I really wanted to find a picture of Super!Shirtless!Lindsey! for ketzel, but it was not to be. L I picked up a few odds and ends - trading cards, some glossy photos, and a vinyl notepad cover that said ‘Wolfram & Hart - Attorneys at Law’ for Stephanie to sign. Later I would return to get a Buffy UPN poster that I rather liked.

After perusing the merchandise, we headed to our seats - front row, but off to the side. Still, we had a damn good view and on Sunday Stephanie would be standing right in front of us as she waited to go on stage.

The special people (AKA the ‘ultimate’ ticket holders) were called for autographs first. The signings seemed to go fast and we wouldn’t have long to wait. When we were called, we lined up against a wall briefly before being led into an adjoining room. The tables for Stephanie, Elizabeth, and Christian were lined up together. David’s table was off to the right. I have to say I really liked the fact that the tables were on the ground and not on risers this year. It puts one on more equal footing with the guests.

Anyway, we first got in line for CK’s autograph. Since I couldn’t see him I let my eyes wander to where WIS was drawn almost immediately - to David. I have to admit, he looked good. Very good. Much better than he did this season on the show. He’s trim, tan, and has naturally blondish-brown, curly hair cropped short. The white v-neck tee was incredibly flattering.

Finally we got to the front of Christian’s line. Luckily I noticed that the woman in front of me asked for a second autograph. Unfortunately, I didn’t know we could snap pictures in line (this was prohibited last year) and I missed getting a close-up shot.

So, what did I say to him? I made sure to stick out my hand for a handshake and said ‘nice to meet you’. I then stated I would not be asking about what happens in the finale (a woman in line was spoiled and I think wanted to ask him about the episode) and that I was trying to stay “pure” (insert laughter here). He then asked me what my name was (I was surprised they were personalizing) and clarified the spelling of my name. He then asked me if I liked a certain song that he wrote that utilized my name before he realized it’s not on the album. (During this time I was having trouble hearing him and reached forward to ask him to repeat himself - it didn’t dawn on me I was not more than four or five inches from his face.) The song of which he was speaking was to be performed that night and he told me to listen for it. I thanked him for writing a song about me ;) and quickly asked if he was, in fact, signing more than one piece of merchandise. His reply: “I’ll sign anything you want me to darlin’ “. J Sadly, I didn’t come up with a slightly pervy response, but instead quickly looked for my Kane CD cover. While he was signing I said that was the reason I was there - to hear him sing - said thank you, and moved on.

As I got in line for Elizabeth I realized that I could snap pictures. I quickly pulled out my camera and got a couple decent ones of him. I really can’t recall what I said to Elizabeth. She immediately said “Oh, *another* Sunnydale Yearbook” and I asked her to sign where Tom and Danny had last year. She asked what the heck Tom had signed (it was something like ‘Thank you for letting me sign your crack’), laughed, and said it sounded like him. After getting her signature I simply said nice to meet you.

At Stephanie’s table she had some rather sexy photos of herself for sale. I passed. She commented on the notepad I was having her sign, apparently it was the first time she had seen it. Again, I was asked if I wanted her autograph personalized and I said yes. I told her how much I wish Lilah would have come back this season and she mentioned she was disappointed too.

Upon exiting the room, I snapped a picture of David and then we were off to kill time until the Q&A’s.

OK folks, I'm going to jump around a bit now. Since some of the guests did Q&A's on Saturday and again on Sunday and much was repeated, I'm lumping the Q&A's together. But, first, I'm going to talk about the Kane concert Saturday night.

WIS and I had terrific seats for the show - fourth row, slightly left of center. This was especially fortuitous with what we were to discover later. Before Kane came on stage we had to endure Branden Hart. I'll spare you all the details. WIS and I had to leave at the beginning of his third song because we were laughing uncontrollably and since we seemed to be sitting in the midst of *his* fans it was best we left before a fight ensued. So, we sat in the lobby while Branden played. All of a sudden I heard a surge in applause and figured his set was finally over. No, Christian came on stage to join him for a song which led me to set a new record in the one hundred meter run. I don't actually recall much of the song other than it was dedicated to Christian's mom who he insisted come out on stage and they all shared a hug.

Between BH's set and Kane coming on stage we watched Stephanie Romanov walk back and forth across the stage, pausing to wave at us all. I had heard that David was to introduce Kane but I began to speculate maybe Stephanie was going to do the honors instead. This got me an evil glare from WIS. David did, in fact, appear to introduce Kane and spoke quite fondly of Christian who he considers a brother.

The concert was terrific even though it became apparent early on the Christian had had too many beers before the show. He missed cues, forgot lyrics, and wandered off stage at least twice. Still, when he was on, he was on and his singing was as good as on the CD and his band was superb. It was all highly entertaining. And while it was a bit bizarre singing most of 'Crazy In Love' with his back to the audience, I did appreciate the rear view. ;-) In addition to singing most of the songs on the Kane CD, he sang at least three new songs which I quite liked even though it was a bit difficult to make out lyrics given the sound system.

Now, all the time Kane was performing, David, his wife Jaime, Stephanie, Branden, and Christian's Mom were off to the side of the stage. Stephanie was filming the show off and on (we'd find out in Q&A's that she was documenting most of the weekend and was planning to put together a video of the concert for Christian as a gift). David and Jaime were acting quite lovey dovey (when she and Stephanie weren't dancing). But, the real treat came at the end of the show when Christian asked all of them to join him on stage for 'Sweet Home Alabama' (Christian made mention of proving wrong the misconception of David's singing ability - jury's still out ;). Regardless of talent, they were all having a ball being up on stage together and it was a once in a lifetime spectacle to behold.

Now, for the Q&A's:

On Saturday, Scott Schwartz and Charles Cypher spoke. I was actually pretty bored with both and thus didn’t pay much attention. Actually, they seemed to talk more about other projects than they did about BtVS.

Next up was Camden Toy. Camden was far more interesting and entertaining than I was expecting him to be. It was obvious that he was a highly intelligent individual (he mentioned at one point he was pre-med - much to the disappointment of his family of actors ;) and quite articulate. Wisely, he chose to fill his time with stories of his time on BtVS.

The one I appreciated most had to do with Sarah. He recalled on one particular evening that shooting went especially long, so much so that they had ordered a second dinner be brought in for cast and crew. Being in full Ubervamp makeup, it was difficult for him to do anything and eating, at the time, was out. Sarah, who Camden stated was always interested in the welfare of those on set and was somewhat of a mother hen, noticed he was not heading for the food. He explained he wasn't able to eat right now and, not to worry, he'd eat as soon as they were done filming. This was unacceptable to Sarah who knew there would be nothing left at the end of filming. So, she hustled him over with her, picked up a plate, and proceeded to ask him what he wanted and loaded up the plate for him. Then she hid the plate on set so no one else could get to it before him. Yes, Sarah is one selfish bitch. :p

Other stories I recall....the scene where Spike was being 'drowned' by Ubie. James' double was suppose to shoot that scene but no one bothered to consider that every time he was dunked in water his blonde wig would slide off. Finally, they asked James to do it himself and James, big dork that he is, was giddy at the opportunity to do his own 'stunt' work. It sounds as if Camden had a ball working with James.

I don't remember if Camden came right out and said it, but Gnarl seemed to be his favorite role. Unfortunately, when they constructed the full body suit he was to wear they forgot to put in a zipper. Someone on the crew offered to cut an opening in the suit - while he was wearing it - but, being a bit nervous of that, he declined. His only speaking role on Buffy, he enjoyed coming up with the voice for Gnarl (having never spoken dialogue as one of The Gentlemen I think ME was considering dubbing the dialogue with another actor). He also recounted how Ally had a fit during the skin eating scene because, not having time to do a proper body cast, they had to whip up something that as Ally put it "made her look fat". She kept going on about how she had a much better body than it appeared. :)

Elizabeth Anne Allen was a bit of a revelation. Sweet, smart, funny, and more knowledgeable about the show and her character than I would have thought. Apparently, we haven’t seen much of her acting wise recently because she *gasp* has a life and other interests. She took time off to get married and travel and is putting her degree in child psychology to use - developing programs for children that incorporate reading, art, music, etc. She feels incredibly fortunate in her own life and desires to give back to the community.

She originally auditioned for the role of Buffy and, surprise ;), didn’t get it, but was pleased to be called back for the role of Amy (a role she had to audition for three times). Her favorite scene was when she got to fight Buffy/Sarah and turn her into a rat. And while I can’t recall his name, she got along very well with her rat counterpart. ;) Someone asked her what her favorite cheese was and she said, sadly, that she is lactose intolerant. :)

She had some rather strange comments regarding season 6 of Buffy. First off, she informed us that ME had intended to go much farther with the parallels between drug addiction and magic but that UPN nixed their plan and the storyline was cut short. If this is true, may I be thankful for network interference. How many anvils did ME intend to drop on us??? But, it seems that because of that Amy's part got curtailed.

Elizabeth had some intriguing takes on Amy. She found her an interesting character to play because she was always changing on the show - good, bad, crazy, vengeful. She wasn't implying that the character was inconsistent, just that that was who Amy was. And I don't know how serious she was, but, in her mind, Amy should have ended up being Willow's girlfriend. Given a choice between her and Kennedy, I think I'd have to agree.

She also had a cute story about James. Seems that in all her time on the show she never got an opportunity to meet him and lamented that fact. After her last day of shooting she was asked to drop off some articles in the wardrobe department. So, she walks in and who does she see? James. She was quite excited and just began telling him how happy she was to finally got to meet him. His response? "Who are you?" Hee.

And the reason she hasn't done Cons in the past is because she just recently found out about him. One of the other actors asked her why they never saw her at the Conventions and she asked what they were talking about. Then she wondered why she wasn't being invited to the party! :)

I have to admit I think I'm a little bit in love with Stephanie Romanov after this Con. I'd heard good things about her and came to discover that the stories were more than true. Not only a natural beauty, she is intelligent, witty, boisterous, funny, honest, and generous. She was a bit disappointed her time on the show came to an end, but not the least bit bitter about it.

She seemed to adore her fellow cast mates. Her love for David and Christian was obvious, but she had kind words for others as well - Julie, Juliet, Alexis, and Vincent who she had a soft spot for calling him sweet and funny and making reference to overcoming a difficult childhood. As I noted previously, when the topic of Charisma came up all she could respond with was that she was "interesting". A telling comment and it also made me realize that it's rare I hear any of CC's former cast mates speak of her. I probably shouldn't draw conclusions, but I am.

As I mentioned before, Stephanie was set to leave the show in season 3 after her request for a raise was denied (after two seasons on the show she felt she wasn't making what she should be). It was only after a call from Alexis who inquired "Why don't you want to work with me?" and one of the producers acquiescing to her demands that she agreed to stay. When Alexis informed her that Lilah and Wes were to become intinately involved, it was a shock to her. She was all for it of course ;), but the two characters had never shared a scene together before. Oh, she had a ball doing the scene where she pretended to be Fred and proceeded to do a hilarious imitation of Amy Acker.

Other tidbits of information....she joked that Christian purposely flubbed his 'evil hand' scene with her so they'd have to do repeated takes (she wasn't even sure the ass grab was scripted). Her favorite scene with him was their almost kiss with Lindsey that ended in the reveal that she was wearing a wire. She also talked about her attraction to Angel and their table top make out session, but lamented that when she finally got to kiss Angel, it wasn't really him.

It seems she put her foot down when Gavin was introduced. She was OK being Lindsey's equal, but when she was informed she and Gavin were to be on equal footing she said no, she *would* be his superior. And, sorry, drawing a blank on the actor's name, but she apparently scared the crap out of Gavin on their first day of shooting. When she sensed something was wrong she asked him what the problem was and discovered he thought she was "mean". She informed him (and us) that she was a really nice person,. just ask anybody! :)

She had a fascinating idea for Lilah which I wish ME would have used. She formulated in her mind that Lilah was an avatar - hundreds of years old and part of the gypsy clan that cursed Angel. She felt this would be an excellent explaination for the animosity between Lilah and Angel. ME didn't find the idea as interesting - she apparently thought she was more important to the show than they did. ;)

She discussed a few non Angel related items. She stressed she is NOT in Cruel Intentions 3 and the IMDB refuses to take the information off her bio. She discussed her upcoming film 'The Final Cut' and working with Robin Williams who is as funny as he seems. I'm realizing I'm just not doing Stephanie justice with my write up. Partly because my memory is not as good as I'd wish and partly because there is just no way to capture her personality here.

I've never been a huge David Boreanaz fan and, I'll admit, there are times I've felt he's come off as an ass in interviews, but I have a new appreciation and respect for him after seeing him in person. He really seems to have enjoyed his time on both series and is not worried about being type cast - if he was he stated he would have walked away from the role years ago. He mentioned the fan campaigns to save the show and thanked everyone for their efforts. He also wanted to be honest with us all and made it clear he has no interest in an Angel TV movie. After everything they've done on the small screen, he feels that the only next logical step would be to do something big and that would warrant a feature film which he would consider doing.

There were two questions that dealt with 'The Girl In Question'. One person asked if it meant The End to the Buffy/Angel relationship. David didn't feel that was quite true and, if I recall correctly - I try to block out any reference to B/A ;) - stated that down the road they could find there way back to each other. David was also asked about the revelation that Angel and Spike had been 'intimate' in the past. David's reply "What?". To which the person responded by quoting Spike's line. David then pretended not to understand the question. Finally he responded by saying he had no recollection of ever filming a scene where Angel and Spike had been intimate, therefore, didn't happen. :-) He then proceeded to pound his head against the microphone. This was a repeat of what he did earlier when asked about Angel's brooding. He stated "I give good brood', paused, then banged his head numerous times against the mike.

He talked about his family, his charitable work, the Crow film which supposedly will be released this fall (it was filmed nearly two years ago), and directing on Angel.

Christian's Q&A was a bit truncated due to the added photo op running long and his hangover/level of drunkenness. He hauled his cousin Branden up on stage (who, inexplicably, remained through the group Q&A) with him which led to some questions relating to Kane. Apparently, Branden was a huge musical influence on him getting him away from bands such as Def Leopard and turning him onto classic rock and country. Then there was some mutual back slapping which I ignored and more beer drinking which could not be ignored.

Finally we got to questions relating to Angel. I can't recall the first question he was asked even though the girl had to repeat it three times because Christian claimed he couldn't understand her - even though she spoke loudly, clearly, and into a microphone. He spoke about his return to Angel and that he was more than happy to come back, on one condition - no suits. He hates wearing suits and if Lindsey was to come back it would have to be a different Lindsey.

He seems to feel that Greenwalt and especially Minear were the ones that really knew how to write for Lindsey and that Joss spent his first two years on the show trying to kill him (guess he finally got his wish ;p). He commented that while he believes Lindsey does love Eve that Darla was the love of his life (a short time later, with David on stage, he would mention that Lindsey only got the girl after Angel did ;).

And the final question he answered solo was the one I was most interested in...when Lindsey left in 'Dead End' it appeared he was turning his back on W&H and starting over, yet we now discover Lindsey's intent was to become a member of The Circle of The Black Thorn. His response to Lindsey's exit in DE was "And you believed him?" Guess I shouldn't have. :p He never really finished answering the question but instead took the opportunity to segue and bring David on stage - Stephanie joined them a short time after that.

The conversation quickly turned to 'evil hand' issues. Christian was quite upset they chose to cut off his right hand because it pretty much made it impossible for him to do anything while in the makeup and prosthetic. The hand job ;), took about 45 minutes each day to complete and Christian would have to go without the use of his hand for up to twelve hours or more a day. After the latex was removed he said his hand would stink so bad he had to drive with it out the car window. David took the opportunity to crack jokes about how losing the use of his hand infringed on his social life.

Later, David would also remark how he attempted to take the prosthetic from the set as a memento and when he dropped it was surprised to discover it vibrated. (When all of them were asked if they took any souvenirs from the show Christian replied he was always taking shit from the set and David mentioned, I believe, taking his chair and on his final day, walking down the alley with his Dad.)

There was a slight spoiler slip up for anyone who didn't know Lindsey would be in the final ep. David mentioned that because Christian had to leave to shoot a film, a scene for episode 22 had to be shot while they were filming episode 17. It was done late at night and David and Christian assumed that it would be a short scene that wouldn't take them very long. Instead, they were presented with five pages of material. Christian then pretended as if he was reading the script. implying there was half a page of dialogue for Angel, then he'd get to Lindsey's lines which would simply be "Yeah" and then more Angel. :)

David would discuss the differences between working on BtVS and Angel. On Buffy, he said he rarely spoke. Just had to show up, brood a bit, kiss Buffy, and leave. He got to Angel and found he had page after page after page of dialogue and proceeded to panic believing he never would remember any of it. Christian and Stephanie both felt compelled to stress David's professionalism and how he would show up on set everyday and knew every one of his lines unlike the rest of them who were still scrambling to memorize theirs.

You really could sense the admiration that Stephanie and Christian had for David. They credited him for carrying the weight of that show on his shoulders for five years, appearing in nearly every scene and working five to six days a week when they only were working two to three.

Stephanie really didn't seem to say too much during the joint Q&A, she instead sat back and enjoyed Christian and David going off on tangents like the rest of us did. The relationship between Lilah and Wesley was brought up at one point and Christian interjected "Wait, isn't Wesley gay?" to which she responded he most certainly is not. ;) And I can't recall if it was Stephanie or David who brought it up, but they had to mention one of Christian's expressions that he uses all the time and are clueless as to what he means..."like a monkey fucking a football".

They concluded the Q&A by expressing their appreciation to all of us for watching the show, making it a success, and admiting that, without us, they wouldn't be where they are today. :)
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