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Dragon*Con 2004 Report, part II

”If the power went out, I wonder if anyone would have the presence of mind to molest the actors.”

-kernezelda

The report continues…



Sunday

By Sunday, my energy was seriously starting to flag. And this despite the fact that I kept the rheumatoid arthritis in mind all weekend- comfortable, supportive shoes, no staying up until sunrise drinking, etc. Still, I was able wake up in time for breakfast and the late morning B5 celebrity panel.





Peter Jurasik, Jason Carter, and Steve Austin.



No AV equipment this time- the ballroom reserved was smaller. This was lamented by the panelists, who all hoped to show a video tribute to Richard Biggs. In place of that, they talked about him for a few minutes, which was nice and appropriate and also made me regret that I had never met Biggs personally, because it sounds like he was a decent, upfront gentleman.

Now all right, I admit it- I didn’t pay a great deal of attention to two out of the three panelists (though I must say, Jason Carter is a funny poet). I was too busy squeeing over Peter Jurasik, whose commentary was every Londo/G’Kar ‘shipper’s dream. One of the panel moderators from Saturday’s B5 panel requested that Peter tell the joke script story for the benefit of those who hadn’t heard it in his words, which he did, adding at the end that “I was really looking forward to my big make-out scene with Andreas.”

Then Peter told another Andreas story- and no, leyenn, I think this Blackpool story may be different from the one you’re thinking of. (What is it about Blackpool, I wonder?) Apparently, contract negotiations were hashed out at the zero hour at a convention in Blackpool, England, between the fourth and fifth seasons. And as Peter told it, he and Andreas negotiated through the same agent and always signed their contract together (which makes sense to me- what’s one without the other?). Well, in this particular instance, the contract came in at around 2 a.m. after Andreas had gone to bed for the evening, and Peter, who was still awake, had to go up and knock on Andreas’s door. And I swear to you that Peter actually said this: Andreas came to the door naked! And if this wasn’t enough, Peter said that after he told Andreas that they had to go over their new contract, Andreas closed the door, then emerged with his cigarettes, still without a stitch of clothing on- no robe or underwear or anything- and actually signed his contract in the buff. Okay, so maybe this story is apocryphal, but I was howling- howling- with laughter. And the aforementioned panel moderator was overheard remarking later that she hadn’t guessed it would be that easy. *g* Did I mention she was really hot for G’Kar? *g*

After the B5 panel, I put in my time for the other space station show and went to hear Nicole de Boer speak. And she really is a teeny, adorable little thing. The highlight of her talk for me was the story she told about her audition for DS9. Initially, she was asked to send a tape from Canada, which she filmed with her own video camera- “I was desperately grabbing every light in the house trying to do my own lighting”- and without someone else to read Quark’s lines (the audition scene was a scene with Quark). Then she mailed the tape off thinking, “Oh my God, that was so unprofessional, I’ll never get this part” etc. But, contrary to her expectations, she was flown down to CA for the final audition. Unfortunately for Nicole, there was a delay when she finally arrived at the studio, and she was forced to wait in the lot just long enough to witness Jeri Ryan step out of a van and: “What you see on the screen? It’s real. And I saw her and I thought, ‘Oh my God, if they want actresses like her, I’ll never get this part!’” Thoroughly spooked and self conscious now, Nicole was finally brought into the building, where she waited for several more minutes just outside the audition room. While she waited, someone offered her a bottle of water, which she gratefully accepted. And just as she was unscrewing the cap and taking her first drink, she was called in. “And you know how things sometimes go down the wrong pipe?” At precisely the wrong moment, she choked on the water, spewing it all over Rick Berman. Needless to say, she was mortified and needed several minutes in the bathroom- “I wish there was a window in here so I could escape”- to recover before finally doing the scene.





Nicole de Boer, early Sunday afternoon.



After Nicole was the second celebrity Farscape panel, which was packed into a smaller room in the basement of the Hyatt. A little claustrophobic, but at least I could get a much better, if not perfect, picture. This time around, I stood in the back with Kerne and Flora. (On Saturday, I was unable to meet with them before the panel.)





The Farscape panel, Sunday afternoon in the Courtland meeting room.



All right, now for the things I remember- besides Virginia’s obvious affection for Paul- from both Saturday and Sunday (and see if you can spot where leadensky and I differ *g*):

Paul appears to have thought his character through quite a bit and at several points was critical of the inconsistent and arbitrary writing he was often given. At both panels, Saturday and Sunday, he complained that many times Stark would have a perfectly normal line in the script- something as mundane as “Good morning. How are you today”- with “crazily” written next to it in parentheses for no discernable reason. He said that he was afraid playing Stark crazy just for the sake of Stark being crazy would get annoying after awhile, and Virginia concurred, remarking that “you have to have a motivation.” About Stark himself, when Paul was asked what he liked best about his character on Saturday, he observed that even after being so brutalized, Stark still had the capacity to trust. “He’s like a battered child in a way,” Paul continued, which generated an “Awww!” from the audience and prompted David to accuse him of fishing for sympathy. *g* And of course, there were the obligatory questions about the mask. Paul said it was comfortable actually, except for those earliest days when they were still working out what to do about the open eye underneath. Also, on Sunday, he talked at length about trying to sword fight with Gigi without his depth of field and with her vision also limited by her contacts.

One of the cutest moments of the weekend, though, was Paul commenting on Sunday that he had always thought that Stark and Zhaan were not only spiritually compatible, but sexually compatible as well, after which he mimed taking off his mask. This was after Virginia had discussed how the writers and directors actually wanted Zhaan to be more overtly sexual in her photogasm scenes and how she had fought vigorously against it. Virginia opined that sometimes the subtle is more sensual, and I wholeheartedly agreed.

Virginia stated that she was ordered to remain silent on the matter of the miniseries on threat of lawsuit. But Paul had a few comments on the subject, both to me personally at the Walk of Fame and at the Sunday panel. To me he said, after I confessed to him that Stark is one of my favorites: “Oh, then you’ll like the miniseries then.” And to the panel on Sunday, when asked what it was like to return after the long hiatus, Paul said that it was easy once he had read the script and that he was pleased with the arc Stark was given. In light of his earlier criticisms about the writing for his character, this is very encouraging, astrogirl2!

Wayne, too, was also very opinionated about his character, although about what specifically I’m not entirely sure, as Kerne was covering my ears at points to protect me from fourth season spoilers. (I also missed something funny Paul said for the same reason, and even now I want to know what. it. was.) Perhaps what surprised me the most- and will likely surprise many of you on my f-list the same way- was Wayne’s view as to the veracity of the childhood story told in Incubator. Wayne thinks it’s just a story- a means to manipulate Crichton.

And one more thing: I distinctly remember Kerne asking David about a “certain anatomical growth” (those were the words she used) spotted in the trailer, which opened the door wide for David to make suggestive remarks. She’s evil, I tell you! *g* The same night, she also observed that the view outside her hotel room window reminded her of a nipple and a phallus, and, over dinner, graced us with the thought quoted above. Though really, to be completely fair, Flora did say after the power-out remark that since Crais wasn’t here, she’d settle for Braca. And, er… I think I might’ve mentioned that I wanted to do things to Paul. Because he really is cute.





The nipple and the phallus.




After Farscape, another B5 interlude- this time a panel speculating on TMoS and other potential future projects. The panel itself was not much to write home about. But I did get a chance to chat with two women I met at the mixer on Friday during the pre-show. Both are players on the Rising Star RPG, and after I mentioned that I played Vir on another B5 RPG, they worked at persuading me to join Rising Star as well, because apparently they are desperate for aliens (they have a Vir, alas, and a G’Kar, but no Londo, and very few alien characters beyond the majors). For a time, I contemplated encouraging them to pop over our way, as we are in the opposite pickle (plenty of aliens, but no Sheridan). *g* I nixed that idea, though, when, after I had mentioned that I run a Centauri/Narn focused fanfiction archive and gave them the address, they mentioned in passing that they didn’t like slash. Hee! This was a moment of huge private amusement for me. T_M would probably give them one embolism each. But I didn’t want to discourage them from visiting E&A at least (there is a lot of gen there after all), so I assured them that any slash on my site was clearly marked. *g*

After the B5 panel, I returned to Flora and Kerne’s room, where all three of us watched The Ugly Truth, then took our meta to a Chinese restaurant down the street. T_M took up most of the conversation. I shared all the evil plots in the making for Vir, while they discussed meeting up with Stark and the B7 crowd. And I still say that the Farscape and the B7 crowd need to swing by B5 again. I only met them very briefly the first time. *g*





Kerne and Flora at Hsu’s.



And after Sunday night, there really isn’t much more to tell. Kerne and company left early Monday afternoon, and I spent the remainder of the day wandering around the Marriott until the exhibits closed. After that came dinner and a long stop-over at the airport, as the weather was starting to turn sour due to the remnants of Frances. I made it back to Virginia at a very late/early 2 a.m.



And that's a wrap!

Comments

*is very encouraged*

Thanks for writing this up, btw. I've much enjoyed reading it, even if it does make me horrible jealous! :)

And Stark and co. should definitely come by B5 again sometime!
Wonderful!

But for those of us who haven't heard, and not for lack of looking, what WAS the fake script?
A prank JMS played upon Peter Jurasik and Andreas Katsulas in season 4, in revenge for a prank they had played on him at, guess where, Blackpool. (I heard it first from the mouth of the late Richard Biggs in Munich at a con, btw.) The fake script for The Exercise of Vital Powers, which was delivered to all the cast members, had G'Kar breaking down, transforming into a woman and promptly going off to have sex with Londo (with the immortal come-on line "you may have conquered my world, Centauri, but you did not conquer me" which I borrowed for my own first L/G *g*) - for the sake of galactic peace, of course. They even had a post-coital scene.

Richard Biggs said after the script arrived, the phone lines went crazy and all the cast members wanted to know a) whether JMS had completely lost it, and b) whether Peter and Andreas would play those scenes. JMS kept it up a few days before having the real script (some boring stuff about some Garibaldi fellow) delivered.
And don't forget, the year after? They performed it, on stage, in, yes, Blackpool. *grin* With Joe sitting in the front row for part of it, if I recall correctly.

That convention was the best four days of my life. I can still remember Andreas speaking that line!

The make-out scene was fun to watch, too. *cackles*
You got to watch them perform that scene live? Excuse me while I go seething in envy.*g*

Oh!!!

I am wonder, could somebody get this script? I search for it some years, I knew about this joke, I very much would like to esteem this script, maybe, have they published it somewhere?
* chokes with envy to some persons who go on convents...*
@.@
Thank you so much for that report; it was very entertaining and informative. Nice to see what some of you look like too. :-)

It's great to hear that Stark fans will enjoy the miniseries (though who knows when I'll get to see it).

And yes, the Mumak will have to visit B5.
Thank you. Great stories, all of them, and as something of a Quark/Dax 'shipper I am of course delighted Nicole read a scene with Quark in her audition.*g*

Yep, cearly there has to be something in the Blackpool air. How can we copy it? Also, speaking of Londo/G'Kar, did you read my latest lj entry?
I'm both vastly amused and very very jealous of you, dammit. There need to be more cons in the UK.
I was too busy squeeing over Peter Jurasik, whose commentary was every Londo/G’Kar ‘shipper’s dream.

So I see - maybe it's just as well I wasn't there; I'd probably have choked to death laughing over the contract story. And of course they would have signed their contracts together. If real life can make sense on a meta level, then that certainly does *g*.

Perhaps what surprised me the most- and will likely surprise many of you on my f-list the same way- was Wayne’s view as to the veracity of the childhood story told in Incubator. Wayne thinks it’s just a story- a means to manipulate Crichton.

Interesting, but not as much of a shock as it would have been if I didn't already know Wayne's views on the character. He prefers his Scorpius leaning rather more to the villain side of the force than many Scorpius fans do. (Which is a perfectly valid interpretation, if not one I feel compelled to agree with.)
Interesting, but not as much of a shock as it would have been if I didn't already know Wayne's views on the character. He prefers his Scorpius leaning rather more to the villain side of the force than many Scorpius fans do. (Which is a perfectly valid interpretation, if not one I feel compelled to agree with.)

It's interesting that most actors of ambiguous characters see them as far darker than the fans do. Paul Darrow had (presumably still has) a very different and much more brutal view of Avon than not just the Avon fans but the tiny rest of B7 fandom as well. James Marsters on Spike, ditto. The only reverse I can think of is Marc Alaimo, who saw Dukat as a very positive character, said frankly he had no idea why "I was suddenly running around killing babies" and what late season 6 and season 7 Dukat was all about but soldiered on doing the script stuff.
It's interesting that most actors of ambiguous characters see them as far darker than the fans do. Paul Darrow had (presumably still has) a very different and much more brutal view of Avon than not just the Avon fans but the tiny rest of B7 fandom as well.

I hear horror stories about Avon: A Terrible Novel along these lines. (And really, if you're going to write a bad book about your character, pick a title that's less easy to mock.)

The only reverse I can think of is Marc Alaimo, who saw Dukat as a very positive character, said frankly he had no idea why "I was suddenly running around killing babies" and what late season 6 and season 7 Dukat was all about but soldiered on doing the script stuff.

Poor him - having just watched the Big Six and knowing that Waltz is just around the corner, I find I rather wish they'd killed him off at the end of Sacrifice of Angels.

I can't think of any other counter examples off the top of my head, and know that John de Lancie also has a rather dark view of Q, which adds to the trend.
Marc Alaimo not being enamored with EVIL!Dukat:
Poor him - having just watched the Big Six and knowing that Waltz is just around the corner, I find I rather wish they'd killed him off at the end of Sacrifice of Angels.

Me too. That was a very Lear-like image, wasn't it? You have expect him to say "why then she lives!" and expire. Or I wish he'd have gotten Damar's storyline from this point onwards. You'll see why in season 7 (Not that I don't like Damar, who gains considerable depth.)

I can't think of any other counter examples off the top of my head, and know that John de Lancie also has a rather dark view of Q, which adds to the trend.

Yes - he thought Q should have killed Amanda, didn't he?
Me too. That was a very Lear-like image, wasn't it? You have expect him to say "why then she lives!" and expire. Or I wish he'd have gotten Damar's storyline from this point onwards. You'll see why in season 7 (Not that I don't like Damar, who gains considerable depth.)

Anything but Evil!Dukat, really. Not looking forward to that at all.

Yes - he thought Q should have killed Amanda, didn't he?

Yes - I think there was something else he'd have prefered darker, too, but it slips my mind for the moment.

Peter Jurasik is my new deity *fangirlish squeeing*

Thank you SO much for recounting that story (er, stories). Priceless, absolutely priceless. That has made my day. ^____^ I wish I'd been there.

p.s. Also, thanks for showing the photos - loved those plot bunnies. ^_~
Then Peter told another Andreas story- and no, leyenn, I think this Blackpool story may be different from the one you’re thinking of. (What is it about Blackpool, I wonder?)

It's a den of iniquity, I'm telling you. That and there's lots of cons there. *g* And yep, it was different, but no less hysterical!
That Andreas story is fantastic... And, actually, I think the crowning touch is the bit where he goes back for the cigarettes, but not the clothes... :rofl: