Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Nichelle Nichols at Central Canada Comic Con (C4) 2012

On Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending Nichelle Nichols' Q&A at Comic Con. I must say, she is one of the most adorable ladies I have met. Unfortunately, I was unable to make it up to the second floor in time for her photo-op (it was filled to capacity), but she returned the next day and I was lucky enough to get a photo taken of the two of us professionally (I love her smile so much):

Being older, she tended to repeat a lot of the same story and forget what the original question was. I don't think any of us minded, however - she was still simply her adorable and charismatic self. 

Video was actually allowed during her Q&A, and I got quite a bit of it. Here is a video I put together of her speaking about how she got the role of Uhura, how Uhura got her name, about the short skirt she wore on Stat Trek TOS, and about the first interracial kiss on television (Plato's Stepchildren) and how it was received by the public:

The best part of all was when a member of the audience asked her if she would sing a song for us. She sang one of her favorite songs, "Summertime", and it was absolutely beautiful:

I am so glad that she was asked to sing, because it truly was a remarkable experience and she seemed so happy to be singing for an audience. She is just as beautiful and sweet as she always seemed on screen. I am really glad I was able to see her in person, because I never used to be very find of her (and I still stand by most of the opinions in this post). I am so glad she came to our city.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Sir Patrick Stewart at Central Canada Comic Con (C4) 2012

On Saturday, I had the opportunity to meet (briefly) and attend the Q&A of Sir Patrick Stewart. I must say, he seems like one of the most intelligent, handsome, and down to earth people on this planet. He is quite hilarious, as well. 

I didn't get his autograph, which saved me quite a bit of line-standing (He actually came back on Sunday because he didn't want to leave any fans behind - I really respect that). There was a sign by his table prohibiting hand shaking - quite fine, at the Q&A he mentioned that he was also obsessed with washing his hands - especially on the subway. He was quite amused (and confused) when he was in the green room washroom (where there were no children) and there was a poster with written and illustrated instructions on how to wash your hands. 
"Who knew it (hand washing) was so complex?"
Of course, we informed him that the city of Winnipeg decided that these hand washing posters were to be made a requirement after the flu epidemic a while ago.

The Photo-op line was one of the longest I had ever seen. The wait was well worth it, however, when I walked in and saw him face to face. And do you know what he said to me? He looked a me and said, jokingly, "Ooh, scary! Very scaary person!" To this day I do not know what he meant by that, but it's not like I really care.  I had my picture taken with him, thanked him, and ran off to get into line for his Q&A.

When he finally went onstage in the conference hall, he promptly apologized for the fact that he would not be removing his cap because he had had laser surgery. He then spoke about Winnie the Poo and how the people in Winnipeg had been telling him that the bear was named after Winnipeg - when he knew that it was an English series of stories. A debate occurred between him and several people in the audience on the subject.

He also spoke about how on he felt in places like Manitoba where there was only flat land.
"I get a feeling that is like claustrophobia"
Somebody in the audience shouted out that that was called agoraphobia. Sir Patrick, being the intellectual that he is, promptly informed her that and agora was a marketplace, and that agoraphobia was a fear of the marketplace, or busy places - not of open spaces.

He spoke about being knighted, and how he does not insist on being called by his title. In fact, he says he often prefers just Patrick.

And here is an interesting fact: he shared with us that he experiences olfactory delusions - he smells things that are not there. When asked if they were linked to memories, he replied that he did not think so. He often smelled roses, and he does have a rose garden in his house, but that seems to be the only connection. He told us that whenever he in going up or down a certain staircase, he smells a cut egg. Nobody else had ever smelled it except for him. Well, actually - he did tell us that one girl had suddenly screamed because she had suddenly smelled it as well, but only once. Luckily, 95% of his olfactory delusions are quite pleasant.

He only told us about these delusions because a friend had told him to talk about it.
"They'll be interested (she said). How wrong she was."
Well, I was interested.

When asked about his friendship with Ian McKellen, he explained that that they had shared a dressing room for twenty two weeks - something that was first suggested by Ian so that they would begin the play (Waiting for Godot) before meeting on stage. It was this which brought them closer together. 

When asked whether or not he would appear on the Big Bang Theory and Die Hard, he responded that "I don't know what it (Big Bang Theory) is" and that he was not going to appear in Die Hard - at least "Not as far as I know".

There was a teacher in the audience who told him that he asked his students who they would want to play them if there were a film about their life. The teacher told him that he always told them that he would want Patrick Stewart to play him - and then asked Patrick who he would want playing him. He first stated, in response, that it would have to be a series of actors if it really were a film based on his life - for each age and stage. He did come up with quite a few actors, however - I only caught a few: Sir Ben Kingsley, Sir Michael Caine, Sir Sean Connery - they were all knighted actors, and for a very good reason.

Another audience member asked him how he got the role as Professor X in X Men, and what he did to prepare for the role. He told us that he was called in, and the woman he went to see was holding an X-Men comic book in front of her face. His reaction:
"'Where did you get that comicbook with me on the cover of it?' and she said, 'Exactly!'"
To prepare for his role, he says that he simply read a lot of comic books:
"I read a lot of comic books - that was my research"

Of course, Sir Patrick Stewart is most known for his role as Captain Jean Luc Picard in Star Trek TNG. When somebody asked him about his singing "A British Tar" in Insurrection, however, he could not remember singing it at all. As an audience, we told him what happened and why he was singing the movie, but he still couldn't remember. 
"I'm embarrassed because I don't remember" 
One audience member even sang the song for him. Finally one audience member shouted, "You should rent it, it's really good"

He does watch the movies, though. Marina Sirtis told us that Patrick would never talk to the press about a new Star Trek movie until he had actually seen it, unlike a lot of actors.  He also told us about when he was alone in his hotel room and ordered room service -
"Room service and a bad movie is really my idea of heaven"
And when he looked at the channels on the television, Star Trek TNG was on ("I sit and watch it, and I have no idea what happens next"). So when the room service person came up with his food, he looked at him - at the TV... Patrick told us that he could imagine the employee going back down and saying to the others, "I have just seen the saddest thing".

He was asked if he would ever appear on Doctor Who or Sherlock (BBC) - and he replied that he had never been asked, but he would consider it if he were.

When speaking about the theatre, he told us about when he played Othello (which you may read about here) and how there was a lot of opposition to the "photo negative" cast (breaking down racial barriers, brilliant!). Apparently even most of the actors where very uneasy about how the play was cast.

He also spoke about playing MacBeth, and how playing the character for so long "really starts to do things to you". He recalled beginning to drink more than he should have been, and being extremely depressed - at least when he was outside of the theatre.

When speaking about why he was an actor, he replied:
"I act because I want to change the world"
and went on the reference Shakespeare:
"To hold a mirror up to nature"
My favorite story was about how he witnessed racism in New York - attempting to hail a cab with his black cast-mates from Othello, he found that the cab drivers would actually speed up as they came near. So, in order to get a cab, he had the others hide while he stood alone and hailed a cab. Only when the cab stopped did he open the door and signal for the others to enter the cab. He told it better, obviously, and it was great.

During the Q&A, a baby started making a fuss and crying. The parents tried to comfort it, and got up - seemingly leaving the room. Patrick Stewart, being the amazing man that he is, spoke up:
"I'm fine with it, really - it's just a little baby, wishing it were somewhere else"
None of us minded, and they stayed in the room for the rest of the session.

I really hope that he comes back to see us again.

Monday, 5 November 2012

T'Laina Character Sketch by Robert James Luedke

At Comic Con on Friday, I spent most of the day walking around looking at the booths and exhibitions. My favorite booth belonged to the amazing Robert James Luedke, which showcased his illustrations and artwork. My favorite work of his was of Tom Baker - unfortunately I not get a photo of his booth, but he does have a gallery here.

The greatest thing that happened at the Con on Friday is that I found this man, saw that he did commissions, and decided to pay 35 dollars for a sketch of myself as a Vulcan. It was worth every penny:

He even texted me when he was finished  - it took him about an hour. He also told me that while he was looking at the photo he took of me - he realized I had no eyebrows and that I reminded him of Lisbeth Sanders (a huge compliment).

This is definitely one of my favorite drawings of all time, and I made sure to thank him later. If you would like him to draw a picture of you as your favorite character, make sure to commission him! More information on that is at his website here.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

C4 Comic Con Adventures Day Two and Three

Day One

For the last three days, I have been spending my days at C4 - Central Canada Comic Con 2012. It was - as usual - an amazing experience with beautiful people, intricate costumes, and great displays and exhibitions.

Day Two

I got up early in the morning to get my costume ready - Robes, ears, a headdress, six inch heels, my dress, tights, makeup... I decided to do my makeup and ears before I left the house, and to bring the rest of my costume with me on the bus. Luckily I had my amazing mother to accompany me, and she helped me carry my stuff when I was in costume later in the day.

After going through the same process as Friday in order to get my mother into the convention (with the additional steps of getting into costume and posing with people for pictures), we got in line for Nichelle Nichols' Q&A. The Q&A was absolutely amazing, and she ended up singing for us at the end. I got her singing on video and took pictures, which I will be posting later.

After that I got professional photos taken with Marina Sirtis and Sir Patrick Stewart (separately) and walked around the convention, having my photo taken and talking to people. One person came up to me and asked what Legend Of Zelda character I was.

A friend of mine dresses as a Klingon every year, and volunteers at the Con. We happened to both be dressed up at the same time for once, and I got a photo:

I also came across this wonderful young lady who came as the Borg Queen, and she agreed to have her picture taken with me. I neglected to ask her for her name, but she was wonderful:

Finally it was time for the Q&A session with Sir Patrick Stewart which I had gotten passes for the day before. He was absolutely amazing - intelligent, down to earth, and hilarious. I also got my photo taken with him professionally. I will be posting photos from the photo-op and Q&A in a later post.

Here is a photo of me waiting patiently in the conference room for Patrick Stewart to come on stage. Whenever I sat down, the layers of my costume separated and had to be reset:

On the way back upstairs, I saw the most amazingly adorable family. The father was the Eleventh Doctor, the mother was Amy Pond, and their three children were dressed as Daleks. One of the little girls was in a stroller, and instead of a Dalek skirt and hat they actually dressed the stroller.

Here is a closer look at the skirts:

Finally, it was time for the costume contest. After being in six inch heels for ten hours already, my feet were so sore that I never wanted to stand or walk again. Unfortunately, I had to stand in line for another few hours.

I had never entered any kind of costume contest before - I had worn a Vulcan Priestess costume before, but after fixing it up and adding embellishments (Ozhika in traditional vulcan script, red lined with black instead of plain holes in the chest, ribboned edges, etc.) I decided that this would be the year - I even brought along my hand-sculpted Vulcan meditation lamp. I entered Miss C4, which was a great experience, and the Sci-fi/Movies/Fantasy category  which I won. I honestly did not expect to win at all - when they called second place, I though I knew for sure that I would not win because her costume was so much better than mine, and so were others! As my prize, I received a trophy and 75 dollars in gift certificates for comic and costume stores.

I met a husband and wife who were dressed as a Klingon and Borg. Her husband had made her bat'leth with materials like aluminum foil and either duct or electrical tape (I can't remember which). He also had a mouth piece which made everything he said sound like it was actually being said by a borg drone. Their costumes were both amazing, and they were really nice people:

Oh, and remember I said there was a second place winner who I thought had a better costume than me?   Here we are after the contest (she is dressed as the Diva Plavalaguna from The Fifth Element, one of my favorite movies):

I also had my picture taken with the Best of Show Costume winner - by far the most impressive costume I had seen all day. I forget what character she was, if it was a character, but I do know that it was from World of Warcraft.

Finally, after more photos and waiting, I got to take off my hot costume and painful heels. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring anther pair of footwear so I had to put my heels back on to go home. I was so exhausted by that time that I kept falling asleep on the bus. It took an hour to get home on the bus, and so my mother and I were playing games on our phones and taking pictures.

I spent the rest of the night watching Canada's Worst Driver and taking photos of myself in my costume (because this was probably the last time I will ever wear it... probably) before collapsing into bed.

In this photo you can see the bulletin board in my room, and I am holding the trophy I received for my costume:

Day Three

I woke up today (Sunday), ready for the last day of Comic Con. I had to do a couple of things today - first the Marina Sirtis Q&A session (which was amazing and, once again, will be posted about with photos in a later post), and then a photo-op with Nichelle Nichols. I was supposed to have had my photo taken with her yesterday, but I was (along with hundreds of other people) kept downstairs because the main exhibition room was filled to capacity. Because of this, I missed her completely and they asked her to come in today. She is absolutely adorable, and I am so glad the photo-op ended up working out.

I didn't wear a costume today, just a sweater, jeans, and chucks (along with my new Tom Baker scarf). I also re-bleached my eyebrows this morning because the marker I used for my Vulcan brows dyed parts of them brown. I spent most of the day in the conference hall:

I had some extra time after the photos and Q&A, so I decided to walk around one last time to look over the merchandise. I'm glad I did, because I just so happened to find an Ambassador Sarek action figure:

I also ended up purchasing an Andorian action figure (wearing a fuzzy pink jacket for some reason), a small Spock in the environmental suit from The Tholian Web, the Star Trek Chronology, Star Trek TNG SkyBox Episode Collection Cards Seasons three and seven (the full sets), and the 200th issue of Starlog.

All in all, this year's Central Canada Comic Con was absolutely amazing. It was not organized very well, but that is a difficult job - I don't blame anybody for that. Everything worked out (for most people), I met some amazing people (and some of my heros), I entered my first costume contest, and I have added some amazing items to my collection.

If you have never attended a convention, I would highly recommend that you consider involving yourself in and upcoming con in your area. They can be a lot of work and running around, but I feel that it is all worth it in the end.

C4 Comic Con 2012 Adventures Day One

For the last three days, I have been spending my days at C4 - Central Canada Comic Con 2012. It was - as usual -  an amazing experience with beautiful people, intricate costumes, and great displays and exhibitions.

Day One

I didn't bother dressing up on the first day of the convention. I just wore some jeans, my IDIC shirt, a sweater and some comfortable boots. I met a friend on the bus to the convention center, and we kept each other company for the rest of the day.

After waiting in the long line-ups and running back and forth between different ticket booths buying passes, we finally made it to the final admission line. I met one of the local dealers on the side, and he informed me that he had just gotten in 12 inch Doctor Who scarves. I absolutely adore the First Doctor, so instead of going up to the main exhibition room, I handed in my ticket, got stamped, and ran back to the smaller room to get the scarf of my dreams. Only after purchasing and donning my new scarf did I go up to the main exhibition floor.

There weren't actually any Q&As or photo-ops that I were interested in on Friday, so I took the day to do some shopping, take some photos, and familiarise myself with the setup.

I almost got a bat'leth for 150 dollars, but I really don't have room on my walls to put it up - and I don't have any shelf space either. In fact, my shelves take up my walls. The exhibitor did let me hold it and have my picture taken with it, however:

There was also a large (small) TARDIS cutout which I had my picture taken with:

I picked up quite a few items, two of them being a Vintage Mego Spock Figure and Mego U.S.S. Enterprise Action Playset (with a spin action transporter) for him to sit inside! Surprisingly, I only spent 50 dollars for each of them.

I also purchased a Limited Edition Captain Kirk snapback cap from 1994 (with the words "Captain Kirk" in large letters on the back and "Star Trek" written on the side). From the few sources I have found on the internet about this cap, it is rare. I don't believe that unless I actually have proof, and I don't care. It cost me ten dollars, and I love it.

The next photo is not the greatest quality, but it shows my entire haul from the first day. Not already mentioned are my box of Star Trek TNG stardiscs, Empty TARDIS box of Jelly Babies, Triforce drawstring bag (to hold my rupies), Strangers in the sky (one of my favorite novels about Vulcans) read by Leonard Nimoy and George Takei on cassette, 1996 Beavis and Butthead TV Talker, Star Trek TOS Fotonovels, and a TOS comic lot.

I also got an amazing portrait drawn of myself as a Vulcan in Starfleet, which I will post at a later time.

I met an old friend on the bus ride home, whom I excitedly (and loudly) spoke with (spoke to) about my comics and action figures, and about Star Trek/Doctor Who in general (to the amusement of the passengers around me).

I spent the rest of the night at home, putting the final touches on my costume for the next day.

Day Two