LEXX: Orlando MegaCon 2003
Lexx Lands In Orlando
We arrived in Orlando in the middle of the afternoon on Thursday. While we were taking our luggage up to the room, we spotted two really cute teenage girls in the lobby. I assumed that they were here for the cheerleader conference. But later we were sitting at the poolside bar, sipping margaritas, when they walked up. It was Patricia Zenitilla and Louise Wischermann!
We sat down with them at Cafe Tu Tu Tango and got acquainted. Patty and Louise had these delicious chicken eggrolls, and I had a Caesar salad with a sweet Scottish ale. Bill had beef kebobs and a Canadian cider called La Fin de Monde, which means, “The End of the World.” (Did it have 13% alcohol? It tasted like it did!)
Lloyd Lowe, the actors’ convention manager, arrived late after a long drive through winter weather from West Virginia. After he set things up at the convention center, he met up with Brian, who flew in late from Nova Scotia. All of them went out for food and drink to discussed the weekend ahead.
After trying but failing to line up any interviews on Friday morning, I went over to the convention center. It was crowded! And there were more than a few people dressed up in costume. It was not a huge convention. But it was not a small one either! Tons of merchants and collectors had set up their booths. Over to the sides, large arrays of tables were set up for various comic book artists and writers. For me, the first order of business was to find that issue #1 of Warren Ellis’ Mek minisieries. With that single comic book mission accomplished, I found my way over to the section devoted to the actors tables where they were signing autographs.
Brian was having lots of fun signing autographs, posing for pictures, and talking with fans. This man is even more friendly and talkative than I had imagined. Not only did he have photos for sale, he also had behind-the-scenes pictures available as well as copies of the season four wrap reel.
Patty and Louise had plenty of fans come up to their table for autographs. It was only Friday, the first day of the con, but still there were thousands of people milling about.
Something that was somewhat confusing for Lexx fans was the fact that Xenia did not sit at the autograph tables with the other Lexx actors. Instead, she had a booth set up in the merchants area where she was promoting her new CD single, “Send Him My Love.” Along with photos of Xev, she sold a package deal that included her CD along with a couple of small posters and pictures.
She also autographed anything you brought along. I managed to buy a copy of her 1995 CD single, “Heartbeat,” and this was my lucky chance to have her sign it. I also took the opportunity to discuss when and where I could do a video interview, but nothing was arranged for certain.
Later on, Xenia came over to the Lexx actors’ autograph tables to visit with everyone. She posed for photographs and chatted with fans. She also took a look at Pet’s fan artwork that was on display. It was definitely a remarkable “event” for the Lexx fans who were all busy taking photographs. It certainly attracted a great deal of attention!
At the end of the convention day, Patty and Louise agreed to get in touch that night if they were not too tired after dinner. Or if that did not work out, they would meet me the next morning for interviews.
Because of a certain amount of lack of communication and organization (on everyone’s part, we all later agreed) I was having difficulty securing these interviews. Conventions are very busy affairs! It was certainly not like the casual gatherings of UnCons of years past. The actors were at the convention all day. And as soon as they leave the convention center, the first thing on their mind is, “Food!” And, of course, after dinner it’s sleepy beddy-bye time so that they can rest up for the next day’s fun. So a note to any reporters who want to do convention interviews: do them in the morning! Not only are your subjects well-rested, there is also the added bonus of natural daylight to make things easier for filming.
On Friday night, me, theFrey and several other fans descended upon a nice steak house where we dined on delicious and tasty protein. I had the fillet mignon and a Corona. Bill had me try a blue cheese with the some of my fillet and it was sexellent.
On Saturday morning, Bill and I managed to secure an empty conference room at the hotel for one hour. To my tremendous delight, Patty and Louise were right on time. They were each able to give 20-minute interviews that went very well. Although I had more questions, perhaps it can wait for a future interview.
Saturday, the convention was packed! Possibly twice as many people as there were on Friday. Although I had met theFrey in person at DragonCon 2002, this was the first time I had met the lovely FX!
Over at Xenia’s booth, Bill and I discussed my desire to do a SadGeezer video interview with Xenia’s manager, Fred Bell. He told us that it might be possible to do the interview shortly before the party that evening. Although it was cutting it too close, it was better than no interview at all.
Back at the hotel, I got ready for the party. I was pacing around, waiting for a phone call about doing Xenia’s or Brian’s interview, but I heard nothing. So I cheerfully resigned myself to just filming some party footage. Now that I think about it, I don’t think I ate any dinner!
Down in the lobby, just outside of the ballroom, Lexx fans had begun to gather at the bar. I filmed some of that and then went outside to smoke. At about that time, Patty had just come back from dinner and I got to film her entrance!
Eventually, things got underway. Brian hosted a question and answer session for the guests, which I filmed to the best of my ability. Xenia arrived late from dinner, but was all smiles! After the Q&A, there was a raffle and a silent auction for pictures, posters, and props.
After a good round of photographs, I asked Xenia if she would be able to do the interview. To my delight, she agreed. But since it was during the party, I expected it to be not very long. And also going against me was the room’s lighting. (Next time I’m doing this, I’m bringing all my lighting equipment, umbrellas, etc.) I had no idea exactly which room the party was going to be. I had no idea that I would be able to do anymore interviews at all. If I had an opprotunity to plan ahead, I could have fetched some floor lamps from hotel management. But luckily my high-quality digital video camera functioned well and I knew that I could brighten the footage in post-production. It was a less than ideal setting for the interview, what with the light and the noise, but I was thankful to be able to sit and chat with Xenia. And to my amazement, her interview turned out to be the longest!
A little while after I finished Xenia’s interview, I interviewed Brian. But unfortunately, it was getting too late so we had to cut it short. But boy, did he give some interesting and thoughtful answers! We were hoping to continue the interview the next day, but unfortunately my ride was leaving first thing in the morning. So I’ll make it up to you next time, Brian! Maybe we can do a morning interview over a hot cup of coffee!
Many thanxx to Lloyd, Bill, and the management of the Double Tree Castle Hotel. Special thanxx goes out to lovely Louise, delightful Patricia, charming Brian, and amazing Xenia!
Bill and the beautiful elven archer.
Farscape Meets Lexx
While resting for a bit at the Lexx autograph tables, a thought struck me like a bolt of lightning. Right next to the Lexx tables were the Farscape autograph tables with guests Lani Tupu (Bialar Crais), Jonathan Hardy (the voice of Dominar Rygel XVI), and Virginia Hey (P’au Zhoto Zhaan). I realised that the actors from both Lexx and Farscape had never appeared together before at a convention. And I thought of a great way to capture this moment! So I went over to Virginia’s table and asked her if she, the plant lady from Farscape, would be willing to pose for a photograph with Louise, the plant lady from Lexx! I had met Virginia before at DragonCon 2002 and I knew that she is friendly, fun-loving woman. She thought my idea was wonderful, as long as it was alright with Louise. Of course, Louise thought it was a neat idea so she agreed too.
You saw it here first at SadGeezer.Com!
Brian talks with Xenia while Dr. Fred Bell speaks with Louise, Patty, and a couple of reporters.
Before our very eyes, Fred gave an amazing demonstration of the powers of his patented nuclear receptor.
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