Just in the door from the Vampire Ball.
As life has been all sorts of hectic the last few months, I’m unlikely to get a full review up but I wanted to make a note or two while it’s fresh.
Unfortunately two of the guests cancelled rather last minute – Janina Gavankar (probably best known for the L Word and True Blood but has been in all sorts of everything) and Tamara Gorski (an episode here and there on a billion shows or so) which had the unexpected result of turning The Vampire Ball into a total Buffy and Angel event. Especially once George Hertzberg was announced – best known as Adam from Buffy season 4.
As y’all can imagine, I was completely gutted about that. 🙂
My journey to Birmingham was one of those things to be glossed over but the second I arrived at the rather lovely Hilton there, I happened upon a dozen or so of some of my favourite people in the world – my con family are as delightful as ever and always make me feel like home! Sadly, not all of the family were able to be there, but I’m delighted to officially add Shangel into my immediates – he can name every Buffy episode in under 2 minutes apparently. How could I not adore? (We also had this brilliant (if somewhat ranty on my behalf) discussion about William Shakespeare. He’s officially one of my best friend finds at a con…and given how much I love my con family…that’s pretty awesome!).
All the guests attended the Meet and Greet’s – even James Marsters which was a special treat as last year he skipped it. He’s been working through 25 SF must read books and is in the middle of the Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov and we had this mini-geek out over Heinlein’s A Stranger in a Strange Land and Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One which was one of the high points of (MY LIFE) the con for sure! Throughout the whole con – autographs, photos, talks – he was bouncy, chatty and kept challenging us to ask him ANYTHING at all as he can’t be embarrassed. We did our best, but his face, it did not blush!
Emma Caulfield was wickedly funny and sweet and we all had a natter about the now defunct Essnemma which included a variety of suggestions of other online shows we thought that she could start as an alternative! Somehow that ended up as our randomly shouting out various items of heavy machinery! During the photo session, she gave me a proper hug and while I was a little disappointed during her talks that she didn’t seem to remember much from her time on Buffy (which ended 11 years ago!); she was totally honest and sincere about it. Actually it totally tied into her philosophy of life, living in the now and seeking balance so it made sense. The only downside – for her – was that she was just DESPERATE for rain and not a drop fell from the sky the entire weekend.
Jeff Ricketts was this con’s Reed Diamond. As he walked over, I just saw the Watcher Council lackey that spat on Faith…with flashes of one of the Gentlemen from the Host… then he started talking a mile a minute and was just the loveliest, chattiest, funniest person you could imagine! Utterly bonkers like, but in the best possible way – he introduced himself by channeling the psychic energy of the room…and basically turned out to be tuned into the adult one channels… Honestly though, he was absolutely lovely except for this one moment when we were talking about Angel and he recited his line ‘We loved her first’ and basically scared the bejesus out of me. Bastard!!!
He was also one of those guests that stays up until practically the crack of dawn then emerges the next day looking fresh as a daisy. Actually, I was one of five attendees that headed out on the Sunday night for a curry with him, George and Jonathan which was an absolute blast!!! (For those that know me, I had the korma…adventurous as usual!).
The second Hat Trick-er of the con was of course the inimitable Jonathan M Woodward, always one of the best guests. He brought his usual infectious energy and – in a break from the normal Communion (where JW and one of the other guests shares out pringles and whiskey with the attendees) – Angel make up artist Dayne Johnson did him up in full vampire make up as a special treat! During his guest talk with Jeff Ricketts, he pulled me up on stage for a brief and mortifying moment so for that I shall naturally love him forever… riiiight…
He and Jeff were both eloquent about their appreciation for the Whedon fandom whereby our passion for these shows transformed their lives and careers (in differing ways). Jeff appeared twice on Buffy and Angel but noted that because Firefly was such a cult show his one episode there seemed to impact more. Jonathan was also hilarious about being a big bad that actually managed to kill one of the main characters – a controversial but hysterical viewpoint!
George Hertzberg also flew the last night party flag high – staying up till at least 3am on the Saturday night. He was particularly nice to me during the photo session that morning when I was non-verbal. Yup, as is traditional, I lost my voice for a few hours after staying up far too late. Who could have predicted that my body requires more than 3.5 hours sleep to function properly? Bizarre. Oh, and during his Q and A with James Marsters; I was able to ask my Beatles question (relating to the Yoko Factor episode), so all the happy bunny me! He’s also RIDICUMALOUSLY tall. Twenty feet, easily. Something I just didn’t expect. I mean, Adam, sure, but the only time we see him and him (Restless) he was sat down.
As always, the weekend flew by far too quickly (though it may be for the best as I just can’t manage to get anything like enough sleep…or food…or non-alcoholic liquids…). And I just can’t wait until my next one!
Right. To snooze…perhaps to recover.