Saturday, April 25, 2015

In Which Jenn Goes to MegaCon! (Part 2)

You can locate the first part of my MegaCon coverage here.


Seriously, these two were AMAZING.

MegaCon drew to a close on Sunday afternoon, with not nearly as many people in the convention center as Saturday. Laura and I arrived at the convention relatively early that morning, as I was headed to a Firefly panel at 11 AM and she was off to her photo op afternoon with David Ramsey and Karen Gillan. When we split up, I was determined to get a decent seat at the Firefly panel and also take as many pictures Sunday as I possibly could on the floor of the amazing cosplayers. I got a lot of great shots and was so excited to see all the creativity displayed. Also impressive about conventions: girls (and some guys) who wear heels and heavy make-up and big costumes around for eight hours every day? You all are my heroes. Seriously.

I arrived at the Firefly panel early, found a seat, and immediately bonded with the girl behind me who was wearing a Karen Hallion t-shirt, too. (As an aside, you should totally check out her designs. They're amazing.) Also behind me a few rows was an amazing War Doctor cosplay. It was his first convention ever and he came because of his daughter and his daughter's fiance encouraging him to. I seriously did a double-take because I thought it really WAS John Hurt behind me!

John Hurt... I mean, super nice cosplayer!

The Firefly panel kicked off with audience questions and honestly, I laughed harder at this panel than I think I have laughed at anything that weekend. For starters, Alan Tudyk came out while the sizzle reel was airing and sat in the front row, intently watching the screen. It was hilarious. At the panel were: Alan Tudyk (Wash), Summer Glau (River Tam), and Adam Baldwin (Jayne). A special guest also appeared at the panel -- Nathan Fillion's head printed out and cut out. It sat on the table and was absolutely perfect.

The lovely panelists!

Here are some things we learned at the Firefly panel:
  • Alan Tudyk literally gave every single person who asked a question something signed -- either a comic, a pack of gum (he started running out of things), shirts, etc. Some lucky person got Nathan Fillion's head signed, which was fantastic. "Here, come get some sh*t," was his refrain every time the panel finished answering a question. It was great.
  • One of the questions asked was if any of the cast could be cast in The Avengers, how they would convince Joss Whedon to let them and what kind of superhero they would be. Tudyk joked that he would be The Spazz or Deadweight. "Deadweight wouldn't slow down time, he would just slow YOU down."
  • Adam Baldwin on what's important in life: "The three G's: God, guns, golf."
  • "Who are you gonna give Nathan away to?" "CBS."
  • Alan Tudyk gave an amazing soundbite: "I think everybody's crazy and the sooner we embrace that, the better off we are."
  • Though the panelists were asked questions about Firefly, they were also asked about their other projects. Summer Glau was asked about her role in The Sarah Connor Chronicles. A fan essentially said that Summer was extremely believable as a robot, stoic and very precise. She said that she actually was able to play the character because she found a way to relate to her and to her experiences.
  • What was really cool, too, to learn about Summer Glau was that she began her career in dance and she still feels like that's how she really connects to her roles and the characters that she plays. The idea of movement was really compelling to her and I thought it was really cool to learn that she still considers that such a huge part of her life and of her acting.
  • When asked how the actors deal with directors who view their characters differently than they do, as actors, Adam Baldwin said: "You always have to be a problem-solver, not a complainer." I thought that was great advice for pretty much everything in life. The actors agreed and noted that if you have problems with the way a scene is going or the direction, you need to not complain about it but propose alternate solutions.
  • Out of all the things the cast is surprised about that have become iconic from Firefly, Adam Baldwin is most surprised that the Jayne hat took off as much as it did.
  • Someone asked Summer Glau a question related to Arrow. They wondered whether her training from Firefly and Terminator aided her in her role on Arrow. She noted that they did and that she was excited to read the script and be able to do stuntwork.
  • The final question that a fan asked was: "What question do you most want to be asked at panels?" For that question, she received a signed comic book by the entire cast of Firefly and Joss Wedon. She started crying, understandably, and it was a perfect way to end the panel.
After the panel ended, I headed downstairs to the floor to locate Laura and meander through the stalls. There, I had the chance to catch up with a lot of cool cosplayers, including the following people:

Oh no big deal -- just a casual run-in with the mother of dragons.

"Exterminate! Exterminate!"

An awesome Bob's Burgers cosplay group. They were adorable.

Okay, this guy really committed to the Gilderoy Lockhart cosplay. But I suppose you would have to be, really.

Hospital Beth Greene from The Walking Dead. Awww.


Oh hello there, Arsenal.

LEGENDS OF THE HIDDEN TEMPLE. This made me SO unbelievably happy.

While Laura and I meandered around the convention, I realized one of my favorite things about conventions -- groups of friends who dress up together, but are in different fandoms. I ran into a group of cosplayers consisting of a Tenth Doctor, a Captain Jack Harkness... and a Bellatrix Lestrange. It was wonderful. Laura had texted me while I was meandering and noted that Danielle Panabaker and Robbie Amell had virtually nonexistent lines at their booths. In fact, for $20, you could get a selfie with Robbie. Obviously, this was a must for me and Laura and we sidled up to the booth to meet him.

Robbie Amell is super nice. Like, genuinely and truly nice. I thought he was a lot taller than me but actually he wasn't (and that's what surprised me most of all, I think). Laura and I told him that thanks to his panel the night before, he became one of our favorite people. We then told him: "You're our new favorite Amell. Don't tell Stephen." And Robbie replied, gleefully, with: "Oh, I WILL." We then complimented the success of The Flash and talked about how we both loved it. We snapped our photos and were gone.

Those Amell genes though, let me tell you.

After our photo, we headed back upstairs toward the giant ballroom where our final panel of the weekend would be held: the second Doctor Who panel featuring just Karen Gillan and Alex Kingston. I had the opportunity to actually ask Alex and Karen a question (and got cheers for a mention of Selfie -- Karen's delighted little clap at that and the cheers for Arrow for Alex were adorable and thank you Laura, for filming it!) at this panel which was really cool. They're awesome ladies, truly. Here's what else we learned at the panel:

Lovely, talented, hilarious, well-rounded ladies!
  • Someone asked a question about whether or not Alex and Karen abide by the "five second rule" of eating things that have dropped off the floor. Karen took this opportunity to mention that she has eaten a hotdog that was left in a nightclub before. True story.
  • A fan asked if Alex and Karen could only take one album with them on a desert island, which would they choose? Alex decided upon Carmina Burana. Karen was really torn but probably would choose something by Elvis.
  • If Karen could be in any movie in the present or the past that she wasn't in, she would choose Jumanji because she absolutely loved that movie growing up.
  • Karen had the chance to talk a bit about what it was like to film the goodbyes on Doctor Who, and noted that filming the graveyard scene was really emotional because Matt Smith was sitting on a gravestone while they weren't filming, listening to "Close to You" by The Carpenters.
  • When a little girl stepped up to the mic, she asked what Alex and Karen's catchphrases were. (She wanted them to say their ones from the show.) Karen asked: "In life?" And the little girl hilariously replied: "NOOOOOOO." After that, Alex mimicked her River catchphrases and Karen admitted that Amy doesn't really have a catchphrase but if she did, it would probably just be her yelling: "DOCTOR!" (She then requested the Internet to splice together a video of every time she did that on the show. Get on it, YouTubers!)
  • One of the weirdest things the ladies have ever had to do on Doctor Who was pretend to fly/fall around in the TARDIS. They both said that since the set is obviously not really moving, you have to pretend it is and they both always felt really silly while doing it. Additionally, Karen talked about filming her falling scenes with Arthur Darvill upside down. Apparently, all the blood vessels burst in her face because she was hanging upside down for so long so she had little dots all over.
  • A question was asked about Karen being on the new The Flash/Arrow spin-off since Arthur Darvill was on there, and the moderator replied: "I'm assuming they'll rename it Doctor Arrow" in reference to how many of the Doctor Who cast members are on Arrow/the spin-off.
  • Karen excitedly noted that she would love to visit the spin-off since Arthur is on it and told Alex that she should join, considering she's already on Arrow. They could even drag John Barrowman along, too. Karen then also revealed that Arthur is taking karate lessons for the spin-off.
  • An audience member asked about whether Matt Smith was a good kisser, which caused the following conversation to occur between Karen and Alex: "You kissed Matt." "You kissed him too." "You kissed him MORE!"
  • Alex and Karen talked about how they each memorize scripts which was really fascinating. Alex uses a lot of mnemonic devices to help and also likes to be in certain places -- she'll remember a line because she'll remember reading it in her living room or by a window. Karen records herself reading the other lines in her scripts and fills in the blanks.
  • Someone asked a question about Selfie to Karen, and the woman said that she would love to return to comedy. She really loved working on the show because they shot on the same lot that they shot Friends on and Karen grew up on American sitcoms.
  • When asked about what lessons Alex and Karen have taken away from Doctor Who, both replied: "Don't blink." More seriously, Alex added that the real lesson she learned was: "Make sure you're always there for your friends."
Favorite ladies are a favorite.

And that was it for MegaCon 2015! Laura and I had a blast and we really loved being able to attend an array of panels and meet a lot of fun, interesting people. I stand by the fact that conventions are the best place to bond with complete strangers because everyone there is so lovely and they all adore the same things you do. All in all, I had such a fun time in my hometown and am excited to do it again next year. :)


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