Official Xena and Hercules Convention 2001
PAGE 3 of 8
This report written by convention attendee Jodi Walton is truly amazing and we thought you'd enjoy reading it along with viewing the photos from the convention that our staff photographer took.
A huge thank you to all who made the trip to be with us and of course the guest stars and backstage talents!
May 3 - 6, 2001
By: Jodi Walton
Disclaimers: I took a notebook with me to the con events I attended and tried to take notes on as much that was going on as I could. However, I know that I missed some things since a lot was happening. I also didnt take the notebook to the Cabaret, so all of that is done purely from recollection and is more general. What follows, is a reconstruction of most of the major things, but please dont take it as being exhaustive. There is likely to be a Creation video released of Lucy and Renee, and perhaps, other guests and the Cabarets, since they were also filmed. This is intended to simply give as good a feel for what was going on as I can convey to those who werent there.
May 3rd Pre-registration
Creation opened the doors around 5 for the line of people waiting to pre-register (went all the way down the block). For those, like me, whose tickets hadnt arrived before we left, we got a chance to pick them up and all of us got banded (wristbands that would show the staff that we had access for all three days). They had some of the dealers there, including the photo table (although they didnt have all of the photos for the weekend out as we found out on Friday). There were 6 posters that Creation was selling, 1 for the convention and 5 others (the 4 that Sharon had talked about on the website, and then Xena in leather on the black horse). They also had 5 beautiful plates on sale, which was a surprise since Sharon hadnt mentioned anything about those prior to the con. They had 2 dealer areas, one right outside the door of the auditorium and another on the other side where there was a mix of Creation and other vendors. This was a time for people to get preliminary shopping done and to meet up with folks that were going to the convention.
May 4th 1st official day of the con
They started off with
a half-hour of different videos:
Then Sharon Delaney got up and did a brief welcome and introduction to the con. After that they ran the Salmoneus Video Working for a Living, then Robert Trebor came on-stage.
He started off by asking what the deal with Tom Green was, and whether people really thought he was funny. He suggested that they should do a Tom Green and Pauly Shore movie, which would give all of America a lobotomy. Then he started talking about the first time he was in NZ (June 5, 1994) and met Renee. He said that she was in all her makeup from when she was supposed to be thrown off a waterfall. She was very sweet. He posed the trivia challenge of how many times in Hercules and the Lost World did someone want to cut Renees tongue out said it seemed like it was mentioned a number of times. Then he talked about the first time he met Xena when he was over there shooting When Darkness Falls (Nov. 1994). He mentioned that the American SAG actors all had their own trailers and most of the New Zealand actors just had to change in the back of the costume bus. He said Lucy was walking across the area in her skimpy little costume and a robe and she was shivering, so he invited her into his trailer. She looked at him and then refused and wandered off still shivering. He thinks she might have thought that he was hitting on her and of course, shes never invited him into her trailer LOL! Then he talked about his Salmoneus book and how Salmoneus was never killed off and so he lived forever. Its actually a cute little book. He discussed the striptease that he and Bruce did in Men In Pink, and that at first they wanted to put him in high heels and he just couldnt walk on them. But he did speculate that he looked better in drag than Bruce did because he doesnt have the square jaw and broad shoulders. He had more to say, but since I had seen him at other cons, I decided to take a cigarette break before Hudson came on. I got back in time for him to lead the crowd in singing Auld Lang Syne.
Next up was the video for Callisto, which was set to Maniac. Then Hudson came on stage. At first she seemed a bit overwhelmed by the number of people there but then she let her playful side out a bit and we were off. She started off by inviting Laura on stage, who was having her 72nd birthday that day, and gave her a hug. After sauntering around the stage a bit more, she opened the floor for questions. The first person up was a member of her fanclub who mentioned that Hudsons birthday was coming up, so we all sang her happy birthday. Hudson was wearing a long red latex strapless dress and either shes let her hair grow or she was wearing extensions because she had a bun on the top of her head with a long ponytail coming out of it. She started talking about how in the past shes made a habit of auctioning off her dress for charity and asked if she should do that again. Of course the crowd was very agreeable to that idea, so she did so with style <G>. It ended up going for $5000 and the guy who bought asked if she came with it. She said that she didnt think he could handle her if she did <EG>. Then she said coquettishly, Im going to be naked soon.
She was asked how it was to play Xena and she said it was bad Xena is so stoic, and shes not at all that way. Then she was asked what her favorite fight was, and she said she liked them all, they were lovely. Next she was asked if she could do the Callisto scream. She asked if she should do it with the microphone, or without, and the crowd suggested without. Then she had to psyche herself up to do it. She said she needed to get mad, and someone shouted that she should think of Xena while she was trying to prepare, and she looked up and pointed out that she was sorry to break it to them, but Xena was a TV show. Then she commented that there were too many voices in her head and not all of them were friendly. Then she took her shoes off, which she said felt lovely. After a few more moments, she let out a tremendous scream, which you could hear all the way to the back of the auditorium, even though she wasnt using a microphone.
Next she was asked what the most physically difficult thing was that she did on the show. She said riding a horse and getting Lucy. She did a little bit where it was like she was at her audition. She said she was asked if she could ride a horse, and she said yes, while shaking her head no. Then she was asked if she was proficient, and she said yes, while shaking her head no. She said she figured shed just get on the horse and it would go. It didnt work out that way, which she claims is why you dont see Callisto on a horse that much <G>. Then she was asked to do something hideous, to which she opened her mouth really wide and stuck her tongue way out.
She was asked what her worst role was, which she said was playing the Angel Callisto. She said her tail kept wanting to come out. She was thinking while caressing Gabrielles face, You shouldnt trust me Gabrielle, cause Im going to eat your face! The one that was the best was when she was the demon on the rock in Fallen Angel and was taunting Gabrielle. She said that was too delicious.
Next a group called the Pink Ladies presented Hudson with a Pink Ladies jacket. After putting it on, she said she had wanted one when the Fonz was on so she would be cool instead she became a psycho. When asked what her favorite saying was, she replied, Here comes trouble! with a maniacal grin to match.
After that, Hudson was asked what it was like impregnating Xena and becoming her child. Her response was, First, it was far too quick for me, and the crowd started cheering wildly and I missed the rest of what she said. The next fan up to ask a question was so overwhelmed at being in her presence that she started crying and couldnt ask her question. Hudson sat down on the edge of the stage and tried to calm her down. Finally she cajoled the camera from the woman and took a picture of the crying fan. Then she gave her a hug.
One of the things that Hudson had been doing at several points was making comments about how shocked her dad must be with her. Then she explained that her parents were in the audience and asked us if we wanted them to come on stage. Of course we did, so she called them up and introduced them. Her mom grabbed the microphone and started singing, We are the parents, the mighty, mighty parents at which point Hudson took the microphone back and commented that this was why she didnt sing in Bitter Suite. She got her singing talent from her mother.
Next Hudson asked if we wanted candy and the crowd responded yes. Then she brought out a big bowl and got one of the fans to help her. She told the crowd that shed come down and give us candy if we promised to stay in our seats. For the most part everyone did, as she walked up one aisle all the way to the back and then back down the outside of the crowd, flinging candy around as she went. As she came back on stage, she was holding a teddy bear that someone had given her, and she called it her big breasted teddy bear, her S&M bear. <VBG>
Next up was a fan that explained that her mother had recently died and she had been a big fan of Hudson. Theyd had the tickets to the con and all the arrangements made for her mother to come and see Hudson and then she had passed. Hudson gave her a big hug and commented that that had been a serious moment. After that she flirted with one of the fans beside the stage and then was asked how she came up with the Callisto scream. She said shed been asked if she could do anything special, like Lucys warcry. She couldnt really think of anything so she just screamed and they decided to use it. Then as time was coming to a close, she lay down and rolled along the stage to the middle, then got up and thanked us and left the stage to thunderous applause.
One thing about talking about a Hudson appearance is that you cant really capture the essence of what its like unless youve seen her on stage. Shes constantly playing the audience, telling them to be silent, or flirting with them and just generally having a fun time of it all. She has a wicked sense of humor and loves to tease and tantalize when shes in front of a crowd. And she absolutely has control of everyone while shes up there. Theres no denying her absolute magnetism and charisma. It was awesome to finally get to see her in person after hearing so much about what she was like.
After that was over, I took another break and made it back in time to see Zoe Bell and Paul Grinder. The first thing they said as they came on stage was they werent really used to talking, so they were going to show how easy it was to teach people how to fight. They brought two groups of volunteers on stage and while Paul was kind of chatting with the audience, Zoe was teaching them moves either with a prop sword or sais. One story that Paul told was about how confusing it can be on set sometimes with all of the multiple Xenas running around. Youve got Lucy, and her body and stunt doubles on the set. Paul said that the funniest mix-up occurred when one of the 2nd unit make-up people ran up behind someone he thought was a Xena body double and bit them on the arm, only to discover it was Lucy. Lucy exclaimed that he bit her and the guy was absolutely petrified about doing it figured hed lose his job, but she took it in good humor. Of course, Paul never explained, why the make-up artist had wanted to bite the body double on the arm in the first place, but I guess that will remain a mystery. They got a chance to show several people how to use various trademark Xena and Gabrielle moves. There was one girl though, who took the sword and was flipping all around like Xena, so Zoe sort of sparred with her and then bowed to her when they were done because she had such good control of the sword. We found out that Zoe was 51, quite a bit shorter than Lucy, but she does all of the stunt and harness work for Lucy. They also had Sharon do that over the shoulder hit and Zoe showed how you sell that to the camera. It was pretty cool. Paul commented that Renee is the best at selling hits to the camera and does a really good job with the fights.
After that presentation, I went to the Little Theater where they were having the Ultimate Fan Fic Directorys discussion of fan fiction. There were quite a few bards present, including Heartbrkn, CN Winters, Ogami, WordWarrior, Klancy7, Roo, Vertigo, Joe Connell, Felioness, baemer and Lunacy. Kym Taborn was also there. The discussion ranged from what makes a story really work (characterization) to what is Uber (hard to define and often depends on the readers interpretation). There was also a discussion of grammar, beta readers and the impact of some of the bards being published on the proliferation of Uber and Beyond Uber stories. It was neat to see all these people that were only on-line names to me and to hear their different views on various aspects of fan fiction.