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Anyone going to Philly auto-convention in May?


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POSTS: 193

Report this May. 29 2005, 8:15 am


I'm heading back for day 2 soon.

Yesderday was absolutely delightful. Aside from a lot of confusion about what line to stand in, and where to get the tickets, etc, before the doors opened, it was fairly well run and lots of fun.

The vendors have a wide variety of items including tshirts, posters, action figures (I didnt know that many were still around, and at $5 each! ), fan film dvds, autographed pics of almost everyone you can imagine, ships, models, etc.  It took a couple hours to slowly go through it all. I was happy to find some of the old Playmates ships my collection still lacked.

I'm guessing several hundred people were there. A few dozen in uniform, many many more in Trek related tshirts. There was a small concession area outside with decently priced lunches.

The autograph lines were long but moved quickly. No flash photos were allowed near the actors, so I hope my 400 speed film comes out well. You were given a number in one line, then were free to roam the place until they called your batch. For example, I was #89 for Levar, so when they called for batch 76-100, I went in line.

On the way into the building first thing in the morning, my daughter and I bumped into Michael Dorn, who was very friendly to us. Later, we paid for an autographed glossy and he remembered us and was again patient and very personable. At that moment, Terry Farrell showed up and the two of them posed for everyone there to get pics.

This was the first time the TNG cast (minus "old baldy", as they all refered to him) has been together in one place since the filming of Nemesis, and they were all very rowdy! They would leave their tables to sit in the back of the audience and heckle whoever was on stage. It was great.

Now, for some quick news bits!

Denise Crosby says she and the producer of Trekkies has pitched Trekkies 3, and it has a decent shot of being made. IT will be a fan-film type thing. She did not elaborate on what that means.

Jonathan Frakes blamed "Paramount's greed" on the current state of Trek. That's an exact quote. He also said working with Scott Bacula was really great. He and Marina both said Scott is a great actor, professional, and very personable. Jonathan does a great Stewart impression!

Gates McFadden has been teaching at some university in Cali and has otherwise been taking time off to care for her parents. Her mother died of cancer recently and her father is in the last stages of ALS. She had some fun stories of TNG as well.

Michael Dorn is the only one who didn't watch his language. lol. He's plans to buy another plane soon, as his current jet is beginning to bore him. When Levar was heckling him in the back and said, "Mr Dorn, Mr Dorn, What's it like being a black man in space?", Michael replied, "Fkin Great!"  The crowd erupted with applause.

Marina Sirtis was cranky and tired, being the last to speak after hours of signing autographs. She had some nice stories, and spoke of heartfelt gratitude she and the cast have for the fans, and for those who showed up yesterday. It was a nice touch to end the day.


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Report this May. 29 2005, 11:58 am

Thank you so much for your report! Did you also see Robert Beltran? (as Beltranista, I am always interested LOL)


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Report this May. 29 2005, 5:39 pm

I was at the Philly auto-convention this past weekend and had a great time. I did get to see Robert Beltran who I enjoyed very much. His hair is longer than when he was on Voyager but he still looks extremely hot.

One thing Koshercoder didn't mention from yesterday (Saturday) was that Dwight Schultz ran in during Jonathan Frakes' Q&A and gave him a kiss. That, in my opinion, had to be the funniest thing that happened all weekend. :laugh:

Levar and Brent were great together and extremely funny. Brent mentioned, in answer to my question, that working with Walter Matthau and Jack Lemon ranked as one of the highlights of his career.


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Report this May. 29 2005, 11:16 pm

I also went both days along with my sister and we had a blast. All of the Trek actors were an absolute riot in their talk/Q&A sessions.

Like Willgirl said, LeVar and Brent did theirs together and they were hilarious. Their comic timing was great and they had a lot of fun with the audience too.
Terry Farrell was the last to talk and all the TNG actors would stop by to wave goodbye to her. When Marina Sirtis did, Terry started crying. Apparently, Marina and Terry are best friends and this was Terry's first weekend away from her baby so it was hard for her. They were both crying right in the center of the aisle. It was very touching, and kind of surreal too to see two women who put me through puberty hugging 5 feet away from me ;) Then Michael Dorn stopped by and gave her a kiss too. Terry got married and I couldn't believe to whom. It's the guy from the Sprint commercials, with the brown hair and the black trenchcoat. It was cool to hear her talk about him.

Frakes' talk was great, I don't think he called Patrick Stewart or Picard by anything other than "old baldy" the whole time, as Stewart was the only one not there. Marina Sirtis and Gates were both funny, especially Marina. Michael Dorn's was great because he kept getting interrupted by the other TNG actors. Like someone before me said, these guys were a rowdy bunch this weekend.

As for the two Voyager actors, Robert Beltran was funny and also gave a lot of insight into some of the places he thought Voyager went wrong. Robert Picardo was absolutely hilarious. If I could buy a DVD of that talk, I'd pay $100 for it. He was the best. LeVar and Brent were great, but The Doctor was doing it all by himself. Dwight Schultz, I didn't get to hear much of because I was in the autograph room.

I didn't hear all the non-Trek talks as I was never a big Babylon 5/X-Files guy. But Alan Ruck was funny, and talked a lot about his time on Generations, Spin City, and Ferris Bueller. He also told a very funny story about watching Star Trek its first night on the air. Joe Pantoliano from The Sopranos/Memento/The Fugitive was there but didn't give a talk. It was pretty wild to see Anson Williams, Potsie from Happy Days.  The guy I enjoyed the most though was Ray Park. If you don't know, he was Darth Maul in Episode I, Toad in X-Men and The Headless Horseman in Sleepy Hollow. His talk was funny and he was down-to earth and funny. But what was really great was he was the most interested in talking to fans. My sister and I got pictures with him and talked to him for about 20 minutes at his table, about all kinds of things...he even asked about us. He was very humble and respectful of how lucky he was to have been involved in the projects he was in. He just came across as a great guy and someone who was having as much fun as the fans.

All in all, one of the best weekends for me ever. I got to talk baseball with Brent Spiner which was kind of surreal, talk Reading Rainbow with LeVar as I used to watch it all the time before TNG was even on the air, and put my arm around Marina Sirtis for a photo op. It doesn't get much better than that.


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Report this May. 30 2005, 8:38 am

Sunday was a different kind of day. I was told 1300 people were there on Saturday, and it felt like many less were there on Sunday. No lines for autographs. Just walk right up and say hi to the actors.

The first talk I heard was Beltran. He seems like a genuine guy, but he's not a Trekkie. Voyager was just a job and I kinda lost something with that knowledge. Later, Levar told about directing Voy eps near the end of the series. He said Mulgrew "was done" and "made for a difficult time around the set". He said it was sad to see the series end on such sour notes. So, it seems like the Voy actors, at least the top 2, didn't really think much of the show. That is disappointing.

Levar and Brent have a well rehearsed routine they do when on stage together where they introduce each other and ask questions like star struck fans. It was great. Brent is selling his new show Threshold. They both answered questions and were very personable.

Terry Farrell is enjoying being a stay at home mom and really missed her 17 month old Max. She also answered frank questions about Ezri, 7th season, and Becker. She came across as super friendly, genuine, and happy to be a part of Trek.

Did anyone else get as much a kick out of that little girl in the front audience as I did? I only saw her for Burton/Spiner and Farrell. She was spunky and asked a lot of questions. Apparently she made an impression on Brent earlier in the day because he remembered her. When she and her father were walking out at the end, I asked her who her favorite character is. She didn't shut up for 5 minutes. lol

All in all, it was a great con.


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Report this May. 31 2005, 2:52 am

Thanks for the reports everyone! I am going to the London Film and Comic con for a quick visit on the 25th of June. I'll leave you a report behind also :)

Thanks again!


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Report this May. 31 2005, 10:05 am

It was a lot of fun. Everything was very reasonable and the actors were in great moods. I was a couple of feet from Mr Spiner and called my gf (she has a crush on him) and wanted her to speak with him. She didn't want to. "What would I say? You're really cute...for an android?" But, when I told her Alan Ruck was there it was, "What? Cameron?!! I would've talked to him!!" For the record, Mr Ruck was very nice and probably the most personable one there. And that's saying a lot. The NG cast were all having a great time, laughing, hugging, trading jokes back and forth. I told Mr Frakes thanks for making us trombone players look good. He said, "What do you call a trombone player with a pager?" I answered, "Unemployed?" He said, "An optimist." The nine and a half hour drive there was worth it. I was exhausted and the hotel wouldn't let me check in early and up for 30 straight hours, but I had a great time. It was one of the best run, best organized, best priced cons I have attended.

(edit)  I overheard Mr Frakes say to someone who appeared to be in charge, "I'm here until everyone gets an autograph that wants one."  That was cool.


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Report this May. 31 2005, 8:35 pm

The Philly con/autograph show was great.  Picture ops scheduled with stars were $60.  Most of the stars who were signing $20 photos were more than happy to allow you to be photographed with them for free.  I did this with Robert Picardo and Robert Beltran.  They were the only reason I went to this thing as I am strictly a Voyager fan.  They did the virtual lines for the most popular stars.  Some of the TNG actors wouldn't allow photographs while you were standing in line but people were using digital cams and camcorders anyway.  There were several other stars there from other shows.  The turnout on Sunday was way below what they expected so they were letting the people with Saturday-only bracelets come in on Sunday too.

I only saw a handful of people dressed up and was a bit disappointed.  I was hoping to see a lot more.  All in all it was great.  I am so glad I went.


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