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Dragon*Con: The Experience

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Now that I've shown you lots (and LOTS) of photos from D*C, I figured I'd share a few fun (and not-so-fun) things from our weekend there.

As anyone who was there knows, the first not-so-fun thing was, of course, simply getting our badges. If you had purchased your tickets ahead of time online, the line to pick up your badge on Thursday night was about 4.5 hours long. FOUR AND A HALF HOURS.

The line wrapped an entire city block, and that was just to get into the hotel. From there? Another two hour wait.





Near the end of the line.

If, however, you wanted to buy your tickets there, at the door? Well, THEN you had to wait....10 minutes. Really. But the pre-reg line wait never got under 2 hours in length the entire weekend.

Since we were told we couldn't pick up my parent's badges without them there, John & I were in a mild state of panic by Friday night. We'd purchased day passes for ourselves Friday morning (an extra $70) in the hopes that the line would be shorter by that night, but it wasn't - and we didn't want to miss the parade Saturday morning. (My folks were arriving late Friday night.)

Enter the World's Best Dragon*Con Employee: Solutions Desk Guy. I don't know his name, and frankly, he might get in trouble if I broadcast it anyway. Suffice to say, he got us our badges, and my parents', AND he refunded us the amount of our day-pass tickets. Not because I was anyone special - he didn't know me from anyone - but just because he was nice, and because we asked for help. After having so many other D*C guys tell us "just get here at dawn and deal with it," this guy's kindness actually got me a bit weepy. Funny how random acts of kindness can do that sometimes.

I've since heard that next year D*C is finally going to barcodes, so the 4-hour-line should be a thing of the past. (Yay!)

Ok, enough griping. On to the fun stuff!

On Friday John and I went to the DS9 panel:

Photo by Convention Fans

Then on Saturday, we headed over to the Walk of Fame to get Rene Auberjonois' autograph. (What can I say? I love Quark & Odo. Plus, these are two actors that you really want to chat with; they're like a couple of favorite uncles: really approachable and sweet.)

When we got there we walked right up to the table - yay for no line! - and chose a picture of the Chef from The Little Mermaid for Rene to sign.

[Fun fact: did you know Auberjonois was the voice of chef Louis, and sang the song, "Les Poissons?"]



Now, John LOVES singing "Les Poissons," and he sounds just like Chef Louis when he does it. When I told Rene this, he immediately said, "Oh! Let's sing it together!" and launched into the song, leaning across the table and directing with his hands. It. Was. Awesome.

Of course, John was giggling too hard to join in (Yes, my man giggles. And it's adorable.), so really we just got a short mini-concert by Rene. "Hee hee hee, honh honh honh!!" Have I mentioned yet that it was awesome?

Here's our signed picture:

All the money Rene makes on autographs goes to Doctors Without Borders. I certainly don't mind actors profiting from their autographs, but it's also nice knowing money isn't the sole motivating factor for their meeting their fans, either.

My other fangirl encounter happened in the art room, with Doktor A. He's the artist of these two ink drawings in our dining room:

While browsing at his table, I mentioned that the two drawings we'd purchased last year were now in our steampunked dining room. Immediately he said, "I've seen your blog!" and mentioned our apothecary cabinet and that he liked the labels. (!!) So, yeah, no biggie. Doktor A has seen my dining room. Doktor A...has seen...my dining room. YOU GUYS. DOKTOR A HAS SEEN MY DINING ROOM. [faints]

Oh, and speaking of which, check out this cosplayer dressed as one of Doktor A's Mechtorians:


And here's a better view of the Mechtorian he's dressed as, Stephan Le Podd (which is also clipped to his belt):

Cool, huh?


And speaking of fan encounters, I have to tell you how fun it was to meet some of you throughout the weekend. I loved having random folks come up and say, "Are you Jen?!" So. Fun. Not to mention it impressed the heck out of my parents. :D

At one point, though, John actually spotted someone hunting for us, which was a little surreal. We were standing at a cross walk, when he noticed a girl next to us in the crowd clutching Cake Wrecks. "Nice book," he said, nudging me. Her reaction was fantastic: she immediately whipped her head down to stare at my feet, and yelled, "YELLOW BOOTS!!" Ha! Apparently she'd given up on finding us, so it was a fun surprise for us all. Especially when she (her name was Amber, btw) gave me this:

Aheh. Heh. Heh. Do I have the best readers, or do I have the best readers?

(Although, I must admit, the carrot jockey actually seems *more* naked when he's wearing a shirt and no pants. I'm not sure how Donald Duck pulls it off. [no pun intended (for once)])


Then there was the weird part of D*C. No, not the furries. I'm talking about the TNG panel. (Any of you there? Can I get a witness?) I mean, first there were the technical difficulties: mics too quiet, feedback, video that didn't zoom in, and lighting so dim against the black backdrop that all you could see of Levar Burton was his grin. Still, all that's par for the course with cons. The REALLY odd part was the actors themselves. Specifically Jonathon Frakes (Riker), Marina Sirtis (Troi), and Denise Crosby (Tasha Yar).

Marina apparently wanted to talk politics, and right out of the gate threw out some angry remarks about Frakes and his "tea party" and "rewarding people for bad behavior." I'm really not sure what she was talking about. Frakes & Crosby spent a lot of the panel whispering back and forth and putting their heads on each other's shoulders. Then playful insults between the two got so insanely out of hand that Crosby actually stalked off stage in a huff. Frakes went after her. Neither came back. The audience was left scratching their heads and wondering what the heck had just happened, and whether Crosby was play-acting or truly angry.

In fact, here's some video of the few moments before Crosby left (warning: language):



Shortly after this, Crosby commented that she gets too emotional sometimes. Someone yelled out that she should just "switch off her emotion chip," to which she replied, "but I didn't have a chip on the show! [turning to the other actors] I don't have a chip, do I?" Frakes answered, "Only on your shoulder." The crowd went nuts, aaaand exit Crosby, stage left.

In the audience, some of the folks around the microphone began policing those asking the questions - goading them to 'hurry up and ask the question already!' - to such an extent that at one point I thought the lady doing the harassing was going to deck the questioner. The tension was palpable, and it was extremely uncomfortable. The actors also seemed kind of annoyed by the questions, often ignoring them entirely. When asked a lengthy question about how he prepared for a particularly trying role, Frakes answered gruffly, "I read the lines and hit my marks." The fan was visibly crushed.

Don't get me wrong: there were still laughs and cheers and good points, but in all much of the cast behaved like this was a private party and that we, the audience who had waited hours to see them, were eavesdropping annoyances. They seemed to talk more to each other - off microphone, so we couldn't hear - than they did to us, and much of the time we had no idea what was going on onstage. Part of this was the lack of a moderator: Garret Wang (Harry Kim on Voyager) did nothing to ease the huge awkward pauses or keep the panel on track. Contrast that with the cast of Stargate, who face the audience the entire time and are really "on" - doing their best to focus on and entertain their fans - and you can see why I found the TNG panel so disappointing. Especially for my parents, who had never been to a con before. Such a shame.

Well, just so I don't end on a low note: check out this funny video by Chad Vader (Darth's little brother, of course) naming a bunch of costumes at D*C. It's great. Oh, and the steampunk Batman is amaaazing - can't believe I didn't see him while we were there!




And that, finally, wraps up my coverage of Dragon*Con. Until next year, of course. [eyebrow waggle] Hope you enjoyed it!


Stay tuned for an update on my office make-over (remember that?) and some hints at the craft project currently taking up my entire dining room table. [rubbing hands together gleefully] Oh, yeah. This is gonna be gooood.

Posted by Jen at 1:07 PM Labels: , ,

55 comments:

  1. I totally agree with you about that TNG panel! I was already in a bad mood (having just gashed my foot on an unruly and erroneous piece of rebar while heading to the back of the 8 block line) and this was my FIRST PANEL experience! I wondered if they were all that way!
    We accidentally snuck into the Firefly panel afterward(we thought we were going to the CosPlay) and it was the same way! There were phone calls from the cast members that didn't come to the Con insinuating that one had stolen the other's car...it was just....bizarre.

    Couple my fresh wound with some guy behind me spilling his beer down my back before the TNG panel even started ("You know what this panel needs? BOOZE!") and I was irritable, to say the least.

    Next year, *sigh* new Con, I'll be dressed up. Hopefully you will be too! : )

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  2. There's a steampunk Batman?? *fangirl squeal* And here I was, thinking that Batman couldn't possibly be more awesome than he already is. Apparently I was very, very wrong about that.

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  3. "Double Vader all the way." Ha!

    Wow, too bad about the TNG panel. Not cool.

    I am a Stargate fan, so I'm glad they behaved professionally.

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  4. I didn't get a chance to go to the TNG panel and from what all I've heard over the course of the con and afterward, I'm glad I didn't.

    But I did happen to make it to the Brent Spiner "panel." I sat down third in line three hours before the panel because...I'm an obsessed fan.

    It was a 180 seat room. (Basically the TrekTrack room.) And they were counting people in line because in an hour (That's two hours before the panel) people had already lined up across the street.

    People were livid. The room was tiny and Brent Spiner is one of most celebrated actors in the series.

    So after they pushed all of the special needs people to the front of the line many people lost their chance to be in the room. It was standing room only in the end. We coulda gotten a gurney in there. Y'know. If we passed it along atop our heads.

    But, regardless of the crappy planning and the witnessed heartache, anger, and frustration brought by telling people "The line's full," the panel itself was amazing.

    He even talked to me. Like, 'hey, you.' Yeah! I know!

    The intimate setting was amazing and Brent seems committed to answering fans seriously. He even answered (eventually) a fan question about his thoughts on his character, Data, and the androids interaction with the crew.

    He was very generous. So I'll reiterate that after reading this post I'm very glad I didn't attend the TNG panel. All I need is ol' yellow eyes.

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  5. Jen, don't freak out, but we've ALL seen your dining room.

    ;) Well aside from insane lines, and the TNG folks, it sounds awesome. I'll have to go to one sometime.

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  6. Les Poissons! SQUEE! Oh, Jen, you have NO IDEA how much I love that song - never fails to make my day! I'm insanely jealous of you right now, just so you know.

    But not TOO jealous, because, thanks to your blog, my fiance surprised me with tickets to SteamCon this November! I have no idea how I'm going to get the time off work (I work in retail... in November, you don't GET time off...) or how I'm going to justify ditching class for it, but I am thrilled beyond BELIEF. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for giving him this idea!

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  7. Sounds like the TNG guys were truly there just for the money... shame.

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  8. I think the line was a little exaggerated on Friday, at least. We got told that the wait was 4 hours when we got on the line on Friday afternoon -- but we actually had our badges in an hour and a half.

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  9. I love LOVE that Rene A just wanted to break out in a duet. How freakin' awesome!! Glad that it was a good time, for the most part :) And now Doktor A will see that you are squeeing over him seeing your dining room. It's like some simbiotic cycle of awesome :)

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  10. tiny purple elephantSeptember 18, 2010 at 6:35 PM

    Im a new fan to STTNG.
    Ive looked at many panel/appearances clips on youtube and I dream of the day I can meet any of the actors.

    It was great too look at your clip to see how they look in present day.

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  11. I would also be totally crushed about the TNG panel. Loving the show for 7 years, I would be so hyped to get to a panel with the actors - only to have them be like that? I haven't seen a Stargate panel live, but have online and understand they are fantastic with the fans. Some day!!

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  12. Wow, that TNG panel sounds amazingly awkward. O_o

    I've heard other things about TNG cast members that make me cringe, I wonder if putting them all together in a panel is a good idea...

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  13. Those are the three best DS9 guys! I didn't know about Rene and Chef Louis, but that's awesome (ummm, Disney geek here).

    Crazy lines! Pax sends off the badges ahead of time, so you just get in line for the show, which is still long, but not 4+ hours for a badge.

    Still, sounds fun.

    Rosalind
    Girls Are Geeks

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  14. your blog always makes me HAPPY!

    anyhow.. personally Im not surprised the Stargate panel was better.. probably thats just cause I love them more though...
    sucks that TNG was bad....
    I sooo wish I could have gone to Dragon*Con, but it was the first week of school...

    Anyway, my original point was that the costume commentary video is fabulous :D and totally made my day :D and Im sorry you didnt get to thoroughly enjoy the TNG panel :(

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  15. Thanks for the Rene story - it made my entire evening!

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  16. "Causual Friday Stormtrooper"... LOL!

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  17. I was a big TNG fan when it was on, and it's sad to hear that the actors were total asshats. (Am I allowed to say that in the comments? If not, I'm sure that John will edit it.) Seriously, those who run the con should not ask them back next year; it's unfair to those who spend money and time to have them act as though it's such a trial to have to be there and actually respond to the audience. I hope that the actors who behaved badly are ashamed of being so juvenile.

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  18. In the past it was allowed for family members to pick up for absent relatives--with a signed letter/copy of ID + Yellow postcard. Not sure if that will change if they do go to barcodes, but...

    Lavar Burton was missing from the Monday morning panel. : ( But at least it was less weird than yours.

    Heh, my mom's first Con panel was a Torchwood panel. Thankfully it was fun and not *too* dirty.

    And despite this year's badge line, I still bought next year's already. ; )

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  19. DS9 panel! *squeals*
    Rene Auberjonois' autograph! *squeals*
    Cool costumes! *squeals*

    I wanted to go SO bad - no money right now though.

    But goodness - can't believe the TNG panel went that way. Maybe they're tired of doing cons and don't want people inviting them for more.

    I pray that next year they have a "Doctor Who" panel. With Tennant AND Smith. And DEFINITELY Catherine Tate. And Karen Gillian. And Billie Piper. I could do without Agyeman though - never did like Martha much.

    I need to dig up some information on the Stargate panel though - that would have been my first choice, had I gone.

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  20. john (the hubby of Jen)September 18, 2010 at 11:08 PM

    Melinda,

    I'm totally okay with asshats. Maybe it's snappy headgear worn by donkeys. Maybe it's Star Trek actors. Who know what you're talking about? Who am I to judge?

    Peace out, yo...

    john

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  21. Wow. I've seen several TNG actors before, and they're usually very energetic and entertaining. That's so disappointing!

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  22. Les Poissons is one of my favorite songs ever, and hubby and I used to watch DS9 all of the time during college. I'm totally jealous.

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  23. I went to the Stargate convention here in Sydney in March. It was my first convention and I didn't know what to expect. I loved every second of it. Every actor was friendly, amusing and very happy to answer any fan questions, even Richard Dean Anderson who was also at his first convention :). They all seemed to be genuinely good friends with each other and that probably helped.

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  24. I disagree with the ticket wait. I was pre-reg, and because of work couldn't make it until Friday night but I was only in line for about 2 minutes.
    The line to get to Jim Butcher on the other hand was le sigh. 4 hours and some jerk who works for the con told us only 90 people would get in so we should all get out and try to get to the Firefly panel early only to be followed by a wonderful women an hour later to tell us we should stay but if we didn't get in we could see him at a later signing.
    D*Con is always so disorganized the TNG panel was pretty par for the course.
    I would say I'll give it a miss next year, but I won't. Not until the year I actually make it into the Venture brothers panel.

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  25. oh. my. goodness! you met Rene! I'm crying with jealousy!

    As for the pre-reg line; it must be a problem everywhere. I volunteered at a Con earlier this year. people who had pre-bought their tickets had a 4 hour or so wait. What made it sad was that James Marsters was the reason most people came and he was giving his talk at 9am while most people were still in line until 12pm. Needless to say, I had to comfort many distressed and crying ladies who were quite rightly annoyed at the waste of money.

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  26. I blame Denise Crosby. She's still angry she was cut from the show in the first season.

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  27. I don't understand why Denise Crosby would even be in a TNG panel given her brief role in the series. She might as well be in a Dexter panel just because she was in one episode. And it sounds like she and Frakes are having an affair (NOT saying they are, but they sure act like it). Levar Burton and Brent Spiner in a large room without the rest would have been better.

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  28. I would so have LOVED to see the Stargate panel! Best sci-fi show ever. You are so lucky to have been able to go, Jen!

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  29. I mostly go to writer's panels and they are always polite to each other. I have never been to a TNG panel and may avoid them after hearing your commentary. The one panel that was awesome was the Stan Lee panel that I went to. Stan Lee was great. He joked and answered questions, even slightly annoying ones, with a grin. I have a great time a DragonCon every year.

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  30. The TNG panel just sounds odd.

    I have one little bone to pick with Chad Vader. That wasn't a white elf. That was a wraith from Stargate Atlantis.

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  31. "I'm totally okay with asshats. Maybe it's snappy headgear worn by donkeys."
    snort
    time to go clean off my computr screen.....D.

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  32. I agree that Denise might have been the problem. She bailed from the show, and then finagled a way back in when it was massively popular. (you know, she PITCHED the alternate universe/Sela idea herself, desparate to come back) Put her next to Frakes who is cantakerous at best, arrogant at worst, and yep, I can imagine sparks will fly.
    I've seen Marina, Brent, Michael D, Frakes, & Patrick all singly at cons and they are ALL fun, great storytellers. Frakes, though, was not my fave, even then.

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  33. That is really sad about the TNG panel - I haven't been to a star trek con in YEARS but they always used to be so friendly and fun...

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  34. Wow... If that was the TNG panel, I am glad that I missed it. I'm a huge fan but I saw the line that was wrapping around the hotel, and just couldn't quite manage waiting. So I ended up going to a wildly boring Gender Roles in Buffy panel. So I really didn't spend that hour well.

    But any way, the Voyager panel was absolutely fantastic and hilarious.

    I was saved by the solutions desk guy as well. There were a couple problems with my badge, and I had emailed a month or so ago to get it straitened out. I had friends who had to wait in the line, but I was in and out in ten minutes, and he even remembered my email. He was wildly helpful.

    Planning to go next year. It was my first Dragon*Con, and I didn't really know what to expect. Other than some crowd anxiety, I had a fantastic time.

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  35. Thank you so much for this post, it totally made my day! I'm a big DS9 fan (after my husband asked me to watch the series with him so he could have vicarious enjoyment of someone seeing it for the first time).

    I didn't even know Rene Auberjonois was the voice of Chef Louis! But thank you for the video as well as the picture of the DS9 actors. :)

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  36. "OMG double Vader all the way" FTW!

    Thanks, Jen & John, for letting me live vicariously through you. I've never really thought about cons before, but now I really, really want to go.

    WV: apint - Apint to you for the D*C posts. In fact, apint all around....

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  37. Thanks for another post about D*C! Too bad about the TNG panel. I've seen them before (in different groupings) and they were great. Loved the video clips, especially the last one!!

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  38. I am heartbroken about TNG. : (

    I've watched the Venture Bros. panel and they were above and beyond great. Every panel is a show put on for their fans. They know they wouldn't be anywhere without their fans. I guess TNG doesn't get that. That just sucks.

    Maybe you could check out the Venture Bros. and love them too. They'll love ya back.

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  39. So was Barbara Eden really there? I'm guessing you didn't see her, but I heard the cast of I Dream of Jeannie was there. I would've loved to see them.

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  40. *SIGH* I guess I'm not as big a Trek nerd as I though since I didn't know Rene was Chef Louis. And I can probably sing that damn song in my sleep if I wanted to. *DOUBLE SIGH* That part of the film always really makes me laugh. But in all honestly, I'm really only a TNG nerd--TOS, DS9 and the rest never sparked an interest for me.

    BUT, what a great person that Rene wanted to sing the song with John! THOSE are the guys I have so much respect for. They appreciate their success and are willing to give their fans what they want. And I'm glad you talked about Brent's panel, Green. I have always heard he really appreciates his fans, but it's great to hear it from someone who experienced it!

    Cath E, I totally agree about Denise Crosby. Everyone knows she wormed her way back in, and I doubt many of us have respect for her anyway. I have a friend who was in this little made-for-TV movie she was in called Mortuary, and she said she's not the easiest person to get along with.

    So Jen, perhaps you and John should go dressed as examples of cakes from your book next year...then everyone should know who you are! :) That's way rad that people knew who you were.

    Thanks for sharing all of this. I may never go to a Con just because of money reasons, but posts like this at least leave me satisfied!

    Oh and the Vader video...ROTFLMAO!

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  41. Oh, and Steampunk Batman got to ask them a question. Small world.

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  42. I think Michelle didn't get the point of the calls in the Firefly panel. It wasn't bizarre, it was the other cast members trying to be apart of the con even though they couldn't be there. It was a nice gesture with very funny moments and if you read other reviews, most people think it was a fantastic addition, not bizarre. It shows how much the cast appreciates their fans.

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  43. I forgot to add that I read on one persons blog that the firefly cast calls in every year when they can't come. I suppose you have to understand the show and the cast to get it.

    Several comments on other blogs liked the calls better than the questions.

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  44. I've really enjoyed all the D*C posts--thanks for letting me enjoy it vicariously! :D

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  45. Goodness, Harry Kim couldn't avoid the awkwardness of his acting on Voyager. How would you expect him to get rid of the awkwardness in the room! :)

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  46. I've been to several Star Trek conventions over the years and for the most part the guests have been very cordial and often a load of fun. (Including Shatner) but I've hear stories...like Jen's. I think the appropriate thing would have been for everyone to walk out. If they're going to act like spoiled brats...

    My last convention was a Vulkon convention in Ohio. Avery Brooks, Kate Mulgrew, Cirroc Lofton, John Billingsly and Tim Russ from Star Trek and they were all awesome, personable and in some cases (Billingsly especially) an absolute riot. I'm thrilled to know that a few of the actors (Spiner, Renee A. Shimerman) were such gentlemen).

    Maybe Crosby and Frakes just need to get a grip. :)

    Jen, I've greatly enjoyed your Dragon Con reports. My boyfriend and I have even discussed someday coming to one. Hope to meet you there! (BTW, there is a major comic book convention every spring in Pittsburgh if your interested. Jus' sayin')

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  47. I hope they get that line stuff figured out! I might actually get to go next year! haha
    It still bums me out that you were in my town and I didn't track you down (assuming you spent any time outside of D*C haha). Next year!

    I love Les Poissons! I find myself singing that randomly haha it was always one of my favorites :)

    Amber is awesome! That's a great picture!

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  48. I agree with Anonymous. The calls were great from Nathan Fillion & Alan Tudyk! On Friday Nathan called into the Kaylee/Simon panel and that was funny as well. It definitely wasn't bizarre in those panels. In fact, Jewel Staite tweeted that she had a surprise, which everyone figured was someone calling in. So it was kind of expected (at least on Friday).

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  49. The lines were our least favorite part of D*C when we went too. We could only go one day (Saturday) due to.. having five kids, only so much money, and having work/school schedules to work around.

    It really just kind of baffled me that here you have a HUGE gathering of tech nerds and computer geeks, but NOBODY could figure out how to allow people to purchase passes for one day, or make the check-in process smoother? REALLY?

    Hopefully future D*C registration will be fixed.

    We managed to make it to a Stargate panel. It was pretty funny. The original actors who were able to attend were obligingly grateful and kind to the fans. The Atlantis crew were funny and friendly. I think Jason Momoa had been enjoying the libations a bit, but it just made him relaxed and silly.

    One of the characters had recently been "killed off" but all the actors from the original show laughed and joked about how that "really doesn't mean anything" about future appearances in the show. It kind of helped that he was seated not too far from Michael Shanks... I think I've lost count of how many times his character "died" during the show!

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  50. It's really a shame about the TNG panel. When I saw Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner at Wizard World Philly they were nothing but gracious and really funny. Even with the million amount of times people have asked Patrick Stewart how to become an actor, he was very considerate in his response. Of course my boyfriend was disappointed that no one asked him about the X - Men movies, but that's neither here nor there. :)

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  51. I know this is an old thread now, but I really feel like I need to chime in about Frakes and Crosby. It goes like this:

    I skipped that panel this year, because I've seen Frakes in years past, and he's always like this. It basically seems like he's bored to be there, so he makes some jokes about whatever, and has no interest in the fans.

    This year, however, I did go to Denise Crosby's panel (just her in a smaller room), and she was great. Really great. Answered all the questions asked of her in a very thoughtful manner, including about why she left and came back to the show. Anyone here who has anything bad to say about her should have gone to this panel, and/or watched her documentary, Trekkies. She is obviously in touch with the fans.

    In short, there are a few Trek actors that I've seen on panels, and would love to see again:

    Denise Crosby, Robert Picardo, John de Lancie, Patrick Stewart, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Garret Wang, Rene Auberjonois.

    Frakes, Sirtis, I can skip.

    Others I'm neutral on.

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  52. Sorry for being a lot belated - but my friend from Australia was visiting me to go to D*C and she only left this morning and I've only got around to touring some of the other blogs I read today!

    re: pre-reg lines
    We got Min off of the plane, had breakfast and checked into our hotel. Pre-Reg had only been open about 45 minutes when we got in line and it took us a good two hours to get through... even though when we got in, the mouse maze was only half-full... if that.

    I don't understand what the problem was with registration. It's the worst I've seen it and that was my 4th year going. (It was even worse than my first year and I was buying at the door!)

    I'm pretty certain something was "off" about organization this year. The panels were largely disappointing (I was almost embarrassed to introduce my friend to D*C when so little that was awesome was going on). The lady who sort of emceed the X-Track didn't seem to be there, so the Ghost Hunters (sans the two originals this year, which only made it worse) just sort of rambled on in their own little world for awhile. Unlike TNG, however, they were trying to be entertaining to the audience and they were very good about playing with/interacting with the audience. But without the emcee lady keeping them in line, tangent-shenanigans went on.

    I also know of someone who was running a panel, but her contact quit/left D*C staff and no one could tell her if she was still having her panel or not. She didn't even know for sure she was running a panel until the con booklet came out saying she was. (Speaking of the con booklet - didn't it come out absurdly late this year? I seem to remember having longer than we did this year to plan out my panels...)

    On a more personal note, it was really great for me. This was the first year I've gone that I really had someone with me willing to dress up. We both went steampunk (not as cool as Batman, though) and on Friday it was good there weren't many panels we wanted to see. We got stopped for photos quite often. (I was totally jazzed about it, which seems semi-lame of me.)

    I wish I'd been able to luck across you, though! I would have drawn you a carrot jockey on the spot!

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  53. I know I'm a bit late to the D*C party but I have to say, D*C this year was an absolute blast (at least, for me)!

    I spent the majority of my time on the MMO track and I have to say, I found it entertaining, hilarious, informative and staffed by knowledgeable and friendly moderators.

    I was too shy to debut any costumes this year, but look for me next year in my elaborate Lady DeathWhisper or Katniss Everdeen (with a slight steampunk twist) costumes!

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  54. I went to DragonCon a couple of years ago and for the most part had a blast. However, the other parts kinda ruined the experience for me. I may go back at some point but in the meantime I'm going to VisionCon in February and I'm planing on saving up to go to ComicCon.

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  55. Wow, this post made me so sad! I've liked TNG since I was a little girl (I was born in the '80's), and I've wanted to meet the cast for a long time. I'm glad you still managed to have fun at the con despite such a disappointing panel :/.

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