Hello there Buffyfesters! I’m Steph (aka The Gingerpire) and the Buffyfest team asked me to do a guest blog about my time in Atlanta for Dragon*Con 2009. Which was super nice of them, by the way! (Thank you Tara, Michelle, and Bitsy!)
I’d like to start this post by informing you that Dragon*Con was actually my first con ever (insert gasp here) and things are still a little muddled because of sleep deprivation and exhaustion. I will try to recount everything I can remember and even tell some funny (and possibly embarrassing) stories.
Buffy Panel #1: The guest list for this panel was Kristy Swanson, Felicia Day, Charisma Carpenter, and Julie Benz. The line for the panel was around the building, but it went really fast. When we got into the room the panel was being held in we sat down (in the thirdish row) and waited. The head of the Whedonverse track came out, introduced Kristy and Felicia, and told us that Charisma and Julie were running late.
The panel started off with a few questions to Felicia about The Guild and they both told funny stories about working on the set of Buffy. Felicia told a funny story about having a huge spider bite on her chin when they were shooting a scene in the demon bar. Kristy talked about no one being able to find Paul Rubens when they needed him to do a reshoot and they searched everywhere in Santa Barbra to find him. She also talked about her cat, who apparently licked Luke Perry’s fake soul patch off and ate it.
Charisma and Julie walked in on the panel after Felicia admitted to reading trashy vampire romance novels on her Kindle.
Two of the biggest highlights of the panel (for me) were when a fan asked each of them their favorite character development. Julie explained that it was nice that her character got a name and she lived after the pilot, because in the original script for “Welcome to the Hellmouth” her character was just Vampire Girl #1 and was meant to be killed. Charisma said hers was giving birth to a 6’2 African American woman. Felicia asked if that was true and then said, “Oh my God, your vagina must be huge…” If that wasn’t funny enough Charisma tells her, “Yeah, her name is Frankenpussy.”
The next interesting part of the panel was when Charisma addressed the tension between her and Joss in the fourth and fifth seasons of Angel. She talked about how Season four was her least favorite season (as it was mine and should be stricken from existence). She didn’t go into details, but she told us all that she and Joss were on good terms now. It was really enlightening to hear her thoughts about Cordy’s death on the show. She told the producers when they asked her to come back that she didn’t want to die in “You’re Welcome” and she was under the impression she wasn’t going to, until after she signed the dotted line. She explained that she was angry at first and then when she heard the story she thought “Joss is good” and she was okay with it.
After the panel we went into the hotel across the street to see what was going on, we ended up finding the photo-op booth and a dealer room. We quickly put down some cash on photo-ops and decided to go see what was up in the dealer room before we had to get in line for our first picture.
Photos that were taken on Friday were: Julie Benz and Charisma Carpenter, James Marsters and Holly, my roomie, and James and Gareth David-Lloyd.
This was actually my second time meeting James, but first meeting everyone else. Julie and Charisma were really sweet. After that photo was taken was when the funny (bordering on embarrassing) stories began. I should probably tell you this now – I am a James Marsters fangirl and have been since I was 12 and saw “Becoming Pt.2” for the first time. At 23, the force of the fangirl is still strong, hence a bit of James related babbling you may read in this post at times.
The first picture with James had both my friend Holly and I. We both had vampire fangs that we’d been wearing (because we could and not get weird looks) and we decided that we were going to wear them in our picture. We decided to ask James what he wanted to do since neither of us wanted to sound weird. Here was the conversation:
Holly: "We both have fangs, what should we do?"
James (huge smile): "Bite me!"
My thoughts: Oh My God. Oh My God. Oh My God. Did James Effing Marsters just smile at us and say "Bite Me?!?!" Oh My God. Oh My God. Oh My God.
After that photo I had to jump back in line for my picture with James and Gareth. I figured that my blush would go away, it didn’t. I went for just the standard “sandwich” pose (that still makes me giggle). After the picture Gareth tried to walk away, but my hair decided to hang out with his watch. Of course I apologized, while turning redder than my hair as we untangled. As I turned around I was mumbling something about "my stupid long hair" and I didn't realize James was right in front of me. I didn't run into him but I looked up (blushed even more) and he smiled, touched my hair and said "You have beautiful hair." This may not be as epic to you as it is me, but I totally swooned! James Marsters thought my hair was beautiful (insert dance of joy here).
After the pictures my roomies and I went to get food and back to the hotel before Holly and I were going to go to the late showings of “The Buffy Horror Picture Show” and “Dr.Horrible Sing Along.” (There is a funny stuck in a stairwell story there somewhere.)
Both shadow casts for Buffy and Dr.Horrible did wonderfully. It was supremely awesome to sing along to both “Once More With Feeling” and Dr.Horrible with at least 500 or 600 other people. In the intermission an impromptu Thriller rehearsal (for Thriller information see: http://www.dragonconthriller.com) was called on stage.
After that little stunt we went back to our seats and waited for Dr.Horrible to start. The lights went down and the man in charge of the Whedonverse track took the stage with someone else, who happened to be Felicia Day (who I think was a little drunk). She thanked everyone on behalf of the Dr.Horrible family. It was really sweet of her (I posted a terrible sounding video on youtube).
Both shows were brilliant and it was an awesome way to end the first day of Dragon*Con.
The first event on Saturday morning was the Dragon*Con parade. The parade was huge and the energy of those watching and participating was amazing.
Highlights of the parade:
The Jayne Austen Book and Gun Club
The Browncoats (of course!)
Meeting a girl with multi-fandom OBSESSED tattoos (the Spike and Eric ones were awesome)The small Repo! The Genetic Opera group
Cookie Monster Michael Jackson
The Doctor Who Group
The mini Storm Trooper (who was adorable)
My photo schedule for Saturday was Tom Felton (aka Draco Malfoy), Felicia Day, and James Marsters (the man is like crack).
It was my first time meeting Felicia Day and she was fabulous. When I went to get my picture with her I told her how much I loved her hair and that she made being a redhead awesome (it’s a redhead solidarity thing, hehe) she looked at me and said, "Your hair is gorgeous! I've always wanted hair like yours!" She was so sweet and she looked beautiful.
After that I jumped right back into another line (this was the norm all weekend) for pictures with James. He was wonderful, again.
While my other roommate and I were getting pictures with James, Holly went up and saved us a spot in the 5:30 p.m. Buffy Panel line. This Buffy Panel was made up of James Marsters, Charisma Carpenter, Kristy Swanson, and Julie Benz.
Highlights of the Buffy Panel:
James talking about how he feels about Spike being Angels ingénue.
Charisma talking about being fired by her father when she was a waitress.
Charisma calling Julie and Kristy out for talking during one of her answers.
James admitting he loved the Partridge Family.
Charisma totally bashing Vincent Kartheiser’s hygiene. Apparently he had long toenails. She loved kissing Nicholas Brendon.
Julie Benz walking off stage to answer her phone (it was a family thing, everything was okay though).
James admitting to wearing lifts when he was on the Angel episode “In The Dark” because he was jealous of Boreanaz’s height.
Julie and Charisma talking about working with Stalone.
That’s all I can remember right now, but it was a great panel. I just felt bad for Kristy because most of the questions were about the show and she’d never really seen it, so she was quite. I will say that I was pleasantly surprised by Charisma, she was absolutely hilarious.
After the Buffy panel we went back to our room to get ready for the Mighty Fine Shindig. Holly dressed up as Dru and I tried to pass for Willow, but it didn’t work so well. We went to the Shindig and the costumes and band was amazing. We stuck around long enough for me to get a rum and coke and listen to a couple song, when we left the energy was really high and everyone was having a great time.
Holly and I decided to go to a late night panel called “I’ll be in my bunk.” It was an adults only panel discussing fanfic in the Whedonverse (and many other fandoms). The panel was led by a great group of people who were all hilarious. It was a very open discussion talking about everything from Spillow (sadly no Don’t Spuff til You Spuff Enough was mentioned), to how in Potter fic Hermione is the whore, to the Wincest. We had to cut out early because we need at least a little bit of sleep.
My roomies and I started the morning off at the con by creeping on James Marsters in a hotel lobby. My roommates wanted to say hi and I was being ridiculously shy, my mouth stayed shut for the whole two minutes my roommate and James talked. He looked at me and smiled, then I promptly turned bright red and turned into a 12 year old. I will say that he does have a wonderful morning voice and smelled great after his shower. (And that isn’t creepy at all.)
My photo of the day was James… again. So there was waiting in line for that, which was fun. My fun photo story for Sunday:
A few friends via the Tweeter told me that I needed a James "Bitey" pic. Of course I figured I would totally freak out and get too nervous to ask. Saturday I talked to my roomies and they were giving me the encouragement to. Then I tweeted something and I got good vibes from my friends. So I decided "What the hell?" While in line I was talking to the other people around me and trying to figure out what I wanted to say (of course I had something I wanted to say other than "Can I get a bitey pic?") and I had this awesome/funny idea about how I wanted my face to look while James "bit" me. I get up there and I smile at James and he says "Hey sweetheart" (swoon) I smile at him and say (in this stupid voice that only James Marsters can reduce me too) "Will you please bite me?" *insert facepalm here* James gets a smile on his face and puts me in front of him and moves my head over and puts his head down. I was all excited for the face I was going to make. Then I felt James put his mouth right on my neck. Yeah... My original face was thrown out and it was replaced by massive swoonage. James Marsters's mouth was on my neck! There were even teeth indentations for a couple minutes and it didn't hit me until way later that James's lips were on my neck.
Sorry about that ramble, but that’s how it happened. After the picture was taken Holly and I went to the Walk of Fame before heading to Thriller dance practice.
In case you were wondering we were a part of an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest amount of people in a single location doing Michael Jackson’s Thriller. The record we were trying to beat was 242. The final count of the event was over 900 people. They sent the video to Guinness people and now we’re waiting to hear if we broke it or not.
My final day at Dragon*Con, which made me ridiculously sad. I was ready to hit the dealer rooms (which I did) and just hang out. I had to be at the airport in the early afternoon. I ended up getting one last photo with James. Don’t judge me. I’m waiting for it to come in the mail.
Other than that Monday was rather uneventful. I bought a cool Torchwood and Serenity shirt as well as a great CD from the band The Browncoats.
As far as first cons go, I think Dragon*Con was a great one to start with. I had a magnificent time and I would love to go back in the future. There aren’t many things I’d change, except maybe go to more events and panels, other than that it was honestly one of the best weekends of my life and I can’t wait to do it again!
Check out Steph's photo albums here and here.