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Chicago Stargate con report, part 4 of 4

Part the Fourth: In which Elvis is in the building, but not necessarily on topic

(Don't blame me for the Elvis thing, that was Guy In Charge. It's not like we didn't know who was going to be coming onstage anyway. :-D )

I think Chris must grin like that in his sleep. It really seems to be the default state of his face.

The first thing he said was "Is [guy's-name-I'm-blanking-on] here? Because I hear there's this guy named X who does a killer Teal'c impersonation, and I want to hear it. Come up and do this great impersonation." So the guy comes up, bringing a woman with him, and when he gets the mike, says "It's not really an impersonation, so much as..." At which point we all knew what was coming, and Chris' grin just about split his face open as the guy went down on one knee and proposed to his companion. She said yes, everybody cheered, they kissed, everybody cheered louder, and as they went to sit down, Chris -- who'd been applauding wildly with everyone else said -- "That's definitely a first. But your Teal'c impersonation? Isn't that great."

We were instructed from the outset that "I'm ADD," and if he goes off on a tangent, we're supposed to stop him. Later he specified "Just yell 'You're doing it!' I'll know what you mean." And dude, he wasn't kidding, except that he's much better than he thinks he is at answering the original question before zooming off on the tangent. Questioners were also instructed to say their name and where they were from. Then he'd say "Hi, So-and-So from Somewhere!" and try to get the audience to do it with him. A couple times the Somewhere became a ramble, and once he rattled a whole paragraph back. Several people were asked why "Illinois" has an 's' if you don't pronounce it. (I never got anywhere near the mike to reply "Ask the French." *eg* ) One nervous person started off immediately with "I have two comments and a question..." and Chris interrupted her with "But you don't have a name."

Chris is also not a zat fan, for the same reason Amanda gave. "Are there kids here? I'll have to talk in code... Can I say 'penis?'" He's also, until recently, been not a staff weapon fan due to the fact that they weighed about 35-40 pounds. "I'd say to the prop guys, "Y'know, it doesn't have to *work*!" This year they finally designed a "brand-new lightweight version," and Chris was like "You're doing this NOW?" Apparently they started out with much lighter ones, but "on the first day, Rick and I broke twelve." So after that they started building 'em to last.

The "can I say..." thing led to a running gag that came back to haunt him later (I'll get to it, don't worry), involving a tangent about how his daughter only visits the set when Peter DeLuise is directing, because "it's like she has a job." Apparently she gets two dollars from PDL for every cuss word, and last week she came home with $24! "I was like, man, where do I sign up for that? Forget this getting up at the crack of dawn and acting, where do I sign up to be the one who follows DeLuise around and gets paid when he cusses?"

To the little boy who asked "How did you get such big muscles?" he initially said something about not being sure how to answer this because "I didn't get my muscles the usual way." Which of course got a *roar* of laughter, and he backpedaled "No! No! That's not what I mean!" (Possibly recalling that you couldn't turn on the news last week without hearing yet another Olympic athlete had been booted for doping...) Then he asked the kid how old he was. "Seven." -- "Okay, then I can't say what I was going to say." Thus leaving us all wondering what *was* his unusual way, but that wasn't to be. *chuckle* Then he very earnestly told the kid to eat right, get lots of sleep, and do what his mom tells him. (Methinks somebody saw Spidey 2... *g*) "You shouldn't even be thinking about that yet! You're seven!" He then went on to earnestly give the smart, healthy advice -- eat right, get lots of sleep, and when you're 13 or 14 maybe think about starting to lift weights at school with a coach.

What's up with the hair? Well, they THOUGHT it was going to be the last year (pause for laughter), and it had something to do with going out with a bang. But if it's not the last year, it's going to look all sudden and weird. (Someone nearby asked me a question during this bit, and I didn't hear it all properly, so apologies for not making much sense.)

I think he must have caught some grief for a certain exuberant declaration-heard-round-the-world at that recent con in Europe. If so, he seems to be pretty darn amused by the whole thing. He made a point of sticking to the letter of season 9 not being official, but he clearly considers it a solid certainty, and when he says otherwise it has the completely unconvincing conspiratorial/make-believe feel of grownups talking to each other about Santa Claus when kids are listening -- like we're all agreeing to pretend until they tell us it's okay. Too funny.

By request, he told us about Jacob, the little boy whose Make-A-Wish wish was to spend a day on set with him. "They said 'You need a second and a third wish,' and he said 'No.'" Chris is just in awe of this kid's energy and enthusiasm. Jacob isn't supposed to be too physically active, "so of course we played basketball all day." Chris says it came at the right time to give him perspective -- when he gripes about having to get up at five in the morning to go to work, he thinks here's this kid who can break bones just riding his bike, but he does it anyway, and says (HUGE Chris-grin) "Okay, I'm all casted up! Be back in six weeks!" He counts it as his reminder that his job really can do good for somebody once in a while.

Switching characters with RDA in "Holiday" was tremendous fun... "For me." He explained that Jack has "a whole encyclopedia" of distinctive mannerisms that he could play with, but "He had to be me, and I don't do anything!" He set up the anecdote about prepping for it by explaining that "Rick never comes to our trailers, and he only invites people to his during hockey playoffs." So when he knocked on Chris' door, Chris' first thought was "I'm fired." He then elaborated, "Either I'm fired, or Richard Dean Anderson has a crush on me. And I *know* it's not the second one. I'm fired." Then RDA asked him if he'd read the script. "Yeah! Man, is this gonna be fun or what?" -- *stony silence* -- "Oh." The conversation then became about how to approach it so it wasn't too ridiculous and threw the audience out of the story, because that's disrespectful to us.

So, why did Teal'c list the Bears, the Bulls and the White Sox, but snub the Cubs? He waffled around quite a bit on that one before finally claiming that he *must* have said it in some of the takes, and the one they used just didn't have it. Then he turned to the rest of the crowd with this shit-eating grin of "Did I succeed in wiggling my way out of that one?" (He may actually have said something to that effect, but it's the grin that sticks in my mind.) That got applause in and of itself, and then came the muttered facetious comment about Chicago either kissing or kicking his ass, I'm not sure which. Either way, picking up on the running riff on what he can't say in front of kids, most of the room was immediately yelling "Two bucks!"

He was caught, and looked very abashed, and that would have been it...except that then he decided to go through with it. "Okay. Two bucks for every child here. All the kids, come up. Come on! Run!" He had to repeat the invitation several times before people were sure he was serious. And then the kids came up. And they ran.

And Chris stood on stage, watching in utter shock as the munchkins flowed toward him from every corner of the room. The smile didn't budge, but the eyes got very, very big.

After standing and staring at them for several seconds, he said, "You didn't let me finish! Every child...under the age of two!" That, however, *was* a joke. "Where were all you guys hiding???" (Um, Chris? They're little. They were behind the big people...) He had the kids gather around the foot of the stage, counted heads, pulled several bills from his pocket, and said to the con staffers, "I need somebody to go get me sixty-four ones."

While this errand was in progress, Chris asked for questions from the gathered kids. One little girl prefaced her question (I didn't hear what it was) by saying that she had ADHD too. He repeated that in starting to repeat her question (which he didn't finish, which is why I don't know what it was), but he said ADD, and she corrected him. I think she said something about a school program she was involved in or something -- still no mike, so mostly guessing here -- and Chris nodded sagely. "Ah. Very cool. See, that's what the 'H' is for. You're special. I don't get an 'H.'"

Then the staffer got back with the ones, and he handed them out to the gathered kids, then announced. "That was really cool. It's like I'm Willy Wonka!" There was one more question after that, but I'm blanking on what it was -- possibly one I've already covered. Then once again, the waving goodbye and off to sign.

Epilogue: In which my buds are here! I love my buds!

By now it was five o'clock, and past time to put the boobs away and take pity on my spine. On the way out to the car, I re-encountered Geekman and Jen and BigJen and Sylvia from Gatecon (BigJen had brushed by me earlier and we'd waved, but I hadn't caught up to any of them to talk yet), and learned that they were barward bound. In short order, I headed back toward the main events room in jeans and T-shirt (and sports bra, thankyouGod!). Gabbed there for a little while with the guy who'd been standing behind me in Chris' question line, who turned out to be an indie film person from Cleveland whose posts I'm pretty sure I've seen on the Ohio filmmakers website forum. Gave him my contact info, met his fiancee, inadvertently became the bearer of bad tidings because he's been out of the fannish loop and hadn't heard about Rick Biggs' unexpected passing. :-/ Then he and fiancee needed to get in line, and I decided that buds in bar were more fun and less mentally taxing than trivia contest. As it happened, BigJen came back with the Cleveland guy, so I got to finish my day hanging out with old friends *and* new friends. And a very amused bartender. :-D (And I had somehow previously missed that Dan and Jen are also Chicagoland folks, so yay! More local fannish buds!)

*whew* Dude. I am so out of practice writing these things. :: wilt :: Clearly I must get back in the habit of going to more cons and rebuild my stamina... ;-)

Part the First: In which Val is a Humongous Babbling Spaz

Part the Second: In which Our Lady of Perpetual Cute indulges the faithful

Part the Third: In which time gets away from Val

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Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
starbuck92
Sep. 1st, 2004 09:18 pm (UTC)
Woot! *bounces* Thanks for the report! Sounds like you had loads of fun! Ahhh...too bad the summer con season is almost over... Not fair. I plan to go to more of these things next summer. :)
wiliqueen
Sep. 1st, 2004 09:22 pm (UTC)
It's my only con for this year, so I needed it, and enjoyed it for all I was worth! :-D

I plan to go to more of these things next summer. :)

Hopefully I'll see you there!
lisayaeger
Sep. 2nd, 2004 03:28 am (UTC)
Thanks again for posting all this stuff- it was really great to read :-)
wiliqueen
Sep. 2nd, 2004 04:46 am (UTC)
Glad you're enjoying! And of course now I'm remembering stuff I forgot from Chris' talk, so there will be additions later today (assuming I can keep them in my head).
thanatos_kalos
Sep. 2nd, 2004 06:18 am (UTC)
And the insane jealousy continues...this sounded like so much fun! *sigh*
wiliqueen
Sep. 2nd, 2004 06:44 am (UTC)
It was, and I sooooo needed it. Anything I can get in lieu of an actual vacation is welcome... %-}
thanatos_kalos
Sep. 2nd, 2004 08:47 am (UTC)
::confused blink:: Va...ca...tion...? I am unfamiliar with this concept...
wiliqueen
Sep. 2nd, 2004 09:12 am (UTC)
Then you have an awfully short memory, sweetie. ;-P GC counts. I know, because I count GC 2002 as my last one...
thanatos_kalos
Sep. 2nd, 2004 02:47 pm (UTC)
I know. But I'm a grad student; everything is drowned out by the huge blinking lights that spell out "thesis"...
wiliqueen
Sep. 2nd, 2004 02:50 pm (UTC)
:: pats :: Ah, yes. No brainspace left. That, I get...
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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