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May Robinson [userpic]

My EyeCon Summary - Part One

April 8th, 2008 (10:27 pm)

where i am: hanging with Dempsey & Flurry
how i am: complacent
accompanied by: Now That My Love is Gone - Steve Carlson

Before getting into the meat of this report, I wanted to mention one thing about my first "Con" experience recap… there won't be much meat in it! I am in awe of those who can write at length about their experiences at a con. Me? I'm too damn tired and my brain is too damn fried to remember details. But, FWIW, I'll give it a go…
Did I have fun? Yes. Absolutely.

Will I do it again? Probably. If the right celebs are lined up. If it's in the right locale for me. If at least one of my friends will be there. And if the timing worked well for me.
Will I do it with frequency? I don't think so. The crowds and the noise and line-ups are not up my alley. Nor is the regimented, fast-paced schedule. It's a matter of personal taste and, though I had loads of fun, I can't imagine doing this more than a couple of times in this lifetime.
Highlights? I made the choice to go to this con for two reasons: 1) I have a dear friend who lives in Orlando who would be there with me; and 2) Jim Beaver and Steve Carlson were appearing and Ten Inch Hero was being screened. Not surprisingly, Jim, Steve and TIH were the highlights of my weekend. All of the celebrities were awesome though, just delightful, gracious, funny and very real people. It was a treat to see and meet them all.
My airport and flight experiences were great. No glitches whatsoever. Leaving Toronto's near blizzard snowfall and landing in Orlando's 80 plus degree weather was definitely bizarre but more than welcome. Leslie met me there, as had been the plan, though Cindy's flight was delayed, so we headed off to the hotel to check in and kill some time. The Florida Hotel location was excellent with its adjoining mall providing all the amenities and really everything you could ask for, especially when the weekend weather turned wet. After killing some time at the hotel and in the mall, we headed back to the airport to pick up Cindy and then came back for the evening's fun.
Our fifth row seats were excellent though we were a bit off to the side and a tad too close to one of the sound speakers. Still, that's being nit-picky… all in all I'd say our seats (and the fact that they were reserved all weekend) were awesome. We soon discovered that Leslie's slightly more central seat and the fact that her camera was handling the interior lighting better than either of ours put her in charge of photography for the weekend. Once she sends me her pictures, I will definitely upload the best ones here.
As some of you know, Jared was delayed so not in attendance for Friday or Saturday's events. Poor Alona and Steve ran into airport delays and so neither of them made it to the "meet and greet" prior to the TIH screening. Still, we had Sam (Ellen), Gabe (Andy), Chad (Ash), Sandy (CRD #3), and Jim (Bobby) and that was plenty. I'll talk more about them later but, as most of you heard, Jim definitely won many hearts by greeting the crowd with his, "hello, ya idjits". Jim was a huge draw for me and nothing he did over the entire weekend made me change my opinion of the man aside from elevating it even higher. He really is a wonderful human being, worthy of much respect.
I'm going to talk more at length about Ten Inch Hero in a separate entry but wanted to mention briefly that I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Is it Oscar-worthy? No. Is it worthy of release? IMO, *definitely*. And though the performances of the cast were all good to very good, Jensen truly did stand out. The man has soooo much talent and I so want to see him doing more than remakes of horror films ::head shakes::. Priestly was a wonderful character that showcased Jensen's range, particularly his ability to make us laugh and make us melt. Here's hoping he gets more and better opportunities once SPN wraps season 4 and beyond.
After the TIH screening was over, there was a Q&A with the director and a producer (David Mackay & Mark Witsken). It was very informative and offered insight into the filming, funding and plight of independent films in general and, in particular, TIH. The good news is David and Mark insist that the film is going to be picked up, likely in Europe first but I feel pretty confident that we'll be able to get a DVD copy of it at some point in the future. It's a movie I'd definitely want to see again.
The three of us didn't attend the cocktail party and instead Leslie drove us to City Walk, where we enjoyed a lovely late night walk around the grounds, saw the sights, took some pictures and had munchies and drinks at The Hard Rock Café. By the time we got back to our room and settled in for bed, I think it was pushing 2:00a.m.
The day was insane but also bunches of fun. We had a quick breakfast and then headed in for Jim Beaver's Q&A. As I've mentioned above, the man did not disappoint. I'd watched some of his so-called "stand-up" *g* on YouTube, read about him on IMDb and was a fan of his work on Deadwood so expected him to be an entertaining speaker. And no doubt about it, he was. He was very funny and equally fascinating. From his history as a Vietnam war vet, screenwriter, actor, widower and single-parent, his story is an interesting one to tell and I'll be sure to buy his upcoming book whenever it's published.
After Jim, we had The Roadhouse Q&A session with Sam, Chad and Alona. All three were fun and entertaining and, like many who have seen Sam before, she really knocked my socks off with her earthiness and honesty. Chad was fun and a real trooper, allowing Sam to objectify him by making him show off his butt *g* again and again. Alona, along with looking fabulous, was very personable and not at all afraid to make fun of herself as she described her fangirl moments, one with Rachel McAdams where she embarrassed her fiancé as a total motor mouth and the second when she froze upon being introduced to Angelina Jolie. My only complaint with this portion of the Q&A's was that the time allotment for these three guests was too short. I could have listened to each of them for quite a bit longer.
Sandy McCoy was next to speak and, as I'm sure you've heard already, was just a doll. There are few women I'd describe as adorable but she fits that description to a tee. Nervous as hell, she managed to endear herself to everyone I'm sure. She was open and honest (probably too much so) and funny. She did speak about Jared of course, with all the adoration expected of the newly engaged and madly in love. Despite her giggles and bubbly personality, that she is intelligent and will in fact be commencing her studies toward her Ph.D. this August was not lost on us. Her answers were bright and witty and I walked away from her Q&A truly liking her.
Next up was Gabriel Tigerman (Andy), who was a real charmer. Despite having a background in standup comedy, as a member of the Groundlings no less, this con virgin truly appeared stunned by the adulation and adoration to begin with. He picked up speed almost immediately though and that background in comedy came through as he answered his Q&A with loads of humor and charm. Gabe was the last of the day's Q&A's and I have to say that these sessions are as fun and interesting as I'd hoped.
After the Q&A's we had the autograph session with Jim and it was a pleasure to have the opportunity to chat briefly with him during the signing. I told him that Ellsworth from Deadwood was my favorite character that he's played and he – sorry, guys – had to agree. No surprise though, in that role he was a regular contracted player on a highly successful, exceptionally well-written series. Of course he'd love it. I do believe he really enjoys playing Bobby though and, as he mentioned during the Q&A, his favorite scene so far was the gorgeous "wrecking yard" scene with Jensen as Dean. No argument coming from me.
The three of us didn't attend the banquet so we met up with Liz, an lj friend of Leslie's, and went into the mall and had a lovely dinner. We then returned to the hotel, dressed up a bit for the Platinum Party and hung out there until Steve Carlson's concert. Steve gave a two-song preview of the concert at the party and he sounded just terrific.  Chad and Gabe were a riot, playing Guitar Hero against each other and then with some of the con-goers. We had the chance to speak with Gabe and Jim, though Sam and Chad were also mingling. Gabe was a sweetheart and Jim was just so easygoing and friendly with everyone. Immediately after the party, Steve's concert followed and though I was exhausted by then, since he had been one of my main draws, I wasn't going to miss it. I'm so glad I didn't. He performed using a story-teller format which added to the entertainment value of the concert and proved himself to be as enjoyable a speaker as he is a singer. And man, is he a player. I love a man who knows his way around a guitar and I had already had a true sense of his guitar-playing skills in listening (over and over again) to my Kane Live in London CD but watching him play in person was even more awesome. If the opportunity arises to see Steve in concert again, I'm there.
I have no idea what time it was when Leslie and I made our way back to our room. Cindy had bowed out earlier but we stayed 'til the end of the concert, as did Jim Beaver, which pleased me to no end for some strange reason *g*. I'm guessing it was around 1:30, maybe later. I do know I was unconscious moments after my head hit the pillow.
All in all, an eventful, exhausting and enjoyable 2 days.
More on the Ten Inch Hero screening and my summary of Sunday will be posted in another entry. Hopefully tomorrow. After I rejoin the land of the employed *sniff*.
On to Part 2.


Posted by: ErinRua (erinrua)
Posted at: April 9th, 2008 03:16 am (UTC)

*glomps you* Lovely report, perfect for me to revisit all the squee. *g*

I hear you about the crowds and noise ... When I first walked into the hotel all by my lonesome, my first reaction was almost panic! Which meant finding people I knew from the ethernet made all the difference in the world, because I fare much better in crowds if said crowds are sprinkled with people I can actually pause and latch onto! LOL, alone in a crowd would freak me completely out.

ANYhow ... yeah. Reliving the love, so thank you for sharing. I'll watch for the rest of your reminiscenses. :-)
Cheers ~

I only write long accounts because I kept notes all weekend ... *g*

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: April 10th, 2008 02:41 am (UTC)
Boys Legs

I didn't have the foresight to take notes. Then again, looking down at a writing pad (or a laptop if I had one) would've kept me from doing all the looking that was keeping me entertained. We damn near fell into bed each night, so after the day's events wouldn't have worked either. Still, it's a great idea. I'll definitely pop over and take a look, once I make my way through the pages of emails I still haven't opened!

Alone in a crowd definitely would've freaked me out. I was glad to have my two girlfriends along, even though that companionship kept me from meeting flisters like you :(.

Posted by: ErinRua (erinrua)
Posted at: April 10th, 2008 02:52 am (UTC)

Well, I did have two girlfriends, my roomies, who came in a few hours behind me. LOL, but they run at several hundred *fewer* RPMs than I do, so there were times they went up to the room and I stayed to just ... ping off the walls, ceilings and floors. ;-)

Anyhow, thee and me will just meet up some other time. *HUGS!*

~ Erin

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: April 10th, 2008 03:15 am (UTC)
Jensen and Jared Friends

Definitely and I'm not discounting the idea of another con either. It'll just have to be one where all the stars (no pun intended *g*) align perfectly and then I'll be there with bells on :D.

Posted by: leelust (leelust)
Posted at: April 9th, 2008 03:17 am (UTC)

Not jealous. At all. This is my mantra now *sigh* Can't wait for TIH screening though.

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: April 10th, 2008 02:43 am (UTC)
GIF Pen-Grin

Tonight ran away on me so I won't be posting anything new yet. I plan on making some notes before going to bed though, so hopefully I can write something coherent and post it tomorrow.

Posted by: Late Night Drops of Random (moondropz)
Posted at: April 9th, 2008 04:02 am (UTC)

Awesome! I think you managed to get the meat of it just fine ;-P I can't wait for the rest-and the pics ;-P

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: April 10th, 2008 02:44 am (UTC)
Jensen Prayer Hands


Tonight ran away on me though so I won't be posting anything new as of yet. I do plan on making some notes before going to bed though, so hopefully I'll be able to write something coherent and post it tomorrow.

Posted by: Late Night Drops of Random (moondropz)
Posted at: April 10th, 2008 04:01 am (UTC)
Blue Dean

You're very welcome ;-P Thanks for sharing! That's fine-I will look forward to the next installment-whenever ;-P

Posted by: ange (kavousi)
Posted at: April 9th, 2008 05:24 am (UTC)

Just wow! Even vicariously...is seems so surreal that there are events where you not only get to meet them, but the whole point if to talk about their characters and SPN stuff. Its like that is way too good to ever really happen, you know?

I loved hearing about it all. Jim actually reminds me a lot of my dad...doing the widower with a young daughter thing...but considering his girl has autism, extra credit points for dealing with all that, solo. He seems like such a interesting guy, SPN would actually be low on the list for chatting.

I have a girl crush on Sam. She is the kinda chick aI try to be and I admire. If she pisses you off.. tough, but she isnt going to pussy foot or back stab, she will tell you straight. Hearing her talk about her cats probably sealed my love for her.
(dude...she would be a chick I would approve of for JDM...yes, I am already cyber fangirling pimping the poor man).

Gabe...I kinda want to adopt him. Just something about him has a child like innocence that I usually only see in animals (since real kids are so jaded these days). I LOVED Andy and pissed he was killed.. and his character on GA, made me cry and think about his scenes...lots.

I am not impressed with cutesy chicks, but Sandy is a doll. Yes, cute as a bug, but she has morals, brain, soul, etc to back it up (which is good, cause god knows she aint a great thespian!) Jared is a smart man. I see them making it to old age together, very happily.

Again, just amazing. Going to walk the dog and absorb it all.

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: April 10th, 2008 02:54 am (UTC)
Bobby Dean Sam Fire

Jim was just... wow. As awesome as I'd hoped and more. He really has had a tough row to hoe but is as sweet as honey. Late on Sunday, the 3 of us were talking with Sam and she spoke so highly of him. Definitely holds him in her heart and with high regard. She said that he never has a moment of why me?, takes everything in stride and is as gracious as can be. She even teared up talking about him.

I really, really enjoyed spending that little bit of time with Sam. Speaking of down to earth. I have liked anything I've seen of her from prior con footage and in her blog and in RL, she was even more fun. More real, honest, straight-shooting and gorgeous to boot. JDM *definitely* should check her out!

I'm afraid I'm too cynical about Hollywood marriages but certainly would love to see Sandy and Jared be the exception... the 21st century Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. They really are an adora-couple and that much cuteness between them both really should be illegal. Either that or bottled up and manufactured to bring about world peace :D.

The evening ran away on me so I won't be reporting on Sunday and TIH tonight. Hopefully I'll get some notes started tonight though. I'm really glad you enjoyed my summary. It was definitely an interesting experience ;)

Posted by: nonniemous (nonniemous)
Posted at: April 9th, 2008 03:03 pm (UTC)

Yay, you're back! I kept thinking of you and hoping you were having fun.

I so understand about these kinds of things being almost too intense to deal with. One reason I'm not sure I'd ever go--well, okay, that and the cost. I'd rather get together and hang with friends than spend the weekend in lines for a half a minute with a celebrity who, no matter how nice, won't remember me from Adam afterwards.

But it sounds like a lot of fun was had, and I think it's cool the way the SPN (and other sci fi fandoms) tend to embrace the "bit players" in these shows and treat them as almost as big a deal as the main stars.

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: April 10th, 2008 03:05 am (UTC)

I have to admit, despite the chaos, I'd strongly consider going to another one if Jensen was guaranteed (and timing/travel companions/money worked out). Or Jeff, of course. Not that there is such a guarantee but I'm sure you know what I mean. Rumors are running rampant that EyeCon is aiming for them both for a September con but I just can't see Jeff doing any except for ComicCon for Watchmen. Why would he?

I too like to see how the "bit players" are embraced. Gabe looked stunned but then quite pleased. His fiance, whose ex is/was - and I quote - "the voice of Batman" convinced Gabe to go, told him he'd have fun and I do think he truly enjoyed himself. Which is a very good thing :).

Posted by: morganslady (morganslady)
Posted at: April 9th, 2008 03:22 pm (UTC)

I am so looking forward to the next eyecon!! Your recap was great.. It's good to go to these while the show is young,the actors are fresh and not bored talking about their characters/performances.

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: April 10th, 2008 03:07 am (UTC)
Boys Leather

Excellent point and I think very true.

I'm glad you enjoyed part 1 of my recap. I just vegged after work tonight so part 2 is going to wait. Hopefully I'll have it up before Saturday.

Posted by: gatorpez (gatorpez)
Posted at: April 10th, 2008 12:18 am (UTC)

That was a great synopsis! I can't wait to read your detailed report about Ten Inch Hero.

I'll eventually post something about Eyecon and seeing Steve Carlson perform Monday night in the bar.

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: April 10th, 2008 03:12 am (UTC)
Dean Golden

Hey, thanks. I ended up planting my ass on the couch when I got home so have done nothing in the way of writing more recap tonight. Maybe tomorrow?

Are you still wading through a ton of lj notices, etc. in your email? I still am and it's overwhelming! I can't seem to catch up.

I'm dying to hear how the concert went on Monday, so do write that up soon... pretty please Dean, pretty please Dean ;).