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"I'm an unemployed librarian with a tendency to get knocked on the head."
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April 08 2006

James Marsters and Friends Update! Sept 8-10th on the Queen Mary. James, Jane Espenson, and Dee Dee Bradley are guests. More guests to be announced later.

"Actors, writers and other production staff from a range of James' previous television and film outings will be offering a weekend of non-stop Q&A fun, screenings, photograph opportunities, autograph sessions, special prizes and lots of surprises. James will also be performing live in concert including new songs."
Tix range from $529 for premium to $299 for gold.

I have to say 'sticker shock' is right, for me anyway. I really wanted to see James sing, but that's life, I suppose. Good hunting to those who are going.
Damn, I'm thinking of going just to play on that boat!
I got to meet Jane Espenson last year but only briefly, I would love to have the chance to hear her talk about writing. But I think the price is too much to pay.
Damn...I wish I could go too, but I live all the way on the East Coast, and I don't think I could come up with that amount of spare cash. To see James in a tux though, and to be on that boat....oh man, this sounds like a very cool affair.
That is surprisingly cheap for the location, I wonder if we ought to dress to impress?
The Queen Mary in Long Beach, eh? Just down the road from me . . . this event in that setting will be very cool, I would guess: "The shimmering style of the New World against a backdrop of Old World elegance" (or so a poor copywriter might have it). I'm not a fan of the boat myself (I think their regular admission charge is ridiculously inflated), but it is rather beautiful.

Dress to impress, definitely, for the Friday night event at least. There are one or two people that, if added to the line-up, would compel me to buy a ticket, so I guess I'll have to keep my eye on this one. Good luck everyone with the purchasing.
Premium tickets sold out within the first hour.
Flipping heck! Mind you I'm not surprised, it looks like an amazing venue!
Based on previous JM events, ticket prices were no big surprise.

Venue will be amazing! The ship is supposed to be haunted. Kewl.

Is it September yet?
Yeah those tickets prices are what I expected them to be. I had to look up who Dee Dee Bradley was. Always interesting to hear what people from the industry side have to say.
Some people live in a far different financial world than I do.
Wow, the premium sold out in an hour! I could see the less expensive ones going fast, but those, too? I'm with palehorse -- this is not the "neighborhood" I live in!

This QM/JM/JE weekend does sound like it calls for dress to impress. Literally: "Suit up!" ;-)
JM is a smart fellow. When I look at the beginning of this line-up, it makes me feel like JM is well aware that his fans have brains and an interest in more than gawking at pretty people. He takes some of the pressure off himself to come up with hugely new and different things about himself to offer people by bringing in interesting people that have not been as exposed on the convention circuit.

There are other conventions/events where they recognize what a draw the writers and other non-acting professionals can be. (I am particularly thinking of what I have read about the events that were connected to Highlander.) I have been rather surprised that the Joss-show writers, stunt coordinators etc. have not been tapped more often for these kinds of events. Everything in the Whedon-world seems like it would lend itself to a writer or two being pretty big draws, especially when combined with a couple actors and maybe a production person or two.
Some of the writers have done quite a few events - I've actually seen Jane but she was brilliant; also David Fury, Joss of course and one or two of the others have done them, but hardly any other backstagers except for makeup (and seeing vamp makeup done gets old fast after the first time, and it's slow). Never seen a casting director invited before, and their job is pretty fascinating.
I would LOVE to attend a con with a bunch of the ME writers - just put them on stage and have them walk through how they broke an episode or heck just listen to them banter back and forth about writing in general.
An hour? That's impressive. So far, I think the guests are great, and there's more to come. (Love Jane, and a casting director sounds very interesting)
I've been to a couple of cons and at this point, I'm over it. But, like killinj, I'd LOVE to go to a con that featured the Mutant Enemy writers. They all seem like great talkers and quite frankly, their brains are much more interesting to me than seeing the usual pretty faces answer the usual questions.
Here's an idea for a convention day (and yes, this is aimed at you, Sean Harry, and the flanvention peeps): Put Joss Whedon and Tim Minear on stage, with a pen, and a white board. And let them break Firefly and Angel episodes together. Bring up Jane, and get the Buffy love going. I'd pay to go.
You and me both, gossi. And I echo the thought that the casting directors would be fascinating to hear. We know that every once in a while they have insisted to Joss that he should see/hear someone who will be perfect for the role even if not what was originally asked for. I'd also like to hear when they didn't agree with Joss' final choices and what they thought after. Yes, that would be interesting.
[snark] Dee Dee Bradley: "So I thought about casting Clark with someone with talent, but then I got distracted by Tom Welling's rosey cheeks and full lips. And so I went with that strategy full force for all the characters. And then Michael Rosenbaum really broke the feel of the show by being able to act, so we decided to shave his head, so maybe people wouldn't confuse talent with anyone attractive. Then when it came time to cast Milton Fine, I threw caution to the wind and tried something new: someone who is pretty AND can act. It was a radical idea on the set, but we decided that since it had worked for a couple shows in the past, we were going to go out on a limb and try it out! I'm really excited by this 'new age' style of casting, though it's a little scary dealing with people who can emote and stuff."

Well as they say, you won't know if you don't go, Rogue ;-)
I guess in the end we all go with pretty.
Didn't the casting director cast for VERONICA MARS, too? (at least that's what I read)

Welling looks the part and frankly, Dean Cain wasn't a great actor either, although I know you loved watching him, Rogue.. ;)

It seems that with Superman you go with the pretty and the acting might catch up eventually. (Reeve was the exception) Rosenbaum's character is a deeper better role (to be honest) and and they cast a guy who could act and like James, didn't mind what they did to his physical appearance. The girl who plays Chloe and guy who plays Lionel do a great job.

Also, I assume she's also cast Carrie Fisher, Christopher Reeve, James etc.

[ edited by spikeylover on 2006-04-09 15:16 ]
I agree - Lex,Lionel and Chloe are the only reasons I can bear to sit through an episode of Smallville - oh and now James :)
yes Dee Bradley did casting for Veronica Mars but when did anyone ever let facts get in the way of a good snark :)

Smallville may not be everyone's cup of tea but it has John Glover and Michael Rosenbaum and James Marsters,all great actors.

I agree with those who like to hear the writers and other
" backstage people" talk at cons . Jane Espenson , David Fury and the two Drews give great Q and A, Jim Butcher read the latest chapter of his latest Harry Dresden book hot off his laptop at Sacramento last year and I fondly recall my first ever convention which featured James Marsters stage fighting with his stunt double Steve Tartarglia (have I spelled him right?)

My current backstage hero is whoever does the lighting design for Smallville, the lighting on that show is amazing but somehow I doubt that enough people share my enthusiasm to make Lighting Designcon 06 a good financial proposition.

[ edited by debw on 2006-04-09 16:10 ]
Hey, I like Annette O'Toole, too. (Ma Kent) It could be that she kept telling Clark in that one episode that Lana might not be the girl for him. Of course, I'm not exactly loving the one who plays Lois, either. ( I keep thinking that Chloe must be the real Lois and there's some awful mistake that will be corrected later on in the series).. Anyway, again YAY for a casting director. I do like guests who bring something besides the same old thing, and that is definitely one of them..

ETA: Deb, I'm with you in the fandom on that lighting for SMALLVILLE..

[ edited by spikeylover on 2006-04-09 15:57 ]
JG, MR, AM and of course JM all rock on SV as far as I'm concerned. But I will fly the TW flag just a little. Clark Kent is a somewhat boring character just by his very nature. He's the good guy, the hero, and they tend to not be too interesting. But when he's given some meat to work with, like when he and Lionel switched bodies, TW raised his game and played a blinder. I was actually suprised that JG as Clark seemed sort of bland until I realised it's not the acting that's bland, it's the character.

Dee Dee Bradley has worked with Jamie Foxx, in my book that makes her more than interesting. She's cast Veronica Mars too. Who doesn't love VM. I know Joss does. Casting Charisma, Alyson, the regular and fantastic actors on that show. Should be a lively and fascinating Q&A. Nice work James. :0)

Oh, and I actually think MR looks pretty darned sexy bald.

So, who here has a ticket? And do you have room in your suitcase for a little mushroom smuggling? ;0)
"Put Joss Whedon and Tim Minear on stage, with a pen, and a white board. And let them break Firefly and Angel episodes together."

If this ended with some sort of oil wrestling, I'd walk a very long distance to get to that venue.
Welling looks the part and frankly, Dean Cain wasn't a great actor either, although I know you loved watching him, Rogue.. ;)

Yup, and if I were 13 again, I might not mind Tom's incredible inability to act!

yes Dee Bradley did casting for Veronica Mars but when did anyone ever let facts get in the way of a good snark :)

I'm assuming then she also cast the Duncan guy, so it apparently wasn't all out of her system yet from Smallville!

Oh, and I actually think MR looks pretty darned sexy bald.

Me too, I didn't say they always succeeded! Give me MR's shiny head over Welling's pouty lips anyday...

[ edited by Rogue Slayer on 2006-04-09 18:37 ]
Now, now, I'm sure Tom will have developed that second facial expression soon.....-ish.

But that Clark is 'just a boring character' is a bit of an odd argument. While the noble boy scout heroes are usually not my favorite type of character either, that doesn't mean that the whole character by itself is just boring. I'm not the biggest Superman fan, but he is one of the most enduring characters of modern fiction and whether or not he's boring tends to depend on who's writing him, and in case of TV/Movies who's acting him.

That in SV's case, that turns out to be boring is not a surprise then, since the status quo of the show has barely changed since S1, and any attempt by TW to show an emotion usually results in him looking like he needs to go to the toilet. (I especially loved a hospital sequence I once saw where his mother might be dying and Clark had this face that looked as if he was wondering what was on TV. Right entertaining it was.)

But really, I think if James had to play Clark, even with these mediocre scripts, he would manage to give it a lot more than TW, and I think a lot of you would then suddenly not find the character so boring at all. So maybe the acting would have just a teeeensy bit to do with it as well. Just a thought...
It's the Dawson Leery effect! (But without the forehead). (Yes, I just went there).
In fairness, Clark doesn't have a centre parting so Tom Welling's forehead could be similarly huge and we'd never know.
I wonder if this thread could come screeching back on topic. Is anyone here going to the JM convention?
I am! And I am so excited that James is going to do that "going around to everyone's dinner table on Friday night. I'm also looking forward to his concerts where, he says, he will be performing some of his newest songs.
I wonder if this thread could come screeching back on topic.

Threads going off topic and then back on topic is part of our endearing charm. Don't ever force it (that's my job btw), it happens naturally.
Oh good because I had something off-topic to say.
I don't know who is responsible, cinematographer? DP?
but Smallville has these scenes that are absolute works of art.
Views of the farm quite often, are just gorgeous. Also Bo Kent's funeral was visually stunning. The best part of Smallville, in my opinion, other than James who is kind of a work of art himself.

And though I am not going to the convention (fear of crowds and strangers) I am probably looking forward to the reports that will come in just as much as people are looking forward to going. Okay, maybe not just as much, but still!
Well seeing as we haven't done a big con event thread in ages and hey at least one person is going, I'll post a thread on that Sunday night so people can post their reports and links to pics (if they so wish - our Flickr library is your friend).

How many people will be at this event anyhow? 500? More?
I'm going to be there! I'm not sure how much Internet access I'll have at the event, but I'll definately let you all in on the details when I get back.
How can I express my love of their choice of location and how they thought it through? I can't, I do not like the location, I think it was a novel idea that should have been thought through and then reconcidered. I got a ticket before I realized it was on a ship, even if it is wet docked. I have a certain level of fear of water, do to a few water tramas in my life. From almost drowning, to watching a bridge collaspe with a car on it and falling into the river and the people in it dying. I have been able to handle it, but I still get nervous and sick when I have too. I did go on a cruise once, it made me sick for the first day, and the week before my stomach was in knots, I did not really enjoy it even though I tried. I do not look forward to this convention as much as I did before finding out the location.
Me too.

ETA: The above was a response to "who's going", not to RavenU. Oops.

Having been on the QM a few years ago, I can promise you that most of the time you'd not even know you were on a ship. So long as you don't hang out on the outer decks leaning over the side - it's not like it's rolling on the waves or anything. It's a big building with a car park on one side and water on the other, basically.

[ edited by roadrunner on 2006-04-09 23:33 ]
Sorry to hear that RavenU. They obviously did think it through, but you didn't. The location was clearly on the site before you booked. This was what I was talking about the other day, you have to be careful and consider everything before you purchase.

However, it might have the opposite effect of being a much better experience than you were expecting. I'm glass half full girl today. :0)
I think the venue looks good. It makes a change from the standard hotel setting that we have for most conventions and so I see it as an extra plus for this particular convention. I'm sorry to hear you don't like water RavenU, and I'm sure you're not the only one, but your own issues aside why do you think the organisers should have decided against the location? If they had to take in ever potential customers likes and dislikes ahead of time I doubt any con would ever be able to agree on a venue. I know some people felt flustered into having to buy a ticket in a rush but I had time to take on board the details before committing myself to going. If the water location really bothers you though, I suspect you'll be able to find other fans willing to buy the ticket from you.
Sorry, RavenU, that's really scary to have all those terrible experiences! I'm pretty fearful of water -- had my own bad experience, plus I use a wheelchair, so big water=scary for me, too. But when I was little, we went on a vacation to Los Angeles and hit all the family tourist spots, including the QM. I was scared at first, but the thing is so big and so still and so hotel-like that I forgot I was on a ship before very long. It helped me to look up from the windows, like it was a hotel on the beach, instead of down toward the waterline (my mom's suggestion -- a wise woman!). HTH! :-)
When the tickets went onsale you had no time to look and vauge info availible (it said The Queen Mary - Sept 8-10), if you wanted a premium ticket especailly if you want a row close enough to take photos without using a flash, since you don't know how many seats will be in a row. When I first went through, it was not on the first page yet. The first page I got when I clicked talked about the tickets and how to buy. So that was my first concern. Had they put up the location even 5 minutes for the tickets went on sale, which it was not, I did see Queen Mary Hotel but no mention it was a ship, until after the ticket was bought. I may have hesitated and may not have bought a ticket at all. However, after the issues I had with paypal and finally getting the ticket. I am committed to the trip although I can tell you half-ful or empty the glass is still cracked, I will be suffering from some strong panic attacks because of the location. Since I have already suffered though one since the ticket purchase. My chest is currently hurting thinking about it event now, however, I have a few monthes to get these attacks under control.

helcat - ships are notoriously poorly lit and for non-flash photography it will be almost impossible.

[ edited by RavenU on 2006-04-09 22:53 ]
Really RavenU if this is going to give you such grief even contemplating the trip you might want to look into transferring your ticket to someone else.

I guess I was lucky enough to realise that when the venue was listed as The Queen Mary, Long Beach it meant the ship there and not a hotel. Plus the graphic that was the first thing that came up when I went to the page showed a picture of James and a picture of the Queen Mary. Again, I'm sorry to hear this is going to be so tough on you but I'm not sure the organisers could be expected to have factored this in when coming up with a place to hold their convention.
RavenU, I'm sure you'd have no trouble selling on a top ticket, from the number of people wailing and gnashing their teeth about missing out on them that I've seen today ;-)
When I refreshed my screen at 4.00pm yesterday the banner for the event showed up. You had to click on that or the link below it to get the information. The banner has a large picture of a ship. The first line of the text after clicking on the link says:-

"James is putting on his tux for a once in a lifetime event aboard the beautiful and historic Queen Mary cruise ship."

Also, after clicking on the guests link I clicked on the location link, which again has a picture of a ship and the text states that it is indeed a ship. All this within 5 minutes of the information being available.

I am sorry that you are now anxious about this event, but you cannot say you weren't provided with sufficient information to make a decision on. If you choose haste over caution that is no-one else's fault. As helcat said others will purchase a Premium Ticket off you if you don't now want to attend. I know of at least one person who would gladly buy it off you.
I was actually very excited to see it was on the QM, because I've been trying to drag hubby out there to see the ghosties, but then the price kind of made the decision for me.

Maybe they'll kick loose some concert tix like they've done in the past...a girl can hope!
Nice one, Rogue Slayer, not enough that it's on/near water, now it's frikkin haunted as well ;-).

Seriously, RavenU, have you tried anything like hypnosis or even positive visualisation/relaxation techniques ? I've known people who claim it got them over fear of snakes and heights (and a couple who quit smoking afterwards though they both later fell off the wagon). I'd make all the rationalisations about how it won't sink or even feel like you're on a ship because the QM's so large but i'm very mildly claustrophobic myself so I realise these things aren't always about what you're thinking consciously.

Worst case, it sounds like you could sell the ticket but if you decide to tough it out then good luck with it.
RavenU, whatever you decide, I hope it works out for you in the best way possible! I get that you have fears, and if you can work through them, more power to ya! I applaud your honesty with your difficulties, and knowing the gihugic Whedon fan that you are, I hope that you can enjoy this function the way that you wish. Whichever way you decide, I'm sure you'll make the best decision for you.

You've shared so much with all of us over the years with your innate talent for photography, never asking for anything in return, we should ALL be more supportive of you as you're working through this decision.

Cheers to you, RavenU.
I just want to add that I have been on the QM many times and it really doesn't feel like a boat. It is totally docked. Probably your best bet though would be to get a different hotel room so that you only had to be on it for the events. You really won't know you are on a boat unless you are directly looking at the water. My guess is the convention rooms won't even have windows, though thats just a guess, never been to a convention there.
RavenU, I would be thrilled to have the opportunity to purchase your premium ticket if you decide not to attend. Paypal did a number on me and by the time it was sorted, I had to settle for a gold ticket instead.

[simon teasing]Now, to get back on topic[/simon teasing], I always thoroughly enjoy TW's portrayal of Clark on SV. I believe that sometimes it's okay for pretty to be nothing more than gratuitous, especially in show business ;)
exoticmushroom - with all due respect, I think RavenU deserves a more compassionate response than telling her its her own damn fault. It doesn't matter what you saw on the screen at 4:00 PM. She saw what she saw at the time the tickets went on sale. It wasn't what you see now. I also don't see the point in lecturing her about the decision to place an order quickly. Given how quickly premium tickets have sold for JM events in the past, its perfectly reasonable for her to want to get her ticket order in right away. Given that these sold out in less than an hour, one didn't have much choice but to make haste. In addition, RavenU is the resident Whedon fan photographer. Since the rooms are often poorly lit and there are limits on the amount of flash photography you can use, its best if she is in one of the first rows. This way she can get the best photos for all of us. Therefore, the sooner she can place an order the better. I was there when the tickets first went on sale and I honestly didn't see any banners either - just the link. Then I went directly to buy tickets. Clearly RavenU is stressed by the location, but she has friends who will be there with her to make sure everything is okay and we're glad she'll be with us.
I'm going, and I'm very excited!!

Chiming in on Tom Welling, I think he does a very good job in his role. If you look at him in season one and then in season three, there is a huge improvement in his acting. Also, if you see him in an interview, he is much more than just pretty. He's smart and insightful, and funny, as well. (Although he doesn't hold a candle to Michael Rosenbaum as far as off the cuff wit; Michael's just hilarious.) I'm sure one of the things a casting director considers is whether a person seems willing and able to grow in their craft, and I'd bet that's one of the things that got Tom Welling cast as Clark, besides his looks. I'm very much looking forward to hearing a few casting director tales at the convention.
I will be keenly looking forward to the reviews and photos of this event. They are always a great consolation prize for those of us who can't attend.

Edited in response to mods request to stay on topic.

[ edited by debw on 2006-04-10 17:00 ]
This discussion has veered off topic quite a bit. Let's drop it.
The pics may not have loaded in the browser - so its not incontravertible - its actually quite possible they weren't there. I've seen several reports where people had trouble accessing the site and had to get a direct link from someone else to even access the page to buy tickets. I apologize for the misunderstanding about time zones.
Sorry Caroline.
killinj If you would like to e-mail me please do feel free.
I've thrown my lot in with y'all and bought a ticket, since I'm sure both James and Jane will be great entertainment, and because I really don't have an excuse for not attending an event in my backyard. I'm looking forward to the show, and to easing RavenU's mind, paying tribute to killinj's whedonverse efforts, and standing all my CDS friends a round of drinks! ;) (Well, possibly not all of them . . . )

Oops, belatedly realized that the last line unintentionally sounded incredibly rude - I meant "not all" in terms of numerosity, not selectivity, honest. Seriously, it's always fun to put faces to names.

[ edited by SoddingNancyTribe on 2006-04-11 02:21 ]
LOL, SNT, no worries here, this CDS member will buy you multiple drinks at the bar.
I'll be there. :)
I got my confirmation email on my premium ticket too. I did consider it for a little bit before opting for the premium over the gold but my paypal email receipt is time-stamped at 10:12 so I'm hoping for a spot close enough for non-flash photography. Heck, even if I'm toward the back of the premium I'll still be closer than with my gold at Toronto, right?
Frankly, the $300 price on the gold made the decision to go premium that much easier because I figured if I was spending $300 I might as well bite the bullet and spend the extra $229.
Only 5 months to figure out what to wear to the formal reception!

[ edited by Caroline on 2006-05-10 14:35 ]
Hi there. Itīs bluething from Madrid, Spain _we had our own Hellmouth just right down here 'till our Bloody Major decided to get inside for structural works and now there's not HMouth anymore _just Hell (not completely kidding).

This is my very first post since a while just reading. So please excuse my English or if I get a point which you have already spoke about.

I've been reading about this QM event and past James Marsters appearences at conventions. Maybe I'm a little lost in translation, but here in the old Eurotrash Compactor very few actors participate in such events _which are not really common. I donīt know if I'm glad with the idea of James' talent being showed only in this kind of shows. Wish I could see more concerts or theatre plays like last year in London _which I lost in the last moment and was not really expensive, even including all the weekend travel from Spain.

I just can't understand why one of the best workers of the BTVS cast is probably who fewer movie roles has got _I know James hasn't stopped making theatre and music, but I hesitate this is what he deserves.

Is this an election _in order to afford independent projects, or are we really missing his best?

Besides, I donīt get the idea of a convention in tux, anyway, but maybe it's due to Queen Mary's circumnstances _why is it so "beautifulpeoply"?

So, enlight me!!! _and let me see the pictures in september, because I am jealous anyway :)

[ edited by Caroline on 2006-05-10 14:35 ]

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