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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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March 26 2006

BE Scared with Juliet Landau and Dennis Christopher. Both will be appearing at the Halloween themed event Oct 13-15, 2006 in Burbank, Ca.

Hey, Bruce Campbell, too! Kewl! Of course, since I don't live in California, not so kewl :-(, but it sounds like a great con anyway.
What do people do at these shindigs anyway? What would I say if I ever got inside a meet and greet with Juliet Landau? "Uh, loved it when you pretended to be insane Ms. Landau. You make for a very believable crazy vampire." In truth I'd probably just stutter and stammer before her ravishing beauty, and probably faint. Bruce Campbell I'd like to have a couple beers with, but I doubt the feeling would be mutual. I doubt he'd wanna spent a half hour answering my questions about the movie Bubba Ho-Tep. ..Great film btw if you haven't seen it you really should. Ozzie Davis as JFK & Bruce Campbell as Elvis Presley. " I'll lube my own crankshaft from now on!" Hilarious, yet dark and disturbing film.

Anyway my point is I don't understand why we should expect more from those whose job is to entertain us. We fans enjoy behind the scenes stuff, but to them it's just, y'know, what they did. How'd you like it if you could fill up a convention center talking about whatever it was you did a year and a half ago? Wouldn't that creep you out?
Zachsmind, We should not expect more unless they put themselves in a situation to give more. It does creep some actors out, hence William Shatner's reaction back in the early days of the Star Trek conventions. Others seem to either understand it on some level or simply accept it as a part of having fans.

I went to one con and did the whole bit just to see what it was like. Just as all the con reports say, I met some very nice people who I enjoyed talking to. The celebrity stuff was just as odd for me as for them, however. It is just not part of my make-up somehow. They are just people whose work I enjoy and who have skills and talents I admire. When they are there in front of me they are people. I would love to sit down and chat, and enjoyed the Q&A but have no great desire to have a picture taken or have an autograph. I did have a good time, though.
Zachsmind - did you read the Elizabeth Rohm interview from a few days ago. Since it was her first experience at a convention.

Quote:
"One is that you get an opportunity to see the people that have really thought about the work that you’ve done. Where as you know sometimes, we are a little detached from the work that we do. Because we move on, we go someplace else, we get the next job, and what’s left behind is the audience reaction. So, they remind us of the things and the moments that we had, the things we’ve done that meant something to us. They keep it alive, that sense of joy about the experience."

The Entertainment business has always been based on an audience reaction. That is one reason actors become actors in the first place, they heard applause and wanted more. It's what some actors live for, to hear the applause and the reaction of a live audience. However, that has been taken away from them, as Liz said the audience is what is left behind when they move on when it comes to TV and movie preformances. Conventions give the actors an opportunity to get that piece of their job back to see the reaction of the audience to their performance, even if it is years after the fact. To have people care about what they did and bring back their own memories of doing it.

You may not understand it or even like it but for the most part most of the actors I have met that go to conventions enjoy the experience of talking about the work they have done no matter if it was last week or 10 years ago. It gives the actors a sense of connection to the people they are ultimately doing their job for. The fans are no longer numbers they are flesh and they are enterained because the actors are doing their jobs right and well. You may want to just hang out with some of the people but other people go to show their appreciation of something the actor has done. The 4th wall is still in place they just want to give them the props they feel they deserved for a job well done, it's an audience reaction only delayed.
Well said, RavenU, that cons are a way for TV or film actors to get audience feedback. ZachsMind, do you ever watch "Inside the Actors' Studio"? (I know you've said you don't watch much TV.) It's not all that different from a con -- a person talks about past roles, and answers audience questions -- it just gets more respect because it's not "sci-fi." But I agree that the degree of enthusiasm at cons must be really weird for panelists, whether they are actors or writers, to deal with.
Granted newcj there are some creepy fans out there that creep actors out, I have met a few that creep other fans out as well. However, I think the conventions added to Shatner's ego issue, most of the stuff that creeped him out did not in fact happen in the convention enviroment but happened on a one-on-one basis, from most stories I have heard from the early days. If he was so creeped out he would not still be doing them. I know some actors who were actually frightened of their fans before they did conventions but once they realized that it was the exception and not the norm of their fans they were skiddish of they felt less afraid and typically found the expierence enjoyable. Conventions tend to be a safer enviroment to interact with fans, at conventions fans will be more respectful. It gives people an acceptable enviroment to approach a guest be it in a Q&A, autograph session, photo op, or other convention related activity.
I just have to say, having met Juliet Landau for the first time a few weeks ago, she was more than happy to talk about her time on Buffy, and she even corrected THIS Buffy geek on some facts! She knew exact episodes and dialogue and who directed what and she so acted like one of 'us' in talking about the show, if you know what I mean. I particularly liked when she said, "I mean, you'd think a century with Drusilla meant something to Spike, but then this cheerleader comes along...pffft!"

Then again, I don't know if the setup will be similar to the LAX event, where you could basically walk up to her at her table anytime during the day and have a real conversation with her. Well ya know, as real as a fan and an actor can have.
Raven-U, I was not saying that Shatner had reason to be creeped out at cons or that his feelings did not change over the years. From what I remember he was just hostile in the early years because this throwaway role in a failed TV series was taking over his career. He did not seem to understand the fans and did not want to. As far as an ego...who? Shatner? Where did you hear such a thing? ;-D

I actually remember those early Star Trek convention days. I went to one of the first ones in NYC as a lark with a friend of mine who was a much bigger Star Trek fan than I was. It was my first con experience and my last until the Buffy/Angel one I went to two years ago. I do not fully remember who was even there, but everybody was taken aback by what was going on. They were just all handling it in different ways. The actors who were there, however seemed open, friendly and not at all creeped out. (I am thinking James Doohan and George Takei? ...maybe somebody else too.)

We had a good time just wandering around catching the entertainment. It was like a party. I do remember getting some dirty looks from people because we had a tendency to laugh at the (many) really cheesy things in the shows even while having affection for them. Let's say we just did not take the show quite as seriously as many of the folks there.

Side note: I am sure Shatner was not there. I specifically remember he was in his hostile phase at the time. I saw him do a good performance in a play later on and went to the stage door mostly because that same friend of mine wanted to. I doubt that we even mentioned Star Trek, yet his attitude is still not a pleasant memory. Seeing him on stage crystalized my admiration of him as a comedic performer. (I had never thought much of his, IMO, way over the top, hammy dramatic work.) Meeting him afterwards crystalized my total lack of interest in him as a person.

So I guess that makes 2 cons, 2 good experiences...even if they were 30 years apart. (30 years? How did that happen?)

Rogue Slayer, I love that comment by Juliet Landau. Thanks.

[ edited by newcj on 2006-03-27 21:17 ]
Deep Thoughts on Bill Shatner

I can remember when I saw that comedy skit in SNL that first time. Where he makes fun of geeks and has a fit on stage talking about how it was a lark and blah blah. I remember simultaneously laughing and feeling personally insulted.

I was practically weened on STOS. I have early memories of sitting on the living room floor staring at the TV and seeing Captain Kirk in the same afternoon as Soupy Sales, Sesame Street Muppets and old black & white Perry Mason shows. Whatever was on the TV, which was ALWAYS on in my childhood. It was like having a crazy uncle in the corner of the room always mouthing off and everyone else in the room ignored him unless you got bored and then he'd tell ya stories about far away lands and make suggestions on what to buy and how to build a patio even though you never wanna buy a patio.

In recent years with the record album (no sorry CD!) he came out with, and Tek Wars, Boston Public and that movie where he played himself as a rapper (???), William Shatner has effectiely become the living embodiment of that crazy uncle in the corner of the family room. Maybe you hate him cuz of what he says, but ya love him cuz as crazy as the crud is coming out of his mouth? It's so true. The ripe bastard.

And no. I'd never wanna meet Shatner in person. I'd avoid the opportunity if it appeared. It's not that I'd want to be mean to him if I did meet him? But I wouldn't want to fawn all over him either. One exception: if the only topic on the table between the two of us was Shakespeare. Would like to pick his brain about the old Bard.
Re Rohm...

"did you read the Elizabeth Rohm interview...?"

Yes and to me the interview read like someone being politically correct about old fans and trying to parlay (sp?) that into a fanship of what she's doing now. Bleargh. Color me shagrined.

Re Juliet Landau...

If she's a Whedon fan that'd probably break the ice with any fan of hers from the series. I wish I could see more of her outside the Whedonverse. There was a short subject film I happened to catch once on the Web where she and Jo Beth Williams shared camera time. That was very intriguing. Still, I'd much rather read an article written by Landau about what she knows on the BuffyVerse, then be in a coliseum with thousands of other people listening to her asking random questions about her tenure with the series. I just don't grasp the fascination.

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