Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Dreamcatcher at Polaris

As promised, our very special correspondent Deb, has taken her time to share her very first con experience with us. Read on to find out how she met Michelle Forbes (many times :)), the questions asked at the panel, and much much more.

Thank you so much, Deb!

Update: Sunday's report has just been added.

Saturday 7/11

It rained saturday, along with thunder and lighting. So my 14 year old dog Honey was terrified. I had the worst allergies. Exercised, ate breakfast, showered and dressed. A little make up. Fed Honey breakfast. Packed up my laptop and dvd of Razor. I hurried along to the tcon.

After finding parking, I ran to the photo shoot. I actually got in line early, only about 10 people a head of me. I still wasn't quite awake. While in line, I chatted with a woman about the convention and the guest, she had been to other tcon's. She enjoyed them. She was looking forward to Michelle's and Claudia Black panels. After paying, we were shuffled off to the next room to filled out a very small form with our name and email address. I had to whip out the reading glasses. The form asked weather or not we wanted just the photo or a jpeg, or both. I circled both. I looked up and there she was! Michelle Forbes! Her hair was down. She wore black flats with a small gold trim on them. Yes, I checked out the shoes first! Gray straight leg jeans, a black tank top underneath a cute black cotton jacket. Hooped gold earrings. Very casual. I was up next, and was still not quite awake. (One cup of coffee just doesn't do it.) I walked up and stood next to her. She asked how I was, I said I wasn't awake and some days were better then others. She said "That's all we can really ask for". We poised . Snapped a picture. I thanked her. And off I went. By the way she is tall, but I'm used to tall women. ;)

I went in search of coffee. They had a Starbucks at the hotel, but I really don't care for them. Outside there was a Tim Hortons two doors away. Went got myself another coffee. Checked the time, about a half hour before Michelle's panel. Back to the front of the hotel. Grabbed a smoke and started to enjoy my coffee in the sunshine. (Yeah it had been raining just an hour before.) I started chatting with a woman who was a sci-fi writer from Toronto. She admitted to me that she's always nervous when it comes to speaking in public and it was much more comfortable behind her computer. It was a nice chat.

Off I went to Michelle's panel! Grabbed a seat next to the woman I had chatted with at the photo shoot. Chatted some more about the different shows we liked, Farscape, BSG, and Stargate. The announcement was about Michelle not wanting photo's taken. Out she came! With her big cup of Starbucks in hand, she waved and sat down, in a big comfy chair. I tried to snap a few pictures without flash, they just didn't come out. Sorry. Since I didn't have preferred seating. The stage was low so I could only see the top of her shoulders and head. Good enough. She started off saying how much she loved Canada, and loves Toronto, and that Canada had it all. Some people lined up for there questions. So I'm going to try to recall what questions were asked and what the answers were. Well to the best of my ability.

Right of the bat someone asked about Ro Laren, and why she didn't take the role. She answered politely that she was not ready to commit to a seven year contract and was too young to get married.

There was a guy that asked about BSG. but I'm not quite sure what he was asking, it was a really long and drawn out question. She said had been asked a couple of times about taking the role, and finally did once she viewed the dvd's that Ron Moore sent her, and was hooked.

There was a question and comment on the political situation in the States. She had said that she was grateful that the 8 years of oppression was over. That she was looking forward to the new administration.

Someone asked what she liked on her pizza. Not pineapple! (I agree,YUK!)

There was a question about HBO's Entourage, weather or not she had one. No. But she's seen other's with there own Entourage.

She was asked about what she watched on TV. She admitted that she was a Brit-Com nerd. She likes The Mighty Bosh and Absolutely Fabulous. She didn't know if there was an American version of Ab-Fab.

Durham County 2 was also mentioned. She loved the intense writing, it's deep and dark characters. How the writer / producer was very accessible.

Another question about whether she was being groomed to take the Ro role on DS9. Again she was polite and said that she was not to her recollection.

She was asked weather or not she read the Sookie Stackhouse books. She said that she had stopped after the first book, that director Alan Ball was taking a different direction.

And another Star Trek question, yes it was about the same as the first one. (Wish people would pay attention.) This time she got a little sarcastic. Said something about it only being about 9 hours of STNG.

Of course she was asked about True Blood and her reaction to 'Naked Pig Lady"

She said bring It.

On a side note: She likes her Starbucks, a girl came on stage and brought her another tall coffee (it could be tea) and was about to take the old one away when she said no, no i'll keep this one too. Michelle announced that she has a new best friend. Referring to the girl who brought her coffee. Cute!

There was a question or a comment made about why society looks to actors and athletes as heroes, not police & fireman. She agreed about police & fireman should be. Big round of applause on that one. Also something about why the media was paying more attention to Michael Jackson's death rather than the soldiers coming home from Iraq.

Any funny scenes that came from True Blood. She giggled about the acting pigs, (yes there are two and I can't remember there names) one of the pigs bolted out of the little house she was in and went after a gaffer, Chris Bauer and her.

Another question about Ro Laren. She said that she answered that for the billionth time, inside and out that she felt she wanted a variety in her career. (She did bang the microphone on her forehead at this point)

A question about directing and the cast & crew of True Blood. How she loved her new family, how much everyone got along, what really cool people they were, etc.

Another side note: her microphone went a couple of times. She made light of the situation and didn't panic. It was rather humorous.

I wish I could remember what the question was to a reference she made about that every 7 years, she thinks about quitting the acting thing. She said that a friend of hers in New York spoke with her, and talks her out of it. And she did refer to herself as Mishka during that answer. Wish I could remember what it was now. And that she sees Brent Spiner from time to time, that they share the same manager who's from Britain.

That's about all I can recall, after jointing down some notes after the panel. I couldn't find a quiet place to write at the hotel. Or internet access outdoors of the hotel. Trying to take photo's was difficult too. Tcon people were walking around the entire time, and I didn't want to be asked not to come back. It was there policy.

I stayed for Claudia Black's panel, she looked fabulous too! She started off by just chatting about her life after Farscape and Stargate. The husband and her 2 kids. She was a great guest! Some Q&A and thanked everyone. It was nice.

Off for the Autograph room. Line was short and we again were asked not to take pictures. (... okay) As I waited in line I chatted with a couple of girls about the other tcon and conventions. They go to a couple a year and more than thrilled to talk about the guy who played Daniel Jackson on Stargate. How he looks different in person and his good looks. (mmmm, okay) Oh and Claudia Black's gorgeous shoes. (So, I'm not the only one who enjoys nice shoes! Maybe a little differently.) Chatting made the wait less long. As I waited I got out my dvd cover and the dream catcher I made. As I payed, I asked if a gift would be okay. Yep she accepted it, and again asked how I was. I said I fine now that I was more awake and had got that cup of coffee I needed. She had her trusty Starbucks right next to her. (Along with her iPhone) I told her it was my first convention and she asked how it was for me. I said it was ah.... different. She signed the cover and thanked me for the gift. I thanked her for the autograph and left.

I went looking for place to write again, but to no avail, no where to sit quietly. I wandered around looking in the dealers rooms and an art exhibit. Both interesting. I went to find if my photo was done. I chatted with a guy who teased me about being from Buffalo and that I had huge accent, go figure he's from Canada. Accent, ... please!

Again I wandered around. I saw Michelle again, at some glass doors coming inside from outdoors. I didn't stick around to stare. There were people with her escorting her back in. Looked for a place to sit, again. Arrg! Went back to the other side of the hotel. Again I see Michelle in the hallway waiting by the elevators, with 2 Klingons! She was looking at the floor rather embarrassed about it. Poor thing.

I finally got my photo. Michelle looked great, I did not! So I cropped myself out of the one I'm sending. Along with a photo of the dream catcher I have from my car. The missing poster (I swear I didn't take this one). And my autographed items. Also a photo that has a picture of her and the dream catcher I gave her, way cool! And a picture of her walking off stage. Hopefully I'll have Sunday's report soon! Thanks for reading!


Sunday 7/12

Beautiful day out, as compared to the two storms from Saturday. Had coffee. Walked my Honey dog. Exercised, ate breakfast with the Honey. Showered. Dressed a little more casual (I put on sandals and blue jeans, black t shirt and a little make up. Don't want the villagers with torches chasing me.) Packed up the lap top. Off I went in the Subaru. Quick drive today. No heavy traffic.

Michelle's 2nd photo op was too early. I did however make it to her 2nd panel. Again she asked no photos please. The tcon people were out in full force. (sorry again no pictures.) She came in wearing a black cotton jacket, black tank top underneath and blue jeans. Her hair was up. (My favorite!) Couldn't see her shoes though. Yet another Starbucks at her side. She again by saying how great Canada is with the free heath care and the weather. She loves it. Now I'm going to try and remember what was asked, and what was said. I know that some of her answers where longer than what I'm writing.

She started taking questions. And of course the first one had to be about Ro! She graciously gave her answer again. There was another later on I just tuned it out.(The tcon was formally known as Toronto Trek Convention for years. So a lot of 'trekkers'.)

Another BSG question and comment about the stress of command. She told a little story about a General in Rhawanda when he and his troops were on the last days of the revolt. He had goats that he kept. At the end of the day he would sit with his goats and calm himself. In the days that followed, he was told that wild dogs had killed all his goats. He then went out and shot all the wild dogs he could find. (I can now see Admiral Cain and the EXO she killed.)

A question was asked about True Blood and the music. She made mention about the music director, who was a dj on a station out in Los Angeles. She said she spent a lot of money downloading the songs that are on the show. Close to $200.00! And she was quite animated about the Bob Dylan song for the trailers. That the soundtrack was from season 1 was available now.

A question was asked about the Emmy nominations that were going to be announced Thursday 7/16. She wasn't too much into getting one herself and that it's a shame that Mary McDonnell was never given a nomination. (I agree!)

Another question about inspirational books and films that got her started in acting and how she became an actress. She mentioned that she was training to be a ballerina and giggled about it. "Ballet is what I meant." That she was shy as a kid and was encouraged to take acting classes. One of her favorite movies and books was "Beauty And The Beast" directed by Jean Cocteau. (The book was one of my favs as a kid too. Didn't see the film.) She mentioned other films but, of course, I can't remember them.

A great question (I thought) was asked about her possibly writing, producing or directing. She said that the directing would be to demanding on her. She did however say that producing would be more up her alley. That way she could encourage and nurture artists and projects.

A question was asked and it was a doozie. "What question would you want to be asked?" She paused. "Why has no one asked about Durham County 2! You're bad Canadians!" Someone shouted out that they didn't want it to be spoiled. Lot's of giggling. She said that the first episode was on Monday night. 'Watch it!"

There was a lull in the panel. She quipped "Now what shall we do?" More giggling from the audience.

More people lined up for questions. A little kid came up with his Mom, and asked if she was a super hero, what super hero power would she have. She laughed, "I want them all. I'm greedy like that!"

Someone asked about charity organizations she was involved in. She was passionate about animal rescue. (Me too!) A organization in Los Angeles called Second Chance that fosters dogs. Another that has to do with Mexico, and the horrific acts that go on to animals there.

A quick comment about the little park in front of the Hotel was much nicer with the benches than the side walk outside the doors. (She smokes.) "I was yoga breathing" she interrupted. Smiling about. (...yeah, I saw her coming back in from her smoke break on Saturday.)

A comment about Kalifornia and question about what it was like working Brad Pitt. She said he had a strong work ethic, and was all business.

Someone asked about In Treatment and that they loved her portrayal of Kate. She had mention that Gabriel didn't like his 'therapy chair'. He was sitting in it nodding his head when she left to another project, and when she came back, he was still sitting it and still nodding.

There was a question about True Blood again and what it was like on the set. She was saying how cool the all the people were. Including the crew and production team. Really cool people.

I also remember that there was a mention about '24' and as to why Lynn always looked so serious. She said that she had two broken toes! She was in real pain, having to put on the same shoes everyday. Not being able to let them heal properly. (eeww!) Also saying how she had to wear the same outfit everyday. Suggesting to the producers what if Lynn spilled some coffee on herself, so that she could change her clothes. I giggled. I guess it would be pretty boring wearing the same outfit everyday.

Her panel ended. Her final words "You guys rock!"

Well, that's all I could recall on some of the questions.

Walked around a bit more. No place to sit with wi-fi, again. Decided to treat myself. I did get one of the new glamour pictures autographed. I picked out the over the shoulder shot, black background. While I was waiting in line, I noticed someone had a BSG uniform in a heavy duty plastic bag. She had it autographed. How cool was that! Went out for a coffee and a smoke myself. Still nowhere to sit. with wi-fi. Being my first convention, I did strike up a few conversations. Small, but interesting. A lot of different fans of all kinds of Sci-Fi. I may do this again next year. Even if Michelle isn't one of the guests.

I did sit in on Matt Fewer panel, very amusing guy. Very tall too. Michael Hogan's panel was cool too. He had told a story at he end. About the first season when the crew was saying "So say we all!" Louder and louder. He made us say it too. Yes, loudly! Sat for the closing ceremony. They had a nice video tribute to actors and writers that had recently passed away. Some awards where given out. Applause for the volunteers. A total raised for the Gilda's Club was announced $8,880.00, very nice. No guests again! Just like Friday for the opening ceremony. Arrg!

My overall impression of Michelle was surprisingly entertaining on stage. Whit that would snap your neck. Very driven. Focused. Genuinely friendly to everyone when speaking to them for photos and autographs. Naturally sweet nature. Someone I'd actually have a coffee and smoke with.

Take a look at all of our posts tagged with Polaris for all Michelle Forbes-related coverage.

(Top photo with Matt Frewer)