Greetings from the Stargate Creation Chicago Con! It has been a great and packed first day! So packed Jenn and I had to skip lunch!
Things got going at about 1:30 this afternoon with Q&A sessions with Steve Basic and Dan Shea. Steve and Dan are good friends, as evidenced by the teasing they gave each other! Dan grabbed a microphone and started questioning Steve about some unmentionable and surely fictional events, which of course prompted Steve to grab a mic during Dan’s talk and give him a little of his own medicine! Plus, Dan did his usual stunt – pun intended! – of taking his shirt off to display his “pipes” and then he put his feet through the side of the stage chair, held himself up on his arms while Steve took a permanent marker and wrote “All you can eat!” on Dan’s back! Wow, those two are goofballs!
After a short break Robert Picardo came out and sang the tune I was hoping he would sing! It’s a perfect icebreaker, cracking jokes at both his Star Trek and Stargate roles. Soon he said, “Do we have to have so much light on my head? Don’t I look like a lit match when you take a picture?” He took questions about both series and joked that if someone would just give MGM 6.5 million dollars, Stargate: Extinction could be filmed! He also happily mentioned his upcoming appearance on Stargate: Universe, and was pleased when we confirmed that this will be the first time an Atlantis cast member has crossed over to the Destiny. “I love when I’m right!” He shared with us a couple of videos from his work with the ACME comedy group, including 2 “Ask Alphonso” episodes. Alphonso is this is fellow who claims to be Robert’s cousin. He has hair, an Italian accent, and an ego that can’t be matched. He fully believes that he is God’s gift to women to the point that his “musk” makes women want to jump him! The way he goes about talking about himself is very comical, and Robert promised that his cousin would make a live appearance! Finally, Robert had great fun auctioning off an Atlantis season 5 signed cast photo for $325, for one of his favorite charities, Together In Mission.
Next, we had 2 Wraith enter a room full of people! Andee Frizzell said slyly, “Can we close the doors so one can leave?” Christopher Heyerdahl was great fun to meet, but it took him a while to get chatty, and until then Andee, who is very chatty by nature, dominated the conversation. Chris was often running around too! Behind the stage, at the sides standing with people while they asked their questions, and sticking his head through the black stage curtain so it looked disembodied! Andee said, “I’ve been upstaged by a head!” I was just about to get up and request the wet wedge story when time ran out. The session was very funny, but as I have commented in the past, I do wish that Creation would not pair first time guests with other guests. It makes it harder for fans to feel like they get the quality time with the guest that they are meeting for the first time.
After waiting a very long time to get autographs, which did not start on time due to lengthy photo-ops, Jenn and I raced off to get dinner before coming back for the Cabaret. Dan Shea started it off by taking a couple story requests: a burn incident from Psych, the time he almost blew up Amanda Tapping with a mortar, the time he had to ratchet Ben Browder into a concrete wall for ‘Prototype,’ and the infamous Richard Dean Anderson cell phone revenge story! Andee Frizzell then came out and told us 3 hilarious dating stories. I was skeptical when she told us what she was going to do, but believe me, it was unbelievable! Don’t worry; I will recount them in greater detail later!
Finally, Alphonso arrived, along with the R rated portion of the Cabaret! Not Robert. Alphonso. He sang several pieces, each a twist to classic numbers that I have hear Robert do in the past, changing it to suit his . . . personality. He also took questions from fans looking for advice about their love lives, and more than a few fans took the opportunity to try and stick him with an awkward question for the fun of it, but he scooted out without missing a beat!
Finally the stage was set for the Karaoke party. I was confused because it was set up in the ballroom. This year we are at a new hotel because the old hotel closed. There, the karaoke party would take place at the bar, and even without guest stars attending, it was fun. Being in the ballroom made things difficult. They made use of the sound system, and it was much MUCH too loud. The rows of chairs made it hard to socialize, and people sat down in clumps in their assigned seats instead of mingling. Even the guests found it difficult. Robert Picardo was busy hosting the karaoke, and even sang “I Got You Babe” with his wife, Lily, but Christopher Heyerdahl, Dan Shea, and Andee Frizzell spent much of the time just watching the goings on from the front row, and often taking pictures with fans who frankly should know better than to ask in the first place. I was disappointed, and I left shortly after watching Robert sing with Lily. That was worth staying for, but beyond that, I was unimpressed.
Overall, it was a grueling but fun day. I have often wished that Creation would provide time for attendees to get food. Last year they provided food, though the price was less than great. This year there has been no food, and when things ran late and the autographs took too long, I could hear fans grumbling. Yet seeing the guests today, both new and returning, was worth it.
Stay tuned for Saturday when three leading men, Joe Flanigan, David Hewlett, Michael Shanks arrive to turn up the heat in Chicago!