Last Updated 10/19/2010

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Elizabeth Gracen, Chris Demetral, Hunter, Andrew Helm

The always charming Elizabeth Gracen (Amanda from Highlander) was at the convention teaching a Fan class on Friday (for which there was an extra charge). We didn’t attend, but some of our friends who did, said it was a great time. Roberta Brown showed us some footage of a new animated film about Mary Reed where they’ve used Elizabeth as a model for the pirate. Elizabeth said she has decided to leave acting and concentrate on other creative outlets (her art and such). She read us a story she had written about Amanda for another issue of Evening at Joe’s (which apparently has been cancelled). It was a very lovely and romantic story about the meaning of life and Immortality and it was all set in Venice. Liz later auctioned it off (on Sunday) with a beautiful box she had made with images evoking Venice.

Chris Demetral (The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne) also appeared at the convention and did a short Q&A on Sunday. He was present and signing autographs throughout the convention, cute and charming as ever. He expressed regret at having missed MediaWest this year; sadly, his wife wasn’t feeling well. Apparently, the producers of The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne would like to do another season of it but they only want to do it when they are able to pay for it themselves! They want to maintain control of their product.

Another actor named Hunter appeared. I must admit I haven’t a clue who he was, but he was charming and very nice looking. I stepped out to get his autograph and he asked me whose picture was on the dogtag I was wearing … then he looked at it more closely and said “Oh! It’s that guy!” (meaning Michael Shanks). He then began writing on a photo for me … and writing … and writing … and writing. I finally asked him if he wanted a notebook? LOL. He wrote: To Annie – You give me hope that someday my photo will be on dogtags. What a charmer. Writer Andrew Helm also appeared briefly on Sunday. I believe he worked on Highlander: The Raven as well as Queen of Swords.

Elizabeth Gracen

Elizabeth Gracen


Animation of Mary Reed based on Elizabeth Gracen

Animation of Mary Reed based on Elizabeth Gracen

Elizabeth Gracen

Elizabeth Gracen

Elizabeth Gracen

Chris Demetral

Chris Demetral

Chris Demetral

J. Hunter Ackerman

J. Hunter Ackerman

J. Hunter Ackerman

J. Hunter Ackerman

J. Hunter Ackerman

J. Hunter Ackerman

J. Hunter Ackerman

J. Hunter Ackerman

Andrew Helm

Andrew Helm

Roberta Brown, Maureen Russell and James Horan

Roberta Brown taught a Fan class on Friday (for an extra charge) and on Saturday gave a talk about working on various movies as a swordmaster. She showed some footage (see above with Liz Gracen) of an animated film in progress about the female pirate Mary Reed. Elizabeth Gracen has been used as the model for Mary Reed. Maureen Russell brought lots of Highlander dailies and treated us to showings from various Comes a Horseman and Revelations scenes, including some scenes with Methos and Kronos that were cut out of the final edit (see below). The Kronos and Methos wigs used were so godawful that apparently the decision was made to simply cut the footage to avoid laughter. <g>

Roberta Brown

Roberta Brown

Kronos – Missing Scene

Kronos & Methos – Missing Scene

Kronos & Methos – Missing Scene

Sign donated for auction by MGM

Maureen Russell

James Horan



Bruce Young and Garett Maggart

Bruce Young (Highlander and Sentinel) and Garett Maggart (Blair from The Sentinel) gave talks and signed autographs on both Saturday and Sunday. On Friday night, Bruce Young, along with a troupe of actors (including Bob Chapin, affectionately known to Highlander fans as THE BOB), presented an improvisational play known as Dungeon Master. Apparently, they present this type of improv role-playing theater once a month in the LA area. Bruce Young talked throughout the weekend about his love of role-playing games like D&D, so apparently he has found this way of blending his love of the games with his acting. It was quite entertaining, with members of the audience being selected to help the major actors on a “quest.” The most exciting part was the beginning, however, when Bob and Bruce showed off their swordfighting skills. I did have to wonder why their regular LA performances cost $10.00 and the convention attendees at Fan Odyssey were charged $20.00 a head. There were also Fan classes (taught by Liz Gracen and Roberta Brown) and acting classes (taught by Jason Carter and Richard Biggs) on Friday. All of these events were an extra charge, so some members of the convention attended and some didn’t. Leah and I only attended the Dungeon Master event. Jason Carter and Richard Biggs didn’t really appear at the convention outside of their acting class, other than to sign autographs at various times (for an extra charge).

Garett Maggart

Bruce Young & Garret Maggart

Garett Maggart

Garett Maggart

Garett Maggart

Bruce Young & Garret Maggart

Bruce Young

Garett Maggart

Garett Maggart

Garett Maggart

Garett Maggart





The Welcome Back Daniel Party

A big thank you to everyone who helped out with the Welcome Back, Daniel party. I lost count of the number of people we had coming through our two adjoining rooms, especially since I had a migraine and actually managed to -- somehow -- snooze through part of the party! You know that migraine medicine was strong if I slept through the partying that was going on! The party began at 8 pm (which means we missed out totally on the karaoke, dang it -- I had thought the karaoke was scheduled for 7 pm (the time on our tickets) and that we would be able to at least pop in there for a little while, which is why we scheduled the party at 8) and lasted until... I don' t know when! It was 2 am or so when Leah and I shut the door to the adjoining room and there was still a roomful of folks over there watching Michael Shanks DVDs ... and I know I heard them there still at 2:30 am (I was on the computer). Thanks to Debra, who allowed us to use her adjoining room for video and DVD viewing until the wee hours of the morning.

Big hugs and thank yous to everyone who brought food, everyone who donated for the door prizes, everyone who attended and chat and ate and won prizes and just had a good time in honor of Daniel's return. Big thanks to JR and DJ for bringing music and DVDs and equipment. Huge thanks to Chance for once again making and donating Welcome Home Daniel badges that were given out in exchange for donations to the ASPCA. We collected another $80.00 to add to the $208.00 collected from MediaWest. Oh, and a big kiss for Thor, who manned our deli counter. <g> We had just tons of food, two beautiful cakes with Daniel pictures on them, camouflage decorations (like we had at MediaWest), plates, cups, etc., big Welcome Back Daniel Jackson banners, little Asgard and Camo soldiers “guarding” the food, lots of donated door prizes like tote bags, Daniel pictures, trading cards, camouflage pens, magnets, key chains and more. I’m guessing fully half the convention membership or more came through our doors and welcomed Daniel back to Stargate!

We had so much food that we ended up sharing out leftover chips and cookies with the rest of the convention all day on Sunday.

Michael Shanks was shown a copy of the party flyer, apparently, and loved it. He expressed regret that he couldn’t attend (oh, wouldn’t that have been something while I’m snoozing on the bed with a migraine and we’re all being silly and Thor’s behind the deli counter…and in walks Michael Shanks…the mind boggles) but he had a plane to catch. He did ask to keep the flyer, though. Kudos to our wonderful Obelix and her Hubby who did the graphics!

The gang at the mall

Thor & Col. Makepeace & friends

Welcome Back!

A deer in the headlights… Love ya, JR



Thor minding the deli counter

One of the cakes

The other cake

The party flyer

Michael Shanks

Here are photos of Michael Shanks from every possible angle, in all sorts of moods, including “Ninja.” I’m going to just touch on my personal encounter with Michael in the autograph line since there is a complete transcript of his talk available at Stargate Solutions.

So, on to the Michael encounter in the autograph line. We had an official book, an official calendar, one of my photos from Wolfcon and one of Leah's cartoons for Michael to autograph. Someone previous to us had told us that the artwork she asked to have signed (a gorgeous Daniel drawing by Jessie McClain that sold for a huge amount of money at MediaWest this year) had been rejected by MaryLee Holzheimer, the head of the convention, as not allowable for autographs. The explanation given was simply that it was artwork. The person sitting next to Michael, presumably an MGM representative, had had no problem with it nor did Michael seem to. Our cartoon was already signed by Corin Nemec (last weekend) and is one of Leah's newer ones -- the "I See Dead People" one. We offered it to Michael's helper and he immediately held it up to MaryLee for approval. She very grudgingly said "I guess it's okay since they're the artists." How magnanimous of her. I recall a similar incident at a Highlander convention with Elizabeth Gracen and an Amanda cartoon Leah had done and MaryLee had made the exact same comment then. (I suppose we only got away with having Liz sign another cartoon this time because MaryLee was too busy paying attention to Michael to worry over what Liz might sign). So I find it hard to believe that this problem with "artwork" has come from MGM. Original artwork is not a violation of copyright and is protected under the Fair Use clause of the copyright act. I was told later that the new story being bandied about by the convention was that they (the convention or MGM?) were afraid of “slash” art being brought to Michael to sign. Well, in the first place, Michael has made it clear that he has no big problem with slash. In the second place, most fans are savvy enough not to give an actor something like that and in the third place, that’s why there’s someone there to screen the items being offered for signature. The piece of artwork that was rejected was a plain vanilla painting of Daniel with no one else in the picture. Not a hint of slash there.

In any case, we were "allowed" to have Michael Shanks sign the cartoon. Michael read it and could not stop laughing. He just kept saying "It's so cute! It's so cute!" He asked who drew it and I told him Leah (pointing at her) and he told her again how cute it was. I pointed out the fish to him and told him I thought they were particularly funny. He began to laugh and said they were constantly making jokes about Daniel's fish on set and about how Daniel didn't really feed them, he was always forgetting, and such. He said that now that they were Jonas' fish, they made jokes about *spearing* the fish. It was such a charming moment as he tried to give us a glimpse backstage, as it were.

(Check out Leah’s new cartoon on Page 2!)

Unfortunately, the convention organizer was quite literally POKING him on the shoulder while he was trying to talk to us and pointing at her watch. Michael being Michael, he never once broke eye contact with us, he ignored her completely, he finished up with us by writing a nice little message on the cartoon (including the words "very funny") and continued to thank *us*. No, Michael. Thank *you*. I’ve since been told that a very similar incident happened to someone else and Michael was once again poked in the back throughout. Mr. Shanks, you have my complete and undying respect. I don’t know how you restrained yourself from poking *back*.































Great idea for *my* script!

Rowan’s question

Rowan’s question














What Daniel does in his spare time…

Ninja Daniel keeping the streets safe at night…

More Ninja…


More Michael Shanks at Fan Odyssey, including Leah’s new cartoon, the “wounded lamb” and the “puff and ruffle” (I have lots more! Check ‘em out at the link!)

As far as I'm concerned, the fans were blatantly and repeatedly taken advantage of by the organizers of this convention and one of the truly bright spots of the weekend was Michael's appearance, short though it was. For our $180.00 membership fee, we were promised a small, intimate convention, and instead we got lots of events with every single one carrying an additional fee (in fact, the only major event at the convention that *didn’t* carry an added fee was the Welcome Back, Daniel party that *we* hosted!), lots of actors charging for autographs (which tells me those actors were not being paid to attend), lots of admonitions that we could only have limited numbers of items autographed and that all or most of them must be “official” items, admonitions to buy items from the convention tables to the extent that events were curtailed in order to facilitate people buying rather than watching the events, I never once saw the actors mingling outside of paid events or autograph lines and I suspect if they had tried to any fan who got near them would have been tackled by convention staff, a total lack of schedule, lied to about Michael Shanks’ schedule (repeatedly – sorry, but I refuse to believe that MGM and/or Michael’s people failed to tell the convention when he was going to arrive and when he was going to leave), and so on. Furthermore, Michael arrived much earlier in the day and in spite of the fact that they had to know *then* that he had a plane to catch, they still didn’t bring him on stage until the very end of the day, even knowing full well that half or more of their attendees were there for no other reason than to see Michael. Frankly, from the moment Leah and I registered for this convention, we were treated badly. I should have bought a clue then.

They were telling us, by the way, that they hoped Michael will come back next year. For myself, they could promise the entire cast of Stargate appearing dancing naked at this convention and I wouldn't attend again -- especially since it will be held at this same hotel, which sucks bilge water (we had to move rooms THREE times during the course of this convention and we learned afterwards that if we’d called and booked a room directly rather than asking for the con rate, the room would have been as much as $30 a night cheaper!). Personally, as wonderful as it was to see Michael, I hope that he gives this venue a definite miss next year.

Please email me (Ann Wortham) with any questions.

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