Friday morning we arose, giddy with anticipation, about to make our pilgrimage into the unknown.
SubRosa, our appointed social navigator (she just has a way of filtering massive amounts of info into small palatable bytes that men can absorb and comprehend) – had helped us select, among the hundreds of possibilities, the day’s events which sparked our interest.
Since all 3 of us are writers….
Here, Valet Boy has to give well deserved kudos to Mr. Leatherwing having just been published! Way to go, John.
For those who lament the death of the “short story” and the passing of such iconic and memorable publications as “Amazing Stories”, “Astounding Science Fiction”, “Fantastic Adventures” – You may once again breathe easy.
There is a new anthology of short stories, published quarterly, entitled “Stupefying Stories”. Edited by Bruce Bethke, (see last VB Post “Virgin at Dragoncon Part 1”) credited with originating the term “cyberpunk” waaaay back in the 80s, “Stupefying Stories” immediately hearkens back to earlier days of fantasy, satire and science fiction publications that helped spawn the careers of such greats as Isaac Asimov, Theodore Sturgeon, Ray Bradbury, William Gibson, Fritz Lieber, Philip K. Dick, to name but a mere few…
Now that my friend has been inducted into that lofty assemblage, Valet Boy can say “I knew him when…” and believe me I will!
Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming…
There was so much to see and do this first day of the convention that Valet Boy was numbed by the prospect of having to make a decision. As I was saying, since we are all 3 of us writers, we decided to check out one of the writing seminars – there would be dozens of them over the ensuing days – and leave the Celebrity Panel Discussions to a later time.
The Celebrity Panels are among the biggest draws. Held in the largest of the hotel ballrooms, they are hour-long Q & A sessions wherein your favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV and Movie Stars allow themselves to be subjected to mostly mundane observations from star-struck fans who dream of rubbing elbows with the famous – speaking as one who, in a former life rubbed elbows (and other select body parts) with some of the elite, Valet Boy is immune to these trappings of Idol Star Worship.
Well, the writing workshop was a disaster, as were all the writing workshops we attended. They seemed sloppy, ill prepared and with little content that common sense on its own would not provide. Disappointed, yet undaunted, we quickly realigned our laser sites to focus on other topics of interest.
Voice Work in Podcasting!
Why not? I’ve always fancied a pirate existence similar to that of Wolfman Jack – remember before he became mainstream, he used to broadcast on some weird channel like XK1000 or something that was said to be located on an island off the coast of Mexico? Ah, the romance of bucking the FCC.
Anyway, the Podcasting program was also less that we had hoped for and was mostly a chance for the panel members to listen to their jaws work. Our intrepid trio was beginning to fear that this convention would offer us nothing more than multiple exercises in futility.
But look! All around us costumed enthusiasts were happily marching to and fro each blithely en route to Dragon*con enrichment and enlightenment. We were definitely missing something.
We had passed on the Friday celeb-meets with Scott Bakula, Kevin Sorbo, Gil Gerard and other past and present sci-fi/fantasy phenoms. We even postponed the possibility of listening to Stan Lee speak.
STAN Frikkin LEE! And this is how we were rewarded? With hastily slapped together, slip-shod, time sucking crap! Calm down, VB…Take a breath….
Also high on Valet Boy’s must do target list was the True Blood Celebrity Panel and he had set that for Sunday afternoon. Wisely, the Dragon*con brainiacs had given the hottest celeb panels multiple presentation slots – if you missed one, you could always try to get into it again at a later day and time.
The sheer volume of events, coupled with an equally vast corresponding volume of venues, meant that invariably you would miss something of interest. I had thought it would be nice to visit with Demonologist John Zaffis, having worked with him on the Discovery TV movie “A Haunting in Connecticut”. But, there again I was hornswaggled by time and logistics.
The day was starting to wear on me. I was frustrated and largely unimpressed. Everyone else appeared to know where they were going and exactly what they were doing. I felt like I was trapped in an airport, late for an undetermined flight on an unknown airline without a ticket.
Then after lunch, SubRosa suggested we go to the Hilton and see what the big celebrity parade was all about. That was one large room divided by and lined with tables, behind which sat Film and TV Stars. It being Friday, and the first day of the show, many had yet to arrive.
But as soon as SubRosa stepped inside the room she clutched my arm, her nails digging into my flesh, “There she is!”
I followed her gaze. Oh, be still my heart. She was here! My petite, coffee-colored, sweet smiling, beautiful Deputy Jo Lupo from SyFy Channel’s “Eureka” – Erica Cerra.
My tongue lolled out the side of my face like a hound dogs’. My throat constricted. Eyes watered. I lost my balance and stammered like a 10-year-old kid, “Hommna hommna hommna”.
SubRosa pulled me forward, “Let’s go talk to her. There’s no one in line.”
“Wait!” My feet would not move. I was encased in cement. “Uhhh…”
The last time I was star struck, I was in my 20’s meandering through a grocery store near the Malibu Colony and ran into Burgess Meredith. But, let’s face it, gang…I loved and admired Mr. Meredith’s work, but by then he was already a walking prune. THIS was DEPUTY JO, for Heaven’s sake!!!
I was led, like a blind-braindead-cripple, to Deputy Jo’s table. My God! She looked better in person than on TV and she was simply stunning on the tube! She looked up at us – at my ridiculous idiot grin – and suddenly I was just a puddle.
While SubRosa negotiated the fees for pictures and autographs – and yes they all charge for this service – I mumbled some kind of silly senseless ramble and before I knew it, SubRosa had her handy camera at the ready and flash!
The golden moment had been immortalized! For the next several hours, I swear, my feet did not touch the ground.
Finally, Dragon*con had given me something to make the journey worthwhile. And Valet Boy had a feeling that it was all sunshine and lollipops from here on out!
Thank you for reading!
Next Time: “Valet Boy Gets in Touch with His Inner Geek”
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