Fan Expo Day 4: Delirious

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Well, the last day of Fan Expo was a little calmer than the rest of the weekend and it was a great way to wind down. Got to start off my morning by going to Stephen Amell’s panel and he was just as wonderful on stage as he was in person. There was no moderator for the panel and he seemed a little confused so I’m not sure if there actually was supposed to be a moderator or not, but he handled it well and led a fantastic panel. He is such a fantastic human being and his love for his work and love for his fans is truly inspiring. Stephen Amell shared stories of his work on Arrow, on his charity work, and on some of his other acting endeavors. When asked about John Barrowman, who had also been at the convention earlier in the weekend, he admitted that he lived his life as if Barrowman was hiding behind him and would appear at any moment. In fact, that became a running joke as every time Barrowman was mentioned, Amell would turn around and check behind him. He actually was, however, ambushed by another Arrow cast member when David Ramsey crashed the panel and made a surprise appearance. It was wonderful for me especially as I had to miss Ramsey’s panel in order to leave for Ottawa and get home at a reasonable time. It was a perfect little moment that not only allowed me to see Ramsay but to see first-hand his friendship with Amell.

After a little wandering around the North Building to kill some time I went to see Jason Isaacs. I had already seen a little bit of him at the Star Trek: Discovery panel and was excited to see more. He was phenomenal and a true pro when it came to running his panel. He told everyone that he had seen nothing but phones at the Star Trek: Discovery panel and he didn’t want any more of that, so he gave the audience about 30 seconds to take as many pictures of him as possible before he implemented a phone/photography ban. He also began by saying he was tired of being asked the same old questions and giving the same old answers so he got the “obvious” stuff out of the way and gave a little speech in order to cover those topics so that no one would feel the need to ask him those kinds of questions. He also admitted to the room that he would use the audience questions as prompts to talk about what he wanted to talk about, while still making the audience feel included – he did just that. It was actually really well done and even a few of the fans in the audience used that as a way to merely give Isaacs a prompt rather than a question so that he could just talk about whatever he felt like without being tied down by specific questions. It was a really wonderful experience and a really insightful panel. It was fantastic to learn how he goes about acting as some of the more villainous characters he plays and I found that really added a layer of depth to his past roles. I would definitely love to see him again at another convention some time.  And I would love to re-watch some of the films he’s been in knowing what went in to the creation on the characters he has played.  If he’s ever at a convention near you, I recommend sitting in on his panels.

Last panel of the weekend for me was Catherine Tate and she was so much fun! A true comedienne, she went about the panel almost as if it were a stand up comedy show. She walked around the stage, cracked jokes, and teased the audience. She even teased us with the fact that she knew little about space, had not watched Doctor Who or Star Wars, and knew nothing about Harry Potter. She was absolutely hilarious. Despite her lack of sci-fi knowledge she still provided the fans with interesting and funny anecdotes about her time on Doctor Who. Some of the crowd favourites were the fact that she’s seen John Barrowman’s butt, and the game that the cast used to play on set: “So I’ve got a new business…” Catherine Tate was yet another celebrity who clearly loved her fans and even brought a young Donna cosplayer on stage at one point. Overall it was a very fun panel and a great way to wrap up the weekend.

Random points that have been on my mind this weekend: It seems that everyone who has worked with John Barrowman has a funny story about him.  After finally being able to see his panel, this does not surprise me.  Most important point on my mind: If Doug Jones is now in Star Trek: Discovery I hope that means he might start showing up at conventions.  If/When that happens you can bet I’ll be there for an autograph and a photo op.  And I’ll make myself the most amazing yarn Abe Sapien cosplay anyone’s ever seen.

Overall, although I had fun at Fan Expo this year that was entirely due to the people I was with, the strangers I met, and the celebrities I saw. The convention itself wasn’t bad but the lack of information was annoying for planning the weekend around photo ops and autographs, and it was frustrating to show up for some of the panels that had not been properly advertised or planned for. Also, this has been the most expensive convention of the year. For those prices, I’m not sure I would do the whole weekend again (or even just a single day at the convention) unless there’s a celebrity or event that I absolutely have to see. I’m not saying I’ll never go to Fan Expo again; I just want to make sure I’ll get my money’s worth for those prices. I am also grateful that I was in relatively simple cosplays this weekend. Based on the kinds of crowds that were there on Saturday, I’m not sure it would be safe for me to wear my full head-to-toe yarn cosplays at this kind of convention as having my face covered and overheating under layers of yarn would not be a good idea in those kinds of crowds.

Thank you to all the volunteers, security personnel, and guest handlers – there were definitely some of you who went above and beyond to make the convention a wonderful experience for everyone. Thank you to the celebrity guests for your amazing work and for your appreciation of the fans. Thank you to the cosplayers and convention attendees for making the convention colourful and exciting. And a huge thank you to my boyfriend for supporting me through all of my emotional moments, both good and bad. Thanks for a great weekend everyone!

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