Shambalayogi part 2
 

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Shambalayogi
Member
posted October 18, 1999 09:16 PM

Part II
We rode to the top of Nob Hill and disembarked at the California Memorial Masonic Temple. This was about 12 noon. There was already a line formed to get into the building. It looked like they were about ready to open the doors though because a man had a megaphone and was making annoucements with it. The people who already had their tickets in hand were supposed to put their identity badges on. These badges are the kind you peel the back off and stick to your clothing, They had your seat assignment on them.

My tickets were waiting for me at the door, just like they were supposed to be. There were tables set up with Hercules and Xena merchandise inside the foyer area just inside the door. There was one very large area for pictures and a lot of people were in line to look them over. Veteran con goers said, if you want pictures, get them now, not later. There will be too many people later. It seemed to me there was a good selection of photos from both Hercules and Xena shows. Some individuals were looking for specific characters or shots that they couldn’t find. I needed a picture of Ares and Eli for an autograph so that’s what I got initially, but then there were some more I really liked so I got some others as well... I tucked these treasures in my pack with my other goodies. The pack was definitely getting heavier.

There was more stuff on table just outside the doors to the auditorium. Probably usual stuff, Tshirts, scripts, plaques, etc. and one table of swords and edged instruments of warfare. I talked to Kendaa a couple of times while I was wandering around in this area. She was scouting for vital supplies to take back to her tribe that were hard to get where they live!

I found my seat on one side of the auditorium. I was within 6 rows of the stage and a little to the side. I was able to see everything pretty well. the place was never packed with people that afternoon and it’s not a large place. The stage comes out in a semicircle with seating all around it. This made for a nice, small intimate gathering kind of feeling to the whole afternoon.

The afternoon started with a Callisto music video salute, then the Australian 60 Minutes show profile of Hercules and Xena. Robert Field, a Xena Editor, talked about the process of putting together a weekly episode. He spent a lot of his time answering questions from the audience. I thought this was very worthwhile because I had always wondered about how they put music with the video, what the shooting schedules were and stuff like that. A lot of what he said was applicable to both shows although he had worked on Xena.

Then we had the 10 best actions scenes from Xena as voted by fans. This was okay except the individual scenes were quite long. The slideshow of upcoming eps was *very disappointing*. They had maybe 3 shots max for each ep and only up through the first 4 eps or so of each series. They didn’t want to give anything away, well they certainly couldn’t have with what they showed us! There were Hercules bloopers which were fine but I had trouble understanding half of what was said. This was partially my own hearing problem and partially the sound track. Then we had an Iolaus music video salute and stuff about the making of the Bitter Suite. The video salutes were all good and the music to match them was very good.

Then there was an auction of Creation collectibles. They had some nice leather jackets amongs a lot of other stuff. The lady in front of me bought a very large, signed photo of Lucy and Renee for $600! She told me she didn’t know she was going to buy it until her hand raised itself to bid on it. She seemed happy with it though.

We had a music video salute to Eli before the man himself appeared on stage. He was in a dark suit, white shirt, no tie. He is a lean man with very dark hair cut just above shoulder length--very nice look! He parts it slightly on the left and combs it back over each ear. However, his hair on the right side slips forward and down over his forehead and side of his face and gives him an even nicer look. He is an attractive, sexy man, with less hair and less bulky clothing that Eli wore.

Someone on our side asked him a question, he came over to the side and stood there and cocked his head in our direction listening to the question. The minute he turned his head and his hair fell a certain way around his face and framed it very icely. It seemed like all the flashbulbs on our side of the room went off at once right at that moment.

I think he was a little nervous, but he was humorous and outgoing. He told stories about auditioning for the show, Ted Raimi being his friend and his physical build not being quite like Ares. He played up the story that in one recent Xena ep Eli had a fight with Ares and beat him up pretty badly but this scene ended up on the cutting room floor. Ted then acted as if someone backstage had spoken to him and then he said:  “What do you mean Kevin is in the country? what do you mean he is coming here...
today?”

Kevin Smith was next. He wore tight black jeans and a loose longsleeved white knit, shirt. His hair was very short and he had that silver earring in his left ear. His stage presence was in complete contrast to the Ares music video and music of “Bad to the Bone.” He is soft-spoken, sweet, and genuinely gracious and has a *wonderful* smile. And yes, he does have a twinkle in his eye! When he called on someone from the audience to ask a question, he’d address them as “yes, love” or “yes, mate.” This with his charming New Zealand accent was enough to make you melt in your seat and slide down to the floor never to move again!

He spent most of his time answering questions, and he had everyone in that place in the palm of his hand when he spoke. One woman asked him about a passage from a play, he didn’t quite remember it and joked about her having a copy of it. She pulled it out of her backpack and gave it to him! He read a passage from Othello, I believe. I didn’t get what she asked or said to him since it was on the other side of the stage.  He did some different voices, characters, etc. He said his favorite Herc eps were the Hind trilogy and the favorite Xena eps was Ten Little Warlords. At one point, 3 amazons from the audience approached the stage and said they had a gift for him. It was a painting of the character Ares and Batman. At the Orlando con, he had mentioned he had been a great Batman fan and these Amazons had this painting made for him. He seemed genuinely touched by this gesture and those Amazons were really pleased to be able to give him the painting. He made sure everyone in the place got a
look at the painting.

Kevin and Tim both worked all sides of the stage pretty equally. There were good opportunities for photos if you took the time to get down close to the stage. I was too busy just watching these guys to get pics like that!

I didn’t know if I would have time to stand in line for autographs even though the creation folks said there was plenty of time to get signatures for the whole audience. But I got both autographs in time <VBG> and I was out the door to to back to the hotel to get my airport shuttle. I didn’t have time to say good bye to everyone which I regretted but I had a plane to catch. I got home about 1 midnight and was so high I didn’t come down enough to sleep until about 4 or 5 a.m. Sunday. I would do it all again in a heartbeat!

[This message has been edited by Shambalayogi (edited October 18, 1999).]

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