@CreationEnt #Stargate Chicago Convention, Day III Report. #SGChi
Day III- Sunday, August 19-
Exactly a year since my first convention, noticed that?
We woke up early on Sunday, even earlier than we intended to wake up for breakfast. We joined the growing line somewhere before 7:30, and got in shortly after 7:40 (they were sending us in in groups). This year the buffet was inside the room, not outside (I think they were using less tables, but I'm not sure), so once we were inside we grabbed some food (even I ate this year) and found ourselves a table. A few minutes later we were joined by two, one of which was the same Sally we sat with at the Dessert Party, and we ate through our food, waiting for the guests to come.
I don't know when Robert Picardo and Paul McGillion finally came in, but it was after very long minutes of eating, and the flashes started the moment they walked in. They hurried to the small stage in front of the tables, said a few words and stood there for a few minutes for photography. Then they split- Robert started on our side of the buffet and Paul started on the other ("Divide and conquer," as Robert said).
We were Robert's second table. The moment he stopped by our table he noticed the Cheerios wall I built (it was disgusting and I was bored, okay?), and smiled and said he liked it. He also asked us if we liked the regular Cheerios or the Honey Nut one. We said the Honey Nut. He told us his daughter likes it better too, and told us about her coming with him to a convention the weekend before, and asking for Cheerios to eat. But just like us, she got the regular one, not the Honey Nut one, which she didn't like. But she stayed with him anyway.
They (him and Sally) then started talking about school (she's a teacher), and he mentioned that he was in boy school. He said that the only way to meet girls there was to act on some shows the school did, and so he became an actor. He laughed and said that he still meets girl, even though he's older and more experienced now than he was at 16.
Then he (and his coffee and his companion :P) moved along, and we started talking about other things until Paul showed up. We were one table before his last, and so he was slightly by then, so we didn't get to talk much. He showed us the photo of Hugh, his baby (He was sooo sweet!). Then Sally (who plays the harmonica beautifully) told him that after their talk in the last Vancouver con, she studied the Atlantis theme in the harmonica. She played it to him, and he said that it was beautiful and asked her if she'd like to go onstage with that. She said she'd love that, and he said he'd call her.
Then he moved on to his last table and we left the room (it was nearing 9), turning towards the theater. There was nothing there, so we went down to where the line for the photo ops was, to find out that even though the photo ops with David Nykl were in over half an hour, they were already setting the line for that. So we joined the line and got to talk to the cute 11 years old twins (or rather, one of them, the friendlier one) who were at the convention.
Anyway, we passed the time on very nicely. We could hear laughter coming from the photo ops room and figured the photos with Paul, which came right before David's, were something worth watching. All of a sudden, a man burst out of the room, carrying Paul on his back, and ran down the aisle and back in the room, when throughout that ride Paul was giving high fives to anyone in line for photo ops. That was hilarious!
Anyway, somewhere after 9:40 David showed up and switched with Paul. As ever, Paul walked out through the hallway where we were standing, not the passageway to the elevators most actors take, and so we got to see him again before he left to do the autographs. As he left he called, "Bye David!", to which the response was, "Bye Pauly!", which kinda made me smile.
We went in, and before my photo I said it's great to meet him again. We took the photo and he looked at me and asked "again?". We had to take another photo because the first one wasn't good, and after that I told him I was amongst the group who met him in Israel and asked how he enjoyed Israel. He said that it was a great night, and that he loved Israel. He said he was in Haifa and Jerusalem and he loved it.
After the photo op we hurried up to the theater, where Joe and Paul were signing autographs. Joe was signing to all those who were left and Paul was signing to everyone, row by row. Being row H, it took us a while before we got to him. Since Paul was also talking to people, we also got to hear Andee Frizzell's panel, which was nice, but not something I'd go for again. After the first few minutes I got the point and kinda stopped listening, so I can't tell you what was there.
We were already in line for the autograph when they screened the video for David's panel. It was a cute little video about saving the day and everything, and it had some subtitles with it (You'll understand why it's important in a second). Then, finally, 20 minutes late, they called David Nykl onstage! (With the writing David Nkyl onscreen… lol.)
David took one look at the screen and then said that's how they write his name in Russian. We laughed. He also said that he watched the video backwards backstage, and that the writing looks like Russian, too. Again, you couldn't not to laugh.
I didn't hear very good at this point, because we were nearing Paul, but I heard him talking about the space suits sequel and how fun it was to make. He said something about the great cost of the suits, which was quite shocking considering the amount of time it's been used. He also talked about a new film he just did and a project in French he did.
Anywho, at this point we got to Paul, so I wasn't listening. The couple before me talked to him about places to go to in the UK (they were freshly married), which was nice. As I got to him I handed him my photo with him from last year's Chicago Con, and he said I'm cute (*blushes*). As he signed that and my DVD box set he asked if I have a boyfriend. I said not yet. He said that's the right answer, not yet. He's so sweet. :-)
After that we quickly ran to our places. David was talking about Letters from Pegasus and his part in it. He was talking about how he describes the rising of Atlantis and how they used some footage from before, and said they simply took his part and recorded it backwards to make it sound like Czech (lol). He said the script was always actually in English, and he'd always translate it himself, and say all the stuff he wanted to say. He later told us that the truth is many of the things he said in Czech were cut out.
Also, after we kept telling him things he simply said, "It's like having Google right in front of you". Hardcore fans or not?
Someone asked him if back home Zeleka had a relationship- a girlfriend or wife, perhaps. He said that he had a wife, and they had quite a stormy relationship. During the show they broke apart (Duh, he'd gone to another galaxy), and got back and stuff like that. We laughed. He then thought for a long moment before saying that yes, he thinks he has a girlfriend back home on Earth.
A woman (yes, yes, all these times it’s been our @MajorGeek69) asked him if he'd taken anything from set. His response was, "Are you asking if I'm a thief?". He then said that he took the name that was on his chair, and that he's got a box full of the communicating devices at home, because as he cycled home from set, he'd always forgot they were on him. And so he'd cycle back home, and had only found it at home. The prop folks weren't really very happy with that. And people would go, "Who is he talking to?"
Someone asked him if he can give us a swearword in Czech, and if he ever looked up the science stuff his character had to say. He told us the writers were always very careful to keep the science part of the show real, because we'd have felt that's it's not real. He said they had specialists and they were always as accurate as possible, because essentially, wormholes are real, and all the astrophysics they're dealing with is real. So it's important.
He then said Skrasna or something like that to the one who asked that. A moment later he added it means "you're beautiful". Aww :-)
He was then asked if they knew someone was to die in Sunday, and if he had the fear that it'll be him. He said that they knew and it came as great shock to them. They all loved Paul, and it was really out of the blue for them.
He also talked about how there was always a gag between Rodney and Radek. He said it's good they did it that way, because if they'd be friends it wouldn't be the same. Rodney needed his sort of helpmate, and they couldn't be friends. It has a dramatic quality in it, said Nykl.
He also said the new movie he was talking about is Camera Shy and it'll be out soon.
Someone at Creation signaled him he has five minutes, so he went like, "high five". XD
Someone asked if he was mad at David [Hewlett] for giving Paul [McGillion] the role in A Dog's Breakfast. David said that you don't really expect people to just give you roles in movies because you're friends. He said he's not mad at him. The same person then asked him if he'd like to do that, to which he replied, "Sure. Would've been fun to play a woman", which got laughter, but surprisingly no response from Paul, who was still autographing.
Someone told him he knows someone who's gonna go teach English in Czech, and wanted to know if he had any words of advice. All that David said was, "Run". That was funny. Anyway, he said that it's a beautiful place, great place to teach in. He was sure she'd have fun.
The last person asked if when they (Stargate Atlantis actors) meet they tell each other about movies and TV shows they do. He said they do, and that it's always fun to meet actors he used to work with. He said that they always talk actor's-stuff, like what projects they do. He also said they don't meet very often, but it's always fun to meet with each other.
Then he turned to leave stage as he was told, but I think Adam stopped him and said he has one more things to do for us- Shakespeare. David then stood with his face to the wall, raised one arm, and said one Shakespeare line in Czech. That was great. XD
David's panel ended right on time, which was kind of annoying, considering how they'd let Andee Frizzell stay onstage for longer. Annoying.
Anyway, right after David's panel they showed a video for the next panel, called "Frosty the Snowman". By the name of the next guest I'm sure you can all guess who the video was about. Trust me, it was FUNNY. And after the video he finally came onstage, one we have all been waiting for. And for the first time in ages, Chicago gave a warm welcome to the one and the only, Michael Shanks!
Michael (Forgive my fangirling) looked really hot in a grey quite tight shirt, which was slightly open up, too, and jeans. He looked in real life just as gorgeous as I'd always imagined. Maybe even more. And the excitement (of both me and the audience) was so great he could probably feel it even before going onstage.
Anyway, Michael came onstage, and everybody got really excited and started taking photos and screaming. And he looked at all of us and went, "Have you all been here since the last one I've been to?" (Like a sleepover, he said). Apparently that's what we did. XD
After commenting that very funny comment, Michael started taking questions. Just a warning- the man in front of you is a brilliant actor, comedy genius and basically a really smart man. If you can't handle there, don't read it ;-)
Someone asked him if it was hard for all the other actors on Saving Hope to ignore him onscreen (for those of you who don't know, he's basically a floating ghost in the hospital). "It's always hard for anybody to pretend to ignore me," Said Shanks, making us all laugh. Then he said that yes, it was hard for them, but the hardest time was definitely Erica[Durance]'s, since somehow he always stood behind her, touching her or talking to her, and she had to ignore it. He said sometimes he'd just whisper stuff for fun. That's been a fun part to him.
Someone asked him something about dying on Stargate and seeing it coming, and his reply was, "Every script I read on that show I anticipated I was going to die". He later added the producers seemed to really enjoy killing him.
He was also asked what his favorite episode to film was. He talked about having Claudia [Black] in Prometheus Unbound, and how much fun that was for him. He also mentioned he loved having a gun and doing things with it. He also had a hard time remembering some episodes' names, and his comment on that was, "This is what happens, I turned into Richard Dean Anderson". Again, you could probably hear the laughter back in Vancouver. Another episode he talked about (and had a hard time remembering the name) was Rules of Engagement, which was fun too. He tried to remember the name, and then someone in the audience called a weird name… and the look on Michael's face when he looked at him was his priceless sort of "huh?". Anyway, some kid reminded him the name.
The next question was what his most awkward moment on the show was. He said that it was the episode he comes back from ascending, that he was naked. Someone in the audience called Fallen (the name of the episode), and Michael asked what that was, to which the response was "Fallen", a bit louder now. Michael went, "I thought you said Holland. I was naked in Holland, but I don't know how much is on the internet". Well now we know that ;-)
Someone asked if he studied archeology to prepare for his role as Daniel. He simply said no. Someone also asked him if in light of his previous role, he'd like to play a vampire, but I didn't hear the answer.
The same lady who asked that last question asked him if she and her friend can ask something. She then called her friend and they (both ladies) asked if he'd marry them. Michael's response was, "I now pronounce you wife and wife". Hahaha.
Someone asked about his chemistry with Erica, if it had gotten better thanks to their acting together time in Supernatural. He said that it did, and that they actually met on Stargate, when she was hired for a role in Affinity. He said that they became friends in a short time and that he helped her through her role on Stargate. He also said that for him his friendship with Erica is about trust and safety. He trusts her and the same goes the other way.
Michael also talked a bit about Daniel's transition throughout the show and about Richard Dean Anderson and Christopher Judge. He told us how Chris was very straight onscreen, but was really crazy and funny off-screen, and how Richard is simply hilarious. He said they'd always ruin takes and stuff. He also told us how at the beginning Richard always came from filming movies.
Someone asked what the craziest thing that ever happened to him with a fan. Michael replied that he doesn’t think there was something too crazy. He had creepy letters and weird emails and stalkers, but nothing more. He thought for a moment before thanking the people who bought them (Michael, Steve Bacic and whoever else) drinks at the pub the night before. Even though, he said, it wasn't very clever- it was Steve Bacic, after all.
The same person also asked if when he died the first time he knew he was coming back. Michael went like, "when was the first time?", which was kinda funny. He then talked about Fire and Water, which is the second episode in which Daniel died (or so we think). He said that they were on the plane to start shooting, and one of the producers let him read the teaser, in which they describe Daniel's funeral. Then they took it back, leaving him going, "what the hell…?!". At that time he knew he wouldn't really stay dead, since his contract was for a full year, but that was interesting for him to shoot. He then thought and said he thinks Daniel died for the first time in The Nox, to which we all agreed. Michael looked at us and said, "You guys are good!". Thank you, Michael.
Someone asked is NBC ordered Season 2 for Saving Hope. Michael said that they didn't. The person said he saw it online that they did, but Michael said he'd know that and they didn't. His throat then started misbehaving, and there was something from someone that NBC sucks… ;-)
Same person then asked if Mr. Hockey: The Gordie Howe Story is going to be a TV movie. Michael said that it is, and it will air on CBC. And he's sure it'll be streaming online right after that.
A woman came up next and said that if those two that came before want him, they'd have to fight her first. Michael went all, "can you do that now?" with that excited smile of his. He so enjoyed it (XD). He went like, "You, get me something (don't remember what). You two, fight to the death". I'm still laughing like crazy thinking about it. Even though they wouldn't get him anyway. He's MINE.
Then she asked what the best practical joke he ever did on set was, and what the worst practical joke that was done on him was. He said he doesn't remember anything really bad that was done on him, but he did try a practical joke on Chris once. He said that Chris put some cookie dough in Ben[Browder]'s toilet, to make him go crazy, which it did. So Michael took some of it and threw it on the floor of Chris' trailer. He then went back to his own trailer and waited, but to his surprise, nothing happened. Chris even got to return to his own trailer, and got ready to leave and everything, and so Michael walked to him and went like, "Didn't you see what I threw on the floor?", and Chris went like, "Dude, that was you? I thought it fell off my costume!". Michael looked at us and went, "If that looked like it fell off his costume, what else did he have there?!".
The next person asked how hard Lifeboat was to make. Michael said it was a really tough episode, since he had to play so many characters (and geez, he was so convincing in all of them!). He said it was a good challenge and that he really enjoyed making it. He also added that he got the script two or three days before, like always, when they were doing another episode, and he read the script and went like, "I have to do what?!". The girl also asked him to do "Jack" in that slightly whiny tone, and he said he won't do that, but he asked her what her name was and then did it with her name. That was fun.
The next question was what he thinks Daniel's favorite childhood memory was. Michael's response was, "I think probably his parents dying", which was funny. He then said that he does many damaged people, like Daniel (and also Charlie), and someone said he's good at it, which he is. He then said he doesn't really know if Daniel has a favorite childhood memory, because of the way his life was, and most of the memories of Daniel that he played were bad stories, so he can't really think of something. He then said maybe going to Disneyland with the other kids at the orphanage is a good memory to Daniel, which, again, made us all laugh. Someone at the audience said a Canucks game might be too, and Michael agreed.
Someone asked about the Puff and Raffle story that Amanda told. Michael turned to us and asked how many of us know the story and how many of us don't know it. Looking at all the hands lifted up for the last question he went, "Fresh meat!". He then told us that every time a new attractive woman would appear on set they all (He, RDA and Chris Judge) acted around her. He said that each of them had his own behavior. Richard would always go, "Hi, how are you doing? Do you need anything?" and stuff. Chris would go in a charming, "How ya doin'?" sort of way. And Michael said he was somewhere with Rick. Then he added that for the regular women it was different. He described how Amanda always wanted their attention back, and would always go in the "wounded lamb" position (peeking through the eyelashes, acting in a "trying to attract attention" sort of way), as they called it. That's the meeting ritual of the Stargate set, said Michael. I gotta say I'd be happy to be there back then…
Someone asked about acting with Jeffery Donovan [based on Michael's answer. I thought I heard the person say Bruce Campbell but…] on Burn Notice. He told us that he's a really cool guy, and when he was asked if he really as a badass in real life he said he is.
The next person was one of the boys hanging in the convention, and I'm pretty sure it was one of the twins I mentioned earlier, that said that he's braver than he's brother for coming and talking to Michael. He then asked Michael if he was a boy scout. Michael said that he was, though he was not in the ranks. He was a beaver scout, and a cop scout or something like that. Then Michael asked the kid if he goes to school, and he said that he's homeschooling. Michael asked if they choose their own vacations, and the kid says they do, based on how they're working during the year. Michael asked him what his favorite sport is, and to his (and our) surprise (and much to my amusement), the kid said "goodbye" and walked away. I gotta say I'm not sure I'd ever have the nerve to walk away from Michael Shanks. They later called from the audience that it was soccer.
Someone asked about the Mr. Hockey movie again, and Michael said that it was about him going back (I'm not sure where) with his kids. "Unless we screw up making it". There was sound of disappointments from the audience, to which he said it might still be good.
The next person asked him if Charlie (Saving Hope, in coma, remember?) is going to ascend. He said Charlie doesn't believe in ascension, so he can't ascend. The same person then asked him about Charlie kissing the Indian girl in episode 7- why the hell did he do that? Michael said that they had discussions at the beginning over what kind of a kiss this was going to be. Michael said to him this was a kiss of friendship. What happens is the girl feels alive again as she returns to her body and Charlie just wanted to be a part of that, to feel alive again. He said all he wanted was to share the moment with her. He also told us they shot it twice, and in the second time he tried another kiss, and in the end he's okay with what they chose.
Another person asked if he was stuck in an arena with twenty people, which weapon he'd choose. He immediately replied, "Probably a machine gun". Reasonable man. She then said it wasn't allowed, but I don't remember his second answer.
Someone asked if Daniel effected his nowadays roles. Michael said that when playing a character, at some point his personality is coming up as well. So even though he's in danger of looking the same every week, he doesn't change it, which makes him look very similar to the week before. "Some people like me," He said, much to my amusement. I have to say I'm one of those people ;-)
The next person asked about the making the audiobooks and what he thought about them. He said it was an odd (yet interesting) experience. He said they're not the show's writers, so obviously they sometimes have trouble capturing the characters' voices. He said sometimes while reading he'd find lines that he knew didn't fit Daniel, and so he'd tell them and they changed it. He talked about how he'd do Daniel and there was a British actor to play the rest of the characters, which was weird to him. He also talked about the audiobooks he did with Claudia, and how they never recorded together, and so he'd have to imagine how she behaved thanks to the time he knows the way she did Vala.
Another person asked about the tuxedo he wears on Saving Hope. He said he loved it at first, but it got really hot to film with. The same person then asked about going from ten years of Science Fiction to a drama, and Michael said they're completely different animals. He said that both he and Erica came from the same background of sci-fi, and that even though they're used to it, it's great to do character based show, since it focused more on the acting than effects or similar stuff. He then said it is also very exhausting, since they never have an episode off- it's always about the characters. He said he and Erica would love to have a zombie apocalypse episode every once in a while just to relax.
The next person asked if he could remake any movie and play a role in it, what it would be. Michael didn't stop to think and immediately said it would be Apocalypse Now and that he'd play a Colonel, I don't remember which.
Someone asked what his favorite sign, message and theme of SG1 was. Michael's immediate response was, "I hate you". He then said his favorites are the Earth sign, the Kleenex box, and the opening theme. "Ladies and gentlemen, that's how you dodge your question!"
Someone asked what his favorite project was. Michael said it will always be the last thing he did, since he is very passionate about the projects he's doing. He said right now it's his new hockey movie, but it changes.
The next person asked him if he'd like to do Daniel as the commander of Atlantis. He said it's hard for him to see Daniel in charge. He said like Jack, being in charge isn't really his element. And that's exactly why it was funny to have Jack as the commander in season 8. He said if Atlantis had a sixth season, Martin Gero would have brought him back. He also said he'd pay to see five minutes of Daniel in charge of Atlantis.
Then someone told him dodging his question was a presidential quality. He also asked about the new Stargate game coming out and doing the voice for that. Michael said he got a copy from the company, but he didn't play the game, since it keeps crashing. He said they recorded the voice once, but other than that he doesn't know much about the game. The man then told him there was a leak and they've got some stuff online about it, so if you guys want, go searching!
Michael was also asked about a Stargate spinoff (whether we'll ever have another one) and what he thinks about Stargate Universe and about acting there. He said he thinks there will be another Stargate show sometime, somewhere… sometime, somewhere, someway. He repeated it about three times before he decided he had enough of that. XD
He then reminded us of the new Stargate app and asked who's got it. I think about a third of the audience raised their hands. Then he said he doesn't really know what's going on these days, and that he heard the Devlin wants to make more Stargate films, which he's curious to see. But in the future he definitely thinks there'll be more Stargate.
As to SGU- his only problem was its darker tone. The dark tone meant that as an actor, he'd have to give up the natural tone of the character, which is much lighter, to fit the show. That meant for him that he was handcuffed- he couldn't do everything he was used to, he couldn't do Daniel the way he wanted. As a viewer, he said it was pretty good. Very dramatic.
A woman then told him she's in tears every time she sees his characters suffer, or something like that. Michael's response was, "You must be in tears a lot". She then asked how he became this spiritual guy (first ascending, now trapped between worlds…). He said he doesn't know. The truth is when he signed up for Saving Hope he didn't expect it to be the way it was – they weren't sure themselves where they were going. He then talked about how it's similar to Crystal Skull, which was a great experience. He said what happens in these stories is that the character knows no one can hear him, but he still has to do talking, to explain things. So this is all about talking to yourself in front of the camera, to explain your thoughts to the audience.
Someone then came to him about a convention he and Lexa has been to… I'm not sure exactly what was going on there, though. I do remember that the person (I think it was a woman) asked if they can let them know they're coming in advance. Michael then asked her if she wants them to do the convention in her place. I'm sure she'd love that.
Another woman then came up and asked him whose idea it was for his hairstyle in Saving Hope (female fans are not happy! LOL). He said on January he shaved his head (did I mention female fans aren't happy?), and that he thought by the time they'd begin shooting it'd grow more. But it didn't. They then started a talk about his hairstyle, which was rather funny. She also asked him if in Mr. Hockey movie he'll be doing the hockey or a stunt double. He said that he'll be doing the hockey stuff, like all the other actors. He said Andy [Mikita] insisted they'd do it all themselves. There will be nothing dangerous, though.
Michael also talked about portraying Gordie Howe in the new movie. He told us GH's son was feeding the writers with information and ideas, so they can make the movie more accurate. He also said that with unlike playing a fictional character, which is much easier, he needs to do the real man justice, so he watched footage of him and he prepared differently for it.
Someone asked Michael about doing Bad Guys. Michael said that what he remembers the most about it is that that's the episode they were told SG-1 was cancelled. He also said that playing Daniel in authority was fun, and that it was fun (and funny) to improvise on it.
Then Dan Payne came on to the microphone ("This is gonna be good," Said Michael, and was totally right), and asked if the Gordie movie needs a goon. Michael immediately said that they do. Dan went like, "I'm gonna kill him if he doesn't hire me. Kill him… I mean hug him." Then they talked for a while (which, I gotta say, was really funny), before Michael asked him if he had any more questions. "Yes. Where do babies come?" He asked, much to our amusement. I don't think there was someone who wasn't laughing that moment. Eventually Dan left, and the moment he left Michael looked at us and went, "Who was that?"
I think after that it was the fifth time I said I didn't want him off that stage. :P
The next person asked what other languages he knows, and if it was real ancient Egyptian on the show when he does Sha're's funeral. Michael said that it was real Egyptian, but the script was in English. He said that he argued, because it didn't make sense to him that those people would do that in English when their original language is what we call ancient Egyptian, but he was told that the studio doesn't want to do that, because putting on subtitles hurt the show or something like that. Eventually they decided it will be in both ancient Egyptian and English, and they tracked down the expert who translated for them at the beginning and asked him to do that too. Obviously he did, and eventually it ended with them doing both. To answer the person's first question, he said he speaks both English and profanity, which had us laughing again.
Then someone asked him about his son playing Skylanders, and if he plays with his son. He said his son moved on from that. He got everything in the game, and then just dropped it. Michael himself says he didn't quite get the game, so obviously his son was better at it.
And that's it. After that Michael got up (to many flashes and cheers), said goodbye and left.
After that I got up, stared at him for a while before he was gone… and sprang to the photo ops line faster than I knew I could. And just for the record, I didn't fall or run into anyone, not even once (save the applause for later :P). Anyway, managed to get a good place in line, to which my mother then joined (I managed to convince her she deserved a photo with Michael). We stood in line outside for a while, and during that time I ran to see how the line for Kate Hewlett's autograph was. It was long, so I ran back downstairs, and we waited a few minutes before Michael arrived and we entered the room.
What can I say…? I was in love. Even more in love than I've been for the last few years. As I walked towards him I swear I was trembling. This was the first time I was going to be anywhere near "Michael frikkin Shanks", as I kept telling my mom, and I was so nervous I seriously thought I'd faint, freeze or just go in total shock.
None of those things happened. Instead I came to him, we took a picture, my hair tried to capture him… no big deal. AND I got a hug. I actually got a hug. Which I suppose isn't very much for him, but means the world for me. So yeah, I walked out of the photo op room alive, awake, and on cloud nine.
After the photo op (I still couldn't… correction, I still can't believe I survived my first meeting with Michael Shanks) we went back up to the Vendors room for Kate's autograph. We stood there for a while, talking to a couple more people, before I gave mom my camera so she can plug it in the room. A while after she returned we finally got to Kate.
Before us stood a woman who said her mother always uses Kate and David as an example for brothers and sister, so she asked Kate to destroy (and obviously sign) David's image she brought. I gotta say that was nice. Not as good as the day before in her panel… But good.
Then I got to her. There wasn't much there (she was so lovely, really. And for some reason she actually wrote "a beautiful name for a beautiful gal" on the photo), and a couple of minutes later we were on the way to our room to get my camera. We took it (it was completely charged) and we hurried back to the Grand Ballroom, where they were finishing the No Minimum Bid Auction. It took a few minutes, and before we knew it there was a video of John Sheppard, and a moment later the Paul McGillion and Joe Flanigan went onstage! (Double trouble, as Adam said minutes earlier).
The moment they sat down, Joe immediately asked, "Is Paul's microphone louder than mine or he's just more annoying?". That got some laughter.
He then said he just wants to congratulate Paul first. For those of us who didn't know, Paul is now a father!
Then they talked about the South Park in which Canada goes on strike because nobody notices the nation or something like that. I've never watched South Park, but Joe's description was funny, even though I don't remember why he told us that.
Anyway, then they started taking question. Just FYI: the kids in the audience were the ones who started the panel.
The first kid asked if they have any funny stories from set. Joe went, "I hope they're funny, 'cause if not I'm afraid you're gonna come after me". They then thought for a moment before Joe gave the next very funny, very deep story: "Once, we cast a guy names Paul McGillion". That actually did draw a lot of laughter from the audience. After we calmed down Paul told us the story of the first read through of Stargate Atlantis. He told us at the audition he did Carson Scottish, and they didn't like it. But eventually they casted him, and when he came to the read through he did the Scottish accent. And then everyone looked at him weirdly, and Joe went, "Are you Scottish?". And then, five years later, he still went, "Are you Scottish?" "Yes, Joe," Paul replied. "Okay". I heard this story about four times, and that still made me (and the rest of us) laugh. Joe then added that he asked him if he's gonna do that in the shower.
Joe also told us that he was told that David [Hewlett] was going to play the black guy. As we all know, David is very far from being a black guy. So when David came in to set, the first thing Joe asked him was, "Are you black?". Yes. He's obviously black. Joe also told us David and Paul were major whiners. They always whined about something. On Phantoms, said Paul, they had a scene in which he and David carry one of the guys. During the filming of the episode, Paul's backpack kept getting heavier and heavier. In the end of the filming, well after Joe was gone, one of the crew members told him Joe wanted him to open the backpack. To his shock, inside the backpack he found about 50 pounds of rocks. Apparently Joe kept putting them in every time he could. "I was just testing your commitment!" Said Joe. Paul's response to that was, "Cheeky little bugger".
The woman after that had a card made for Paul, Courtney and Hugh. She gave it to Paul (who was happy to accept it) before asking what woman role they'd want on Atlantis. Joe immediately said Carson. After some laughter from the audience Paul said that both roles were roles of strong women. Joe added that he thought there were never enough strong women on Atlantis. Paul agreed and told us that Joe said that all the time. The truth is, Joe felt that they could make more roles for strong women than they already had, but he could not understand why they didn't do that. Eventually they both stuck to Carson.
The next woman was Sally, the one with the harmonica who sat with us that morning and the night before, who reminded Paul he asked her to play onstage. Paul immediately got her onstage and told the audience she's going to play the Atlantis theme. While she set up, Joe got up and said he'll do the Sheppard part. What does that mean, you ask? While Sally played the theme beautifully, Joe hurried around the stage, pretending to be shooting with a gun and acting all soldier-Sheppard. That was hilarious.
After she left they both discussed Joel Goldsmith a bit. They talked about how talented he was, and the power that his music had. They were both sad to know that he was now gone.
The next question was for Paul. Of course Paul immediately liked him and Joe immediately sent him back to his seat. Anyway, the person asked how it was for him to die in Season 3 after being a regular for two seasons. Joe, of course, had to show us his version of the exploding tumor, and obviously we all laughed, because, you know, it was funny. After that Paul said that it really hurt. The person kept pushing, and eventually Paul went, "It sucked! Thanks a lot, Mr. Happy!".
The next question was for Joe- would you be a Wraith? Paul said no for him (XD). Joe said that's a lot of prosthetics, and that's a bit too much for him. Then they both returned to the exploding tumor, Joe saying every now and then Hollywood has its genius moments (the tumor, obviously) and Paul talking about the fan protest. He said that he found out about the fan protest and that it was great for him to come back. He's grateful for it. Joe told us that he told the producers they can tell him things and he can comment, and right after that they simply stopped telling him things. Then they told them they were killing Paul, and they all thought it was a stupid idea.
The next person asked about how Jill Wagner [Larrin of the travelers] was hired and about Joe's time with her. When Joe and Paul needed a bit of help the person started describing some things about the episodes, and Joe went, "I was Sheppard, right?" and we laughed. The person kept on describing, and Paul asked him, "Did you just watch it before you got here?", which was rather funny. The person replied that Be All My Sins Remember'd is his favorite episode. Anyway, Joe said that she is actually a friend of Jason's. Jason recommended her and so she sent a tape to the producers. Now, the producers would send them the tapes, so they can be a part of the process (After all, they do have to act alongside these people), and so they really enjoyed that. Paul added that she's got a restraining order against Joe (How unsurprising :P).
The next asker was another kid (at some point Joe and Paul asked if there's anyone above twelve in the convention), and he started saying something, I don't remember what. And they went, "Have you been drinking again?" (Yes, of course he has been). The kid said he has a message for Paul ("Oh, he's drunk"). He said he had a two-part message from Garrett something. The first part was to do his impression from Germany. After a moment of persuasion Paul did it, and the kid then said that the second part is that he's better than him. Paul called security. XD
If I tell you "the microphone can't try", you'll think I'm nuts, right? Well, it's not so nuts when it comes from Joe's lips when one of the mics doesn’t work… I guess. Also, Joe found an interesting use to the red cover of his microphone- the clown nose. If only I had caught it on camera…
The question was to Paul about the Iratus storyline in Season 2 (the whole serum thing). Paul said it was an interesting storyline with good complexes. Someone mentioned Duet and the Hewlett/McGillion kiss, and Paul went like, "David kissed me. He attacked me!". That was funny.
Someone asked Joe about working with Jean Cloud Van Damme (on 6 Bullets). Joe said it was a great experience, which he really enjoyed. He talked about how he was tattooed (cool tattoos!) and had to learn war arts to portray that character, which he enjoyed. Paul started pretending to sleep during his talk, so Joe went, "When I was ten…". That got serious laughter from the audience. And then Paul "woke up", too (XD). He then said it went surprisingly well, and he's looking forward to see how we'll react when it'll be out in a month. (The movie, by the way, is already out. Watch!)
Someone asked them how it was like to be in Germany. Paul mentioned the beer and the good sausages. Joe, of course, added, "More beer". Someone else asked Joe how many action figures of himself he has, to which Joe replied, "only 30". He said it's great to watch his boys play with them, and that he hopes that his latest project, which is a video game, would get action figures too.
Someone asked about the art museum photo Joe tweeted a while ago (from Berlin), and asked what their favorite museum is. Joe said he gets to travel a lot, and so he loves to go to different museums at the places he arrives to. He also said Berlin and its art rocked. Then one of them mentioned a name, and when nobody understood the obvious joke, they explained it's a strip club. Good to know (XD). Paul mentioned he loved the History Museum in London. Joe then added there are great architecture in LA and New York.
Another person asked how they were cast in Stargate. Joe started, and told us how the head of MGM met his agent in an event, and told him he needs a lead for a new role. He pitched Joe. Joe said he thought he couldn't do science fiction (he obviously can), but he watched SG1 and took a shot at the audition. The contract was signed in 24 hours. Then he went, "I did not have to sleep with anyone, but Paul…"
Paul then told us that he read for the part, and he just felt Scottish to him. At first they didn't want him to do Scottish, but eventually they gave up, and he did it. He was then supposed to go to Spain, but he was then told he got the part, so he stayed. After a year he was turned to a regular. To that last line Joe went, "Paul was never meant to be a regular, but he slept with so many people…". Then he said he's just kidding (obviously), and the truth is Paul was really good and deserved it.
Someone asked Joe how hard it was to do the Doppelganger fight against himself. Joe took his time remembering how the episode went (the person who asked the question kept reminding him things), and so Paul went, "Did you watch any of the episodes?". Apparently not. Anyway, after remembering the episode, Joe said that that scene was very hard to do. Phantom punches are harder to do than real punches, he said. It was pretty exhausting, too. He told us about the time they did the part where he crashes through the rails, and he said they hooked him up to all these things, and said the rail was supposed to be easily breakable. But when they tried pulling him through it, nothing happened. And then, suddenly, he was pulled back… and crashed through the real rail. But it was still very fun. Then he went, "What else did I do?"
Someone then told Paul the kiss was hot. Paul went, "Kinda was hot. Creepy hot."
Another question – oh, hell, let's call her her name – Theresa asked if they'd taken anything from set. Paul's immediate response was, "Yeah. The Gate". I wonder if Hugh will go through it once he can ;-)
Anyway, Paul then said that's he's got some earpieces, one of the customs, Brad Wright's office chair, Joe's shoes… Joe cut him off saying he's got his dignity. That was funny. After that Paul said they got some small things, nothing serious. But Jason… Well, Jason's another story. They then told us how Jason's trailer was always like a cave filled with all these things he collected. He had a guitar there, skulls… whatever you can think of. Wow. Joe then said after the last episode he stole the PCA (People's Choice Awards) trophy they got from the office. They then got on talking about that sci-fi museum there is, and wondered if there are any Stargate things in it. Someone in the audience said there are.
The next question was if they're afraid of the Wraith. Paul said they're scary, with all the prosthetics they've got on them. Joe told the story about Andee [Frizzell] coming up to him at one of the cast's parties. He went like, "Who are you?". It took him a while to realize it's her, just like it was to everyone else. Then Joe told us that while doing The Queen, Rachel [Luttrell] was still breastfeeding, and so she was worried that the baby might see her with the prosthetics and panic. The boys then told her not to worry, and that he'll recognize her, and she did it, and he ended up crying. They went, "Mommy doesn't look good today". Paul then told us that when she was waiting for the baby they sneaked into her trailer and took some photos for her and the baby. One played Rachel and the other did something else. Each photo had a theme, like, mommy's a lover, or mommy's drunk and so. That was funny.
They were asked if in an alien invasion case – [Joe: "Is that hypothetical?"] – would they be hurt or kept alive? They had both replied that they'd kill them, in different words. Joe also told us about a time the cast went to watch Galaxy Quest. They wanted together, and afterwards Torri (I think) went, "I don’t know if I should laugh or cry".
Someone asked what their families think about their parts on sci-fi. Paul said they think it's cool. They get to travel with him to conventions sometimes, and so they all meet people, see the amazing fanbase they've got… It's a unique experience, he said. Joe said they like it as well. He then told us about how he told his dad about his job on Stargate: Atlantis (I mention it for a reason). The next time they talked his dad asked how his job on Battlestar Wars is. Joe went, "Do you realize I save the universe every goddamn week?!". We laughed.
Then a girl came up. Paul (already knowing what this was about – I wonder how many deals he cut?) called her up on stage. They told us that she's sixteen today, and Paul asked us to sing for her. At first he sang something alone (Joe didn't sing, I wonder why), and then he started "Happy birthday to you" so we joined him. That was fun. :-)
Someone asked them to tell a joke. Joe went, "Does it go like this? Hi Paul". Somebody else asked them what their favorite books are. Paul said it's "World According to ". He then said that Joe doesn't read any books (which made us all laugh). Joe's response was: "I read a book once". Again, there was laughter all over the theater. He then said he loves Paul Emerson's books. Then they went on about the "Book Question". They joked and said Joe actually wrote the name on his palm so he won't have to remember the answer to that (like when you cheat in a test). That was funny. XD
Then someone from Creation told them to cut it (The boys went, "You're dead"), so they quickly told us what's new with them. Joe told us he's got a movie coming out, he finished Heavy Metal, and he's got this big video game thing, which will probably come out next year. Paul said he just did a Fringe episode, he's got a movie coming out with Stephan Segal, he did Hunting Hour and he's in a new miniseries called Delete. Then the men went offstage, leaving us wishing they could be back.
After the panel ended we hurried downstairs. The McGillion/Flanigan photo op wasn’t due to begin until forty minutes later, but knowing there will be a huge line, we hurried down there anyway. After the Flanigan photo ops, Paul joined Joe in the room, and they started the joined photo op. I remember being very excited about it. We took the photo and I left the room, right to the Shanks/Flanigan photo ops line, which was already growing very long (Michael… Joe… Together… And many fangirls. Nothing else is needed to be said). They were slightly late, but we didn't mind much. I was extremely excited (second meeting with Michael… Michael and Joe together… Duh!), and just like Paul, they were lovely, and we took the photo. And that was it.
After the photo ops we returned to the Grand Ballroom, where the last event of the convention – the Nykl and Shanks autograph sessions – was about to begin.
Waiting for the last two autographs seemed like an endless wait. I was restless, slightly tired, but most of all excited, in ways I was never excited before. They called row A, and then B, and then C… It felt like Michael was talking to people for hours just to annoy me. Obviously it was neither… But still, that's how it felt. On the David Nykl front things weren't better- my ticket, bought at the convention, was number 98- meaning in the fourth group after the PDF tickets owners. Which seriously made things look even slower to me.
Eventually they called tickets 75 to 100 for David Nykl, so we got up and hurried to the line. There were many nice people around, but it was already 6 PM, we got up at about 6 AM and the weekend's events, as fun as they were, were also very tiring. So we talked with others a bit, but we mostly stood/walked quietly with ourselves.
We almost reached David when they called row H for Michael, and so we decided to stay where we were and hurry to Michael's line as we're finished.
We eventually reached David. I'm so tired I don't even remember any of the talks before, just my couple of minutes. I handed the person one of the audiobooks David did for Stargate, and he handed David the CD. David looked at it and said that he remembers doing that and it was a lot of fun. I thanked him – I was too tired to say more, especially after talking to him earlier that day – and we ran to Michael Shanks' line.
Boy, that was the longest wait I've ever had. Knowing you're in line to see one of the people you've been admiring ever since you can remember for the first time is one thing, even when it involves a hug from that man (I'm still on cloud nine, by the way). Knowing that you're about to talk to that man, which, to remind you, you've been in love with for the better part of your life… boy, that's an entirely different thing.
At some point I could already see him. The only reason I didn't jump up and down yelling "I'm gonna meet Michael frikkin Shanks" was that, as stupid as it may sound, I cared too much about what he thinks of me. I always do. I think they're the only people I care what they think of me. Stupid, maybe, but I don't give a crap.
We got to Michael eventually. I gave him the photo I designed for his autograph, and as he started signing I told him that SG1 and Daniel have been… are a huge part of my life, so I thanked him for it. He thanked me back for saying it. Then he went, "Are you guys from Chicago?", and I said we're from Israel. "Israel, that's a little further," He said. "A little," I agreed with a smile. Then he silently autographed the other photo (I should've spoken! But my heart was beating so fast, and I was starting to lose my voice, and I couldn't really think), and then we turned to leave. As we left I told him Saving Hope is awesome (because it is). He thanked me again.
Seriously, he was so nice. Every bit of him says confidence, and he's slightly cynical, but I love that about him. He was so sweet and nice when I talked to him, and I just can't shake the feeling that had I gotten to know him, I'd love him even more than I already do. I'm so happy that I got to meet him. And in that moment, I could definitely die happy.
Of course, I was in total shock that not only I survived a meeting with Michael, but I also talked to him and I didn't fail. I was all on cloud nine (that happened a lot during that convention, yeah), and kept talking about how beautiful his eyes are from so close and how gorgeous and nice and amazing he is. You know… fangirling.
And that was it. As we went up to our room, all of a sudden I realized that that was it. The convention, my third convention and one of the best three weekends of my life (only second to my first convention), was really over.
You see, ever since "Sunday" I didn't like Sundays. I knew I had a good reason.
So that's it. After hours and hours and gathering countless memories I will never forget, the Official Stargate Convention in Chicago was over. The convention next year may not be this way, but I've got more good memories than I could ever dream, and more power to sustain me through another year, and I can make it.
Thank you, Creation Entertainment, for creating this amazing weekend. Thank you, both volunteers and Creation team (And Adam, our fantastic MC!), for making sure it was made the best away anyone could ever make it. And of course, a huge THANK YOU to the incredible guests, who made the effort to come and meet fans and were so nice to us all.
Last thing: It's been great, and it's also partly thanks to the fans we've met. I loved meeting fans. I enjoyed meeting a twitter friend and wish I could meet all of them. But I just want to thank the incredible fans, too, for being so kind to us (which is what happened after people heard we come from Israel).
And see you next year (I hope)!