Hallowhedon 3 - Convention Report and photos
The Usual Suspects - Phina Oruche was only there Sunday so she is not in the group shot.
Finally typed up the brief notes from Saturday's Q&A (I didn't bother for Sunday) and tweeked the photos.
Here are a couple of teaser photos.
Charisma (really that pose is so Cordy) and Amber
Adam and Tony.
All the photos are on my website - you'll find links in each Q& A text.
Bit of an disappointing preamble to this event. Over extended organizers had not announced any new guests since February after Amber, Adam and Charisma were on board. Sean Maher was confirmed as late as 7th October and then by 27th he had cancelled. Late replacements were the awesome Anthony Head (but just one day) and Phina Oruche on the Sunday only too. Considering a year in the making this was a very light guest list and didn't hold up to promises made at the earlier two events. But that's not to distract from the guests who were there, because they were great - I just felt we should have had a couple more at least. I cannot understand how those who had paid at least £895 for the VIP pass ever felt that they had value for money.
Radisson Edwardian Hotel in Heathrow is far more upmarket than the usual venue - The Thistle, however the main Hall is far narrower making the rows smaller and the views more restricted/distant even when you had low number Gold tickets like myself. I think the Renaissance across the road had better rooms for the events.
For some strange reason Massive Events had decided to put intense stage lights straight onto the guests and drop the rest of the hall in darkness. No-one could see the audience and in the Q&A's who was actually asking the questions despite many comments from the guests especially Charisma that the lights were awful and needed to be lowered. Reference to gestapo and torture were also made, but to no real effect. If you seen some pained expressions in the photos some of that is as result of the lighting.
Held up in traffic on the M4, Tony was not part of the 'Opening Ceremony' and we just had Amber and Charisma so that was very low key. Personally I would have hoped they would have held on until Tony arrived and just start late. Other organizers have done this to no real impact on the rest of the evening. The meet and greet was a washout and the worst at Hallowhedon to date. Held in the pretentious and pretty useless Atrium in the Radission (a series of illuminated bridges and large decorative pools which take all the space) large groups of ticket holders huddled round tiny glass tables and struggled to hear/see the guests for the very brief time they spent trying to talk to us. Just two guests mind you so there needed to be plenty of free wine which thankful, there was so I spent most of that evening drowning the disappointment. Apparently Tony arrived just after the Meet and Greet was declared over. I don't know why they just don't sit the attendees around proper tables in well lit rooms so we can all at least get to know each other before the guests get to the table.
Charisma Q & A Here Charisma seems to get younger rather than age (how does she do that?) and was in a real feisty mood for her Q&A. Announcing that she felt 'Naughty' she checked around for kids in the audience and promptly posed for flash photographs for the first minute. She was not keen on people taking photos after that point while she talked "It's rude" and was concerned that there would be recording of the talk that would appear on Youtube. This reluctance with photos - coupled with the awful lighting really restricted the chance to get candid, expressive shots of the guests. Unless you had the option of an aisle seat and had tripod you were pretty much stuck with what you could take at the start of each talk. I jotted brief notes this year for Saturday's Q&A's.
Charisma's least favourite Season of AtS was S4 when Cordy went bad. Her favourite show to work on from BtVS & AtS was Angel -especially S2 & 3. She thought the first Season had too much emphasis on the visiting guest stars and that things certainly improved when the stories started to focus on the core characters - as Cordy would say 'Where's me in all this'. She loved that she gained the Visions.
Talking about her recent guest spot on SPN with James Marsters, she said originally she wanted to take James to task as she felt when she was written out in S4, James's character Spike had replaced her role but when she worked with him she said he was so sweet and charming she instantly forgave him and loved working with him. Said he showed her pictures of his boy and new wife "She's really young - very hot and young, about 20, and I'd do her - if I did that sort of thing". She also thought that the Jensen and Jared were very sweet and helpful to them both. "I've seen what seven years of your own show can do to someone" however it had not seemed to affected the boys. She also wished she had met/did scenes with Misha Collins as she liked his work.
She prefers comedy to Drama but feels it harder. Tim Minear and David Greenwalt really championed Cordelia as a character and gave her much to work with. Ideally she'd love a role within a half hour sitcom, regular daytime work fitting in perfectly to raise a family. She had audition for Modern Family - so it was that sort of show she'd like to do. She then frankly appealed to the audience "Write stuff for me - You must like me a little as you're here". She still had the large poster with from the 'Cordy' show from AtS S3. BtVS Season Three was her favourite.
She did not know why they decided to kill off Cordy and still could not really understand even though she had several explanations. She thought, jokingly, that because she became pregnant this pissed off Joss who in revenge, made her give birth to a full sized African American god, fully formed in high heels (Gina as Jasmine) "Damn those high heels hurt".
When asked if she was going to appear in The Expendables II she loudly shouted "Next" after a brief "no they're actually shooting now".
She loved her work on Legend of The Seeker. It was in beautiful surroundings of New Zealand, a talented and passionate cast and crew and an insanely hot costume - the only one so far that once you were in it, you instantly felt completely different and in character. (I have to agree that the costumes of the Mord Sith were amazing). Her favourite wardrobe was Season 1 AtS (she hated S1 Buffy) by Jessica Pazdernick, Charisma really thought that Jessica 'got' Cordy.
Memories of Andy Hallett - The funniest person ever and very kind, he once bought her a beautiful pair of high heeled shoes saying that he saw them, bought them because he believed she just had to have them. She loved the Pylean arc of Angel S2 but thought 'The Groosalugg' was a dreary name.
Took ballet lessons at andd has some disturbing memories of men in tights. She studied dance at college although she thought her mother expected her just to 'marry well'. Can't sing or hold a note (was not pretending in BtVS episode 'Puppet Show. When asked about an Angel version of OMWF repsonse was "Hell to the No".
Working on Veronica Mars - This was hard work and a lot of time spent at the gym as she was naked for a great deal of the time.
Thoughts on 'You're Welcome'She felt very sad and did not want to return just to die. However the actual episode was so well written, such a sweet, romantic and tender exit for the character. Charisma added that she felt that she was more 'Cordelia' than Charisma and that playing Cordelia had really helped her find her voice. This was very apparent over the weekend. Charisma was cheeky, direct and to the point, clearly speaking her mind. And as she said herself "everything a woman should be". And I for one would not argue with that sentiment.
Would like to appear on Bones with David and has made a dear friend in Julie Benz - not while they were on the show together as she only had a couple of scenes with Julie "When she bit me" but afterwards. She gave high praise to Julie for her supportive nature and pushing her forward for auditions even when Julie herself would be going for the role. Charisma did have something lined up but it had only just been settled that weekend.As there had been no announcement yet she could not give details. At the close of the Q&A Charisma confided that this was her favourite part of the event talking to us all.
More photos of Charisma are here, here and here
Tony Heads Q & A hereI grabbed the chance at the autograph session to ask Tony about 'Much Ado About Nothing'. "Very sore point" he replied "I am absolutely gutted I couldn't make it" I comiserated saying so were a lot of the fans as they would have loved to see him in the production. Apparently with such a small window of dates he tried to get time off from "Free Agents" and was out by only a couple of days. And then the show got cancelled to rub salt in the wound. We both hoped that Joss would do more and he'd be able to participate in those.
Tony started his Q&A by discussing Merlin and in his words "spoiler warning" Uther's exit from the show. He had said they had talked for sometime during earlier seasons that he would have to go and who knows he may come back as a ghost!
How much like Giles are you? - Not much at all, cannot speak languages and is in no way intelligent.
Was asked about the Iron Lady film with Meryl Streep. Tony played Geoffrey Howe (complete with hair piece) and said that Meryl was great to work with. Many great british actors took even cameo roles just to work with her. He believes that this will be a very interesting portrayal - like a modern Lear - about power and decent into madness when that power is lost. Tony himself is not a great fan of Mrs Thatcher stating that she tried to destroy his profession and almost destroyed British film industry and theatre. He also attributed some of the cause of the global recession to Thatcher and Regan's decision to deregulate the banks.
On The Invisibles - He had a enjoyed making the show but scheduling changes pitched it against very intense Drama competition on ITV - especially for a show originally intended for light viewing on Sunday evening, so it lost viewers and was cancelled by BBC.
On who he would like to collaborate musically - Couldn't say for sure as there were so many performers. He didn't want to sing a OMWF number and said he hadn't sung for a while. Had been playing guitar since the age of 12 often helped by his brother Murray.
On acting advice - If you are really passionate about being an actor then go for it. If you just think that it is something that you'll just want to have a go at, then don't bother. He also talked about acting classes and what was handy and then those a waste of time (mime)
Do you have a Rocky Horror Kit? Tony spoke about taking over the role and changing the costume for his character so that would help with his movement on stage (dispensing with the platform boots) and look far more sexy. He kept all his costume so when he took part in the tribute he already had his own gear.
Tony also spoke about Little Britain and the joke David Walliams played on him during a stage kiss.
Tony photos here
Amber Benson Q & A
Multi talented Amber was asked about where she does her writing - she likes to go to coffee shops (drinks lots of coffee). Wears PJ's to write and once at the coffee shop even.
A place she'd like to visit? - Iceland - she'd heard it was a fantastic place and Icelandic people were cool and she'd like to meet more.
Of all her activities - writing, directing, acting and singing what does she prefer. She loves to direct best of all, especially if she is not also acting in the piece too.
Drones - No distributor deal in Europe of the film. Should have organized a screening over the weekend. This was co-directed with Adam and stars Jonathan Woodward "It's uncanny he is just like Bill Murray".
Had worked on Count Jeff with Adam which was pretty fun. Webseries on youtube. Amber said making this was no different to working on a small independent movie.
Her favourite TV shows when she was young? - Adored Scooby Doo - her parents used to make up Scooby stories to include her as a character. She also loved lots of cartoons - Yogi Bear and so on. Now she is too busy to watch TV.
Tara's development - she liked her growth from shyness to finding herself. Did not like the way she was killed and regretted the pain it caused many of the fans. As a treat Amber then sang the first part of 'Under Your Spell' unaccompanied except for the audience. She really can sing beautifully. Amber then suggested we should all then take Once More, With Feeling on the road.
New Book -4th in the Death's Daughter series is due to be released soon.
Did she know anything about Wicca? She had known a little about Wiccans before taking the role as Tara but did not subscribe to that particular religion/faith.
Her perfect musical role? - Possibly something in Les Mis. She also went on to talk about VH1's Karaoke tribute to Rocky Horror show when she say Toucha Toucha Touch me. And she said we should ask ASH about his Rocky Horror kit.
Chance - did this herself using the money she made from BtVS. Staring James Marsters, Andy Hallett and herself.
Another role on BtVS she would have liked - Spike. Photos of Amber here, here and here
Adam Busch Q & A
Quiet and rather serious looking Adam made his way onto the stage. Adam has a very dry sense of humour and I found his Q&A interesting and was really pleased he was a guest this year.
Explaining about the Trio. He said he thought they were an extension of the writers. He didn't know he was going to reappear on the show in S6 but was told by someone who saw it on the internet. One of the first scenes they shot was the trio playing D & D and they didn't know how to play. This caused much consternation amongst the writers who had to come and show them.
Favourite Video Games - Pong, Assassins Creed and played Left for Dead recently which he enjoyed.
Common Rotation - New album due out very soon. Cost of this supported by the fans. Should be able to find it on spotify and iTunes. He was n't going to sing this weekend and had not been asked (why not thought I - how silly).
During the autograph session I decided to ask him to autograph an old watercolour montage of the Trio I did back in '05. I explained I had been waiting all this time to finally get to meet him and now here we are. He was delighted with the portrait and asked to look through the rest of the sketches picking out specifically the Willow & Tara picture and the Drusilla and Darla sketch which he thought was 'brilliant'.
His first acting Role on Leon - He remembers this vividly. Loved every minute and thought he was never going to go back to school. He then went to work for Nickleodeon at the age of 15 - lived at Universal Studio theme park in Florida and was tuttored in between working on The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. He also pointed out that living in a theme park you never get tired of the rides.
His Musical Heroes? Bob Dylan, Laura Marling, Will Oldham, Smog, Miles Davis, Billy Joel (A fellow New Yorker) Woodie Guthrie amongst many.
What Superpower would he like to have - Ability to eliminate fear.
How did he feel about fans attitude to 'Warren' - He received lots of hate mail from people who could n't differentiate between the actor and the character. It used to really bother him that this had caused so much hurt, even writing back asking what he could do to fix it. He spent some time with an actor who also played a 'villain' Marlo from The Wire yet he handled this differently and was just nice to the fans and decided this was the way to be.
Working on Terminator, Sarah Connor Chronicles - One of his great heroes was Richard Schiff and Adam had to play Richard character as a young man. It was a great experience and he and Brian Austin Green used to stand outside Richard Schiff's trailer smoking so they would get to chat with him.
Favourite BtVS Episode - Hush - especially the creepy Gentlemen.
Tell us about your death scene - Filmed late at night in Griffith Park in LA - very cold and he was strung between trees. After a while it was a real fuss hoisting up and down for each take so they asked if they could leave him up there. When he is flayed in the scene he is replaced by a stunt guy in a suit - he says you can tell because he is 'so ripped'.
OMWF - this was being shot all throughout the season and he and Tom Lenk wanted to appear in the episode - one suggestion was as an evil Boy band.
Favourite places for gigs. He likes all kind of small intimate venues, Barns, Living Rooms. He went on to tell us of a Common Rotation gig where flown up to a very remote part of Alaska. The band was nominated (for a couple of years) and then actually chosen by the Elders of the Yupik indians to perform for them. He said it was a very unusual experience the audience were subdued until they played a cover of 'Dream' by the Everlys which the audience knew and this went down very well. The band then joined the audience and the Yupik indians performed dances for them.
Adam does keep in touch with former BtVS cast members, including James Marsters when they discuss music, Dany Strong in New York, he recently did a podcast with Tom Lenk, Nathan Fillion, and recently met Seth Green.
Adam photos here and here
Group Q & A photos here