I set my alarm for 9am. I’m awake by 8. I hate my brain.
I want to attend a panel at 10:30 so I do my best to get showered, dressed, and out the door by a little after 10. I expect Saturday to be much busier than Friday. I am not disappointed. The first panel of the day in the main hall contains the entire roster of attending voice actors reading scenes from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. There is already a line waiting to get in the room when I arrive.
The panel is worth the wait in the line and the seats near the back of the room. Nancy Cartwright does Princess Leia in Bart Simpson’s voice. Bill Farmer gives us Darth Vader in a Snagglepuss drawl. Bill Salyers narrates as Rigby from The Regular Show. And I’m not sure what Andrea Libman is reading in Pinkie Pie’s voice (from My Little Pony) but it is so fast and high-pitched that I’m wondering if she was inhaling helium before the show.
After the panel my con buddy and I head down to the screening room for a showing of Transolar Galactica’s Origin episodes. Friday we tried to find the screening room with no luck, but after perusing the map for over an hour the night before I think I’ve finally figured out where it is. Several escalators, two sets of stairs, four floors, and a several thousand people later we manage to find it.
Transolar is made right here in good ol’ Spokane. It’s a fun mash-up of dozens of science fiction movies and shows and stereotypes. After a successful Kickstarter campaign to make a second season they’ve been on the road showing off all the swanky new things they can do with some financial backing going for them. The screening is great, the episodes look slick and professional, and I’d give the guys behind the series some high fives if I was into that kind of thing.
The next panel features Alan Tudyk of Firefly/Serenity and Dollhouse fame (he was in more stuff of course but I work for a Fox affiliate PLUS I was a huge Firefly fan, so I’m name-checking those shows). He is absolutely delightful. For every person that gets up the nerve to ask him a question in front of thousands of other fans, he pulls a random item out of a satchel and autographs it for them. Some get receipts, others get game demos, one person gets a half eaten bag of salty nuts. The last person to get up and ask a question is an adorable kid in a Wash costume who just wants to play dinosaurs with his hero. We all melt from the cuteness and cheer like crazy when he does.
After a trip around the model exhibit and past the Lego exhibit we attend another screening, this time for Manos: Hands of Felt. I helped Kickstart this project so am eager to see the final product. Watching one of the worst films ever made redone with the addition of puppets is totally worth however much I threw in on the Kickstarter (no particular recollection of how much that was and too lazy to look it up right now).
Back up to the main hall after Manos to see the second half of John de Lancie. He tells a funny story about being naked on the bridge of the Enterprise (Star Trek The Next Generation version) and an even funnier story about his secret trick for acting lovestruck in The Thorn Birds. After he is finished talking I sneak up as many rows as possible to get good seats for the next panel guest – Karl Urban.
Karl Urban makes jokes about tequila. He strolls around the stage in his leather jacket and speaks with his New Zealand accent and is absolutely, hysterically funny. He talks about Dredd and Almost Human and Lord of the Rings, and then tells about some epic pranks both Simon Pegg and Viggo Mortenson played on him while filming projects. I kind of want to run up and steal him and take him home with me. I doubt I’m the only one in the audience with this in mind.
Day two of the con definitely ends on a high note. I find out later on that while I was running around doing panels and screenings, my tiny/tall gal pal was getting autographs from Bill Salyers (voice actor from Mass Effect among other things), meeting Michael Dorn (Worf of Star Trek The Next Generation), and running into John de Lancie in the hallway. Turns out she had a pretty epic second day at the con as well.
*In addendum – Tasty Eats from Seattle:
Elephant and Castle: lunch Saturday afternoon; another place I stop at every time I’m in Seattle, very tasty curry chicken flatbread … thing
Dragonfish Asian Cafe: dinner Saturday night; amazing sushi as well as very tasty drinks, shared the Dragonfish roll (with unagi and tempura shrimp) as well as chicken potstickers and Dragon noodles, also had a frothy daquirie and a lemon-y something or other to drink