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FanExpo: Inducing hot men to discuss Michael, Tom and Smallville - tasabian [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
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FanExpo: Inducing hot men to discuss Michael, Tom and Smallville [Aug. 29th, 2010|06:30 pm]
tasabian
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This weekend was FanExpo in Toronto - the only other time I've gone, Michael was the star attraction (for me, anyway!) This time, I had three hot guys in my sights: James Marsters, Tahmoh Penikett (SV guest star in S3 and S6) and Ryan Robbins ("Louis", Lex's island hallucination in "Exile.") My hope was to elicit a SV memory (or even better a Michael and/or Tom story) from these fetching gents.



Small Introductory Rant
In 2008, the Con was meticulously organized. I didn't have to wait long for my wristband and once I had it, could come & go at will. This year, they oversold tickets and kept on selling, which meant there were two huge line-ups: one for ticket-buyers and one for people who had wristbands but still had to wait 1 1/2 - 3 hours to get in. People were furious (fury Canadian-style, ie "I'm going to send SUCH a strongly worded email.") It was especially rough on people who'd left for lunch and couldn't get back in, missing panels and photo shoots.

I had company in line. A police officer supervising the crowd kept teasing me for not wearing a costume: "That's so boring!" My friend was in the other line (opposite side of the building) and would call occasionally to rant and compare progress. It ultimately took me 90 minutes to get in; it took my friend over 2 hours.

Once inside, it was jammed with people, to the point of being a hazard. When I finally got up the escalator to the exhibit floor, I was nearly knocked over by a tidal wave of fanboys. Jason Mewes (from the Kevin Smith movies) was signing free autographs and this was catnip to large, black-clad fanboys.

I was cross, stressed, wishing I hadn't come. I needed a spa and fortunately I found one in human form.

Tahmoh Penikett
This guy must have been the most relaxed person in the entire building, no rushing here, just exuding calmness. And very pretty besides. I haven't seen BSG or Dollhouse so I told him I'd enjoyed his work on Smallville.

TP: "Oh yes, I've been on Smallviile twice!"

(I was thinking he meant his two appearances as Wes Keenan in S6. Should have done better research.)

Me: "Wes was quite a tragic character."

TP: "I was on before as well, playing a different character."

(I was trying to look intelligent here but he could tell I didn't know which episode he meant.)

TP: "My brother needed a liver..."

ME: "OH! Resurrection in season 3"

TP: "My character didn't want to destroy a hospital but he felt he had to, to save his brother..."

(He continues to recount the plot of the episode at length; I gaze at his beautiful face.)

I was worried I was taking up too much of his time but he was totally unrushed, signing a photo in lovely loopy handwriting, adding "I'm going to put two of my character names on here for you!"
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By the time I finished listening to him, I was relaxed again. When my friend got in, hot and grumpy, I urged her to go over for the "Tahmoh Spa Treatment." (She went to see Dean Stockwell instead and was called "darling" 3 times in a minute, which perked her right up.)
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The next day I was flying solo and arrived early to line up. Rumour was Sunday would be even more crowded.

James
If Tahmoh was the most relaxed guy at the Con, James was the hardest working. In addition to a panel, autographs and photos, he hosted a concert and two fan breakfasts. (I missed the panel while stuck in line.) The fanboy behind me in the autograph line was worried James would be late & maybe have to duck out early. But he arrived right on time, looking daisy-fresh, though he must have been tired.

I had hoped that 'caps of James with Tom & Michael might prompt a remark while he signed them. The first pic was the one below, from "Hypnotic." James chuckled when he saw Michael.

James: "That day was so much fun. We had so much fun!"

Me: "You guys were awesome together. Love to see you work together again."

James (Mournful voice): "He's moved on....he's a producer now."

(Make of that what you will. James has just come from the SV set so presumably knows what's going on right now re. Michael. However, a fanboy I talked to later said James wasn't giving up any SV spoilers, so who knows? He also hurt his hand on SV, poor guy.)
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Next up was this photo, a BTS still, the only pic I could find of the three guys together.
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The fanboy behind me in line offered to take photos of James signing for me. (Posed photos weren't allowed.) When James saw Tom in the photo, I swear, his face lit right up. I thought: I'll never be able to describe this...
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...but thanks to the fanboy snapping photos, you can kinda see the smile dawning on his face in the pic below.

James: "Tom's fabulous!!! I love working with him."

Me: "It's great you're back for S10."

James (still looking at the photo): "Tom directed this episode, did you know? He's so good!"
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(Total affectionate pride in his voice. The last time I met JM, I praised his Brainiac and he immediately launched into praising Tom's skills as director. He's a hardcore Tom-Boy, no doubt. He also opted to sign his name on Tom.)

James' line-up was HUGE. I overheard him telling the girl in front of me that he loves Toronto and intends to settle down here and film his new show. If he ever runs short of cash, I think his local fans would cheerfully shell out for "An Evening with James" or "Let's Just Sit and Stare at James."

Ryan Robbins

This guy proved extremely elusive. He was a last minute addition to the Con, there were no signs for him and even the info desk couldn't tell me where he would be. ("No one's telling us anything and it's very frustrating for us!") I bet.

The fanboy who took photos of James for me, advised asking at the Space booth. (Space is Canada's sci-fi channel.) A gentleman there told me Ryan would be the "surprise guest" at a Space panel in 20 minutes. I rushed down and secured a good seat.

The first part of the panel was basically a promo for the upcoming season, ie mentioning every single show that airs on Space in primetime...except Smallville. (This seems to be a running theme with networks this year: SV is the show, you don't talk about. SPN was mentioned at least 4x)

The other "surprise guest" was an engaging Stargate gentleman called David Blue. Ryan's current show is "Sanctuary". Quite a bit of joking about how much time Ryan's character spends undressed...Ryan is the one on the left
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When it was time for a short Q & A, I wasn't sure about asking a SV question, not wanting to crash a "Sanctuary" event. But it turned out people were more interested in asking DB about Stargate and Ryan was getting overlooked. So I got my nerve up...

ME: "Ryan, before you were on Sanctuary you played Lex Luthor's hallucination...what was your Smallville experience like?"

Pause in which I was scared, RR would say "what are you TALKING about?"
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But, yay! He did have a lot to say about Michael and SV, including two things I didn't know: his character "Louis Leery" has been added to the comics, which is very exciting for him AND that "Louis" was initially supposed to re-appear as Lex's hallucination throughout S3. Ryan was disappointed that didn't happen - it was because of "another actor's contract" (not sure what that means?)

He went on to say that working with Michael was one of his favourite days ever.

Ryan: "He's one of those actors that really likes to get dirty, gets right into it."

To get into character and amp up the tension in the scene, Michael and Ryan were yelling insults at each other between takes.

Ryan: "I would yell at him "you are just the most no-talent hack and you won the lottery getting this role!"

And then Michael would shout "WHAT?!", they'd shoot the scene, apologize to each other ("I didn't mean it!") and then do it all over again!

Ryan's a firecracker - he's about to pull his pants down here for David Blue to sign his ass.
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I brought this pic up for Ryan to sign ('cap by lexalicious70) - he showed it to David B. first, signed it, then rushed away with my pen!
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So, lines apart, a successful Con! (If anyone wants to know what David Blue talked about, let me know in the comments!)

Next up: The 'Baum in the UK, if the Con-Gods are kind!
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: hils
2010-08-29 10:41 pm (UTC)
Oh, I follow David Blue on Twitter. He's adorable! He and Misha have the same agent

/random fact

I adore Jamed for his neverending Tom love. I remember him talking about it when you were here



I had no idea James was coming back to Smallville. Damnit, I think I need to start watching it again
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-08-29 11:53 pm (UTC)
*growls at you for "killing" Michael* The idea! My baby is strictly shag or marry!

I adore Jamed for his neverending Tom love. I remember him talking about it when you were here
He was my first ever Con guest! I was so nervous but one mention of Smallville and he was off & running on the Tom-topic & I relaxed. Seems ages ago now, doesn't it?

I had no idea James was coming back to Smallville. Damnit, I think I need to start watching it again
He's in ep 200 only (so far has been announced.)

I follow David Blue on Twitter. He's adorable! He and Misha have the same agent
So they likely know each other? Maybe Misha will turn up on SGU at some point! DB is very poised & articulate. His first question was about fan-anger over the end of SGA & the start of SGU (a subject on which I am ignorant) and he handled it very graciously.




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[User Picture]From: hils
2010-08-29 11:56 pm (UTC)
Sorry for killing Michael. You know I love him really :(

Yeah, David and Misha have tweeted each other a few times. Misha joked he wanted his minions to fight David's in a cage fight.

I am clueless about Stargate in any incarnation but David is a lot fun, very geeky, a total fanboy and very fan friendly. That's why I started following him
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-08-30 12:02 am (UTC)
*pets Michael*

Misha joked he wanted his minions to fight David's in a cage fight.
Judging by DB's amiable & mellow Canadian fanbase I expect the Misha-minions would win.

DB is sweet - all the SG people I've encountered seem lovely & fond of their cast mates.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-08-29 11:48 pm (UTC)
I love how the actors have wonderful memories from working on SV... I do wonder what season 10 will bring us.
It's nice that all three look back fondly....Tahmoh said he wishes there was time for one more appearance, but no time with just one season left.

David Blue was a crowd-favourite, no question! He revealed that Justin Louis is a terror with a "fart machine."
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[User Picture]From: carolandtom
2010-08-29 11:30 pm (UTC)
JM masters loves Tom and I love him for it! (and for Spike!)

Thanks for sharing your Con experience. I'm sorry about the long lines.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-08-29 11:47 pm (UTC)
Carol, I wish you could see how his face just lights up when he talks about Tom - it''s adorable!
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-08-31 01:38 am (UTC)
Yay! Should you care to post about that, it will make Tom-girls HUGELY happy!
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[User Picture]From: gildinwen
2010-08-30 02:31 am (UTC)
Ohhhh when's Michael going to the U.K?

Also, thanks so much for the pics and report hun!
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-08-30 11:13 pm (UTC)
You're welcome - thanks for reading that VERY LONG entry!

Michael's in London for a Con the week after next!
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[User Picture]From: jeannev
2010-08-30 03:35 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for the blow-by-blow. I love how much James loves Tom, because he's one of those actors who seems like he doesn't suffer fools gladly, and if he's full of praise for someone, I believe they deserve it.

Thanks!! I hope you had a great time.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-08-30 11:16 pm (UTC)
You're very welcome! I only wish James had more time but he was a very in-demand fellow so I didn't want to hold up his line. If he ever comes round your way, he's worth a visit. Introduces himself to everyone as they come up: "Hi, I'm James" & shakes your hand. So charming.

I love how much James loves Tom, because he's one of those actors who seems like he doesn't suffer fools gladly, and if he's full of praise for someone, I believe they deserve it.
I can imagine them collaborating in the future & would love to see it!

Edited at 2010-08-30 11:16 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: rosy5000
2010-08-30 03:53 am (UTC)
That sucks about the long lines, but glad you got to talk to all 3 of the guys you went to see. :) My nephew, Ori, is a bit jealous that you got to talk to James. He's such a fanboy for him. lol
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-08-30 11:18 pm (UTC)
You can tell Ori that James is every bit as nice & friendly as he might expect!

That sucks about the long lines, but glad you got to talk to all 3 of the guys you went to see.
Yes, I was lucky. A lot of people I talked to there had missed out on someone they really wanted to see because of the lines. Summer Glau was especially popular this year.
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[User Picture]From: firebunny
2010-08-30 04:13 am (UTC)
Despite the lines it sounds like the con was totally worth it. Love hearing about JM's man love for TW. The pictures are great. Thanks for sharing them and recounting your experience.

I'm almost positive Tahmoh Penikett is wrong about the character he played in Resurrection. Without digging out my S3 DVD and watching the episode again, I'm pretty sure he played the brother who needed the liver and not the one who threatened to blow up the hospital.

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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-08-30 11:21 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I had fun and was happy to meet my three "targets!"

I'm almost positive Tahmoh Penikett is wrong about the character he played in Resurrection. Without digging out my S3 DVD and watching the episode again, I'm pretty sure he played the brother who needed the liver and not the one who threatened to blow up the hospital.
Heh, I'm sure he got it right and I heard it wrong. His beauty was distracting me from the actual order of his words so while I heard "brother...hospital...liver" I've probably reassembled them in the wrong order.
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[User Picture]From: tariel22
2010-08-30 08:55 am (UTC)
Wonderful write-up! I'm so sorry the lines were endless, but it sounds like you had a lovely experience in spite of it. I don't do well with crowds at all, I probably would have been overwhelmed. Thanks so much for relating your experience in such great detail, you always make me feel like I was right there with you. I still feel like I actually remember the Con where you saw Michael and Laura. :)

I love that James has such obvious affection for Tom. I respect him tremendously, so his approval means a lot to me. Tom seems like such an amazing man. I'm thrilled that Hellcats has brought him out of his shell a little, so we can see even a peek of that ourselves, and I hope it continues. Maybe you've already seen these, but if not, here are YouTube links to James' panel (since you missed it), in three parts:

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFIGQMJXW0Y

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSATNZOEHt4

Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PT4Ky39tRuI

I like Tahmoh Penikett. I've never seen BSG, but I watched both seasons of Dollhouse. How funny that the part he described in Resurrection was not his own. That's one of my least favorite episodes, and it's mostly because of the performance by the actor who did play that part. Tahmoh would have been much better, I'm sure! :)

I adore David Blue. His is my favorite character on SGU, and he's always articulate and funny in the videos they post on the SGU site where he answers fan questions. He hangs with a crowd of young actors in Vancouver, I keep thinking someone should introduce him to the Hellcats cast. :) He's a total fanboy, he tweeted this from the Con:

"Ran into Summer Glau in the elevator. Managed to squeak out "I love your work" before the geekgasm."

Loved Ryan's story about filming with Michael!! Thanks so much for asking the question! It sounded like he had fun answering it, and seeing your pic! Are you going to try to ask Michael a question in London? If so, have you been pondering what? I hope it all works out!
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-08-30 11:32 pm (UTC)
Thanks to the links to James's panels! Wasn't sure if anyone would manage vid since, depending on the guest, they can be quite strict about cameras at this Con!

How funny that the part he described in Resurrection was not his own. That's one of my least favorite episodes, and it's mostly because of the performance by the actor who did play that part. Tahmoh would have been much better, I'm sure! :)
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, Tahmoh had it right and I heard him wrong. He was talking, in his sweet calm voice, and I was admiring his loveliness and various words were getting through to me "brother...liver....hospital" but apparently getting remembered in the wrong order!

I love that James has such obvious affection for Tom. I respect him tremendously, so his approval means a lot to me.
He was just beaming at that photo and I bet the Tom-love was a real incentive for James to come back to SV. Hope they work together again some time.

I adore David Blue. His is my favorite character on SGU, and he's always articulate and funny in the videos they post on the SGU site where he answers fan questions.
The crowd was loving him and though I haven't seen any SGU, his enthusiasm, was very winning. He called himself "the fat kid" at one point, which surprised me, as he's very cute.

Summer Glau was the surprise hit (to me, anyway) of the Con - she was the hot ticket for panels, photos, autographs.....everyone was smitten with her.

Loved Ryan's story about filming with Michael!! Thanks so much for asking the question! It sounded like he had fun answering it, and seeing your pic!
He's a very engaging storyteller and spun a good yarn out of it - I can imagine he & Michael sparking off each other. I must check out Sanctuary now, to get a look at his "nude" scenes!

Are you going to try to ask Michael a question in London? If so, have you been pondering what? I hope it all works out!
I will definitely try to squeak out at least one question - it's harder with Michael because I get more nervous! Thanks for the good Con-wishes.
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[User Picture]From: tariel22
2010-08-30 11:59 pm (UTC)
He was talking, in his sweet calm voice, and I was admiring his loveliness and various words were getting through to me "brother...liver....hospital" but apparently getting remembered in the wrong order!

I can well imagine that! I loved listening to him talk on Dollhouse.

He called himself "the fat kid" at one point, which surprised me, as he's very cute.

I'm terrible at noticing body size (one of my sisters worked very hard to lose 40 pounds, and just about killed me when I didn't say anything about it when she came to visit), but I've heard that he's lost a lot of weight recently.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-08-31 12:18 am (UTC)
I'm terrible at noticing body size (one of my sisters worked very hard to lose 40 pounds, and just about killed me when I didn't say anything about it when she came to visit), but I've heard that he's lost a lot of weight recently.
Ah, that would explain it - what I noticed about him first was his pretty eyes! (And kudos to your sister!)

I must get the Dollhouse dvds now! Tahmoh is a powerful incentive.
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[User Picture]From: goodvibe
2010-08-30 03:42 pm (UTC)
Marsters and Penikett? I am ridiculously jealous!

No, but I'm glad you seem to have had a great experience and I always welcome the SV anecdotes/stories. :-)

Interesting that Louie was supposed to be recurring - what do you think happened there, and whose contract are we talking about, I wonder---
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-08-31 12:08 am (UTC)
Marsters and Penikett? I am ridiculously jealous!
Both so lovely!

Interesting that Louie was supposed to be recurring - what do you think happened there, and whose contract are we talking about, I wonder---
I wondered if it might be Ian Somerhalder, ie once they'd booked a known name as Adam there wasn't enough budget to give Louis an arc? That's just guessing though.
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[User Picture]From: ariss_tenoh
2010-08-30 05:03 pm (UTC)
Next up was this photo, a BTS still, the only pic I could find of the three guys together.

Can I ask which episode or season that's from?

And wow but I'm jealous. It sounds like you had a great con^_^
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-08-31 12:09 am (UTC)
Thanks, it was lots of fun!

That's Tom directing Michael and James on the set of Apocalypse in S7!

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[User Picture]From: ariss_tenoh
2010-08-31 02:52 pm (UTC)
Thanks^_^ I haven't seen the latter seasons of SV.
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[User Picture]From: complicat
2010-08-30 05:52 pm (UTC)
Ooh, you got some great SV memories from all of them!

James' Tom-love is adorable! And I also love that he was mournful about not getting to work with Michael again. Aww.

Very impressed that Tahmoh managed to remember so much about his first SV episode. It must have been a memorable experience! He seems like a relly chilled guy!

And Ryan sounds hilarious! Love the story about him and Michael yelling insults at each other!

He went on to say that working with Michael was one of his favourite days ever.

This does not surprise me!

That bit about Louis recurring is interesting - I'm a bit sad that we didn't get to see that, it could have been good. Even though I love season 3 it does have a fair number of really quite bad eps (Relic, Magnetic, Whisper, Velocity...) - I wish we could have had them replaced with stuff about Lex hallucinating.

Also very intrigued about 'another actor's contract'. Maybe they couldn't afford more than one recurring guest actor. Hmm, season 3...wonder if it was Ian S? :)
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-08-31 12:15 am (UTC)
James' Tom-love is adorable! And I also love that he was mournful about not getting to work with Michael again. Aww.
He does love his SV-boys!

Very impressed that Tahmoh managed to remember so much about his first SV episode. It must have been a memorable experience! He seems like a relly chilled guy!
I compared notes with a few people and everyone said Tahmoh was so pleasant and unhurried, just a very zen guy!

And Ryan sounds hilarious! Love the story about him and Michael yelling insults at each other!
It certainly worked for the scenes - they always seemed on the brink of attacking each other!

That bit about Louis recurring is interesting - I'm a bit sad that we didn't get to see that, it could have been good. Even though I love season 3 it does have a fair number of really quite bad eps (Relic, Magnetic, Whisper, Velocity...) - I wish we could have had them replaced with stuff about Lex hallucinating.
It's easy to imagine where they might have slotted Louis scenes into the episodes leading up to Asylum (And maybe again in Memoria?) Would have enjoyed seeing more of Ryan.

Also very intrigued about 'another actor's contract'. Maybe they couldn't afford more than one recurring guest actor. Hmm, season 3...wonder if it was Ian S? :)
I do wonder if it was Ian....ie, when they decided to go with a "name" actor for Adam instead of an unknown, they had less money for guest cast? But of course, it might be another "name" from S3 - Patrick Bergin, Michael McKean...
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-08-31 01:36 am (UTC)
Heh, no we didn't talk but I figured you'd guess who asked THAT question! I was sitting three rows behind you at the Space panel but couldn't catch your eye. It's cool that all the Space people know you by name!

Ryan (and the much better promo than the one that airs on Space) has made me want to check out Sanctuary.
Yes, me too. I'm properly enticed now & will check it out.

Blame the Jamesfog.
Did all his events go off on schedule? I heard someone saying he had to cancel photoshoots? He came out for autos on Sunday, right on time and all bright eyed!
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-08-31 01:57 am (UTC)
Ah, well that's not the same as a cancellation - everyone got their moment!

Is that your most recent photo in the icon? You both look great! Naughty expression on him!
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-08-31 02:57 am (UTC)
Was the "no cuddling" rule because he got hurt on SV, poor guy?

Look forward to reading your full report!
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-08-31 03:06 am (UTC)
The last time I saw him (in the UK, 2008) he got badly groped and they had to stop photos for a while. Don't blame him a bit for being cautious.

But he must recognize some of his loyal fans, like you, by now, and know that you're safe to hug!
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-08-31 02:56 am (UTC)
Thanks - it was fun! Both guys seem to love Cons so maybe you'll see them at Calgary-Con!
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[User Picture]From: gyri
2010-08-31 02:58 am (UTC)
Wow! Sounds like you had so much fun, love the answer you got from Ryan!
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-08-31 03:03 am (UTC)
It was fun! Ryan was hard to track down but proved very worthwhile - he and David B. were clearly great buddies, lots of teasing!
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