29-30 March 2002
Starfury Defiant by SONIA
This was my third Sean Harry (Starfury conventions) run convention and although they were excellent, it managed to surpass the others even though I only watch one of the shows from which he had brought over guests. That show is, of course, Farscape, and Lani Tupu and Gigi Edgley were the guests in question; incredibly generous, giving, funny, and in Gigi’s case, madder than a sack of hamsters- in a good way, of course. Wayne Pygram, initially stated as a guest for this convention, was unfortunately not present.
The convention began on Friday evening with an opening ceremony which we missed in favour of painting ourselves different colours, diffusing our hair, and dressing in PVC: if you haven’t guessed, three of us were dressed up as the girls from the “Fetish scene” in “Won’t Get Fooled Again”. All we were missing was bondage Rygel! The costumes went down well with everybody, funnily enough, and our Chiana got nabbed by Gigi for a photo in the Green Room. We’re told that she was raving about Claire’s costume for the rest of the night; I suspect Claire was pleased that I convinced her to make the outfit! Our friend Jackie, who was dressed as a Nebari, was also Gigi-grabbed; it seems Gigi was so flattered people were dressed as her that she wanted photos with each and every one of them.
The party then began in full force; we were joined on the floor by six out of eight of the guests present at the convention who boogy-oogy-woogied on down with everybody. As Claire and I went outside to cool for a moment (PVC is something of a sweaty fabric, even when it’s as short as my nurse dress was) we found Lani wandering about in the car park. He graciously allowed us to have our picture taken with us and told us he loved our costumes before returning to his tarmac walkabout when we returned inside. Gigi was bouncing off the walls, something which was to continue in full force throughout the weekend no matter how hard her assistant tried to calm her down.
Post-party and with a nice grey rim around the bathtub from Nebari makeup, we retired to bed before getting up in the morning for breakfast. Nothing special there, so we retired to the main hall where Claire was sewing extra bits of grey wool to her costume for later that night. We sat through Robin Atkin Downes’ talk but I must admit we weren’t paying too much attention; Claire was busy sewing and it takes me several hours to wake up properly.
Of course, when Lani appeared next I managed to perk myself up a little and pay attention; he’s an excellent talker and told several amusing stories, including one where he admitted to having a full leg and bikini wax to play a role in the stage version of “The Full Monty” before urging all the men in the audience to “try it at least once in your life”!
He doesn’t know if or when Crais will be returning any more than we do, unfortunately, but feels that Crais’ backstory has not been entirely explored yet. However, we were treated to a demonstration of ‘talking to the walls’- “Talyn, for god’s sake I’m trying to help you!”- and a demonstration of Pilot’s voice, both of which inspired my boyfriend to talk like Lani for the rest of the weekend.
Lani has to do Crais’ ADR after Pilot’s, since Pilot is quite high-pitched and after Crais, who’s “vocally down in his boots” he can’t get that high. It was suggested that given that he already knows how to walk in heels, he’d make a good Frank-n-Furter (Rocky Horror Show), and didn’t seem too averse to the idea! He admitted that he’d love to play Othello or Iago, preferably Othello to Michael Hurst’s (Iolaus in Xena, I think, a friend of Lani’s) Iago.
He also recounted a tale about “Toto”. Apparently the dog’s owner was feeding it liver biscuits before handing it to Lani. Lani holds dog. Funny smell. Smell gets worse. Lani gagging and trying to say lines at the same time. Smell coming from dog’s bottom- unhappy Lani!
On a more serious note, apparently there was a fire on the Talyn set and it was lucky nobody was in there as they wouldn’t have been able to get out. The rebuilt set had more exits.
After Lani’s talk I returned to the hotel room for a nap before Gigi came on stage; we napped, we perused the dealer’s room where there was much merchandise for all the shows and others, including beautiful but expensive lithographs and home-made communicator badges, and we set off for Gigi’s talk.
Gigi is completely insane! I think everybody at the convention fell in love with her. She described the flight over and how she noticed that “not everybody likes to laugh… especially not in Business Class” as she played with the controls on her seat: “Gigi goes up, Gigi goes down. Gigi goes up, Gigi goes down”.
She also read us a letter she was going to send to her family, in which she stated that she was loving England despite the fact that she’d barely been out of the hotel room (except to go to Chinawhite’s with Sean and the other guests) and that she was never coming back. (We suspect that if the convention had been held in December rather than March she might not have felt this way…)
Chiana’s exaggerated head movements are in part
caused by the tunnel vision created by the contact lenses. In
response to our question of “will we ever get to see
Chiana’s naked butt” she replied that she didn’t know and
we’d have to wait and see, and she was very coy and mute to
the Chiana/Jool subtext question, damn her. She’d also like
more costume changes- she feels Chiana doesn’t get enough
clothes J. Apparently kissing D’Argo is difficult because tentacles get
in the way, and Tammy was “in the moment” with a scene and
doing really well when “her head fell off”! Gigi was also
taping absolutely everything, allegedly so she could show the
other cast members what they missed in an attempt to get them
After the talks, we waited, seemingly interminably, in the autograph queue as the day registrations got to go in first. Eventually we managed to get in and do the rounds; the guests were all utterly charming and Lani was selling some wonderful “South Park Crais” t-shirts, one of which we purchased. I got Lani and Gigi to sign my homemade pulse pistol (which isn’t particularly good: it’s very organic looking, prompting Gigi to say “It looks like something out of Existenz”, something I said myself as soon as I’d made it).
We then retired to the room, missing the “Cult TV music quiz” if it went ahead, because once more we needed to paint ourselves. Claire and I were Chiana-ing and our roommate Jackie doing a Zhaan, so much painting was needed. I managed mine in about 20 minutes, astonishingly, so I went down first with Malcolm in his almost-Crichton getup to make sure we were properly registered for the fancy dress competition. We were, and I was nabbed again by a chap who had asked me earlier in the day, when dressed in my Aeryn gear, to tell his friends (via a camcorder) to attend conventions. Two Farscape characters in one day; poor chap didn’t recognise me!
Started chatting to a Tahleen and Zhaan with fabulous costumes and makeup, when Claire finally managed to finish her makeup and arrive, prompting several people to say “they never had two Chianas in an episode, did they?” to which I naturally responded, “You didn’t see Eat Me?”. At this point our mate Denis the costume genius turned up in his Scarran outfit, and after some bowing, worshipping and asking how the hell he managed it we were called into line for the competition. Went in, wandered around the dance floor in front of the guests, and if you were dressed as Chiana got grabbed by Gigi for a photograph (it’s OK Gigi, you can rest your head on my chest for as long as you like J). Aside from four Chianas, three of them in the season 1 outfit, and the Scarran, there was an Ash from Evil Dead, a handful of Delvians, some people from Babylon 5 (I don’t watch the program so I’m afraid I can’t say who), our friend Cathy as someone from the Lost World (same problem again), a Crais, and four very disturbing men in belly dancer’s outfits from a Carry On film (the theme for the night was Carry On films).
They then called six of us back. Then they called the same six back again with the promise that the guests would pay attention this time… after a couple more people were called back, they called Dennis, myself and a Chiana named Naomi in. Denis, naturally, got first, and we would have complained had he not. I won third and had trouble not to start Gigi-bouncing all around the hall, and Naomi was second, her baby- also in Chiana gear- won the child prize. Claire was highly recommended, and rightly so; I think she should have come higher but she’s my girlfriend and I’m biased. The entrants were all given a round of applause and asked to start the dancing, and had it been anything other than YMC bloody A Claire and I would have been glad to oblige. (No offence to people who like the song, it’s just that we don’t.) Anyway, at this point my gauntlets and elbow pads were cutting off my circulation, so they had to be removed, and they and our prize certificates put back in the room. This being a Starfury convention, it was then once again a case of Boogie or Die, and both attendees and guests performed admirably. The party went on until 4am GMT, showers to remove makeup about 6am.
Three hours of sleep later it was time to have our official photographs taken. Claire and I are known for our skimpy clothing choices and this was no different in PVC strappy bras and skirts, prompting a “Wow” from Gigi and a HUGE hug from Lani, who for some reason seemed reluctant to let go…
More sleep followed until the joint Lani/Gigi talk, which was once again most entertaining as we got to hear how they first met- Lani went to his room at Fox after being away for a few episodes to find Gigi bending over in her knickers inside it. “You must be the new girl.” They bemoaned the fact that they barely got to act together in person, and when asked what she would take back from the set with her if possible, Gigi replied “Lani”. Or the glitter ball from Won’t Get Fooled Again. I’m afraid I’ve forgotten Lani’s preference because my memory is appalling (good old ME the brain disease). Of course, the end of the talk was where the party really started: this was the auction for the Kevin Smith (Ares of Xena) charity fund, including scripts, press kits and THE RED SHOES. The shoes were auctioned first; the auction started to stick at about £650 when Robert Leeshock, Von Flores and William Gregory Lee announced that for a bid of more than £700, provided no photos were taken, they would do a striptease. Funnily enough, the bid went up and they kept their promise, getting Robin Atkin Downes and Lani to join in as well. A topless Lani in red high heels is not a sight soon to be forgotten. Gigi unfortunately did not join in, but egged the boys on and seemed to be enjoying the view. We didn’t stay for the rest of the auction since we were starving, but I think we caught the high point.
A Pot Noodle later and it was time to get ready for the final party of the weekend. Claire and I got into our chainmail and went down to the hall for the closing ceremony, at which the guests made it perfectly clear that they’d had just as good a time us we had. (Before the closing ceremony we watched a film. I’m not allowed to say what it was but I was decidedly less than impressed and glad I didn’t pay money to see it!) Gigi was practically in tears at having to leave; she was then rushed off to catch her plane as she was filming Tuesday morning… and missed it, so she came back to the party, albeit looking a little worried. Lani grabbed Claire and me for a photo and asked Malcolm for a print and the party started in earnest. It was quieter than the other nights as many people had gone home, but was still an excellent night, Von in particular getting down with his funky self. It was “Doctor night” so there were some in lab coats and a couple of Doctor Whos
All in all, a most excellent time was had by all. The guests were all utterly charming and willing to spend time with their fans, gracious about photographs, complimentary about costumes, and downright fun to be with. Unfortunately Sean is not planning to do any more March sci-fi events, but has hinted that he may get Gigi and Lani back in the country J