Monday, July 21, 2008

Dark Shadows Part II: That's not my sister, that's my Mum!

It seems too anticlimatic to be sitting here at work after this weekend. I'll probably write that sentence again after I come back from San Diego this weekend. So to continue on where I left off...

David Selby on stage is a must to witness. He should have been a preacher instead of an actor. The crowd was mesmerized by his charisma and charm. He's a natural born story-teller. He spoke of his early days on the show and for the year after he started he was deemed a public safety hazard and was not allowed to do public appearances. Hundreds of Thousands of people would show up to see him. "Now, I knew how the Beatles felt," he joked. Well, there were 1500 people in the audience so I'd say he can still draw in a crowd. I love his voice. I'm a voice and eyes girl. His West Virginian accent was much stronger than I've ever heard it. Every so often, whether intentionally or not, he'd growl his words in Quentin fashion. Do you realize how sexy it is for a guy to growl?!

Sadly he finished his talk and questions. Several fest workers errected a barrier, hidden by black curtians. They blocked the audiences' view of who or what was behind it. Jim Pierson, the chairman of the Fest, said Selby was going to sign autographs after the cast reunion. He then left the audience in silience. Very slowly the door stage-left opened. In peered, John Karlen who then made his way to stage. He was Willie in those moments. He told the crowd he was "lookin' for some family jewels." With bated breath he slowly drew the black curtain back. A coffin was laying in the middle of the stage. Only DS fans would know the significance of that. "Willie" slowly drew closer, greed evident in his face. He "pried" open the casket and slowly opened it. People were on their feet as "Barnabas" (Johnathan Frid) reached out and grabbed "Willie" by the throat. I have no clue how Frid was able to get into. In true DS fashion, we still didn't see how "Barnabas" gets out of his coffin. That was wonderful.

The rest of the cast came on stage together. Frid went back to his room, poor guy. Sitting from left to right were Marie Wallace, Robert Rodan, Jerry Lacy, Roger Davis, Lara Parker, Kathryn Leigh Scott, John Karlen, Chris Pennock and David Selby. You can tell they are still very close to each other. They remembered the bloopers and "old days." They hadn't been on stage together in years. It was wonderful.

When it was over, I ran out as fast as I could and groaned when I saw a large line already. People must have left during the questions. For the first hour in line (yes, it took me hours to reach him), I chatted with the people in front and back of me. The guy behind me was young but still in his early thirties judging by the gray stubble along the corners of his mouth. He looked like Greg Kinear, but with black hair. Not bad on the eyes at all. For some reason, people always divided the line through us to walk out of all that madness. I'd catch his eye and smirk when another person would say "Excuse me" and pass through. One of the managers was running around, keeping the line as organized as possible. I told the guy behind me that there is not enough money to make me want his job. For some reason, the manager caught our attention and then walked over to us. He joked with us for a while. It was out of the blue when he turned to me and said, "Darling, that shirt is just hot. Hot! I just think the off-the-shoulder look is sexy. And who's this guy? You're husband?"

Ha! I blushed as red as my hair, but like the not-so-modest ham I am, I thanked him and said, "He's not my husband but he is cute." We all got into fits of laughter and the cute guy blushed and flirted back. I forgot about him once I saw David Selby. Chris Pennock signed my program and took a photo with me before I reached Selby. Everyone was so excited. I rocked back and forth on the balls of my feet as I got closer and closer. His assistant finally took my items (a canvas portriat of him as Quentin Collins and a black and white photo of him on the Collinwood staircase). I asked him for a photo and he gladly obliged. I actually was just going to stand there, but before I knew it, he pulled me in close and we were almost cheek to cheek. I'm blushing right now. Selby is just so sweet and friendly. I hope to be able to see him again.

I ran out the door of the convention building, clutching my new treasures. The night air tasted fresh and cool. I regained my wits and placed each precious photo into my messenger bag. It was ten o'clock. I arrived back at my parent's house by 11 and you've already read what happened after.

Now, on to Sunday's activies.

I woke up early on Sunday to be able to see most of the cast before the banquet. I made it just in time to see Chris Pennock speak. He's still as goofy and laid back as ever. Kathryn Leigh Scott then took the stage again and answered questions. Lara Parker came up after her. Parker has a very dry sense of humor that is both ironic and sarcastic. I love it. The programming was running a little late and I feared that I might be late to see Jerry Lacy speak (I had to go get dressed for the banquet). He came up on stage, right on time. He showed clips of his favorite moments. He spoke about some of the theater he did. He's a real gentlemen. I was so happy afterward to get his autograph and a photo.

I raced home to change and make sure my parents were ready. They had wanted to go Saturday but it was my Dad's 30th High School reunion. My Dad drove us back to the convention. It was 6 o'clock when we got there and people were already lined up. The banquet started at 7. While we waited my Dad and Mum looked around. They're closet-nerds. I told them to walk around and go see what the Festival was about. After a half hour of being by myself, my Dad comes back with a big grin. He got an autograph and photo with Lara Parker. My Mum had a big head because Lara had asked my dad if she was his wife and then said she was very pretty.

My Mum had spotted Jerry Lacy at the bar, talking to a couple people, but she was pretending to be shy in order for me to go with her. My Dad held our places while we walked back. Lacy was speaking with Stuart Manning (producer of the audio dramas) so we hoboed about unit Manning left. I jumped right in and asked if he could take a photo with my Mum. This next part is hilarious. His eyes widened and his face was one of shock.

"That's your Mom?! You could be sisters!"

We laughed so hard. Mum was smiling ear to ear. I snapped a photo of them and showed it to them. My Mum couldn't resist telling him, "You're still so handsome and I love your characters."
He replied with a wolfish wink, "You're not too bad yourself." I cracked up. Lacy waved at us as we walked away. I'll post the picture once she sends it to me.

I'll finish up writing about the banquet in my next post. This one is already a monster.

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