Last Thursday I caught a flight out to Burbank at the Dime-Slot of morning to play at the 2007 convention. If you have read earlier blogs, you know that I recently did a CD with Gigi Edgley who was one of the main characters on the show named "Chiana". Every year since the show has been on (and 4 years since canceled) there has been this HUGE gathering of people celebrating a show that they love and for many I found have a very personal or emotional connection with. I can attest to that as I myself am a self-proclaimed "fanboy" of the comic book world. Still my friends who you could say are even "geekier" than me said that I was in for a one of a kind experience. If they meant by that that I would meet some of the nicest people I have in a long time, then they were right...
I arrived at Long Beach Airport around 10:30 and Gigi met me to drive me into L.A. to pick up her comic she was going to sell for the con at the local UPS store. I noticed a large brown SUV swerving next to us in the right lane (if the freeway was 6 lanes wide and 1 is on the far left, we were in 2). I yelled to her to watch out for this guy, but it was to late and he hit us on the right side sending us into an Escalade on our left. We bounced off of the Escalade and proceeded to spin clockwise to the right until we were hit again and spun the other way. Though it was a complete blur, we both confirmed that we were hit back and forth 4 times and spun around 5 until cars stopped slamming into us. I honestly thought I was gonna die. As each car was about to hit us, I was wondering if that was going to be the one to seal the deal. I wondered when people would eventually stop hitting us as we ended up in lane 1 facing the other direction, and quickly (after making sure we were all there) got out of the car expecting to find cars littered on the highway. Surprisingly, everyone but the Escalade drove off including the brown SUV that started the whole thing. After walking across the freeway to the other side and picking up rims/ripped off mirrors off the road, we found the passengers were O.K. in the Escalade. Even the baby (oh, man) in the car had fallen asleep again. I honestly haven't ever been that scared before, and I don't know how we didn't get hurt extremely bad or killed. The police said that we were VERY lucky and that he usually doesn't show up to these kinds of accidents to very good situations as you can imagine. I really believe someone or something was taking care of us that day (insert religious belief, even Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster HERE).
As the arriving officer told me, "Welcome to L.A.".
After everyone got what they needed information wise and cars were taken away, Gigi's friend Rob picked us up and took us to the convention where I basically sat scared shitless in my room all day until we began to rehearse that evening. Thanks to all who talked to me that day as I worked it out...
The next morning we were to go to a special FARSCAPE breakfast in the courtyard of the hotel where it was featured that "Gigi Edgley and her Producer would be signing".
We set up the comics and the CD's to sell for the next 2 hours and I got the opportunity to see her in her element and meet some amazingly nice and interesting people. The convention reminded me of other comic cons I have been to, but this one was very different in that everyone was there because they really liked THIS ONE THING. I met school teachers from Texas who have been coming for years, couples from Germany who had just started watching seasons of the show on DVD and HAD to come, and some women from France who had actually come across my music and wanted to talk about my new CD. It was very fun, and everyone made me feel welcome. It was obvious that all of these people were SO happy to be there and get the chance to talk, and interact with Gigi on a close face-to-face level.
We spent the rest of the day getting ready for the "Cabaret" Friday night which was to be the debut of Gigi's music and her first live performance. It's interesting what our comfort levels are in situations we're not used to. For example, she's been in movies, TV, and can talk on stage with no problem. For the show though she was nervous, as was I when I saw the hundreds of people in the convention hall awaiting the performance. It was a reaction and a stomach churn that my body usual reserves for when I'm about to do Karaoke.
Mostly because Karaoke is TERRIFYING.
She went up to give the intro to a barrage of flashing lights from cameras and it was truly cult Sci-Fi stardom at it's best! Pretty cool, until she announced me and I made my way from the back of the stage only to get a little wrapped up in the curtain in front of everyone.
All in all, we played really well and I was pretty proud of her for her first musical live performance. I told her that the road is littered with crappy albums from actors/actresses/and athletes, but I think she's in the clear in that department. At the end, she got a standing "O" from the crowd and a flood of compliments backstage from her FARSCAPE cast mates and friends. It was enjoyable to watch her succeed in this project's reception, and got me excited for what future performances will be like.
After celebrating with a few beers and a few new friends in the hotel bar that night, I made my way up to my room only to be stopped by some of her fans asking me to sign some stuff. This turned into more people and more stuff including napkins, JACK DANIEL'S bottles, T-Shirts, and ticket stubs. I felt like someone was playing a joke on me, and I tell you this not to sound like I'm bragging, but because it was another surreal moment in a very surreal weekend. I think everyone hopes for some form of success in their chosen art field, and you hope people like what you do. Still, if that's all you go after, you are bound to be pretty unfulfilled and frustrated. Since stuff like this NEVER happens in Seattle, I felt kind of embarrassed until I just decided to enjoy it. I hope everyone gets to experience something like that in their life, because honestly if I'm being true to my inner 13 year-old who tried to dress up like Oasis...IT WAS AWESOME. :)
The next morning we spent signing CD's again and answering questions regarding my own solo work and if it's on sale in England..."No, it's not....BUT GET ME THERE!"
All was well when we were able to sell in the bar later that night, and again met some amazing people with huge hearts. I was actually sad to leave, because as I stated before, it had a nice family feeling in a world wind-weekend of positivity. Whether it was to cheer for someone when they won the auction of limited edition FARSCAPE prop guns, or have people come up to me to make sure I was o.k. when they heard about the accident, I felt welcomed into what is a very unique and loving group.
Who knows what the future brings, but I hope to attend next year and keep in touch with my new friends. The only thing is this year I was let off the hook when it came to dropping FARSCAPE knowledge since I had never seen the show. Next year, I know I have people holding me accountable. Time for some DVD watching...
Only a few more weeks before "SONGS FROM THE ORANGE ROOM"!
Keep it real homies,