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Collectormania 12 and beyond!

Avi by the generous Bendy1
i have finished the report and it follows - the pictures that belong to it can be found on my Photobase page http://www.pbase.com/lovejames under, amazingly enough, Collectormania 12!

It is mind numbingly long, so don't bother unless you like a good rave... 

I did go to 'Collectormania 12' in Milton Keynes finally, after some internal debate over the money… which I could have put towards Cardiff, y'see.   Then I thought hang on a minute, mate!  I haven't had a day out for 3 months now…so I went.

Had to get up early to catch the 06.57 [which didn't come till nearly 0705!]  *snorts* and it was quite cold at that time of the morning, I can tell you!  And on a Saturday…

So odd sitting at the bus stop in the dark.    There's the odd woman walking to work and several men cycling to work… and eventually I am joined by another woman at the stop.   We had such a clear run into town, hardly a car in sight but as it got lighter and we got closer into town the traffic increased slightly.  It amused me that as I walked to the X5 stop, one started up and left!   The 07.17 leaving two minutes early – mine wasn't leaving until 07.40!  [ I'm glad I didn't get it as not a huge amount of guests were signing until 10.00 at the earliest.  Oh some of the die-hards were hard at work by then but many didn't drift in until after then and later].

Bus had a good, though dreary run through equally dreary St Neots and a 15 minute break in Bedford [you could go to the loo if you wanted], before going onto Milton Keynes, via the Coachway and dropped us off at the shopping centre, then down to the train station and on to Oxford.

I walked through the Mall and picked up the mobility scooter I'd booked earlier – just as well, they were booked solid, the man said.  And took off to have a look around.   This was the third time I'd been there, so pretty familiar now.   Not a huge amount of people about but more arrived all during the day and there were a LOT of people in the mall by the time I left in the afternoon.

I took a couple of photos just to see the difference in layout in the main 'Pits' & crowds – no overnight or even early morning queues that I could see!!  Mind you, the doors were open when I got there, so I probably wouldn't have unless there was another queue for James Marsters, baby!

Some of the headliners were on time but there was a lot of coming & going during the morning.   From midday onwards to 3pm, the guests who were scheduled to have photos done went off and did them…  I noticed that there were still  tickets available for most of them at the organisers booth earlier.  No sign of Lara, wondered where she was…  [found out later she'd been doing the money for George and would have had her back to me all the time, no wonder I didn't see her!]

I will never know the attraction of getting some actor, who's name will never be known to the general public but gosh! he played the third spear carrier from the left in the last scene before the Death Star blows up;  I mean, wow….  Only a fanatic in the worst way would be clamouring for his signature, right?  So what is he doing hanging out his shingle at Collectormania?  Just filling a seat?  Hopefully making a few pounds but can't be much and I wouldn't have thought it would be worth the effort of getting there.  That stuntman sitting next to Adrienne Barbeau sure was lonely…     Most people would recognise Erick Avari, even if they didn't know his name, after 'The Mummy' and 'Heroes' [he's Mohinder's dad, who's research starts it all] and some die-hard horror fans would love to have George Romero's autograph [but for £20??] – there wasn't a queue at any time I was there!  just the odd one or two…  

The Star Trek crew had a much better showing, with the ever popular George Takei, lovely Ethan Phillips and stinker Bob Piccardo on one side and the truly beautiful Marina Sirtis and Walter Koenig on the other.   I felt sorry for Wayne Pygram [Scorpio in 'Farscape'], who was woefully unattended, sitting next to the latter two, who had queues the whole time – George was selling like gangbusters too, and I wished I had the money…

I went to CM12 for Jewel Staite and Kevin Sorbo, and to have a sticky beak at the 'Heroes' guys…    There were the pockets of opportunity in even the busiest queues and the stewards were good about putting me in and keeping an eye on my bag & scooter.   I got to see Jewel pretty quickly and I was surprised to be asked if I wanted her to personalise my item – I'd taken one of the DVD covers from 'Firefly' that had one of her episodes on it but I was entitled to a photo too, so I took one of the group of all the Firefly ladies.    The organising steward obliged with pictures, said no posed ones but was happy to take a couple of the two of us, without us looking at the camera.  A real nice guy.  They were very good too – much better than the crap job Kevin Sorbo' s steward was doing!!

Jewel was a total sweetie and the most frequent comment I heard about her was that she was a 'regular girl'… very nice.

She really was, so I told her I'd come specifically to see her and she wanted to know how far I'd driven, so I said no, just up at six am and two hours on the bus – pretty good really.  

She took her time personalising the cover and chatted about how she loved those episodes and she thought that the Jayneville one was under appreciated, thinking it was really good.   I agreed with her that it was an excellent episode but that I'd loved the one with Kaylee going to the ball, in that birthday cake dress.

She seemed pleased I'd made the effort and thanked me for coming, shook my hand, nice firm grip and was very sweet.   Well worth all the effort.   Note how her nail varnish matches her sweater when you look at the photo, yeah?  very tidy and nicely turned-out lady, a real pet.

Kevin Sorbo was really busy, so I took a hike for a while and let the queues die down a bit.   First Pit - from left to right, it was KS, Helen Slater [Supergirl], Chris Judge [if you look carefully you will see him over my shoulder in the best pic with Jewel and next to Marina in one pic – long-ish hair & a CAP with stripes – yuk to both!] & Michael Shanks [both charging £20 by the way, top wack], then Stanislav whatwashisname 'Krum'? the Quiddich player, from 'Harry Potter' [very good looking, much better than the film!], Marina, Walter & Wayne.

In the second 'Pit', left to right – Tom Baker, Ian McNeice [another Harry Potter alumni] , Anthony Tiernan, George Takei, Erick Avari, Ethan Phillips, BP, George Romero and Leslie Phillips [best known for the Carry Ons & the voice of the Hat in 'Harry Potter'].  The Phelps Twins were billed but not there.  Also conspicuous by his absence, Greg Grunberg from 'Heroes'.

James Kyson Lee was doing a roaring trade whenever I went round that side btw and Matthew John Armstrong [the nuclear man] was sat next to him, where James was with Charisma last time.   I was sitting talking to Jo, who was PA-ing for him when he came back from a break and he is pretty small…  JKL was off on a break as well or I would never have ventured down the lane to see Jo.  I did a nifty three point turn on me scooter to get back up before they returned, so when Matthew JA turned up, I hastily said bye! and shot up to the top, much to amusement of the other PA…  They were the only signing guests that side of the U, apart from some make-up artists applying makeup and appliances to a volunteer.   And some Star Wars costumed personnel posing pictures for charity…

As I went over and down the other side, Billy Murray [from The Bill] walked past me on his way to somewhere and Mark Wingett [from the same show, 'Carver' to you] followed him as I arrived to take a look!   MW came back fairly quickly but BM must have gone for lunch as he was a while.   What did amuse & surprise me was a man with a camera taking shots on and  over the side planter, which he was standing on.  I warned him not to step off, as I was behind him and when he saw my camera, he ask me if I'd like him to take a shot for me?   Thinking he'd take one from the top of the planter like his shots, I said 'yes, thank you' but when I gave him my camera, he shot off down the side and around to the front of the table!  I was sitting there with my mouth open, speechless, as this guy says to them 'lean together' and they did!  He then said, waving his hand in my direction, "It's for her" and they both turned and looked at me.  I hastily applauded them and said 'I didn't know he was going to do that!'  which they thought was pretty funny and waved to me, smiling.   It was a good shot too!

More of The Bill were sitting just along from them – Trudie Goodwin, Eric Richards and wasshername… Paula  *looks up notes* Conwell [Nulla?  never did like her] – it was quite a blast seeing them there – not on the website earlier in the week…  Who else was down there?  oh yes, Tom Atkins [another character actor who's face you would recognise] with Angela Scoular [well may you ask 'who?' as she was in one of the Bond films and was quite a pretty girl – sorry, babe but she hasn't aged well].   They were next to Adrienne Barbeau and her stuntman, then Danny Dyer [don't ask, no idea] next to ?  can't remember and finally Mary Tamm [looking almost embalmed] and a man who's name totally escaped me, I had no idea who he was… another stuntman??    Why wasn't Mary Tamm sitting near Tom Baker, instead of stuck out there in Siberia??  She was Romana, after all – a fellow Time Lord and a Companion for some episodes…

Anyway, nipped about having a good look round.  Took a break to drink & have a bite with me pills and then back at it.  Kevin Sorbo seemed to have lots of people still, so I went and had a word with the steward organising the queue and there was a gap, which he slotted me into.  He was a real nice guy and I told him the story about missing him in Toronto.  He said tell him, I'm sure he'd be interested.   Got in the queue and again, I was surprised to find Kevin was personalising and gave my name.  It was only £15 for him, not grabby like the others.

When I got close to the table, I asked the steward there if he would take a couple of photos of me with Kevin – sure, no problem.  So I give him my camera, make sure he knows what he is doing and step up to meet the Sorbo!   He looked tired [he'd done Friday but it can't have been that bad, surely?]  I said was he tired? and he said he was… obviously a mistake… as he started to sign my photo, I thought of the steward and said jokingly, you'd never believe the trouble I've had trying to meet you!  Without looking up, he replied, "Well, you'd better not tell me then, if I won't believe it."

I looked disbelievingly at the top of his head for a couple of seconds, decided this was an attempt at humour [it would have helped if he had looked up and smiled] and launched briefly into the debacle that was Toronto.   From the response I got, I might just as well have saved my breath – he really couldn't have cared less and obviously didn't give a fuck, commenting only that he was filming back there just now…  Gosh, how interesting, how kind of you to share that little nugget with me…   I tried to salvage the moment and said could I have a photo?   I'd seen lots of posed ones taken.   "Sure" he said, standing up and leaning across the table. 

I turned to the steward – guess what?  This total jerkwad was not only not taking ANY pictures at all but was actually half turned away, looking behind him!!   "Oi!"  I said and he turned back to me.   "Will you take a photo NOW??"   "Aw, yer" was his sparkling response.   I turned back to KS and he took one – ONE.  KS sat again and I looked down at him and put out my hand, saying 'Thank you. It is good to finally meet you.  You are still looking good."   He took my hand and I finally got some warmth from him as he thanked me for coming.

Silly of me but I had forgotten how bored these guys obviously get, signing yet another photo, for yet another fan…   Wake up, Kevin, some of these people were REAL fans, not just interested onlookers out for a day's entertainment.  What a difference to James, who likes his fans!!

You are not going to see this photo by the way, as I look like Dracula's mother on a bad day, before breakfast – and KS looks AWFUL.  Jerkwad couldn't take a good shot of a stationery bus.   Why not say, I'm crap at taking pictures and have done?  Luckily I didn't see this photo until I'd left the area as I was already resisting the impulse to kill him on the spot.   I reclaimed my camera and went to get my stuff.  I had to take several deep breaths when I saw JW had only taken the ONE crap photo and convince myself just to forget the whole disappointing episode.   Thank heavens,  I wasn't that real Sorbo fan, if you know what I mean…

Bloody hell, I couldn't even imagine James being like that!!  If it bored KS so much to be there, why the hell go??  oh wait, the money…    It is SO not about the dosh, mate…

Even if James is tired, bored shitless or whatever, he NEVER shows it and right up to the last person, will give you a warm handshake, good eye contact and a smile at least.   Go give this twat lessons, please…

I went back to Pit 2 and settled myself in on the rail to wait and inch my way up the queue that was watching people meet Tom Baker.   As one left, I moved forward and so on until I was as far forward as I could go, next to the side screen. 

I took some shots and then I noticed a youngster in a wheelchair coming up in the queue.   When she & her carer drew level with me, I asked him if he had brought a camera – no – would he like me to take some shots and did he have internet access?  Yes to both and he scribbled his email addy on a scrap of paper for me.

I took some of the lassie with TB and said look towards me before you leave, which she did and I got a nice one for her.  When I got home, I put the best of them in a zip file and sent them off to him.   They arrived safely and they said they were very pleased with them.   Cool…  a good day, when you can do a good deed too.

By this time, I had all the autographs I was going to get and unless I was prepared to wait until the photographs were all done, I was about done.   It was about 1.30pm and I thought what the hell and took the scooter back.   They have abolished charges but I dashed them some cash anyway… it is so worth it.

I wasn't sure when the next bus home was but as they run every half an hour on Saturday, I wasn't worried.   As it turned out, I didn't have long to wait as one came just before 2pm.   We had an uneventful trip back and I ate my Cornish pasty on the way!

Got back into Cambridge about 4pm and I was standing in my room at 4.25pm, so all good – apart from the old bloke who'd had a few, who would insist on talking to me at the bus stop!  I really must try and look more intimidating… *snort*

see yah!


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 6th, 2007 07:57 pm (UTC)
Lovely report which I really enjoyed reading. I remember Angela Scoular! Not from the Bond films though...wasn't she in 'Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush' with Barry Evans? Agh, I'm showing my age again. And Mary Tamm...her with the big feet...she gave an interview in the Radio Times back in the day and the last question was what didn't she like about herself and she said she had huge feet...the only bit of the interview I remember! Why point out your defects...peeps will point them out for you soon enough! :D So Angela Scoular hasn't aged well? That cheers me up coz neither have I. ;)

Fancy KS being like that. I don't like him any more now then. Once I know an actor/celebrity is a pillock in real life that's it for me. No excuse being tired. At MK last time, I stood in the corner near Lisa instead of going round with the queue (until the last minute when I had my pic taken with him) and while I gazed at him adoringly there were a few seconds between peeps having their pics taken when he let his guard down and I have never ever seen anyone look so tired in a long time...apart from the fella who pulled down our hedge that time and erected a six foot high fence all on the same day...James had that same look...exhaustion. Yet a second or two later you'd never have known it. He was back to scintillating at the peeps and being there for them. My admiration for James is beyond words.

Glad you had a nice day. :D
Nov. 6th, 2007 11:50 pm (UTC)
Hello, petal!
Glad you liked the report... There's a pic of Angela S next to Tom Atkins, i think in the Photobase. i had to look hard to see it was the same woman. i did feel sorry for Mary Tamm though. i recognised her without the picture and wondered if she'd come so late they couldn't slot her in anywhere near Tom Baker. i'd recognise HIS manic grin anywhere!
James does manage to look as though he is enjoying the experience as much as we are and i think in some ways it is true. He sparks off us - how can you not respond to someone who gallops in with a huge smile and is obviously delighted to see you up close and personal??
But i empathise with you for sweet baby James; his is on his feet, meeting & greeting for an intense two hours - and don't let anyone tell you sitting down doing the same thing isn't as tiring, 'cos it is... i hope his finger is a LOT better by the time he gets here. It's going to get a work-out...
i'll be seeing you in Cardiff, yes??
Take care
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )