LOS ANGELES, CA
Fri., Sat. & Sun.
January 30, 31, February 1, 2009
Los Angeles Marriott at LAX
5855 West Century Blvd.
Jennifer Sky Band
Jennifer Ward Lealand
2009 OFFICIAL XENA CONVENTION
Los Angeles, California, USA
January 30 - 1 February, 2009
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Con 09 L. A. Lucy and Claire
And then BIG surprise-Claire Stansfield came charging out through
the scrim curtain and up onto the stage.
The audience broke into a WILD, MASSIVE, roar of welcome. Claire has
always been a big fan favorite at the cons. She’s totally irreverent
and is always really jazzed when she’s there. And she has fans who
live to hear her say “f*ck”. Which she does all the time, thus
fulfilling their sophomoric dreams. What’s not to like?
I’m pretty sure Lucy and Claire hugged and kissed. I have this
vision of Claire standing to Lucy’s right with her arm around Lucy’s
shoulder. Claire is the only woman on the show who is perceptibly
taller than Lucy. (And there weren’t a lot of guys who were taller
either.) She also (and I don’t mean this in a bad way), she kind of
looms over Lucy, as Alti at times loomed over Xena. Claire is a
PRESENCE. Just by standing there, she makes Lucy look little, with
just a hint of fragile thrown in. Jennifer Ward-Leland may also be
as tall if not slightly taller than Lucy. But she’s also slender,
long but not wide and a bit girly-she’s a long stalk. Claire-she is
not so. Claire is the true Amazon of the show.
Claire is like your boozy, sexually scandalous, loud, uninhibited
and foul-mouthed aunt, bit of a black sheep in the family, but the
person you adore most of all your relatives. Just ‘cause she’s so
gosh darn cool!
You know, it’s too bad Claire didn’t go to Lucy’s rock opera. She
would have LOVED that show. She probably would have tried to get
onstage and horn in on the action.
Now I have quotes for Claire but many of them are based upon one
word. So take it as a free interpretation of what was actually
said-I believe I did get the spirit down if not the exact words.
First thing Claire says to us, “See, I DO know her! I go all over
the country saying ‘I’m a friend of Lucy Lawless’s.’ I say ‘Lucy
Lawless and I went shopping together, we golf together’-and now you
know-I’m not a f*cken liar!”
Do I have to say it? The crowd went wild.
This reminds me that Claire did use to talk at the cons about her
and Lucy going golfing. She said they really had no idea what the
heck they were doing, but that they had great clubs. This led to a
long thread on the late, great, sadly lamented Xenaverse List.
However, we transposed it to Xena and Alti going golfing. And I
remember one part, where we imagined Alti saying in her deep, rough,
growly Alti voice, “Xeeeeeena. Let’s go golllfing. (Pause) Gabrielle
(Well, it was funny at the time. <KT clears throat.> Perhaps you had
to be there.)
Claire said that a friend of hers mentioned to her that she had read
in the paper that there was going to be a Xena convention that
weekend and asked, “Are you going to be there?”
Claire gave us a truly malevolent, offended stare, one of those,
“Can you BELIEVE they didn’t call me?” kind, as she bobbed her head
up and down just a little bit and then growled out, “Nooooo.”
“But then I figured, I SHOULD be there. So I called Creation and
they arranged it.” Lucy said that trying to get her phone number was
like trying to get classified information-they couldn’t find it
anywhere. Claire had sold her clothing company to I think it was Liz
Claibourne maybe? and even they didn’t have a line on her. “Your
number is not on the webpage.”
Claire said something like it shouldn’t have been too hard to find
her because her e-mail address is “Xena’sBigBitch@aol.com” She added
that her boys are embarrassed that she’s on AOL.com, but they love
the Xena’s big bitch part.
It just struck me that I’ve never seen Lucy and Clair together on
stage. Lucy and Renee all the time and Lucy and Joe and then Lucy
and Joe and Renee in Chicago. But this is the first time to see Luce
with a fellow show actor other than Renee. So this was a fresh
experience. Actually, it was VERY fresh, since it was Claire.
I think it was Lucy who said that Claire now has two sons. Which is
great-the last time we saw Claire a few years ago, she talked about
how she had gotten married and that she and her honey really wanted
a baby. But she suffered numerous miscarriages. And then finally her
son was born. Because he got here safely, she named him “Lucky”. So
I was very happy for her to hear that Lucky now has a little
Lucy made some comment about “Adventures In The Sin Trade”, when
Alti was transformed into a very large spider that crawled over
Xena’s face. And they shot it with a real very large spider and
later CGI’d Clair’s head on the thing. Lucy acted out herself being
somewhat disgusted, trying to rip the spider off her face and
yelling out something like, “Claire, get off me! You’ve got your
foot up my nostril!”
Claire said something like, “How about the time I stuck my hand into
your pregnant belly and then said (slipping into her deep, nasty
Alti voice), ‘I’ve always wanted to be inside you, Xeeena’.” By now
the whole audience was laughing hysterically – pleased hooting and
cheering also broke out on that one. Claire said to Lucy, “Your
husband liked that line.” Lucy answered, “He’s a sick bastard.”
Claire said that when her sons watch her work, they say, “Mommy bad
guy. Mommy bad guy!” One of her sons asks her, “Why can’t you just
be NICE for once?”
Claire mentioned (as she has often mentioned in the past), that
since they never made an Alti doll, she herself dressed up a Xena
dolly to look like Alti. I believe she called it the Xena/Alti/Barbie
doll. She said that her son loves to play with Barbie Alti and an
Iron Man figure. He has them fighting all the time. And she mimicked
her son holding them in his hands and having them just whale away at
each other, slamming together and locking bodies. She said that they
wind up in some provocative positions. She looked at us and said
with a very innuendo look and sound in her voice, “Xena/Alti/Barbie
doll and Iron man are REALLY tight.”
(Again a little con going other fan help in filling out the
following paragraph: )
Claire said that she and Robert Downey Jr. are old friends from an
acting class they took together. And that when he comes over to her
house, “We’ve got Iron Man and Mommy bad guy in my kitchen”, and it
freaks her sons out. She laughed and said that Lucy should come over
because, “That’ll really f*ck ‘em up.” Lucy replied, “Good mothering
Lucy enjoyed Claire as much if not more than anyone in the audience.
She laughed with great abandon, as we sometimes see her doing in
photos when she’s at an event and hanging with friends. She was
flushed and just wide mouthed beaming-except for the times when she
was acting things out.
Claire told us about her work history “I was a convention whore.”
And then I think she talked about starting that clothing business
that she sold off that featured clothes for large women.
Now Creation was using only one camera for taping this convention.
Sharon had told Lucy that this meant that people on stage had to
stick together so the one camera could keep them both in the shot.
However Claire kept inexplicably shuffling backwards while facing
us, moving away from the edge of the stage and would wind up way in
the back. Lucy would then go get her and give her gentle nudges to
go back towards the front. At one point she said, “Step into the
light, Carol Anne”, a reference that went totally over my head at
the time. But I was later informed that it’s a line from the movie,
“Poltergeist”. And I offer a quote from my friend (mangled by me)
that “A little girl named CarolAnn was ‘sucked’ into ‘the other
side’ and her parents are trying to get her back through her closet
door.” (Now that I get it, I find it very funny. I LOVE Lucy’s fast
flashing wit. No wonder so many folks who meet her are just so taken
Once my friend reminded me about Claire’s “dance”, I remembered
seeing it also. But though I took it in, I didn’t really “notice” it
and so didn’t write it up. I wonder now why Claire kept doing that.
Did it have something to do with sharing the stage with another
person? We’ve only seen Claire alone on stage at the convention
(although a few years ago, once at the evening cabaret, she and
Alexandra Tidings read fan fic and acted out a kiss at the end of
it, and another time, she and Hudson did a short one act play and I
think maybe that ended in a kiss also? (I’m sure some of the grrls
will let us know if that was so.)
Anyway, why Claire would keep edging backwards towards the back of
the stage puzzles me. But then lots of things do.
Claire said something about working with Oprah.
Then I have written down, “Mock fight” (I don’t remember to what
that refers) and Lucy saying, “Oprah helped fill your hole”.
Laughing and hoots again from the audience and Lucy chided us,
saying, “Get your minds out of the gutter!” Which of course just
made us hoot very pleasedly all the more.
I don’t remember if it was Claire or Lucy who said, still referring
to Oprah, “Did the Q-tip thing with her.” I know it was Claire who
said, “Giant Depends and an enormous Q-tip”. Lucy looked at Claire
and said, “I’m gonna tell her you said that.” Claire added that she
was now a consultant for Oprah on the Favorite Things. Lucy replied,
“Oh, piss off, man”.
Claire said, “I’d rather be in ‘The L Word’. Then Shane could hook
me up” (I guess she mentioned one of the characters on there that
she’d like to be hooked up with.) Lucy replied that the actor is not
really gay. Claire looked at her and said with a “So?” in her voice,
“Neither are we”.
Okay, the next line looks like, “Love Danielle (mysterious last
name” that I wrote down as “A Zu?” in my notes. I look it up and the
name is actually, Daniela Sea. Close, eh?)
Claire says, “She plays Max”. Then, suddenly, “I have to go-cause
And Claire ran off to huge applause and cheers. But did stop and
take time to sign the banner, even though an image of Alti wasn’t on
it-‘cause it was a late addition SURPRISE! that Claire came to see
It was fun to see Lucy’s reactions to Claire. Lucy laughed so hard
at times that you could barely hear her talk. And when she talked,
it was pure Kiwi, not her modified Kiwi accent that I imagine has
developed from living in America and living with an American for so
long. It was unadulterated basic Mt. Albert Lucy. Being with Claire,
there was no holding back, just pure unaffected pleasure that broke
through all the onstage barriers and left just Lucy standing there,
laughing with and at her friend Claire.
It really was great to see Claire again. And a special bonus to
watch her and Lucy play together. Hopefully, now that Creation has
her phone number, Claire will be showing up again at future cons.