Convention Information

Fri., Sat. & Sun.
January 30, 31, February 1, 2009
Los Angeles Marriott at LAX
5855 West Century Blvd.


Lucy Lawless
Renee O'Connor
Rob Tapert
Jacqueline Kim
Jennifer Sky Band
Tony Todd
Michael Hurst
Jennifer Ward Lealand
Victoria Pratt
Robert Trebor
Hudson Leick
Steven L.Sears
Cat Crimins



Los Angeles, California, USA

January 30 - 1 February, 2009

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Con 09 L. A. Lucy and Claire

by KT

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 can caddyyyyyyyy.”

(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’” She added that her boys are embarrassed that she’s on, 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 brother.

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 skills, Claire.”

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 with her.)

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 it’s on.”

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 us.

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.