Convention Information
The Marriott Burbank
Airport Hotel

2500 Hollywood Way
Burbank, CA 91505.

Lucy Lawless
Claire Stansfield
Hudson Leick
Ted Raimi
Adrienne Wilkinson
Brittney Powell
Musetta Vander
Sherri Rappaport
Jennifer Sky
Katherine Fugate
Paris Jefferson
Steven Sears
Victoria Pratt
Zoe Bell
William Gregory Lee
David Franklin
Willa O'Neill
Darian Tackle
Charles Mesure

Los Angeles, California, USA

gal/Sunday/Lucy/Photos_by_Lori_Boyles/_thb_IMG_9639.jpg gal/Sunday/Lucy/Photos_by_Lori_Boyles/_thb_IMG_9637.jpg gal/Sunday/Lucy/Photos_by_Lori_Boyles/_thb_IMG_9668.jpg

The Final Journey Part 2
11-13 January 2013

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Con 2013 Lucy Lawless Convention Report


Well, let’s just start with Lucy, shall we?

Lucy is always the last guest—I mean how do you top having the woman who brought Xena to life come out and say howdy to us? (Actually we did experience that one year—Lucy had to be there on Saturday rather than Sunday. And it truly was anti-climatic, at least for me. It was like, “Hey, ‘Xena’s’ already been here—how come we’re still here?”)

Every con I’ve been to I’ve noticed that when Lucy is coming up next, there is a palpable rising anticipation in the hall. People show excitement in their faces and in their posture. A lot of people suddenly arrive even though something else was on and they hadn’t come to the hall for that. There is a longer than usual line in the bathroom of people rushing to get in and out before Lucy beats them into the hall.

As the break time after the last event gets close to ending and the start time for Lucy’s time approaches, people walk into the hall fast and quick check the stage. Other people gather at the door and peek in. When they see the stage is still empty, they turn back to their friends and excitedly chat and laugh. Many of them re-gather restlessly in the hallway outside the theater, chattering and giggling with friends. Some pace along alone, absorbed in their interior thoughts and apparently just not able to stand still or come in and sit still as they wait because Lucy is coming, the woman who brought Xena the Warrior Princess to life is going to be standing on the stage in front of them any minute now. A lot of helpless, delighted grins flash out and stay goofily on people’s faces as they wait for Lucy to appear.

And then finally it’s close enough to start time that everyone wants to be sure to be in their seats before Lucy comes on and the doorway gets clogged with people massing their way into the hall.

And yes, there are some people who do NOT go through these dances of excited anticipation over Lucy’s appearance—but I am talking about the ones who do.

AND there’s also a lot of this going on when Renee is due on stage too. But of course, Lucy usually shows up at the end of Renee’s alone time, then Renee goes away while Lucy’s on stage, then she returns and they are both on stage together. And, as I’ve said before, the two of them together is pure catnip for many of the fans.

There are a lot of total newbies this year and based upon comments I heard both before and after Lucy’s appearance, and in fact, all through the days before Lucy's appearance, Lucy being here was a big pull for many of the newbies to come to a con.

So Luce comes out, wearing just some regular clothes, nothing very fancy nor kind of awful either. (Although it has been a while since she showed up in awful clothes.)

The audience leaps to our feet and starts wildly applauding, hooting, cheering, HUGE smiles beaming up at Lucy.

“Hi guys”. She said something about “rock” and either she added or I clarified for myself, “ROC that is”. (Which for total newbies is an I believe fan created nickname for “Renee O’Connor”.)

Note: as always, I sometimes use quotation marks but this doesn’t mean it’s a direct quote—it’s just a way to show that I’m attempting to faithfully transcribe what someone said. Some folks write me back with links to pirated YouTube cell phone uploads that show proof of some of my stumbles away from reality on these, but the quotes are not usually (though yes, once in a while) TOTALLY wrong. I have however had some good laughs over my misfires after watching the con appearance DVDs later on.

“I feel so unprepared this year”. Lucy talks about it being a huge year. “Finished Spartacus. Dipped into my community. It was an odyssey of barbecued meats. I was in the worst funk after partying with the woman in my area.”

“I went and occupied an oil rig for four days. Got arrested. Went to jail. Not for very long. A few hours. It ain’t no hotel. Nobody changes the sheets, nobody turns down the beds. There’s a camera watching your every move. (There’s a toilet) with no barriers (between the user and the camera). I decided not to use it. Fortunately, after four days on an oil rig, I was dehydrated.”

I THINK she said she’d maybe done a little singing with “amazing people in a back-up band”.

“I went back to university. I SO recommend it. Learn something you’ve always been interested in.”

“So yeah, that’s been my year”.

She talked about doing tap dancing—I think Sharon Delaney had talked her into doing that. When some of us of course screamed out that she should do some tap dancing for us she replied that she wasn’t very good at it. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me”.

She talked about doing a play. That it could be a musical. I think that someone called out something about her tap dancing in it. She laughed and said, “I’ll learn to tap”. Then she added, “There is no tap dancing in it”. (So it sounds like her being in a show might be a possibility?)

She said she had taken a tap dancing class with Sharon. One lesson. Then she said that was a lie—she’d had two lessons. But that “If you saw me, you’d think I’d only had one… A LONG time ago.”

Then Lucy said, “I have a friend”. And then asked us, “Who is my friend?” And seemed to be indicating that the friend would be joining her on stage.

Well, this year Renee O’Connor was at the con but she only offered one of her “I Am Aware” workshops. Creation had announced that that was all she would be doing at the con and that she wouldn’t be appearing onstage.

However, at the con, a number of fans kept assuring each other that surely Renee WOULD be on stage and the bets were that surely she would be on stage with Lucy.

So when Lucy said this some people in the audience began to buzz excitedly. Lucy continued to talk, “Who is my friend?” Lucy said, “I have…Rob. And Marissa”. At least one person called out, “Renee!”

However, it was indeed Marissa who came though the curtain. (She looks GREAT by the way…)

Marissa was carrying a pile of clothing. Lucy told us it was crew stuff. “I’m sharing out my drawers”. (A kind of hushing sound from sudden intakes of breath rippled through the room. But then reality zoomed in and we all realized Lucy was talking about bureau drawers, not her undies).

The first item of clothing was held up and I think it was Marissa who said, “A crew shirt none the less—and it’s been in Lucy’s house!” Then I have spelled out, “M-I-K-E-L” which presumably someone said. Not sure if that was the name on the shirt or if it was the name of the fan who got it. Then Lucy yelled out “The girl who cried the most at the last convention! She bawled when she met me last year and I was embarrassed by that. To Rae—who cried…”

Then I have written down, “Cry, cry, cry. Poke”

Lucy pulled out another shirt. She laughed and said, “I actually have worn this one”. Then either she or Marissa said, “Which makes it better!”

A young woman came up to the microphone and told Lucy it was her first convention. Lucy said, “Where you been, sister?” (Of course, what she actually said in that New Zealand way was, “Where you bean, sister?”)

Next note says “Two jobs” which I’m assuming a fan said. Because then Lucy says, “Come up here, girly”.

Lucy: “I would LOVE to have an original question”. Nobody said anything for a moment. Luce: “Just throwing that out there”.

She was asked which weapon she would like to have.

“I want that big long stick that Renee had. Keep them further away from your body—that’s what you want.”

Next fan: “What was the hardest show you did?”

“Something involving crucifixion”.

Then she told again the story of when they were filming the ep “The Ides Of March” where they are being crucified in snow. (Not real snow, I don’t think). But Renee got really cold and was actually sliding into hypothermia. But kept saying she was fine, just fine, feeling just fine as she was slipping beyond shivering into the death spiral of the frozen.

Okay, so then I have these notes of Lucy’s words. “Pete’s girl. Maple scone. I’m not allowed there anymore.” I thought she said (and wrote down), “I’m 411”. Which as I wrote it, I remember thinking, “She’s information?”

Then I have Luce scolding, “Don’t ‘AWWW’at me.” Then imitating us, “Awww. She’s 44”. (So NOT 411)

Then some fan I think brought up something about a “mean farmer”. Lucy asks, “Did *I* play a mean farmer?” But then it was clarified (either by the asker or by crowd comment) that the fan was talking about Kevin Smith in “Ares’ Farm”.

Lucy said, “I was an extra in (that one)”. Pause. “So I did my best acting in it”.

Next note: “Happy Valley Kid. Embodied western man. He inspired me to become an actor”. She gave us a “sheesh” look.

Then I have her saying, “Break out of jail. Seduce the jailer and just saunter out of there like the ghost I am”.

A fan said something and Lucy asked, “What study?”  “The Rio Conference”. (My notes actually say, “Riot Conference”, but I just don’t think that’s right…)

“Sustainable. I was just staggered—very intelligent people in conflict on whether they need to do something--even though they had to invent a new color for the Australian heat map.”

“I’m trying to understand how people think. As an actor, you have to decide why and how a person thinks—that they think THIS way”.

“I went back to uni”. (University. I find it interesting that in America we’d say “college” in that context rather than “university”. University is used more as part of a specific name, as in the University of Somewhere. But we’d more likely phrase what Lucy said as, “I went back to college”. If we did use the word Lucy used, we’d say, “I went back to the university”, but again, if we used the word university, we’d more likely say, “I went back to the University of Alaska”. And just to explain why this linguistic difference interests me, I could broaden that to say, “I went to the University of Alaska where I received a degree in anthropology”.)

“I was inquiring, ‘What is a just man’?”

A fan asked her about filming fight scenes. (Writing this just now cracked me up. Here’s Luce getting all philosophical with us and then we rise up to the occasion in response and ask her about her fight scenes on her fantasy show. I LOVE us! I really and truly do. I’m serious—I’m not trying to knock this person—it’s classic, iconic Xena focused fan behavior. Love it.)

And Lucy answers, “What drove me was desperation. I HATED fight scenes. I couldn’t believe we hadn’t done all the fights we’d ever need. There’s no crying in baseball--or in scenes. But Zoe Bell and heaps of doubles (got it done)”.

Fan:  “I have a two pronged question. Two bites of the apple”.

Luce? “Okay—but let’s keep it in this room”. Big grin. “Thank you—just between us, right?”

The question was about the funeral song that Lucy had made up a long time before she was Xena but that became the funeral dirge that Xena always sang at funerals. 

“That song knocked Rob’s socks off. He heard it and said, ‘I want that song!’ (Other person on show—I’m almost certain she said it was Joe LoDuca, the music man on Xena.) “That’s Lucy’s”. Rob: “WHAT?!” Lucy: “You never know what your actor can do”.

I think there was a question “What motivates the choices?”

Lucy: “It’s just my job. You love it and you want to bring this thing to life. Many things about Lucretia really challenged me.” Then I have a cryptic note: “From the 80’s”. Followed by, “What makes this real—if I were in this woman’s shoes.”

I believe someone said they missed hearing the Xena yell. I think that Lucy challenged them to do it. But then a boy way in the back yelled out he’d do it. Lucy said okay. And MAN, did he do a great job on it. Applause and cheers just erupted all over the hall. And many people in the audience commented on how good he was.

Lucy: “Ai Yi Yi—it’s NOT Ai-Yi-Yi. It never was.”

I think someone yelled out again for her to do it. As she’s done lately, she did a tiny little one, very soft and barely audible.

Fan: “What was your favorite guest role?”

I’m not sure if Luce answered right away or if folks began to answer for her, yelling out their favorites. (I’m laughing at us again—we totally crack me up.)

Lucy said (or repeated?) “Burn Notice”. Then she said, “Battlestar”, taking it from fan’s suggestions.

She said it was important to have the right people and the right role. “Something really fun though”.

“Rob said to me, ‘people want to see you being bad’”.

Then she said something about playing a put-upon housewife. I believe a fan asked her “Honestly do you (think that?)” I think the question was did she feel she should play that, and she answered, “No really—that’s what he said”.

She said, “New Zealand people are used to me. It’s hard for them to get excited”.

Someone (maybe Luce) said she was known as Xena.

Lucy told a little story about how when she was young she went up to someone she worshipped as a talent (to thank him/her I believe) and was just blown off by the star. She said (I think to herself, not to the star) “When I get famous, I’ll never say that”. (Hmm. Perhaps that experience/vow helps explains why she keeps coming back to cons for us.)

Then I think it was the fan who said, “I really just love your work—it hits you in the guts”.

Rick Jacobson’s name came up. Lucy said that “With T.J. Scott—you don’t hate it so much—he does the (moves?) before you. Rick just sends you…” Lucy is inarticulate and doesn’t speak for a moment. Then says with a distasteful look on her face, “You’re a meat puppet.”

Someone said, “Something in a cave—great fights”, not sure if it was Luce or a fan.

Fan: “What was your favorite moment with Renee?”

Luce: “Oh probably one of those bath scenes. The nutbread scene was the funniest. The one with all the things moms hate—head lice.”

“Which design of the chakram did you like the most?”

Luce: “The second one was cooler but harder to catch for real life use”.

A fan came up maybe with a “Save the Arctic” shirt or banner or something. Luce: “I’m on the board”. (Applause) Lucy said “Thank you” but did a dismissive wave of her hand. I remember being amused, thinking she was obviously brought up to be polite but she was also brought up to be modest. And yet she became an actor…grin.

She said to the fan, “Come up here—we’ll do a little photo”. Then she said, “Save the arctic”.

Fan: “What are your favorite clothes to wear ever day?”

Luce: “Massive yoga pants. I really like big floppy clothes. I spent 6 years in a corset and I decided I was never going back there” (Pause) I don’t remember that we said or called anything out on that one but she continued, “What was I supposed to say? Princess dresses? C’mon.” (Either the fan says something or Lucy continues to muse) “Fancy dresses”. “I like fancy dresses too sometimes.”

A young fan asked, “Where is Gabrielle?” (Cheers and applause in audience.)

Luce: “What to say? I don’t know. I didn’t even know I wasn’t going to see her.” (Then I have something written down that looks like, “4 cell phones”.)

Lucy continues, “She might be at the Golden Globes in a princess dress”. (Pause) “Why did I say that?” Then, putting on an artsy-fartsy voice, “She had better things to do, darling”.

A fan asked her about Bitter Suite.

Luce: “I thought Hudson was amazing. I liked it. Until the moment on the altar.”

She said it was the most magnificent episode.

A fan asked her if she’d ever thought of writing her autobiography.  “I really haven’t. Rob’s trying to get me to write some of the things that happened. I’m lucky—I get involved in some tense events. I’m waiting for a few people to die first”. She mentioned a “super slezoid famous person—but they got kids”.

“I was sitting with a friend in a (mezzanine?) café and this person just dropped out of the sky and killed himself in front of us.”

“This will not be a children’s book.”

A fan asked her about her boots. “Bought in San Francisco designed by Alexander McQueen”(?). Then she mentioned someone named something like Nick Manute? And added, “He’s gone”.

I think in answer to a question she told us she’d really been into opera. “As a kid I’d ask, ‘What are they saying? I can’t understand a bloody word!”

“Really into opera. Then I got into African music. They use notes in between the one we use.”

“I sing because I can. Singing is like ice cream—you just do it”.

Fan: If you could be in a play on Broadway, which role would you like to do?

“I’d like to be in ‘Annie Get Your Gun’. And play Annie. I listened to that as a child. It was so sentimental to me. I was pissed (that Reba McIntyre got to play it)—Reba McIntyre was great—but it wasn’t me…"

“What was your favorite skit on Funny Business?”  “I can only remember one. It wasn’t very funny. It was about a perfume bottle in the shape of bollocks. I pulled the stopper out. The perfume was named Anuz (?). Not even funny."

“Do you prefer playing a bad guy or a good guy?”  “I never played bad guys. Who was a bad guy? Xena? Lucretia? I never saw (that). Was I bad? Of course I’d rather be (bad) – you call it bad—I call it surviving".

A fan came up to the mic, Luce looked over at her and laughed a bit as she said, “I LOVE that you didn’t trust anyone enough to leave your bag" (at your seat).

I missed the question but Lucy’s answer was, “Plato through evolutionary psychology. Robert Wright—I like him a lot. I really like ‘The Moral Animal’.” Then she said something like people say that in his work he says “Social Darwinism is against homosexuals—that has nothing to do with what this is. Now my question is, what is morality? What is it? What is it to be human given that we have certain traits?”

I think it was Luce but it might have been a fan who said, “Lucretia was treated so badly”. Luce: “She was, wasn’t she?” Again, I’m not sure if it was a fan question or a Lucy statement, but I think it was the fan who said, “Harder than playing the hero?”

“Yes—because you had to be quiet”. (Quiet? That’s what I appear to have written down.)

“The great thing about Spartacus, because the audience was way ahead of the other actors. That’s really rewarding to an audience."

"Everything was always her fault. The sword of Damocles was hanging over her head. She was never safe, never master of her destiny-until the very end.”

Then she was talking about people who travel around with some artifact and then take pictures of themselves in famous places with the artifact. She mentioned people traveling around with a gnome for example. “Why would you travel with a gnome? Luce put on a crazed voice: ‘Cause my cocaine is in it!”

“I’ve done something like that for my nephew. It’s a pain. I took it around Florida.” Then she talked about losing it or breaking it. “Gee—should we just mock up another one?”

A fan asked her if she’d ever want to be president.  “I’m not sure my values would get me elected president.”

I think then the fan (or another one) asked her if she’d go into politics. “No. Been asked a few times. But if you’re elected, you have to vote with your constituency. And that would literally make me sick.” (In terms of if their values did not coincide with hers.)

Lucy repeated the next question. “What made me want to play Xena? I was 25 years old and penniless with a small child and I needed a job”.

Note: Claire had already been on stage yesterday and she had brought Vanessa Angel with her. Vanessa had actually been hired to play Xena but then pulled out, leaving Lucy to play Xena upon the screen. Obviously, Lucy had heard that she had appeared at the con and this question reminded her of that.

“I thought that was so cool that Vanessa Angel came. What a good sport—how generous she was. What a unique thing for this con.”

Fan, “Do you think anyone could have played Xena better than you?”

Luce: “We’ll never know if that’s true”.

She had a question about why she wanted to be an actor.

“You do it because you can’t help it”. But then she said something like anything we do, “We might change our mind about it—I gave myself the same right”.

I think she then referred to maybe people who hire people to act? “They want you to succeed—they’re on the same side as you”.

Fan: Who was your favorite (apparently of the Xena types) to play.

“My favorite was Meg. I like to play characters that look as good as my inner self. Like the sister I truly am.”

A fan asked her, “What question do you want asked?”

Lucy talked about journalists. “They’ll try to put words in your mouth. I left the self-aggrandizing questions out.”

I’m not sure if the fan tried to talk again or not, but then Lucy said, “You probably asked the original question—now shut up”.

“I might do a children’s book—scary sh*t that my kids say. Sorry-stuff.” (Hmm wonder if she said “scary” not “sorry”.

“Having kids make you not wish you were somebody else.”

“It’s handing over the mantle—young people are coming up. Everybody has a turn. I’ve lost four or five friends. To get to be 45—not everybody has that privilege. Let go—it’s good to be here.”

 This may have been a question about working with people you don’t like—I’m not sure but maybe so. Or it might just be another one of her general philosophies of life.

“If you can’t be with the one you love, love the ones you’re with. That’s my greatest secret for having a fun life.”

A fan asked if she has a tattoo. Lucy said no, she didn’t want one. I believe the fan asked why. “There is no single icon I want to wear on my skin. And, when I get old, they’re gonna look ugly. But my boyfriend won’t be.” (Can that be right? I’m not sure about the word “boyfriend” but that’s the best I can make out of my scrawl.)

(Writing down Lucy’s appearance is always tough—because I always enjoy watching her face and her “poses”--the way she swings in and out of “styles” of answering. Funny, serious, challenging, acting, dismissing, etc. So half the time I’m looking at her and writing without looking at the page at the same time—leading to gooblydook created from nothing like any letter I’ve ever seen before in my life leering at me from my notebook. SIGH)

A fan asked what her favorite color was. “The color orange—in a flame. That translucence. Did I just make that word up?” (Hmm. Perhaps she didn’t say translucence but something like that?)

I thought that was an interesting answer. I don’t think I know anyone for whom orange is their favorite color.

“Who inspires you as an actress?”  “Good writing inspires me. I get really mad if somebody doesn’t do something really cool with good writing. That’s sad. I wish I’d had that role—I’d like to have said those words.”

I think a fan said to her that she’d read that Lucy had caught the 37th biggest fish (of that type?) in the world.  Lucy:  “I go fishing every 12 years. I hate fishing. It’s the reason I had children. (Puts on voice) “I have to stay with the baby”.

She talked about growing up. “I had five brothers. I’d be more annoying than ever. Me and Josie (her younger sister) would be wearing sarongs. Honolulu baby. (Maybe this was a song they sang?)

Next line—“Oh, oh you can see my bosoms!” I THINK she’s still visiting the past here…

She talked as she has before about that tease she and her siblings did. Where you could get right into each other’s faces. They called it doing the Razzi-matazzi. She went over to the side of the stage where one of the volunteers stood down below the apron. There were volunteers on both sides of the stage down on the floor. I hadn’t seen that before. Guess it was a security measure.

The volunteer (if he IS a volunteer) Lucy went over to has been around for years. He looks remarkably like John Cleese. EVERYONE says that the minute they see him. Anyway, Luce went up to him, leaned down from the stage and began to flutter her fingers real fast mere centimeters in front of his face. Lucy continued to explain Razzi-Matazzi to us, “You can do this all you want. You can NOT touch ‘em though” (‘Cause then they can swat you back). The volunteer stood stock still, just staring up at her with this somewhat stunned but happy, open look on his face which had turned bright red by the time she left him alone—I don’t think he even noticed her fingers rotoring along a hair's breadth from his eyes. Lucy turned around, walked back to the center of the stage and said, “THAT’S how I coped. Yeah.”

I believe she was asked about being on “The L Word”. Maybe she was asked if she’d gone after them to put her on the show? Not sure. Can’t remember and if so, didn’t write that down.

“Yeah, I got ‘The L Word’ nod. Hi girls! I had no idea—it was kind of bewildering. I didn’t know what I was doing.”

“I’m just so busy doing my oil rig and university”.

She was asked what was the longest trip she’d ever taken. “New Zealand to Israel was my longest trip, to do a travel show. We did Jerusalem at a time of strife. (Laugh). Can you imagine? We were warned not to go into housing. Had a few stones thrown at me. Went up to Gethsemane. Kids were biffing stones at me. An amazing part of the world.”

And that was it—her time was up. “I wish you all a good 2013. Kick 2012 in the butt”.

We watched Lucy sign the hanging character banners that Creation auctions off each year, accompanied by roaring applause, a standing ovation and huge smiles, and then Lucy left the stage and with a few audible sighs as we began to leave the hall, Xena con 2013 ended.


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