Wednesday, July 04, 2012

[ Fandom ] OzComicCon and Mitch Pileggi

(Please do not steal the images contained within this blog for your own personal use - they are my property and are used on this blog to tell the story of the convention.)

Before we got to the con - I have to point out that we saw 'Bee Art' - Being Fight The Future fans, Roileigh and I had to show them just what we thought of them. ; )

I went into this past weekend with super high expectations. It was after all, my 30th birthday.

Saturday:   I was lucky. I had not pre-purchased a ticket, basically because 'The Hub Productions' would not let me. Their websites were down - and by the time I went to ticketmaster to pre-purchase, I couldn't anymore. So... unlike the many thousands who queued to enter OzComicCon - I purchased my weekend pass at the booth, and walked straight inside and joined the schambles that was the 'Token Queue'. I met some lovely X-Files Fans while in that line, and then was promptly rescued by my AXFers - I promised the new Philes that I had met, that if they wanted tokens - I'd get them. Meanwhile, Roileigh was stuck outside with her pre-purchased tickets for the line. She made fast friends in the line (who happened to be XF Fans, and Chanelle was even dressed like Scully!!!) they made a complaint asking for a refund, and ended up getting a staff pass and jumping the queue.

By the time we got closer to the front of the line (this is about 1 hour later), Mitch Pileggi's photo session had started. A 'volunteer' started going down the queue selling Mitch Tokens for cash. Thank goodness for the amazing Amanda who purchased mine, and I had money to purchase Rhiannon's token.

We ran over to the photo booth while others remained in line who didn't want a photo.

Feeling insanely flustered, I was thankful that I had a few minutes to compose myself while waiting for Rhiannon to come and find me and collect her token. Then it was time to enter the photo booth and introduce myself to Mitch. It is very hard to do a whole formal introduction of not only yourself, but a fandom group that you run - a minute speech condensed into about 20 seconds. Thankfully I didn't sound like too much of an idiot.

I presented Mitch with an AXF T-Shirt. And then told him how much I appreciated the fact that he'd come down to OzComicCon on my birthday of all days. Surprised and shock came next when he wished me a happy birthday and gave me a hug. I told him that a large group of us would see him at the dinner later that evening, and he then said 'That's amazing, we'll definitely have to make it a birthday dinner...'.

After saying a quick see you later, I left the booth, went outside to where Roileigh was waiting for me - and proceeded to have a bit of a squee fangirl moment.

Next, there was a bit of a wait so we went back to the token queue and purchased tokens for autographs with Mitch, and a Willow Shields autograph for the lovely Kaitlyn  who is going overseas and couldn't attend OzComicCon. It was time for Willow's signing so Roi and I joined the queue for that, and were surrounded by some.... interesting fans. Then, after standing there for a good half an hour - we were informed that Willow would return at 2pm.

We went to the cafe and commandeered a table. Sat there until about 1.55pm. We were joined at the table by the lovely Matt and Chris and eventually Brant!

We went and re-joined the Willow Shields line. Stood there, watching our friends lining up for Mitch Pileggi who was on time to sign his autographs, while Willow's minders kept saying 'She's coming'. Yep. It was 3pm by the time she got out to her table. Of course, it probably wasn't her fault - but the OCC staff certainly didn't want to keep us informed as to what was going on in this regard.... That being said, we spoke to Willow on KD's behalf. She was such a sweetheart.

Next came something that I was really looking forward to. We lined up for Mitch's autograph. By this time after Willow's line of mayhem, Mitch's line was down to about three people. So there's always a silver lining. : ) I picked out my photograph, and had Mitch sign it for my birthday.

Roileigh asked Mitch about the Five Questions project for BigLight but he was just too busy with the convention. I don't really think they gave him much leway in regards to doing extra-curricular activities.

By this point, it was like 3.30pm and we knew that we had to start thinking about heading back to Ros' place to start getting ready for the dinner. We stuck around to see if my photograph with Mitch was ready - which is wasn't. So others that were going to stick around were going to keep an eye out for me. Roileigh and I left and went to Crown where we briefly gambled, and had an afternoon snack while waiting for the gorgeous Ros and Anna to come and meet us.

We drove home to Ros' - donned our glamourous outfits, and were on the train in the space of about an hour. It was a bit of a blur. Walked from Flinders Street station up to the event and then - we sat, for almost 2 and a half hours at the dinner table with Mitch Pileggi. Not something that many people would really get the opportunity to do.

Unfortunately due to the Hub's rules and regulations, there were no pictures of the dinner. I can say that it was a cold anti-pasto platter. Main of Chicken, or Beef (or Vege if they got your order right) followed by a chocolate mousse cake or a sticky date pudding. Mitch had steak, and Sticky Date pudding. Kate swapped meals with Mitch as he wanted the steak. What a sweetheart you are Kate! ; ) One of our favourite collectors also gave Mitch the gift of a 'Skinner Palz' set, which he had a great time building a desk for and playing with. Haha. I told Mitch about me dressing as Scully the following day for a photo session, and he promised to bring his glasses to he'd be Skinner. I was stoked!!! : )

I won't go into everything that was discussed at the dinner in great depth. However, XF3 was asked about. He knows nothing about it but is hopeful that it happens. Also, I was dared to ask Mitch about the Porno. He seemed to know that they existed, and asked us if Skinner was in them... to which we replied yes. He asked if Skinner had stamina... to which we said yes. And ye was like, YEAH! The whole table erupted into laughter. It was a moment I will never forget. This also lead into an X-Files blooper story... but we won't talk about that.

The dinner wrapped at 10pm and Mitch was told he could leave, but he stuck around and kept talking to everyone for about 15-20 minutes longer. He then excused himself because he was wiped out, but not before coming around the table and giving all of us a hug. Then he left. And we all collapsed around the table in fangirl/boy happiness.

(On a side note, Jason Momoa from Game of Thrones was at the dinner too, and Colleen asked him if I could have a birthday hug. This hug was pretty damned awesome!).

We all then walked around the corner to a cute little bar called Mr Mason - and had some birthday drinks. Stayed out until around probably 1.30am and then went back to Ros' and tried to sleep. It was difficult. Roileigh and I were slightly delerious, and spouting out X-Files Lines at each other. Upon turning out the lights I think I threw out 'It's all gone dark for me, I can't see....' from the IWTB bloopers. Yes. Delerious. And laughing. HARD.

Sunday: After the shitstorm of all time that was the Saturday event - I didn't really have high expectations for Sunday's event. That being said, we packed our bags and headed to the Convention Centre and joined the queue. Wristband or not, you had to wait - and the event was at capacity already (at 10am). Knowing that there was no way I was going to make my photo-shoot, Roileigh took it into her own hands and jumped the queue with her 'staff pass' from the previous day, and got myself, Ros and Anna into the event quite quickly. Roi had also pre-purchased my photo token.  We got in, and went straight to the photobooth, which produced possibly my favourite photo ever:

Pretty cool right? : )

Noticing that Mitch's poster at the signing table had not been purchased yet, I went all around the convention to make sure that it would be mine. It came at a price, but it wasn't too steep. 

We then waited patiently for Mitch's Panel interview from 1-2pm.  We waited for a quiet moment before the interview started for all AXF that was assembled to call out 'SKINMAN' - which he laughed at.

There is video of this to come - we are working to get it off my handi-cam which decided to eat the files. The Hub will be selling event DVDs too. 

 So, after 2pm all that was left to do was wait for out photos to be delievered, and for the moment I could go and collect my poster. I was told that was around 5pm. Then I was told it was around 5.30pm. Yeah... story of the con. You were told one thing, then you were told another thing. During the time that I was at the table having my poster signed, two people came up and tried to get it.... so I'm glad that I went up and had it pre-signed before I could collect it.

It now has Mitch's favourite Skinner quote on it - 'This is where you pucker up and kiss my ass!'

I'll tell you - I admired Mitch and his character before. Now I really have a soft spot for Skinner. Mitch is truly such a gentleman, and despite the utter disorganisation of the convention, I got everything I could have possibly wanted out of it - and more.

Including Mr Pileggi asking ME for a hug before we left.



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