L6 Convention in Blackpool – Day 1
Photo galleries: http://news.l-word.com/l6-convention-photos-and-reports/
Well, I can’t believe that L6 Convention is already over. It seems like I just barely got to Blackpool and now I’m back home writing this report. It was the fastest convention ever but also one of the most relaxing ones. To be perfectly honest, I enjoyed all the conventions I had attended so far but they all had a different effect on me and left me with different but wonderful memories.
L1 Convention was my first and it was exciting and overwhelming, just like everything else in life you try for the first time and then you like it so much that you get addicted. L2 Convention was even better and we had so much fun during the Q&A sessions with Laurel, Mia, Kate and Leisha. L3 was very hectic and busy with a lot of attendees but surprising appearance by Laurel Holloman and a great line-up made that convention very enjoyable. L4 was very mellow and tranquil and I had a lot of time to rest and get some great interviews.
L5 Convention was one of a kind and I still think that nothing could beat it in terms of intensity and excitement. Jennifer Beals and Laurel Holloman gave us an unforgettable TiBette reunion and emotions were running high for both the guests and the attendees.
And now I just got back from L6 Convention, which turned out to be a very relaxing and the most hilarious convention I’ve been to. I laughed so hard during Q&A sessions, my neck was hurting. I think Daniela Sea mentioned on Saturday that she had the same effect on her neck when she was laughing a lot. I felt connection with her right then because I’d never known anyone with the same problem.
All the guests had left very memorable impressions of themselves. Pam and Rose could do a stand-up comedy for hours. Alexandra Hedison was very entertaining when she told us stories from the set. Daniela Sea is very, very shy but also a very interesting, talented and intelligent person. Anne Ramsay is one of the nicest, kindest and genuine guests I’ve met. And Mia Kirshner was incredible, making us laugh with one story and then getting very serious and passionate when talking about her I Live Here Foundation.
Day One of the Convention is always the shortest since all we have is the Opening Ceremony and the Meet&Greet for Gold Ticket holders. I usually arrive a day earlier so I can rest after a long flight and do some sightseeing. Blackpool was always rainy and cold in the past but this time the weather was good and I was finally able to go into town with a few friends and do some sightseeing and shopping. There were a lot of festivities going on with lights and illuminations to attract more tourists. So it turned out that Blackpool is not so bad after all.
The Opening Ceremony was short and sweet as Sean Harry introduced all the guests one by one and they all said a few words to us. Pam mentioned Jennifer and other cast members who were sending lots of love to the fans. Rose told us that the airline lost her luggage and she was wearing the same clothes she arrived in. Anne said that she was glad that she was available at the last minute when Sean called her because she enjoys Conventions so much. Alex and Daniela were a little shy because they didn’t know what to expect, since it was their first Convention. Mia mentioned that she wasn’t planning to do another convention after L2 but the generosity of the fans at L5 made her reconsider. She also said that it seems that the Convention was not just about The L Word anymore but about the community.
All the guests were met with a big round of applause and they were all happy and excited that the fans were so welcoming. At the end they came back to the stage all together and began taking pictures of the fans taking pictures of them. I think Rachel Shelley was the first one who brought her own camera with her and began taking pictures of fans at some previous conventions. At L6 it seemed like all the cast members wanted to have their own memories.
By the way, by the end of the weekend Mia actually made a whole book of photos and fans’ stories that some of them submitted on Saturday during the autograph session. I think it was such a great idea because, just like in Mia’s “I Live Here” book where people were telling their stories, the L6 attendees were sharing their memories of coming out, first kisses, their fears and hopes. There were also a few photos of Mia and the cast at the Convention and a unique photo of Mia and Rose with black eyes that they both got one evening on two unrelated occasions.
During the auction on Sunday anyone could purchase the book and all the proceeds went to Mia’s Foundation. I got the book as well and Sean Harry mentioned that we will get our copies in about three months after Mia will make final corrections to it.
After the Opening Ceremony all Gold Ticket holders went to Meet&Greet. Let me tell you, I think my friends and I are always choosing the wrong table for that event. This time we were seated almost at the end of the room and only Mia stared to go around at our end. The rest of the guests went to the other end of the room and we had to wait a long time for them to get to us.
Mia Kirshner was the first one at our table. She was a little shy and at first she asked us where we were from and she also wanted to know why we liked the show and what we were doing at the Convention. I got an impression that Mia really likes to talk about other people and hear their stories rather than talk about herself. She is genuinely interested in our stories and the book she made by the end of the weekend is a living proof of that. Mia did mention that she just came back from Malawi and the trip went well. She didn’t stay at our table long so we didn’t have a chance to ask her more questions.
Next we had Daniela Sea. Daniela is really shy but she is a very interesting person to talk to because she had so many different experiences in her life. She told us that she travelled a lot and she was living in Poland when she was younger while working with the circus. She really enjoyed Poland and the people so she decided to stay there for a while. She later spoke Polish to us during Q&A because one fan from Poland asked her. Daniela had a few tattoos and she showed us two of them on her arms. One was some kind of a Celtic runes and a dragon that she had on her right arm and that tattoo is identical to her brother’s. Only her brother’s arm is so much bigger so the tattoo looks much smaller on his arm. Another tattoo is on the top of her left arm and it’s just a tiny road that Daniela did herself with a ballpoint pen. She traveled to many places and one of her favorite is a place on a beach where she grew up. Another favorite place is India where she lived for a few years as a man. She told us (and showed as well) a few cultural things she learned while she was there. One of them was that you can’t show your feet in India, it considered disrespectful. Daniela also said that she didn’t know what to expect from the Convention since it was her first one but she was really enjoying herself.
Then we got Alexandra Hedison. She also said that she was enjoying her time at the Convention more than she thought she would and she was very excited to talk to us. One of the fans at my table said hello to Alex from her fan website (www.fanofalex.com) and Alex said that it’s such a great support group. It’s a very comprehensive website and she goes there a lot, especially when she needs to update her resume because her fans know more about her that she does. I mentioned her show Ithaka that she just had in LA a few months ago and Alexandra said that she was having one in London right after the Convention. The opening night was held at Mews42 Gallery in Kensington (http://www.mews42.com/) on September 21 and the exhibit is going to be there from September 22 to October 17. After that she was thinking to exhibit her show in Moscow, Russia. We talked about her previous photography series and mentioned that it seems that she prefers to photograph objects, like in her Re(Building) series or the nature in her Elements and Ithaka series. Alex said that she just doesn’t feel like photographing people and she enjoys taking pictures of the landscape and different things more. She also talked about her audition for The L Word. She was first offered the role of Marina but at that time she was at such a place in her life when she decided to concentrate on her photography and she didn’t audition. Then later her life changed dramatically and she wanted to get out of LA. She knew people who worked for the show and she was also a friend with Leisha so she went to Vancouver and auditioned for the role of Dylan and she got it. Rachel Shelley became one of her really good friends and Alex mentioned that Rachel is a great kisser.
Anne Ramsay was the last guest at our table before the stupid fire alarm went off. Anne is great. She was only on the show for a few episodes in season 1 and 2 but she had plenty of stories to tell about being on The L Word, Mad About You, Dexter and many other shows that she was part of. She got a kiss from Madonna while they were filming A League of Their Own and recently was on the TV show Hawthorne with Jada Pinkett Smith. I asked Anne about her role in Dexter and she said that she had such a great time. It was really her in one of the episodes of the last season when her character was discovered dead and not some kind of a mannequin. They put some weird contact lenses in her eyes to make her look dead and she had to lie still and not breathe but she was afraid that she might laugh or move. They did about three takes to get it right. Also, Anne said that everyone was thinking that something was going on with her character and Lt. Maria Laguerta (played by Lauren Velez) when they were hanging out together all the time. I don’t know how many of you watch Dexter on Showtime but it was my second favorite show after The L Word. I watched it all the time and I told Anne that I thought the same thing. Their characters were getting really close to each other and I kept expecting that something romantic will happen between them but then Anne’s character, Ellen Wolf, was killed and it was over. The cupcakes they kept eating were real and very, very delicious. Anne also said that she will appear in the episode 207 of Castle, playing a music teacher or something like that. I mentioned that Laurel Holloman was on that show as well and Anne was really excited about that. She said that she just saw Laurel recently because they auditioned for the same show. Anne first said it was Mad Men but then she kept saying that she couldn’t remember what show it was exactly. Apparently, Anne has been auditioning for a lot of shows lately and she was saying that L Conventions were her lucky charm. In her spare time she continues to go running in the mornings and she also volunteers in some clinic in Malibu, counseling children who have alcoholism problems. We also asked Anne about her cool soccer outfit she was wearing at L4 and she said that she was asked a lot about it and someone even promised to get her some sort of long socks that would go with it. Later we found out that that fan did get her some socks and Anne was proudly wearing them on Sunday.
After Anne left there was a lot of waiting and we were the next table to see Rose Rollins when the fire alarm went off.
We had to go outside and after a few minutes of waiting there the guests left because it was chilly and nobody knew what was happening and how long it will take. We found out the next day that it was caused by a malicious activation of the fire alarm system. Because of that we didn’t see Pam or Rose. We knew that it would be hard to organize another Meet&Greet for those who didn’t get all the guests because some people might lie and get in the second time. As an apology, all Gold Ticket holders were given a unique and very cool photo of the guests with funny faces and Daniela and Pam were holding two fire extinguishers. Very cool photo!
After we stayed outside for almost 30 minutes we were finally let back in the hotel and since all the guests had already left we just went to our rooms and to the disco later. And day 1 was over.
Norbreck Castle Hotel
Stay tuned for my report from the Q&A sessions on Saturday and Sunday, and also for the auction report. I also interviewed Pam Grier, which is coming soon as well.