L8 Convention in Brighton, UK – Day 3, Part 1 Report
As I mentioned in my previous report, I finished all my photo shoots and autographs on Saturday to have more free time on Sunday. Autograph session was fun and I was able to chat with the guests a little. It was mostly joking on my part and rolling of the eyes on their part. I confess that I do have that effect on people because Russian humor is an acquired taste. Luckily for me, they all know me pretty well by now, so no restraining orders were issued and no mental institutions were called.
Some guests were paired up differently for Q&A’s. Also, a few things they’ve talked about we’ve already heard during Saturday Q&A’s because there were many attendees in the audience who only bought one-day tickets. Therefore, I won’t mention the repeated stuff here but will only try to post some new information.
Sunday Q&A’s also began with Tracy Ryerson and Stamie Karakasidis. We all knew already how much fun it was yesterday so I was fully prepared to laugh my butt off. And I did. I laughed so hard my neck began hurting.
- They talked a little more about Williams Syndrome that Stamie’s son Jagger has. Children who have it are always happy, full of love and overly social. Jagger can just get on someone’s lap and start asking million questions. Once again they mentioned that most of serious scenes where they were talking about the syndrome were cut and Stamie joked that if they were educating about it naked then it would probably aired.
- Tracy’s mom is slowly accepting their relationship but she still hasn’t accepted Stamie’s Facebook friend’s request. Tracy added that her mom just barely got on Facebook and Stamie said that if Tracy’s mom won’t accept her on Facebook, next time she sees her she’ll motor boat her (which basically means making the sound of a motor boat between a woman’s breasts). Not everyone in the audience knew what it was and Stamie demonstrated it for us.
- Stamie would love to travel and share her sense of humor oversees and get acknowledged. (In fact, after the convention they both went to Amsterdam but most of their travels are around the USA. Their next appearance is scheduled on March 31 at Dinah Shore).
- Tracy learned a lot of new words from different people, including “chips ahoy”, which I think was slang for boobs. They both enjoy travelling and meeting people and letting everyone know that lesbians can have family with kids as dysfunctional as everyone else. Tracy added that one of the reasons she accepted to be on “The Real L Word” was that she wanted to break stereotypes, especially regarding her looks. Someone in the bar once told her that she didn’t look like gay and Tracy replied, “What is gay actually look like?”
- Stamie talked a little more about her family, though sometimes it was hard to figure out where she was joking and where she was serious. She came from a Greek family and told us that she came out to her family when she had her first child. She didn’t know if they will accept her sexuality and then she realized that if you date someone that your dad wants to have sex with, then her sexuality won’t matter.
- Stamie informed us that she was going to do some stand-up comedy later before the closing ceremony. She said, “I’m much funnier oversees, I swear.” She commented on how much fun and relaxed the convention was and that’s why we all keep coming here every year, so we can all have a good time for a weekend before going back to reality.
- Tracy told us that Stamie has no filter, which basically means she doesn’t think before she does things. She’s very impulsive. Tracy thinks before she does things and keeps telling her, “Take a walk, think for a moment, you still have time to make a decision.”
- Tracy skateboards, snowboards, fixes stuff in the house while Stamie enjoys channel surfing.
- “The Real L Word” showed mostly what is known as “lipstick femmes” so most of the L.A. scene shows pretty and beautiful women but there’s also different groups (Stamie called subcategories), like girls in skinny jeans, Justin Bieber look-alikes, etc. Each character even had their own groups, like Rose had a lot of Spanish girls around her, so the main thing is just to find where you fit in within the group. There are many variations of age, shapes and sizes. The second season will be more diverse.
- Tracy mentioned a few films she worked on, including “Ocean’s 11” and some other Oscar-nominated projects but she also passed on “Juno”. This is how it works in the show business: you win some and lose some.
- Stamie got together with her no ex-girlfriend when the ex was three-months pregnant. After Jagger was born and diagnosed with Williams syndrome, they wanted him to have siblings, so they used the same donor. The kids are really fascinating. The twins used to make up a non-existing dad who is somewhere in Africa.
- “The Real Word” was more authentic than anything. Stamie said it helps when there are some stories written because it will be boring if the camera would just follow you to work every day. So they needed to have something that the audience would fall in love with. Most of the reality shows are scripted somewhat and they are hybrids of reality and scripting. Tracy said that she can’t answer for other storylines because they filmed them all separately but their storyline was 97% real. A lot of scripting took part mostly at the end because they had to have some closure to the stories, and that’s how everyone ended up on Mikey’s fashion week.
- Stamie said that the biggest complaint about the show was that it felt one-dimensional, like they talked about Nikki and Jill wedding the whole show but never showed the wedding but other than that everything was pretty much real. In case of Tracy, they couldn’t show what she did at work because she had a non-disclosure contract so they had to find other ways to show what she did.
- Tracy and Stamie shared their story. Stamie had just recently broken up with her ex and Tracy and her met at some party. Stamie was doing stand-up comedy and knew that Tracy was going to come to the show. Tracy added that she wasn’t making any moves at that time. They began talking after the show, went out for a drink and Stamie said that she noticed how pretty she was and was surprised that she could feel something so soon after breaking up. Later Tracy invited her to Palm Springs to decompress, again it was Tracy not-making a move. Tracy would call almost every day, asking how Stamie was doing, inviting her everywhere. Tracy added that she wasn’t looking for love or anyone, Stamie was a friend but she just snuck up on her and Tracy realized that she liked her. This is when Stamie told her she was a nanny for her three kids.
Lauren Lee Smith was next and she was alone this time for her Q&A’s. She posed for a while for the photos and finally set down to answer more questions.
- Lauren is officially on hiatus after finishing two TV shows in Toronto. She feels she is lucky enough to be creatively fulfilled and being able to work for the last twelve years.
- On “The L Word” Lauren was playing a sous-chef but in real life she could hardly cook, maybe just boil the water. She got better with time but still not as good as Lara Perkins. The best she can make is pasta.
- Lauren talked about some movies she made, including “Lie with Me”, which was a very interesting relationship. The movie she did recently with Jennifer Beals, “A Night for Dying Tigers” is probably Lauren’s favorite movie she did. The cast was great and they shot the film in 3.5 weeks all in pretty much one location so they often spent time together as a group in a trailer and just bonded. It was a wonderful, special experience. Every cast member was really grateful and happy to work on a show.
- Lauren really enjoyed her time at the convention, especially because she could reconnect with Laurel and Erin because she hasn’t seen them in a few years. This is her second convention and it was nice to meet new people and also see some familiar faces.
- Lauren first movie role was in a horrible mini-series “Christy” and every time her family gets together for Christmas or reunion, after a few drinks they watch that movie so they can make fun of her. After awhile it would turn into a drinking game every time her character would pray.
- When asked to describe her perfect Sunday, Lauren said that she would be sleeping late, eating blueberry pancakes and bacon, have lattes in bed, sleep more, take dogs for a walk, more food, movie and a giant pasta dinner, so basically sleep and eat.
- On IMDB.com website is listed that her step-father was a documentary filmmaker. Lauren said that we can’t believe everything we read. She said her mother told her that her step-father was a documentary filmmaker but she really didn’t know what he did for a living. She joked that she thinks he was some kind of a criminal because they moved around a lot. She would come home from school and the bags would be packed already and they had to move away. They lived in San Francisco, Costa Rica, France, Canada and US. She still doesn’t feel like settling in one place and after six months she feels the need to move.
- Lauren and her husband were married twice. First time they got married was about three years ago when they went to Las Vegas and were married by Elvis. When she went home and told her mom and her mom lost it. They didn’t speak for about three weeks and the only way to make up to her was to have a huge wedding.
- Lauren was an extra on “Get Carter”, movie with Sylvester Stallone. Her character, Girl # 2, was seduced by Rhona Mitra. It was her first lesbian role.
- Lauren’s favorite scene to shoot on “The L Word” was Lara’s first date with Dana in season one, it was also her first audition scene.
- If she travels she likes to travel with her dogs and with the photo album full of pictures of her family and friends. In her spare time she likes to read but she doesn’t really have any hobby.
- It was hard to choose but finally Lauren admitted that Dana was her favorite character but mostly because a lot of her scenes were with Erin.
- She shared a story about her 30th birthday. Her husband was in Berlin shooting for two months but he came back for her birthday. She woke up in the morning and there were 30 roses and 30 boxes full of things that she had mentioned she wanted before, like books and other stuff. He bought it and saved it for this occasion. He also took her to a concert and dinner. It was perfect but he said that it was one time thing.
- They met while working together on a film “One Way” that was shot in Canada and Cologne. She tried asking him out but he wouldn’t give her the time of day because he thought she was some crazy actress. Finally, on the last day of shooting he asked her out.
- The group scene she remembers the most from “The L Word” was in season three when Daniela Sea’s character was introduced and they all went to dinner. It was a 12-hour shooting day and she remembered that they placed something really weird in front of her to eat but it was a really fun scene to film.
- To prepare for her role in “Pathology”, Lauren went on the tour of LA morgues and even watched some autopsies. She said it was pretty gross. The most intense part of it was the smell. It was also very interesting to have an opportunity to see that.
After Lauren we were treated to a Q&A’s with Laurel Holloman and Erin Daniels. Erin was once again very funny and they were both more relaxed, drinking tea and discussing “The L Word” and Laurel’s art.
- They had a lot of fun on “The L Word” and really enjoyed working together with the rest of the cast. One Laurel’s favorite scene (not necessarily a TiBette scene) was in season two when Alice was chasing Dana in the car. Erin agreed and said that they were actually in the cars while filming that scene, going fast down the street. It wasn’t the safest shoot. At some point there were people with them in the car, shooting over them through windows and there was a third car with camera, driving alongside of theirs.
- Laurel asked Erin if in that scene they were really talking on a phone to each other because Jennifer and she used to really talk on a phone during their scenes. Erin said that they didn’t do it because they were mostly screaming at each other. It fun scene to film. Laurel added that there were so many great scenes to name just one favorite.
- Erin said that she has some spare time after the convention but she chose to go home. She said it’s funny that she’s right here and she wanted to go to London and maybe Paris for a while but she missed her son too much. Laurel said that she was actually working in Europe on her art for the next ten days and she’s planning to go back towards the end of March, but she also misses her girls and don’t want to stay away from them for too long.
- Erin discussed the “open-door policy” that they had the entire time they were shooting. When you work on the TV show for a long time you begin to getting the sense of who you are and what you are good at and the writers began writing to their strengths. Erin said, “I guess someone decided that I was funny and that was it for me.” She also added that because they were writing for the actors, they were also open to their ideas. They often let them improvise on set and Ilene actually encouraged them to come and talk to her about some ideas and storylines they had.
- One of the examples Erin gave was where the word “crispy” came from. Rose Troche was directing and she told Erin to say something funny, so when Leisha and Kate said their words, Erin said, “Creamy”, but that word didn’t work. “Crispy” worked, especially the way Erin said it.
- Laurel added that from her experience on other TV shows, “The L Word” was one of the best in terms of encouraging the improvisation and letting them fight for their characters. They often listened. Laurel added that she was glad that the show was on cable because she liked that kind of collaboration. It also helped that a lot of the directors on the show were feature films directors and that was Laurel’s background as well, because she did about 25 films before working on “The L Word.” It felt like each episode was a mini-movie and you could collaborate and fight for the arch of your character.
- Some fan asked Laurel to clarify a few scenes for her, one was the “oops” moment from season six and another was the shower scene from season one when Tina is comforting Bette. The fan asked if they new already that Tina was pregnant the second time. Laurel replied, “Tina became pregnant because Laurel was pregnant” but that they didn’t know at that time.
- Alice was one character that sort of moved storylines along with her constant gossiping. Laurel remembered their scene in the tent in episode 520 when she admitted to Alice and Shane that she was still in love with Bette. When Alice asked why Tina didn’t tell her, Tina’s reply was, “Because you are such a gossip.” Writers did a very good job of setting all the characters up and that lead into a further drama.
- While they were working in Vancouver all the girls often hang out together in between shooting, watching movies and making dinners. They became a pretty close group of friends because they didn’t really had social life while filming so they turned to each other and they got to know each other pretty quickly. So the friendship we see on screen is real.
- Laurel talked about her art again a little. She said that her first series of paintings have been sold and some are in France and New York City, many of them are in Italy. For the next 12 months she’ll be concentrating on her art mostly. She was looking at some really great Pilot but wasn’t sure if she could fit in right now. She will take a hiatus for a while in hopes that during that time all the reality shows will be gone and some really great scripts will be offered. Everything inspires Laurel in her paintings, including heartbreak and soul-searching. It’s hard for her to put into word because it’s so visceral but she’s excited to concentrate more on art than acting because she finds it more calming and she has a complete control over it. And the best thing she loves about it that it’s out there forever, all her emotions on the canvas for her children to see later some day. When you get older you start thinking about immortality more and want to leave something behind.
- Painting for Laurel is tricky. Sometimes she doesn’t like how the painting is coming and she splash some paint over it and starts over. Sometimes she leaves it a long and takes step back to breathe. And sometimes friends come over and tell her that they actually like that painting and maybe she should leave it as it is. Because her paintings are abstract, people have different emotional connections to them.
- Someone asked how it was for Laurel to kiss Jennifer. Laurel replied that usually fans ask who’s a better kisser, Jennifer or Rachel so her final answer was, “I don’t kiss and tell.”
- When they both read the Pilot they had no idea that the show will become so popular, let along go on for six seasons. They shoot the Pilot first and then waited for a few months to see if it gets picked up before they began shooting the first season. They didn’t know until the show began airing how big it’s going to be. Erin and Kate were at the Dinah Shore before the show started, doing some publicity and there were like three people in line, but later it sort of exploded. People began recognizing them on the streets and in grocery stores. This is when Erin realized that it was special.
- If Erin had a million dollars to make a movie she would split it and make whole bunch of smaller budget movies, probably documentaries because she loves them. Laurel would make a musical.
- Erin took some stand-up comedy and improv classes but she had never done any stand-up comedy. Laurel said that she should because she’s funny. Audience agreed with Laurel.
- Erin said that “The L Word” did have an impact on the mainstream TV and especially the cable television produces more and more shows with gay characters. They really didn’t have lots of negativity. Once in a while there were some ignorant people, and Erin said that she hopes one day they will understand and accept.