L8 Convention in Brighton, UK – Day 3, Part 2
The special part of the Sunday’s Q&A sessions was “Girltrash” panel. Their presentation began with footage of a “Girltrash” webisode, in which Tyler (played by Michelle Lombardo) and Daisy (Lisa Rieffel) found out that LouAnne (Riki Lindhome), Tyler’s one-time lover, double-crossed them by stealing money from local Kingpin and two friends have to find money before they end up dead. The clip was hilarious and included some fantastic moments from another “The L Word” alumna, Rose Rollins, who played Monique Jones.
The “Girltrash” panel included Clementine Ford, Kate French, Mandy Musgrave, Gabrielle Christian, Lisa Rieffel (who also wrote original songs with her rock band Killola), Alex Kondracke and Angela Robinson. Though it was heavily centered on “Girltrash”, the discussion also included Q&A’s about “The L Word” because half of the guests on the panel worked on the show, and “South of Nowhere”, that Mandy, Gabby and Kate were involved with.
- “Girltrash” the web series originated with OurChart, now defunct. Angela Robinson was part of the project and she was asked to create a series of short webisodes. Both Alex and Angela worked on “The L Word” and they involved a few of the cast members in that project. Mandy and Gabby got invited after meeting Angela at some party. As they tell it, Angela threw popcorn at them to get their attention and then approached them with the idea of “Girltrash”.
- Angela said that she approached all the girls with scripts and roles written especially for them and the rest was tailored to suit their characters and their personalities.
- Alex and Angela shared a few stories about filming the webisodes, including filming an exterior of some mansion without permission from the owners. All they did was filming Tyler walking up the stairs and knocking on the door. Before anyone answered, everyone pretty much ran away. Another episode was filmed inside Ilene’s house while she was away for a week. Angela still not sure if Ilene knows it because they certainly didn’t tell her.
- Angela Robinson directed some of the cast’s favorite episodes of “The L Word”, including pot brownies party. When it was time to film Jenny and Niki’s first sex scene, Angela wanted to do something fun in the spirit of the episode and even changed the soundtrack they initially put there. Kate French added that even in that scene Mia managed to do a prank on her. When they do sex scenes, the private parts are always covered and Mia’s breast areas were covered with little patches and she put some feathers on it or something so when Mia took her clothes off, Kate just keep staring at the feathers.
- Clementine also praised Angela for directing episode 510, the bike ride. It was exhausting because they were shooting all night in the middle of the woods in freezing temperatures and Angela was always cheerful and energetic.
- Angela also directed the oil-wrestling episode and the guests all agreed that Angela is really good at working on big groups/parties episodes.
- The guests also shared some news about the filming of a new “Girltrash” movie that will begin in June 2011. Megan Ellison, the producer of “True Grit”, is financing it and it will be called “I Heart the Apocalypse”.
Q&A’s with Heather Peace
By the way, I forgot to mention that there’s always someone at the convention who asks weird questions and this year it was: if you were a kangaroo what would you keep in your pouch. The replies varied from a baby to a cell phone.
The last Q&A’s of the day was a session with Heather Peace who was once again full energy, humor, and entertaining stories.
Well, some were sad because I asked her about an embarrassing story from her childhood and she told us a rather sad story about accidentally killing one of hamsters who was named Frodo Baggins. She took him to school with her and used to sleep in her pocket. She was arguing with her brother and accidentally stepped on poor Frodo. After that at least four other people shared stories about their dearly departed hamsters to make Heather feel better. Needles to say, I don’t think it worked. Heather even had to sit down.
- Heather admitted that she’s a romantic and like sot do the wooing. When she goes away she likes to leave charming little notes around the house in all the various places that she knows her girlfriend will look into, like in the bathroom cabinet. One day she would like to have a family and Brighton is a right place to do because of a gay-friendly atmosphere. She was raised a Catholic but after realizing that she was gay, she stopped attending church.
- If Heather had super powers she would fly really fast by hitting her heels like Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz” so she can pop up anywhere in the world. The fan demanded that the super power has to involve nipples, so Heather adjusted it and said that instead of hitting her heels she would just twist her nipples. She even demonstrated how she would use it to go to Australia. It was hilarious.
- When asked if she can see “Lip Service” being as successful as “The L Word”, Heather replied that both shows have their own place but she could certainly see “Lip Service” being more than just next lesbian show. Actually, Heather audition for the role of Frankie but she was worried that that storyline will make Frankie unlikable character. She said that everyone is comparing Frankie to Shane because they are both being promiscuous but at least, Shane was one of the most loved characters and she didn’t see that this will happen with Frankie. Ruta Gedmintas, who ended up playing Frankie, did a fantastic job with that character and Heather was happy with Sam, who will have more prominent spot in the second season.
- Heather is well-known in England for her roles in “London Burning” and “Ultimate Force” and she did some training for that, including spending several weeks with the fire brigade and going to a shooting range.
- “Lip Service” is Heather’s favorite project so far but she also loved her role on the TV series “Chase” where she played a veterinarian and a complete psycho.
- Heather is going on her first UK tour at the end of March and she is also working on her second album that will include her own songs and is coming out sometime in November.
- One of her favorite lesbian movies are “If These Walls Could Talk” and “The Kids are Alright” and she thinks that it was so great that the second movie is a mainstream.
The Q&A’s of course was much longer with a lot of joking and endless stories and honestly, Heather turned out to be one of the most entertaining guests.
This convention had the best closing ceremony so far. Stamie Karakasidis did a little stand-up comedy and it was absolutely hilarious. A few jokes she made actually hit close to home. Here’s one little clip from Stamie’s performance.
After that we got another treat when Heather Peace performed a few songs, one of them an original song she wrote to apologize to someone. She ended her impromptu gig with Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” Here’s that song so you can see how amazing Heather was, very simple, just her voice and a guitar. I absolutely loved it.
After their performances and many, many thanks-yous to various people who made L8 Convention happen, the guests said a few parting words to the fans. Clementine got up on the chair so everyone could see her. All of them said how much they enjoyed L8 Convention and that they would love to come back.
Laurel followed Clementine’s example and climb the chair as she began her speech by saying that Erin would have to catch her, especially after giving her two glasses of wine prior to the closing ceremony. Laurel thanked everyone as she mentioned that she’s been coming to these conventions since the beginning. It was powerful the first time and continues to stay very powerful. It’s amazing that the show is still alive and keeps going because it turned out to be such a gift. Her speech turned a little emotional when she gave a special shout out to her Japanese fans because of the tsunami and earthquake tragedy that had happened there. She ended by wishing everyone to have a huge party and celebrate that we are all here.
And on this celebratory note L8 Convention had ended. It was another wonderful experience for me, one that I will always remember and cherish.