Slanted Fedora - Overland Park, KS April 5-7, 2002

UPDATE 10/05/02 - I finally have pix scanned and online! Go here to see!


Day one - Barely two hours into the convention, and several unannounced guests have shown up.

The Borg twins, Keegan de Lancie, Chase Masterson, Stewart Moss, Barbara Luna, Martin Rayner, Herb Jefferson, and France Nuyen, have all shown up - so far!

Of course, these are all extra guests, referred to as "second tier" ... That means that their autographs aren't included in the VIP ticket price. It also means they haven't been paid by the convention, and are paying their own way, through autograph sales. That's fine with me. I just got Hudson Leick's autograph, something I never thought I'd get, and she's even got the short hair, something she rarely ever signs!

The twins are cute, too! They brought their mom, who is just the sweetest woman you'd ever meet.

Currently, the documentary Trekkies is playing, so I'm taking a break and recharging the camcorder battery. I called Sassy and mom, and gave them updates.

It's amazing who you'll find at conventions. Friends of mine, Trent and Lena, from Omaha, are here. Who knew they'd show up? I had no idea, until Trent said "Hey Mitch" while in line to get his packet.

11:22 pm

Ok, besides the already-talked about people, Herb Jefferson Jr from Battlestar Galactica, Lolita Fatjo, and Bobby Clark - the Gorn! - all came today. Each person took the stage for between 20-30 minutes.

I think the funniest story was Keegan's, about him and his dad at a convention in Britain. Kate Mulgrew (Janeway) was having an auction supporting her charity. Kate and Keegan's dad - John de Lancie - are very long-time friends. This particular auction would be the stars' personal items.

John sent Keegan up to their room to get "something" to auction. Keegan - ever the prankster, and wanting to embarrass both adults - got a pair of John's underwear out. Not regular underwear, mind you, but bikini undies! John signed the back "Q shat here" then crossed out the "h"

The crowd broke up in hysterics.

After that was done, a theatrical presentation was performed by Marc Alaimo, Jeffrey Combs, and Casey Biggs.

Most Trek actors are Shakespearean trained. It helps to be trained that way when you're spouting out the technobabble seen on the show, as often happens.

These three on-screen villains created a show that needs to be experienced to understand. It plays so beautifully to a live audience that it is hard to believe it's not on Broadway - yet.

But then, this is only the second time they've performed it, and we were lucky to see it early during the run.

Now, a sad note. Kate Mulgrew and Jeremy Bulloch were unable to attend, both due to professional commitments. Kate's play, "Tea for Five" was snowed-out for a few days, and was rescheduled for this same time period. The "right people" that would get the play onto Broadway were going to be attending, and it was a choice between a convention and Broadway. She has committed to coming to the convention next year, though. Yes, it's a slight disappointment that we weren't able to see her, but this could be BIG for her, so good luck for her! Jeremy Bulloch - Boba Fett from Star Wars - is in England now, shooting a brand-new series, and going from there to the US, and back and then going to an 8 o'clock call, would not be fair to him, or the show. Again, good luck to him.

Dave Scott (the man running the convention) was able to bring in Robert Picardo as a replacement for Kate. Robert played the holographic Doctor on Voyager, DS9, and First Contact. In addition to Robert showing up, all those surprise guests more than made up for two people not being there, at least in my book!


This is what I get for showing up early. :) It's 9:30, 1/2 hour before the con opens. But it does start promptly. I thought I'd go through the dealer's area, and find out what other "surprise guests" were here. Dave Scott had said yesterday that there would be more guests who would be appearing during the con. If they are the caliber of Barbara Luna (She is rude, mean, and just plain nuts), forget it. But who knows? Maybe John de Lancie will show up. His son did. And yes, I got pix. Clothed, of course (sigh) but pix nonetheless.

I have been to Slanted Fedora conventions before, and I love them. They are extremely laid-back, relaxed, come and go as you please, events. Creation, their biggest competition, is exactly the opposite. You do what THEY tell you to, not what you want to do.

At this point, I'm relaxing in the shade, outside the "back door" ... this is the entrance the guests use. I've got some time to kill, so why not have some fun with it?

15 minutes to go, I realize why I'm here. The Borg twins just walked by, looking like they just woke up. Martin Rayner (Dr. Chaotica) strolled up, loaded down with bags. Need a door opened? That's what I'm here for!

At 10, the doors officially opened up, and I went shopping. Again. The dealer's room is awesome, and one of them - Kim - is just a blast, the friendliest, most kick-ass personality of all of 'em. I hope she's back next year - whether as a dealer, or just a con-goer, doesn't matter.

At 10:30, Dave Scott takes the stage again. Dave is the owner of Slanted Fedora, and the man who runs the show. His outfits are ... unusual. Think Colin Baker's Doctor Who ... No, don't, you may have a seizure. They are hard to miss, even a room away. There is a reason for that, too. It's hard to miss him, and so if anyone needs (or wants) to speak with him, it's easy to find him. He is warm, friendly, and inviting.

Anyway, he brings Lolita Fatjo onstage. Lolita was the script coordinator for all things Trek for 14 years. Now, she's the manager of several actors, and is wanting to get back into acting herself. She helps Dave out this weekend, and has some fun stories to tell.

Lolita brings the "second tier" guests in one or two at a time - Stewart, the twins, Keegan, etc.

After these guests, Marc, Casey, and Jeff come out again. They had performed the play last night, and now they're back for more.

Jimmy Darren came onstage at noon, and Garret Wang - Kim from Voyager - followed at 1 pm. Garret is 33, but looks 25. He's frosted his hair, and keeps getting mistaken for Dustin Nguyen from 21 Jump Street. Energetic doesn't even begin to describe him.

Richard Gordon came on at 2. he was on the Apollo 12 mission. I didn't stay for this - I went and chatted with Stewart and Martin. I know, I know ... but Dick is gonna be at the convention in Des Moines in 2 weeks, and I'll see him then, so it's ok. Plus, Stewart is really funny!

At 3, Shatner took the stage. If there was ever a man who loved himself more than Shatner, I've never met him. Shatner is a self-absorbed jerk, and if he hadn't played Kirk, I never would have stayed in the room with him. There were a lot of people who were there just for his autograph, and good for them. They got what they wanted, and were happy with him. I found him arrogant, pompous, and just plain rude, and that's saying a lot for me!

After he was done, the autograph session for Saturday came up. The order was Shatner, Gordon, Combs, Alaimo, Biggs, Darren, and Wang.

Shortly after 7, we lined up for dinner. Who should walk down the hallway, but Jerry Doyle, carrying ... alcohol! It struck me as very funny, considering everything his B5 character went through.

Slanted Fedora does everything differently, compared with other conventions. Their dinner is a perfect example of this. With the VIP seats, you have a reserved seat that is yours for the entire convention. There is no need to find a seat, as you've got your own, with other people who are always there. The dinner also has assigned tables, but with people who don't sit near you. This gives you an opportunity to meet 8 new people you wouldn't necessarily know otherwise. Kim, the dealer I talked about earlier, was one of the people at the table!

The guests - Casey, Robert, Herb, Jerry, Keegan, and others (not Shatner, he was already on his way home at that point) walked around to each table and warmly greeted each person there, posing for pictures with us if we wanted. I know that I got pix with Jerry and Jeffrey, but can't remember who else. Once the dinner was over, Garret, J.G., and Robert O'Reilly, got on the stage and performed their play "Art". A lot of people enjoyed it, but it just wasn't my cup of cyanide. It wasn't the actors, it was just that the play was .. well .. kinda flat.

After this, though, James Darren came out and performed for an hour. He did songs from both of his cd's, and then at the end, everyone received an autographed cd from him. James was delightful, and worth the price of admission alone!


Last night didn't end til after 11:30, and they played a cruel joke on us - the time changed overnight, moving forward an hour! Ouch!

At 10, Robert Picardo signed copies of his new book - he actually wrote it himself! Unlike Shatner, who pays ghostwriters (husband and wife team Gar and Judith Reeves-Stevens) to write, he did it himself, and it's quite funny!

10:30 or so, Rob O'Reilly and J.G. Hertzler came out and talked, answering a variety of questions. They had performed a play with Garret last night, and J.G. was dragging, but he had some funny stories. One was about Latin .. He told every parent in the audience that they should make their child take at least a semester of Latin - it's how he got his foot in the door at Star Trek.

He was auditioning for a role in the Klingon cd game, directed by Jon Frakes (Riker). He was supposed to speak this long passage in the Klingon language, which is unpronounceable. Instead, he did a section of Shakespeare, in Latin. He figured no one would know the difference. When he finished, Jon said "Henry the Fifth, eh?" He did not get the role he came in for. Instead, they wrote a brand-new role just for him. In this role, he wore heavy Klingon makeup and teeth. That led to him being cast as Martok in DS9 - They already had the makeup, and could reuse it, saving them money.

Robert Picardo read sections of his book and sang a few songs from his parody cd. The real crowd-pleaser was the Sonny and Cher parody "I hate you babe", and he did both parts. I am absolutely ordering his cd after hearing this!

Next, it's autograph time again. Today's order is Connor Trinneer, Rob O'Reilly, Rob Picardo, J. G. Hertzler, and Jerry Doyle. Darren and Wang are still signing again for those who missed them yesterday.

Connor came out after the autographs and talked about shooting Enterprise, and then ... the reason I came to the convention ... Jerry Doyle!

Every hour on the hour, Dave warned us that Jerry's hour is an adults-only one, and there would definately be offensive content. Anyone under 18 was asked to leave the room. There is still plenty of stuff going on besides the person speaking (Michael Forest, who played "Apollo" is here now), so it shouldn't be an issue.

When Jerry came out, Dave again asked anyone who was easily offended to leave. They do not control him, and if someone complains after all the warnings, well, too bad.

***Warning - Adult Language/content below***

Jerry was asked about the cast of B5, and what he thought of Shatner yesterday. Here are his responses.

Shatner - "What a fucking asshole. Fans, he don't care about the fucking fans, just his own goddamned self!"

Michael O'Hare - "He's a fucking nutcase"

Andreas and Peter - "Consummate professionals, and great actors and people."

Claudia Christian - "She's a dude. Not that way! She's not some fucking prima donna like a lot of the chicks out there. She jokes around on the set and plays pranks right back with us. And she's gorgeous. She's a dude with tits!"

Tracy Scoggins - "Scroggins? Who? You mean Scoggins? Not bad, and great to look at."

Joe (JMS) - "Why do people think he's some fucking god? He's a writer, got it?"

When I asked him on the side about Maggie (not when he was on stage), he said that he hadn't ever worked with her, so he couldn't say one way or the other, except that she "seemed nice".

After Jerry left, Dave came back out and talked. For this con, he put up $148,000. They sold 700 VIP tickets, at $200 each, bringing in $140,000. They sold an unlimited amount of one-day passes for $10 each (this pass allows you to listen to the talks, and visit the dealer's room, but all autographs are extra).

He said a lot of people have complained on the internet about how he runs his conventions. At Creation, autographs are first-come, first-signed. As soon as the guest gets on stage, people start lining up to get an autograph. That's great, but if you do that, you can't hear the guest talk. You're missing out on the show, and getting only the autograph. Your other option is to listen to the whole talk, and then get at the end of an already-long line, and hope you get an autograph. Their signings are timed. When time runs out, whether everyone's gotten a sig or not, that's it. At Slanted, autographs go row by row. The first row gets autographs first, then next, on and on, until everybody's gotten all the sigs they want. This way, you do get the complete experience.

Dave makes himself available, if anyone needs to talk or has a problem. He tries to make it right, something I have never seen at a Creation convention.

People at this convention were generally happier than I've seen at Creation, where the stars are treated as products - or even worse, as meat.

I enjoyed the experience immensely, and will absolutely be returning next year - and I will be encouraging others to do so as well.