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Slanted Fedora, Meadowlands, NJ
January 2-4, 2004
This was my third "Trek" out to New Jersey for Slanted Fedora's convention. It seemed to be much smaller as far as attendance, which was a good thing in many respects. Guests got much more "face time" with the stars than they would at a larger convention. (As many convention-goers will tell you, some events don't allow any personal interactions with the stars unless you pay steep fees for the opportunity. This is, personally, the biggest draw for me to attend this Slanted Fedora annual event.)
This year's guest list included Rene Auberjonois, Garrett Wang, Julie Benz, Jon Kassir, Tony Amendola, Hallie Todd, Spice Williams, Todd Bryant, Vaughn Armstrong, Carolyn Seymour, Jason Carter, Richard Biggs, John D'Aquino, Greg Evigan, Casey Biggs, Chase Masterson, Keir Dullea, Deborah Downey, and Herb Jefferson.
Everyone was so wonderful. It's hard to know where to start! I arrived on Thursday afternoon at the hotel and just "hung out" a bit in the bar. On Friday there wasn't a lot going on until about 3:00 for registration. I met up with some buddies (we only see each other at this event) and we played a bit of pool in the bar. I don't like to brag...oh, who am I trying to kid? I LOVE to brag. I ruled at pool that night and for the weekend. ;) I browsed around the dealer room for a bit and spent some money (they twisted my arm, I tell ya!). We saw Deborah Downey and her husband Bob, who recognized us all from past events. Deborah is SUCH a sweetheart, and her husband is very nice, too. It always makes me feel honored when people remember me, but it seems doubly true for people like this who meet countless people every year.
I actually sat across from Todd Bryant on Friday night in the bar, but he was sooooooo cute that I figured he'd think I was a big idiot once he found out the reason I was there. Unfortunately I was too intimidated to talk to him. *sigh* I also saw Richard Biggs belly up to the bar just before last call, but he was talking to other people and I didn't want to interrupt. I just made eye contact (with both guys) and smiled.
Saturday was a big day. I went around the autograph room to say my hellos and get autographs and photos. Tony Amendola was my first stop in the room. I knew him from some of his roles, but I hadn't realized he'd played a demon on one of my favorite episodes of TV series "Angel". He was very kind and had a wonderful smile!
My second stop was at the table of John D'Aquino. My GOODNESS he's so handsome! He's been in a lot of things but I remember him best in his roles on SeaQuest and Xena. He asked my name and made me feel very special. I think that's what is so great about these types of events - when there are actors and actresses present who truly enjoy the fans and strive to make it a good experience for us. More on John later. :)
It's been a while since I've been truly starstruck. As I've been to more of these sorts of things, and met more of these lovely people (who really are just human beings like you and me), I've been less intimidated to meet new stars. Well, I got hit with a big case of puppy love all over again when I saw my next stop would be Greg Evigan. Not to disparage my age or his, but I've had a crush on him since I was in the single-digit age bracket in his "BJ and the Bear" days. I don't know how it's possible, but he's younger looking than he was mumblemumble years ago! Even the head of Slanted Fedora, Dave Scott, couldn't refrain from commenting on Greg. "I'm a straight guy," Dave assured the crowd, "but is it just me, or is Greg Evigan hot?" No, Dave, it wasn't just you! :)
The next table was shared by Richard Biggs and Jason Carter. It was at this point I asked aloud "are there ANY ugly guys here this weekend?!?!" LOL These two charmers were sweet, funny, and very nice. I got a photo with them on either side of me - what a yummy sandwich we made!
Casey Biggs and Vaughn Armstrong were set up at the next table. I've had the pleasure of meeting Casey several times, and Vaughn a time or two as well. I had Casey sign a photo of the two of us together from a couple of years ago and told him about how a few people I'd shown it to asked if he was my hubby because we looked so good together. So he signed it "Tonya, what a great couple!" He sat in my lap to take a picture - and got no arguments from me! ;) Vaughn was very flirty and energetic. And he PURRS when you hug him. I had to get hugs a few times throughout the weekend just to hear that purr again and again!
Carolyn Seymour was at the next table. I just love her accent and could listen to her talk and talk. She was friendly and open, and I'm glad to have had the opportunity to meet her. Sitting at the next table was Hallie Todd, probably best known these days as mom to the character Lizzie Maguire. She seemed a little overwhelmed by the attention - I think this was only her second convention - but she was very sweet and gracious.
Julie Benz and her husband Jon Kassir were seated at the next table. I know Julie from her role of Darla the vampire on the television shows "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel". I've met her once before (at the Posting Board Party in LA) and asked her to sign a photo of the two of us together. She recognized when the photo was taken by the necklace she wore that night. I swear, she is prettier and prettier every time I meet her! I got another photo of us together.
I stopped in my tracks when I saw the person sitting at the next table. The hottie in the bar, the one I was sure would think I was nuts for being a Trekker, was sitting at his table signing photos of himself in Klingon make-up! Let me just say that Todd Bryant is an amazing specimen of a man - tall with blonde hair, blue eyes, and a sinfully delicious smile. As I was rescuing myself from becoming a puddle at his feet, my friend handed me my camera for a moment. OH NO! No film. How embarrassing! So, I had to go back around the room and ask for photos with the stars AGAIN! Greg teased me - "no film, sure, I've heard that one before." John sarcastically noted what an inconvenience it'd be to hug me again. *blush* Jason and Richard squeezed around me tightly to enhance my cleavage in the shot. When I hugged Jason after that he told Richard "I got the big payoff!" LOL This time I sat in Casey's lap, and asked if he was enjoying himself as much as me. I made Vaughn PURR again and scratched his back for being a good kitty. ;) Julie had overheard about the film issue and was very sweet about redoing our picture, as were the other ladies.
Finally we've worked our way back around to Todd's table, which is blissfully not busy this time. He remembered me from the bar and even signed his photo "Let's do the bar again!" I went around the table for a photo and he said "hellooooooo sexy." Needless to say, my ego was enjoying a major boost by this point! Did I mention how drop-dead gorgeous he is? *sigh*
He shared his table with his Star Trek V movie co-star, Spice Williams. She's a beautiful, energetic, vivacious lady! I hope I can look half as good as that at some point in my life! Spice was very friendly and seemed to be quite at ease in this sea of admiration.
I'm sorry to say that I didn't make it to the final table in the room that day, where Keir Dullea was sitting. I did hear that he was a gracious and interesting person, though, from many people. I didn't want to be late for Rene's scheduled talk, however, so I made my way into the main event room.
MORE COMING SOON.
~Bob "the normal one" B., my photography assistant
~The stars of the show - thanks for sharing a part of your time with the fans
~Slanted Fedora - you gave us another great show!
~The fans I talked to - you're so cool
~Links to stars filmographies at IMDb.com