September Recap, Part 2: TIFF 2016

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Earlier this summer, I was planning on skipping TIFF altogether because my sister was expecting around the same time, and I knew it was just going to be a really crazy time. And then they started rolling out film announcements. The first wave they announced was already full of films I really wanted to see and just couldn’t pass on the opportunity to see them early. So I made the conscious decision to still go to TIFF, but not in the same way that I’ve been doing it the past few years. What I normally did was buy the TIFF Choice Premium Package, which had the TIFF programmers pick 3 premiere movies for me to attend. Sometimes I’d get lucky and got a movie I actually wanted to see; most times I’d get movies that weren’t necessarily high on my list, and sometimes they were at really odd times. Anyways, so instead of going that route, I opted to buy the 10-pack Flex Package, which meant forgoing the Premieres for tickets to regular screenings. The upside to the Flex Pack was getting to choose my films before the single tickets went on sale, which was a blessing because the new system TIFF implemented to get tickets was really confusing.

So between my Flex Package, my friend handling single ticket sales, and checking the websites for additional tickets at 7 AM, I ended up getting tickets to 11 movies. That’s right. ELEVEN. In all my years of going to TIFF, this was a record for me, especially considering my time/travel constraints. But that’s what happened and I don’t regret it at all, because I got to see some really good movies.

Colossal was a weird movie. Good, but weird. Written and directed by Nacho Vigalondo, the movie stars Anne Hathaway as a woman who moves back to her hometown to get her life back together, and suddenly figures out she somehow controls a monster in Japan. Like I said, weird. Yet somehow it works.

For the second screening of COLOSSAL, there was no appearance from stars Anne Hathaway or Jason Sudeikis. But we got writer/director Nacho Vigalondo and supporting actor Austin Stowell.

For the second screening of COLOSSAL, there was no appearance from stars Anne Hathaway or Jason Sudeikis. But we got writer/director Nacho Vigalondo and supporting actor Austin Stowell.

ARQ is a sci-fi movie, that’s just totally right up my alley. Even though I knew it was going to be on Netflix, literally the week after I saw the movie, I still wanted to see it on the big screen. Also I was really hoping to see Robbie Amell again, despite the fact that it was a second screening; lucky for me, he was there! The movie was written and directed by Tony Elliott, who is also a writer on Orphan Black, which is a plus right there. Robbie Amell and Rachael Taylor star as a couple who find themselves in a time loop. That’s the very simplified version of it, but it really is such a well-crafted script that puts a nice twist to the already complex idea of a time loop. Definitely one of my favourites from the fest. Like I said, already on Netflix, check it out!

ARQ writer/director Tony Elliott, and of course, star Robbie Amell

ARQ writer/director Tony Elliott, and of course, star Robbie Amell

Moonlight is such an understated but powerful movie, chronicling the life of a man at three points in his life: as a kid, a teenager, and an adult. The movie deals with what it means to be a gay African-American male in Miami, struggling with definitions of masculinity and identity. It was just so well done, on so many levels. This is the type of movie that needs to be seen and talked about. A bit heavy for a 9 AM screening (as I had done) but completely worth it. I fully expect Oscar nods for writer/director Barry Jenkins, and some of the cast. With the main character being played by three different actors, categorization gets a little complicated, but Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris need to be nominated in Supporting. The movie is slowly getting released in theatres, so go watch it when you have a chance!

I was truly not expecting to see the cast during this second screening and at 9 A.M! But it was certainly a welcome surprise. L-R: Trevante Rhodes, Andre Holland, Naomie Harris, Mahershala Ali, Ashton Sanders, Alex Hibbert, writer/director Barry Jenkins

I was truly not expecting to see the cast during this second screening and at 9 A.M! But it was certainly a welcome surprise.
L-R: Trevante Rhodes, Andre Holland, Naomie Harris, Mahershala Ali, Ashton Sanders, Alex Hibbert, writer/director Barry Jenkins

Queen of Katwe (which is already out in theatres) centers around the true life story of a Ugandan chess prodigy named Phiona. I honestly don’t understand chess. The movie though is truly inspiring, with great performances from newcomer Madina Nalwanga, who certainly holds her own opposite Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo. Not gonna lie, I teared up towards the end.

I honest to goodness was going to wait until SING! came out in theatres (around Christmas time), so I could take my nieces to go see it. But when you find out the all-star voice cast of the movie, including the likes of Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, and Scarlett Johansson, are going to be in town to attend the premiere, you go! And that’s exactly what happened! The movie itself, which is about a theatre owner putting together a singing competition to help revive his theatre, was pretty darn adorable. Bonus was getting a short set from Tori Kelly and Jennifer Hudson after the screening, performing a few songs from the movie.

SING! Premiere! L-R: Jennifer Hudson, Nick Kroll, Tori Kelly, Taron Egerton, Scarlett Johansson, Reese Witherspoon, Matthew McConaughey

SING! Premiere! Look at all those beautiful people!
L-R: Jennifer Hudson, Nick Kroll, Tori Kelly, Taron Egerton, Scarlett Johansson, Reese Witherspoon, Matthew McConaughey

OH. MY. GOD. LA LA LAND! I heard the hype and praise. I obviously wanted to see it because Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a musical was enough to sell me on it. I was bummed when the premiere and subsequent screenings were during the week. But then, TIFF did me a solid and added more screenings, one of which was on a Saturday, meaning I immediately swapped one of my other movies for it. And man, it was just SOOOOO GOOOOOOOD!!! I left the screening singing “City of Stars” and just the biggest smile on my face, despite the rain that day. I can’t wait until December to go see it again, not to mention get my hands on that soundtrack!

Another film based on a true story, Brain on Fire centers on Susannah Cahalan, a New York Post journalist who suffered through a month of various health issues that went misdiagnosed by various doctors, before she was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease. It’s certainly a challenging feat to not only do right by Cahalan’s real life story, but also present the medical side of things without making it seem like an episode of House. Director Gerard Barrett struck the right balance in adapting Cahalan’s book, and Chloe Grace Moretz, who played Cahalan, found herself in one of her best roles to date. It was informative and eye-opening, but also a bit scary to think of the struggles that Cahalan and her family went through in that time period.

I had been waiting so anxiously to see Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids, the concert documentary from renowned director Jonathan Demme, shot during the last two dates of The 20/20 Experience Tour in Las Vegas. When they had initially filmed, I just thought it was going to be released on DVD just like other concert movies. When they announced it as screening at TIFF, I was surprised but then figured it was probably more documentary than concert. When I saw it, I realized it was pretty much the concert I had seen in person, minus one hour, and it was still WONDERFUL! Of course, what the film really showcased was not just JT, but also all the dancers, band members, back-up singers (aka The Tennessee Kids), and even the crew members who worked so hard to literally put the show together. And watching it again on the big screen, with the surround sound? It felt like I was there again, and all I wanted to do was get up, dance and sing along.

Burn Your Maps centers on an 8-year-old boy named Wes (played by the ever adorable Jacob Tremblay), who is convinced that he was born in the wrong place and is supposed to be a Mongolian goat-herder. His tenacity and beliefs pushes him and his mother (played by Vera Farmiga) to go on a journey to Mongolia and find themselves. It’s a unique story to say the least, and I certainly found myself enjoying the film quite a bit.

Blue Jay turned out to be a movie that was both something I normally wouldn’t have chosen to go see in theatres, but also something that I have been drawn to lately. It stars Sarah Paulson and Mark Duplass as ex-high school sweethearts, who run into each other when they return to their old hometown. The movie plays out with them reconnecting, with a sense of nostalgia. Shown in black and white, it gives off a feeling of an old home movie and you’re not sure what’s going to happen with these two (while you also wonder when they’ll reveal why they broke up 20 years ago). It felt almost too personal, like you’re intruding on this reunion, but even if you haven’t gone through it yourself, it made you connect with them.

My last movie of the festival was Arrival. I love Amy Adams, like Jeremy Renner, and have become quite the fan of Denis Villeneuve’s work that I really wanted to see this before it gets released in November. Adams plays Louise, a linguist, who along with Renner’s scientist Ian, is tasked with helping the army to communicate with a group of creatures that have appeared in spacecrafts in 12 places around the world. I don’t want to even attempt to explain more, in fear that I might spoil it. Trust me though, it’s a smart sci-fi drama, and definitely worth your time.

So all in all, it was yet another great year at TIFF. Was I a little bummed that I didn’t get to do my premiere screenings like I normally do? A little bit. But honestly, it became a nice reminder of why I liked going to TIFF – the movies…and of course, getting to be among the some of the first people to see a movie. The movies are what it’s all about though.

September Recap, Part 1: Volunteering at Fan Expo

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Fan Expo occurred over the Labour Day weekend, and for the third year in a row, I came back as a volunteer. Being how busy my weeks are, I once again could only commit to working Saturday/Sunday. As a volunteer, it’s mandatory that we do four shifts during the Con, so I ended up pulling double shifts for the weekend. For the past two years I got assigned to work Volunteer Registration, which in the end really meant that I was a Floater and worked wherever I was needed. I didn’t mind it, honestly, and I was fully expecting to be there again this year. But then assignments came and I found out I got moved to Autographs! I was f**king excited! I mean I knew I was gonna be dead tired by the end of it, but didn’t matter. Because despite having to work all weekend, I still got to see most of the celebrity guests, and got to work with some of them. Well, work with the celebs, really means working with the handlers/agents who work with them. But still, close proximity!

I got to work Gillian Anderson’s line on Saturday. When she left, I got to work Katie Cassidy’s line, which was in between Danielle Panabaker and John Barrowman, so I got to see all three of them. On Sunday, I worked the lines for Jewel Staite, who brought her husband and adorable baby boy as well. Getting to work Jewel’s line was pretty awesome, because her and her handler were just so great to work with. But also, on the one side of Jewel’s booth was Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin, and Ben McKenzie; on the other side, Mark Hamill. Like I said, AWESOME.

Despite all the craziness and busyness of the weekend, volunteers were still allowed to enjoy their time. That meant if there was a photo-op or autograph we wanted to get, or even a panel we wanted to go to that fell during our shift, our Team Leaders/Coordinators were very accommodating. Working in Autographs, it was easy to get them, as long as we paid for them like everybody else. We were told not to straight up ask the celebs for a free autograph, ESPECIALLY while we’re on shift, because it makes the volunteers look bad and we’re all (including the celebs) there to work. And honestly, it’s understandable. So with that being said, even with double shifts, I managed to do a photo-op with Hayley Atwell, and got autographs from Ben McKenzie and Charlie Cox.

I had never done a photo-op at a Con before, but I’ve always known that it goes really quickly. So it barely even registered that I met Hayley. Walked into the photo-op area, quick “Hi!” to Hayley, took the picture, and out. It was barely 10 seconds. Enough time for a not great picture (there’s a reason I hadn’t done photo-ops, I just generally don’t like taking pictures), but not enough time for me to get awkward.

During a bit of a lull while on shift and kind of close to the end of the show, I went over to get Ben McKenzie’s autograph. And guys, I totally forgot how much of a crush I had on Ryan Atwood! I mean every time he walked over to his booth, I’d have a stupid smile on my face. Then when I actually went up to get his autograph, I couldn’t even get anything O.C.-related to come out of my mouth. It was the standard pleasantries: “Hi, how are you? Are you enjoying your time here in Toronto?” I was just total fangirling! Ben, for what’s it worth, was just so nice and thanked me as a volunteer for the hard work we put in over the weekend.

By 4:30 Sunday, the majority of the celebs were done and gone, and it was then just a matter of cleaning up the booths. So after cleaning up and such, I was pretty much done my shift before the Con was even over. I looked over and saw Charlie Cox was still signing autographs, and he stayed there until the very end. I was just hanging around at that point, and impulsively decided to get Charlie’s autograph. End of the day, not much of a line, whatever. Anyways, when I got up to meet Charlie, he read and mispronounced my name, which happens all the time, so I just waved it off and said “It’s T.” Charlie being adorable was like, “Oh, sorry! T? I love tea! I drink it all the time. Because you know, I’m English.” It was cute, especially with the accent; I fangirled, obviously. And then, even after he got through signing for everybody that was left, I don’t know for sure how it was instigated, but he was about to leave and then came back to take a group picture with a few fans (and us volunteers that were still hanging around lol). I am still looking for that picture.

It was such a busy weekend, but my third year volunteering turned out to be the best year so far. Working the autograph lines was such a fun experience, tiring as it was, though so completely worth it. My only hope is that I get to do it again next year!

“Hey! I Know You From Somewhere!” – Before They Were Stars, Broadway Edition

I have been meaning to write up a post about this topic for a while. It pops up into my brain from time to time, but there’s usually not enough for me to actually write about (or my usual problem – TIME). So you know when you’re watching an old movie or TV show and then an actor pops up who you totally recognize now but obviously didn’t remember were in said movie/TV show? Like going back and watching Friends and realizing “Holy shit! That’s [insert actor’s name]!” I absolutely love it when that happens!

So anyways, I was putting some stuff away the other day and as I was putting away my program from seeing Cinderella the Musical, I decided to peruse the old programs and Playbills of shows I’ve seen over the years. Little did I realize some of the stars I had seen in person, before I knew who they actually were. Basically some discoveries were made (one big, several small discoveries) in a very short 5 minute time period.

WICKED (November 2006)

This was my first musical I had ever seen. I always liked the idea of musical theater (except as a kid when I was terrified of The Phantom of the Opera), but it’s not like I had much access to it. So much like concerts, I didn’t really enjoy the theater experience until my late teens. Moving the story forward, I went through the program for this touring production and saw that the name listed next to Glinda was…MEGAN HILTY! Obviously I knew Megan Hilty had a Broadway background prior to SMASH and indeed played Glinda on Broadway, but it never occurred to me that I actually saw her nearly 10 years ago in Toronto. Like, WHAT?! And this discovery made after I keep saying, “Man, I would kill to see Megan Hilty live!”? Kills me that I already have; I just didn’t know it!

Also, Adam Lambert was a part of this touring cast as part of the Ensemble/Fiyero Understudy! Again, I knew Wicked was in his background, pre-Idol, but I just never put the pieces together.

BURN THE FLOOR (April 2010)

Everyone knows I’m a huge dance fan, so when this show came to Toronto, I just HAD to go. Besides being just a dance fan in general, I was there for my SYTYCD’ers: Anya Garnis (!), Pasha Kovalev (!!), Artem Chigvintsev, Karen Hauer, and Ashleigh & Ryan Di Lello. But going through the program now and seeing the likes of Sharna Burgess, Emma Slater and Sasha Farber from DWTS in there? Go figure! I knew a lot of past and present DWTS pros have done BTF, so it’s not like I was completely surprised, but it was just cool.

AMERICAN IDIOT (December 2010)

I actually saw this show in New York. It wasn’t at the top of my list of shows to see on this trip, but it was the only one my sister and I could convince my bro-in-law to go see. I had heard great things about the show but I didn’t pay attention to who was actually in it because I knew that I didn’t know anyone at the time. Cut to five years later and realizing John Gallagher Jr. (from The Newsroom) was in the show, as well as Stark Sands (the recent Minority Report), and Tony Vincent (Season 2 of The Voice).

SPRING AWAKENING (March 2009)

So here’s my story about Spring Awakening. Just like everybody else, I had heard that this was an amazing show and so I HAD to see it when the touring production came through Toronto. I was even more excited about the show because I knew Steffi D (a former Canadian Idol contestant) was part of the cast, as well as (most importantly), Kyle Riabko, a singer-songwriter/actor whom I absolutely love. Imagine my complete disappointment when I got there and got the paper slip in the program saying that Kyle wasn’t performing that day and that the role of Melchior was going to be played by Matt Doyle. [Sidenote: Matt Doyle, if you don’t know, played Jonathan, Eric’s boyfriend on Gossip Girl. It was subsequently funny watching GG and then continuously referring to him as Melchior]. Anyways, that disappointment aside, I didn’t realize that I actually got to see yet another future SMASH alum, Andy Mientus as Hanschen.

[Seriously though, SMASH for all its crazy and kind of terrible-ness, really featured an amazingly talented cast.]

 

SDCC 2015 Wrap-Up – Day 4

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The last day of Comic-Con was an easy going one. My cousin and I only had a semblance of a plan for what we were going to do for the day, which was mull around NerdHQ and hope for Smiles for Smiles with the Marvel TV actors following their panel. First of all, I loved NerdHQ being at the Children’s Museum. It was so nice to see that they had a space of their own during the Con that they weren’t sharing with others. Yes, sharing is caring, but everything just felt more streamlined. Oh, and having the personalized Coke machines? Nice touch, even though the machine rejected my name on the first try because it’s not in the database. Well duh, that’s why I want my personalized ‘Share a Coke’ can.

So as we were sitting around enjoying our Coke, we overheard some of the guys working the Coke machines that they were going to stop the line in a little bit because of line-up for Smiles with SHIELD(!!) So needless to say, we were trying to be so stealth and do our best to position ourselves, so that as soon as they announced it, we’d run to get in line. That didn’t work out so well. For one, as soon as the panel let out, those in the panel had started lining up. Secondly, neither the NerdHQ app or Nerd Machine Twitter account announced the Smiles session. So we ended up just saying “To hell with it” and lined up with everybody else, despite no official word. Unfortunately, Hayley, Chloe, Clark and James could only stay for 30 minutes after the panel, so they got to as many people as they could, and then the rest of us were out of luck.

Heroes Reborn panel with moderator Greg Grunberg and creator Tim Kring

Heroes Reborn panel with moderator Greg Grunberg and creator Tim Kring

After the Smiles disappointment, we headed back to the convention center. Because all our shopping was done, we just wandered around the exhibit floor one last time for a little bit, before deciding that maybe we should go check out a panel. Because we did have the badge, so we should make use of it. So off to Hall H we went, waiting in line for the American Horror Story/Scream Queens panel to finish, and then go in for the Heroes Reborn panel. I am among the many former Heroes fans, who gave up on the show when it went off-the-rails. Season 1 was so good and then season 2, it started going to shit. I think I had made it through to halfway of season 3 before I quit watching. So yeah, I was definitely wary (still am, really) when NBC announced that they were reviving the series as a “limited series.” It’s been five years since the show went off the air, and this new series itself will follow that timeline; meaning we pick-up five years from the finale with a new group of characters (and some old ones) and see how that world has changed since then. Honestly, I really only care about watching this series because of Zachary Levi and now Dylan Bruce. I do have to give it to them for attempting to get everyone in the audience excited about the series. From Tim Kring admitting they went sideways towards the end and that “they’ve had some rest” so are back better than ever; to bringing out Jimmy Jean Louis and Masi Oka for the panel. From Greg Grunberg’s general enthusiasm as moderator, to the multiple clips they showed from the series itself and the prequel webseries. I’ll admit, I’m a little bit more excited now about the series than I was prior to the panel.

Cast of Heroes Reborn

Cast of Heroes Reborn

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And that was it for me from SDCC! Like I said before, every year is a different learning experience, mainly because priorities are different from year to year. The point is, coming to SDCC is all about having a good time with people who share your interests. I absolutely love going to San Diego, even through all the Con craziness and what we put ourselves through for this “vacation”, there’s nothing like being at SDCC. You just gotta roll with the punches and enjoy yourself! It’s all about fun! Here’s to next year!

SDCC 2015 Wrap-Up – Day 3

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Saturday was once again an early morning. I had the idea in me to go for the Agents of SHIELD signing, meaning I had to get in early for the exhibit hall line. Once in Sails, I was in the 4th line, thinking that was pretty good. WRONG! By the time I got down to the Marvel booth, the line was already capped. How does everybody get down there so fast?! Lesson learned: don’t try to go for autograph signings at the Marvel booth. I think I stood a better chance had I gone to the FOX ticket drawing for the Salem signing instead, but oh well. I wasn’t in a total rush to get anywhere, so I stuck around Marvel anyways and waited until the Agent Carter signing to catch another glimpse of Hayley Atwell and James D’Arcy.

The Last Man on Earth panel (L-R): Will Forte, Kristen Schaal, January Jones, EP Chris Miller

The Last Man on Earth panel
(L-R): Moderator Kristin Dos Santos, Will Forte, Kristen Schaal, January Jones, EP Chris Miller

After about 10 minutes at the signing, I made my way over to Indigo Ballroom and caught the second half of the Last Man on Earth panel. The show was definitely one of the surprises of last season, and was weirdly funny. When you’ve got Will Forte and Kristin Schaal as the leads, plus January Jones doing comedy, you’ve got to expect that the show is slightly offbeat. Now like I said before, I caught the panel halfway through, so it was a shock to me that there was no time for fan questions. What did they even do for the first half then? And has anyone else seen this happen before at Con?

Childhood's End panel (L-R): Julian McMahon, Daisy Betts, Yael Stone, director Nick Hurran, writer Matthew Graham

Childhood’s End panel
(L-R): Julian McMahon, Daisy Betts, Yael Stone, director Nick Hurran, writer Matthew Graham

Next up was the panel for Syfy’s Childhood’s End. The miniseries is based on the Arthur C. Clarke novel of the same name, and deals with an alien invasion that leads to a kind of utopia on Earth. I’ve never read the book, so I don’t actually know what I’m talking about. Charles Dance, Mike Vogel, Julian McMahon, Daisy Betts, Yael Stone, and Georgina Haig are among the cast. It’s a miniseries that will air in December, so not like there’s a whole lot to commit to; if I remember, I’ll check it out.

12 MONKEYS panel! (L-R): Aaron Stanford, Amanda Schull, Kirk Acevedo, Barbara Sukowa, Emily Hampshire, Todd Stashwick, EP Terry Matalas, EP Travis Fickett

12 MONKEYS panel!
(L-R): Aaron Stanford, Amanda Schull, Kirk Acevedo, Barbara Sukowa, Emily Hampshire, Todd Stashwick, EP Terry Matalas, EP Travis Fickett

Then it was time for my #1 panel of the day (maybe the whole Con): 12 MONKEYS! It’s obviously one of favourite new shows, with some of my favourite people, and I was just SO EXCITED that they were coming to SDCC this year, after passing on it last year. I somehow lucked out and managed to find a spot in the first row of Indigo, though to be fair there was still like 10 feet of space between that first row and the stage, so it was close but not SUPER close. It was great hearing from the EPs and the cast talk about what they’re looking forward to for the second season and what we the audience can expect following the events of the season one finale. EPs Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett tried their best to give us an idea of what they’re planning without getting too spoilery, while the cast (including new series regulars Barbara Sukowa, Emily Hampshire, and Todd Stashwick) mused about some of their favourite lines from season one. No surprise, everyone pretty much loved anything Emily aka Jennifer Goines said. There was also a funny moment where Barbara was just talking about time and space on the show, everyone is listening intently, and then she went “I have no idea what I’m talking about.” You just want to believe everything Barbara says, as if she actually is Jones; doesn’t matter if it makes no sense, the way she says it, sounds like total truth.

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During the Q&A portion, I was going back and forth thinking about whether or not I wanted to ask a question. I had a question ready; it’s just me and public speaking is ehhhhh. So in a moment of “Ahh f**k this, I’m doing it!” (not unlike 2 years ago), I made my way to the microphone…and once again, made a fool of myself by not getting my words out properly, as I wanted to say them.

What I Meant to Say: “Hi! I’m Thi from Toronto. Also the one who’s incessantly and probably annoyingly tweeting your praises all the time. Been such a huge supporter of you guys, since the very beginning, because you are some of my favourite people who have worked on some of my favourite shows/movies like Nikita, Fringe, Center Stage – and in consideration of that, I wanted to know if you guys have a wishlist of guest stars that might include your former co-stars?”

What I Actually Said (more or less): “Hi I’m Thi. Umm I’m from Toronto…I’m the one who’s incessantly and annoyingly tweeting you all the time…[They asked me my Twitter handle and then said “Oh yeah, sure!” like they knew, but probably don’t because it’s Twitter, and we don’t have the Twitter relationship I think we have lol] Umm…sorry, I’m nervous… umm it’s just that it’s rare that people who worked on an old favourite show, Nikita, is now doing my new favourite show. So in the spirit of that, I wanted to know if you had a wishlist of guest stars you want for the show, maybe like your former co-stars…?”

A lady who was sitting next to me was kind enough to take a pic of me asking a question (and making a fool of myself)

A lady who was sitting next to me was kind enough to take a pic of me asking a question (and making a fool of myself)

Amanda, taking the cue as I just meant Nikita, passed it to Aaron, who talked about how great it was to work with Noah Bean again, and having Xander Berkeley be on the show for a couple episodes, even though they didn’t share any scenes together. Then Aaron talked about how Travis and Terry have been kinda sorta talking with Shane, so maybe something will come out of that. Great answer from Aaron. I did want to hear Kirk talk about his Fringe co-stars as well, and just hear Amanda talk about Center Stage (just because it’s one of my favourite movies) or Suits, but obviously that didn’t come out in my question, so fail. Yeah, note to self for next time I might want to ask a question: WRITE IT DOWN.

Agents of SHIELD signing at the Marvel booth! Total craziness.

Agents of SHIELD signing at the Marvel booth! Total craziness!

So after the panel, I made my way back to the convention center, took a little time and once again made my way to the Marvel booth, in anticipation for the SHIELD autograph signing. After that debacle in the morning, I still wanted to stick around to see the cast, instead of attempting to go to Ballroom 20 for the Grimm and Outlander panels. I am so glad I was there. Sure, it was a long time standing around in that crowd of craziness, especially since they were running late, but the cast was just so nice to the fans. Clark Gregg and Chloe Bennet being at the end of the table, kept going down to sign autographs for people in the audience whenever they had like 30 seconds. And even after they were done signing for all the people who got the tickets, the entire cast went down and signed/took pictures for as many people as they could on their way out. Needless to say, I got lucky and managed to get autographs from Iain De Caestecker, Henry Simmons, Chloe, Elizabeth Henstridge, and Ming-Na Wen! (I suck at taking selfies, so wasn’t going to try and get pics with them.)

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My final stop for this busy day was the panel for Salem! Just to see Shane West obviously…and the rest of the cast too. The biggest question going into the panel was whether the show was coming back for another season, and straight out of the gate, EPs Brannon Braga and Adam Simon announced that WGN had indeed renewed the show for season 3! I don’t talk about it much, but let me tell you, this is a bat-shit crazy show and I so thoroughly enjoy it. Most of the talk about S3 was focused on fates of the characters on the show, following the crazy events of the season 2 finale. They also threw out some ideas of what they were looking at moving on with the series, namely other witch covens that might pose a threat to our Salem witches, but they do still want to focus on our main characters.

SALEM panel (L-R): Shane West, Janet Montgomery, Ashley Madekwe, EP Brannon Braga, EP Adam Simon, Seth Gabel, Elise Eberle, Iddo Goldberg

SALEM panel
(L-R): Moderator Eric Goldman, Shane West, Janet Montgomery, Ashley Madekwe, EP Brannon Braga, EP Adam Simon, Seth Gabel, Elise Eberle, Iddo Goldberg

I did contemplate asking the same question to the Salem cast, as I did the 12 Monkeys cast, but before I got to my “Ahh f**k it!” moment, someone beat me to it! Saved me from looking like a total dork in front of Shane…again lol. The EPs contemplated the idea, saying that there are witches everywhere, so maybe they can try to work Maggie into the show. Good answer! You know me, always there for my Nikita cast!

DSCN2104DSCN2069I had every intention to attempt and make my way into Hall H for the WB/DC TV panel, because of how much I adore the casts of Arrow and The Flash, plus I wanted to see Victor Garber (forever known to me as Jack Bristow aka Spy Daddy!) However, by the time the Salem panel was done, I was so tired and hungry, I just couldn’t. Plus, I felt bad that I hadn’t even had a chance to have dinner with my other cousins who made the trip to SD as well. Family bonding time won out.