For those of you who know me you will be aware that I have been hosting sci-fi events for a very long time. Recently I had the opportunity to become part of the Supanova Pop Culture Expo team, now if you think this will be a behind the scenes expose of Supanova Pop Culture Expos then you will be sadly mistaken. I am going to chat about some of the moments that have been a highlight for me.
Hosting at an event like Supanova is totally different from any other sort of event. You know there are thousands of people running around and all you want to do is go and play with them.
There are stunning costumes and costumes that are wonderful efforts. There are people with imagination and creativity oozing from every pore of their body and you spend your time marveling at each and every one of them.
Then it’s your moment in the spotlight, the time when everyone was wishing they could do what you do and many believing they could do it better, your day has started introducing guests, travelling the tightrope between giving the guest the best experience you can whilst they are on stage and making sure that as many people as possible ask their questions.
Recently I had the pleasure of hosting a panel with Nathan Fillion and Adam Baldwin and an opportunity arose for one of those moments. I had bought to the front of the stage the most angelic 12 year old girl to ask a question.
She smiled and melted Nathans heart and he waited to hear what this divine innocent child would request from him, the question came “how horribly will Castle die?” The auditorium erupted and Nathan stood in stunned silence and then answered, “what makes you think he will die?” A moment to remember created by a child and a very gracious star.
Each guest approaches their talk in different ways, some who have been around for many years love to tell stories that can go on for quite a while and in doing so answer many of the standard questions they know they’ll get asked.
Wil Wheaton is the perfect example of this. On the Gold Coast I was along for the ride as this veteran of the convention circuit took the audience along for and entertaining and wondrous journey for 20 minutes whilst answering one question. But at no point did anyone feel they were missing out, that their opportunity was going away because Wil was answering many of the questions they would ask. When his story concluded there was thunderous applause and laughter.
Others want to respond to as many questions as possible, it is usually those guests that have you running from one side of the room to another, and you know they are enjoying your torture.
Then there are the Spartacus boys who simply take over and you can have a sleep.
For me every panel is a joy, with established stars learning more about their history, with up and coming guests sharing in their dreams and hopes for the future. There are many who relish the chance to share their other works or talk about the dreams they have for the future.
In April of this year (2015) I was honored to share the stage with 5 time Oscar winner (Sir) Richard Taylor as he introduced "Thunderbirds are Go" the 2015 reboot of the now 50 year old Anderson series. Here was a man responsible for many of the ground breaking effects in modern science fiction and fantasy films and yet his love of and for this series had driven him to possibly the ultimate fan achievement, merging the memories of older fans with the hopes of a new fans. To that end I should also give a shout out to Vic and the team at Star Trek Continues a show that is a close as you could get to original Star Trek.
I love to interact with the audience, even those who want to kill me for one reason or another, I love to see the excitement in the fans eyes, hear the tremble in their voice as they get to ask their question. That moment when as they have their moment of one on one with the guest any vestige of cool disappears and the fan excitement takes over. I have actually had someone faint after asking their question they were so overcome.
So let me say here, there are no silly questions, if it is a question of importance to you, you may get a silly answer but remember you have just allowed your favorite star the chance to shine that little bit brighter.
So come armed with what you want to know, even rehearse how you are going to ask it and then keep your fingers crossed that you’ll get your chance.
In the words from one of my favorite songs, “don’t stop believing”