The Sacramento X-Files con on July 23 was my first of this new set of cons put on by Creation. I've been conventioneering on and off for about ten years, so I'm familiar with Creation events as well as the independent kind. What follows is bound to be Just My Opinion...
My husband Jordan and I made the 3-hour drive from Mountain View, CA. Making very good time, we arrived at about 9:45 and spotted a small crowd of about 15 fans already waiting at the Community Center door. After buying breakfast in the cafe across the street we joined the line. Although the tickets listed the con's start time as 11 a.m., the doors did not open until 11:15, an inauspicious start.
The crowd was medium-sized, generally quiet and friendly. There were quite a few children in attendance and lots of SYX candidates as well as folk like myself who're often seen at other cons. I noticed lots of great T-shirts, some certainly originals!
Entering the dealer room, which was a foyer outside of the main ballroom, we soon discovered it was nothing of the sort. There were only a few tables, selling a really nice variety of official X-Files T-shirts in many neat designs; mugs, posters, hats, and publicity stills for the guests to sign. The official X-Files Fan Club also had a table. Although it was certainly nice merchandise, there was so little to be had...the stranglehold Fox wants to keep on the whole fandom situation was apparent. Jordan and I started to refer to the place as the Merchandising Room, since that seemed to be the main purpose of the room, and for that matter, the con.
Picking up the con program, I saw the exhortation, "you _MUST_ join the Official X-Files Fan Club." As a Nashua fan club loyalist, this certainly made my hackles rise. Not likely!!!
The first act on the bill was a music video for "the paranormal world of the X-Files." Jordan, who is biased, said I could have done a better job but I thought it was fine. :)
Next listed was a slide show, purported to be a "Fan's Eye View." Put on by a Creation employee and a representative from Fox Merchandising, it had a decidedly commercial slant and seemed to consist mainly of a lot of gushing about how great the show was. An infomercial, pretty much. Jordan and I slipped out and managed to visit the Prop Museum before the big crowd arrived!
The Prop Museum is definitely worth a visit. There was a great selection of props from first and second season episodes, including a device used to make the Fiji Mermaid's tracks; a puppet rooster and some ceremonial tools used in the Calusari ritual, and the most exciting one for me personally--the airline manifest from "Little Green Men." It was really cool to see the actual document containing so many fan acquaintances and myself. Wish I knew what all the codes meant across the page: what class did I fly? Window or aisle? Vegetarian meal? :)
There were a couple of things we missed, as we stood in line so I could have photos for Mitch Pileggi and Doug Hutchison to sign. This was a bit depressing as I got the distinct impression we were being herded toward the photo table...and somebody kept calling out shrilly that the photos were $5. Bought photos, returned to hall.
The Trivia Contest was very spirited and included a LOT of tough questions. The Blooper Reel, screened just after, was completely hilarious. I'd never seen the whole thing before and I loved the human helicopters. :)
Mitch Pileggi, the first guest, came on to enthusiastic applause after a screening of his big scene from "One Breath." He told us, "This is my first time, so be gentle with me."
I feel obligated to inform the MPEB and other interested individuals that Mitch was wearing a long-sleeved gray henley T-shirt and faded blue jeans. During the proceedings he told us that he lifts weights and does a cardio workout every day, along with as much ab work as his body can take. I can state with confidence that the results of this work was apparent. :) He also informed us he Rollerblades a lot, and thought we might enjoy the image of Skinner rollerblading in his suit. :)
Among the information imparted: Mitch has been asked to sign a 6 year contract to play Assistant Director Skinner! He described his work in "Shocker" as "a lot of fun," and that working with Wes Craven was "a real treat." He says he does a lot of his own stunt fighting on the X-Files, and joked that Mulder better not try taking a swing at him again. :)
Interestingly, he said he saw the Net posting about the suggestion of his appearance in a Speedo. He says he doesn't want to be seen in a Speedo; to which a female fan yelled out, "So don't wear the Speedo!!!"
Mitch told us he lives outside of L.A., and is single. He assured us that Skinner is also single. A fan asked about Mitch's belief in the paranormal; and Mitch answered that he _does_ believe in the possibility of extraterrestrial contact. When asked if he believed in a government conspiracy with regard to this, Mitch answered sardonically, "Y-y-y-_yeah_." Applause ensued. :)
Taking a break for lunch, Jordan and I missed some of Tom Braidwood's talk, but what we did see was quite interesting. As a first A.D. he's able to answer some production questions, which he did-- speaking about the 8-day shooting schedule and other procedural things. He said the toughest episode so far has been "Dod Kalm," as it was all filmed on a real battleship, a Canadian destroyer. The close quarters on board ship made it difficult to maneuver the cameras, which he says are "as big as me when they're all set up."
Between things we found our friends from the Bay Area X-Files Encounter Group and sat down with them.
Doug Hutchison came on last and had the room in hysterics. He's grown his hair long, and wore a leather jacket and patterned shorts. He reminded me a lot of Michael Hutchence from INXS. He related the story of his audition for the role of Tooms (language edited for the G audience in attendance); his gift of a liver to Chris Carter to thank him for the role; and of course the goop story. :) Tom Braidwood came on at the end of Doug's talk, and asked, "Did he tell you about the goop?" When we told him yes, he declared, "I'm the one who wiped the goop off him!!!"
A young fan asked Doug if he was as disgusting off the show as he was on the show. :) To which Doug replied that he'd "vomited on a lover once." :) He went on to qualify that but it was a great answer nonetheless. :)
Continuing his personal campaign to Bring Back Tooms, Doug gave us Chris Carter's address to take down. This was a different address than the one we're used to, which is interesting. :)
Well, there you have it; the con!!! On line folks I met were Ziggy Becket and Laura Akers (Hi!!!!) I got lots of comments on my license plate and my DDEB badge; but nobody offered to buy them from me. I was relieved. :)