So. I’m back. Home. From London. And whoa, what a trip it was! I’m still in the process of coming in terms with the fact that it really happened – and to me of all people! It was better than I could’ve ever dreamed of and even more in every possible way. I’m so glad I was there and wish I could’ve stayed longer. But I guess even the most wonderful things must come to an end at some point. How unfortunate that it has to be so, though! The great stuff should just keep on happening while it’s at it, dammit! *pouts*
But really, it’s been home sour home for me. I’m usually one of those people who get sick while on vacation and this time was only partially different. Indeed I was happy to be very much not sick until it came clear on Tuesday evening that I was undeniably coming down with something. Just in time for the Borderline gig. *sigh* I couldn’t even ask the question I’d been preparing to ask from James at the Borderline Q & A because my voice was completely gone. I was sneezing and coughing my way through the rest of the week and it was a real laugh when I tried to thank James for everything on Sunday at Collectormania because I sounded like a puppy with a broken vocal chord, but at least I tried. And it wasn’t all that bad, really. I just had a running nose and a sore throat and since I’m almost all the time more or less feverish anyway it really didn’t bother me all that much. But then I got home and BOOM!, the stupid-ass flu went ballistic. Maybe it was the stress unloading or something, but it seemed that the minute I got home I got from bad to worse. My breathing sounds like a steam engine! I have sinusitis it appears. Yay me! So for the last four days I’ve been just laying in my bed whining and laughing and feeling horrible and amused beyond reason at the same time. It’s just too crazy! People are calling me to ask how the trip went and I’m just croaking how much I loved it and that I had the time of my life and they’re all like what the hell happened to you there? *g*The Rift
I’m not even going to try and scrape something together about the Q & A’s because to be honest my memories of that day are kinda fuzzy not to mention criminally badly organized. From what I’ve been able to look around there were plenty of people present there who actually have a decent memory. I can only recall some random bits and pieces from here and there. Buuut I did enjoy myself. Not the seemingly endless queuing, though. I’ve never really been to a big convention like this so I’ve got no standard of comparison, but I’m pretty sure this is not how these things should work. I think I was able to sit down for a whole 2,5 hours during the whole day. (For James’s and James and Gareth’s joined Q & As.) My legs and back were killing me and I can only imagine what it must’ve been like for the disabled. Also sound system could have been better, and I didin’t like the fact that there were so many things going on at the same time. I understand that it would’ve taken two days had there not been several things going on simultaneously, but why not make it a 2 day thing then. Or have less activities. Or whatever. It just bugged me that I wasn’t able to properly concentrate on listening to the Q &As in order to get the photos and autographs I wanted.
Ok, whining’s over. The Q & As were brilliant. James and Gareth are hilarious together. It was so funny not to mention adorable how James repeatedly came across as this over-enthusiastic cuter than cute little boy (like when he was going on and on about this Supergirl series idea he’s got or the string theory, for example) and then there’s Gareth the adult being all mature and patient and unrambly - not any less fun, though. Oh my God, what a giggle fest it was! I gotta say I had no idea James was feeling ill at the time - he seemed to be in good spirits for all I could tell, but then again that doesn't have to exclude him being utterly exhausted, right? Plus, now thinking about it, he was indeed rambling quite a lot especially towards the end of the last Q & A. But people can go all rambly because of various reasons – I should know for rambler is my middle name.
Speaking about rambling I’ll jump to the photo shoots now. For the record, I was really nervous at the photographs. I mean more nervous than usual. I hate being photographed. I just feel so damn awkward posing for anyone not to mention a strange person. James was really really nice, though, looking me in the eyes and saying hello and hugging me really tight and then even adding that I looked really hot after the shot was done. I really didn’t feel hot at all (except for the fact that it was getting really hot in there – temperature-wise that is) just blushed and idiotic and happy and shaky and dizzy and whatnot. The pic turned out, um, James looking fantastic and me looking like I’d rather just bury my face in his shoulder so that I could escape looking at that damn camera lence. Lol! Plus my hair was all over the place. But really, damn me for looking like shit there! James looks so lovely and then there’s me spoiling the whole thing. I’m soooo gonna get my face (and hair!) replaced with a better one for the next time. *g*
I had a picture taken with Gareth, too. He looks like a boys scout – all peppy and smiley, standing at attention. I look a bit, er, disoriented with my eyes focused on something that’s not quite the camera lence. Oh how I’ve been laughing at my expression there! Then there were the signings and I think James’s was first. I tried and stuttered something to him (like I always seem to end up doing – poor James!) and once again he was nice beyond reason. It seemed it really meant a lot to him what I said which then meant a lot to me in return. And again he complemented my appearance (“You look great, btw. Dangerously hot in fact. But I’ve got a girlfriend so I have to be good.”) which made my brain shut down and turned me into a nonsense babbling tomato on legs. LOL. I have no idea what I said or tried to say to him after that, but I’m pretty sure I made a total fool out of myself. So yay me again! :D I pretty much spent the rest of the day trying to decide if I was more embarrassed or jubilant. (I still don’t know the answer, btw, but I’ve learned it’s possible to be humongously both at the very same time.)
Gareth was nice and polite, but not that talkative. With Eve, however, I spend a bit longer while because my friend from Italy, who is a huuuuuge Torchwood and Eve Myles fan, couldn’t (to her great grief) make it to the Rift and so I’d promised to pass her greetings to Eve. Which I did and it really seemed to move her. She rushed from behind her table to hug me while telling me to pass that hug on to my friend and then she wrote a lovely note to her and just kept on saying how my friend’s words had been one of the loveliest things anyone has ever said to her. She was super-nice – I kinda fell in love with her right at that moment. I hadn’t had any expectations because I really didn’t know a thing about Eve Myles the actor (just Gwen the character) before this event went down, but she totally stole my heart there. What a sweetheart! Plus her Q & A as well as the shared one with Kai Owen totally rocked! I missed Kai’s autograph, though, which still kinda bugs me, but my legs were going on a strike and so I just had to go and sit down for a while at that point.
As you all probably know by now, the concert thing didn’t happen at the Rift. Or maybe I should say that James had fallen ill (bad jetlag and intestinal flu as he then told us at the Borderline) and couldn’t play, but there most certainly was a concert thing. Or if not a concert thing exactly it was one hell of a Thing alright. A thing to remember! There was pretty blasted Kai Owen singing Elvis and some Welsh songs and telling probably every single dirty joke he knew. There was Steve dancing and then there was Steve singing with a random audience member only to be interrupted by Gareth who apparently just couldn’t bare to witness such song-slaughtering. He didn’t know the lyrics to the song in question either, but had no trouble with coming up with his own – oh how hilarious they were! Gareth also sang one song by himself, and man, has he got a great voice or what! He also did some beatboxing to Kai’s singing, which just totally cracked me up. All in all, it was a real blast, and knowing that the whole thing was truly improvised right there without no preparations or advance warnings whatsoever I can only say my hat goes off to these guys and especially to Kai Owen.
Met some really lovely people there. It seemed that no matter who I was standing or sitting or queuing next to they were always just wonderful. I’ve been a fan of many things – mostly rock bands, though – and have never witnessed such warmth and friendliness among the fans. James must truly have the coolest fans in the world! And, in the spirit of that, I’ll end this all over the place report thing-y by addressing my most sincere and heart-felt thank you’s to Monika and the ever so sharp young mister accompanying her for the wonderful company and unlimited generosity. You guys rock! *hugs*
A few boring pics: Porchester Hall entrance the next day on the left. Me trying to find a way to Portobello Road while standing at the same spot we were queuing the day before on the right. The pics from the inside were horrible beyond reason, and so I won't torture you with those. And if I haven't mentioned this before, I hate my camera furiously and will sell it to first bidder no questions asked. The Borderline
Like I mentioned I had caught cold the night before. Damn you rainy and cold yet so fascinating Covent Garden! My throat was like a grater, I could barely speak at all, I had temperature and felt overall pretty shitty. Buuut I didn’t go to all that trouble and travel to London to let something like that to come between my and my James dosage and so to the Borderline I went. Or to the end of the queue in front of it to be more precise. And, to my feverish delight, it soon started raining cats and dogs and bloody asteroids out there. Thank God for the umbrella I for once hadn’t forgot to take with me as well as the reasonable amount of clothes I had on. I was still soaking wet when they finally let us in, though. Felt like such an idiot for a moment for not being tucked up in bed but at a rock club with my shoes full of cold water. But as the evening went on and the Q & A begun the feeling passed like it’d never even existed. I absolutely loved The Borderline gig.
First about the Q & A, though. This is absolutely not a transcript and the questions as well as the answers are paraphrased by me even though I try and come as close to quoting as possible. I also only remember bits and pieces. So I’m just digging my memory here. Let me know if I’m talking out of my ass, ok?
- Three people he’d have dinner with – dead or alive: Einstein, Gandhi and George W. Bush.
- About U2 and Bono being a humanitarian. Has always loved U2’s music. They’ve always been honest and powerful and meant what they sing about. Thinks it’s natural that since Bono’s got older and more mature his concerns get wider. And that somebody really needs to care about the whole world and that he’s glad it’s Bono.
- Would work again with Joss – they could make each other angry again.
- Would work on a Buffy movie, but doesn’t really see it happening since Sarah’s pretty much said no to it.
- Would say yes to working on Dollhouse in a heartbeat.
- Of Dragonball Z: "This is me on the Dragonball set: (shouts) I’m gonna die!". Apparently his stunt double hadn’t really looked like him and so he’d been doing a lot of the stunt work himself. So it had been a really heavy role physically. Is signed up for two more Dragonball movies. Fought hard for his vision of his character being an old ugly man and apparently finally got his way.
- With whom would he like to make music or play together with: He’d like to write a song with Gareth David-Lloyd, and see if Gareth’s band would have him onstage with them.
- Said he’d rather kiss John Barrowman than SMG even though the whiskers thing’s a bit weird.
- Said there’s definitely going to be 8th season of Smallville and that he’d liked to be on it. A lot of praise for Tom Welling who apparently is smarter and nastier than people tend to think, and also a good director who got James to do stuff he’d never done before and of which he afterwards thought "Omg, I can’t believe I just did that".
- What made him decide to take a break from theater and go to LA? ("Thanks for calling it a break!") He said he went to LA because after his son was born he realized he couldn’t have his son living the way he’d been living to that date – sleeping in the back of his theater etc. And so he got up and gathered the little he had left of his soul and went to sell it in order to simply make money. And then he talked about how becoming a father really makes you put things in order and realize what’s important and what’s not.
- Started to answer that he thinks that Buffy’s the best things he’s ever been part of but then changed it to I don’t know --- He said he thinks Torchwood’s more subversive than Buffy and he really likes it him being a subversive artist. That even back in his theater days they were always trying to subvert all the lies that corporations are telling us like you can buy happiness or if you comb your hair in the certain way you’ll be a better person etc.
- What would it take to get him dye his hair blond again? It’d take Sarah coming back from Africa. (Where she’s been doing humanitarian work lately.)
- Told us about how he’d been having hard time coming in terms with the plot line of Spike and Buffy being together because he’d been used to think of Sarah in a way you think about your little sister. And now he was supposed to have love scenes with her. The moment it all finally sort of clicked, fall into place, was when he was watching Sarah doing the Doublemeat Palace episode with the infamous hat on. He’d looked at her wearing that silly hat and thought that this woman’s going through hell and she’s working in a place like this and yet she’s not complaining. And at that moment he'd fallen in love with Buffy and was just smiling super-widely at Sarah there at the set. Sarah (quite understandably) had then thought that he was laughing at her looking so ridiculous in that hat and told him to stop that grinning. Hee! :D The little she knew...
- About size and does it matter (After some hilarious confusion it appeared that the question was indeed about height). James said that camera can’t really tell how tall you are. However the people that do the casting seem to care awfully lot about it and so he told he’s always joking to his son that if he was five inches taller they’d all be rich.
- Would like to play Iago from Othello, but not Hamlet because Hamlet should be played by a young actor, 17 or so, in order to be believable with all that why do I bother and what’s the point at all type of questioning.
- Doesn’t think Lady Macbeth is a castrating bitch but quite the opposite - too innocent. The way he sees it is that she (Lady Macbeth that is) thinks that if she forgets about the crime she won’t go crazy. And she’s wrong, obviously, but she’s not conniving because if she was she wouldn’t go crazy.
- Someone asked about where to go and what to see on a road trip on the West Coast (or something like that) but since I’m really not that familiar with the places in question the details it sort of went in one and out the other. Sounded like a nice trip, though.
- Got asked about him being a Trekkie. And then he talked a long while about this Start Trek show he’d written – pretty much went through the whole plot from start to finish.
- Would very much like to do more Torchwood and basically anything with Russel T. Davies on board.
- Someone asked him to name a song to fit the story of his life. I remember him mentioning the record Sketches of Spain by Miles Davis, but can't quite recall if he picked one particular song from the album.
- Has a half of an album worth of songs already written.
- Had he spent a lot of money at Forbidden Planet? No, but he’d be willing to pay 50-70 pounds on a sonic screwdriver.
- If he’d have a chance to teach at Juilliard he’d tell everyone to leave.
- In a relationship between Captain Jack and Captain John who is the submissive and who is the dominant? He answered that the reason why that relationship didn’t really work was because they both thought they were the dominant party and the other was the submissive one.
- Someone asked about where/what is home. He said that a poet once said that home is the place where if you show up at the door they can’t throw you out. So it’d be his house where he can really relax.
- Said that he hasn’t been on holiday in five years. The last time he took his family to Hawaii which cost A LOT of money but was worth it. But right at that moment, if he could really choose, he’d be in his own bed with a television there and a remote and some ice water within reach.
- About Indie Music Festival. Said he’d enjoyed it very much. He’d been especially happy to notice the people who turned up during the set and stayed because of the music.
- Had enjoyed doing WaT. The other actors were really nice and REALLY good. Like Anthony was just amazing and so was Ms Baptiste. But at the same time it was a bit boring – he found himself wanting a demon to jump out and rip someone’s head off...
I’m absolutely certain this is only a slice of the whole Q & A cake, but I just can’t remember more. I wish I could but my memory leaks into vacuum, and there’s nothing I can do about it. Hope there was at least something interesting there.
Then about the gig. It really went straight to my heart. Union Chapel was great but this was really the gig for me. It was my kind of environment. I find it hard to sit when there’s music that really moves my heart and soul because it tends to move my body too. Plus I’m used to rock clubs. I like them. For quite some time they were the only places I came to life, back when things were really rough. I love the intimacy of them. The low ceilings. The thick air. Everyone close to each other, skin to skin, packed. Sweat and smoke and alcohol. Nothing can beat the atmosphere of a small club full of dedicated music lovers. That’s just the way it is. And this time was no different. The music just took me, lifted me in the air and I wasn’t sick anymore. I wasn’t tired nor in pain. I was whole and I was happy and it was all good. Music – my drug of choice now and always. :) James sounded great – he played well and his voice was in good shape. The set was nicely structured containing both older and newer stuff as well as a few covers (All Apologies by Nirvana and Chocolate Jesus and Picture In A Frame by Tom Waits, yay!) Plus I gotta say I’m really happy he played Fall of Night. I think it’s one of the best songs he’s ever written and I hadn’t heard it live before. And it sounded great, of course. Everything sounded great and I’m soooo grateful I was able to be there that night.
Here’s a few crappy photos I took. But they truly are crappy. I used to be able to take pics like these
with my old camera, but then I had a stroke of idiocy and gave it up. Have been regretting it ever since. So you’ve been warned. I call these my "I was there –proof photos", and I’m only posting them here because I promised photographs and these are the best I’ve got. If you want to see proper pics I strongly recommend Ulla Inkeri Huhta’s amazing photographs that can be found in here
Click on the thumbnail to get to the gallery. Union Chapel
I arrived at the venue a couple of hours before the doors opened. There was already a pretty lenghty queue there, which kinda reminded me of the days when me and one of my friends used to queue for hours and hours in order to get to the front row. My hat goes off to all of you patient people there at the front. I’ve grown too lazy and boring for hc-queuing. Sometimes I miss it, though, but that might be just nostalgia talking...
Anyway. I’ve come to realize that queuing to a James event is different from any other queuing I’ve ever come across before. For example I’m soooo happy I turned up early even if it was only a couple of hours so, because once again I met the loveliest people ever! It is so nice and to my eyes absolutely amazing that people start talking to each other while they’re queuing. We Finns don’t do that. We don’t talk to strangers because we just don’t (except when we’re drunk, of course). We just stare into space, make a big deal about avoiding any non-informative communication, and pretend we’re not bored out of our heads while doing it. What a charming nation introverted mopers we are, huh? But at the Union Chapel queue I was once again delighted to notice how far from home I was. Met a whole bunch of wonderful people within who’s lovely company even I was able to come out of my shell a little, get a bit less awkward with talking in English as well as talking in general. I love you guys – thank you so much for the great company! That evening would’ve not been the same without you!
As a venue Union Chapel simply rocked. I was surprised to find out it was still a practicing church, I gotta admit, but why the hell (no pun intended) not. I’ve been to some concerts held in churches turned into concert halls before, but none of them have had even remotely as great acoustics as Union Chapel. It was such ear-candy, the whole event, and a really powerful experience, too, with the lights turned off except for the stage where the performers sort of bathed in warm light. And there were candles burning and it was just amazing – really beautiful and special. So very different from The Borderline gig, but never the less outstanding. James’s voice was in top form and really came to it’s own there. It was simply a brilliant concert from a brilliant man who both knows what he’s doing and enjoys doing it. I’m sooooo happy I was there. Oh, and yay for Katie which wasn’t originally on the set list but since someone in the audience requested it we got treated with a pretty much flawless version of it as an encore opener. Lucky bastards, us! :D
Collectormania report will be up as soon as I’ve slept, coughed and sneezed some more. ;)