Whoosh! Issue 30 - March 1999


IAXS project #680
By Michael Evans-Layng
Content copyright © 1999 held by author
Edition copyright © 1999 held by Whoosh!
4205 words

"Lucy Lawless!"(01-02)
The Place of Plausibility(03-06)
Lucy: Object of Fantasy(07)
The Interview (08-15)
Softball "Q and A" (16-41)
The "Crowd's" Questions (42-76)
Retrospection (77)

How Do I Feel?
Lucy Lawless In Santa Monica, 1999

The flower has hypnotic powers

Santa Monica Convention Photo Courtesy Debbie Cassetta.

Look into her eyes.
Do you see what I mean?
Just look at her hair.
And when she speaks
Oh what a pleasant surprise.

How do ya feel?
Just look at her smile.
Do you see what I mean?
She is looking away.
Oh how I wish how we could stay
just stay for a while.

How do ya feel?
Just look at her walk.
Do you see what I mean?
She is coming away.
Oh how my heart beats
I don't even think I could talk.
  -- Jefferson Airplane, "Surrealistic Pillow"

How do ya feel?
Did you hear what she said?
How do ya feel?
Do you see what I mean?
She is turning away.
Oh how my heart sinks,
I'd just like to tell her goodbye.
  -- Michael Evans-Layng

"Lucy Lawless!"

Lucy spots a free parking space downtown

Santa Monica Convention Photo Courtesy Debbie Cassetta.

[1] A wave of familiar emotions swept me up in their welcome turbulence when Lucy Lawless came on-stage: excitement, anticipation, connectedness to fellow fans and to her. However, I did not flirt with feeling overwhelmed as I did when I first saw her in person in Burbank two years ago[Note 01]. Was it just familiarity, the natural tapering off of exhilaration that happens over the course of any relationship? Well, I suppose I must grant at least some merit to that point of view. But I feel there's more to it than that.

[2] While my infatuation with Lucy continues unabated, my feelings about Xena: Warrior Princess have cooled significantly since that first convention, and the 1999 convention itself did not serve as a tonic to warm me up. As the pleasure I derive from Lucy was augmented by my blooming enthusiasm for the show that first year, so the enjoyment I derived from seeing and hearing her now was tempered by its wilting. Mind you, I have not made the mistake of confusing Lucy, the actor, with the character she plays. I also know that she neither writes nor produces the show. As the star, however, she bears some responsibility, however small, for the direction the show has taken.

The Place of Plausibility

[3] The show's declining plausibility over the last couple of years has been the main source of my declining enthusiasm for it. Charging a fantasy/adventure/action show with "implausibility" may seem unfair or misdirected, like writing speeding tickets at the Indy 500. Clearly, Indy cars are supposed to go fast, just like fantasy is supposed to be...well...fantastic. But, for me anyway, fantasy requires a foundation of plausibility in order for it to work its magic. Without plausibility, that is, without a story, characters, and actions that are reasonable and likely, even within the framework of a whole universe wholly imagined, I find myself adrift alone in a fog -- the story I'm trying to let myself inhabit indistinct, intangible, and cold.

[4] I saw Xena in the beginning as a kind of Michael Corleone, someone with good intentions who ended up sliding down the slippery slope into the dark side of human nature and existence, realized the mistake, and began the long process of climbing back up to the light. Now they have given Xena a backstory that casts her more in the mold of a Heinrich Himmler or Adolph Hitler, and her redemption from such black depths seems as implausible to me as theirs would have.

[5] Once the relationship between Gabrielle and Xena was clearly one of healthy, growing love, rough edges and all. Now, after the part each played in the death of the other's child, and in light of their mutual betrayals, the "relationship of love" between the two strikes me as more of an irrational assertion than a believable and inspiring continuation of their story. Most of the time these days I find that scenes with the two of them together have left me with that cold, solitary foggish feeling... I simply cannot buy a deep, intimate friendship continuing under the circumstances contrived to engineer "the rift." The proposition just goes way, way beyond my own experience and knowledge of history. Moreover, even if the barrier between them was plausibly surmountable, the shorthand of music in THE BITTER SUITE (58/312) did not succeed in building the bridge. It has been sad, and at times infuriating, to watch the staff stumble so badly after such a promising start.

[6] The only way out of the hole they have dug for themselves, I think, is to just ignore or minimize the extremities of the rift. It is an unsatisfying solution, but it seems to me that it is what they are trying to do, with mixed success so far. For example, they completely blew the ending of an otherwise promising PARADISE FOUND (81/413), whereas DEVI (82/414) and BETWEEN THE LINES (83/416) successfully recalled the spirit and writing of the first two seasons (plot holes, YAXIs and all) with the bonus of a downright beautiful Gabrielle.

Lucy: Object of Fantasy

[7] Lucy still strikes me as intelligent, almost fiercely down-to-earth, silly, competent, well-informed, opinionated, responsible, irresponsible, sensitive, insensitive, thoughtful, thoughtless, eclectic, and stunningly beautiful. In this light, I found it interesting that the recent interview in THE ADVOCATE quoted her as saying she thought it unlikely that people cultivated fantasies about her as Lucy rather than as Xena. For myself, whenever I find my more erotic fantasies turning to Xena I shrink from her beauty and power. Since I am not a masochist I do not find the prospect of getting the tar beaten out of me, or being literally flamed, for coming on to her particularly enticing. I most definitely am not suicidal, a la Joxer in WARRIOR...PRINCESS...TRAMP (30/206). When I think of Lucy, however, I find my fantasies surprisingly and pleasantly platonic, extending pretty much just to enjoying a leisurely conversation with her over a beer. The fact that I see the show as having deteriorated quite a bit over the last two seasons[Note 02] has not changed my basic feelings about her. On that basis alone it was great fun seeing and listening to her in Santa Monica. The convention and Lucy's appearance in particular, however, were indicative to me of deeper problems in the Xenaverse.

The Interview

Actually, Anne, I've answered that question a billion times before

Santa Monica Convention Photo Courtesy Debbie Cassetta.

[8] The spokesperson for Creation Entertainment, the convention sponsors, announced that the first half or so of Lucy's appearance would be devoted to an on-stage interview by "a professional interviewer" named Anne Beatts. Beatts, it was said, had been one of the original writers for Saturday Night Live (1975-) and also the originator of a TV show I have never seen, Square Pegs (1982-83). Beatts started off with what was, for me, a hopeful note by reading the answers to the top 10 questions that Lucy gets asked repeatedly.

[9] Here they are, and you get to fill in the questions:

10.New Zealand, NOT Australia
9.No American actress wanted to leave the US to spend five years in New Zealand.
8.Yes, I was a gold miner, but without a hardhat and canary.
7.Letters from lawyers who want me to walk over them in my boots.
6.It's derived from a ululation used by some women in the Middle East.
5.If you don't see my face, then it probably wasn't me doing the stunt.
4.Rats, eels, tarantulas, after which he left the country.
3.Very happily married, thank you.
2.5'10" and they are real.
1.They are really, really, really, really, really, REALLY good friends (wink, wink, nudge, nudge; wild applause...which I thought was all very lame and actually pretty insulting to gay and lesbian fans. The subtext, such as it is, now seems more like cruel teasing to me than constructive and entertaining tension).
[10] Having dealt with the standard fare so quickly, the stage was set, or so I naively thought, for a good, nitty-gritty interview. Perhaps there might be some grappling with the way Xena and Gabrielle's relationship has devolved from a growing friendship and maturing love (even of the romantic sort) into what appears for all purposes to be a shallow straight stereotype of a dysfunctional marriage between a caricatured "dominant butch dyke" and a "subservient femme victim?" Perhaps they will engage in some honest retrospective analysis about the consequences of making a "show for themselves" without paying enough attention to the clicking of millions of TV remote controls? Knowing what they know now, would they so thoroughly trash the relationship between Xena and Gabrielle and push it so far down into abuse and brutality? What became of Lucy's statements (promises?) at the beginning of the show's run that Xena would never be allowed to look foolish and that the show would not depict violence and abuse against women? Did they abandon these stances self consciously to pursue ratings or did they slide into disregarding them because foolishness and abusive violence turned out to be integral parts of the show they were making for themselves?

[11] But NOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooo! Once Lucy was out, Anne took her step by agonizing, boring step through her biography, lobbing Lucy one softball question after another.

[12] If I had thought about it for a moment beforehand, I would not have been disappointed since I would have realized that open and honest give and take could not possibly take place in a public forum, no matter how apparently Xena or Lucy-friendly. Dang if I did not get my hopes up just a bit though.

[13] Lucy arrived on-stage to wild cheers and thunderous applause, to which I contributed my fair share. After asking for the house lights to be turned up, she tried to take a picture of the audience. The camera did not work though, so she turned her attention to Anne.

[14] Lucy's hair was down and kind of windblown, though not to the extent as in THE ROYAL COUPLE OF THIEVES (17/117). She had a BIG bright yellow sunflower of some sort above her right temple, and wore a green, ribbed knit tank top, brown baggy silk trousers, dark (mismatched, she said) socks, and black loafers. Her makeup was understated. As usual, she looked thinner than she does on screen, but still looked substantial, not frail or waif-like at all.

[15] She has what I would call (ahem) a very eclectic taste in clothes, which I enjoy even as I go: "Huh? What was she thinking?" It is consonant with how she presents herself in general (as not being into glamour, which is a quality of hers that I like). It may also be somewhat cultural. Here is what John Cleese, of Monty Python fame, had to say in the February 15th edition of Newsweek about the spread from the United States to Europe of dressing casually for work: "It's almost an improvement in England. We've always dressed so badly that to become slovenly has smartened things up. The only place I've been where people dress worse is New Zealand, and they're still basically in skins." So even the British think the Kiwis have questionable taste in clothes. Who knows, but maybe Lucy felt especially at home in the shaman outfit?

Softball "Q and A"

Lucy's rarely seen reaction to the 'boxers or briefs' question

Santa Monica Convention Photo Courtesy Debbie Cassetta.

[16] Q: After mentioning her brothers and sister, "Did you ever get in trouble in Catholic school? Did you do anything bad?"

[17] A: "Not that I ever got caught for. I threw a grapefruit once at a teacher who had never done me any wrong, but my friends closed ranks around me so I didn't get in trouble. I felt badly, though, because I felt it crossed the line of my own personal standards, and my classmates also let me know they thought it was uncool".

[18] Q: "Where did you perform first?"

[19] A: "At old folks homes in Mr. Albert. A lot of Gilbert and Sullivan stuff".

[20] Q: "Did you get the leads?"

[21] A: "Yeah, yeah I did". She did not always want the lead, though, because some of the more comic and challenging characters were minor ones and usually male. She slipped for just a moment into a goofy/dumb character and remarked that she could really have done something with the part.

[22] Q: "I understand that your mother was an important role model for you?"

[23] A: "Oh yes. I adore her. She's quite eccentric, but in a highly functional way". I thought the "highly functional eccentric" label was cute and colorful, and will probably find ways to use it myself. Lucy then told a story about her mom promoting a suffragette statue for a park and raising something like $18,000 through bake sales (which is, truly, one h*lluva lot of cake).

[24] Q: "Were you a tomboy?"

[25] A: "Oh yeah. My mom told me that I didn't know I was a girl 'til I was eight. When the Olympics came along one year and my Dad told me that men could run faster and jump farther than women, I was really put off. I've dedicated my life to proving the opposite". (the crowd went wild).

[26] I thought this was a curious bit of self-perception (deception?) on her part since, in terms of her profession and her status as mother, she has not really pursued any paths that are unconventional. The character of Xena is the most unconventional thing about her, but that has more to do with the show than with her identity as such. Even the show, by virtue of some really crummy writing and producing, keeps lapsing lazily and stupidly into male/female, butch/femme stereotypes that I find not only dull but offensive. Clearly, Lucy's a strong person in many ways, but I do not see her swimming upstream to the extent her answer to this question suggested.

[27] Q: "I understand you weren't very athletic as a kid. In fact, you had this nickname..."

[28] A: So we heard about "Unco" again, for the umpteenth time. Sheesh.

[29] Q: "So you picked grapes on the Rhine?" Ho Hum.

[30] A: "Took my $1,300 from a modeling job, an ad where I wore a swimsuit (some cheers from the audience) and took off for Europe knowing I didn't have enough money to come back. I mainly trouped around with a group of avant garde actors who weren't very good". Yawn...

[31] Q: "What would Xena buy in a store today? Tampons?"

[32] A: (After an exaggerated 'Shush!') "There are children present. You shouldn't say words like tampon". Pause. "She'd be interested in anything in spandex". BIG yawn...

[33] Q: "Tell us about GREASE".

[34] A: "Awesome experience...lifelong friends..." etc., etc., etc. Mentioned one cast member who became a friend, flew out for her wedding, has now been in 4-5 movies, and will be the next ROSIE (cannot remember her name, but she was indeed good when I saw GREASE). Zzzzzzzzzzz...

[35] You get the picture.

[36] Anne asked her something about Xena being a role model for Madeleine Albright. Lucy replied that she had thought originally that Albright had made the connection with Xena just because she was visiting NZ and wanted to make points. However, since Albright had reiterated it several times, Lucy subsequently concluded that Albright really meant it when she said she was a fan.

[37] Somewhere in the interview, Anne asked Lucy if she thought there were any lines that Xena would not cross, and Lucy replied, "No. She was too damaged". Somebody from the audience hollered "wouldn't kill babies" or something like that, and Lucy made a passing reference, I think, to THE GAUNTLET (H12/112), but she did not revise or expand upon her statement.

[38] I thought this was a very telling response and illustrated well the abyss into which the show has fallen, or rather been pushed, and from which they yet to escape successfully. The extended attention they have paid to Xena's backstory by itself would not have signaled the descent. Done with a more even hand and better writing, it could have paid off positively in a number of ways.

[39] Tapert's well publicized enjoyment of the "dark Xena", poor writing, the oft-stated production philosophy of making a show that they enjoy even if that comes at the price of alienating their core audience, and Lucy's stated and demonstrable indifference to protecting her character have all combined to damage the show [Note 03]. Lucy's perspective that there was no line that Xena would not cross captures this all in a nutshell.

[40] Anne mentioned something about female presidential candidates to which Lucy replied that she would be happy to run if the voters here could overlook the small fact that she was not a citizen. In this vein, Anne brought up Lucy's statement long ago in the TV Guide that she wanted to infiltrate the whole of popular culture, to which Lucy replied, "That was a joke". This set Anne back on her haunches for a moment and revealed what I interpreted to be some impatience on Lucy's part with the whole line of questions.

[41] At one point in all this someone near me (I was in the 3rd row towards stage right) hollered, "Tell us something we DON'T know!" Lucy heard it, looked over and, frowning, eyebrows raised, gave an exaggerated shrug of her shoulders as if to say "Sorry, but I'm not the one asking the stupid questions". This flustered the interviewer a bit, but she was committed by then and just plowed on. It was very disheartening.

The "Crowd's" Questions

Lucy momentarily forgets the words to the National Anthem

Santa Monica Convention Photo Courtesy Debbie Cassetta.

[42] Then came the - TAH DAH! - "audience participation" phase: ten questioners handpicked by Sharon Delaney beforehand, each with yet another softball question. At least Lucy started moving around the stage at this point and became much more engaged. Given the inane questions that have been asked at previous conventions, I can understand Creation's deckstacking, but combined with the ill-informed "interview," the format seemed designed to keep difficult questions about the series from coming up. The result, intended or not, was that the format kept Lucy at arm's length in a way that has not been the case at the previous two conventions


[43] Q: "Would you send Daisy to Catholic school?"

[44] A: (longish pause) "Yeah, yeah I would". Lucy reported that, in retrospect, there were lots of female role models (though she doubted for a long time that nuns ever menstruated), and Catholic school can provide something to rebel against that "doesn't come back and bite you later". She explained this by example: rather than getting into drugs, say, you can rebel by "just stopping going to church and disappointing your parents".

[45] It probably would have constituted prying, but I wish Anne had pursued the topic of Lucy's apparently resurgent Catholicism a bit more. Perhaps it is because I am undergoing something of a religious renaissance myself (though of the liberal Protestant sort) that I am curious, but I would have liked to hear Lucy talk some more about how things have changed for her in this area.

[46] Ah well, I guess that I will have to relegate such a conversation to one of my fantasy encounters with her over coffee or beer.

[47] Q: "Do you have any advice for aspiring actors?"

[48] A: "If it's not your first, second, third... down to your ninth priority, then don't bother. If you're vacillating between becoming a lawyer and an actor, then become a lawyer, otherwise you won't be able to handle the rejection. In my case, I'm not much good at anything else". The she added, in what seemed to me an afterthought, "except being a mother... which is more important".

[49] I thought her remark about the importance of motherhood was directed more to Daisy, who was in the wings, than to aspiring actors in the audience. The struggle to balance the demands of family and work is an extremely difficult one. As I write this during a break in my office at the university where I work, my son is sleeping on a futon next to me with a fever of 101 degrees. It was either that or go home (my wife has to teach today) and further compound a growing reputation for absenteeism.

[50] As Xena draws to a close it will be interesting to see how Lucy works to maintain this balance, especially in light of her stated desire to have another two or three children. Since she is not an established film actor, let alone a film star, she is in the position of having to make the transition from TV at the same time she is planning on multiplying her family responsibilities many fold. Adding one kid to a nuclear family of three, after all, actually adds four new relationships to the mix: the new child to each of the three existing family members, plus how the family relates as a unit (not to address the complications introduced by a previous divorce). I am rooting for her, but, the impact of Tony Robbins and Depak Chopra notwithstanding, I really wonder if she can pull it off.

[51] Q: "What are you reading these days?"

[52] A: THE SEVEN LIVES OF LADY BEECHAM by Gilbert Dale, a "fascinating" story about a pioneer woman in the early days of New Zealand's English settlement, and a book by Chaim Potok. (I heard THE CHOSEN in there somewhere, but do not know if she is reading the sequel to that or if THE CHOSEN is the sequel to some other work). She said she keeps two books going at once so she can chuck one if she decides she does not like it.

[53] Q: "Did Gabrielle cut her hair?"

[54] A: "No". Wild cheers, a puzzled look, then an mischievous smile and, "I did". As the crowd reacted to this dreadful news she assured everyone that Renee looks "beautiful".

[55] Q: "Is Xena getting a different costume?"

[56] A: "No". Apparently, though, Gabrielle is, along with some elaborate Indian henna tattooing. Lucy promised that the upcoming India episodes were the most beautifully shot and the best stories they have told yet.

[57]I sure hope so, and, in all honesty, the India episodes are giving me some glimmers.

[58] Q: "As an angler, tell us a story about one that got away".

[59] A: She mentioned a director, Mike Newell, who had called her up about a part in a movie, and then she never heard any more about it. She figured that the studio execs put the kibosh on it because they identified her too much with Xena.

[60] This little story bodes ill, I think, for her making an easy transition to major movies. I also wonder if the public, and quite adamant, stand she took on the Howard Stern show took about not doing nude scenes will limit the number and quality of the offers she gets. Mind you, part of me would not mind seeing her in a tastefully done nude scene that advanced the plot of a movie, but the larger part of me agrees with her argument to Howard that movies do not need them to be highly erotic. By way of example, a recent movie I found highly charged in the eros department that contained no nudity was THE MASK OF ZORRO (Martin Campbell, 1998), with Catherine Zeta-Jones (rrOWWrrr!). I would like to see Lucy's film career flourish without her compromising on this issue.

[61] Q: "I meant a fish".

[62] A: "No fish has ever gotten away from me". (wild laughter from the audience)

[63] Q: "In interviews you've mentioned that you used to speak several languages. Are you keeping up with them?"

[64]A: "No, not really, not as much as I would like. I am taking a correspondence course in German, in my abundant spare time (rueful smile), trying to finish up that degree I never got".

[65] Q: "Could you say something in German? French?"

[66] A: She paused for a moment and said, "Don't make me angry!" in both German and French.

[67] Q: Who's your favorite villain?

[68] A: "Callisto", and then, as if recovering from a faux pas, "But now Alti's taken her place". She went on to mention, I think in this context, that she enjoyed playing Meg the most but did not really recognize herself when she had watched Meg on-screen.

[69] Q: "Tell us about SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE".

[70] A: She reiterated what she has said in other interviews about how great it was, how much she likes comedy, etc. She told about how they asked her if she could do any impressions, which ended up being the genesis of the Stevie Nicks skit. Lucy did not understand how the burrito factory bit was funny AT ALL, since they do not have Tex-Mex restaurants in New Zealand, and asked that they scratch it. Lorne Michaels assured her it would be a hoot, so she went along with it. I am glad they kept it in since I thought it was the only original and truly funny skit in the show.

[71] Sharon prompted her to tell about floating rotten cabbages towards Renee O'Connor while they were filming TSUNAMI (65/319). She reported that they were so miserable in that dank set that Bruce Campbell, Renee, and she had a $5,000 bet as to who would crack first, which was the motive behind she and Bruce trying to screw up Renee's takes. In the end, no one cracked, although she said she probably owed them the money.

[72] Another question, which I cannot remember, prompted her to talk about the low point she experienced filming the ADVENTURES IN THE SIN TRADE episodes (69/401, 70/402). She said that she had maintained her composure by will alone only for the sake of the young actors on the set towards whom she felt the responsibility of providing a model of professional behavior, and that she still had not had the heart to actually watch the finished products (which I thought was one of her more interesting revelations). She then mentioned the Tony Robbins tapes she bought out of desperation after watching an infomercial ("the guy's a genius").

[73] I think Anne then piped up about a "fire engine" story. Lucy told about driving to a cast party all made up as a tart and almost getting hit by a fire truck on its way to an emergency. This prompted her to reflect a bit on the transitory nature of life and how quickly things can change. Watching a show on VH1 about the fates of famous folk has reinforced this perspective. I think it was in this same response that she said something like, "Don't spend your time wishing you were someone else. Imagine all the people you know who would be gone from your life and the people who wouldn't have the opportunity to know and love you".

[74] In response to another question, I think about whether her appearance in GREASE had been a big deal at home, she mentioned that she thought New Zealand was maturing away from the "tall poppy syndrome" and was beginning to be less threatened by individual success.

[75] Towards the end of her appearance, some of the crowd pleaded with her to sing. She had mentioned earlier that she still had a hard time singing "as Lucy" rather than as a character, and mentioned the cowboy song she sang on Rosie O'Donnell's show. She ended up bursting into a rousing a cappella version of "Loch Lomond" (to wild cheers and applause) saying that, as a kid, she had heard a jazz singer sing it that way and had fallen in love with it.

[76] She closed by saying, with a serious, and somewhat melancholy edge, that she wanted us to know how much she appreciated the fans, since "we might not be passing this way again". Some have interpreted that as Lucy expressing her awareness that the show is steadily sliding and/or she will not be coming to the con next year in Pasadena. I suspect that is reading too much into it, but who knows?


Lucy finally succumbs to the interviewer's drone

Santa Monica Convention Photo Courtesy Debbie Cassetta.

[77] In all, apart from just enjoying Lucy's presence and demeanor, I thought her appearance was a colossal waste of time, effort, and money. It ended up as a major disappointment for me. Sadly, the convention strongly reaffirmed the feeling I have had for some time that it is time to move on, though I will certainly continue to keep tabs on Lucy from afar to the extent that I can.


Note 01:
See "Unexpected Turbulence: Lucy Lawless in Burbank" by Michael Evans-Layng, Whoosh! #05 (02/97).
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Note 02:
I stopped regularly taping episodes long ago and wrote an article for this journal on the central part that the ill- conceived and awfully executed plot device of Gabrielle's blood innocence has played in that deterioration. See "Gabrielle's Blood Innocence: Seeing Red" by Michael Evans-Layng, Whoosh! #21 (06/98). If I were to write that article now, I would include my thoughts about the damage done by the overall decrease in plausibility.
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Note 03:
Lucy has actually given mixed public signals as to how she views protecting her character. In an interview with Renee O'Connor in the Xena fan club newsletter THE CHAKRAM, Renee said that Lucy had advised her not to protect Gabrielle and that this advice helped Renee loosen up about some of the plot and character developments of the third season. However, in her recent interview in The Advocate, Lucy talks of she and Renee being just "pure actresses" reading their lines until they trip across something that is not consistent with their characters. In the end, I suspect these kinds of contradictions reflect day-to-day life on the set pretty accurately, in that sometimes they say "Hey, wait a minute, Xena (or Gabrielle) wouldn't say/do that..." and sometimes they just shrug their shoulders and get on with it. Probably has to do with mood, the chronic time crunch, who is directing, who wrote the script, etc.
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Michael Evans-Layng Michael Evans-Layng
Native Californian, born 10-6-53 (calculate the total yourself!) Early space program fanatic; youngest credentialed reporter at the launch of Apollo 11. BA in Cultural Anthropology (UC San Diego). MA in European History (UC San Diego). PhD in Social Psychology of Higher Education (UCLA). Married 23 years and still madly in love. Two kids (Brian 8, Kelsey 5), both firecrackers. Never joined a fan club before joining the now-defunct Lucy Lawless fan club and then Creation's Xena fan club. Principal Policy Analyst and Statistician (I call myself an "Information Broker") in the Planning Office of UC San Diego.
Favorite episode: A DAY IN THE LIFE (39/215) - especially for the now famous hot tub scene.
Favorite line: Xena: "I have many skills." Various.
First episode seen: SINS OF THE PAST (01/101)
Least favorite episode: FOR HIM THE BELL TOLLS (40/216)

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