Whoosh! Issue 57 - June 2001

By Jodi Walton
Content copyright © 2001 held by author
WHOOSH! edition copyright © 2001 held by Whoosh!
18500 words

Page Two

Zoe Bell and Paul Grinder

You insert the tachyon emitter chip here... oh, sorry, wrong show!

Zoe Bell demonstrating a move
(photo by Lida Verner)

[23] After that was over, I took another break, but made it back in time to see Zoe Bell and Paul Grinder. The first thing they said as they came on stage was they were not used to talking, so they were going to show how easy it was to teach people how to fight. They brought two groups of volunteers on stage and while Paul was chatting with the audience, Zoe was teaching them moves either with a prop sword or sais.

[24] One story that Paul told was about how confusing it can be on set sometimes with all of the multiple Xenas running around. You have Lucy and her body and stunt doubles on the set. Paul said that the funniest mix-up occurred when one of the 2nd unit make-up people ran up behind someone he thought was a Xena body double and bit them on the arm, only to discover it was Lucy. Lucy exclaimed that he bit her and the guy was petrified about doing it. He figured he would lose his job, but she took it in good humor. Of course, Paul never explained, why the make-up artist had wanted to bite the body double on the arm in the first place, but I guess that will remain a mystery.

[25] They got a chance to show several people how to use various trademark Xena and Gabrielle moves. There was one girl though, who took the sword and was flipping it all around like Xena, so Zoe sort of sparred with her and then bowed to her when they were done because she had such good control of the sword. We found out that Zoe was 5'1", quite a bit shorter than Lucy, but she does the entire stunt and harness work for her. They also had Sharon Delaney do that over the shoulder hit and Zoe showed how you sell that to the camera. It was cool. Paul commented that Renee is the best at selling hits to the camera and does a good job with the fights.

Ultimate Fan Fiction Directory Panel Discussion

Some fans tried to pass these off as general admission tickets

The Ultimate Xena Fan Fiction Directory

[26] After that presentation, I went to the Little Theater where they were having the Ultimate Fan Fiction Directory's discussion of fan fiction. There were quite a few bards present, including Heartbrkn, CN Winters, Ogami, WordWarrior, Klancy7, Roo, Vertigo, Bongo Bear, Joe Connell, Felioness, baermer, and Lunacy. Kym Taborn was also there. The discussion ranged from what makes a story work (characterization) to what is Uber (hard to define and often depends on the reader's interpretation). There was also a discussion of grammar, beta readers, and the impact of some of the bards being published with the proliferation of Uber and Beyond Uber stories. It was neat to see all the people that were only on-line names to me and to hear their different views on various aspects of fan fiction.


Hudson the Host

Now *smile*... and *turn*...

Hudson Leick commands the stage
(photo by Marilyn Crisitano)

[27] To start the evening, they announced that they had a special surprise host for the Cabaret. After a few suspenseful moments, they announced that Hudson Leick would be hosting that evening and she walked onto stage. She was dressed in a pale blue brocade patterned strapless floor-length gown with transparent heels that were at least three inches high and she showed them to us later in the evening. There was thunderous applause and after a bit, she told us to be silent and the crowd quieted down.

[28] At one point, she said she felt like a beauty queen winner and gave a little speech about how she wanted to make the world better and a safer place for frogs. Then a woman in the audience caught her attention and after bantering with the woman a bit, she called her up to the foot of the stage, leaned down, and kissed the audience member. Then Hudson acted like she had turned into a frog and said she was sure that was not what one expected, to have the princess turn into a frog. After a bit more cavorting on stage, Hudson decided she had better introduce the first act, so she called Ted Raimi and Bruce Campbell up to do their act.

Ted Raimi and Bruce Campbell

If I saw this guy in half does it double is salary?

Bruce Campbell and Ted Raimi, partners in crime
(photo by Marilyn Cristiano)

[29] Ted and Bruce came on stage and traded insults with each other for a bit, including Bruce telling Ted that his character could move an audience, that as soon as Joxer came on the viewers moved away from the TV.

[30] They started talking about how they had been told that they had to find a great act for the show, so they went out and found the world's greatest mentalist. After they introduced him and he did not come on stage, Ted went back to find out what was wrong. He came out and then used charades to tell Bruce that the mentalist had been drinking. They both went behind the curtain and we could hear them talking about how could Ted let this happen, then Bruce came back onstage after telling Ted he had to find a way to fix things. Bruce stalled until Ted came back on stage dressed as the Indian mentalist.

Young Frankensinatra

Bruce Campbell working his magic
(photo by Marilyn Cristiano)

[31] After that they did a few tricks and then Bruce had an audience member come on stage and blindfold Ted, while he went into the audience and took various objects and had Ted try to identify them. Using Bruce's verbal cues, Ted got the hat and lipstick right, but acted like he could not figure out the camera or watch. Then Bruce got back on stage and Ted said that he had handcuffs that he could remove with the power of his mind. After testing the handcuffs on an audience member to show that they worked, he put them on Bruce so his hands were behind his back. Then Ted turned to the audience and started talking about how he would remove the handcuffs. Meanwhile Bruce got one of his hands free and was gesturing along with Ted's speech behind his back. When Ted turned around to check out why the audience was laughing, Bruce put the handcuffs back on. This went on for a few times before Bruce freed himself completely and handed the cuffs back to Ted.

[32] They did a little routine with a mini-guillotine-like object. When Ted tried to cut off Bruce's hand, he thunked him on the wrist. So they brought an audience member up and Ted assured them that the trick would work because he would use the magic word this time. After a few false starts and convincing the audience member to put their hand in the device, it actually worked and the guillotine went through the wrist without injuring the audience member. After that they wrapped things up and left the stage, leaving their props on stage.

Dr. Strangelove as a young man

Ted Raimi working his magic
(photo by Marilyn Cristiano)

Hudson Redux

The audience is obviously pleased to be here

The masses came for entertainment and that is what they got
(Photo by Heather Perkins)

[33] Hudson came back out and discovered the handcuffs. She was quite fascinated with them and wanted to take them home. At one point she put them down the front of her dress, then commented that she heard a child's voice and took them back out. She said that the parents would have a lot of explaining to do when they got home. She gallivanted around on stage making comments about the handcuffs and generally having a good time. She was actually funnier than Ted and Bruce. She also kept commenting about frogs. It seemed to be a theme for her this evening. Then she introduced Ebonie Smith.

Ebonie Smith

Goochie goochie goochie!!

Ebonie Smith belting out her song
(photo by Marilyn Cristiano)

[34] Ebonie came on and invited James, a staff volunteer, on stage. She sang "You'd Be Surprised" while he sat on a chair and she danced around him. She has a beautiful voice and obviously has had some training. She went on to sing "Our Love is Here to Stay", while they showed a video of Xena and Gabrielle. Then she said that that song had been about love and the next one was about lust and proceeded to sing "Fever". She wrapped up with "After You Get What You Want". She did a great job and exited to thunderous applause.

Hudson Redux II

[35] Hudson came back out and sat down in the chair that had been left on stage. She lounged around in it and then asked if we wanted to see her birthmark. Of course everyone said yes, so she started to hike her skirt up very slowly until she got to her knee, where she has a light brown mark on the inside of her left knee. Then she started playing with the handcuffs again. She alternated with teasing us with her ankle and then her knee, keeping up a running conversation about a variety of amusing things, many of which included mentions of frogs. Then she decided she would go ahead and introduce Adrienne Wilkinson, who joined her on stage.

Adrienne Wilkinson

Audrey Hepburn impersonation

Adrienne Wilkinson at her convention appearance
(photo by Lida Verner)

[36] Adrienne was quite nervous about singing and said that if she got too out of key, they would just start over again. She then launched into "One Fine Day", which she did a decent job with. After that, she sang "Black Velvet", and then said that she was going to sing one of her favorite songs, "Shhh!" by Bjork. She started that one off, but then stopped and restarted it. She obviously had fun with that one since she seemed more comfortable and relaxed while singing it. After she finished up, she went ahead and left the stage.

Hudson Redux III

[37] After a few moments, Hudson came back on stage, but she was carrying one of her shoes. She said she had been taken by surprise after just trying to get a drink so she just rushed back on stage. After showing off her shoe and asking us if we thought it looked like a glass slipper, she decided it was time to auction off her dress again. This time a woman bought it for $1500 (she later raised the amount to $5000 so that it would match what the other dress went for) but told her that she wanted it to include Hudson and the handcuffs. Hudson brought her on stage and sort of flirted with her a bit before telling her that even with handcuffs she did not think the woman could handle her. After a bit more of Hudson playing with the crowd, she introduced Darien Takle.

Darien Takle

I am the very model of a modern matron tavern girl!

Darian Takle, a regular chanteuse
(photo by Marilyn Cristiano)

[38] Darien came out singing Cabaret. She has a lovely voice and obviously has had a lot of experience singing and performing. She did "As You Make Your Bed" and followed that up with "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". Then she told us that she had gone to Hawaii a while ago and performed as Eva Peron in Evita. She wrapped up her performance with a fabulous rendition of "Don't Cry For Me Argentina".

Hudson Redux Finale

[39] After Darien was done, Hudson came back out and then brought the performers back on stage for a final ovation. It was a fun evening and the performances were good, but it was Hudson who stole the show.

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