Whoosh! Online Edition Whoosh! On The Road


ROB TAPERT [205-215]

Getting Ready

[181] There is nothing to describe it. NOTHING. When you have dreamed of something every night (and a lot of math classes I really should have been paying attention to...) for three years, and then have it just Happen. NO, there is nothing to describe the joy of having who knows how many dreams fulfilled for seventeen bucks.

[182] Friday I went home right after school and managed to watch every episode that had Callisto in it. (Okay, so I skipped THE FURIES [#47].) And pointed to the screen whenever a disinterested family member walked by and said, "I'm meeting her!"

[183] Saturday morning. I woke up around sevenish and printed out some fan fiction for a friend of mine I was meeting there. Then woke up my sister by bouncing up and down on the bed in excitement. I got in the shower. And then dressed very methodically in a Callisto shirt (which you will hear about later) black pants and my fun trench coat. I put on every Kiwi and XENA pin I own, then my sister did my makeup and hair *exasperated sigh* Around ten I hopped into the car, popped in my XENA CD: Volume Two, took out a XENA script and got super freaked out. My dad (I managed to hook him into taking me) kept on laughing at me and telling me it was okay. I felt like my stomach was being gnawed by rats (more about that later too).

At the Convention

[184] The strange thing is, as soon as I got in line for the convention, tickets in hand, I quite forgot about being nervous, and proceeded to make friends in the line. I got about seven to ten pics, browsed a bit, then went to my seat for the start of the convention.

[185] When Robert Trebor came on, I shouted as loudly as the rest. I kept on thinking. "I'm in the same room as Robert Trebor." He was a treat, my he was funny. "YOUR five dollars are in the mail."

The Trivia Contest

Photo courtesy of Amy J. Putnam

[186] Fast forward to the Trivia Contest. I went up to the microphone with my new friend from Colorado. We helped the man in front of us with his question. Then I helped my friend think of another question. When I got up to the stage everyone looked at me, so of course I froze for a half second then: "Name this quote: 'So the Cyclops said to the Unicorn.'"

[187] Sharon Delaney (holy centaur I talked to Sharon Delaney!) said, "The episode or person?"

[188] "Who said it, the person."

[189] Ten seconds went by.

[190] "We don't know" Is what I think they said, then the audience started to shout out answers.

[191] "Gabrielle."

[192] "No."

[193] "Xena?"

[194] "No."

[195] "Joxer?"

[196] "No"

[197] "Meg?"

[198] "No"

[199] "Geez!"

[200] So I went up to the stage and got the PROMETHEUS (#8) script and a killer Xena shirt. And everyone was like "Who was it, who was it?"

[201] "Meleager the Mighty, in THE PRODIGAL (#18)."

[202] Then Sharon Delaney said it was a good question. (Holy Centaur, Sharon Delaney complimented me!) As I proceeded back to my seat everyone was like, "Good question!"

[203] When I made it back, my dad had this goofy "I don't know why, but I'm still proud of you." grin and I told him, "See, I told you I'd pay off someday."

[204] The Gabrielle music video was wondrous, having every touching scene in the entire series shown all at once is kinda overwhelming. But they had this one part, "You always walk behind me" or something like that and it had this scene with Xena on Argo and Gabrielle was walking behind her! heehee.

Rob Tapert

[205] When Rob Tapert came on, I, of course, went up. And when you're standing five feet away from the Executive Producer, Co-Creator, and fiancee of Xena: Warrior Princess, ya kinda just have to sit and stare. Especially when the person in front of you just stole your question. He realized how freaked out I was and said "It's all right." (Holy Centaur, Rob Tapert was being nice to me!)

[206] "I just wanted to say that XENA is the best show ever, and Callisto is the best villain ever created."

[207] "Thank you. I wish I could have some credit for Callisto. But, when we were casting, there were about thirty five or forty people there, and Hudson was number eight or something like that. And after she was done, I knew I had to give her the part. I didn't want to see anybody else and I ended up wasting about three hours. and we were like 'bring her back in, lets see that again.'"

[208] I thanked him and managed to walk back to my seat. I was shaking hard and I was so freaked out my eyes started to tear up. My group (consisting of my friend from Colorado, her friend, a fellow Hudson fanatic and the mother of a fan a little older then me.) was saying what a good recovery I made and how good I was and "It's okay, Autumn, calm down, you did good."

[209] Other people asked Rob what was up with that girl at the beginning of DESTINY (#36). "A young fan. A young admirer of Xena." What was up with Callisto meeting her final de-oh, wait, we're not supposed to talk about that one, never mind. When Lao Ma was coming back

[210] "Lao Ma is dead."

[211] "So!" (entire audience)

[212] "Yes, I know that doesn't make that much difference in the Xenaverse..."

[213] "Remember, we never actually saw Lao Ma die."

[214] "Yeah!" (entire audience)

[215] I remember he was wearing old rag tag jeans and I was thinking. "I get prepared for months to come to this convention, he throws on a pair of jeans to answer questions. What a Guy!"

Danielle Cormack

[216] Danielle Cormack comes on and we cheer for a couple of minutes. Then we die down and she gives this surprised laugh sound and says "Hi I'm Danielle Cormack and I play Ephiny on XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS." Which gets us all riled up again. Someone asked her if she was prepared by everyone and she said "Yeah, Lucy told me what to expect but this is amazing. (Note, this excited little Xenite is trying to recall everything to the best of my feeble abilities, so don't take any of this as direct quoting.) Danielle has the coolest New Zealand accent, it was the coolest thing. Someone asked her what was the most embarrassing thing she did on XENA. "I gave birth to a centaur, that's pretty embarrassing." Someone else asked her what she most related to with Ephiny. "Well I just had a kid."

[217] When I got up there, I was like, ahh! (Yes, I'm native to Southern California and have a tendency to say "like " too much)

[218] She looked straight into my eyes and man AHHHH. That was so cool! I asked her: "Umm, during HOOVES AND HARLOTS (#10), why was Ephiny being so mean to Xena and Gabrielle in the beginning, to put it nicely."

Photo courtesy of Debbie Cassetta

[219] "Ah, I think I was because Ephiny wanted the right of cast." I think she said something more, but my heart was pounding faster then Argo's hooves at that point, sooo...

[220] I sat down and listened with content. Someone asked her what her favorite episode of HERCULES or XENA was and She said. "I know this is the part where you get out the rotten tomatoes and cabbage to throw at me but I've never seen an entire episode of HERCULES or XENA." Then she ducked down and threw her arms over her head.

The Dream Comes True

Photo courtesy of Amy J. Putnam

[221] Now, for my dream come true. HUDSON! The video introduction was fab, we all cheered during "You don't just kill me and walk away." "Here comes trouble!" "You must have a death wish." "You know, it's funny, I think I do." Everyone was deathly still during the entire scene of "Let's play a little game, shall we." Then juxtapositioned "Who are you?" and "I'm an Angel." It ended with "Hudson Leick" pounding into the screen. Then she walks out. (holy centaur holy centaur holy centaur!!!!!!!!!) She's wearing this leather plastiky material for pants and the same material for her shirt (which ends right you know where) and high heeled black boots. We all stood up and cheered with savage delight. Man, that was so much fun! My entire group stands up with me when she asked for questions.

[222] "Someone just threw their phone number up here." (I did actually see a little slip of paper!) Someone asked her what kind of meditation she did, she looked out with this pouty look on her face and said "You guys are ruining my career."

[223] Ephany asked Hudson for a kiss, so Hudson looked out into the crowd, every one yelled no, but I would just like to say that I was yelling "Yes." Hudson looked at everyone and said "My stage. Come on up." So she did, and Hudson gave her one. Then Ephany whispered something to Hudson, well, not whispered, but with that crowd, I couldn't hear it. Hudson looked out to everyone and said: "She wants to sing a song for me, what do you think?" Everyone yelled "No." *I* yelled "Yes!" Then Hudson pointed to herself and mouthed "my stage." Then she pointed to the stage and mouthed it again.

Photo courtesy of Amy J. Putnam

[224] Ephany proceeded: "Whenever I hear this song, I think of you." So then she sang the song. Which I recognized as one from my 1998 KROQ CD. The first few line are as follows. "I am Thirty Two flavors and then some, taking my chances as they come...I am a poster girl with no poster..."

[225] When it was over, everybody cheered.

Photo courtesy of Amy J. Putnam

[226] Hudson walked over to my side of the stage and the cord for the microphone was still in the middle of the stage, so she gave this little annoyed scream that sounded so much like Callisto, well, it was cute. So she screams, and the cord gets pulled out, so then she has to plug it back in. Um someone asked her if she would do the scream, so we all do the scream, then she screams too. Eee! Fun! A fan asked her if she would go on a date with him and she said "I dunno, you'll have to ask my lover about that."

[27] Then it was my turn to get up there. Holy centaur holy centaur holy centaur holy centaur holy centaur, pretty much sums it up. (This is where the shirt and the rat come into play.) I said some pathetic form of a greeting then got right to it. "I like you so much I got a rat and named it after you." She looks at me, turns to the audience, cracks up (all I could see was her shoulders shaking.) Then she turns back to me in conversation form. "So, you have a rat, huh. And you named her Hudson, Cal-, Hudson Hudson." Two thousand heads turn to my direction and laugh in disbelief. I don't remember this, but I read the transcript and she also said "Well, I'm honored." Then she stepped closer and leaned in. EEK! "Well, that's love isn't it." I gave a trembling nod and a faint smile then managed to say: "Thank you." I used my hand for emphasis. Then she gave me this little twinkle of the eye and said "You're welcome." She used her hand in the same emphasis. Then: "I like your shirt, by the way, you have great taste!" I laughed and went back to my seat, with trembling hands.

Hudson and the Fan Club

Photo courtesy of Amy J. Putnam

[228] Later, the fan club took pictures with Hudson. So, I'm kneeling down behind Hudson, just like a Hudsonian should, and she looks straight at me, so I give a little wave. I stared back for a second, and said "Hey, Hudson!" Then everyone asked her to sign this and that (mostly the shirts on their backs and the convention badges.) So I grabbed my Hudson photo out of my pack and went back into the group. "Hudson." I summoned. Then she turned to me and signed my pic. (Which is framed and on my Hudson altar. Okay so my mom won't let me have candles in my room, my *desk*.) I knew somehow in my "Hudson Haze" that this was something big, so I tried to think of something cool to say, but ended up just ranting: "You're so cool, you're the best! "

[229] All in all, it was the best day of my life, and I would give both arms and my rat to do it again, but, then I wouldn't be able to type, and lifewithout Hudson (the rat) is not a life worth living.

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