Whoosh! Online Edition Whoosh! On The Road



I LOST MY THRILL AT CHERRY HILL
By JudyWN [34-41]
(1187 Words)






CONVENTIONS NOT MEETING EXPECTATIONS [34]
THE SETUP [35]
THE STARS [36]
SEASON PREVIEWS [37]
MERCHANDISE AND MEMORABILIA [38]
THE AUCTION [39]
THE XENA SPIRIT [40]
LAST IMPRESSIONS [41]






Conventions Not Meeting Expectations

[34] The Cherry Hill Convention was my fourth in the past year, and although I love XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS as much as anyone, I find that the Conventions are falling short of fulfilling my expectations. The stars are great and offer much of their time to the fans but the Creation team seems to be indifferent as to what the fans want.

The Setup

[35] My first Convention was Valley Forge and there we were given the opportunity to take as many pictures as we liked and getting an autograph was not as difficult as it is now. The thrill of seeing Renee was matched by the opportunity to talk with and spend time with her mom at the ROC fan club picnic. This all lent itself to the great experience of the Convention. The Cherry Hill convention was very structured with little exposure to the stars. Even trying to take pictures is a big hassle. The seating was poorly set up in that even people that paid for preferred seating where pushed way back in the hall. I myself paid for general admission tickets and was only four rows behind preferred seats and six rows behind gold seats. I know this happens at all Conventions but at Cherry Hill that meant being only six rows from the door. The hall was long and narrow, a poor choice for a convention where the main goal is to see the stars.

The Stars

[36] The time it took for Hudson and Danielle to sign autographs eliminated many that wanted them but could not wait. I know that an autograph is not guaranteed but we should at least have the opportunity to obtain one as we did at all the previous Conventions. Hudson, with her usual open and giving heart moved into the lobby of the hotel to take pictures with fans and she was as personable as ever. No one can ever be disappointed when seeing her on stage. She even brought her parents up on stage to answer questions about her. I enjoyed that very much including the comments between mother and daughter. They were cute and off the cuff, which is just what we as fans, crave. I spent my time during this exchange between them trying to get a good picture of them and failed because we were hassled by the Creation staff. If they were not telling us to move away they were standing so as to block any good view. I understand the need for crowd control but why have a man that is very large stand in the center aisle for the entire convention. There were much smaller people working there that would have allowed much better viewing around them. This person was only doing his or her job but effectively turned into a wall that no one could see around. Danielle did a great job and performed a rap song she made up in the car on the way to the convention. This type of spontaneous interacting and entertainment is the hallmark of a great experience at a convention. Alexandra and Karl were entertaining as well. They eagerly answered questions about themselves and the show. They were both very sweet and congenial while signing autographs.

Season Previews

[37] Sharon Delaney did a good job as usual, but I am not sure I understand having her present pictures of the new season when she doesn't really know what she is looking at. Having her a little more informed would have made that whole segment of the convention much more interesting. I don't want to know what's going to happen in every episode but knowing what I am looking at when being shown pictures makes them more enjoyable. We saw many pictures of the coming season with very different costumes, but Sharon had little to no information to offer as to what these meant. The season previews have gotten less informative with each convention. I think someone in Sharon's position should be privy to more information than she seems to be. I know she goes out of her way to answer questions and help the fans and I think Universal should respect that and offer a little more assistance. At Valley Forge and Burbank the stars themselves and the editors talked about what was coming next, at Cherry Hill no one knew what was happening. All the stars are off the show or are in so few of them that they are really unaware of new episode content. This gives the impression no-one really knows what is going on in New Zealand. Actually, I learned more from the little blurb in TV Guide than I did from Sharon and the Convention and it only cost me $1.19.

Merchandise and Memorabilia

[38] The vendors at previous conventions were many with diverse wares to sell but this number has dwindled with each convention. Cherry Hill had only one vendor that was not Creation. The pictures and shirts offered by Creation are great but they are starting to move towards larger pictures that most people can not afford. Part of the fun of being a fan is obtaining memorabilia and being exposed to all the items offered. There was a limited offering at Cherry Hill and what was there was very expensive. Fifty dollars for a denim shirt with a Xena logo patch on it is way out of line if you ask me. One of the golden rules of retail is don't overprice yourself if you want to sell anything. Creation needs to remember that.

The Auction

[39] The auction was for a local charity and was well worth the time it took. Anything that raises money for people and is in the spirit of giving is in line with Lucy and Renee's wishes. Auctions that do not support a charity I feel have no business at one of these conventions. The fans of XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS have raised several thousands of dollars for various causes and that in itself makes me proud to be a fan.

The XENA Spirit

[40] The spirit of this program and all the people that love it so, is what keeps people coming to the conventions. Being able to meet with and get pictures of the stars makes us feel that we make an impact, share an experience, and feel closer to the people that entertain us throughout the year. I enjoy the opportunity to say "Thank You" to all the people that I see on my television every week and to share my love for the series with people that understand how I feel. I think Creation needs to understand that we the fans want exposure to the stars and each other not just merchandise at any price.

Last Impressions

[41] Over all, this last convention left the impression that Creation has forgotten the real reason we all travel the many miles that we do. It is not for merchandise, it is to share our love for a series that has in as many different ways as there are people involved, touched our lives and changed us forever. Our love for the series will go on even if our enthusiasm for the conventions wanes.



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