Whoosh! Issue 57 - June 2001

By Nora O. Manzanares
Content copyright © 2001 held by author
WHOOSH! edition copyright © 2001 held by Whoosh!
963 words

From Ho-Hum-Land to the Xenaverse (01-02)
Defining the Indefinable (03-07)
A Personal Epiphany (08-09)


From Ho-Hum-Land to the Xenaverse

One way to get to the head of the autograph line

The Xenaverse can be an exciting place!

[01] I had never been to a convention associated with a TV show. I had no real desire to attend one before the Pasadena 2001 Xena Convention (May 4-6, 2001). However, having been a Xena fan for so long, the pull to attend was just too strong for me to dismiss and so I made all the arrangements to get there (or be square).

[02] My journey through the three days of activities was one of discovery that had so many levels, I do not know where to begin. I found, much to my surprise, a whole world of wonder, and insightful interaction with individuals from around the WORLD! Wow, how amazing is that? It was as if I had stepped off a bus from ho-hum-land and onto a place where true support and companionship were the rule of thumb. It just happened to be filled to the brim with all things Xena.

Defining the Indefinable

In the Land of Lost Souls at the Picture Table

Xena running around in a dreamscape in a kimono is kind of indefinable too...

[03] It would be easy to begin by singing the praise of all the guests and their appearance, all the activities made available, and on and on, but it goes much further than that. This time anyway. Maybe it was the sense that this was the largest convention to date, and probably so because of the series ending this season. It could have also been because of the opportunity to see the show's two stars, Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor, together on stage for the first and quite possibly, last time.

[04] This being my first convention also no doubt contributed to my sense of wonder, but I also wanted to understand the thinking of my fellow convention participants. I made the effort to talk to people about their presence there and their feelings about being at this particular place at this particular time. The investment, especially material, that individuals put into attending these conventions is remarkable. The return on that effort must be awesome in order for them to continue attending. I now understand why they do.

[05] It was astounding to listen to the stories of past efforts, life changes due to the show and these gatherings, new and old friends coming together to celebrate this common denominator, and above all the sense of acceptance they felt from the cast and crew of the show.

[06] This spoke volumes to the above-and-beyond efforts of the guest celebrities and their sense of compassion for the fans. No where have I seen this kind of interaction and acknowledgement between celebrity and fan. It lead me to believe that this was not just a place where a guest came in did their thing, got reimbursed, and left without a second thought. These people will appear again two or three more times this year at another convention and actually remember the fans.

[07] That provided some food for thought on the whole convention idea and its value to the participants. However, I would also venture to say that the Xena conventions are set apart from the others just by the level of fan base it attracts. This came across loud and clear in the often-heard sad discussions about these events continuing after the series ends, a major topic during the three days.

A Personal Epiphany

Drew Barrymore stand-in

We said epiphany not Ephiny

[08] Attending the Pasadena 2001 Xena Convention was one of the most profound experiences that I have had in a long time. It provided me with a sense of belonging to a group that shares a common thread. A place where one is safe in debating something as trivial as whether Xena wore her boots or not in a particular scene, episode, season or year. It provided a place where giving was the theme. There was the giving to charitable organizations through the auctions, the giving of the guest to the fan, the fan to the guest, and to a higher degree, from the fan to the fan.

[09] To everyone at the convention it was a time to be transported to a place of comfort and safety. I know that may sound somewhat surreal but for three days it was somewhat surreal. That was the reality, and a reality that I now understand why we would want to relive it over and over again.


Nora O. Manzanares Nora O. Manzanares

I was born in Los Angeles California, and except for a five year period spent in the military, have lived all my life in the Land of Enchantment - New Mexico. I spent many years working in Corporate America before determining that I needed to move on and do some more "heartfelt" work. I currently am State Director of Adult Basic Education for the State Department of Education and oversee the adult literacy programs for the state of New Mexico. It is as fulfilling a job as anyone can have. There is a huge creative side to me though, and as I continue work on my ever-elusive book, I indulge in other creative efforts such as photography and poetry. I am single, love to travel, discover new adventures, and just adore my family and friends. I have a college degree from the University of New Mexico in Psychology and Communication and strive to continuously educate myself on anything and everything I can get my hands on. When we stop learning - we die!
Favorite episode: ONE AGAINST AN ARMY
Favorite line: Xena: "Gabrielle's gonna freak." ANIMAL ATTRACTION
First episode seen: SINS OF THE PAST
Least favorite episode: TSUNAMI

Return to Top Return to Index