|Oct. 24th, 2011 05:47 pm [Armageddon Expo Melbourne] - Meeting "The Lone Gunmen" |
Months ago when it was announced that Dean Haglund, Bruce Harwood and Tom Braidwood were headed down under for Armageddon Expo in Melbourne (held this past weekend) - it was a no brainer that I would go. Then lo and behold - it was announced that Gillian Anderson was headed down under for Johnny English Reborn. I was forced to choose. Ordinarily it would have been easily affordable with a bit of saving - but with an upcoming trip across the Pacific to Mecca (39 days to go) it was really impossible. In the end, the choice was made for me (Sydney/Gillian) not that you will ever hear a single complaint from me - I am very very thankful that I have some amazingly kind friends who saw the need for me to be a part of Armageddon - and they sprung for my return flights. Girls - I love you. (This is what the Phile community is all about! Friendship, and ultimately helping others!)
** Our story begins late on Friday 21/10 - Which also happens to be my mother's birthday. Daring not to skip mum's birthday - a late departure was taken out of Brisbane to the delightful Melbourne - a short 2 hour flight south. Arriving at the gate that was possibly the biggest distance from where I had to be, I hobbled through the terminal and met with the lovely Kylie - who had arrived about 30 minutes before me. We sat and chatted about the weekends upcoming amazing adventures while we waited for our chauffer, and gorgeous host for the weekend - Ros. Who pulled up in her cerulean blue phile-mobile a short time later, driving us to her gorgeous little house.
Plans to get organised and go to bed straight away failed, and I found myself closing my laptop and my head hitting my pillow at 3am. Whoops. Not good when you have pre-arranged to be awake at 6am for showers. And then, the set alarm did not go off - so Ros was out to wake me up at 6.45am. Great start. However, because we are super women, all three of us were dressed, ready and out the door by just after 7.30am. We drove along the water to town where we met a good bunch of our AXF girls and guys.
After a quick bite to eat - we walked through the Melbourne Convention Centre (Aka - Jeff's Shed) to join the queue to enter Armageddon Expo. Yes, the queue was out the door and well out onto the street - much much longer queue than Sydney Armageddon Expo that we attended earlier in the year (to meet the amazing lovely true gentleman, Lance Henriksen) - so it was probably about 20 minutes outside in the threatening rain. Getting inside and getting our GREEN wristbands - we then joined the queue for autograph/photo tickets. We did not anticipate that we would be in this queue for potentially two freaking hours! We had been standing in line for a good hour when I decided that if they guys were okay standing in line - I would go up and formally introduce myself to Dean Haglund (who played Langly in "The X-Files/The Lone Gunmen"- and I'm glad that I did because the three guys were just standing around waiting for people to come and have autographs done/say hi. Everyone was stuck in line! Also knowing that there was a good chance that we would miss the "Lone Gunmen" panel that was happening at 11am - the gorgeous Amanda said that she would wait in line for those of us who had cash and wanted things.
Giant "fucking" mess that was the Ticket Line Up.
After watching the Panel - which had some pretty great questions (some of which I managed to tweet about over at my twitter) - it was time to pose with the guys for photos. Now, photos posed with all three Lone Gunmen set you back $100. Standing in line to get my Saturday photo done, I realised that I had forgotten my "prop" - so I decided that I was going to need a Sunday photo as well. Thankfully - thanks to a generous donation from my family, I only had to pay for one. Stepping into the photobooth I was greeted by a smiling Dean who beamed "SANDI!" and who then introduced me to Tom and Bruce as "The creator of Aussie X-Files Fans @ Facebook". I will say, that Dean is freaking hilarious - Tom is so sweet, yet super shy - and Bruce is a gentleman. They were impressed that AXF had their own T-Shirts - and I told them at this point that they would all be "honarary members" and I had t-shirts for them that I would bring over to them later.
The Saturday "Professional" (Representing AXF) Shot with Dean, Tom and Bruce.
Next on the agenda - we grabbed lunch as a group and went and sat outside in the concourse area to kill some time before heading upstairs to the theatre to join another queue to wait for Dean's Improv Show. The Armageddon staff questioned why we were waiting up to an hour outside the theatre (obviously they have no concept of waiting for something so that you can get right up the front - yeah mondo bizzaro!).
I was warned by fans that has seen Dean's live improv show before that this was going to be very very funny. They didn't disappoint! This was the first time that they performed a Lone Gunman improv, and Bruce and Tom also participated in the skit "The Goverment Conspiracy of Balding" which random fans yelled out from the audience. First up - Ian (who yelled out the "Government" part - was asked up on stage and had to provide sound effects for the first part of the show. - Wow, I have never laughed so hard! At one stage, I had a coughing fit I was laughing so much. "Oh my gosh they have that top secret security system - listen to the sound that thing makes" ** buzz - buzz - warning - alert - alert - alert ** (spoken)
Next up on stage were Dean and Cheryl who had to provide words when tapped on the shoulder. There were some interesting things that came out of their mouths. Including Dogs (Stuffing a Dog in a test tube, that's EVIL) - "Say Seven" and AK-47. Earlier before they started the show, Dean had the audience write on pieces of paper - lines that would be randomly picked up during the next pieces - of course, the majority of the nerds wrote X-Files inspired lines down - and general ones about being amazing and geeky. And some of them got included:
- Eenie Meanie Chilli Beanie, the spirits are about to speak
- Sure, Fine (Fire), Whatever.
- Chris Carter is God.
- Your Kung-Fu is the best.
- "You find Mulder's porno stash"
- You see normality is overrated, Nerds Rule!
- Ha-ha SUCK IT - I'm normal. Comparitively Speaking!
- (The Shaft Theme Song)
- Did I ever tell you how much I love Chris Carter?
Next up, AXF Member Emma yelled out that Dean was going to be a scientist of "Chimps" - so she was invited up on stage to provide Langly's arms for the next portion of the improv - which was the Q&A Panel involving the Lone Gunmen, and reporters in the crowd. Very funny! There were girly hands, running like a girl, flailing, a single Scully tear, kung-fu karate chops and lots and lots of pointing. Very hilarious. Plus, she got to hug Dean for the whole scene. ; )
To conclude, Dean said that this was one of the most surreal experiences he had ever had. And, they recorded the whole show and said it would be available for purchase the following day at their table - and all three of them would sign it for those who purchased a copy! Pretty neat!
After the improv - the majority of the AXFers went back downstairs to talk to Dean, Tom and Bruce as Dean had brought across to Australia a whole heap of "exclusive" merchandise for purchase ( Got Ringo? T-Shirts etc) and to "bid" on (Scripts, artwork etc) - Very very cool, and I am pretty sure that over the weekend the nerds cleaned him out of all the merchandise he brought across. We left Saturday's full day of events behind and went into the city for some dinner at "Mrs Parmas" which specialises in Chicken Parmigiana. After dinner a few of us went on and had a drink (or two) at a hotel before calling it a night.
The next day - the tired and weary Philes who had decided to attend day two dragged themselves back to the convention centre. Ros and I decided that we would completely embrace our nerd and dress like various versions of Scully. She was "Fight The Future" early Scenes (FBI Jacket) Scully - and I was "Fight The Future" Later Scenes (Suit) Scully. I stood in line and got another photo token so I could have my "prop" photo taken. To kill some time, a few of us went to the Nicholas Brendon (Buffy) panel - and let me just say, pretty much every person that went up and asked a question - asked for a hug as well. So, it slowed things down in the Q&A. I did feel kinda guilty about taking up a seat - but my foot at this point was throbbing and it's not like I didn't enjoy the panel. In fact, it made me kind of want to watch Buffy.
Next - it was time to head back downstairs and pose for my next photo - I will let it speak for itself:
Both Tom and Dean took photos of me in my outfit - which I thought was pretty neat - and they have both agreed to send me their photos - so I am looking forward to that immensely. Speaking to Dean, he said they were then being forced to take a two hour lunch break - so if we wanted to go over and talk to them again around 3pm - they would be there. We took this opportunity to head outside again and have some lunch - and then to go in and explore the convention as we really didn't get time to explore it properly the previous day. Had some photos taken, including "Scully in the Delorian" from Back To The Future - grabbed some "Big Bang Theory" merchandise (A Soft Kitty T-Shirt) - and went and got an autograph for my lovely friend Amy who wasn't able to make it down to the con.
We went back and chatted to Dean, Tom and Bruce for quite awhile. I kept saying that I didn't want to hold up the line, but they kept saying that no one was coming up now - so we stayed at the table for what I estimate was probably around 45 minutes to an hour. They signed some merchandise for the Aussie X-Files Fundraiser (which I was extremely grateful for) and Tom even promised that when he got home, that he would send some things for the auction (which I was extremely appreciative and thankful about!!) - Kirsty made the guys taste Vegemite Chips - Dean was a fan, while Tom and Bruce were quite dubious about it. Very hilarious.
As we had looming departures - we all said our goodbyes to the guys. I was given the opportunity to give them all hugs. Fangirling was allowed according to Dean. : )
And then for the worst part of the weekend - saying goodbye to the Philes. Always the worst part. The amazing Hailey drove us to the airport which was really sweet - and then Kylie, Melissa and I waited in the Qantas Terminal until it was Departure time. This concludes another amazing fangirly geek weekend - and what is potentially the last meet up for the year for 2011. It has been a spectacular year for Aussie X-Files Fans @ Facebook - successful, exciting and star filled. The only thing that will put the cherry on top this year, will be a certain greenlight that we are waiting for.
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