A Modern TARDIS Traveller

The phrase “modern TARDIS traveller” popped into my head, and about 90 minutes later this followed. I’m not going to apologize to Gilbert and Sullivan: they’re cool.

I am the very model of a modern TARDIS traveller,
I am a timey-wimey-wibbly-wobbly plot unraveller,
I know the queens of Venus, and I fight the villains terrible
The Daleks and the Cybermen in battle armor wearable;

I’m very well acquainted, too, with genius spatio-temporal,
With Omega and Rassilon and others far less sensible,
I understand the tricks of navigating ’round the Time Vortex… (erm… erm…)
But still have some confusion ’bout the motives of the fairer sex!

(But still have some confusion ’bout the motives of the fairer sex – but still have some confusion ’bout the motives of the fairer sex – but still have some confusion ’bout the motives of the fairer-fairer sex!)

From Earth I’m pledged to keep marauding nightmares safely far away,
Including massed invasion by the Time Lord planet Gallifrey
And as a timey-wimey-wibbly-wobbly plot unraveller,
I am the very model of a modern TARDIS traveller!

February: A Con Odyssey

Just did Farpoint in Baltimore, and MystiCon in Roanoke back to back. Both cons are five hours away from my home. Pro tip: don’t do this.

Farpoint was the second stop for Luna-C, so as usual I spent most of the weekend preparing for the performance in one way or another. Of course, I simultaneously love live performing from the depths of my soul and it triggers my anxieties as only a job interview can, so it’s both relief and regret when the show is done. Regret must win, though, since I’m always eager for the next show. We premiered my “Lonely Villain” skit which I think is quite funny; and I got to play Scotty again, which has been one of my lifelong dreams.

I also premiered the My Little Pony “Twilight Sparkle” costume at Farpoint, and I must say it was a pretty big hit. I’ve known since the fandom took off that I would need an MLP costume before long, so of course I had to do it in my own special fashion.

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Back from Shore Leave!

The new car behaved itself well! Much less general wear on a car = much better gas mileage, as I made Baltimore and back on only a tank and a half. Dwight and Dawn were excellent company: among other things, I got to hear a Duran Duran album I hadn't picked up yet. Huyndais handle differently with three people and a trunk of con luggage in them than they do with one, something I'm not yet completely used to.

The Hunt Valley no-longer-Marriott is an interesting hotel. Every year I manage to get lost in their hall layout at least two or three times, and combining that with the eye-searing carpet makes me suspect that it will be a rough place when the stars are right. Also, the room was too darn humid the whole time. Clothing in my still-packed bag felt a bit damp this morning.

The con itself was a lovely time. I picked up a nice Ron Weasley wand replica for the "Warehouse 9 3/4" skit and a replacement UFP patch for my Trek flight jacket. Didn't get to hit the vendor area much, which no doubt was good for my wallet; but I attended an interesting costuming panel and was a panelist on another, got many good costume photos of Kara that I must send her, and of course performed with Luna-C.

I glitched twice during my first skit, though I was assured it was unnoticeable from the audience. Phew! The other three went nice and smooth, and in fact I think the Holmes and Watson podcast skit got more laughs than ever. From a backstage perspective, the skits I wasn't in seemed to work very well, with good comic timing and plenty of laughs. I believe this was one of our strongest performances! (And we got to meet Kate Mulgrew very very briefly backstage beforehand, which I enjoyed!)

Afterwards, I got hit in the head with being 43 years old: I needed a nap. I wanted to watch the Masquerade but my body wasn't into it. We did head down to the Ten-Forward party at 11… the music mostly stank, but I finally got to put a name to Paulette Guillory-Gardner, a lovely lady with whom I've been crossing convention paths often. My Alice costume went over well, and I even got a picture or two with a White Rabbit before it was time to head back up to bed.

In the morning, we headed down for the Luna-C breakfast and wrap-up. Dana Stewart gave me exactly the Doctor Who costume idea I'd been looking for, complete with a bad pun to go with it – win-win. I grabbed a couple more click-base random starships, but I think from now on I might spend the extra couple of bucks and buy the specific ones I want from eBay. I don't like getting duplicates, when I don't have lots of folks interested in trading.

The drive home was too long, frankly. The company was still good, but I just wanted to be home. Still, made it in safe by 7:30, said my goodbyes to Dwight and Dawn, stuffed a sandwich in my mouth and was unconscious by 9:30. All in all: quite the good weekend.

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In which I succumb to Lunacy

Saturday night, I got to fuel an old addiction. Like many other addictions, the experience was thrilling and draining. It also cost a few bucks, but at least this addiction doesn’t do any physical damage. Really, I don’t remember when I was first bitten by the acting bug, but I know I was quite young. I understood even back then that some people got to share their games of make-believe with the entire world, and that sounded to me like incredible fun.

Some years later, 1986 or ’87 I think, I attended Stellarcon with a crowd of new friends from a club named VTSFFC. We learned that their Saturday afternoon masquerade was desperately short of entries, and I remembered seeing at RoVaCon a group called “Doctors In the House” that performed costumed science-fiction comedy skits. Inspired, I grabbed what little I’d brought for hall costuming, and created the “Starfleet Vice” troupe. We had a great deal of fun over the next few years, but after many performances at RoVaCon, Technicon, and SciCon, we moved on to other things, and Starfleet Vice faded away.

'Starfleet Vice' - RoVaCon 1987 Starfleet Vice t-shirt graphic
“Starfleet Vice” – RoVaCon 1987
From left: Heather McLaughlin as “Kei” from the Dirty Pair, Paul Danielsen as officer “Crock”, Sonoko Konishi as “Yuri” from the Dirty Pair, and me as officer “Stubble”. I don’t even remember what the skit was that year.
Starfleet Vice t-shirt graphic
From the left, the characters are “Ruth” (Beth Lipes), “Dr. Whizbang” (Mark Haymaker), “Cmdr. Paisley” (Tom Monaghan), “Stubble” (me), “Crock” (Paul Danielsen), and “Herald Harold” (Mike Layne). Eventually, Tom acquired a paisley “Next Generation” Starfleet uniform. Audience members were driven blind.



Further years later, I learned that my VTSFFC friend Helen Madden had become involved with “Luna-C”, a group that I later learned had evolved from the old “Doctors”. I enjoyed Luna-C’s performances at many cons over the next several years, and often felt twinges of nostalgia for the stage – by then, I’d done “You Can’t Take it With You”, “Arsenic and Old Lace”, “Gentleman’s Agreement“, and “Space Rogues“. But I had plenty else on my plate and never seriously concerned myself with those old memories.

Well, at this year’s MarsCon, I was socializing with Luna-C members after the performance, and I jokingly suggested that with the hall costume I was wearing I could have substituted for one of the players. A little further into the conversation, and it wasn’t a joke. So, this weekend I attended a convention I hadn’t planned to hit in 2010. I had an amazing time, and had my first hit of serious memorized-lines-and-costumes acting in ages. It felt goooood.

They gave me six skits to do: an AFLAC parody (I wasn’t the duck), a “Fringe” skit where I played Peter, an SG:Universe scene where I played Dr. Rush, a James Bond / Austin Powers back-and-forth (guess who I played, baby), and two final skits in which I fulfilled a longtime ambition to play the Fourth Doctor. (I tried for days to get a Tom Baker voice going, and I failed; but Deb told me during the show that she thought I had the cadences of his voice nailed. Ego-boost +30!) I didn’t have as much rehearsal time as I’d hoped, and I know I mised some lines, but they covered for me wonderfully. I don’t think I did a bad job at all!

Now RavenCon is coming up, and both Starr and I will be joining Luna-C there if all goes as planned. Yep. Won’t be kicking this addiction any time soon.

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