Whoosh! Online Edition Whoosh! On The Road



XENITES DO NEW YORK
By Bonnie Fitzpatrick [01-05]
(738 Words)





[01] On an overcast morning in February the Xenites gathered. Between 9:00 and 9:30 on February 21st, an army dressed in Xena hats and T-shirts descended upon the Marriott Marquis Hotel. It was time for the second NYC HERC/XENA CONVENTION.

[02] The attendees came from all over the tri-state region, California and Canada. Lynn Patti summed it up for a lot of the attendees when she said she came to see the stars. But "the most important thing is meeting other Xenites. Seeing people from all over the country and the world. People you talk to on the Internet. It's amazing." Aliddel echoed those sentiments when she said the reason she came was commonality. " I want to bond with other people who have similar interests to me." Diane (DSTracker) enjoys the behind the scenes presentations. She also likes meeting the stars and "thanking them for giving me hours of enjoyment." First-time con-goer Linda came because of GREASE. She and her partner went to see the play, met Lucy and had a blast. Another first-time attendee, Mr. Bean, wanted to see what a convention was like. He was excited to see the stars.

[03] Because they rarely, if ever, see each other between XENA functions, attendees spent the time catching up while waiting in the check-in line. Once checked in, it was a short escalator ride up to the vendors and convention activities. Every conceivable XENA-related product was available at the merchandise tables. There were also trade card game demonstrations being held. The XENA and HERCULES Official Fan Clubs were represented; as were the Tim Thomerson and Ted Raimi clubs. The lines to buy merchandise were really long. Attendees spent the time amiably enough talking and eyeing the merchandise as they decided what they needed or wanted to fill in their XENA collections. Interestingly, the closer they got to the merchandise, the less they talked. Once they were actually buying, conversation ceased altogether as they concentrated on the task at hand. It didn't take very long for previously empty hands to fill with bags. Those not shopping were milling around looking at the merchandise and trying to spot familiar faces in the crowd.

[04] This convention was an abridged version. Scheduled to start at 10:00 am, the first official activity didn't start until 10:40 am. Activities included music videos, guest stars (Danielle Cormack and Ted Raimi), a trivia contest, a costume contest and a charity auction. News crews were walking around interviewing some of the people in costume. The detail and quality of the costumes was really impressive. Highlights of the charity auction included a copy of THE QUEST (37/213) script signed by both Lucy and Renee that went for $400, and a Lucy signed photo plaque which went for $160. There was a new blooper tape shown (at least new to those not fortunate enough to have been in Burbank). At about 2:00 pm Ted Raimi finished his time on-stage and he and Danielle started signing autographs. As soon as a row of people emptied their seats to join the autograph line, the seat numbers were changed as the room was prepared to host a STAR TREK convention.

[05] The reviews for this convention were decidedly mixed. Compared to other conventions, this crowd was subdued. On one hand, there were attendees who really enjoyed themselves. For example, Mr. Bean really liked the videos and enjoyed the stars. Terry, another first timer, had a great time and is looking forward to attending other conventions in the future. Several people remarked that they didn't have as good a time as they expected. They complained that the conventions had become formula productions. They wished Creation would try a little variety; some variation to the tried and true. Some resented the rushed nature of the convention. They felt it was crammed into a STAR TREK convention schedule as an excuse to sell merchandise. But what seemed to bother people the most was the erratic attitude toward fans displayed by the folks running the convention. For example, prior to the start of the convention everyone was lined up waiting to check in. One of the Creation staff members started screaming belligerently at everyone in line to get them to move to another line. Several other staff members, standing behind her, started applauding and laughing. But, regardless of the time they had, everyone I spoke with indicated they would be attending future conventions.


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