After sleeping in until nearly noon, I groggily pulled myself out of bed and had some coffee. I spent a few hours getting ready into my costume, as I wanted everything to look just right. I probably could have spent an hour or so at the Celebration, but instead Belle and I went directly to TGIF's to secure our space. In retrospect, a few phone calls to the restaurant probably would have sufficed until an hour or so before dinnertime. Anyway, we sat at the bar for nearly three hours as a few people started trickling in. The first to show up was Darth Cleo, who sat at the bar with us.
Close to 7 p.m., most of our party began showing up and it was time to be seated. Soon everybody had arrived and the dinner officially began. ScottMaul, being our guest of honor, kept those around him amused with his antics. It was hilarious watching a Sith Lord make a futile attempt to disentangle himself from streamers hanging from his horns.
Soon it was time for our Darth Maul Gift Bag Raffle. ScottMaul did the honors, utilizing Dirty Tom's trooper helmet as the ticket mixer. The first number was called and it was only one digit off from my own ticket. Unfortunately, the person holding that ticket had either departed or did not speak up, so another ticket was drawn. We were all very happy when we discovered that Belle Bayard had won! Personally, I was relieved that I didn't have to haul all that Maul loot back in my small suitcase. The gift bag was enormous! Belle could practically start her own Maul Boutique. The final drawing was for a date with ScottMaul and you might know, a guy won! I don't think either one were too thrilled about the outcome.
ScottMaul then gave his Guest of Honor speech and then it was time to head off for the photo session in the hallway of the hotel. ScottMaul graciously and patiently posed for several pictures with each Sithster. We had loads of fun, especially when ScottMaul utilized the floor air vent to cool himself off. Do you think he might have been looking for the Jedi who escaped down the ventilation shaft?
After photos were taken and most of the dinner party had left, we were then led up to a room in the hotel where JediTalk.com was doing their live radio and web cam broadcast. They first interviewed Killeer's friend Andy, who was costumed as Boba Fett, and ScottMaul. They then summoned me over to stand next to ScottMaul in front of the web cam and proceeded to ask a few questions. This time, I think some intelligible words actually came out of my mouth. When asked what the highlight of the trip was so far, without hesitation I replied that it was meeting all of these wonderful friends that I'd been interacting with for months and years on the Internet. We also seized the opportunity to plug DMEB2.
After the interview, we returned to the lobby, where I videotaped ScottMaul in various personas, such as Gay Maul, Billy-Bob Maul, and Ghetto Maul. It was hilarious and is my favorite segment of the videotaped portion of the weekend. ScottMaul also did his presentation of Darth Maul's classic de-cloaking scene, which I also captured on tape. It was quite impressive.
We then walked back to the Hyatt for a few cocktails (okay, so we enjoy drinking!). Dirty Tom and Clutch were there and I seized the opportunity to have pictures taken with them.
I was flattered when several patrons asked to take photos of Belle and I in costume. Why doesn't anyone want my photograph when I'm not in costume?? Huh? ;) All too soon, it was time for sleep.
Belle had told me the night before that she was going to get up extra early to secure a place in line for Carrie Fisher's autograph. I asked her to call me as soon as she was finished, as I wanted to sleep in (does anyone see a pattern here?) and we'd return to the Convention later in costume.
At about noon and right on cue, Belle called and said that she still had not seen Carrie, but she had asked a fellow fan to hold her place in line so that she could come back to change into costume and hook up with me. This meant that I could get Carrie's autographed photo as well! I will be eternally grateful to Belle for making this happen. Since I did not have autograph coupons, Belle generously gave one of hers to me. I really owe her!
Anyway, as we were waiting in line, several fellow fans asked to take our picture, which I thought was cool. I had a feeling that people might enjoy my costume, but I had no idea how well received it would be. Once inside the private room where Carrie was signing, her assistant asked to photograph Belle and I! Carrie asked about our costumes and Belle explained that we were members of the Darth Maul Estrogen Brigade, which Carrie found to be peculiar. Hehehehehehe
Autographed photos in hand, we began to exit the room and I could hear Carrie still mumbling in her comically sarcastic voice, "The Darth Maul Estrogen Brigade. Hmmm..." I believe we left somewhat of an impression on her!
There were several more celebrity autographs Belle had wanted, so we headed for the main exhibit hall. En route, we were asked by dozens of fellow fans to snap our photo. It was so flattering and fun--and quite an honor. We made our way through the merchandise area and to the main autograph signing area, where all Belle had to do was show her coupons and the security guy let us right in. There were no lines and hardly any fans in there, which was a pleasant surprise. Belle--being something of a walking Star Wars Encyclopedia--led me around the celebrity tables and explained who they were and what their respective character was. I recognized many of them, but there were a few that I was clueless about.
Shortly after we'd entered the autograph area, a pretty young woman approached us and asked to take our picture. At the same moment, an older gentleman also asked to take a picture with us. I found out a few moments later that they were both celebrity guests! It was beyond flattering. I believe the young woman is the actress who played Barriss Offee and the older gentleman turned out to be Julian Glover (that's when I recognized him from the shuttle waiting area). While we were chatting with him, I noticed another actor that kept staring in our direction. He had this intense presence that was impossible to ignore. Once Julian returned to his table, this other actor then approached us. He introduced himself as Angus MacInnes, the actor who played Gold Leader in A New Hope. We chatted for a few minutes and then he invited us to the impromptu after-hours party at the Lotus. I asked if we should come in costume and he replied, "Sure!" :smile:
After Angus had returned to his table, Belle and I resumed our tour and quest for autographs. Ken Colley, who played Admiral Piett, approached us and we chatted with him for a while. Here we were meeting and chatting with all of these actors and I failed to snap even one photo! We were asked to pose for so many pictures, that it simply escaped me. It also didn't help that I was so overwhelmed and flattered by the attention that I could barely speak, let alone operate my camera.
We spent the next several minutes obtaining autographs for Belle (I can't believe I didn't even get Angus' autograph!) and chatting with actors and fellow fans. At one point, a rather hideous looking Maul imitation approached us with a cameraman and did an interview with Belle and I. When asked if I'd like to partake in his movie, I asked if death would be involved and he replied, "Only my own." He then asked me if I knew the lyrics to any Kizz songs (I don't), at which time I turned to Belle and asked how her singing skills were. To my relief, he concluded the interview without breaking out into song.
We also ran into Laura (a.k.a. Nilla) and a few of her friends. Then a nice looking young man named Spat invited us to the party, so it felt good to obtain invitations from one of the actors as well as the party organizer himself. We chatted with a few more people who were personal assistants to the celebrity guests or were there in a similar capacity.
Celebration II was coming to a close, so we left the autograph area and went to look for MaulMaus, Dark Lady and ScottMaul to no avail. We were saddened to find out later that the reason we could not find them was because of a family emergency. As we were walking around the convention area, many more fellow fans asked to take photos of us and with us. It thrills me to no end to wonder just how many people have seen my photo.
Four o'clock and the end of C2 arrived way too rapidly, and it was time to head back to our hotel rooms for some rest before the party. Still dressed in costume, I experienced some interesting and flattering reactions from both housekeeping and room service who had little clue as to what Star Wars was.
At eight o'clock, Belle and I headed for the Lotus, which fortunately was located just a few blocks away. We arrived a bit early and there were just a few people there at that time. We headed upstairs to the bar to get a cocktail and mingle with fans. A few minutes later, Spat--the man who organized the party--announced that the celebrity guests were going to be signing autographs downstairs if we were interested. Belle had wanted to obtain a few more, so we headed on down. This time I had my camera ready for photos!
As we entered the autograph signing area, Julian Glover greeted me and kissed me on each cheek. He then said it was my turn, so I gently kissed his right cheek, at which time he said, "No, you're not doing it right," and pointed to each cheek to be kissed. He was such a delightful gentleman. I then asked if I could get a photo with both he and Ken Colley, and they both graciously agreed. It is one of my favorite photos of the entire weekend. Belle also got an identical shot with both actors.
After obtaining autographs, Belle and I then took a seat at an empty table adjacent the autograph area. A few minutes later, a photographer from Star Wars Insider approached and asked if he could photograph us! I thought it was appropriate that while he snapped our photo, Maul was doing his thing on the TV screen (they were showing Episode I). The photographer thanked us and then said he would return later with release forms. Just then, Angus MacInnes arrived and smiled as he spotted me, making a beeline for our table!
Taking a seat next to me, we began chatting. I was so intimidated and tongue tied that I asked something silly like, "So what do you do in Scotland?" He replied that he is an actor (oh, gee, is that why you were signing autographs earlier??) and that he likes to garden, among other things. I said something really lame like, "So that sums it up?" Realizing that he might have taken that remark offensively, I tried to save myself by adding, "Sounds like an interesting life." Gawd!! I was trying to pull one foot out of my mouth while shoving in the other. Silence. No reply. I'm sure Angus was not amused. I then changed the subject and we ended up talking about the weather for Monday. When I remarked that it is supposed to drizzle, Angus asked me, "What are you, a weather guru," or something like that (okay, was he being a smart-ass or is it that British dry sense of humor?). I chuckled and replied, "No, I checked out the weather forecast." Correct me if I'm wrong, but they do have weather reports in Scotland, don't they? Or is it cloudy all the time, so weather reports are redundant? Sorry.... Moving right along....
About that time, the Star Wars Insider photographer returned with the releases for Belle and I to fill out. He also wanted a description of our costumes, so I started mentally articulating an appropriate description and writing it down on the form. Angus then excused himself while we filled out the forms, saying that he had to take care of some business and would catch up to us later. Whatever, Angus. :rolls eyes:
After completing the forms and watching a bit more of the duel on TV, Belle said that she wanted to dance, so we proceeded upstairs. I did not feel like dancing, so I took photos instead.
At one point, she climbed inside one of the cages and I took photos of that as well. One guy kept bugging me to get inside one of the cages, so I finally agreed--for photos only.
After an hour or so, we ran into Dirty Tom. I told him that we were tired and were going to leave. After admiring his good looks all weekend, I finally felt brave enough to give him a peck on the cheek and a hug goodbye. Woohoo! He really is a nice guy, as are all the Troopers, and it was sad saying farewell knowing I would not likely see them again for some time.
Belle and I agreed that we wanted to seek out Angus to thank him for inviting us. As soon as we turned around, we saw him approaching us, as he had been looking for us as well. He was accompanied by Spat and wanted to take pictures with Belle and I. At this point, Angus had a few cocktails in him and seemed a bit less rigid. Still, it was difficult to hear each other above the loud music. Spat proceeded to take photos of Angus and I in a semi-embrace standing next to Belle.
Afterwards, I told Angus that I needed to get going as I had an early flight in the morning. He quipped, "Why don't you just stay up all night?" Now he decides to get a sense of humor! Blushing and feeling sheepish, I smiled and turned my head to look at Belle. Angus and I exchanged a few more words before saying goodbye, then Belle and I headed out. I should have at least stayed until the party ended at 1 a.m. (we departed at midnight). I don't know what I was thinking--one might accuse me of turning into a pumpkin at the stroke of midnight! It's my only regret of the entire weekend--not staying until the end of the party. I probably could have had a more meaningful conversation with Angus had I stayed.
Anyway, the next morning, I opened the drapes to find that my weather prediction was dead-on. So there, Angus! Hmmph!
After getting ready and packing my suitcase, I headed downstairs to catch my limo ride to the airport. It was so sad leaving the lovely Marriott, the gracious city of Indy, the wonderful people I had met, and going home to reality. Fortunately, my flight was smooth, there was no traffic as I drove from the airport to home (thanks in part to the Kings game in progress), and my cat was SO happy to see me. She cooed and meowed joyfully the entire evening, apparently very relieved that I had not abandoned her. And did I mention I'm a Kings fan? :mischievous grin:
I had the following week off to recuperate, but felt so dispirited, as most certainly other attendees have. Failing to have taken photos of Angus and I together, I was thrilled to stumble upon Spat's website documenting the entire Celebration weekend, including the VIP party on Sunday.
Returning to reality and work has been dismal to say the least, but I will never forget my fairy tale Star Wars Experience. It was the most incredible time of my life, thanks to all the great friends I met and hung out with, the other fellow fans who were so nice and friendly, and in getting to rub shoulders with the actors at the party.
Thanks to all for a dream vacation! I look forward to partying with all of you again at DragonCon or wherever our common love for Star Wars takes us.
May The Dark Side of The Force Be With You
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