The last day of Gallifrey One is always bittersweet. You’re still enjoying the convention, but you know the flight home is just around the corner. This year, my biggest con-responsibility was on Sunday, so it didn’t feel like as much of a wind-down as it sometimes does. Because of that responsibility (and the related nerves), I didn’t make it to any of the AM panels I meant to attend. Instead, I spent the morning almost-forcibly sleeping in and being as laid-back and leisurely about getting ready as I could. Then I sat in the sun by the pool with Deb and Katy to calm my nerves as much as possible.
The responsibility I was calming (and steeling) myself for was my first main-stage interview! Thus I also read through my list of possible questions several times as I soaked up the rays. I wasn’t properly terror-nervous like I had been for my first two on-stage (smaller-stage) interviews last year, but I was still a bit uncertain about it.
By the time I walked down the hall to the backstage area, I was feeling pretty good. That goodness only improved when I met my interviewee, casting director Andy Pryor, backstage. He was friendly and easygoing, so I knew it wouldn’t be be a struggle to talk to him onstage. And it wasn’t!
I’ve taken my interviewing cues from interviewers like my spouse and Gary Russell, so I didn’t bring any notes onstage with me. I knew my first question or two, then tried to find something interesting to ask about within those answers. For the most part, this went great! Occasionally there was something that didn’t require a follow-up, and then I’d ask a question from my list. And I only panicked once!
Several people in the audience said they couldn’t tell when that panic happened, so I must have recovered quickly. In the moment, I couldn’t think of a single thing to ask, and started stumbling over my words. I managed to get out “So talking about…”, and I had no idea what was coming after “about”. I honestly don’t remember what I did say, but it must have been okay because everything went smoothly after that. I left time for audience questions, it ended exactly on time, and I got lots of great feedback about the interview, so I’m counting it as a success!
My next event was one of the most riotously funny panels of the weekend: Verity! Podcast’s In Defense Of! We Verities had little to do for this one (though I got to be the keeper of The Bell!). We simply facilitated an intense and ridiculous contest in which audience members competed to defend some of the most indefensible aspects of Doctor Who. Quite a people got a chance to play, but the true champions (we declared a tie) were Jason (who argued the BBC didn’t destroy enough classic episodes) and Eoghann (who lauded Cassandra as a role model for trans folk everywhere). I don’t think I laughed harder than when Eoghann (who is trans) laid his head on the table afterwards and moaned/laughed “Those are the worst sentences I’ve ever said in my life.” Come to think of it, lots of contestants followed up their performances by head-desking. That’s how you know it was a good In Defense Of.
I would love Love LOVE to do this again next year, possibly with a 90-minute time slot, as the setup takes some time, and it would be great to get through more rounds and thus more audience members. There were so many names and topics left in the pile. (And fantastic audience turnout!) I’d’ve loved to see what other terrible delights might have awaited us.
The last panel I attended this year was a real good’un: Audio Odysseys: The State of Podcasts Today. Sometimes podcast panels are simply the same few podcasters preaching to their friends in the audience, but not so this year! It was a far-reaching and enlightening discussion. Deb moderated the hell outta this, and the variety of panelists was top-notch. There were beginners and podcasters with lots of experience, folks with technical know-how and those who let someone else push the buttons, video and audio, individual podcasts and a podcast network. Even I felt like I learned something about creating and distributing podcasts!
We (Chip, Katy, Deb, Jason, Paul, Liz, Steven, and myself) celebrated a successful Gally at the hotel restaurant, and Chip treated Steven and I, as it was (technically) our wedding anniversary, and Chip is The Bestest. (It’s hard to celebrate at Gally, so we do our proper celebration on March 2nd, the anniversary of when I “landed” in Canada.) My steak was deelish. Paul had to scamper off before everyone else to leave the con. It had to happen eventually, but it’s always sad when the first soldier falls. (In fairness, Shannon was the first and saddest to leave us, but that happened before I even work up on Sunday, so it wasn’t as immediate and jarring.)
The last responsibility for me was to get our annual live-at Gally Verity! ep recorded. Getting all four of the attending Verities to gather at one place and time is a bit cat-herdey, but we managed it. Deb provided cocktails, and Steven provided microphones. Gally live eps are always silly and sleepy, and this year was perhaps the most ever of both. Liz was collapsed in a chair. Deb and I both swore. I think Kat was the only one who truly had it together at that time. But golly, it was fun. You can listen here: Gallifrey Once Again.
After that, it was lots o’ Lobbycon. (Lobbycon is what we call the informal, liquor-fueled gathering that happens in the lobby in the evenings.) I spent this time trying to chat with people I’d missed over the rest of the weekend. I only partially succeeded, but I enjoyed the heck out of the time I spent with the people I was able to catch!
I drank a lot of Bailey’s (thanks Chip!), ate some Thin Mints (which I learned are amazing dipped in Bailey’s), and watched Jami Reid-Quarrel (who played Colony Sarff and the Veil) teach a group of people (including my pal Rachel) to do a Colony Sarff-inspired line dance in the middle of the lobby. It was glorious and crazy and the perfect way to complete a wonderful weekend. When the guests dive in and embrace the fans and the spirit of the con so wholeheartedly, I can’t help but feel immense joy and pride. (I heard “Face the Raven” writer Sarah Dollard did a full-on Donna-as-Runaway-Bride cosplay as well!) Gally really is something special.
Now I start counting down the days to Gallifrey One 2017.