wren_kt7oz: (GR_LA_Gale)
Well, it's over and I'm back in the UK for a few weeks holiday.

I'll try to post some detailed memories of the weekend over the next few days but for now let's just say that I had a blast and I think everyone else did too and maybe even Gale didn't totally hate it.

At least even he had a few laughs during the weekend and he got to talk with all his usual passion about some of his favourite films.

The memorable Gale moments for me personally were the two photo sessions when we shared a couple of silly jokes together, the lovely little brunch that really did feel like half a dozen friends sharing a coffee, with the conversation being just general chit chat about subjects that interested us all rather than any sort of question and answer session directed at him, and the few words that I got to share with him on our walkabout over the bridge.

But all the sessions went well and the organisation was much better this year which made things more enjoyable.

Of course, in some ways the real joy for many of us isn't just a chance to spend some time with Gale, it's the companionship and laughter we share with the friends we have made over the years. Including some new ones his year.

Of course there were some familiar faces missing his year, which was sad, and they were very much in our thoughts over the weekend as we reminisced about past events. Hopefully we'll catch up with many in Toronto next year.

For all the lovely ones who were there this year, thank you so much for once again making this such a special weekend. And for those who couldn't make it, please know that you were missed.
wren_kt7oz: (Bilbao_GR6)
Believe it or not - finally - Sunday and the Cinderella session. I wish I could truly do it justice but I think it would take the comic talents of a Wodehouse to really capture it.

But I've done the best I can. Enjoy!

Thanks as always to [livejournal.com profile] kinwad and [livejournal.com profile] mytearsinheaven for the transcripts. Links are included.




Finally – Sunday )



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wren_kt7oz: (bj_308)
For various reasons to do with the fact that sometimes R/L is just painfully present, I still haven't finished writing up all the events from Bilbao.

The Cinderella story took place on Sunday and I'm not quite there yet, but here at least, are the events from Saturday afternoon and evening.

As always, much thanks to both [livejournal.com profile] mytearsinheaven and [livejournal.com profile] kinwad without whom I wouldn't be able to provide the links to the actual transcripts.

Bilbao - Saturday afternoon's events and the Cocktail Party )
wren_kt7oz: (GR_Bilbao01)
Okay - before I start on my thoughts and recollections about Saturday's events I have a couple of comments that I want to make and I'm not placing them behind the LJ cut because I want as many people as possible to see them.

First comment is that at times I'm going to sound critical of the event organisers. I do have some criticisms. But I also have a great deal of praise. For the most part things ran pretty smoothly. The hotel was excellent, the rooms used were of appropriate size and relatively comfortable (well, except for the notorious orange wall, and there really wasn't a lot the organisers could have done about that!).

But as with all events, there were things that could have gone better. So if I mention those it's because I figure if no one talks about it, if no one offers constructive criticism, then the mistakes will just keep being repeated. All that said, I had a great time at the convention, and I have only positive things to say about the volunteers who were amazing and helpful and really did their best to keep everyone happy in sometimes difficult circumstances.

The other thing is that I have heard (though I haven't read any such comments myself) that some people have felt that Gale was kind of rude or standoffish on the boat trip.

That kind of annoys me.

I'll repeat what I have said before. I have never had anything but courtesy (and a little gentle teasing) from Gale. Not from back when I stood outside the theatre in New York in the cold to get his autograph after SLS, not in LA to see OD where I got a kiss from him on Valentine's Day, not in LA at the convention, and certainly not in Bilbao. I in no way blamed Gale for how he behaved on that boatride. To me it was simply badly conceived and just about the worst possible form of event to push Gale into at any time and the fact that it was the first event of the convention made it much worse.

Gale does not, has never, dealt well with fans en masse. One on one he's courteous and gracious and a complete gentleman. But that's just it … he is a very gentle soul; being surrounded by people he doesn't know who are all kind of clamouring at him and tugging at his energy, demanding attention and just generally sucking the life out of him must be a nightmare. I don't claim to have any great insight into the man, but anyone who knows anything about him at all should have been able to foresee that shoving him onto that boat into the middle of the hoards with no structure, no protection, no way to control who approached him and how many at a time except the physical constraints caused by the rows of seats was an absolutely guarantee that he would do exactly what he did do, huddle against the boat rail, pick one person to "shelter" behind and interact as little as possible with anyone else. I believe that it got better during the second half of the trip after our group had gone downstairs. There were less people upstairs then and he'd had a chance to get his bearings. But at the beginning the man looked like he'd prefer to crawl between the ship's railings and leap into the water rather than be where he was.

I can't stress this seriously enough, because if he is copping criticism for this it's just not right.

Honestly Gale's difficulties with large numbers of fans has been known about Gale since the very beginning – when the cast used to be trotted out to do the DVD signings all over the States. He was notorious for struggling with the situation. His fans understood that. Even the fans waiting in the snow outside SLS understood. At SLS we spontaneously formed our own queue, so that when he came out instead of being beseiged he could talk to us one at a time while everyone else stood back a little and he didn't have a lot of people crowding around him all at once. Nobody talked about it … we just got it. That seemed to happen after every performance.

So my belief is that the organisers should have put a good deal more thought into this particular event and how it was going to play out generally, and how they were going to look after Gale in particular. Because the fact is, happy and relaxed Gale equals happy conventioneers. Stressed out non communicative Gale, equals people feeling frustrated. And the fact that Gale was not going to be happy and relaxed in that environment (at least without a lot more prior planning and thought going into things) was obvious to me before he ever got onto the boat. Really, when something is that predictable, it's also preventable in most cases; and I think it was in this case. So it's not Gale I blame for the situation because he didn't create it.

He just isn't Scott, or Peter, you know? They can manage the easy social chit chat with anyone who comes along and they aren't freaked out when people come at them in large numbers, they can just laugh it off. That isn't Gale, it's never going to be Gale. Anyone organising an event like this has to factor that into the planning if they want the event or function to be a success.

And anyone attending an event where Gale is present who isn't willing to take the essential nature of the man into account just doesn't deserve to be there, IMO.



Okay, off soap box and on to Saturday )



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wren_kt7oz: (GR_Bilbao01)
Hi everyone

Now that the transcripts are done and posted (see [livejournal.com profile] kinwad if you haven't come across them yet) I'm going through my own scattered notes and thoughts and trying to pull these together as I've been promising to do for weeks.

I'm starting with some general comments about why I have so much loved sharing time with everyone at the three QAF conventions - in Cologne, in LA and this year in Bilbao. And then this post covers the two special events that took place on Friday afternoon - the Close Up and the dinner. During the next week, I hope to post my thoughts about Saturday and Sunday and for the most part I'm going to do that as a series of commentaries on the transcripts. From those where I was present, some insights into what was going on and in some cases who asked what and why. And how people (not just the guests) reacted.

In terms of the transcripts, if I name names, it's because I've already checked with the people involved that they're okay with that. Occasionally, when talking about my own interactions with people I will mention names. I hope they don't mind. For those that I shared this time with, and don't name, this is purely because in some cases I know you would rather that I didn't.

One other thing – I will be including some general photos. I didn't take them, but I've permission from the lovely lady whose husband did *waves* to use them. I've done my best to blur out everyone's faces because I know there are some people who would prefer not to have their image circulating on the net.

Thoughts on the Friday events at Bilbao )



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wren_kt7oz: (GR_Bilbao01)
One of the projects I've been working on for the last few weeks is doing at least a little to help put together the transcripts of most of the Gale and Randy sessions from Bilbao. The main drive for this came from [livejournal.com profile] mytearsinheaven and most of the work was done by the amazing [livejournal.com profile] kinwad who is hosting the transcripts on her livejournal. I was lucky enough to help with one or two and to do a bit of beta work on some as well.

The link is at the bottom of this post, but I just thought that I'd add a few sentences to clarify for anyone not familiar with the way Conventions tend to work:

Panels are open to all attendees and are usually held in the main hall, so the guests are up on the platform and people who want to ask a question queue up at the microphone.

Meet and Greets are smaller groups (you pay to attend these separately) - usually around 20 - 25 people, and they are much less formal - everyone sits around the room on couches and arm chairs and people just jump in with their questions whenever there's a lull (there are more of those than you would think).

Coffee sessions are sometimes smaller again, but in Bilbao they were actually the same (and held in the same room) - the only difference was that you might be able to get a cup of coffee - if you jumped in early enough and the urn hadn't run out.

Aside from the opening and closing (which were both really short) all the panels were individual sessions (i.e. either Gale or Randy but not both), but there were both individual and "duo" meet and greets and coffee sessions.

Before you go to the link, please be respectful of the hard work that has gone into preparing these and don't repost anywhere without credit.

Anyway, here is the link to the first one - the opening and Randy's first panel. Links to the rest are being placed at the end of that one as Kin posts them. It might take a few days to get them all up.

Bilbao Convention transcripts for Gale and Randy




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Bibao pic

13 Apr 2014 08:11 pm
wren_kt7oz: (GR_Bilbao03)
hi everyone

Sorry I haven't been around more, and sorry I haven't yet posted anything much about the convention. I'll try to do something next weekend.

I am not the world's greatest photographer, and most of my photos are nowhere near as good as those that are already circulating, so I won't post many. But the look on Randy's face in this one is so hilarious that I couldn't resist. Enjoy!

GR09
wren_kt7oz: (GR_LA_4)
LJ and the ipad do not seem to be co- operating this morning. It will lite me post, but when I try to answer comments it pretends it doesn't know me and asks me to login and when I do it loses the comment I was trying to post. Aaaaaaagggghhhhh!!!!!!!!!!


Thanks for all your good wishes. Will do my best to capture at least some of the fun and share with you all.

Bilbao

26 Mar 2014 03:02 pm
wren_kt7oz: (GR_LA_6)
So I'm here in Bilbao kind of excited but also strangely a little sad because in a few days it will all be over. Oh, well.

Meanwhile if anyone who can't make it has anything they would like me to try to ask any of the guys at the meet and greets please let me know and I'll do my best.

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