Since I didn't write about it while I was there, I'm recapping some highlights of the 2010 Phoenix Comicon in a few different posts. This is about Saturday.
During the first round of the NHL playoffs, I made (and lost) another hockey bet with my friend Aaron Douglas. Because the Canucks defeated the Kings, I had to wear a Vancouver jersey. Next year, you frakkin' toaster … next year.
I had two panels on Saturday. First, Felicia and I did a panel about The Guild that was a whole lot of fun. During the Q&A, just about every question was for Felicia, which I expected since it's her show and everything, but it was still fun to play the part of Mister I'll Just Sit Here And Pretend I'm Invisible.
The second panel was the TNG reunion panel with Frakes and LeVar, which filled the room almost to capacity. We started out with moderated questions, which I felt veered way too close to "hey, let's dish a bunch of gossip" territory. I thought we were all pretty funny, though, and I did my best to keep things moving without bogarting the entire panel. It was pretty awesome when Jonathan said "it's not often that I'm the third-funniest guy on the panel!" after I'd made him laugh about something.
I think the audience had a good time, and I did my best to balance entertaining them with speaking frankly and honestly about the few very serious questions we were asked. When the hour was up, I wished that we'd been scheduled for 90 minutes, because there were at least a dozen people waiting, and I was enjoying the whole thing.
On the way back to the vendor's hall (which, to give you a sense of how the con has grown, could have held the entire convention last year) I was able to thank LeVar for giving me an incredible gift that he never even knew about.
We stood on this loading dock behind the convention center, protected from the direct heat of the sun by growing afternoon shadows. "I have to tell you something," I said to LeVar.
He looked at me with what I hoped wasn't apprehension.
"Years ago, you asked me if I was going to be in Nemesis, and I told you that I hadn't been asked. You told me that you'd talk to Rick, because I was part of the family and I should be in the movie."
"You are family, Wil," he said.
"Well, you ended up doing something really important for me that was much more than just being in a movie," I said. "When we all worked together on the series, I couldn't appreciate it, because I was a stupid teenager. It wasn't until years later that I realized how lucky I was, and how much I missed all of you guys. It made me so sad that I took that for granted.
"When I worked on Nemesis, I was able to fully appreciate it, and I really needed that, so I could get over the incredible regret that I fuh-" A lump started to grow in my throat, and I took a breath that hoped would let me talk around it. "The incredible regret that I felt because I didn't know how much you all meant to me until I was gone."
I felt a tear spill down my cheek. I didn't care. "So I just wanted to say thank you, for that. I wouldn't have ever been able to move past that and have the life I have today if you hadn't made a phone call that you didn't need to make. Thank you for caring about me, LeVar."
I glanced at Jonathan, and I think I saw his eyes shining just a little bit. Before I realized it, LeVar was hugging me tightly. I forget what he said, because I was trying so hard not to cry. I'm pretty sure that it was the final, unwritten (until now) coda to the Journey I took in Just A Geek.
Saturday night, Felicia and I hosted the Geek Prom, which was mostly awesome. I say mostly because I was incredibly annoyed with the people who shoved video cameras – with lights – in our faces while we were just trying to enjoy ourselves and dance to horrible 80s and 90s prom music (oh, the final Femmes to Gaga ratio was 2:1). I mean, time and place, guys. Not cool.
Fun fact: I hate dancing. It makes me feel self conscious, stupid, uncoordinated, and like a complete idiot. Because I don't particularly enjoy feeling that way, I probably dance once a year, to only one song, and only to make Anne happy when she wants to dance with her husband at whatever thing we've gone to where they have organized dancing. I don't know exactly why — maybe it was because it was dark until the cameras showed up, maybe it was because I knew I was surrounded by my fellow geeks and none of us were under the delusion that we were, in any way, cool. Maybe it was the Stone IPA I had with dinner, maybe it was a combination of all those things but …. I really had fun dancing at the Geek Prom. I felt so guilty when I woke up the next day, I had to call Anne and confess.
"So does that mean we're going to go dancing?" She said.
"Sorry, KSSHHH, BUZZTT, KSSSH," I said, "I'm driving into a tunnel and the last thing you said was KSSHHH!"
"Nice try. I know you're sitting in your hote-"
"KSSHH WHRRSSHH FSSHHH!" I said, "I think I should call you back when we're out of the mountains."
Even though I couldn't see her, I know that I got The Look.
The con posted a ton of great pictures of all of us under the geek arch, which you can witness in all of their carefully-crafted awkward awesomeness at Flickr. We have ideas to make the Geek Prom even better, even more of an event next year, which I can't wait to put into action.
Up next: Sunday.