Monday, June 15, 2009

Battlestar Galactica Convention in Burbank California

I was walking barefoot on the beach in Santa Monica, a stones throw away from the pier. A rarely go barefoot, but today was different. I was watching the waves washing up onto the shore thinking, “What did I do to deserve being here?” The serenity and beauty of the Ocean was overwhelming. I was ready for the day, ready for the sun. Or so I thought.

There were two other reasons why I was so happy. The first, I had secured my tickets for the BSG “Battlestar Galactica convention in Burbank. OMG, James Callis and Tricia Helfer were going to be guest speakers! The second, I had the coolest pictures for them to sign. What more could a Sci-Fi geek like me ask for?

Seven hours, Three Orange Julius’s and Two cups of Starbuck’s later, I was walking towards my car thinking, “What a wonderful day. I have spent the entire day at the beach, tomorrow, the convention!” My head began to feel hot. Why?! Crap, I forgot to put sunscreen on my head. We follicle challenged men tend to forget that at times. My head then began to increasingly heat up. I braved the ride home to West LA...

Walking to the apartment my neighbors began to give me odd looks, looks of empathy, sympathy... stupidity... I was beginning to feel a wee bit self conscious so I quickened my pace and entered my apartment. I debated for quite a while. Do I really want to look into the mirror? The looks the neighbor’s were giving me, I began to convince myself my face had become deformed. “I can’t bear anymore, I have to look!”

I slowly made my way to the bathroom. Eyes closed, I turned on the light... “It can’t be that bad”, open your eyes... I slowly opened my eyes... “Oh my god, I look like Julia from Hellraiser! That is after she was sent to hell!” Put it this way, to say my head was dark red is a mild understatement. For those of you that don’t believe you can get second degree burns from the sun, surprise!

RITE AID BOUND... I ran to my car as quickly as I could. I was trying to ignore the continuing odd looks, and now comments from my neighbors. I bought every kind of sunburn remedy that I could find. I could not meet James Callis looking like this... I spent the evening rubbing on creams and spraying on sprays. I was confident that I would look somewhat normal by morning... or so I thought.

Saturday morning! The anticipation was killing me. I had upgraded from a fanny pack to a man purse for this event, a milestone. I packed my man purse with supplies for the day and pictures that I wanted signed. I was ready for a day of excitement. I headed to the bathroom to brush my teeth; I looked in the mirror... Oh my god, not only is my face red, but now the top of my head is starting to peel! Do you remember that scene from the movie Poltergeist?

I was now at the convention! I stepped out of the car but suddenly stopped. My eyes gravitated towards a giant banner hung over the building’s entrance. “Battlestar Galactica Convention... sponsored by Creation.” I was in awe... Snapping out of my daze, I placed my cool Battlestar Convention lanyard around my neck, donned my man purse and headed towards the entrance...

A group of young excited children broke away from their parents and stampeded towards me. All speaking at once, “Can I have your autograph”. I asked, “I’m flattered, but why do you want my autograph?” A young boy looked at me smiling from ear to ear, “Aren’t you Darth Maul?” So I did what any other Sci-Fi Geek would do... I signed their autograph book and held my head in shame as I walked away...

What a turn out! Every seat was filled. People were lined against the walls waiting to catch if only just a glimpse of the cast of Battlestar. I found my seat. Watched the “Fan Videos”, wow, there are a lot of talented people. The lights dimmed again. The anticipation in the crowd grew... the announcer spoke... Out walked Ron Moore... the cheering grew louder and louder! Then out came Aaron Douglas, Jamie Bamber, Tahmoh Penikett and Kate Vernon! OMG, Sci-Fi heaven! And then... James Callis and Tricia Helfer... my heart skipped a beat...

...Later. I was in line waiting to get my pictures signed. I watched as James Callis and Tricia were interacting with the fans. It was truly fantastic to see in their faces and hear in their voices the sincerity, the respect they had for the fans. I grew closer and closer. My knees felt as if they were going to buckle. “Oh God, please don’t let me have a panic attack or ramble...” I have a bad habit of doing that time to time... I took out my pictures. It was almost my turn...

James Callis’s handler took my pictures, gave me a warm smile and then laid them out on the table. I was next!

James Callis looked up. His facial expression turned from a smile to a look of bewilderment and he said, “My god man, what happened to your head, do you need medical attention?” All of the other actors and actresses suddenly looked my way. I froze, how do I respond? To my amazement and pure joy he listened as I told what had happened. He honestly let me talk for almost ten minutes; it could have been more... “I love that man”...

To this day James Callis is on my top list of favorite actors...


  1. LoL what a cool story, & to think if you had not got sunburned they probably would not have looked twice at you. I will have to remember to get seriously sun burnt if i ever get a chance to meet Quentin Tarantino or Rob Zombie...

  2. Such a sweet story! Please don't be offended that it made me laugh. I do hope your head is now back to its former pale self.

  3. Angela, I am so glad you enjoyed it... that makes me smile... :)

  4. james seems like a really sincere guy, next time don't forget your sun protection :)

  5. Your first paragraph reminded me that 2 weeks ago I was enjoying walking along the same beach, watching the waves come in, occasionally washing over my bare feet... lucky for me the sun was not hot & I didn't burn. Blondes have it rough that way. I have had the pleasure and honour of meeting both James and Tricia (at different conventions) and they are not only talented and wonderful actors, they are fantastic people. I love them both.

  6. Met James Callis. rude, arrogant and unfriendly didn't seem to have any personable qualities. well looks like he lost a fan… Rish