The Shore Leave Wrap-Up
“I can’t believe it’s over already,” Lyssa said as I came off the stage at the conclusion of Mystery Trekkie Theater and she was right. The three day weekend zipped right by and in the morning we head for home.
I have been attending Shore Leave for decades, starting with #3 and this was my 28th appearance, which is pretty amazing.
The weekend began with an early arrival Friday morning so Deb could get work done and I could get us settled in. The real work for me began with the technical rehearsal for the Celebrity Charity Roast and then we ran out for a quick dinner, joined at long last, by Kate. She was all shiny from a spa day and is ready for two weeks off.
The Roast was rude and crude, a little too raw and nasty at times, but Mike Friedman took it like a man. I was delighted by Marco Palmieri’s clever bit (aided by Kirsten Beyer) along with the whimsy contained within Kevin Dilmore & Dayton Ward’s bit (Dayton’s dry delivery was note perfect). The audience adored it and we raised some money for the American Red Cross. Freightingly, no sooner did this roast end than they began talking next year, targeting me as the honoree (gulp).
Once it ended, I began my emcee duties, introducing Catherine Hicks. I then set up my books and was a part of Meet the Authors. A light attendance compared with previous years but everyone seemed in good spirits. Once midnight arrived we packed up and headed for the bar. I lasted about an hour and crashed.
Saturday was up and going at top speed. I kicked off the day with my one hour presentation, followed by Kate and the Boogie Knights. They were loose and giggly, but overall entertaining. I then began introducing the headliners one by one, on the hour. I also had a panel on comics turned into movies which was engaging and thoughtful, with the five other panelists debating the topic.
I had to skip participating in much of the writers’ workshop to do a run-through for Mystery Trekkie Theater to accommodate my colleagues. I did manage to make it to the final 30 minutes of the workshop where I was surprised with the arrival of Cindy Starr and Andrew Scholnick, two Long Island friends I have not seen since high school. I had to find time to play catch up with them so after I introduced my last guest I spent about an hour with them then participated in a panel examining the end of Lost.
After a wonderful dinner, I was one of the Masquerade judges (as usual) and we were treated to an above-average assortment of contestants. The number one outfit was a Silverwolf, a World Con-class outfit that had to be seen to be believed. The woman within the outfit spent two years on just the stilt armatures. Once that ended, I actually spent an hour in the room to decompress after a very long, hard day. Then I visited pals in the bar for an hour before it was time to crash.
Sunday began with an authors breakfast, allowing us to catch up with one another away from the bar. I then participated in the annual Bob & Howie Show which spent a lot of time examining our differing approaches to the digital age as he claws on to his aging VHS tapes and I was extolling the virtues of the DVR and Hi-Def televisions. Howie, Mike and I hung for a bit before I did a movies into comics panel, which was as engaging as yesterday’s mirror panel.
I then decamped at a table with my books and became a magnet for friends I had yet to spend time with. Lance Woods made a special trip to see me and we hung out for the afternoon while others came and went. I also managed to sell a few more books so the experiment was a success.
The various celebrities asked for schedule changes to accommodate the World Cup final or early air departures so I wound up filling a 40 minute gap with movie trailers until it was time for Mystery Trekkie Theater. Peter, Mike, and I amused one and all with our skit then skewered “Unexpected”, an early Enterprise episode. We blew some cues and some of the things that really amused us fell flat with the crowd, but overall it was a solid performance. And suddenly, we’re looking at next year being the 20th anniversary edition so we have begun discussing how to acknowledge the event.
And just like that, it was 6:15 and the con was over. The Davids and Greenbergers had a lovely dinner and we all paid our thanks to the staff at the Dead Dog Party. Now we’re packing and readying to head home first thing in the morning.
I wish all cons were as much fun and as well run as Shore Leave.