The Rest of Shore Leave
Shore Leave tends to be a busy event for me as I juggle panels along with emcee duties, always trying to stuff more into a day than is possible, especially as I try to spend time with the local friends from down there. Sadly, after three decades, we’re all used to catching whatever time we can for catch-up conversations, hugs, and the like.
After the roast, there was the Meet the Pros party where I happily signed books, posed for pictures, and since it was lightly attended, managed to chat with my peers.
Saturday morning was kicked off with my hour of chatter and later I did a panel on tie-ins followed by an hour of the writers’ workshop.
The focus, though, was on Crazy 8 Press. We had the kickoff panel at noon where we talked about the line and solicited opening lines for our collaborative story, with donations per line going to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. The submissions were read aloud without author attribution and we gauged response before settling on a line that turned out to come from author Kevin Dilmore. After the panel, we set up in the narrow space provided by the con with a laptop and exterior monitor so people could watch our output.
I didn’t have to judge Masquerade which was nice, getting to sit with Deb and Kate for a change. She performed with the Boogie Knights as part of the half-time show and they played an extended set which was loose and fun. Afterwards, there was a Mystery Trekkie Theater rehearsal and by then I was tired so skipped the dance and collapsed.
After that, there was a panel where six of us discussed television series we’d reboot. There was UFO, Blake’s 7, Quantum Leap, Space 1999, Lost in Space and me with Search. After some discussion, the panel decided my concept was the one they’d all like to write for so that was exceedingly gratifying.
As emcee, it’s a distinct pleasure to spend time backstage chatting with the performers and sometime shearing some unvarnished opinions about previous roles, the Hollywood system and the like. It was great catching up with John DeLancie and Tricia Helfer who I haven’t seen in some time while getting to know Emilie Ullerup. Then there was the distinct pleasure of meeting Sally Kellerman, the original Hot Lips Hoolihan. It was all too brief, but very cool.
Mystery Trekkie Theater opened with an elaborate song and dance number with Peter singing “Red Shirt Riot” that involved over a dozen people coming out and dancing while Keith, Mike and I played horns in the background. Sadly, I once more put on display my complete and utter inability to follow a beat no matter how heavy. We then pilloried “The Way to Eden” which seemed to go over well despite it being like shooting fish in a barrel.
So, at 6:45, the con officially ended and we all went our merry ways, tired but incredibly satisfied by the weekend.