Andy did show up late Saturday, just in time for a few photographs before dinner. I had given up and gone to my room, so I didn't get my picture until Sunday morning, and therefore didn't have it in time to get him to autograph it. Oh, well, my mistake because I was cranky and wanted to go to my room and change before supper. I'll get him to sign it the next time I see him. I never heard an official explanation for why he missed so many planes. Most of the people didn't care, as long as he showed up.
The dinner was a sit-down meal, not a buffet, which was nice. Instead of choosing between chicken or beef, both were on the plate. Anne, who doesn't eat beef, had a lady at her table who doesn't like chicken, so they just traded. Yummy chocolate cake for dessert.
Andy sang a couple of songs after the dinner. Kept apologizing for his raspy voice. I din't think it sounded so bad, but performers are more critical of themselves. After that was the auction. I didn't stand a chance of buying anything. The cheapest item went for $190. The most expensive was a suit that Andy had worn as Lorne. It was sold for $650 and the guy who won it got to have his picture taken with Andy wearing the jacket.
One of the items being sold was the banners that the event people had made to go behind the tables for the autograph sessions. They were 10 feet tall and were pictures of the stars. Each star signed and had their pictures taken with the people who won them. Rocky paid $350 for Julie Benz' poster. When he was declared the winner, she ran over and gave him a big hug. He was dazed for a while. Then all day Sunday he kept asking us what to do with the poster. It is too big to go on his wall. He finally figured the only thing he could do was hang it length-wise on the ceiling.
It had been decided that the all of the proceeds of the auction would go to Katrina victims. The Knoxville convention center was right across the street and people had been brought there on Saturday afternoon. Sunday morning Adam, the event producer, took the check across and gave it to the Salvation Army people who were running the shelter.
There was a break of an hour or so after the auction before the karaoke began again. At least in theory. Andy and the others took off and it was after 11 before they got him back into the room. But, from when he got back until we had to leave the room at midnight, we had a blast. He did karaoke, but only in duets with people from the audience. Rocky was the first to volunteer. They did 'Love Shack'. It was hysterical. Again, I kicked myself for not bringing the camcorder. Becky got it on her camera, which had a movie option. She's not sure, but she'll try to download it to her computer, then send me a copy. Hope it works.
We had a small group of people, around 200 or so. I don't know if there had been more signed up that didn't come when they heard that Tony couldn't make it. Their loss. I had a fun weekend anyway. I didn't get nearly the amount of writing done that I had expected. That happens when you don't go to bed until around 2 am then get up at 8. Becky, Anne, and Rocky were so much fun to be around. But such a bad influence on me. I've drank more the last three days than I have in the last five years. Good thing I don't get hangovers.
Yesterday Rocky, who lives here in Knoxville, went home and made jello shots after the Mark/Andy Q&A. We went to Anne's room and had fun telling stories about our cats. Yes, I stumbled into cat lovers. Must be an aura we have that we find each other. Then we went down to the cafe for a late lunch, but it wasn't open yet, so we went to the bar to order snacks. I had something called a Banana Banger (I think). It was made out of banana liqueur and coconut rum. Tasted like Chunky Monkey with a kick. This was on top of the jello shots, and I hadn't had anything to eat yet. I could have rivaled Tony in a giggling contest. After we got the food, we went back down for the 'Once More With Feeling' singalong. Nobody got up to the mic's but we all had a good time singing at our seats.
The rest of the evening was supposed to be more karaoke with Andy, but I was so tired, I just went back to my room. Becky's husband had picked her up, Rocky left to get some sleep because he had to go to work today, and Anne wanted to get an early start on her drive home. We split up around 7. I have their e-mails and am looking forward to have some nice chats with them. I really hope to see them at other conventions. Rocky, I'm not sure about. Becky does go to the ones in the south east, so maybe. Anne travels a lot. She even went to England for a convention once, so she is the most likely one that I'll run into again.
All in all I had a great time. There were negatives of course. Nothing is perfect. The one thing that I and quite a few others felt was lacking was the fact that they, the event promoters, were also the only dealers. So, only one dealer. Only one group of things to choose from to buy. They only brought pictures of the stars who attended, so they didn't bring any pictures of Tony. I had been hoping to buy on of him in drag from Rocky Horror. Also, only five t-shirts to choose from and very few action figures. Rather disapointing.
The events were spaced out so that nothing overlapped. And nothing started before 10 am. If anything, the events had too much time between planned. We were left to wander around with nothing to do, especially Saturday when Andy hadn't shown up on Friday as scheduled. But, I would rather have free time than miss something because I had to be somewhere else. Anne mentioned that that had happened to her at another convention recently. She had to miss the Tony Q&A session because that was when the photo's with Christian Kane had been scheduled. The dead time probably wouldn't have happened if Tony had made it and Andy had been on time.
But, these people are new at the event business. If I heard correctly, this was their first. So, all in all not bad. They'll get better with practice. And they did try their best to make everyone happy, even with all the problems. They called me, and everyone else, by name whenever they saw us and were gracious and polite even under extreme pressure. I would give the convention a 7 out of 10, but the event people themselves at solid 10.