Naturally my plane was late getting into Sydney. Dunno how they will cope with the Olympics next year! Flights are nearly always 20-40 minutes late landing then leaving. Anyway, with a short bus trip into the city, I was deposited at the door of my hotel, where I discovered that my booking was, err, mislaid.
So as I sat, waiting for the staff to sort my booking out, the foyer doors opened. In walked a tall, handsome man wearing glasses (and clothes!!!!). Sandy coloured hair with a tuft of silver at the front. What a handsome chap, I thought. So handsome that he almost becomes bland.... ohmidgod, it's BRUCE!!!!!
"Good lord," I say as Bruce walks past me. He looks at me. Quick, quick, think of something intelligent to say. I don't want to seem like a total fanboy loser. Umm, err, "G'day Bruce!"
Oh boy, at that stage I knew I was fighting a losing battle. For starters, any Monty Python fan will know of the Bruces sketch, and saying "G'day, Bruce" with a straight face was pretty hard. Salvation came in the form of a bottle. Bruce had a bottle of wine in his hand.
"Got some good Aussie stuff, I see."
Yeah, he was just taking it up to his room. He had been exploring Australian wines for about three years.
"Well, I guess you've been out here before so you would know a bit about them."
Bruce looked at me funny.
"You were out here for that film, based in my home city, Melbourne... I've forgotten the movie's name. I remember it. I've seen it."
Bruce cringed. "Oh, no, not that one! I was young, I needed the money!"
Hmm, I don't think I got off on the right foot somehow.... and Bruce, you weren't *that* young!
Not long afterwards, Marjean Holden wandered in with a chap who I later found was (and still is!) her husband. Golly she is pretty. Tall, nicely built - it is so very nice to see an actress who doesn't look like she will shatter if you touch her or blow away the next time the wind blows.
At one stage I ran into Bruce as he was leaving the venue. "Bruce, I have to say 'Buffy, Buffy, Buffy' to you."
"Buffy? Get that rubbish outta here!" Guess he doesn't think much of Buffy then, but I was rather thinking of an old con report from an English correspondent....
I won't report on the what Bruce said - that has been done before, but I do have notes about it. No transcript, just notes. I'll link them to this report when I put it up on the web. Then I can put the photos up as well.
Bruce sat up on the stage and talked to us and at us. We dribbled and drooled on his every word.
Except for me. I got up and asked a question about Z'ha'dum, the episode. I wanted to know where that emotion, as Sheridan is backed against the balcony ledge, came from.
Bruce said, "It's called acting."
I put my hands on my hips and just looked at him, waiting. Bruce, I know it is acting. I was trying to get to the craft in/around/behind the acting.
"Hey, it was my *wife* coming at me," and he grins.
Well, some of the audience thought that funny, but it went down like a lead balloon with me. I glared. I was not impressed. Maybe he was being funny, but I do not like men doing what Aussies call slagging off their wives in public. Especially when it was the third time he had done it in the talk. I think he has been hanging out with Jerry "marriage emasculates the man" Doyle too much.
Bruce sounded rather sad on occasion during his talks. It seems that work is hard to come by for a man of his age. Everyone wants the new face. Producers want more and more shows with almost pre-pubescent actors. The 17-24 age group is where all the money is now, and he feels that producers don't want a 49 year old father. I guess that conventions are a good way of keeping the money rolling in, even if you do have to rehash the same old stuff again. Still, he is very happy to be a father and very proud of his eldest son, Sam, who has graduated and now is in a band called "Butter Side Down." He is also amazed that his 14 year old son is taller than him. Plus he had a great time setting his side of the stories Jerry had told about him straight and suggested we ask Jerry about the "Angering Inch."
After reading all the convention reports on the Grapevine and other mailing lists, I was a bit disappointed in Bruce con. I had expected that Bruce would be happy to chat with the fans and be accessible. However, I dunno whether it was the con organisation or not, but he appeared at the autograph sessions ($135 per day to get one autograph from Bruce and Marjean, then anything else you wanted autographed by Bruce cost $20-25 per item! I had to get my top signed and my Sheridan and Delenn pic and Bruce pic! $60 Yowza!) and the talks and the official events, and that is it. Marjean hung around the con venue and talked to people. I even got a photo with her. Bruce - at the end of the autograph session, he was outta there! I found that pretty disappointing. It isn't as if we aren't decent human beings, Bruce, maybe a bit enthusiastic on occasion, but being Aussies, we tend to be reticent and not bug our heroes. OK, except for me. I may come over all daffy and blonde, but I honest to god do have a PhD in foetal biology. Anyway, I guess that Bruce is just a bit tired of all this con business. Or maybe he was ill.
A little note for those of you who like wearing hall costumes. Bruce seems to like people (ok, chaps of the masculine type) doing President Sheridan imitations - he pointed out a couple - but don't wear blue hair to the banquet or anything. He saw me and just shook his head and said something along the lines of ohmigod. I slunk off with my blue hair and my clingy blue dress, feeling somewhat let down. Other cons I have been to involve lots of dressing up and/or costumes for the banquet. People go absolutely whacko. But not this time. Except for me....
You want some pics of bruce? they ain't very good, but you can find them here:
Bruce Pics and Auction Pics
Not much has been said about Marjean's talks. I'll put notes on her talks up on another web page.
Marjean was great. She was most definately good value. We Aussies had only seen her in one ep of Crusade at the time she was out here. It made it pretty hard for her cos we did not know who Dr Sarah Chambers was. We had only seen her on screen for about two minutes. Still, by the end of the weekend, I reckon she had won us over. She talked to the fans, she signed stuff ($10 for non-her stuff), she allowed pictures.... Having an Aussie husband didn't hurt her chances of impressing us, and saying she wanted to live here was even better. She certainly had plenty of people hanging around her. Bees to honey.
Marjean ran a raffle on each of the two days. She had some good stuff to win - tshirts, B5/Crusade baseball caps, etc. Aussies seem to love a flutter (a bet, a punt) and a raffle ticket costing $5...we figured that we would have a good chance of winning with only about 300 other people in the raffle. Of course, I didn't win a thing (I used up all my good luck at winning things when I was a small child - door prizes at my father's lodge, that sort of stuff), and had to crawl off to Marjean at the end to buy an (unofficial) Crusade tshirt from her. They are good quality heavy-weight tshirts, white with Crusade printed inside a border and 2267 on the back, near the nape of the neck, and I am most displeased to say that I managed to stain mine with tomato salsa before I even got to wear it! Plus I got three signed B&W pics.
Dear, dear me - I have forgotten Sandy Bruckner. A thousand apologies, Sandy! She had brought along the blooper reels. We had not seen the season five reels. All the reels went down a treat, especially the season two show stopper of Bruce identifying himself as Sinclair.... Alas, there are no blooper reels from Crusade - "Everyone did their jobs too well."