I Was On A Spaceship, Guys!

Got blood tests done yesterday morning, then spent the majority of the day on the set of Dark Matter. That part was, of course, amazing – I got to go on the Raza (aka spaceship), and the Maurader (aka Raza shuttle), and handle big futuristic guns and catch up with some of the cast and see a whole bunch of things I’m not allowed to talk about yet, and take a whole bunch of photos I’m not allowed to post yet.

But it was all amazing, trust me!

I love watching everyone work to shoot a scene, and all the activity going on behind and in-between the scenes. The infamous hurry up and wait scenario isn’t entirely accurate, because while the actors may be waiting for the next shot to be set up, a whole whack of other people are, like, setting it up. And building another part of the set to be used later. And moving equipment around, or putting finishing touches on things. There’s pretty much constant activity hat can get a bit dizzying at times, and all of it leads up to the point when the actors get to step into frame and do their thing. I’m basically fascinated by all of it.

And being that I’m quite a tactile person in general, I also can’t seem to stop touching things. Luckily that habit hasn’t gotten me into too much trouble…so far, anyway!

Some of the coolest and most interesting things we got to do was to speak with people in the costuming department, and art department. We got to hold a mini Raza that had been 3D printed in the studio, and watched a basic run-through of how it was all set up prior to printing. I could have watched THAT stuff all day, really! It made me want to learn more!

The costume area was so fantastic, too. We got to see Six’s giant kick-ass jacket, and one of Two’s sweet battle-ready jackets, and all manner of Four’s incredible wardrobe items. And the sketches! Gah! So much talent in that room, and everyone not only working together as a team, but all so friendly and happy to answer any and all questions that we had.

Also got some tiny tidbits to watch for in terms of clothing and accessories, AND saw some insane items that didn’t even make it to camera!

It was nice to be back in the Lost Girl stomping grounds, too, and from what I can tell, many of the crew worked on that show, as well, and have come back to work on Dark Matter as a team again.

I love stuff like that.

Almost as much as I love the shiny new Dark Matter Crew t-shirt I’m wearing today! 😉

Ghost Radio Fun

The ole timey radio play we did last night was so much fun!

I kind of think it might have been my favourite so far, but I hesitate to commit to such a statement, as all of them have been ridiculous and had just as many laughs.

This one also had wine, though, so that might be part of it.

One thing about this one was that the script had far less racism and sexism and all the other -ism’s that make people uncomfortable these days. The scripts we use were all written and performed in the 30’s and 40’s, and while they are always a fun and fascinating glimpse into our past, they also highlight so much of what people now try to cover up – that we just aren’t very nice to one another. That we say less out loud now doesn’t mean we’re not still thinking things sometimes. And just because some laws have changed, practices are not as easy to alter. They are just less overt much of the time.

Unless you’re paying attention, anyway, which the majority of society seem not to be.

Anyway, there was less blatant racism and sexism, and more body shaming and ghost story telling in this one. And there was real life red wine to go with it. And an incredible cast of some of my favourite women on hand to perform it! Two of them had never done this with us before, and while not everyone knew one another going into it, they all played so well together! It was actually so amazing to watch that I kept missing my scant few lines in the script, and just enjoyed the show as performed by everyone else. I’m assuming it wasn’t really written to be a comedy, but they way these ladies played it was pure brilliance. Comedic gold, if I’m being honest. I’d love to get that same group together again sometime and see what else we can come up with, because they all worked off of one another so perfectly!

There were, of course, technical difficulties, and I am pretty sure we lost the whole night of footage from the tricaster. That means nothing from the microphone on the table was recorded. We did have a backup recording going, thank goodness, but only for the “official” read, so the practice read is, I believe, gone forever. It’ll just have to live on in the memories of those of us who were fortunate enough to be in the room.

As well, the audio from the backup recording was not likely able to pick up some of the quieter dialogue, but the majority of it should be okay, I think. And Tim did an audio-only recording with his phone on the table, too, so that will go up on iTunes, but again, only the official read, not the practice one.

Still, that final read was even better than the practice one, and so long as the audio turned out more or less okay, I think it’ll remain a favourite of mine for a long time to come. Those ladies all just killed it, and I am so thrilled with how it went!

I just wish the evidence of our evening had been better captured.

Also, Flynn is sick again with a urinary tract infection and I think the cold I had mostly fought off is roaring back with a vengeance this afternoon. In addition, I’m trying something I haven’t done in easily 2 decades. More later, maybe, after I see how it goes.

Thinking Back On The Backup Bash

Man I don’t know.

I got a little dizzy earlier and am just trying to get through the work day. Not sure what to write about. So much in my head that I can’t really focus on anything in particular!

And I slept like crap, which probably has everything to do with everything.

Memories of the Backup Bash are circulating on FB lately, as our 10 year anniversary approaches nearer the end of the year. SO CRAZY to think it’s been 10 years since I got on a plane to go to my first convention in the US – a Firefly-themed Flanvention that promised to be just as amazing as I’d heard the first one had been and my excitement was through the roof! I even had a t-shirt made for one of the many photo ops I’d purchased ahead of time. Ten years since my plane landed in Burbank California and I found out the convention had been cancelled. Ten years since the SoCal Browncoats and members of the Firefly cast and crew (aka REAL Big Damn Heroes) rose up and cobbled together one of the most unforgettable and life-changing weekends of my life, the Browncoats Backup Bash. Or B3, as we call it. Ten years since I found myself drinking in an exclusive bar, not yet open to the public, in downtown Hollywood with the cast of my favourite show, busloads of Browncoats and even a few surprise guests who felt like joining the party.

Ten years since I first learned to trust and follow The Hat.

That weekend was the sole reason I ended up on the Browncoat Cruise the following year, where I would shake hands with the love of my life. So when I say it changed me, I mean it in such a way as to express that the emotions and connections and pure experiences of that crazy random happenstance are still very much with me to this day. There’s never been anything like it, nor will there ever be again.

Though how tempted am I to jump on a plane and head to Burbank for the tenth anniversary reunion currently being planned?

If I could just toss all responsibility aside and go be with my people – including said love of life – I can’t even express…like, my mind works so differently now. I’ve been constantly stressed and anxious about keeping my life from falling apart again for most of the past 7 years, or so. Every decision is made carefully and with concern over whether or not I can get away with it; make it work out in the end. What would I give for the opportunity to throw such caution to the wind and just do it. Just go do something that makes me happy and freaking work it out later.

I can’t even remember what it was like to be that person. Yet part of me is still aware that I’ve always been able to make things work out. Definitely not always as I’d hoped or planned, but still – I’m here. Here I still am; carving out my life, and creating my world. Earlier today I likened it to swimming with water wings. I’m not getting very far, but I’ll still afloat.

Adulting is dumb. Why can’t I just take a weekend off from it once in awhile, really?

Mind Reels Activity

Holy crap guys! So much happening on the Mind Reels front this morning!

Did a little promoting of our Patreon page, as per usual (http://www.patreon.com/TheMindReels – please share – every little bit helps!) and then moved on to other more immediate things.

Am just a step away from confirming the date for our next radio play, which will be happening next week, barring any unforeseen circumstances. I heard back availability from one person, then three more in a row said they were also free on those evenings, so suddenly I have a cast, and now just need to confirm that the studio is available before I cement the details! So excited! We’ll have a couple of new people and some who have done one before, but I don’t think any of them will have really done any together before. Maybe two of the guys. Anyway, I’m super stoked – we’re doing an episode of Ellery Queen this month, and it’s ridiculous! I love these old radio plays. They are so bad they’re great! It’s got to be one of the most routinely fun things I’ve ever done, and I hope this project has the legs it needs to keep going for a long time!

And speaking of projects, we just put the wheels in motion to start yet another one! This one will hopefully expand our content, as well, but in another slightly different direction, which – if it works out – should be amazing! While the radio plays act as a branch of our podcast, this new project will hopefully become a long-term branch of our blog. I am so insanely excited about it, I can barely contain myself! I’d been distracted from it for the past couple of weeks, but as soon as I started working on it again, the initial excitement came rushing back, and I couldn’t wait to take the first steps! Now I’ve started taking them, and while it’s a matter of waiting to see if there is any response from the parties I’m reaching out to, it’s hard not to kind of hold my breath in anticipation. I’m aware that there could be no response at all, or negative responses – I’m aware this might not take off even a little bit, let alone the way I’m hoping – but at the end of the day, I’m a dreamer. I’ll keep dreaming this until it either becomes a reality or falls on its face. I’ll keep believing in the possibilities until I have no choice but to concede defeat.

As well, we have a tentative interview coming up next week, but the only time it can be done is after I have minor-but-painful dental surgery, so it’ll be interesting to see how THAT goes! I was kind of hoping to go home after, walk the dog and go to bed. Instead, I’ll likely be heading downtown to try and hold it together while chatting with one of my favourite people about one of my favourite shows!

How do I get myself into these things?

The first time I did an injection of Avonex (the first MS meds I was taking), I had no idea what the side effects would be for me. Or, I knew the likelihood, but not the severity. So naturally, the next morning was the only time we could do an interview with friends who were in town. I was a mess, so it’s good that we were just audio in those days, but holy hell is that ever NOT a way to discover how a medication will affect you!

This situation will be different because, unless my meds react poorly with one another, I’ll mostly just be dealing with pain. Which is not ideal, but it still should be fine, more or less.

I just…how do I get myself into these things? #becauseicantsayno

There Is No Try

Once again, I’m too tired and distracted to really know what I feel like talking about. I can think of tons of things I don’t feel like talking about, but that doesn’t really help! Haha

I think part of the reason my weekend didn’t go well was a distinct lack of planning. I told the birds that it was possible that the only reason I made it out there at all yesterday was because it was the one plan I did have going into the weekend. Thus, it was the only thing I accomplished.

Anyway, my plan for this week is to pick a focus and stick to it. Fan Expo isn’t for another week and a half, so I can leave that a little longer. The only thing left to do ahead of time, I think, is to purchase the other photo op I want, anyway. So that can all wait, at least until I get a few other things out of the way first.

Wednesday evening, the Mind Reels will be recording our fourth radio play – a thus far all-girl (plus Tim) episode of Flash Gordon from 1935, I believe. I’ve got the scripts together, and have to email details to the awesome cast we have coming in. I also have to respond to a few of their questions before the day, too. Maybe later today, if I can find time.

We’ll also be announcing the fan-chosen winners of our very first awards show, the Reelies. That’s another project that got away from me, so I’ll be happy to have it done, at least for this year. It’s not ending up at all like I had planned, but little does. It should still be fun, however, and I’ll whip up a post to go along with the video link. Unfortunately, we won’t be going live for any of it, but there are a couple of things I can possibly do to keep people involved a bit on Wednesday night, and definitely after the video is posted, highlight our new Instagram account, and possibly even plug Patreon a little.

Speaking of Patreon, we are getting close to my target for launching the page, so I need to turn some attention toward getting that set up this week, as well. I am still hoping to launch on my birthday (because it’s the beginning of the month), but that hope fades with each passing day, so I’ll see what I can do between now and then. I keep battling the voice inside that says to just quit before I start, because the venture will likely be an abysmal failure, anyway, and why bother putting all this time and energy into something that is probably going to fall so flat? So I keep reminding myself – so what if it does? As with my Guinness World Record attempt and event, I have already learned a lot and stand to learn so much more by pushing through with it. As such, there will be more skills to add to my resume for later or just-in-case. And besides, if I don’t do it, I’m always going to wonder if I would have gotten anywhere with it, so it’s better to just try and see how it goes. I can always pull the plug later on, if need be.

It definitely won’t go anywhere if I don’t even try, right?

Or…just do it. There is no try.

So Reelies/radio play, Patreon finishing touches, and Fan Expo. That’s mostly all just Mind Reels stuff. I don’t know if there is anything pressing in my real life – I have to keep careful track of my budget for the next little while, as the slightest mistake could spell more trouble than I can fix. I’m seeing my dentist tonight so she can have a look at my split tooth and possibly patch the pain away ahead of my actual appointment set for a couple of weeks from now. I’ll have to check into my volunteer schedule because I won’t be able to do it over the long weekend, as I’ll be at Fan Expo for most of it. But that can wait. This week – just regular stuff – budget, groceries, dishes and other little cleaning tasks at home, perhaps re-planting some of my wildflowers into bigger pots (though that also likely won’t be this week, so never mind), hopefully getting more sleep because I am really struggling right now. Nothing too special. I guess the Mind Reels takes up most of my extra time, at the moment. Which is fine, as it’s usually more interesting than my real life, anyway.

I have a lot of questions in my head; things I need to sort out about myself sometime soon. But not today. It’s Monday, and there are other things I also need to do. Sometimes it’s just difficult to tell which is more pressing. Which is closer to living life as opposed to just awaiting its inevitable end?

Maybe someday the gaps between the personal and “professional” – between private and public – won’t seem so far apart.

About Last Night

So, last night’s radio play recording was the most fun I’ve had in a long time.  I can’t remember when I last laughed that hard.  Heh – last laughed.  Say that five times fast!

Truly, though, it was exactly what I needed, and even made my headache go away for a bit.  Which is weird, but I’ll take it!  Getting to catch up with everyone a little bit was also amazing, and I think it’s safe to say that we are all eager to do it again soon!  Tim and I had a brief conversation about which script to do next, but I am trying to wait until I’ve started lining up guest cast and have at least calmed down a bit from an epic first episode of what is now my new favourite thing!

Initially, I had wanted to kind of rotate the genres of whatever we are doing each month, but at the same time, Flash Gordon will be super fun, too!

We’ll see.  I have a list of 9 more scripts for us to choose from – so far (there are many more coming) – and I want to at least go over them a little to get a sense of what each might entail.  Then I may very well select scripts based at least in part on the cast who is able to show up for that particular episode.

I also kind of want to do more than one a month, but that’s really getting ahead of myself, so I’ll try to just stick with the initial plan. Haha

Anyway, I am venturing outside of my comfort zone for the rest of the afternoon or so, and need to finish getting ready.

More soon!

PS The full video of last night’s ridiculousness can still be viewed at the LiveStream link (see previous post) for a limited time.

“Is Teri Died?”

24

When I first found out about the TV show 24, I was excited by getting to see Kiefer Sutherland in something on television, and also was intrigued by the show’s real-time concept. I was on-board from the get-go, and that feeling only increased by the end of the first episode. I remember being completely absorbed and engaged – totally along for the ride. I started looking forward to it each week, and being tense while watching the episode, mixed with trying to figure everything out during the long wait in between each hour. The sound of the clock ticking away the time (and OMG the silent clock), in addition to the sound of a CTU phone ringing, burrowed into my heart right along with the characters on my screen.

That first season was epic. I was involved. I was a part of it all. I was devastated by what happened in the final few episodes – the twist revelation, those final scenes – all of it shaped how I would watch the series from then on out. Which is fitting, really, since all of it shaped how Jack Bauer would live his life from then on out, too.

I know many fans were disappointed by various seasons, but while I’ll admit that none of them would ever capture me the way that first one did, I still loved all of them. The whole journey. Even as ridiculous as some of them got, and even though they seemed to – at least in part – ditch (or pay less attention to) the real-time concept, I never stopped looking forward to each and every episode. I found coworkers who were as obsessed as I was, and we would meet every Monday to talk about what we thought would happen in that night’s episode, then again every Tuesday to talk about what had happened, and predict what we thought was coming next. We’d log onto the official show forums and see what other viewers were saying, and what other wacky theories were out there. There was a sense of community, and I was a part of it.

Then came the Fan Phone. The way I understand it, a crew member’s actual cell number was shown on-screen during an episode. Apparently someone forgot to replace it with the usual ‘555’ fake number. Some keen-eyed viewers caught it, and called it. It was posted on the boards, too, so more people called. And more. Eventually, an automated response was left, telling callers that they had reached the 24 set, and that the mailbox was full. But then, something kind of spectacular happened. Members of the cast and crew started answering the calls – while they were shooting! It was amazing! Suddenly there was an entire thread devoted to the newly-named 24 Fan Phone, and people would post details of their calls – whether someone answered, who it was, what time they called, what was discussed, and so on. I spoke with Jon Cassar for a moment (he was happy to hear I was calling from Canada, and held the phone up so everyone else could yell hello to Canada, as they had about as many Canadians working on the show as anything else, so automatically he became my new favourite director in the world), and then he passed the phone to Script Supervisor Annie, who waited quietly with me while they shot part of a scene. I heard “Action”, and “Cut”…and nothing in between. Could have had a spoiler, but got nothing!

Well, nothing but amazing memories from one of my most favourite shows.

Fan Phone stories became as talked about as anything that happened on the show, and the cast and crew seemed to have as much fun with it as the fans were. They were getting immediate feedback for the episodes that had just aired, and every so often, the phone number would appear on screen again, sending the fans who caught it into another frenzy of theories and excitement. It was an accident that turned into the coolest little gimmick ever, really, and everyone just ran with it. It bonded the community in a way that nothing else could.

Things went awry after a season or two, though, because People magazine published a story about it, but included the number to call. So suddenly, it wasn’t just fans of the show getting through on the already busy phone. People who’d never watched an episode were calling just to call, trolls were calling to troll, and those who so desperately wanted to get through were getting busy signals, instead. So eventually it got shut down, because it just wasn’t fun for anyone anymore.

But that didn’t stop them from posting the number on-screen once in awhile again, as a kind of hello and thank you to the fans who were watching, and who knew the significance of that number. I even kept it in my phone after, just in case.

And every time there is a cell phone number on a display in any TV show now, I check. Even though I know nothing like that will ever happen again, I check. Just in case.

Before Facebook, before Twitter, there were message boards, and forums, and while built for fans to discuss things amongst themselves, for a brief shining moment, they served to connect us in an unprecedented way with the people making the show we were discussing. And because it was a show like 24, steeped in conspiracy and secrets and clues, it became this incredible extra thing we could all share. An added hidden level to the experiece. One that I loved, and dearly miss, but that I’m so grateful to have experienced at all.

Even if it kind of ruined every other TV show interaction for me for, like, ever, because nothing will ever be that secretly cool again. It was the secret that made it cool, really. The surprise of it, just like that first incomparable season. Nothing will ever be quite that pure again.

Least of all me. 😉

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