I went to Agamemcon this weekend and got to meet John Vickery. He showed up quite by surprise late on Friday at about 9pm. He went straight into the Bill Mumy concert and stood way at the back, where he was instantly zoomed in on by a few fans. He only stayed for about a half hour there, then made his way outside for a cigarette. There was at least one fan that followed him outside, but everyone else pretty much left him alone.
He was not the only actor at the concert, as Wayne Alexander was also hanging out, as usual at this con. Anyhow, I was in charge of the con suite, so it was my job to provide food and beverages to all the convention attendees. I was not incharge of the green room, so I only got to hang out with a few people on certain occaisions. I had a gaming card for Neroon, so I got him to sign in at the concert. I told him that because I was going to be busy the whole weekend, I wanted to get this taken care of now so as not to miss him. He was cool with that.
I did get a chance to talk to John, but not a whole lot. I did not ask about whether or not he knew about the website, which is unfortunate. He seemed a bit overwhelmed by the whole convention experience, as this was his first time. He did not bring any pictures or anything to sign, so it was up to the fans to bring him something. He did seem to enjoy the panel he was on with the other B5 actors. He was up with Maggie Egan (ISN reporter), Jeffery Willerth (Kosh), Jason Carter (Marcus), Tim Choate (Zathras), Robin Atkin Downes (Byron), and Bill Blair (basic character actor). Away from the panel, he was enthusiastic about his work on The Lion King musical, which is understandable, as he put so much time into that. I don’t think he knew how much his character of Neroon was appreciated and liked, since he only did the role a few times over a 4 year period. He also mentioned that his role of Gul Rusot, on DS9, was pretty much the same character. In other words, he disagreed with everyone on the show and then died.
Here are some of the questions and answers I remember from the panel, I will be getting a tape with the whole panel on it later on, so I can update this then.
Q: What kind of character would you like to play in the future?
A: I want to play someone who doesn’t disagree with everyone else.
Q: What kind of motivation did you use to act in “Moments of Transition”?
A: It’s been so long since I did Neroon that I don’t actually know which episode you are refering to.
(I then chimed in “You died in that one”)
A: Oh yes, that. He then related a story that Mira hates being picked up off the floor with her eyes closed, and how that was bad since he is not the biggest man, and so the filming of that final scene took forever and was physically demanding.
Q: How much preparation did you and Jason do for your duel?
A: Well, I believe Jason did a lot of his own stunts, as he is into that sort of thing. I didn’t do as much of the action as he did, but we did do a lot of it. I think it is better to have two actors who don’t know how to fight all that well really going for the kill then to have two stunt people doing all that balletic fighting but not really selling the intent to harm the other person (both John and Jason contributed parts of this answer).
Q: What are you doing now?
A: He is doing a voice for some cartoon thing (which totally escapes my brain at the moment) and he also did Mr. Welles again in Crusade. He says he is possessed in the episode, so he supposes that he really isn’t playing Mr. Welles at all.
I am sure that he contributed more, but I can’t really remember the whole thing at the moment. I made an observation which got the biggest laugh of the panel, which was that nearly everyone on stage was dead. Maggie stood up and said “not me” to which I replied, well of course not, your a woman. So, that made a big impression with everyone on stage.
I then went up to the stage as they all came off to make sure they made it out OK and got to where they were going. Some went to the green room, some went right to a table to start signing, others just wandered off. I took this moment to attach myself to John. A lady came up and asked him to sign some book she had, and I mentioned to him that because he was a convention virgin, he was probably going to get mobbed a bit.
That didn’t seem to phase him much, which is good. So, I told him that I would be taking him out, and then asked him if he was planning on doing an autograph signing or not. He said he wouldn’t mind doing that. I took him to our guest relations person who set him up with a table. It was then that we learned he hadn’t brought anything with him. I then went back to my con suite for a time, but had to come out again as I didn’t want to not talk to John again. He had been on the schedule to come back on Sunday, but then that was updated and he was off the schedule for Sunday, so I knew that he was leaving soon and not coming back. I did a run of the whole set of tables to make sure everyone had water and munchies. Jeff Conway wanted to eat, so I got him bagels, a brownie and some veggies, and then several others wanted water. When Peter Woodward showed up and our guest relations person went to meet him, she left John all alone. I was so tempted to take the opportunity to take her place and sit next to him, but I wasn’t sure he wanted or needed anyone and whether or not it would have looked bad to the rest of the convention staff. I know now that I didn’t have to worry about that, but my shyness got in the way. BTW, I was also looking very much forward to seeing Peter Woodward also, you have no idea how similar the meetings went with both of them, too weird. Anyhow, after not working up the courage to just sit next to John, I just went back to my con suite and went back to work for a while. Not sure when he left, so that’s all I have to say on the matter.
This is a great little con, and it’s getting bigger. We had nearly a hundred guests, some of them unannounced. Both Jeff Conway and Claudia Christian showed up by surprise, and Jason Carter put in an extra day. Peter Jurasik had pulled out due to his heart surgery, but he asked Andreas Katsulas to step in for him. Bruce Boxleitner had pulled out at the last minute due to his wife, Melissa, being ill and he had to watch the baby. Several of the other stars all called him to tell him to find a sitter somehow and make it to the con, which he did. This shows that the stars actually like the convention and want it to do well. Wayne Alexander loves us, but that is probably because of the birthday party/luau we threw for him last year. Several of the guests go to the dances, masquerade and parties that are held throughout the weekend, which is always nice. It’s a fan run convention, which is always so much more fun than a professional convention. We always have lots of technical people on, which is real popular. You can see how the costumes were done, the makeup artist actually makes up a man’s hair like a Centauri, and the directors come in and talk about making the show. We had a few novelists this year, and J. Gregory Keyes was my favorite. He’s a nice man, and he even did a reading of his recent book, the third in the Psi Corp trilogy, in my con suite (I know what happens between Bestor and Garibaldi). I know I work for the convention, but I only work for it because I had so much fun attending it last year. Next years con is scheduled for June 23-25, so maybe some of you might want to come and check it out.
Agamemcon 3 June 11-13 1999