Yesterday I attended a Stargate event held here in Melbourne. This event named Return to the Gate was to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of when Stargate SG-1 first aired. They had most of the original SG-1 cast members: Richard Dean Anderson (RDA), Amanda Tapping and Michael Shanks with the addition of Corin Nemec and Gary Jones. These are all guests that I have met before, but when the opportunity to see Amanda again arises, I have to attend. Of course when Amanda attends an event, I also know that a lot of my good friends will be there. I don’t get to see them all that often so I take all the chances I get.
I have to admit, I was missing a lot of my usual pre-event excitement. Which is odd, especially since Amanda was going to be there. Maybe it was because I had met them all before, or maybe I am just getting past that stage. Or maybe it was because for the first time in ten years I hadn’t worked an event. Since AMCE/Armageddon had come to an end the previous year. Either way I’m still glad that I went, and happy to be surrounded by fellow fans and friends. This is the first Stargate only event I have been to in a long time, as well.
Very Important Person
For this event I decided to go VIP, I was happy I decided to spend that little bit more for a VIP pass. It meant that my autographs were included as well as a couple of photos. I also got a decent seat and enjoyed the panel with all five guests. This was the first time I had ever seen Amanda, in person, with the short blonde hairstyle I love. I’m so happy I finally had the chance to see and get photos with her with that colour and style.
The guests were all happy as they entered for the VIP panel. They had just enjoyed a nice brunch with the Platinum ticket holders though. RDA was happily snapping photos on his phone as they entered. I’ve heard many of the stories they shared before, at previous events but they still made me laugh. We got to hear about upcoming films they’re involved in. Such as Corin and his movie Snatched. Gary with his movie Eggplant Emoji. And as they left the stage the fangirl in me internally squeed when Amanda gave me a cute little wave. And I took a photo of her where it looks like she is staring straight into my soul.
Funny Reverse Photo
I had spent the previous evening and the morning trying to think of ideas for another funny photo with Amanda. Then my friend Ash came up with the best idea, I wasn’t too sure about it at first. But then I went and spoke to the photographer and asked her opinion and she was all for it. As everyone else was getting their photos done, my nerves kicked in. Really, why? I don’t know, but they were there.
It comes to my turn and I walk into the session, Amanda gives me a big hug. Then the conversation goes like this: “I have an idea, you remember the last photo we got together?” to this she was nodding “I want to do the reverse” so Amanda turns to the camera “Like this?” and poses. We get the photo taken and it was easy peasy. As always there was a lot of laughter coming from both Amanda and I, plus those watching from the sideline. Then I got a nice photo with Amanda, but our faces were red from all the laughing. Worth it!
I love the side by side comparison of these two funny photos. Amanda is an absolute gem and I love that I have these great memories of meeting her. Comparing these two photos I find it brilliant that Amanda and I basically have the same expressions as each other.
More Stargate photos
Following getting my photo with Amanda, I then jumped in for a photo with Michael. I just asked for a generic funny face photo. To be specific I asked “Can we pull silly faces?” to which he responded “I always do”. I’ll admit though, that I’m not too happy with this funny face photo though. I must have blinked at the wrong time and so I just look drunk or stoned and you can’t really see my face. Since it was a funny photo I didn’t say anything because it was my fault, in hindsight I probably should have.
I decided not to get a photo with RDA, as I have a few already and they were a bit expensive for me. I did get another photo with Corin though, he is always such a hoot. The last photo of the two of us together was at a post event party, and he was knelt down signing my shirt at the crouch area. We got a more professional funny photo taken, definitely prefer this one over the one with Michael.
Following the single guest photos, they then did group photos, the duos, trios and all. I was undecided on if I wanted to get a trio photo, as I’ve never had one with them together before. As the chance my never arise again I decided to go ahead and get one, glad I did as it’s a great addition to my collection. Amanda, Rick and Michael in the same photo with me, pretty awesome, too bad Chris wasn’t there for a complete Stargate SG-1 photo.
Corin and Gary Panel
The panels started off with Corin and Gary, these guys are funny and what a great choice for a joint panel. We got to hear some fun behind the scenes stories from Stargate and even other not behind the scenes stories. Such as Corin explaining how he was banned from using props unless it was scripted. After he was seen in the background of a scene peeling and eating an orange.
Gary explaining how if he ever actually typed on the keyboard when filming it was so loud. He ended up just moving his shoulder to make it look like he was typing. Another funny story about an episode where the world was about to end and his character was reading a magazine. Gary had zoned out during the scene, whoops. When someone aske Gary what other character in Stargate he’d have love to play he responded with the MALP
Next up was Michael who entertained us answering question. Mostly relating to the fact that his character died so many times in Stargate. He did talk about other topics, but that one was the most common. I was distracted at the end of Michael’s panel when I looked over towards the door and saw Amanda making faces through the small window.
Amanda’s panel followed Michael’s, Amanda came in and sat down in the front row. She sat down in front of us to watch her own introduction video. She was commenting to those around her that Carter was her favourite character. And that she was so excited to meet her. Basically she was being the big goofball, that she is and one of the reason we all love her.
Amanda answered many different questions regarding Stargate, Sanctuary, Supernatural, Travellers and more. She compared acting and directing and explained the difference to her. There were a few stories she told that I had not actually heard before, one was the backstory behind the famous MacGyver Solitudes blooper from Season 1. She explained that when she had said it, RDA was unreactive, and wasn’t until later than he told her it was funny. She told us that she had never actually seen MacGyver before working with RDA. And that when she did watch it, she wished she hadn’t because all she could think of was the hair.
Another of the stories Amanda shared, that I hadn’t heard before was regarding her costume in the pilot episode. She explained that the original costume included a push-up bra and a low-cut top. She thought it would cost her the job to say that she couldn’t wear it. That there was no way she would play a character wearing that kind of costume. Thankfully it was okay and when asked what she would wear, she told them to give her the same costumes as the guys. Not only was it inappropriate to have that kind of costume, Amanda did not want to degrade women in the Airforce or Military in that way either. What a great story about standing up for women in television, I’m glad to have heard her tell this story.
Following Amanda and last but not least was RDA, who stood to watch his Intro video with Amanda at his side before she left the stage. RDA answered a lot of questions relating to both MacGyver and Stargate. He included some fun behind the scenes stories and then finished off his panel. He apologised to us for the American president and saying how much he loved Australia and that he would be back again.
Stargate Autograph Session
The event finished off with the autograph session, and included in my ticket was an autograph from each guest. So I purchased an extra Amanda autograph and then decided to get one of the Gifts for the Geek Stargate posters for the event with all the guests on it. I was queuing for the autographs with a group of friends and well whenever we are together hilarity ensues.
Got my autograph from Amanda first and we had a nice little chat. I wanted to know if she knew my actual name and was quite impressed when she did. Not many actors actually know me as anything but Smiley. Of course I had to make a comment about loving the hairstyle.
Had a good chat to each of the other guests as I got my autographs. Last autograph to get was from RDA. When speaking to RDA we chatted about the Sea Shepherds. I also had to comment on his glasses, which were a nice pink colour. He explained that his daughter had brought them for him.
Fun with Stargate Friends
After getting our autographs, a group of us hung around for a while. Catching up and chatting. We don’t get to see each other often, especially those from instate or overseas. So we were all having a great time together just hanging out and making memories. We were having a good catch up session before we headed off to have a nice group dinner. I love these people, they are my event family, every time we get together it’s like a huge family reunion.
Short Event Review
This was probably the best event I have attended, run by this particular organisation. I have attended several events in the past and did not necessarily have a good time. Or the event haven’t quite run as smoothly or efficiently as possible.
There were a few negatives throughout the day, the confusion over the change in scheduling for panels was frustrating. Whilst we were upstairs getting our photos we missed the announcement that the lunch break had changed. The panels would start earlier so we had to make a run down the street for some lunch. And the staff member that we spoke to about this issue was rather rude. I also thought it would have been better to have had a break between panels. Instead of all four panels one after the other.
The only other issue was the lack of signal for the EFTPOS machines, when buying tokens. However, this is an issue out of the organiser’s hands. They did their best to get the payments though, even running up the stairs to get reception.
The prices were also a little too expensive. Yes, I still brought photographs and autographs, but the prices were a lot more expensive than usual. But that is inflation and has been happening across the board for all events. Might be getting too expensive to keep going soon.