Monday, April 27, 2015

A Weekend with the Doctor

I had the kind of weekend that might need a weekend to recover from it, but I have so much stuff I need to get done. A nap might be required to accomplish anything, though, so we'll see. I had two late nights that weren't very restful followed by rather early mornings, and then last night a big storm was coming through just as I needed to be getting to bed, and between the weather radio going off with warnings and all the thunder and lightning, there was no getting any sleep. We actually came off okay where I was, just the rain and lightning. South of here there were some tornados.

But the weekend was fun. I was at WhoFest DFW, a Doctor Who convention put on by a lot of the same people who put on FenCon (which is mostly my group of friends). The guest actors there were primarily from a phase of the "classic" era that I never saw, though we did also have Nicholas Briggs, who does the voices of the Daleks and Cybermen. But they were all lovely and charming people, and maybe it helped that I wasn't entirely starstruck because I ended up sharing a stage with them, and it was terrifying enough without the starstruck factor I'd have had if I'd seen their episodes.

As part of the big Saturday night show leading into the costume contest, they decided to put on a version of the Just a Minute game, which is apparently popular on British radio. It involves giving panelists a random topic that they have to talk about for a minute without any hesitation, without going off topic and without repeating a word (other than little words like "I" or words related to the topic). The other panelists have buzzers, and they get to buzz in to challenge if they think they detect hesitation, repetition, deviation, or just want to mess with you. You get points for successful challenges or for finishing the minute. I've had to play this before at a previous convention when former Doctor Who writer Paul Cornell (who is a friend of mine) made me play. And I'm terrible at it. I thought it would be easy because I'm a good speaker. Give me a topic and point me at the audience, and I'm fine. But I didn't realize how much thinking I put into the things I say, and it gets really hard to talk when you're conscious of every single word.

But they needed one more person on the panel because Colin Baker (the Sixth Doctor), Nicola Bryant (Peri), and Terry Malloy (Davros) were going to play, and as someone handy who is moderately known and who has played before, I got asked to join. I commented that it was a serious case of "one of these things doesn't belong," but I was willing to do it. Then we found out that Nicholas Briggs wanted to join in and I thought I would be off the hook, but it turned out that he wanted to host/moderate rather than play, so I was stuck, and he was impervious to any batting of the big green eyes and Southern drawl.

So, I was roadkill. I lost, big-time. I think I would have anyway because Colin and Terry were cut-throat and Nicola was very smart about it, and besides I got sidetracked listening to them and it didn't occur to me to buzz them. I did actually not say one of the things I was thinking, that my mama taught me not to interrupt my elders. But it was so much fun, a crazy experience, and I have now been hugged by a Doctor. I also need to track down some episodes from that era so I can do the "hey, I know those people!" thing. And I will never hear the Daleks again in the same way. There is allegedly video of this on YouTube, but I really, really don't want to see it.

Otherwise, I had a nice long chat with Terry Malloy at a party. He's doing a lot of audiobook narration, and so we were talking about that from the different perspective of narrator and author.

And I was on some other fun panels, got to spend time with friends and even signed an autograph. But now it is time to retreat to my cave and rest and write.

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