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I headed to Chinatown early on Saturday morning to catch the $10 Fung Wah bus from Boston to New York. Four hours later, I woke up in another Chinatown, and after the customary five minutes of going in circles, I was walking west to get an A-C-E train to Penn Station. A New Jersey rail took me to the new Secaucus Junction station, where I was surprised to find that there were no people, buses, or taxis. It was very deserted, in fact. After a couple of phone calls, I gave up on the free hotel shuttle, and me and a couple of guys shared a taxi that had mysteriously appeared. I made it to the hotel just in time to get my too-late-in-the-mail tickets re-issued (without any hassle, incidentally) and only miss a few minutes of Iyari's Q&A. Reserved seating rocks! Especially when your seat is front row center, like mine was :) :). Right then I knew this con would be worth every penny I paid for it. All 45,000 pennies, if you're counting. But who's counting? Iyari Limon's Kennedy, if you don't know, was the head Potential on Buffy season 7, and eventually became Willow's love interest. Iyari was funny and cute, and seemed very down to earth. She answered questions about how she got started acting (she answered one of those ads in the paper for actors and models), about the heritage of her name (it's from a pre-Spanish mexican dialect and means 'strong heart'), about whether she would do Telemundo (no, she doesn't want to do a Spanish soap), and a bunch of other stuff I can't remember. When I come across a transcript I'll link it here. She also revealed, after being tactlessly asked, that she is single.


Q&A room

The photo op with Nick Brendon was next, and the line took about 15 mins. In shocking contrast to Dragoncon, this is the longest line I waited in all weekend. The first time I see an actor, I am always very surprised (I know this doesn't make sense) to see that they look just like their TV character. Nick was no exception - he looks just like Xander. Anyways, we shook hands and took a picture and that was that. I noticed that he wasn't wearing socks. I took a photo op with Iyari too, but it's so awful, I'm not going to show it. :)
Nick's Q&A was great - he's really a funny guy (and still wasn't wearing socks). In fact, he said that if he hadn't been an actor, he probably would have tried to do stand-up. He said that it took a couple of weeks to stop talking like Dana from Celeste in the City, and demonstrated for us, to much laughter. Someone asked about his best and worst acting experiences, and I forget what he said, but then later someone asked about Survivor Island, and he made fun of the killer pinata and decided that was his worst acting experience. He said "They paid me a lot of money."
Someone asked about wearing the Speedo in 2.20 'Go Fish', and he said it was uncomfortable for a number of reasons... he said all the girls were there, and it was very cold that day. And that he didn't stuff... Just a little padding, so you couldn't see, you know... When asked whether he thought Buffy should end up with Spike or Angel, he said "I'm a fan of Spangel, actually..."; that got a good cheer from the audience. I should have asked "what about Spander?" (my personal favorite), but I didn't. He asked if people mistook Kelly (his twin brother) for him, and he said yes, all the time, and "actually, I'm Kelly". On the serious side, he said that he knew Xander's character had taken a back seat during the last couple of seasons, but that he felt quality was more important than quantity, and that he had some real good quality scenes. Which is quite true, by the way. He said that finding out about Buffy ending by reading it in EW "wasn't good," but that he didn't think this was Sarah's bad so much as the counsel given to her by her people. Which is an interesting take on it, that I hadn't heard before. He said that he is currently taking a lot of meetings (for roles).

Robin Atkin Downes talked, and played a voice reel, which had a bunch of crazy and familiar stuff on it. He's the guy who says "Fosters. Australian for beer." Who knew? I thought that was really cool. He also entertained us while were were waiting for autos by taking requests for impersonations, which he has quite a talent for. Nick was pretty business-like about his autograph line. Iyari took a little longer, and they started to re-queue people for her. I got NB to sign my cast photo, which now has four (count 'em) autos. And I expect to add Emma's in June!

The dessert party was definitely the highlight of the weekend. I sat with a Common Ro friend, who kindly took all the pictures that have me in them. Robin played the piano, and tried to get people to sing songs from OMWF. Once I had my beer, I was more than willing to stand up there and sing along. By the way, if someone happens to have a photo of us singing, I could add it here... send me an email :) Stephanie Romanov, Robia Lamorte, and Iyari all came around to each table to talk and take pictures with us (which is the real raison-d'etre for a VIP party). I've noticed that the celebrities all have a very nice practiced smile for photos, while I have this maniacal grin that I can't seem to get rid of. Eventually Nick showed up, and Robin got him to sing Xander's OMWF song with us, while we did Anya's part. Well, try anyways - he didn't know the words, and we kept starting over :). Regardless, it was really really really cool.
He requested a Billy Joel song, which Robin played for him, and he sang out on that one. However, the music soon degenerated into a very amusing improvised duet with Robin, who knows how to play the piano, and Nick, who doesn't :). Lots of fun. Oh and also, there was ice cream.
Stephanie and Robia left after they had met everyone, but Iyari was a real trooper and stayed the whole time talking to people. Nick ducked out at some point, and as it was becoming apparent that he wasn't going to come back, an informant informed us that he was at the bar. And so, like the tenacious fans that we are, we went to harass him for pictures. Nick was in fact at the bar, and while he kind of seemed like he wanted to be left alone, he was very nice about taking a picture once I tapped him on the shoulder. I also got a kiss on the cheek, which really made my weekend. He seemed quite tipsy. Robin and Iyari came to the bar later and hung out with us. Robin ordered pizza, which I promptly mooched from him :). I met a bunch of other very interesting folks, as well as talked to a bunch of folks that I knew already. And had more beer. And I got hit on by some guy, which hardly ever happens to me!

On Sunday morning, I ran into Nick in the hallway on his way to breakfast, and I thanked him for taking pictures with us the night before. (See, I had to harass him for my picture, and now I have guilt...) He said "You're welcome".

Robia Lamorte was Jenny Calendar for three years on Buffy until, in probably the most shocking moment yet on the show, Jenny was killed by Angelus. Not looking a day older than she did in season 3, she was the first to answer questions on Sunday. She talked about being Pearl in Prince's Diamonds and Pearls videos (screencaps here), and told us that she was talking to two soaps, General Hospital and something else. This Q&A took a turn for the strange when someone asked why she didn't come back to do The First Evil in season 7. She had done a scene as The First in 3.10 'Amends', and many old cast-members returned to incarnate The First in 7.01 'Lessons'.

She said that because of her strong Christian faith, she didn't want to play a character who relays "the voice of Satan". She said that she actually didn't know that she would play The First in 'Amends', and that she tried to get out of it once she found out, but couldn't. She said that she thought her performance in that episode sucked anyways, because her heart wasn't in it. And that's why, she thought, she hadn't been asked back in s7. She said that she turns down a lot of stuff for the same reason. Someone asked how long she had been doing cons, and she said that for years she turned them down, because she thought they would be "really dark". But then she did one, and decided they were ok :). There were a lot of questions about her religion, and at one point, she gave out tapes to interested people, which she said contain her testimony. She even gave out an email address ( for people who want to discuss this point with her further.

Stephanie Romanov, of Angel fame as Lilah the evil lawyer, followed, and was quickly asked if she was religious... She said no. Spiritual, but not religious. Stephanie was warm and frank. She said she liked Lilah's character because she thought most baddies were too shallow, and that true evil would be ambiguous, like Lilah. She said she loved the scene in 4.7 'Rain of Fire' where she dresses up like Fred. She talked about working on Models Inc, and about how that was her first audition, and she had never acted before. She talked about the Ava Gardner documentary she wants to produce, and about how you have to make your own opportunities. Someone asked about fan mail, and she insisted that she always replies to fan mail, although she knows that sometimes it doesn't get to her, and sometimes it takes a long time to get to her. Someone asked about her husband, and she said she's "sickly in love", and that she got "the man of her dreams". The crowd aawwwed :). She said that she played Lilah as though really, deep down, she wanted Angel. "Why else would she want to kill him so bad?" she said.

More autographs. The photo I picked for Stephanie to sign was of Lilah, and I picked that one because it has a characteristic Lilah smirk. She showed the photo to one of her assistants, and said that she hadn't seen that one before, and something about the Lilah smirk. The person in line in front of me said something like "that's the look that says your husband's sleeping on the couch" and she said "my husband never sleeps on the couch." She went on about how they never fight, and I knocked on the table for her. She laughed, and said that she should knock on wood, and knocked her head :). She said my name was pretty, and that she's thinking about names for kids. Robia signed a picture of Jenny and Giles, because that's the only picture of her they had for sale in the dealers room.

Chinatown Boston
Ok, that's it! If I've misquoted anybody, let me know! If you have come across transcripts of any of these Q&A's, let me know!

Text and photos © Melina at, except of course photos that have me in them. Take and share, but give me a credit please. Thanks for reading!
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