Report on the Don't Quit Your Day Job Players' Lion's Den Gig
and the New York Hercules/Xena/Cleopatra 2525 Creation Convention
25-27 February 2000



Friday, various members of the DQYDJPlayers filtered into my apartment as the day went on. Tom Laubenthal flew in from Atlanta, arriving in a cab at around 11.15 or so. Steven Rosenhaus showed up shortly thereafter, fresh from his hair cutting appointment. Pat O'Brien and David Honigsberg both came up from work, and Alexandra Honigsberg (whose hair cutting and manicure appointment was shortly after Steven's at the same place) arrived by 1, and we were set to go. Most of the instruments were already at my place, and we ran the set.

Our apartment was pretty much headquarters for the day. Various folks showed up to help fetch and carry, and we hied down to the Lion's Den around 6pm -- we didn't need to load in until as late as 7.30 if needs be, but we wanted to get there in plenty of time, plus we wanted to leave time for traffic. The latter turned out not to be an issue, as there was no traffic worth mentioning going down (at least if you avoided Varick Street and the Holland Tunnel traffic).

To our surprise, the Den didn't have any tables and chairs out on the main part of the floor. Our previous three gigs there were on Saturday (and I've been there Saturday once or twice before) and they were always there, but Friday the floor was empty. Go fig'.

We got a huge crowd this time -- part of that was because a bunch of people came in for the Creation convention and came to the show also, part of that was a group from David's office deciding to have his going away party start at the Den.

We then proceeded to play a scorching 40-minute set of 11 songs -- ten from Blues Spoken Here, then closing with "House of Denial" from TKB. David debuted his bright red Starfire hollow-body electric guitar (and also played his 12-string for the first time in New York City -- he'd previously only played it in New Hampshire and Albany), Steven debuted his new electric guitar (yes, we've finally plugged Steven in), I debuted by rhythm block and mounted tambourine, and we all debuted Pat-the-new-bass-player.

Everything went swimmingly, from the music to the lights (kudos to Mike-the-light-guy, particularly for the blue-light-flashing during "Dance for Me, Samantha"), and a good time was had by all. We then had the traditional trek back to our place and going out to dinner at Farfalle. Already present were a bunch of members of the KSmithAres list who had come to the gig and accompanied Marina back to the house to join in the hanging out.

Saturday, I arrived at the New Yorker Hotel with my boxes of books (and comics) to sell at my table. Adam Malin and Gary Berman (the guys who run Creation) were kind enough to give me a fairly prominent table on which I placed lots and lots of copies of the two Young Hercules books, The Xander Years, the third issue of the Trek comic, Venom's Wrath, and the band's CDs -- plus I played the CDs on my laptop.

As soon as I arrived, I had a horde of people descending on me, most of them from the KSmithAres list, wanting their copies of The Ares Alliance. *grin* It's hell being famous...

I unpacked the boxes, proceeding to slice my thumb open with my Swiss Army Knife. Ever try to sign autographs with a bleeding thumb on your writing hand? *sigh* Thankfully, a kind security person fetched me a bandaid (I'm friends with about half the security staff, including the head of security, which made the weekend go all the smoother *smile*).

Once the initial rush died down, things were a bit less hectic. It's amusing to compare what sold in Pasadena compared to New York. Naturally, the Young Herc books moved (and just as naturally, The Ares Alliance -- the more recent and harder-to-find book, and the one with Kevin Smith on the cover -- sold a lot more), and so did the Buffy book (which I didn't have in Pasadena). But in Pasadena, the Trek comics moved like crazy, where I only sold three this time, and I sold twice as many of the Spider-Man novel in New York as Pasadena. Go fig'.

Unlike the Pasadena Civic Center, the New Yorker Hotel didn't have anything that could be used as a green room, so I didn't get a chance to chat with the actors to the same degree I did in Pasadena, but I was able to renew my acquaintance with Kevin Smith, Danielle Cormack, and Joel Tobeck -- I was thrilled to learn that Smith is reading The Ares Alliance with his eight-year-old. *preen preen*

Saturday night was the cabaret, which had Smith, Tobeck, and Cormack singing (and in Tobeck's case, playing a mean guitar) a bunch of rock'n'roll songs, backed by a five-piece band (two keyboards, guitar, bass, drums). The sound quality was horrible, and the band wasn't always together, but they put on a great show. Highlights included Cormack doing a phenomenal Janis Joplin riff on "Piece of My Heart," Smith doing his trademark rendition of "Viva Las Vegas" (for which surprise guest Gina Torres came onstage and danced), Tobeck doing a frightening AFKA Prince impersonation on "Purple Rain" and "Let's Go Crazy," Cormack and Smith whipping out the cans of Australian beer that they were given as gifts and Smith placing one can down the front of his pants, and -- best of all -- Smith singing "Sweet Transvestite." (My first thought: Anthony Stewart Head of Buffy fame once played Frank N. Furter on stage in England -- we've got to get those two together for a duet....)

Sunday was a good deal slower than Saturday (quelle surprise), but stuff still moved briskly. Both Adam and Gary seemed impressed with how well I did, and maybe some day they'll be convinced to give me time for a Q&A on stage. We Shall See.

The costume contest was Sunday, and while I didn't see it, I still was pretty disgusted (as were most folks) with how it came out. While nobody argued with giving the woman dressed as Demon Xena first prize, nor with my buddy Kat as Devi Gabrielle placing among the top three, pretty much everybody argued with my good friend Terri not placing for her stellar Aphrodite outfit (two words, both of them "hubba"), Allison not placing for her "war-paint" Gabrielle (from this season's "Dem Bones," when she dressed in hide, had war-paint on her face, etc.), and especially with the doofy Kali costume winning second prize and the relentlessly mediocre Xena costume tying Kat for third. Terri in particular wuz robbed. (For Terri's own take on the weekend in general and the contest in particular, see her own report.)

Still, it was a fun weekend. I got a still of Cormack as Ephiny signed, Marina got her Iphicles and Iolaus picture signed by Smith, lots of pictures were taken, and a good time was had by all.

[First posted on sff.people.krad at SFF.net on 28 February 2000.]

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