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HLDU Page 3
Kristie wrote a excellently detailed report. I've posted it in it's entirety.
It is great reading, so grab a drink, some snacks and enjoy!
If the printing seems disjointed or oriented funny, use your cursor
and widen your screen to view better.
(Controls to the music are located at the bottom of the page)

The Kristie Kronicles....
February 27, 2004
OK, let's see- we (Jim and I) arrived late on Friday, checked in, and went to watch what was left of
Forgive Us Our Trespasses and The Modern Prometheus in the conference room. My heart leapt to
see him and the show on such a large screen- LOL, don't know why, but it was just way cool.

February 28, 2004
Saturday I got up bright and early (sooooo unlike me!), so we hit the registration table, where we
received our HLDU workshop tote bags. In it was a nice name badge, our laminated concert tickets,
"I'm a NEWBIE- Just because I haven't been to a convention doesn't mean I can't..!" pins for us, a
Tim Tam (an Aussie chocolate biscuit that spawned a huge discussion on the HLDU list- haven't
tried mine yet...), a small spiral HLDU workshop notebook & nice pen, a Legendary Swords catalog,
nice bio sheets of the guests (Adrian's with both a short and long-haired B&W photo), a bookmark
(Jim's was a cuddly Duncan/Amanda headshot one, mine just Duncan (headshot in a black
turtleneck, tan coat, with long hair pulled back)... wonder if that was intentional?), a welcome/overview
sheet similar to what was on the website, a sheet for the episodes to be discussed with a synopsis,
credits, and quote on each, a resource guide for food, etc. in the area, an ad for the trip to France, an
ad for the Aussie con, a sheet with lyrics from I Still Call Australia Home, Down Under, & Great
Southern Land, and a feedback form I forgot to turn in. We were later also given a handout of the
auction items, to have a lovely list of items we didn't go home with :( I then went to see about
volunteering, but was told the only remaining times to do so were during the auction and concert,
and as guilty as I felt, I just got totally sucked into what was going on. I felt so bad- maybe I shouldn't
have even thought about my first time out! Kind of forgot I was going to be completely overwhelmed.
Next time.

It also included the rules and following schedule:
The Unofficial Start:
5:00pm    Registration
7:00pm    Video Night (Location: Grand Ballroom A)
7:30am    Registration
8:45am    Opening to Workshop
9-10am    Keeping it Going- From story concept to script- David Abramowitz
10-11am    Highlander: The music and post production- Roger Bellon, Don Paonessa
11-12pm    Parry! Thrust! Ouch!- HL: "A Tour de force of mixed styles"- The Choreography of sword
fighting- F Braun McAsh
12-12:30pm    Acting: From one off disposable to recurring character! Peter Wingfield
12:30-1:30pm Lunch
1:30-2pm    When actors click- The "Duncan: Amanda" dynamic- Adrian Paul & Elizabeth Gracen
2-2:30pm    When actors click- The "Duncan: Methos" dynamic- Adrian Paul & Peter Wingfield
2:30-4pm    "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up": FUOT episode commentary- Adrian
Paul, Peter Wingfield, Elizabeth Gracen, David Abramowitz
4-5pm    "Is that a sword in your coat, or are you just glad to see me?"- the sword choreography
of "FUOT" and "TMP"- Adrian Paul, Peter Wingfield, F. Braun McAsh
(5-5:30pm    Highlander: The Series in retrospect- Bill Panzer)
5:30pm    End of day session
7:30pm    Concert- Theater, 2nd floor
9-9:30am    Post-Production- Don Paonessa
9:30-10am    The Guest Actor's role: Band of Brothers- James Horan
10-11am    The spiritual and political bent in Highlander- David Abramowitz(, Bill Panzer)
11-1pm    Auction- Adrial Paul, Peter Wingfield, Elizabeth Gracen, James Horan, David Abramowitz,
F. Braun McAsh
1:00pm    Lunch
1:30-2:30pm    ...and ACTION! The highs and lows of directing Homeland and The Modern
Prometheus- Adrian Paul
2:30-4pm    Episode Commentary: The Modern Prometheus- Adrial Paul, Peter Wingfield, F. Braun
McAsh(, Bill Panzer), Don Paonessa
4-4:45pm    A Conversation with Duncan and Methos- A unique opportunity to question our lead
characters in relation to what we have discussed this weekend- particularly concerning the ethics
and morality of Immortals and their takes on their actions in episodes under discussion
(4:45pm    The future of Highlander- Bill Panzer)
5pm    Toast and Closing of workshop

I got into line fairly early, so we ended up with decent seats for the first half of the day- second row on
the left. John, the host, had some funny HL related insider-type jokes to kick things off, not to mention
the first of his numerous references to his Elizabeth Gracen obsession. David Abramowitz was
fascinating for me to listen to, I could have heard him talk all day about his ideas for the creation of
the show, what things meant, his take on some of those "big questions" (e.g. what would happen if
they DID fight on Holy Ground? Answer: a cataclysmic event- he said this and other big questions will
be touched on in the upcoming HL mini-series shot later this year, based on a different clan and set in
Africa- which clan was it girls? I forget now...), and he provided the first quote I jotted down: "Creativity
comes from fear and openness." He was speaking about how oftentimes a script was due, and that
UPS guy was coming, so that was his "motivation" for a number of plots/shows, since they had to
crank them out so many and so darned quickly! I thought that quote was just perfect- humorous, yet
probably very true, for me too! I can't remember if it was during this session or not, but he also spoke
of the direction he'd wanted the 6th season to take, which would have been that Ahriman would have
won, and then the show would be set 20-30 years in the future (is that right?), with flashbacks to the
present day, but TPTB thought it would be way too costly, in addition to the uncertainty of there being
any 6th season at all and the problem of them trying to find/launch the spin-off.

Roger Bellon was very shy at first, highly concerned because he didn't have his partner, Don Paonessa,
to help him out onstage because he thought their talk started a half hour later. One of the questions
asked was about "Ode to Joy" playing during the Hitler flashbacks near the end of The Valkyrie,
which he said was great, but didn't take credit for- Don also denied having thought of it, and eventually
David did also- they said that it's often hard to distinguish where the ideas come from- they're just sort
of thrown out there and then they run with them. Roger said it was very fulfilling to work on Highlander,
similar to working on a movie each week, because for most TV shows there is one theme playing in
the background (think ER), and then you have to come up with a thousand different ways of doing the
same theme (e.g. "Walking Down the Hospital Hallway"- yet again).

HL was fantastic because with all of the periods covered, it was always changing, there wasn't
really a central theme, aside from in Homeland, for instance, tying him to his Celtic roots. He said
he received literally thousands of letters regarding the piece "Bonnie Portmoor" alone. (Not
surprising- that song is just so moving beyond words.) I was surprised to hear that he did in a
sense have a "theme" through several of the shows in that he asked the same woman who sung
that to sing several other songs- it isn't overly obvious, and perhaps works on your subconscious.
He had an amusing anecdote about Duende, which he said was perhaps the most difficult to loop
(I'm lacking in terminologically here). He said they had an authentic Spanish flamenco group to
play for the dances, since they needed music to time their steps. Then when he received the tape,
the music was terrible- it was nothing like flamenco music, even though they were from Spain- it
was just awful he said. So he had to create the music and time it to the same tempo as their
dance steps, but they had to loop the sound of the steps also because of the music playing in
the background, and that was difficult.   

Duende came up again during F. Braun's talk, when he spoke of the dangers of the circle fight-
it was pouring down rain the entire time they shot it, and the techs had painted the circle
without including sand as F. had requested, so it had zero traction. In addition, the lines were
not painted, but were taped down, and were therefore slick. As we know, they shot it from day
into nighttime (and thus attempted to make it appear to be a really, really long fight, which
he laughed about), and there were some close calls (and did they say some hits, as well?)
as they skated back and forth across the water with daggers and rapiers flying. Of course,
the moment they called "cut," the sky dried up like some evil joke. He spoke in general of the
poor quality of the weapons they used for the first couple seasons, due to a contract they had
with the supplier (thus limiting the models they could use). At some point Stan's sword, which
 was made of aluminum instead of steel, just snapped, and I can't remember if this was the
same story, but one blade just came off right at the hilt and went flying behind him in a fight
(obviously potentially causing some serious damage!). Another felt funny in his hand while
wielding it, and he couldn't figure out why until he took the hilt apart and found that the screws
inside securing the blade had snapped, and again would have allowed another blade to go

I believe he said that they had gone through a number of his swords already due to breakage
upon contact with other weapons (rapier vs. broadsword... hello?), and he said he had no idea
why they'd chosen that as his weapon of choice, particularly since Ritchie had trained with
Duncan with a katana. They didn't want to change weapons arbitrarily, so they stuck with
what they had until there was some point in their storyline where there was a reason for
them receiving a new weapon (such as Duncan's katana). Anyway, these mishaps were
apparently the inspiration for the destruction of Ritchie's sword, particularly because of
how dangerous it was working with such inferiority. So, they had the big sword break
(which if I remember correctly, they said was one of the actual broken ones, or did they
say it really happened during the filming and was written in? Actually that sounds more
correct...), and he seized this opportunity to get something else into his hands. Of course
he never wanted to use them again, yet lo and behold, two episodes later they decide to do
a flashback using the same rapier, so he has to order a few more of them!

When Peter walked out, it was so surreal. I just couldn't believe it, and I leaned over to Jim and
said, "OK, if I'm flipping out now, what about Adrian?" I knew I was in for trouble. Probably due
to my wanting to memorize everything visually as I said before, I actually can't remember a
whole lot of what he talked about right now, not to mention I assumed there'd practically be
transcripts somewhere of it. He looked all mellow in a shirt reminding me of Hawaii, and his
khakis (there are photos of this here already I've seen). He was just such an outgoing yet
smooth guy, with a great big twinkle in his eye the whole time. He was very funny, a real
charmer, and he definitely had a huge following there. As much as I really love Methos, it
made me wonder if it's his character that spawned this heavy following (some of his items
outsold the equivalent of Adrian's in the auction, e.g. signed director's chairs), or if it's
been the accumulation of fans from the numerous conventions he's attended- he's very
charismatic and accessible. I found myself wanting to sign up for the fan club right there,
but instead of attending that meeting (post-Saturday workshop) I wanted to get in line early
for the concert and try to wind down a bit.

As accessible as he appeared, and knowing he's going to his own fan club get-together in
May, I knew the group in LA was probably going to get nice and up-close with him, as we've
heard they did. Oh well, one of those would've, could've, should've things. Again, next time-
this was a learning experience for me! I do remember him talking about how he took the
Methos episode thinking, "Well, this will be nice- a few days in Paris," who wouldn't do it?
Not at all expecting him to be a recurring character. He said he knew nothing of Highlander,
he hadn't even seen the movies at that point, so he thought the concept was just completely
foreign to him. What in the heck is this about people running around chopping people's
heads off, and who on earth is this guy, who's 5000 years old, and been on stage with ?
and the Rolling Stones (ugh, what's the line? blanking here...)- talk about suspending
disbelief. He mentioned repeatedly (as other have) how freezing cold it was shooting in
Paris in February, and how the crew had what looked like sleeping bags wrapped around
them, which they proudly announced they had designed, to which he thought, "Gee, that's
greaaat." They were shooting the scene under the tunnel first, and Adrian walks up in his
"sleeping bag" and says, "Hi, I'm Adrian Paul," and Peter thought, "OK, who the hell are
you?" although he said that even dressed like that he still managed to be regal in
appearance, so he knew he was SOMEbody- LOL. He said when auditioning for the part,
he obviously knew nothing about the character, let alone Immortals in general, and he just
happened to make a very lucky decision and played it as though Methos was very laid
back about being so old and what he'd seen and done, very casual, and that just happened
to be something they decided they liked and the direction in which they decided they
wanted to go.

So, they kicked us out after Peter's talk to allow for people to switch seats. Instead of lunch,
I just decided to get right back into line knowing what was coming up. I was only about
seven people back in line, yet when the doors opened, a flood of people packed in near
the door and made their way in, so I was only able to find seats in the third row (on the right).
Adrian came out, and I about passed out, particularly with him in his all black attire (as
seen in the pics people have posted already). Loved the necklace. Jim said he noticed
Adrian "accidentally" unbutton & rebutton his shirt numerous times through the afternoon.
Unfortunately for me, I didn't notice it too open I don't think, but I did notice it seemed to be
a "nervous habit" for him to play with his buttons while talking. I often felt like my eyes
were glazing over and I'd have to snap out of it- LOL, I was in a slight state of shock.
I was listening to his accent in light of recent discussions about it, and I noticed it seemed
a bit proper at first as folks had mentioned he does on stage, but then I thought it slipped
into the "Cockney" y'all had spoken of in the cigar interview (I wish I knew the dialects better),
and seemed to stay that way almost the whole rest of the weekend. It never approached
anything quite as refined-sounding as Peter's, of course, not that that's a bad thing, but
you know what I mean. Peter's is just so... Methos, ya know?

In general, I was surprised mostly by how light-hearted Adrian was the entire time, and
that his voice, although I've heard it online, sounded much higher than I'd expected. I really
didn't hear it drop into "Duncan" range until the Sunday Duncan interview session, and
even then not for too long, although he lost his natural accent (and adopted that "Duncan
near-accent") for most of it, until he'd crack up and break character, or vice versa. While
listening to folks or talking, he did lots of rubbing of the back of his head, arm stretching,
 etc., or other hand movements that just wonderfully showed off those lovely biceps
peaking out from his short/tight shirt sleeves. Mmm, mmm, mmm. The other thing was
that as jovial as he was, he almost looked like an entirely different person- his facial
features just took on a whole different (albeit still beautiful) look, and mesmerizingly
switched over to Duncan solemn-mode on Sunday, well, while Duncan lasted. It was really
amusing to see the huge difference in personality, and I found myself wondering quite
frequently just how on earth he'd pulled off such a serious dude for all those years- really
unbelievable after having seen how constantly cheerful he was throughout the weekend.

Then  Elizabeth came out with him- funny side note: she was selling her mosaics in the
lobby at a table where her brother was selling beauty products (lotions, etc.) I had walked
by the table on my way to line up again, glanced up at her brother, and just out of the
corner of my eye saw this lady with short blond hair (as seen in folks' pictures, not
"blond Amanda-short"), a black turtleneck, and a plaid skirt, reminding me of a kilt.
I laughed to myself and thought, "Oh, that's cheesy- some vendor dressing up like
Amanda to sell her stuff." I don't know why it struck me in that way, but it did. Then after
I was in line for a while I saw an HLDU lady walk up and ask her to go with her. It was
only then that I looked at her face and saw, LOL, oh, duh! That IS Elizabeth. <smack>
It was a long day and my brain was fried in anticipation of the afternoon and evening's events.
She did look great, I thought- I loved her hair color and length, and I thought she looked
much, much prettier than she did on the show. (OK, girl talk- she had a really cute little
bag on her, too, that I think is in one of the posted pics.)

So, during the talk with Adrian and Elizabeth, it was quite evident that the had a lot of
chemistry, as mentioned elsewhere, and the cutest part was when she told us (and
Adrian) how grateful she was that she worked on the show and made all of these friends
for life (when she kissed Adrian). It was very sincere and sweet. She seemed quite touched.
The other funny part was in them discussing the sex scenes, and she seemed highly
concerned about it until she was sure her husband and mother(-in-law?) weren't going to
be in the room as of yet. Then they talked about how much fun they were, how much
Adrian enjoyed them, how they laughed hysterically through many of the scenes and
could only shoot in-between breakups, and in one episode (bad me, I forget which) when
they come up from behind a bar her hair is all disheveled (to which he replied something
along the lines of, "Of course," and seemed quite proud of the fact, and he teased her
about how much she loved the scenes). I think it was this same scene where he had hit
his head hard sitting up quickly (it was him, wasn't it?) See, I was in la-la land.

So then Peter came out to join them, and I think it was during this time, after "Lizzie"
(as Adrian called her) had said that they were talking about him, that Peter said "The only
thing worse than people talking about you is people NOT talking about you." LOL, that
made me laugh. The way he delivered it, it was just so pompous, so Hollywood, so Methos
all the way. Unfortunately I can't remember what anecdotes they brought up in this discussion,
other than when the one person asked the question about Methos' ethics, to which David
Abramowitz shouted from the front row (left), "Methos had lots of ethics, they were just

I really enjoyed the commentary during FUOT. I was cracking up the entire time- it was just
like watching Mystery Science Theater 3000, in the good ol' days (original cast). Cheeky
comments were abundant, and would be best remembered if I sat and watched the episode
again. There are also several that probably wouldn't translate well, unless you had the visual
at the time. One funny part was when they were reminiscing about shooting the scene where
Methos is in his boxers and Amanda comes over- they said they had to shoot it in so many
different takes and from different angles because Lizzie got into giggle-fits, Peter lost it, and
it just kept getting worse and worse. There's one part if you watch closely where he is on the
bed and has a big old smirk although they're trying to be very serious, barely making it through
her line before they cut it, and the rest is hysterical to watch because he said he could NOT
look her in the eyes the entire time, or he'd lose it, so every time he speaks, he's looking
down or elsewhere, looking like he's pondering something. LOL, it's making me laugh just
thinking of it, and they were all just about falling out of their chairs reflecting on it. Adrian also
found it amusing that Methos ran to the door with his sword, asking him, "Do you always
sleep with your sword?" There was a part of that scene playing also with Methos sitting up
in his boxers when Adrian noted somewhat quietly, and it didn't appear many heard him,
the first of his many off-color jokes and references over the weekend, "He had his sword
in his hand."

He did a similar thing when Methos walked up from behind Duncan (or was it the other dude?)
in the garden, and Adrian was trying to keep track of when he had his sword and when he
didn't, because the lack of realism from the "Where did the sword come from?" question
bothered him throughout the series. He made comments about carrying a great big sword,
and again somewhat quietly stated to Peter, "Ya, it's hard walking with a sword in your..."
as he trailed off. LOL, cheeky little monkey. David paid Peter, Lizzie, and Adrian a huge
compliment, telling us to pay close attention to the scenes that have the 3 of them in it, or
between any of them, and compare it to those without them. "Talk about chemistry," he
said- those scenes just pop, stand out from the others. They seemed touched and a little
bashful about it, and thanked him for it. David also mentioned again how the fellow cast in
FUOT was not at all who'd they'd intended on casting- he'd written the part as a counterpart
to Duncan- tall, handsome, wordly looking, obviously worthy of Amanda's affection and
able to intimidate Duncan (as his equal). As they put it, there just wasn't anyone else like
him! (But we all know that already!) Anyway, he was shocked to see the dailies come
back with this short red-headed guy. The best part was he wrote it so that the guy would
dress "at the height of fashion," meaning a very slick, dark suit, for instance, as he pictured
it. Little did he know that at that time in Paris the "height of fashion" was bright orange.

He asked, "What did we do, hire Bozo the Clown?" In the end, it was too late to do anything
about it. But they had a blast joking about that during the commentary/screening of FUOT,
and pointing out that, "Oh here he's got a dark suit on, however, note that he's still got the
orange shirt. We shot it on the same day as the bar scene. He just always had to have
orange on, didn't he?!" or something to that effect. They were all laughing their butts off
every time he came on the screen practically. Everyone kind of "oooooh"'d when Duncan
walks into the bar with his hair down to challenge him, which made him laugh- it was really
interesting watching him watch himself, tensing his facial muscles when he was all
serious onscreen, for example, or just looking downright intrigued because he said he
hadn't seen it on years and didn't remember it- he looked as though he were trying to
remember the dialogue. Peter asked if it was scripted that the dude fall off the edge over
the fence during the fight near the end, and Adrian remarked, "Of course! This was all
exactly as it was written," or something similar with a big smirk and a laugh.

One of the funniest things was when Adrian made them rewind the part where Amanda
misses whacking the guy with her sword in the beginning, outside of the bar. He asked, "I
mean, come on- how did you NOT see the door?!" She was clearly embarrassed and
laughing, "I know, I know. That was so bad! I'm terrible!" David said it was one of those
things that didn't turn out right in post and therefore looked pretty cheesy. I'd noticed
that scene myself before and found it rather humorous- LOL, glad they did, too. There
was a huge pity party in the scene where Duncan is in Darius' church and saying how
tired he was of the killing- Adrian loooved that, and made a big sad face followed by a
 huge grin. Umm... I can't think of anything else from that right now, but I probably will
the next time I watch it. It was great, though- I just wanted to take them home and watch
everything with them.

The main thing I remember about the sword choreography part was F. talking about how
Adrian's injury in The Modern Prometheus. He said that the man playing Byron did not
do a pivot of his head, as dancers do while turning, so he blindly turned around to his right
with the sword leading instead of his eyes, and it would have been OK for Adrian to block
except that in the two moves just prior, Adrian had missed grabbing the cane (or whatever
was thrust at him with Byron's left hand) which altered his positioning and left him open
to the oncoming shot and unable to block it when the sword was brought around. The led
to the cut near the eye you guys were just showing the pics from. Adrian said he could
have either left for the day, shutting down production at $30-40,000 a day, gone to the trailer
and had a local anesthetic injected near there for the stitches he needed, however that
would have made it swell terribly, or he could get the stitches without it and try to finish the
 fight, with the cameras favoring his left side instead.

Of course our hero chose option 3, and as noted, you can see quite clearly during the
fight that he had been injured, and their attempt to avoid direct shots of it. Other than that,
F. mentioned that he had between 3-4 hours a week usually to work with the actors to
train them for the (sometimes multiple) fight sequences, and usually that was by grabbing
them for 10 or 15 minutes here and there between takes. He said there were many close
calls, even some hits (he said he'd been hit at least 3 times, as well Anthony DeLongis),
and that Adrian in particular really seemed to enjoy when F. would take a shot while he
was directing- ("You see? How'd ya like that?!" or just a deep "Heh heh heh!")- getting back
at him for all he went through, particularly working with the actors who were novices to
swordfights, because they're completely unpredictable, and therefore the most dangerous.
He said that Peter was tremendous, and Peter said he'd studied it at school. He made fun
of Adrian, saying how he changed all the moves F. would teach him, but that he had to
because he had such a different build from him and therefore moved very differently, which
could make planning the choreography challenging. F. said that most of the actors wanted
to do the fights themselves, with the exception of two guys who just said, "Nope, I have no
interest in it whatsoever." Then he'd just throw in a double for it. He said he'd rather teach
the actors because he'd have to take the same amount of time to train the double as the actor,
and if it was really them the crew could get all the great closeups of the fight, however, if they
weren't interested he'd rather they say so and do the replacement.

He said this was less dangerous that those that thought they knew what they were doing,
or that would say, yes, I'm experienced- I had a fight scene in a movie I did in 1968. He
mentioned a scene where it's in the desert and it's he and Anthony I believe duking it out
across the top of a sand dune (not very easy, he noted!) It was also difficult to plan out the
choreography when the agents for the actors that were to be cast had no idea if they were
left or right-handed, which also affected what weapon they were ordering, so sometimes
they had to double up on weapons and he'd plan out and teach two different versions of the
fights. He thought it ridiculous since the agents had to have shook their clients' hands, or
seen them sign a contract or something!

Bill Panzer wasn't able to attend this weekend due to a family emergency I believe, so that
was it for the day. I then ran upstairs to change and back down to get in line for the concert.

First, a couple things I remembered about earlier in the day: Peter was speaking about his
first day shooting Methos, and he was told that he was to "sense" another Immortal
approaching, and he thought, "What in the heck does that mean? So, what do I do?" They
told him he kind of feels it, like a ringing in his body. He thought, "Uh, okaaay...," totally
confused, so he said he just sort of emptied his mind, looked off in the distance and glazed
his eyes over. Also, later on when F. Braun was discussing the swordfights, he was
explaining how the sparks are created (via opposing electrical charges created by attaching
a wire to each blade, so they spark when in contact with each other), but in the early years
(prior to another method of doing this that I didn't catch) this meant that while they were
fighting they had the long cords trailing off of their bodies and had to step over them and
adjust their movements accordingly, and men stood behind them trying to flip the cords
out of the way and stay out of the shots (I think he said they might be seen in some
instances if you look carefully).

Another thing I forgot was when Lizzie and Adrian were discussing their chemistry, and
were asked if their characters loved each other (which they both answered in the affirmative-
Lizzie said he was her heart, he said she his life)- they touched on the fact that they couldn't
be together because he did say there was the part about potentially having to face her in
the Game, but more so she was just trouble, and they took a vote on how long they'd be
able to live together without driving each other nuts- folks seemed to think somewhere
between 20-30 years or so (Lizzie soon started auctioning off the years... "Do I hear 50?")-
people seemed to think 100 was out of the question. Adrian said Amanda was like chocolate
saying that while bad for you, it tastes good, and he wants/needs it. She joked about him
wanting it all, and he said, "Well, I'm a man, aren't I? Come on, guys- who's with me on this?
How many guys do we have here? What, one? Two?" He then counted those on the left side
of the room, up to five, then kept talking a bit while standing up in front of us, then he noticed
Jim, pointed excitedly and said, "Oh, there's another one! Six! Seven... there's seven guys
here," which he found rather amusing. What a flirt. I don't know how he can come off so
obviously knowing he's a god without doing so in a conceited manner- that's a fine line to walk,
but he has no misconceptions of our desires.

The Caberet.......
We lined up early for the concert, and ended up with front row (right center) seats. I was so
excited I thought my heart was going to explode. I think I was already tearing up at this point,
I was so happy. (Forgot to mention, I'd done quite a bit of tearing up during Adrian's sessions,
particularly when he'd pick up a sword or even just do some moves without one- oh, the grace,
the grace.) I had no idea what to expect, and the anticipation was killing me. I saw the
schedule was posted elsewhere, although it was altered from that a bit, to a much more
dramatic effect. John Mosby, our Master of Ceremonies, I thought did a fantastic job- he was
very funny playing the devil, and had a bit describing our show as taking place in hell. He said
he was dividing the crowd of sinners into groups, and got a lot of yells when asking where the
fornicators were, to which he replied, "My, there are a lot of you, aren't there?" with a wink.
He also had a separate grouping for the Welsh... hey now! Peter and I both sat up in our seats
taking offense (in good spirit of course). It was great to be able to sit and watch the others'
reactions to the each of the acts, as they sat in the front row on the opposite side. They just
seemed to get a huge kick out of everything.

James Horan was up first and sang "It's a Most Unusual Day," followed by "If Ever I Would
Leave You." He sang the first verse of this song to (directed at) the woman about 3 seats to
my left, then the second to me. It was almost awkward, with him being only a few feet away,
but I managed to keep eye contact with him and listen intently. Toward the end of that verse
he smiled a little and turned away to finish the song. Little did I know that just prior to the
smirk he glanced at Jim, sitting to my right, who gave him a joking look of, "Hey, what do
you think you're doin' with my woman?" followed by a smile, prompting James to nearly
start laughing and turn. Smooth, Jim, smooth.

F Braun McAsh followed with a standup bit entitled "A Typical Day in the Life on the Set,"
incorporating a lot of the trials and tribulations encountered while working on the show, such
as the telephone game would play out when the producers would tell someone on the set
that they wanted to speak with him when they got there, and that person would tell another
they needed to reach him ASAP, which turned into NOW by the time it made it to the next
person, and then reached "emergency status" by the time he was paged while driving in
to work, prompting him to pull off and try to hunt down a pay phone only to learn he was
only casually needed once he arrived.

Next up was definitely a highlight- Lizzie said that she wanted to pick out a song that
Amanda would choose to sing with Methos when they walked into a karaoke bar, so she
and Peter sang a hysterical version of "I Got You Babe," replete with a feather boa for her.
Peter forgot his lyrics in the second verse, which was very amusing, and I'll just add, it's
a good thing he's a great actor! Hehe, but he knows that- he wasn't going for serious. He
was very excited that he remembered, though, when it was his turn to sing the "So put
your little hand in mine" line, prior to them dancing goofily together, somewhat
Monkeys-style. Lizzie also did a great Cher impression for one of her solos. It was terrifically
sappy, as I'm sure you'll see on the tape. Adrian was laughing himself out of the seat and
cheered wildly for them.

David Abramowitz then got up and got the crowd going (and clapping) with the Jewish song
"Hava Nagilam" as he danced around the stage. I can't remember if he sang this immediately
following (I don't think he did, but can't remember exactly where it fit in), but later he said he
was going to do the sappy portion of the show, but it ended up being incredibly touching,
actually- he wanted to pay tribute to his years on the show and working with these guys that
he so admired. They had put together a video montage with clips from the show, and started
it out early with Duncan & Tessa, and that already had me start tearing up- they showed
pieces from the intros, romantic and funny moments as he sang "The Way We Were."
He was very talented and had a very powerful voice (and knew how to use it with the big
crescendo and soft end), and it was just so moving. I got the feeling everyone was hanging
on by a thread not to burst into sobs by the time he was done. All the stars looked very
 touched as well, and David had tears in his eyes.

James Horan sang for us again, this time choosing "Walking in Memphis," which was a
song that seemed very suited to his voice- he really seemed to enjoy himself singing this one.
Lizzie followed with another intro, saying she picked a song that she thought Amanda would
sing for Duncan, and she told everyone that they had to sing along with her (she seemed
rather nervous about going solo). I sure don't know why, because she sang "Desperado,"
and she did an outstanding job. She had a beautiful voice, as she sang in Adrian's direction
while he listened intently. I've heard a lot of really bad renditions of that awesome song, and
this was probably one of the best I've heard, I think. There was a hush over the audience as
she sang, perhaps because everyone was surprised like I was that she was so good; however,
they joined in when she waved for help during the ending chorus. Afterward she stepped
offstage to give Adrian a kiss on the head- it was quite sweet; they're obviously very close.
He was clapping his hands so hard I thought they were going to fall off.

Peter Wingfield stepped up to the mike to sing a song from Methos to Cassandra, a song
he thought was represented him just perfectly: "Only the Good Die Young." He thought he
was going to forget the words, but he actually did a good job, even remembering to change
the name to Cassandra when appropriate, and it was a rather rousing version. He jumped
off the stage after he yelled, "Sax solo!" to dance in the aisle with someone from the third
row (left)- was that one of the Angels, come to think of it? (Since you said that's where y'all
were... that'd be cool!) He got so into it he barely made it back onstage to continue singing
after the solo.

Lizzie said she wrote a scene for us, based in Italy. We were to picture that this was after
the years of Amanda in the Raven (obviously post-HL), and it costarred the Contessa Ippolita
as a fortune teller. Entitled "Amanda seeks her fortune in Florenceâ¦," it was a cute mini-play,
where she wandered into the fortune teller's shop while running from an Immortal that was
following her. After looking at her hand, the Contessa told Lizzie she had the longest lifeline
she'd ever seen. She also told her she saw a man in her life (to which Lizzie replied, "Not
another one... :" tall, dark, handsome, and wearing a kilt... and she assured her that he loved
her. The Contessa had a very funny line in it, but darned if I can remember it!

James Horan recited a couple of moving Irish letters touching on war, suffering, family, and
love, and then he sang the classic "Danny Boy," which I think was his best song for the night.
Always a depressing song, it was especially interesting to listen to the lyrics given the
context of the letters' subject matter.

By this point I was getting very anxious, because I'd noticed Adrian had slipped out some
time ago, and they said they were bringing the show to a close. My heart was pounding,
and they introduced Michael Gough, who was dressed in full Scottish regalia and played
"Amazing Grace" on the bagpipes. He entered from the back of the room, which was dark
except for the spotlight on him, and he walked down the aisle to the stage while playing,
then turned right and stood to the side of the stage while continuing playing. I'm sorry to
say I didn't notice him too much after he was about halfway down the aisle, because I saw
Adrian in his Asian black silks- sorry I don't know the terminology at all. He had his arms
crossed in front and had a very solemn look on his face as he slowly walked down the aisle
following the piper. It was so dramatic, I started tearing up before he even hit the stage- I
was in absolute awe, particularly since his clothes revealed what he was about to do, and
my Lord, that has to be one of my favorite parts of HL, the few times they show it. He
stepped onto the stage and stood facing the screen, backs to us. There was again a
dramatic pause. When the music stopped, he turned around to his left and gave a great
big mischievous smirk to the audience, before turning back around (something along the
lines of, "You're just dying to know what's next, aren't you?"

This is a man that has no doubts how much we adore him. He finally turned around (I think
music started again by this point, but to be honest, I can't even be sure- although I clearly
remember his grunts and foot stomps), and began an elaborate kata, revealing the two
butterfly knives (according to Matthew MacLeod's write-up, or else I wouldn't know exactly-
but the description fits...) that had been concealed on the walk in. It was just... oh man, it
was beautiful, it was so moving (I know I keep saying that, but there's just no better word),
it was so incredibly graceful, overwhelming, etc., etc., etc. It was much too short.
OK, well, maybe I'd want it to go on forever. It was actually longer than I'd expected, so
more yet less than I'd hoped for, if that makes sense. My eyes were completely filled with
tears as I tried to memorize exactly what I was seeing- I noticed I'd also grabbed my heart
as I watched- LOL, funny, I don't know that I've ever done that before... it's such a "movie
moment" thing to do. It was probably because I subconsciously thought my heart was
going to burst. I suppose breathtaking is an appropriate word also, because I don't think
that bodily function was working, either. What more can I say? You simply must buy the
tape or DVD, if you had any doubts. (No, I get no commission.) ;)

The crowd of course went wild and leapt to its feet. My Lord, I'd only ever dreamed of seeing
that in person. I just couldn't believe it. I was so grateful. Jim was digging through my purse
for a tissue- LOL, how do our SO's do it? I just don't know. To make matters (and me) even
worse, Michael Gough then closed the show with a tin whistle rendition of "Bonny Portmore,"
Roger Bellon's stunningly beautiful ballad from Homeland. I swear, every time I hear it, I
stop what I'm doing, and it darned near always makes me tear up, I assume primarily due
to its use on the show (e.g., I just watched Not To Be today, and I was a mess by the end
of the closing montage.) I leaned forward in my seat and closed my eyes through most of it,
and as he hit those high notes, I just felt like I was transported, I could feel Homeland, I was
there with Duncan in Scotland. Ugh. It was over. We cheered like mad, a standing ovation,
and after the final bows, it was like a collective sigh went through the crowd, as everyone
was able to catch their breath. I had to just sit for a while and let the tears flow (don't make
the ugly face, now!), while I tried to gather myself. I was spent.

We eventually made it out to the foyer and I sat in a chair for a bit before finally regaining
the energy to wobble myself up the street to Carl's Jr., only I was a wreck for the rest of the
night. I kept having visions of what I'd just witnessed, primarily Adrian, pop into my head over
and over again, catching me by surprise, and every time I'd well up with tears again- LOL,
I was losing it trying to order my food, I had to go outside before all the people staring at
me in there locked me up. To my memory, I don't think I've ever been that happy in my life
(wow, is that sad, or what?) I probably had Jim utterly confused, but he took it in stride as
always- so patient. He didn't even leave me when we were attempting to unwind back in
the hotel room and I said, "Um, I'm in love with Adrian Paul. I want to see more of him NOW."

I'd wanted to go find the Angels that night, but I ended up staying that emotional and nutty
until about 1:30am, when I finally started getting a bit tired, and knowing I had to get up
bright and early I decided to try to sleep soon after (and finally surprisingly managed to
pass out- man, I wish I could remember those dreams!) I should've just gone that night,
because although I was trying to be a bit more sane when I visited with the Angels in
their party room on Sunday, I still kept getting attacked by those flashbacks, in
addition to new ones from that day, so it was a lost cause and I ended up losing it in
front of them, but they were so kind and understood exactly what I was feeling too!.

The End


Karen's Story.........
February 26, 2004 (Thursday)

After successfully meeting up with Gail, Elaine, Riley, Carmen and Anita at the airport
(joined by Debbie S. when her plane arrived), we proceeded to the hotel by shuttle bus.  
The first person we met when we came into the lobby was "Big John" Bierly (wonderful
guy, BTW, and emcee for the entire weekend).  He was so enthusiastic about the
up-coming events, and got us pumped up in a BIG way!  
We took our stuff up to the room, and Riley and one or two others went to pick up the
rental vehicle she had booked for us to tool around LA in.  Riley was terrific, BTW.  
She'd planned out a wonderful itinerary that took us to many interesting and famous
places throughout Thursday afternoon and Friday.  I saw more of LA than I thought
possible in such a short space of time!!  THANKS, Mama Angel!
My fascination (just ask anybody who was there!) was the palm trees all around the city.  
(Hey..........we don't have any up here in Canada, okay??  LOL )  I was thrilled to see
the Pacific Ocean at long last, even though we froze our butts off!  The southern California
weather wasn't exactly as warm as I'd expected it to be, but it was, after all, February,
and still much warmer than up here in Toronto!  I know we went to Venice Beach,
Muscle Beach and the Santa Monica Pier area, and we wandered along, frequenting
lots of little shops and booths along the way.  There was one particular shop with
some interesting green leaves hanging down................LOL
We met with Sheryl318 (lovely lady, BTW) for dinner at a wonderful Mexican restaurant
in Santa Monica, and then headed back to the hotel for some much-needed rest.  
(Rest??  What is that??  LOL )

(Riley note): On Saturday we piled into the van again and wandered around Los Angeles
....cruised Sunset Blvd, souvenier shopped along Hollywood Blvd and since it was the
night before the Oscars we were in the midst of all the Hollywood preparation. We
sneaked in a back way and ended up overlooking the red carpet at Mann's Chinese
Theater. We looked at the footprints and handprints of the famous out front too. Then
we headed to Beverly Hills. There were helicoptors overhead and armed guards all over
the place. Many of Hollywood's elite were picking up their gowns and jewels for the
festivities later that night.(end Riley note)
I won't say much about the actual convention because, as I said, Kristie is doing a stellar
job of it.  (Way to go, Kristie!!)  I will say that I'll never, ever forget my first view of Adrian
Paul walking out on stage!  That image will be burned into my memory forever!  He was
stunning, all dressed in black (and very close-fitting clothes  VBEG ), and smiling that
wonderful smile of his.  SIGH!!!  Even though we were sitting near the front, it was hard to
get great pictures of him while avoiding people's heads, but I did manage to get a few
pretty good ones.  As we were only allowed to take pictures for the first couple of minutes
of each session, I didn't get as many as I would have liked to.  

At this point, I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed all the other guests and their
contributions, but I know you'll understand when I say Adrian stands out for me so
much more.  
As for personal confrontations, I got to meet Elizabeth Gracen a couple of times.......
lovely lady who is far more beautiful in person than I could have though possible.........
and also James Horan, who was very friendly and shook my hand.  I would have met
F. Braun if I could have stayed awake and hung out at the bar in the evenings, but I could
barely keep my eyes open by the time it was 9:00 pm.  (That 3-hour-time-difference
thingy!)  All the guests were very relaxed, and shared so many interesting and humorous
stories that I could have listened to them for hours and hours.  (Congrats to the HLDU
gang who organized such a great con, and managed to foster such a good atmosphere
that everyone was able to enjoy themselves. )
Highlights for me, con-wise, had to be the Saturday night concert and the Sunday auction.  
But getting to spend time with my Angels friends, both old and new, was so very special,
too.  I got to meet Kristie and Linda B.,(a couple of our newer Angels), Sheryl, Rottweiler
(Dorothy), who was one of my very first on-line AP friends, Mischief, Colleengael (sp?),
the two Davis/Panzer ladies (forgive me, but I can't remember your names!  LOL ), Sarita
(SBO) and her husband, Mr. SBO, another Gail who lives quite close to me (and we didn't
even know it!), Matthew MacLeod (who may never recover from his experiences with the
Angels!), "Big John", Carmel, Nancye, Glo and the rest of the HLDU gang, and many,
many others whose names escape me at the moment.  (Please forgive my memory lapse!)  
Of course, getting together with the wonderful ladies I met last August in Philly was terrific
(Hi Becky, Anita, Gail, Carmen, Elaine, Riley, Debbie S., and Ro!).  I've always said that
Highlander fans are the BEST people in the world!
This trip was a totally unrealistic dream, but one which came true for me, and I'll never forget
it as long as I live.  Seeing Adrian Paul, in the flesh (so to speak!), was amazing beyond
words, and the rest of the HL crew were so giving of themselves, so open and friendly, I
couldn't believe it.  So cheers to everyone who was there, and to everyone who was
involved with making this convention what it was...............GREAT!!!!!

The End

(Use controls to stop music if you wish)

The Eagles

Desperado, why don't you come to your senses?
You been out ridin' fences for so long now
Oh, you're a hard one
I know that you got your reasons
These things that are pleasin' you
Can hurt you somehow

Don' you draw the queen of diamonds, boy
She'll beat you if she's able
You know the queen of hearts
 is always your best bet

Now it seems to me, some fine things
Have been laid upon your table
But you only want the
 ones that you can't get

Desperado, oh, you ain't gettin' no younger
Your pain and your hunger,
 they're drivin' you home
And freedom, oh freedom well,
that's just some people talkin'
Your prison is walking
through this world all alone

Don't your feet get cold in the winter time?
The sky won't snow and the sun won't shine
It's hard to tell the night time from the day
You're loosin' all your highs and lows
Ain't it funny how the feeling goes away?

Desperado, why don't you come to your senses?
Come down from your fences, open the gate
It may be rainin', but there's a rainbow above you
You better let somebody love you, before it's too late

Hope you enjoyed the reports from the HLDU Walkabout!
WE had fun being there!

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