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Firefly Fans Converge at First Ever Flanvention -- Day One Report

Guest Author - Michelle Snow

In early December 2005, I found myself at the Burbank Hilton, surrounded by Browncoats. Not merely a fashion choice, Browncoats refers to fans of Joss Whedon's short-lived, but much loved series, "Firefly." And the reason they were all gathered together was the first ever Big Damn Flanvention.

Morena Baccarin, Sean Maher, Alan Tudyk and Adam Baldwin at the Flanvention 2005 [photo: Michelle Snow]The BDF brought together most of the cast members from the series with the fans who not only kept the love alive, but managed to make enough noise to get a movie made from the cancelled series. The three day convention -- or Flanvention as it is referred to, as a play on star Nathan Fillion's vocal slip of calling fans "flans" in an interview -- included many opportunities to hang with the actors. In addition to Q&A panels and photo ops, there was a cocktail party and even a chance to have dinner with the cast members.

The event started Friday, Dec 8, with an opening ceremony introducing the many guests. Present were the majority of the leads from Firefly and Serenity: Adam Baldwin (Jayne Cobb), Sean Maher (Simon Tam), Summer Glau (River Tam), Morena Baccarin (Inara Sera), Ron Glass (Sheppard Book), Alan Tudyk (Wash Hoburn) and Jewel Staite (Kaylee Frye). Nathan Fillion (Capt. Malcolm Reynolds) was also supposed to be there but was held up on the set of the movie he was filming. Also present were many others from the FF/Whedon universe: Jonathan Woodward (Tracey on Firefly), Keith R.A. DeCandido (author of the Serenity novelization), James Leery (Clem on Buffy), Dennis Christopher (Cyvus Vail on Angel), Raphael and Yan Feldman (Fanty and Mingo from Serenity), Christina Hendricks (Saffron on Firefly), Jason Carter (Repo Man on Angel) and Camden Toy (various roles on Buffy).

Keith R.A. De Candido, Camden Toy, Jewel Staite and Morena Baccarin at the Flanvention 2005 [photo: Michelle Snow]Following the ceremony, there was a short break as the room was sectioned in half for the evening's cocktail party. That event started at 7pm, but many of the actors and other guests didn't start showing until after 7:30. Some, such as Baccarin, Glau and Maher stayed for a short time, then left. But the rest of the guests in attendence stayed until the end, each occupying an area of the room surrounded by fans.

I spotted Alan Tudyk first. Ok, so we both turned around at the same time and crashed into each other. But after a quick check that the other was ok -- he didn't even spill his drink -- we settled into a short conversation about his recent stint on Broadway in Monty Python's Spamalot. I asked if the strain of daily singing affected his vocal chords and he said the worst was when he got sick and still had to sing. His throat was so sore he had to get a shot of prednisone to make his shows for the week. Having gotten one myself in my past life as a singer, I joked, "So you were feeling no pain?" "None whatsoever," he laughed back.

Dennis Christopher, Keith R.A. De Candido, Camden Toy, Yan and Raphael Feldman, Ron Glass, Summer Glau and Morena Baccarin at the Flanvention 2005 [photo: Michelle Snow]Noticing a crowd forming around us, I decided not to hog his attention and, giving him a quick hug, ventured off in search of the other guests. At a little over six feet in height, it wasn't hard to spot Adam Baldwin leaning up against one of the walls. While the man has an imposing stature, in person, he's very kind and gracious -- the kind of unpretentious person you could just hang out with in corner bar. With so many people around him, we only talked briefly and then I kept on my rounds.

The twins Raphael and Yan were nearby and I spoke a bit with Raphael. In addition to his acting, he mentioned he was in a band that played occasionally around L.A., though I couldn't quite hear the name of it in the din that was growing louder as more people entered the room.

Jewel Staite at the cocktail party at the Flanvention 2005 [photo: Michelle Snow]As I was approaching Jewel, the event organizers announced it was Dennis Christopher's birthday. He blushed a bit as he was presented with a cake and the entire room sang an extremely off-key rendition of "Happy Birthday." Not one of music's finest moments, but heartfelt, nonetheless.

Jewel had a small crowd around her, but she was enjoying herself and the conversations. I managed a quick hello to her and her musician friend Patrick Masse and then settled in for a conversation with Keith about what it's like to get published as a fiction author.

By this time, the evening was winding down, so I called it a night. Normally I'm the last one to shut down a party, but I needed to get an early start the next morning, so it was off to bed.


Want more?

Read the continuing report of Day 2 of the Flanvention here and Day 3 here.


Related articles of interest:

Serenity Movie Review
Serenity DVD Review


Meet the cast of Serenity at the Big Damn Flanvention 2! Get yout tickets now!
Meet the cast of Serenity at the Big Damn Flanvention 2! Click here for tickets and more info.


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Content copyright © 2015 by Michelle Snow. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Michelle Snow. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Trina Boice for details.


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