I’m currently going through my stack of photos, adding them to the gallery, and blogging my memories of them. This one is from 2007.
There was a time in my life, before The Killers took over, that I was an avid convention attendee. The Whedonverse was my draw, and although I did attend some crossover conventions, those focusing mainly on Buffy, Angel, Firefly and Dollhouse were my regular crack and Starfury Conventions my dealer.
I still remember the exact moment I made the decision to attend Serenity LA, Starfury’s first and only Firefly-related foray into the US convention market. (Starfury held one other US convention around the same time, possibly for the L-Word, but memory fails me) I was on my way back from what remains one of my favourite conventions, Starfury: Serenity 4, a Firefly-themed convention held in Glasgow.
I had just been very disappointed to have to cancel US holiday plans around a Browncoat Cruise (a Firefly-themed cruise convention), run by the Done the Impossible crew as Mr. C could was refused leave from work. I had ruled out going to Serenity LA for financial reasons until I realised, whilst chatting to some fellow attendees on the train home, that I could now have my US holiday after all. Plans were afoot as soon as I returned home.
The convention was different to Starfury’s UK conventions in many ways. The event was spread over three different locations, all venues belonging to Starfury regular guest and compere, Clare Kramer (who played Glory in Buffy the Vampire Slayer), rather than all based in the same hotel. The essential ingredients of guest panels, autographs and photo shoots, along with parties, were still there and I remember we had an excellent time.
My memory of the whole convention is now a little lapsed, but here is what I do recall.
We had VIP tickets which meant we had access to a party including all the guests at La Cantina (sadly now closed down), am mexican-themed bar and restaurant on Hollywood Blvd. The timeline of this may not all be correct, but the memories that stand out are, choosing a spot for the four of us to sit, only to find that Morena Baccarin, Jewel Staite and Christina Hendricks had previously claimed the same spot! We chatted to them for a while before moving on. We also found a set of abandoned car keys on the table, which we handed in at the bar, and they turned out to have been Mark Sheppard’s.
Another great memory was hanging out, outside the bar when J. August Richards (Gunn from Angel) turned up. I think I nearly passed out, he has that affect on me. I shouted hi to him and waved, and probably nearly passed out again when he recognised me and came over to chat. It remains one of my favourite memories from any convention ever. He wasn’t attending the convention, however, seeing as we were in LA, the organiser had invited some of his friends and Starfury guest regulars to come hang out at the bar. I believe that he spent much of the night arguing politics with Adam Baldwin.
I think it was on this first night that we ended up chatting in the bar until late with Jewel Staite and her (now ex) husband, Matt Anderson. They invited us to come along to the other bar, where Jonathan Woodward was holding court with the regular ticket holders.
We walked the short distance along Hollywood Boulevard to L’Scorpion, an amazing tequila bar where we spent the rest of the night. I loved this bar so much and we spent many an evening in there for the rest of our stay in LA. I was delighted to find that it was still open and exactly as I remembered on my more recent trip to LA in 2018.
As for the convention itself, my main memory is a surprise appearance by Nathan Fillion. Nathan was not meant to be attending the event, and was contracted to another event at being held a week before or after, but he sneaked in anyway, and hijacked Jewel, Morena and Christina’s panel.
I think my last and final noteworthy memory is of the last night, where we attended at party at a nightclub just off the Boulevard, I *think* it was called Eternity. It was one of those places that the rich and famous of Hollywood would hang out back in the noughties, allegedly frequented by the likes of Paris Hilton, but on this night it was hired out just for us.
Two things I remember about this night; firstly getting carded on our way in, Mr C. and I had both left our ID back at the hotel, we hadn’t needed it so far and were not used to getting ID checked. We explained we did not have it and said we could nip back to the hotel as it was not so far, but the bouncer waved us in, saying he could tell we were over 21! I did not know whether to be relieved or offended! Our two younger companions were not so lucky but fortunately had their ID with them.
The other memory is of the staff not really knowing what to make of us all, as I mentioned, they were used to a lot more swanky clientele. There was a lady in the bathrooms handing out perfume samples, who exclaimed to me that it was “certainly a very different crowd tonight!” I agreed it really must be.
This was my first experience of LA and it certainly did not disappoint, from flying in on the same flight as Colin Firth (which is for another blog), to bumping into J, to hanging out with the cast of Firefly on Hollywood Boulevard, to dancing in a swanky Hollywood nightclub, I could not really have asked for a better Hollywood experience.
I hope you enjoy my photos. The rest of our holiday is for another blog and gallery.
The guest line up was as follows:
Adam Baldwin – Jayne Cobb (Firefly/Serenity)
Morena Baccarin – Inara Serra (Firefly/Serenity)
Jewel Staite – Kaylee Frye (Firefly/Serenity)
Ron Glass – Shepard Book (Firefly/Serenity)
Mark Sheppard – Badger (Firefly)
Christina Hendricks – YoSaffBridge (Firefly/)
Yan Feldman – Mingo (Serenity)
Jonathan Woodward – Tracey (Firefly)
Nector Rose – Lenore (Serenity)
Dayne Johnson – make up artist, Angel
Nathan Fillion (Surprise appearance) – Mal Reynolds (Firefly/Serenity)