Gabriel Tigerman and Charles Malik Whitfield
After Saturday's Q and A with Gabe and Charles, I was really looking forward to their second. I was not disappointed.
Gabe opened with, “I want to thank Jensen for being our warm-up act...”
On Saturday, Malik had promised to be at the disco that night, and he opened by explaining why he wasn't there – he said no one would give him a ride from the hotel. To make up for it, he invited several girls from the audience to the stage, asked for music and went on to dance with each of them. Gabe joined in, but he looked a little like he wasn't sure what do do with himself.
This was followed by Gabe demonstrating his martial arts skills.
In a reference back to Saturday's Q and A, someone suggested a solution to Gabe's plane crash problem. It was a debate on mind-control vs teleportation; the problem being if you're on a plane that's about to crash, mind control won't save you. The suggested solution was pray: since you have the power of mind control God will be obliged to save you. Gabe thought this was totally awesome and seemed overwhelmed by the notion that “he” could mind-control God.
Doug referred to Makik's story on Saturday about getting himself out of drug dealing, and how much respect everyone had for him for that. I totally agree. Malik's response was it wasn't something he did alone; he couldn't have done it without the help and support of others. “I'm successful because there's a big we that's a part of me,” is how he put it. Respect, man. I really want to meet him again.
The subject of Gabriel's height came up; I think the question was something like how did he feel surrounded by such tall people. Gabe said it was great working with Jared and “he's only four feet taller than me!”
There was more talk about dance and Gabe was asked to give a demonstration. Malik said he'd do it – the guy is a real exhibitionist, but then I guess you have to be in the business – and did break dancing on stage! He's really good. There's a vid of it floating around: I really recommend taking a look.
One of the funniest parts of the panel was the talk about Gabe's recent film. It's called Skills Like This. On each side of the stage there were these huge monitors so people at the back could see what's going on on stage. The screens were also used to flash up messages throughout the day – calls to autographs etc. Gabe asked them to put the URL for his movie on the screen. The conversation went something like this:
On screen: SKILLZ LIKE DIS?
Gabe: (notices text on screen and laughs) No, no. Skills. With an S. (apparently he didn't notice the third word).
On screen: SKILLS LIKE DIS?
Gabe: (Finally spots the misspelling of the third work and cracks up)
On screen: SKILLS LIKE THIS dot com
Gabe: Yeah, and there was a subtitle. Gabriel is Awesome.
On screen: “dot com” disappears to be replaced with NO CHANCE
Everyone: hysterical laughter.
When we'd all stopped laughing long enough for the next question, someone asked a common con question: if you were a superhero which one would you be? They both wanted to be Batman (although Gabe said he wouldn't do the Batman voice – and promptly did it, imitating Christian Bale's Batman voice). They argued a bit over which one of them would be Batman; Malik insisted Gabe could be Robin, to which he responded “why would I be Robin when Batman's on the table?” I don't think they actually resolved it.
Next question was for Gabe. I really should have written down the questions as well as the answers, but this was something like “If you could be Jensen for a day what would you do?” Gabe's response was hilarious. He put on a pair of dark glasses and said, “I'd lean on a lot of things.” He went on to do the best impersonation of Jensen-as-Dean I've ever seen. So funny.
After that they were asked “Who would play you in a movie of your life?” and Gabe instantly answered “Jensen”. I must admit, that's a movie I'd like to see :-) Malik struggled with that question. The audience helpfully offered suggestions, but the only one he seemed to hear was Samuel L Jackson; and Malik refused that one, saying Samuel's too old. (True enough.)
They were brilliant guests, and I will most definitely be at any UK con in the future that has Malik on the guest list. I had thought about asking him more about his past; I almost did, but when the subject came up he gave even less detail than before. I can take a hint and wasn't going to pressure him into answering too-personal questions.
As I said in part 1 of my Sunday report, I was conscious on Sunday that I needed to eat properly or get really unwell. As a result, though I did see the beginning of Fredric's Q and A, I had to leave not long into it, to join the lunch queue before it got out of hand. I'm gutted about missing it, especially as his was one of the Saturday panels I missed, too. But here's what I did see.
Fredric came on with an acoustic guitar and treated us to his version of Sympathy For The Devil. He's good. And he'd changed some of the lyrics. For example: Who killed John Winchester? / It wasn't me / It was Eric Kripke. and something about Sam and Dean which I didn't catch.
He told jokes. “A guy walks into a bar...” and then he talked about how culture affects jokes, the way something that works on one side of the pond doesn't work in the UK.
Someone asked if it was true he was expelled from high school and naturally Fredric told us the whole story. On this one, you've got to track down a vid if there is one 'cause I cannot get it across in print. But the story was about a planned prank that didn't go down quite as planned. He and a friend/accomplice had got a load of fake blood and a stage knife. The plan was for the friend to fake-stab him in class, for some kind of show-and-tell thing, but the teacher didn't get around to them. As they left the classroom, there was a big crowd of kids and they decided not to waste all the preparation they'd done. So they faked having an argument, and that got them an even larger audience, then Fred's friend fake-stabbed him and he pretended to die, scaring the crap out of some cheerleader in the process. Someone ran for the school nurse. Fred revealed the fake-out but then the nurse showed up and – now with a hundred accomplices – he continued the deception...scaring the crap out of the nurse. It got him kicked out of school right before graduation.
Clearly, he had a flair for the dramatic even then :-) The story ends on an ironic note: two years lat the school asked him to come back and speak on career day! Fred said he agreed on condition they send him his diploma.
He was asked about his work on Lost. Fred thought that three weeks work in Hawaii was a good deal. But it turned out that three weeks lying on a beach wrapped in blankets and prosthetic injuries turns Hawaii into Hell.
The last thing I heard before I had to leave was someone asking him whether he would prefer to be an Angel or a Demon. Fred immediately answered “Angel” and added, “what a stupid question! Would you rather be damned for all eternity or live in Heaven?”
Coming in part three as soon as I can manage it - Jared's second panel, Amy, Matt and Sam, and Misha.