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SFX: The Event - Report for 22nd June 2002

I'll get the rant out of the way before I get down to the juicy stuff:

SFX

What can I say? A number of words spring to mind when I think of their organisational skills, brewery and booze up being a couple, but I keep telling myself that it was their first one and they are bound to make mistakes. Maybe I'm just bitter because I didn't get to meet James, (so he didn't get the painting after all!) but here are a few of what I think of as their mistakes -

Signs

- or should I say lack of them and when you did find them they were A4 sheets of paper. So nobody had a clue what they were doing or where they were going. We joined one queue and asked the people in front what they were queueing for and they didn't know. So we grabbed a steward and found out that the queue to register was down the other end of the building (we had entered through another entrance, not the main one) When we finally got there, no one told us to go to the far end table to pick up our goodie bag, so we didn't get that until half way through the day.

Queues

So we found out there was a queue for 'Photo Shoots' which would cost 12 and take precedence over the autograph sessions. After we joined it we got conflicting information from the stewards (whom I don't blame as they were helpful and some had as much idea about what was going on as us) One said that Saturday only people would get preferential treatment and another said that it would be sold out by the time we got to the front. So we left.... And on hour later walked through to hear that they had only just sold out. If we had stuck it out we would have had tickets - c'est la vie! (to make matters worse the battery on my friends digital camera ran out and so we only got a few photos of him - if anyone would like to email me some I would love you forever!) On top of that, James' time was planned badly. it took him so long to get through the photo shoot, he only got up to ticket number 400 for the autographs (we were 616 and 617, damn!) before it was his turn to speak.

Norbreck castle Hotel

What a dump! It so badly needs money spending on it, both the outside and the inside. I'm so glad our man wasn't staying there. I assume it was one of the only places that was big enough to fit us all in and that's why they chose it. And is it just me, because if I knew that many people were coming to my hotel I would check the toilet paper levels a little more regularly. Or am I being too picky? Plus, and I don't know if this was SFX or the hotel, for the Awards Ceremony the VIP guests had sandwiches on those big plastic platters and had to eat them from paper plates! Don't they deserve china? Or at least earthen ware (can't you tell I come from the Potteries!)

Rant over, now to James.

WOW!

We were all sitting in the main hall, bored, when some girls started cheering, so we swung our heads around and looked up to the balcony and suddenly he appeared! The crowd went wild and he waved, smiled and blew us a kiss. It was all over too soon before he disappeared, but I could tell he was wearing blue jeans, a white top and his battered short leather jacket. His bleach was half in, half out and his hair was gelled into those lovely waves. Sigh!

Later on, a Spike look a like was having a game face put on by the make up people when he appeared again on the balcony and heckled him. (I was in the ladies at the time and my friend saw him, shucks! She said he looked gorgeous)

Because of this, we kept a regular check on the balcony and was rewarded when we saw him walk from the photo shoot section to the autograph section. Can I just say that that sexy saunter of Spike's is natural! And he holds himself very well, as he looks taller than what I know he is.

Just before he came on for his talk, they held a charity auction for Great Ormond Street Hospital and James donated one of his guitars, a red electric one which he signed 'Rock On, James Marsters'. If you won it, you also got your photo taken with him and it. It eventually went for approximately 4,250. A surprise donation was one of the crab thingies that escaped from the eggs in his crypt. Someone yelled out if James would sign it and the special effects guy yelled back 'Where?'. I can't remember how much that went for.

And then it was time for his talk -

He came on stage and the crowd went wild, cheering, screaming, clapping, whistling - the majority of us on our feet. (The room lit up with the number of camera flashes going off.) He held his arms up in the air with a big grin and yelled, "That feels so good!" To prove it, he ran off stage, grabbed a guy from the audience and pulled him up on the stage, asking his name. He then shouted, "And now introducing (says guy's name)" We obligingly applaud and cheer and he turns to him and says, "Tell me, doesn't that feel good?"

He then takes his leather jacket off and he's wearing the white top with the black patterned sleeves that he wears to 14 Below. At one point he lifts his arms up and the top rides up to reveal his lower abdomen and hips (Yum!)

When he listens to the questions he stands looking relaxed, his microphone in his left hand clutched to his chest, his right hand thumb hooked into the waist band of his jeans and his head tilted to the right. For the first question, he wasn't quite sure where to look, so he lifts a hand up to shield his face from the lights and says, "Hey, baby...where are you?" Another girl askes him if he's going to be at the party later that night and he replies, "Yeah, sweat it out with me."

I didn't get everything, as he talks quite quickly and I don't know shorthand, so I was scribbling as fast as I could. But here goes -

Someone asked him if he would sing one of his songs, maybe 'Smile' and he goes all sheepish and admits that he wrote it for a girlfriend that he's just split up with (ahhhhs from the audience there). He then says, "Sometimes I can't get through it," before lowering his head, looking at the stage and singing the first verse. He did sound choked on a few words.

At one point he made a comment about his vampire teeth and how hard it is to talk while wearing them. You come out, trying to look all bad and cool and they apparently make you lisp. He then says, "I'm gonna thuck your blood now", to which we all laugh.

On music and acting, he admits that acting is his first love, but - "Music has saved me." Sometimes he has nearly trashed his apartment in frustration until he's picked his guitar up.

Oh, and he sticks his tongue out and says "You guys!" alot. It's dead cute.

When asked about his first acting role he states that it was Eeyore in school and that "I was brilliant!"

He was asked if he would like to work with Juliet Landau again and he said sure. They tried to push the censors as far as they could and she would feel him up alot. He says to watch Drusilla's hands closely, they're all over him. (While saying this he is running his right hand up and down his torso!)

Why acting? Because - "People put aside their differences and create something beautiful every night."

Then a teenage girl went up and asked to give him a present. He came down off the stage, accepted it and hugged her, turning her to face the audience (and I presume her mum or friend with a camera) Once back on the stage he opens the envelope and it's a birthday card. He looks really touched and says quietly, "Thank you, love, I'll save that." He then puts it on the floor on top of his jacket. (He picked it up at the end before he left along with a CD someone else gave him.)

On Joss Whedon - "he's my favourite guy."

On his wardrobe - there was a period where he would, "Go into my trailer and find a sock." I can't remember how it came up in the conversation, but when asked if he enjoyed doing something he said he would rather go naked, he had no problem with that and could do it now if we wanted. We cheered our encouragement, but he ignored us the tease!

On Angel (jokingly) "He still thinks he has a chance with her!"

Then he was asked what the most challenging scene he had done so far was. He said the shower room scene and wondered if we'd all seen that yet as some only had terrestrial TV. He then said that he had turned down roles in the past that contained that sort of material and admitted, "I can't even watch stuff where women or children get hurt, I want to kill them - I want to kill the writer." Afterwards he went home in tears "blubbering". He was glad he did it as it fitted the story line, etc, but he doesn't want to go through it again.

Someone asked what he thought first made Spike catch on and he said that he thought it was the hair and the coat. Then, he said that maybe because Spike's a jerk and finally because he's changed roles over the years. In season 4 he was a whacky neighbour and season 6 the love interest.

'How much are you like Spike?'
He said that he beats the walls, so much in fact that he doesn't want to move out, because he doesn't want the land lord to see what he's done to his apartment. Like Spike he doesn't pull punches.

On the show Buffy - He may go on to make movies and earn 2 million dollars, but it won't capture the audience like Buffy has. (We all applauded to that)

Someone asked him how he felt about all the swearing he does and that he's introduced the word 'wanker' to America. He stated that swearing never hurt anyone, words said with intent do, but swearing is just naughty and that he "Loves it!" He then said that he had heard a rumour that he was bleeped out over here, which seemed to amuse him. He put on his Spike voice and said, "Hello Buffy bleep bleep bleep bleep." We tell him that he's not bleeped out and he looks a bit disappointed at that.

As I said before someone gave him a CD and asks him if he likes the Sex Pistols. He says that he loves them and doubling over, he sings in a raw voice "We're so pretty, oh so pretty!" The CD had a picture of a child on a roundabout on the cover I think, and he says that that's like the cover of his new album, a child in a circle. He then elaborates and says the Ghost of the Robot album like he thinks we won't know about his band or that it's got an album coming out soon.

When asked what the weirdest thing he's ever had to sign was he replies, "Breasts and it wasn't weird, it was good!"

He thinks that his popularity went up after the Fool For Love epsiode with William in, which he found terrifying. He had always thought that Spike was a bad guy, not a mummy's boy.

He then goes on to talk about how he didn't grow up with his Dad so he didn't learn to fight as a child and how he was picked on at school because he was short. As he got older he went looking for fights and winning them and he hung out with a like minded crowd. He advised kids not to do it.

On Spike and Buffy's relationship, he initially said, "Spike's not good for Buffy," meaning season 6, but then carried on. "Now we're on a different track.... Now that I have a (mouthed 'soul' for the benefit of the members of the audience who only have BBC)...they try to remind you I'm evil, but you don't care - sickos."

He thinks that Buffy is "A powerful show."

If not on Buffy, then what? "I want to be on Dragnet....He was so cool!"

When he was asked if he chose the William wig he admits, "My head's too big for wigs, I have a mammoth skull....that's the only wig that fit."

"I love doing my own stunts...it's the best part."

At the end of stardom he doesn't want to be a jerk. He's surrounded himself with friends who tell him when he's being one.

He went all shy when asked to sing his song from 'Once More With Feeling'. He turned his back on us, put his arms around himself, hung his head and said, "You guys scare me!" He then sang the first verse and it sounded exactly like it does on the show, all low and gravelly - aaarrrgghhh!

He's then asked to do a passage from Macbeth and he obliges. (I'll have to look up which one) He was very intense, looked straight ahead and I don't think he blinked the whole time. His voice had no accent to speak off either, not British or American, just low and intense.

When someone mentions in their question that they're about to turn thirty he says, "Me too."

He said that he went out with Mercedes on a date and then admits (sheepishly) that he left it a week and a half before he called her. After that he blew it and she wouldn't give him the time of day.

In Tabula Rasa it took twelve takes to do the final kissing scene because he kept kissing Sarah for real and she had to tell him that it was like stunt scenes. You don't hit someone for real and neither do you kiss someone for real.

It's all over too soon and he thanks us and waves as he walks off to thunderous applause and cheering.

The SFX Awards Ceremony - or should I say the James Marsters Awards Ceremony?

James won Sexiest Male, Funniest Character and Best Male Actor. He wore black trousers and a very dark blue shirt worn loose, I think I caught a glimpse of a silver necklace as well.

In his acceptance speech for Funniest Character he said, "I get so used to playing him bad, I forget he's also funny."

I think he said this when he won Sexiest Male - "Gee, aw, shucks, ya think?....I don't believe you, but thanks anyway." They played the clip from the opening scene of 'Wrecked' with the view of his naked back (some whistling in the audience) and he told us that one of those scenes had to be cut because it was too hot.

He also collected a lot of awards on behalf of others (meaning he had to run on and off stage quite a bit) and when Buffy received Best Show he said that he was glad we thought so over here and maybe America would realise it soon as well. Buffy also won Best Episode for 'Once More With Feeling.' Each time he went up Victoria Pratt, who was co-hosting, seemed to enjoy kissing and hugging him more enthusiastically until James finally walked up to her with his mouth slightly open as if he was going to french kiss her and then stopped at the last moment and stuck his tongue out. He is far too sexy! Then it was all over and he was the only one to turn around and wave as they left. (Emma wasn't there)

The Party

Not long after it started the DJ made an announcement that 'James Marsters has left the building' and there were disappointed 'ooohhhs.' We left at midnight so he may have turned up later, but I don't blame him for not going. It seemed to me that it was a lot bigger than the Friday and maybe it had overwhelmed him. At certain points you could almost see it dawning on him how huge he was over here. I'd certainly say that 90 per cent of the people there were there to see him, the main hall was only half to two thirds full for others, but jammed for his talk. The Awards Ceremony may have made the point more clear as two of the awards (Best Actor and Sexiest Male) had David Boreanaz nominated too. He probably realised that if he stuck around he would be mobbed, plus it has to be tiring.

All in all it was worth while just to see him in real life and it's nice to discover that he's a really great genuine guy who is that sexy, good looking and charming. So I didn't get to meet him, there's always a next time!

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