I’m quite a newbie on the convention scene so this was my second convention and first Starfury convention. The first one had guests exclusively for True Blood, but seeing as this one had 2 guests advertised, Mariana Klaveno who plays Lorena and Allan Hyde who plays Godric, I thought it was worth going as a True Blood fan. The rest of the guests were mostly from Buffy and Angel. Mariana was one of 2 guest cancellations with a week to go, and the replacements were both from non True Blood shows so I was a bit disappointed! I needn’t have been, as Allan Hyde turned out to be one of the best True Blood guests I’ve seen, and by far the funniest guest talk I’ve seen!
The convention was held at the Thistle Hotel Heathrow, which is a tube ride and hopper bus ride from Heathrow terminals 1,2 & 3. Given its close proximity to the airport, there were quite a few foreigners attending. There were also quite a few Scandinavians who were there to see Allan, who is from Denmark. We first saw Allan in the opening ceremony on the Friday night where the guests were all introduced briefly on stage. This was his first UK convention!
As a gold ticket holder I got to meet all the guests in a sit down meet and greet afterwards that went on for several hours. I’d been to Copenhagen recently so I asked Allan about the abundance of all you can eat Herring buffets that seem prevalent in the restaurants over there. This led on to us talking about the Noma, recently voted the best restaurant in the world and near the docks in Copenhagen. He said it had a 90 day waiting limit to get a table!
After the meet and greet there was a Buffy themed party on the Friday night. I went as Captain Hammer from Dr Horrible’s sing a long blog. I saw several ladies dressed up in their Merlotte’s waitress outfits! Didn’t see much of the guests on Friday night, as the meet and greet had gone on quite late!
On the Saturday morning, I went for the photo shoot with Allan dressed as down and out Andy Bellefleur with the hula shirt and arm cast on. He thought the costume was quite funny! There were other ladies there dressed in True Blood costumes for their photo shoot with Allan. Everyone was quite excited!
Then in the afternoon he gave his first guest talk by himself. He was hilarious. He’s only just about to turn 21 and was telling us about hearing about the audition from a Danish agent while he was in his last few months of school. He recorded a tape which was sent to the USA and thought of it as a great audition experience. When he was told he had the part for Godric a few weeks later he said he had a difficult choice to make as it meant not finishing his final school exams. Even his headmaster said he would be foolish to turn down such a great opportunity to be on a mainstream US TV show!
He then went on to tell us about going to LA for filming for a couple of months. It was the first time he had been away from home living with his parents. He was amazed by room service and the fact he could fill his mini bar with lots of sugary drinks and foods that he didn’t get at home. Given he wasn’t of legal drinking age when he was over there; he said he didn’t get any alcoholic drinks in his mini bar! He loved the fact that his room was tidied up for him when he got back from a day’s filming!
He talked about where he got his inspiration to play Godric, who is several thousand years old. He said he got his mannerisms from watching old people, who are quite low key and quiet when they say what they are going to do.
A year or so later he went back went back to LA when the True Blood episodes with Godric were airing. He then went on to tell us about the hassles of getting a car to drive over in LA as he was so young they all cost a fortune. He got a Rio from 2003 which cost him 1800 dollars a month to rent! Man, was he ripped off so he said! He also talked about working with Alex Skarsgard who plays Eric. Some Swedish attendees commented on how strange his Swedish lines that Alex, who is Swedish, helped him to pronounce. Danish and Swedish are quite close languages but it is easy to say words in a Danish way rather than a Swedish way if you are Danish. Allan blamed this on the fact that the only Swedish people he spoke to were drunks who had crossed the bridge from Sweden to Copenhagen to take advantage of the relaxed Danish licensing laws! It was a great talk and so funny!
The autograph signing for gold ticket holders took place after the talks. There was a free photo for gold ticket holders featuring all of the guests that you could get signed and you could get one guest signature from each of them for free. I also paid to get Allan to sign my arm cast from the Andy Bellefleur costume I wore at the photo shoot earlier. He was the fifth cast member from True Blood to sign the cast!
In the evening, I took part in my first cosplay parade. Buffy and Angel featured heavily in the 20 odd attendees that were taking part! I was dressed as Vampire Eddie complete with reclining chair. There was a lady playing Lorena with great blood tears makeup and another girl who played one of Marianne’s victims who had had their heart ripped out! There was a fake ripped open rib cage in her Merlotte’s waitress top and heart which was held in her hand. She came second in the competition! It was quite tricky doing the walk round the dance floor during the parade as I was sat in a chair. I ran on to the middle of the dance floor, sat down for a bit and then got up and ran off again. It was great fun!
There was a concert by a couple of the guests after that and then the Vampire Ball which saw lots more great costumes and ladies dressed up in Vampy dresses. I saw Allan a few times during the evening standing at the bar surrounded by a half semi circle of adoring True Blood lady fans. He was loving it! All in all, it was a great convention and I’m really glad I went! Starfury are already selling tickets for Vampire Ball 2 next October. It’ll be interesting to see which guests they can get from True Blood!
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