Past weekend was the very last True Blood Bitten event in Northampton, UK. Jason Smith aka Andy Bellefleur was there again with his lovely wife Katie and he reports how Truebies party in the UK.
This was the third True Blood convention organised by Massive Events. The big name guest this year was Nelsan Ellis who plays Lafayette. Denis O’Hare who plays Russell Edgington had to be replaced due to being in a play on Broadway which clashed with the convention. Nelsan was to be joined by Lauren Bowles who plays Holly, Lindsay Pulsipher who plays Crystal and Tara Buck who plays Ginger. I was a little sad going into this con as it was announced the week before that this would be the last True Blood Bitten convention that Massive Events would host. I resolved that I would make the most of the weekend and have a great time. Was looking forward to meeting the Bitten crew and cosplaying a variety of True Blood characters over the course of the weekend.
I decided to take the Friday off work this year so I could arrive early and not be so rushed as in previous years. After meeting up with Truebie friends for lunch, checking in to the hotel and registering for the con, I changed into my Sheriff Bellefleur costume that I would be wearing for the party that night and made my way to the convention hall. Everyone was excited that the Bitten con was going to start again. The first shock announcement was that Nelsan had missed his flight from the USA as he had been filming overnight and it had overrun. Massive Events promised he would be there the following morning for photos and autographs and even said they would do a second meet and greet wine reception the following night for gold ticket holders as Nelsan would miss the one that was taking place straight after the opening ceremony. Then we got to meet Tara, Lindsay and Lauren for the first time which got the crowd going. The ladies said they had been enjoying the sights of Northampton and had found a shoe museum to look round!
After the brief introduction at the opening ceremony it was on to the first of two wine receptions with the guests. Lauren (who plays Andy Bellfleur’s girlfriend) said she was very taken with my costume! It was her second convention, the first being a horror convention in Baltimore. Lindsay was wearing some amazing blue high hell shoes that the Truebie ladies in my group loved. She had been to an autograph signing with Joe Manganiello, so it was her first proper con too! Tara looked lovely too.
After the wine reception was the first of the parties, this one being themed round the Halloween party at Merlotte’s in Season 3. Everyone had made great efforts on costumes this year. At 10pm almost everyone made their way outside to the front of the hotel for the first of three group shots of all the convention goers. The party went on quite late and Sheriff Andy was very popular for photos.
I made it to breakfast this next morning dressed as Andy Bellefleur for the first photoshoot starting at 10am. Nelsan had arrived at the hotel shortly beforehand and everyone was excited about that. I also took my Talbot crystal jar down for the photo shoots. First photo shoot was with Lauren followed by Nelsan (who pulled Talbot’s lid off to look inside!) and then Lindsay and then Tara. The queues for autographs were not too bad so it wasn’t long before I had all four signatures added to my Andy Bellefleur arm cast. There was a short break during which I got changed into regular con cloths for the group photo with all four guests and my wife Katie.
The first group talk was a solo one from Lindsay. She was asked what it was like kissing and biting Ryan and about the infamous rape scene which she said was the most awkward scene she had to film. She said biting him was very chocolatey as that’s what they use in the fake blood! She said the funniest thing was the reverse camera shot on Ryan from her point of view when Ryan was tied to the bed which had one of the cameraman bouncing up and on him for a long time and filming his reaction. She would like to come back on the show and try and beat the crap out of Jessica!
The next solo talk was from Tara. She was asked about her trade mark scream and said “It just came out”, which made the audience laugh. She said the best/funniest Ginger moment was riding the coffin. She would love to appear on Game of Thrones and would dress up to go to a convention about it.
The last talk of the afternoon was from Lauren and Nelsan. When asked what his favourite word was he said “cooker”, which was a pun on everyone expecting him to say “hookah”. Lauren said her favourite quote was “bitch can burn”. When asked if he ever took any of Lafayette’s costumes, Nelsan said he took his earrings and shoes on occasion, “but not the other stuff”. Nelsan also said that in real life he sucks at cooking! When asked how long the show could run for Nelsan said he thought it was time to let Lafayette go as he felt he was getting typecast. In later talk he said he would play Lafayette for as long as his character was wanted in the show. Nelsan was also a big Game Of Thrones fan and would love to work on the show. Then in one of the funniest moments of the whole weekend, Nelsan spoilered the character Tara in season 5. We had been told to be careful about mentioning season 5 and the biggest gaff had come from Nelsan. Hilarious!
Following the talk was the auction for True Blood memorabilia signed by the guests. As this was the last Bitten they auctioned off all the previous memorabilia from the first two Bitten conventions as well. My friend won the Chinese meal with all 4 guests that evening so I was well excited for her! Then there was the second wine reception for gold ticket members where we got to meet Nelsan as well as the other ladies from the previous wine reception.
The evening party was Fangtasia as it had been in previous years. This was when the Truebie ladies got to wear sexy vampire costumes and they really went for it! I cosplayed Vampire Eddie which I did at the first Bitten and then took Talbot round in his crystal jar. His fan base was bigger than mine! There was another group shot in the lobby at 10pm followed by a band playing in the main party room. Everyone had a great time and the party went one quite late. Some of the guests came down and mingled with fans in the lobby outside the main hall which was great. Nelsan was doing shots with some of his fans which went down well, except for the following morning!
I had a lie in on the last morning as I already had all my photo shoots and autographs. Nelsan was late down due to jet lag and the shots from the night before. I don’t think anyone minded! The first afternoon talk was from Lindsay and Tara. When asked who the best looking True Blood actor was, Tara said Joe Manganiello, “No makeup required, no clothes required!”. Lauren did a solo talk next and then it was onto the quiz.
The quiz involved all four guests and two volunteer fans in questions, dictionary and acting scenes about True Blood. Fan Melissa was teamed with Lindsay and Tara in a team called “bitches”. Fan Roxanne was teamed with Lauren and Nelsan in a team called “hookahs”. The “bitches” eventually won by a point in another very funny quiz!
Following the quiz was Nelsan’s solo talk. His Aunty had called his cousin “hookah” so he had used it when improvising lines and it had stuck. He played trumpet and tuba at high school and would love to play Richard III if he got the chance. The funniest scene he was in was when a 300lb naked dude was running round a meat tree and he fell over. Nobody could stop laughing after that! He also said that a body double was used for the demon make up as it took 6 hours to put on and 3 hours to take off.
Last up was the final guest talk featuring all four guests followed by the closing ceremony. This was the funniest talk of the weekend. Lauren’s comments were hilarious. The whole talk had very adult material discussed in it which I can’t mention here. You just had to be there! Following the talk was the closing ceremony where we were told about the possibility of Massive Events running some kind of vampire themed country ball in the summer of 2013. There were no details as it was just an idea at the drawing board.
The last party was a slumber party themed round fellowship of the sun in the lobby outside of the main hall. I went as Steve Newlin in his trademark brown sweater and took Talbot along so we could all eat the vodka jelly that was inside.
There was a final group shot of all the party attendees. Later the guests came down again and joined fans in the main hotel bar after the party had finished.
It was another great weekend con organised by Massive Events. Will be interesting to see what they come up with next or if anyone else can fill the large True Blood shaped hole in the UK convention scene!
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