“Personal Appearances Are Magic!”
Young adults dressed in pastels with furry tails or ears giddily lined up to get an autograph from Twilight Sparkle herself, Tara Strong, the main voice of The Hub’s current version of “My Little Pony.” Bronies, as they’re known, came from as far away as Australia to meet her.
Meanwhile, I sat at another table, primarily known to the crowd as the villain who made zombies, Albert Wesker, waiting for some “friendship magic” to glitter-glide it’s way through the air over to my damn table.
“What the hell am I doing here?” I thought.
Just at that moment, a Brony with a ponyhawk came up and shared with me a Wesker Pony:
That’s when I realized that the whole world is really just an animatic waiting for ponyfication! We are all Bronies, bro!
That sense of incongruity became an amusing bow that tied it all together. I was certainly very happy to have been invited to Canterlot Gardens in Ohio – my first “My Little Pony” con. The first con that prized hugs over “say that line you said in that game” requests. (Yay! I can never remember lines from old games.)
I have to admit, though, that the biggest kick I got was meeting so many other voiceover actors I had only heard of through mutual friends, or actors who I had worked with on games, but never actually met.
Jennifer Hale. My FemShep from Mass Effect! What a sweetheart! So gracious, smart and intelligent with a side of ethereal.
Grey DeLisle. A Powerpuff comedienne! Grey had me laughing all weekend. Another smart, kind person. She actually needs her own sitcom. I need to be a millionaire so I can produce it.
Cristina Vee. I met her briefly a few years ago at the We Heart Japan fundraiser. Such a beautiful, talented and sweet actress.
I joined these three ladies for a wonderful dinner in downtown Cleveland at Chef Jonathon Sawyer’s Greenhouse Tavern. (His caramel custard turned my mouth into a heavenly sugar porno!)
The place was chosen by casting & voice director, Khris Brown, who was there to see Jennifer. I didn’t realize I also knew Khris until she reminded me of “Star Wars: The Old Republic” where she directed me via phone patch for several minor roles.
Khris was a delight. Warm, quirky and funny. (Thank you, Jennifer, for asking me to come along!)
Though I was only there for under 48 hours, I also had the pleasure of meeting:
Quinton Flynn. A dry humor and devilish smile that camouflage major talent. And a Christopher Walken impersonation that tickles me to no end…
John DiMaggio. That f&#%$er is so damn talented I was ashamed to be on the same stage with him. But I was, thanks to my personal appearance manager, the rockin’ Jeff Zannini.
Earlier this year, Jeff had organized a Star Wars radio play for Emerald City Comicon that went over like gangbusters (over a million hits on YouTube) and decided to do another one for an episode of “My Little Pony!”
Admittedly, most of my character voices are from television commercials, too close to my natural voice, or require heavy SFX. (Okay, so I’m an announcer hack hustling my way into the con circuit! Big deal! Back off. Jesus.) Anyway, I slipped in a little Albert Wesker and a lazy Don Pardo narrator… Yeah, like I said, I was lucky to be included on that stage:
My time was limited so I didn’t get to meet all the guests they had there (and they had A BUTTLOAD! … “A Buttload of Voice Actors!” New on FX! One man’s ass voices a whole cartoon series!).
I did briefly meet the lovely Danielle McRae, Amy Rogers and Meghan McCarthy, though! I also ran into several of A&G Ohio’s staff helping out Canterlot Gardens, including it’s con chair, Jason Taylor. I was so surprised I hugged him repeatedly. (Probably shouldn’t expect me at another A&G Ohio con for awhile. Not until the restraining order expires.)
Thank you, Canterlot Gardens! I had a ponytastic time!
And now I prepare to ride the pendulum back to the other side of relevance!
That’s right, you zombie freaks! I’ll be signing for two days at the zombie convention – ZombiCon – that is ALL zombie ALL the time! October 20th & 21st in Fort Meyers, Florida!
Guests include: “Day of The Dead” actors Lori Cardille, Gary Klar, Joe Pilato and Terry Alexander. 501st Legion. Zombologist Doc Lucky. Madison Lintz from AMC’s “Walking Dead.” Michael Ornstien from “Sons of Anarchy,” and many more!
I have to say, this looks like it’ll be a blast. Events include Zombicon Street Fest, ZombiQueen Drag Pageant, Autopocalyptic Car Show and more. Saturday night the entire downtown area becomes a zombie show! Not yet a zombie? Don’t worry, they have a zombification booth!
The best part is that it’s all for charity:
So, if you’re in the area, come on down and say “hi!” Even if you’re a Brony. Zombies like all kinds of flesh.
[More personal appearances to come. Interested cons should contact Jeff Zannini.]