I decided to take a bit of an extended vacation after my adventures with Outlandish Vancouver. That is why I am a little late to the show., plus, it’s me. You are used to it.
I decided I was going to do two blogs about my time at the Outlandish Vancouver event. One, overall, about my experience, some highlights and observations. Another to cover a uniquely mind-blowing life-altering magical moment that I couldn’t have predicted. No one could have possibly predicted. Here is a hint – Ed/SomeStuff/Me. That’s all I’m sayin’.
My fellow ABOotlander Admin, Lee and I decided that we have had enough of watching others have all the fun at these big Outlander events. With our group being based in Alberta, a trip to B.C. was pretty do-able so we made plans to attend Outlandish Vancouver, obviously the closest Outlander fan/cast event to us. We did so, in style. Lee hooked us up with matching T-shirts with our lovable mascot, Toger the beaver, emblazoned on our chests.
He ended up getting quite a bit of attention over the wknd, being repeatedly mistaken for my beaver. So many jokes.
You are all going to have to wait for that story. It’s a gooder, watch this space.
I am not great with huge crowds, have newly forced mobility issues and to be honest, am apprehensive about any kind of ‘convention’ thing. My dear friend, Cat, VideoRecap/PhotoOp Convention expert, assured me this particular event was not only small (about 100 attendees) but was a smooth-running machine. This eased my anxious nature of not knowing wtf was going on being sent into overdrive. I can’t tell you how nice it is to have people in your bubble, that have experienced MANY events who can let you know what to expect without blowing smoke up your ass.
KoKo, Pippi, Hey, You! (I am sure there are other things she was answering to over the course of the weekend) the event coordinator, as busy as she was – never made me feel like I was a bother. Even though, I was. I gots the mobility, dietary issues and well…I’m just annoying, you all can tell.
Koko made every effort to be sure EVERYONE was feeling good about their experience. Her team (seen below with the Outlander talent) was extraordinary. If one was asked a question they didn’t know the answer to – they knew who would know and never left you hanging. They worked with their cast members closely, keeping them on top of things and happy. What a delight to see.
I may not have attended an Outlander cast event before but I have been to a plethora of events in my lifetime and this crew, this event, had it down. They knew their stuff and the best part was how obvious it was they were enjoying themselves. If they were stressed or panicked by any problems, in particular, their guests never knew it or sensed it. THAT’S HUGE. From the outside, it appeared they were experiencing others have a fantastic experience. Fans AND talent, alike.
The Outlander cast invited were meant to bring OLD and NEW world together were and brilliantly selected. They played off of one another, getting along fabulously, it was pretty special to be a part of.
Let’s talk about the cast who attended, in no particular order.
Carmen Moore (who I previously interviewed for this blog), was as bewitchingly intense as I had hoped she would be. She has such an incredibly kind and open heart. One thing I admired about Carmen, her understanding of self and willingness to share this path of growing into the warrior she is. We were honoured to hear about her latest work making the film festival circuit. Rustic Oracle, a story told from the perspective of an 8 yr old girl when her older sister goes missing. By exploring the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous girls and women, it is receiving powerfully positive reviews. Carmen and her young costar, Lake Delisle have already won awards for their portrayals in this groundbreaking film. Please watch for its release in a theatre near you, March 2020. *warning- have tissues handy*
As the only woman from the cast to be present at the event, Carmen wasn’t at a loss for entertainment or topics of conversation. It seemed to me that she and her costars are as equal as it gets with their respect and banter with one another. Carmen has a certain way of carrying herself that says very clearly, “I belong here.” I admire her self awareness, her willingness and desire for constant growth. Those striving to learn about themselves and the world they live in, are the most interesting kinds of humans. I thought myself lucky to have interviewed Carmen all those months ago, now I feel blessed to have hugged her lots (I’m not a big hugger) and to have gotten chances to chat with her one on one. I do love a good side-eye over breakfast. I hope Carmen finds herself in Edmonton one day, with a little extra time on her hands – she knows she has a place. ❤
I can not say enough good things about Braeden Clarke. Those in attendance were privileged to meet the other side of this dynamic young man. Onscreen in Outlander, Braeden played Kaheroton, the dark yet vivid war chief of the Mohawk Village where Roger is being held captive. The flip side is this entertaining, engaging and wildly energetic yet compassionate young man. Braeden is obviously a natural-born actor. His enthusiasm for creating a scene that is not only believable but sincere comes straight from his guts. He most certainly gets lost in his role which creates nothing less than magic.
He relayed to us, during a take (as he watched the woman he loved, Johiehon, walk into the flames that engulfed the man she loved) the director asked him to bring his emotions up to the point of just about to break – but – don’t break and HOLD. Of course, that was much harder said than done but he held it, barely – so when the director ended the scene he had to get away from everyone to let it tip over the edge. Taking it to that point, he couldn’t swallow it back, it could only come out. The dam needed releasing, so to speak.
Oh, and a fun take away from this guy – any life hacks you need when you don’t know how to do something, or maybe you stretched the truth on a CV – “YouTube that shit.” Great advice! Know why? It’s true. Literally…everything!
Trevor Carroll who played, what some may consider a small role, Otter Tooth joined us. Many fans that attended Outlandish Vancouver have also read the books, so Trevor’s character has deep meaning. His haunting portrayal of Otter Tooth, a man with a foot in both worlds, believing he is capable of changing the tragic fate of his people may have been short on screen time but it won’t be forgotten.
Trevor was asked, not surprisingly, as an Ojibway man, would he take the opportunity to go back in time to change the fate of his people? He diplomatically made it known, he probably wouldn’t have done things as Otter Tooth did, but being an Indigenous person, wanting to change the past for his people, would be the only option. Both of his panel costars emphatically agreed with him.
Trevor is clearly a family man. He lovingly spoke of them a number of times. It was heartwarming to see how protective of his family he is. Protectiveness is a running theme in his life, it seems. He has a passion for mixed martial arts, his involvement in Battlefield Fight League brings this to light. Also a creative artist as well, you can find examples on his website, Reverie Arts. His art shows more of his soft-spoken and intent nature. He is definitely not a simple man but one of many talents and tastes.
Most were saying how very different he looked from his character. I guess it’s true what they say, “A smokey eye can make all the difference.”
For our UK cast, let me start with Keith- who goes by- KiKKi, Fleming…the ill-fated Lesley. Who believe me, when you get to hear his views on a) politics b) his fellow castmates c) politics d) food e) politics f) great places to visit close to home, he is filled with fantastic quips, quotes, jokes and antidotes that will make you think, smile and laugh out loud. Ummm, Koko, we didn’t talk about politics!
Fear not, he also isn’t bitter about being killed off. Not even a little. 👌 Pretty sure we fans, after the weekend was over, were far more upset about that than he.
Kikki is a very engaging human. He had his fellow entertainers in stitches a great deal of the time. You can tell he is a born storyteller and really, onboard for just about anything. When asked to perform the lament he sang in Episode 401, he was bashful for all of 2 seconds, cleared his throat then sang it loud and proud. It was a treat for all.
Why we thought it was fair to caterwaul the Skye Boat song back at him, I’m not altogether sure. 🤣🤔Never let any good deed go unpunished or something like that? Braeden took a video of us- I thought at first “It must be because we are SO awesome.” Then, I looked at my picture really close…
As a Scot, the man can spin a yarn and it isn’t because of his accent you sit spellbound. It is because he is funny AF and damned interesting. We all enjoyed a fun recounting of a table read re: Jamie/Claire sex scene where his internal dialogue was having the best time making fun of things and he had us ALL in stitches. Those sitting on the panel included. It is really easy to see why he stays friends with many of his fellow cast members. When you can delight so many, so easily, they want to be around you.
Kikki made my face spasm more than once. There was a LOT of beaver talk. Sorry, not sorry, you will have to stay tuned for the Ed Speleers-n-Me blog for THAT whole story though. There I was, poor Lil Bell’s Palsied face me…laughing so hard my face seizes up in its fool hemifacial spasms – I tell ya, it’s a cute look absolutely NO ONE EVER said, so for our selfie (that wasn’t a selfie) we decided to see who could look serious for longer.
I believe John Bell might be the sweetest, most charismatic and genuine souls- ever. As an outgoing, silly and wonderfully accommodating person as he was – the 3 or 4 minutes on a quiet balcony where two introverts got a recharge from the chaos, was probably my favourite time with him. It was simply he and I…some quiet thoughts about the importance of alone time and just ‘being’.
John truly loves to make people smile, he enjoys giving fans “their moment.” All you have to do is check out the photos from those who attended the wknd. Every photo with John, that smile – catches his eyes. As a young man, he is incredibly mindful of the people around him, he has a deep understanding of their desire to be around him and puts it into its rightful place. Where it could be misunderstood, it isn’t and he continues to be grounded (because he does the worm like a master) To be completely transparent, I don’t think there is ANY dance move that guy can’t do. It’s impressive and entertaining!
He has been acting since he was 8 but it is very obvious the young man was born a star. There is a light in his eyes that simply shines through. Which is noticeable the first time you speak with him. Funny enough (not funny 🤣 but funny 🤔), when he spoke about Young Ian’s arc to come, he knows how changed Ian will be. John wants to be sure Young Ian always has that *twinkle* in his eye.
I think that may just be the icing that John Bell has put on the Ian of the Outlander TV show. Yes, Young Ian in the books is an amazing character, always was one of my favourites. John’s portrayal of Young Ian has given us another version of him and I love him equally. I look forward to when and how he returns. John was very tight-lipped and no, the head shave was for him, not the show. He did add, for those in the back, he will be fighting for those face tattoos. He wants them VERRA badly.
And…then…there was Ed. Ed Speleers. I have a lot to say about my experience with Mr. Speleers. You will be able to read about it here, in a couple of days. The truth is, I didn’t “see” Stephen Bonnet in him at all. That is a good thing – there was none of the ‘slithering’ or the thing sunnuvaBonnet does with his face…you know, that ‘thing’.
Ed isn’t shy, he shares openly what he thinks about himself, his previous work. Even the things he may not be so proud of. He also lights up when he talks about projects he has in the works, like Dad Was. This guy listens when you are speaking not just hearing the words but listens to what you are sharing with him. Ed takes in more than what is immediately in front of him, he seems to have one of those minds that sees what is shown and then dissects all the things beyond in order to truly understand. This is likely what makes him passionate about producing.
It was refreshing and let’s face it, a helluva a time, to talk to someone that is as filter-free as myself. He has a sense of humour that is can be dark and sometimes as crude as mine, all the while empathy and awareness are right there on the surface. You know what I call that? Well fricken rounded!
I also had an amazing time meeting fellow fans/friends I have had online but not had the pleasure of meeting in person. In MY like fashion, I got ZERO pictures of us together, not bc I don’t like taking pictures BUT because my mouth is too busy yakking with them to even think of it. By the time I do – the trip is over and I say “Next time!” and then it happens – AGAIN. I’m insufferable. Truly.
Cat has been someone I have played online with forever and to finally have met her was a big ole tick on the ABOUTFUCKINTIME box. This fandom thing is a blessing. It brings us together…over the miles…across oceans and countries…like attracts like.
I have been reading and following Erin Conrad from Three If By Space for what seems like forever and suddenly, she becomes our ride or die over a matter of days. A heart as big as her brain – though I’m not sure everyone is supposed to know that. Too late. Sorry, Erin…now they know. You are going to have to come at me…I will put the coffee on. Alyson was our navigator – she turned out to be a better friend.😜 I feel lucky that Erin and Alyson let me and Lee hang out in their back seat…we can be a real pain in the ass.
It was great to sit and shoot the proverbial shit with Karmen of Outlander Anatomy. It’s all kinds of nice to connect with people we have had the pleasure of getting to know online. When we get to see with our own four-eyes that they are what they put out for the world, it’s a comfort.
I only got a smidge of time with Courtney from #OutlanderBehindTheScenes but you know, a smidge is better than nothing. The girl knows how to give a hug, I will say that. It was a fairy tale…catching her eye across a crowded boat, running slow motion into one another’s arms. No. That didn’t happen. We did recognize one another instantly but my hobbly butt was parked in stationary mode. I look forward to getting to see her again for a longer visit. Until then, we will continue to make one another snort on the interwebs.
There are so many wonderful people I was able to finally meet. Kelly, Linda, Karin, Samantha, Frances ( I am sure I am forgetting names and people because – I forget my own most days) and made new friends too. Zee, Christine, Marcella (others I am forgetting). You simply can’t be in a group of people who love the same thing and NOT connect with many of them.
The atmosphere of Outlandish Vancouver is one that doesn’t force you to be stampeded or corralled. There is room to breathe and not feel rushed. While making allowances for those in need, there is no playing of favourites for perceived popularity. The planning is down to the minute and anyone that knows event planning, understands when staying within a 15-minute window – shit is under control – and it was always within 5-8 minutes. Not that I paid attention.
The truth of the matter is expectations for attendees are clear. “This is what is happening, aren’t here by this time? It will happen without you”. It is, what I call “respect the event” and as someone that values my time and appreciates other’s efforts, I am so grateful for this. Watching how relaxed others were and how much they enjoyed the event proved I wasn’t wearing first-timer goggles.
As a wrap-up, Outlandish Vancouver suits me, my personality, all of my weird quirks and yeah, those pesky needs. Everything happens for a reason and well…Outlandish Vancouver and I were meant to be. I don’t think I will be seeking out any other events and will be comfortable saving for this one, right next door, again next year.
I have said it many times already but I think they are due for a public one. Thank you, Koko for all of your hard work and dedication to this event and to me. Your extra care and kindness towards me were most certainly not necessary but it was very appreciated. To the rest of the team, Karin, Christine and Samantha. The venues and the lunches – all went without a hitch.
Do stay tuned. I am hoping to have part 2 of my adventures published by midweek.
And Lee…you are a spectacular roomie! Love you through the stones and back xoxo
ABOotlanders Blatherer, Sher XO