Celebrity Spotlights - Edmonton Comic and Entertainment Expo 2017

Spotlight on John Rhys-Davies

Sallah from Indiana Jones, Gimli son of Gloin in The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, Professor Arturo from the classic FOX sci-fi series Sliders and many many more.  The ever-warm and well spoken John Rhys-Davies has been in many iconic film and TV roles and it was a delight to get a chance to see him in person. The man clearly revels in the characters he has portrayed and throughout his conversation he would continually shift between them. Gimli, arguably, spent more time on stage than Davies himself.   
When asked if any of his fellow LOTR cast members were difficult to work with, he replied:
"There was only one miserable asshole on Lord of the Rings and, unfortunately, I wore his boots everyday" .
He spoke of how the facial prosthetic makeup he wore for the role had removed all of the skin underneath his eyes. His significant other at the time had actually told him, "I can't bare to look at you any longer. I've got to go back to LA". 
"The shark went hungry that year!", he boomed.
He had nothing but good things to say about everyone else on set, calling them all "marvelous people" and even mentioned a time when he came upon co-star, Sean Bean in an airport, arms loaded with luggage. The luggage, it turned out, belonged to an elderly couple he had never met but was helping to catch their flight.
"Sean, let me give you a hand. Who are these people?"
"I don't actually know their names"
 

Spotlight on Willaim Shatner

The theme of this spotlight was ..uh ..give me a second ...Oh! Right! Forgetfulness.
William Shatner is an icon, a legend and ...he's getting on in years. However, he made this fact easy to forget. The 86 year old actor came out brimming with energy and pushed his chair to the front of the stage. The only spotlight guest to remain on stage solo for the entirety of his panel, he needed no moderator. 
He began by comparing Robert Goulet's blanking on the words to the American national anthem with a story about a broken teleprompter during his involvement with the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The story's theme conveyed his fear of forgetting his lines as an aging actor. Sometimes having to stop during the anecdote and try to remember what he was talking bout, Shatner drew laughter from the audience.
Opening up the floor to questions, Shatner was addressed by a young woman who found his portrayal of smart-aleck lawyer with dementia, Denny Crane, in the ABC series, Boston Legal, helpful in relating to and dealing with her own family member's struggle with the disease. He opened up about his preparation for the role, stating that his father-in-law suffered from the condition and had allowed him to record his spoken thoughts during times of forgetfulness. 
 

Sled Island 2016

Robert Pollard of Guided By Voices at Sled Island 2016

Robert Pollard of Guided By Voices at Sled Island 2016

Sled Island 2016 was a pretty great time. Here are some photos of my favourite acts from the fest:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




BUILT TO SPILL:

Doug Martsch has been pouring out of my headphones for a long time, and his teenage boy voice hasn't changed a bit. Love this band. Love this musician. They played a great set!



GUIDED BY VOICES:

I have wanted to see Guided By Voices live my whole life. Finally got that chance and they did not disappoint! Its a shame to see them play without Tobin Sprout (I fucking love Tobin Sprout) but, with photo pit access, I wasn't about to complain. 
At 58 years old, Robert Pollard commanded the stage with a ridiculous amount of energy for a man his age. He was a high kicking, microphone swinging, beer swilling rock star ...and I was so happy to see it up close. 



PEACHES:

Jesus Christ, I didn't know what I was in for. We showed up late, just before she went on, and i'm pretty sure we were only allowed in because the security guard wanted to spite some entitled ass-holes behind us. They assured him that they were on the list. Being friendly to security guards is easily as effective as walking with a clipboard at a brisk pace. You can get in anywhere! I got side-stage for Best Coast a few years ago just because i asked the security guard how his day was going!  
Peaches brought the house down. It was the filthiest, sexiest and most bizarre show I've ever been to. The crowd was putty in her hands and she literally managed to walk all over them. She made security very nervous as she strayed out into the crowd, walking first along the ledge surrounding the pit and next on the hands of the masses dancing in the centre of the room. 
Vagina costumes, nudity, champagne dripping from the mouths of dancers into the mouths of audience members ...what more could you ask for in a performance?

For more photos of Sled Island and frankly a much better presentation from a professional, head on over to The Pretty Secrets!



P.S. 

Here is an example of what Tobin Sprout has been up to:

Solo goodness if there ever was such a thing.  

All photos by ME (Mike Borchelli)