Saturday, November 18, 2006

Gareth: On Sisters, Star Wars & Speaking

So, I'm in Vancouver again. The other Vancouver. South Van, in WA. We're staying at the Shilo Inn, just 'cross the border from Portland, OR. G has another one of his speaking engagements, this time for Orycon. I'm glad he's found such success with what he does best. Talk about movies. But you'd think all this talking he does professionally tempers his need to talk when he doesn't have a large audience. Like when his audience is primarily me. But nope. But you'd think so, huh?

I don't mind. But there are times when my mind is so overwhelmed by his voice, I can't even hear myself think. My inner voice actually whimpers. That's when I say to him, "Shhhh. Please. Just for a few minutes, okay?" I also have to tell him sometimes, "Babe. You're talking just to hear yourself talk now. Rest."

I hope that doesn't sound too harsh. Most of the time, I enjoy my conversations with Gareth, especially when it's about his family or about him growing up. Like today, as we drove to Portland, I learned a lot about his grandfather and how he views his sisters. He has a great amount of love for them. His grandfather and his sisters. But I knew that about his grandfather. With his sisters, I've often wondered, because more often than not, he's making fun of them or talking about how much they annoy him. But when I asked him how it felt to grow up with 3 half-sisters, he said, "I've never looked at them as my half-sisters. They're my sisters. Period. We may have different fathers, but I only know them as my sisters." I liked that. My respect for him grew when he said that, because that's how my grandmothers viewed their older siblings. They were both the children of a 2nd marriage, but their older half-siblings were just as much their siblings as their whole ones. My respect grew for my mother-in-law as well, because I know she had to instill this knowledge & acceptance within Gareth.

We had a great time at the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry (OMSI) where they have an exhibit called "Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination." It's the first exhibition of its kind with great displays of Star Wars costumes, models and props from all six episodes. It runs through January 1 for those who are interested. It's a must for Star Wars fans, and for those who live in WA, it's a simple drive down to Portland and it's very easy to find with plenty of helpful signs to OMSI. I'm nowhere as big a Star Wars fan as Gareth, but even I was impressed and excited by all of the displays. The museum itself is a lot of fun to roam, and I can see how it would be a fun day for families with kids.

I didn't go with Gareth to his speaking engagement to Orycon. I wanted to stay in the room and do some homework. I've gone before and it never failed to amaze me how he keeps his audiences' rapt attention by just simply talking about what he knows about upcoming movies. He doesn't have fancy Powerpoint presentations or trailers to watch. He keeps things casual & just talks and fields questions. The conventions always allot him 2 hours and even after 2 hours he's followed out by members of the audience still asking questions.

I remember attending a Creations convention with Gareth, a convention that caters to Star Trek fans, where he followed Brent Spiner (Data from Star Trek the Next Generation)on the schedule. I felt bad that he had to follow such a popular figure and as the laughs and applause grew louder for Brent, my concern grew about Gareth's presentation. But I needn't have worried. He drew just as large a crowd and had just as many laughs. And again, most of the audience followed him out after his 2 hours and spent more time asking him questions outside of the auditorium.

He's due back in the hotel room in an hour or so. You'd think he'd be tired of talking after 2 hours or so of doing just that. Nope. So, this is my quiet time.

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