Northern FanCon Day 2: Mario, Karl Urban, Flash Gordon and Alicia Witt

“Follow your heart. Discover what gives you joy. Discover what you love to do … what gives you happiness and joy and energy … develop your passions in life.” ~ Charles Martinet, voice of Mario

I absolutely had to lead my day 2 review of Northern FanCon with that quote, because it really struck a chord with me. Especially because in Charles saying that, in asking him questions and him answering, I was fulfilling my own passion – doing celebrity interviews.

Day 2 was an absolute blast. It started with a lovely 15-minute interview with Nicole Baer, who is an editor for Timeless, and also worked on Supernatural for 10 years. (Look for that full interview later this week.) It ended with a concert with Alicia Witt that made me laugh, made me smile, and yes, even made be cry.

I also had the chance to attend Karl Urban’s panel. I absolutely loved his role of Bones in the new Star Trek franchise and was quite happy to learn that he had been in one of my favourite trilogies as well – Lord of the Rings, of course. He talked about the challenge in playing Leonard McCoy and having to play Bones in such a way that it didn’t sound or look like an impersonation, but gave justice to DeForest Kelley’s portrayal of the character.

One other topic that came up quite a bit in the panel was his role as Dredd. He said that the fact that Dredd never revealed his face was very important to him, as it stayed true to the comic book. One of the questions asked was regarding how difficult it was to frown consistently. Because in acting, each take was only at most a few minutes long, the difficult part was the photo shoot – imagine having to frown for an hour!

Sam J. Jones – Flash Gordon – was a very interesting interview as well. Attending cons, for him, was all about hearing fans’ stories.

“What impact myself and my projects have had on their lives. The early years it was all about entertainment. The older I get, because I get to travel more, to more cities I haven’t been – it’s actually come down to saving lives. Actually saving somebody’s life. I get these stories, not a lot, five or six of them recently … I get a man that comes to my table – just last month, I forget where I was, I think I was in Salt Lake … he’s a 40-year-old man, with three kids, a lovely wife, and  he tells me that his parents were very abusive. He would go into his bedroom, put on the VHS and escape with movies, and Flash Gordon was one of them. One time it got so bad for him that he decided to go into his bedroom and to take his life. But a voice spoke to him and said, ‘You know what? Put that tape, put that Flash Gordon tape on one more time …’ He said he put it on and he really studied it, and my character gave him hope and value to live. That’s life changing … It’s not about entertainment … So I see this man at 40 years old with a wife and three lovely kids, guess what – if he had not done that, did not put that VHS in there, and listened to the voice that told him to do it, he would not be standing there right now. Neither would his generation, his bloodline. It’s unbelievable.”

Editor’s Note: Carol wasn’t able to get any shots of Sam J. Jones as he was in a rather grumpy mood, and she’s too polite to bother him. Canadians are just so nice unlike we in U.S. where we’d be flashing away.

In between panels and interviews, there were lots of fun and exciting moments as well. I made it to the artists’ portion of the con, and quite enjoyed the abundance of talent – from authors to painters, comic book artists and makeup artists, and even needle-felted sculpting … it amazes me the creativity that people have.

Speaking of creativity, again today there were some wonderful cosplay to behold. The time and dedication people put into their costumes! Wow! You can check out the huge array at the end of the article.

The evening ended with a wonderful concert by Alicia Witt. As I mentioned yesterday, I know Alicia’s work specifically from Supernatural – however, this woman is multitalented. She is a very skilled pianist – she started participating in international competitions at 7, and was playing the piano at the Beverly Wilshire hotel when she was only 16.

If you ever get the chance, I highly, highly, highly suggest attending one of her performances. Until then, her music is available through her website (, iTunes and Amazon.

Alicia sings – and writes – from the heart. From love ballads like “Love Anyway” (a song she wanted to release early because of the political state in the U.S.) to those with an upbeat but “screw you” message like “About Me” (I want to grind you into the floor/But you’re not worth the scum on my shoe) – her concert was entertaining and, well, wonderful.

I will be conducting a lengthier interview with Alicia regarding her musical talents sometime in the future – so look for that.

Day 3 I hope to interview Kevin Sorbs and Karl Urban – and I also will be attending Alicia Witt’s main panel, in addition to Charles Martinet. Speaking of, I will leave you with one final quote from Charles:

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“Life is like a video game. You wake up in the morning, and you choose your character; the adversities and the things that happen you choose the actions and motions, your reactions to things. You choose what gems you pick up and what you hold with you and life is like that … pretty soon you realize that you’ve been the hero of your own game the whole way, making your destiny.”

Check out Carol’s Northern FanCon Day 1 coverage.