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James MarstersJames Marsters - Collectormania #7 29th April-2nd May 2005 - Questions & Answers
Tuesday 3 May 2005, by Webmaster
Collectermania at Milton Keynes reminded me of why I like to go to conventions so much. It was like a bear garden folks, too crowded, too noisy, and too warm. I didn’t bother with queuing for autographs because I’ve had my fill of queuing for one week. I did see ASH, Jolene Blalock, Nichelle Nicholls, and Alexis. Oh yes, and the top of a certain other party’s head.
However, there were some actors who had no queues at all. You just walked up and talked to them. These were mainly vintage Dr Who people so I got autographs from Sylvester McCoy, Wendy Padbury (who I always liked because we have the same name!), Lalla Ward and the hot black actor who plays Rose’s boyfriend in the new series. His name is Noel Clark and he was really sweet and posed for a photo with me.
Then I went back to the Stadium which was about a mile away to look for a queue. I guess I was getting withdrawal symptoms from not having had to stand in line for anything since yesterday.
I found Helen at last, yippee I found my friend, so we queued together and enjoyed some people watching which is always amusing.
Inside, it was the worst venue I have ever been in for a Q&As. Helen and I had seats fairly near the front but as the room was narrow, only fifteen seats across and the back was so far away you could hardly see it, those people sitting back there would have seen absolutely nothing. A long narrow room for a talk as popular as the James Marsters one was one of the worst examples of mis-management I have ever see. I suspect there will be many complaints about it.
James’ Q&As. I don’t take transcripts so I will attempt to highlight some of the best points. A great number of the questions were all the old favourites and it always surprises me how little some people actually know about James. I will not repeat those here.
Oh yes, at the beginning Steve Himber came on to thank everyone who had supported the tour. In the last week, the JMLive website had received a quarter of a million hits. (much clapping) . James writes all the messages himself. He doesn’t actually type them Steve said because he can’t use a computer but everything is in James’s own words. (More cheering).
James came on and apologised for not personalising autographs. He had to pace himself with the signings. He had a broken hand once and he told the story of how he had had a row with a stone floor at a rehearsal. This story was reported at Halloween. (If anyone doesn’t know it, e.mail me and I will fill you in).
(Please note that I have summarised James’ words. I make no claims to having got everything down.)
Q. Is there going to be a Spike movie? JM .Hopefully. I talked to Joss two weeks ago and he asked me if I was still up for it. I would love to do it but we’re on a clock. I’m a middle-aged man and in 5 years I will be (thinks) I will be 48. Vampires can’t age so it must be done soon. Spike needs to have something to aim for, to win the girl, lose the girl, something like that.
Q Did you prefer working on Buffy or on Angel? JM Buffy was a better experience. The writing was better.
Q. Would you like to do an RSC season here? JM Oh yes. That was the Holy Grail for actors. But Shakespeare is easy, Becket is much harder. With Shakespeare you just have to stand up, say the lines and get the hell off the stage. But I have family commitments for 10 years. After that, if they want me, who knows?
Q. What was the worst thing to happen on this tour? JM. I broke my G string. (Audience screams with laughter) My E string, I broke my E string. (James doubles up laughing.) A new string takes about 12 hours to settle down and it was 3 in the afternoon (Friday.) This guy said a hair dryer would do the trick so he took the guitar and found a pub where there was a dryer in the men’s room. It worked but we had to keep people waiting. (Helen and Wendy remark in unison, Yes us!!)
Q (from a very small girl) How does Spike turn into a monster? JM (not hearing) How does Spike turn from Buffy to Drusilla?
Audience. NO! How does Spike turn into a monster??
Little girl runs up the hall to her James who gets down on the floor to explain about the makeup and how long it took.
Q What was your first car? JM. I was a punk and I had no time for cars. I had a bike. I got around faster on my bike. My first car was a wedding present (says make I did not catch - Wendy). We left on honeymoon to drive back to Chicago where we lived and it was freezing. My wife had told me to put in anti-freeze but I didn’t (pulls face). It broke down of course.
Q I am French Canadian. Why don’t you ever come to Canada? What about your Canadian fans? JM I do go to Canada. I work in Canada. I love Canada. In fact I go to Vancouver often.
At this point Steve Himber comes out to remind James he will be in Toronto at the end of August. Audience roars in laughter and James covers his face.
Then a question I didn’t quite catch. James replied that there was more ground for characters in Angel. Spike didn’t give crap for the characters in Buffy with the exception of Buffy and Dawn. But Spike had raped the main character. (so he still has issues over the AR - Wendy)
Q What was your first job? JM Professionally? My first job was at the Goodman. In the Tempest There was a change in the casting and I got to play Ferdinand. (James then relates at length the whole story of the Tempest and the naked bit etc. - Wendy)
Q. What is your favourite part of a woman? JM (with no hesitation) The woman.
Q. What is your bedroom like? JM. There are no pictures of me in it. It’s mainly full of boxes because I travel so much. The bed is like a temple in the middle of it. I just crawl in.
Q. Would you sing something for us?
JM. I’d love too. Yes I would. They took my guitar from me last night and now I’m ready to have a go again. Does anyone have a guitar. If someone can find me a guitar.....
Q. Did you get any injuries while on Buffy? JM. Yes I have an arthritic spine. It was Joss’s idea to work over a stone floor. That caused some problems. It can really hurt when I first get out of bed.
Q. If you could be a toy, what would it be? JM A dildo. (Audience laughs) Yes, which everyone knows is a stuffed animal.
Q If you had a special dinner party and could invite anyone, who would it be? JM. Stalin. Boy does he need to be questioned. Winston Churchill. George Lucas.
Q. What has really embarrassed you? JM. Having to work naked on Buffy. Sarah is a sweet girl but she made fun of me. Everyone poked fun at me, 17 hours a day. I never used to mind going naked but now, no way. When they scream to me to get my shirt off, I want to hide.
Q. Who would you most like to work with again. JM. Alexis. He is just so good. Much better than me.
Q. When did you lose your virginity? Audience howls JM. At 13, with a lesbian couple.
Q. What do you think of programs like American Idol? JM. I’ve never watched it. If I think something is really popular, I tend not to bother to watch it. That’s the way I am.
Q. You said you had some material ready for your next album. Will that include more Blues stuff? JM. Yes, that looks to be the way it’s going.
That was the end. James waved and thanked everyone and left. They took him to the back of the room so that the people there could actually see him.
There was to be a auction of a thing that I can barely describe. It was a sort of Spike puppet with a small body and a huge nodding head. It was gross, utterly awful and while I usually find it hard to resist an auction of any sort, this time I was in no way tempted. I don’t think anyone else was interested either.
So we left at about 7.30. I took Helen back to her hotel which was out of town and drove home. It has been a exhausting and brilliant week. I am so tired but I wouldn’t have missed any of it. We have a General Election on Thursday and I really should be working on that, pounding pavements and banging on doors. (I am actively working in politics) so back to normality tomorrow.
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