Had the pleasure of a few visitors this week that I'd like to let you know about....
Melody and her brother Everest came by and visited the Atlantis set after Melody won a charity auction. Her prize was a "walk on" role during the episode "The Game" (I believe), so you all have to keep an eye out for her lingering in hallways and looking wise and important before Ancient consoles. Melody was a bit timid with yelling "Action" at first, but after snarkastic abuse from me (that's what I'm there for) she was screaming it out like the best directors I've worked with. Melody and Everest were a very classy duo and even went so far as to leave us all thank-you cards and a book...which Jane has already stolen because "oh goody! I always meant to read that one". Thanks to Melody for looking out for others and getting herself a day of sitting around listening to me flub lines!
Next up we had Angela...poor Angela, who for some unknown reason, identifies with McKay and actually admits to it! She finally explained the term "Thunk" to me and showed off her McKay teddy bear while I was "in hair", which generally consists of moving what little there is around to make it look like there's more there, a highly technical science that requires a vast team of highly trained professionals. I ended up stealing teddy's voice box and recording my own Angela-specific abuse for it to spew when poked in the stomach. Not many Teddy's in the world come packing that kind of snark! I have to remind Angela, to pay attention to her day job as she works on satellites. I don't fancy one of those things crashing down because she's drifting off on one of her "thunks"! Angela had also won a charity auction so was "walking on" dressed in medeaval sackcloth as a member of the McKay worshipping country of Geldar...a wonderful country decorated with flags and painting of me...Heaven! Thanks to Angela for her charitable donations and her abuse for me not attending more conventions...please take care of that bear!
Angela had to share the set with Jane's father, Mr. Don Loughman who has told me many times to start calling him Don instead of Mr. Loughman...thus Mr. Don Loughman. He can be seen in "The Game" working hard with quill and parchment while McKay tries to persuade the beautiful and talented Laura Harris that while he was not a God, he was just as smart as one. Mr Don Loughman, by the way, is 86 years old, the father of the most brilliant and attractive woman on the face of the planet (Jane) and watches both SG1 and Atlantis every week with his friends Kathy & Paul...the creators of a mean curry buffet I might add. I think they're going to be rather jealous when they see their weekly guest up on the big screen (they've got a great TV) writing up McKay's country of Geldar's plans for war against Sheppard's feeble country of Hallona, and chatting up the blonde background at the same time. There really is nothing like a good English curry!
Last and least...only in stature...was the beautiful Liz who came to us from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. What a treat she got! A very grumpy McKay (and Hewlett for that matter) in a full space suit with a brutal day of techno-panic for the episode "The Ark". You won't be seeing Liz in any walk-on roles, but you should know that I worked her like a dog doing all the digital effects shots. You see, when they shoot a scene that requires digital effects, they have to get a clean, actor-less plate shot. I'm not sure of the specifics (I guess I better find out) but it requires some poor self-conscious member of the FX team to stand before the cameras holding a grey ball on a stick for a few seconds. The unfortunate soul then has to move the ball around a bit, spin it to reveal it's shiny silver side and then get laughed at and generally mocked by the crew. Liz has changed all that. She has now elevated the grey ball into an art form, and as a result got more than a few well deserved standing ovations. So much for me trying to make her life misery! She also convinced Martin Wood our director to let her have a go at the directing side of things. She quickly learned how to deal with difficult actors (I was the only one there for most of the day so she learned quickly) and soothed me about my performance with calming words like "That was only slightly terrible" and "good enough". All the best to her and her family. That said, I expect to be working with her again shortly. I've made her promise to hire me when she gets out of film school. Admitedly Liz is only 15 years old, but I need all the work I can get!
Peace (I'm a hippy now)