After much anticipation, Saturday, November 14, 2009 finally arrived.
I arrived at the Beverly Hills Baja Fresh for a pre event meet up with some Philes. A small group of about 10 fans were in attendance. With 15% of our foods profits going to the respected charities of IBG, we dd our part to contribute in anyway possible.
After lunch, we began our journey to the Beverly Hills Wilshire Hotel a few blocks away. My friends and I checked in and took our place in line. After a brief hello from Chris Carter as he took his place in the Meet and Greet area, the line moved and we were allowed admittance to the beautiful Le Grand Trianon events room on the 1st floor.
I took a seat on the far side of the room and patiently waited for the illustrious panel guests. I took the time to wander the room and say hello to some friends of mine that I have not seen since the last X-Files event I attended.
Finally the girls from IBG came out and began the event. Gail Abarbanel, a spokesperson for the Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center shared some very harrowing survivor tales, which served as an important reminder to all men and women in the audience that, no matter your background, rich or poor, old or young, non one is truly safe and everyone should always pay attention in their lives.
After her speech, Big Light's own Marisa Roffman gave a short speech on Fekeza, a scholarship fund created to assist children through university and higher education, helping them to pursue their dreams.
Once completed, Moderator Erin Fox took center "stage" and introduced the panel guests: Rob Bowman, Frank Spotnitz, Chris Carter, and Gillian Anderson. The applause for each guest were thunderous in the event room.
At Frank's suggestion, each panel guest was able to ask a question to each other the other panel guests. Some of the questions included: Gillian asking the boys what their first reaction was when she told them she was pregnant at the end of Season 1 and Chris asking the panel when was the first time they cursed his name. Other questions asked: "What was the last movie that made you cry" and "Whose idea was it to put me [Gillian] in the trunk of the car".
Erin then opened the floor to certain audience members, who had submitted questions prior to the panel guests. They were allowed to ask their questions in person to the panel guests. I was lucky to have been one of the two fans selected for this honor. My question for Rob was "Competition is healthy in the work environment and I think you and Kim were the leaders in 'Who Can Make the Best Episode' game. What were some of the techniques you and he applied to better yourselves?" Another fan was able to ask Frank how the lives of certain fans have influenced them. Frank gave a lovely answer, and even pointed out a young woman in the audience who was physical challenged. Erin did ask another question I had submitted directly to Gillian: "What was it like to have another main female character on the show in Seasons 8 and 9? How do you think it affected/portrayed Scully as a woman? What was it like working with Annabeth Gish in general?"
All to soon, the question and answer session of the event came to an end. VIP ticket holders walked across the valet parking to the other end of the hotel and lined up in the Bordeaux Room, where we were treated to video presentations of LAX-Files, Kids Defense Teams, and Off The Street Kids. It was so loud in the room that the videos fell upon deaf ears.
As we entered into the adjoining Burgundy Room for the autographs, it was nice to see Big Book author Matt Hurwitz wandering around. I was able to say hello and have a quick chat with him about the late Kim Manners. He said he was looking forward to the January 2010 release of LAX-Files, the fan made book about Kim, featuring Southern California location information for Fight the Future and Seasons 6-9. After a brief conversation with each panel guest and autographs from each of them - some surprise gifts from good friends - it was back into the Bordeaux Room for the wine and hors d'oevres. There, many new friends were made, established ones were reconnected with, and some of the best moderately priced wine was served. In my opinion, every Phile gathering should include Bel Arbor Chardonnay and Cypress Cabernet Sauvignon. Three words: Numb Lip Vino. Yummy!
Danielle from IBG came into the room and thanked everyone for attending the event. She then made a brief announcement about the charities that were being shown on the television monitors. The LAX-Files promo was very moving. Hearing Kim;s own words to you on the screen was very powerful and moving. Several fans had tears in their eyes at the end of the video presentation. A link to the extended video cane be found here:
Around 6:30pm the event ended and a group of us walked the few blocks to the Cheese Cake Factory where debaucherous antics (which will not be mentioned here) took place. By the time I went to bed, it was well past midnight. Use your imagination, but I will neither confirm nor deny your suspicions about what happened during or after dinner. =)
Until the next event folks.