Sooooo I had the chance to go to Once Con in Orlando last weekend for the Farewell Tour (third to last stop, I believe!) and ooooh my goodness. So first off, unfortunately it fell at such a time where I didn't have a lot of money to throw around, so I was only able to go to one day. BUT there was a karaoke party on Friday evening which was free to anyone, so my mom and I definitely took advantage of that as well. So even though we only did that and then the full Sunday, and didn't meet anyone... it was still AMAZING and such a great way to say goodbye to our beloved show.
Though after leaving karaoke, I told my mom that while I had been ready to say goodbye to the show before, I was now going to have problems letting go of THEM. The actors. The OUAT family. Because god, they are such family. And they make the fans part of that family. They care so genuinely about the fans, and they are so warm and welcoming and FUN.
Karaoke was Beverley (Granny), Raphael (Archie), Rose (Tilly), Jared (Henry) and Chris (Smee). They were fantastic fun. Raphael and Jared were not originally scheduled for the event and were added due to two other actors cancelling, so it was a switch-up from the norm for their group. Raphael is crazy!
He was like a mexican jumping -noodle- up there dancing. (Or maybe one of those things in front of used car dealerships that dance in the breeze lmao.) Bless his heart, Jared is always awk at karaoke but he did have fun when there were songs from his
generation lol. Also, his birthday had been a few days prior, so we all sang for him.
Sunday was the actual con day, and it was actually my first con ever. *_*
- Rebecca Mader (Zelena) Oh my goodness. Bex was the unexpected highlight of the whole con. It's no secret that I HATED Zelena until like.... eh. late season five? I think maybe the "Sisters" episode was even the one that converted me, I'll have to look back. But I couldn't stand her. I had been waiting so long for Oz and was disappointed by it, her voice drove me batty, she was always ruining everything for our peeps, AND she killed Baelfire. But then by the end I had been converted and I loved her like all the rest. But BEX omg. She's hilarious! Engaging, captivating, charismatic. (PS: I love her voice now lol.) She was asked some great questions, including why she never apologized for killing Bae ("Wasn't nice of me was it? But it wasn't written! But I should have. I'll text Bobby right after this. He'll probably reply with some not so nice things.") and how she reacted when she found out Zelena would sleep with Robin. ("NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooo THEY'RE [the fans] GOING TO HATE ME")
- Emilie De Ravin & Karen David (Belle and Jasmine) These two should never be paired together lmao, they get very giggly and distracted. Apparently they 'borrowed' a lot of each other's clothes while on set ("Karen, do you have my *insert item here* at home?!") They were asked a lot of Lost and Galavant questions. (Emilie has never seen Galavant.) Emilie thought that Gaston's death was unnecessary and wasn't needed to move the story along. Karen loved her episode with Ariel, and wished she had more scenes with Belle. They both thought there should be a Storybrooke land at WDW. (I agree!)
- Lee Arenberg (Grumpy) omg, Lee LOVES TO TALK lmao. Like... ask him a simple question and he will give you a five minute long answer haha. But he's very passionate and humble and SO into giving back to the fans, and I love that. He was asked quite a few POTC questions, and we got a "'ello poppet" and some insight on how far CGI has come since Black Pearl. We also got a "THE CURSE IS HERE/BAD NEWS" ala Grumpy. He also shared a story about how wonderful Ginny and Josh are, and how when they were filming the pilot, the two of them would stay and wait for him to deprep and then the three of them would go to Denny's at like 4am.
- Jared Gilmore & Andrew West (Henry Mills Squared) I... adore these two. So much. They are such nerds. Andrew said that he did not consciously mimic Jared when playing Henry, but that apparently they are just that alike (as far as their gestures, movement, speech) and Adam and Eddy saw that in him when they asked him to play the part. Jared and Andy only met once at the beginning of S7 filming, and did not meet again until finale filming. When asked what other realms they would have liked to have seen in OUAT, Jared immediately coughed out a 'STARWARS' and Andrew's eyes got wide. Seeing that his older self was hooked, Jared continued on to explain that they had thrown the occasional nod to SW in here and there in the series, but that he wished Henry could jump in as a Jedi somewhere. Andrew just babbled that he was still trying to compute the possibilities of Han and Henry having adventures. "#mindblown"
- Lana Parilla (Regina Mills) The Queen herself! My mom was just beside herself lmao. She was SO excited. Lana was beautiful and gracious, but her panel was a little disappointing just because so many people started their questions with the usual "you changed my life, here's how *insert personal story*" and you aren't supposed to do that, as it takes up time, and does make it kind of awkward for both the actor and the audience. She also got lame questions, at least at the beginning. It finally started picking up towards the end, where she was asked some weirder ones and she started getting weird with them. (She cracked up when asked which two cast members she would choose to be stuck on a deserted island with; she couldn't speak for a full minute as she doubled over laughing, before managing out, "I don't know why Bex and Sean came to mind.... we'd die.")
Lana's panel brought the con to an end, alas. But it was SO amazing to see them in person, to be in the same room with them. To hear them speak so passionately about Once, about the fans, about their characters and their fellow castmates. You could see that they are still grieving, that they were so glad to be together this weekend, but that they are glad to be going home now to take a well deserved break. (Which is what many of them are doing, as they pointed out.)
It was just such a great way to say goodbye. And such a great first con experience!
Naturally, I do have photos. The entire album is on my Facebook, and it's a public album so anyone can see it!: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1...=1&l=03db04a5be
But here are a couple of teasers!