Festival Report -- 2000 (Los Angeles)

Wonderful! Can't use enough superlatives. Fourteen actors attended, including the "biggies": David Selby, Lara Parker, Kathryn Leigh Scott, Nancy Barrett, John Karlen, Marie Wallace. Large, enthusiastic crowds. And for a change, some new fan fiction in print. Kathy Resch had a new issue of TWODS, and was also selling a new fan novel about Willie and a great Forever Knight fan novel by Jean Graham.

Kathy'd had some of my stories for years, and I finally asked and received her permission to go ahead and post them online. She included two of them in the new TWODS, and to my delight, she picked up all the revisions and improvements I'd made when I posted them. I wouldn't have presumed to ask her to go to the bother of doing that.

Back to the Festival proper. The highlights: David Selby read us very moving poems from his new book of poetry, which was inspired by his mother's death. The book is available for purchase, as well as his CD. Also, Sunday afternoon, the ever-wonderful John Karlen gave a terrific reading of a monologue by Willie (written by an outstanding fan author, Mary Elizabeth Overstreet). James Storm gave a great Country/Western performance--just him and his guitar, no band to drown out his vocals. I've always thought I hated Country/Western, but he won me over. And Lara told us she's working on another DS novel, but it's still at the outline stage.

Less enjoyable: Roger Davis is really a terrible blowhard, going on and on about his financial success and the multimillion-dollar real estate projects he's involved in (while also busily hawking the shirts he sells). By contrast, David Selby and Marie Wallace are always selling their creative works (she's a photographer) to benefit charities.

Nancy Barrett gave a cabaret performance at the Banquet. I have mixed feelings here. We all love Nancy (she and Grayson Hall were my favorite actresses in the cast). And in DS, I thought her singing was fine. But now, frankly, I think she sings off key--and to start with, should have all her material transposed significantly lower. Her singing was no match for Jim Storm's: his voice seemed like an instrument, of which he had total control.

All these people look absolutely wonderful! The women are still great beauties. James Storm is a gorgeous guy whom I'd guess, from a little distance, to be in his thirties. David Selby is also still gorgeous, though he's let his hair go gray and looks closer to his real age. Among the musings in his book: his mother had raven-black hair till the end, and was distressed that his had turned gray. The only photos she displayed of him were those in which his hair was dark.

John Karlen, of course, is quite overweight--but he actually seemed to have lost a few pounds since last year. Looks his age, but his delivery of that monologue proved he's still a great actor. It's a shame he's not working.

Louis Edmonds seems very frail and feeble now, though he's "only" about 76. And Dennis Patrick (who's 81, and just had a bout with pneumonia) was a shadow of his former self. I hope he'll be able to bounce back by next year.