"Collectibles and Celebrities" show in North Hollywood California
The 2nd Meeting
The second time I met Brad was quite literally a total surprise. For the past 12 years or so, I have been the Guest Liaison for a convention called Gallifrey One which takes place in Van Nuys, California every February. The convention is primarily focused on a long-running British science fiction television program called Doctor Who. However, as the years have progressed and the show has been off the air, we had to expand to include other science fiction shows, both British and American. We have had a long list of distinguished guests. There is a full history of the convention at the official website GallifreyZone[dot]com Anyway, I had been jokingly asking them for years to try to get Brad to show up. After all, he has so many ties to the sci fi community (X-Files, Millennium, Voyager....). I never really thought it would happen though. In February of 2000, that changed.
Up until the week before the convention, there had been some thought that he might be there. He had just completed some project with Richard Hatch of Battlestar Gallactica fame (to my knowledge, this has never been released to the public). Richard was one of our other guests so we were going to try to arrange an appearance for Brad as well. But the week before the convention happened I was told that there were scheduling conflicts and he wasn't going to make it. I wasn't too surprised. I never really thought he would be there.
Apparently, a couple of days before the convention was to start, our guest coordinator got a call from Richard's girlfriend who also happens to act as Brad's convention agent on occasion and she said that the schedule conflict had disappeared and Brad would be able to attend. Knowing how excited I would be about it, the chair of the convention and a couple of others decided that they were not going to tell me about it. Their plan was to have him come to the Green Room and ask for me personally. However, their plan backfired because I just happened to be walking down the hallway as he was walking towards the Green Room and, imagine my surprise when I saw him coming towards me.
I had to quickly pull myself together as I was after all acting in an official capacity as Guest Liaison. I don't know how I did this but I found myself introducing myself to him and walking him to the registration table to get his bade and schedule and then over to his autograph table. It was kind of all in slow motion and I was a little flustered because I had been told he wasn't going to be there so, at first, I didn't even know where to take him and I had to have someone go and get the culprit who had perpetrated this little surprise. Not that I was upset. I just wished I had had some warning so I didn't have to look like I didn't know what was happening.
It all got sorted out. I remember bringing up Jennifer's name because, by this time, they had already been in contact and he asked how she was doing. I got him to his autograph table and stayed close by for a while just in case he needed something. When I went to the table to get an autographed picture he would not let me pay for it. It was a very sweet thing to do.
As guest liaison for the entire convention, I had to make sure all of the other guests weren't neglected so I couldn't spend the entire weekend staring at Brad (damn!). Whenever I would walk by, he would smile and, at the end of the convention I asked him if he had a good time and told him I hoped he would come back and visit us again. He said that he had a great time and would love to come back. So far that hasn't happened but he's doing more conventions these days so it's not out of the realm of possibility. The next time, I am hoping to have more of a warning so I can prepare myself a little better and let other fans know about it.
Meeting Brad on both occasions was an extremely positive experience. I hope to get the chance to meet him again one day and I hope everyone who wants to also gets that opportunity.
The first time was in May of 1995 in Los Angeles at a convention called The Weekend of Horrors. Brad was there to promote Death Machine which was just coming out. He did a panel, followed by a question and answer section. I asked him which kinds of roles he prefers to play (horror, comedy, drama). I can't remember his precise answer (I'm a little older now and the memory isn't what it used to be), but it was something like he enjoys the diversity of the roles he gets to play. I think he did express a preference for the horror roles because he got to have fun with those characters.
As soon as the question and answer session ended I bolted from the room to get in line for his autograph session. It turns out I was actually the first in line. Unfortunately, it was a short meeting because by the time he sat down, there was quite a line behind me. I remember he used my pen to sign my program from the convention and that I held onto that pen for quite a while. I have the program in a frame and hanging on my bedroom wall to this day.