A Look Back At The 2014 Shore-Leave Convention

I was able to get the headliner on this event, Macguyver, I mean, Jack O'Neal, I mean, Richard Dean Anderson!
Mark J. Gross & Richard Dean Anderson

Traveling around the galaxy, I once again, happened upon the Baltimore convention known as Shore-Leave . This one happens to be in my own hometown and is one of the best friendly family fan run convention on the planet. Yes, I mean this planet,Earth.

Upon arrival, I immediately spot a large, parked cylon spacecraft right in front of the hotel entrance! A human entrepreneur has created this lifelike life size full scale model to pose next to and inside the cockpit for photo ops. It looks real enough to fly into space. Perhaps it does.

Mark is forced to broker a deal with the Klingons in exchange for interview access to Richard Dean Anderson.

Mark is forced to broker a deal with the Klingons in exchange for interview access to Richard Dean Anderson.

Entering the hotel, it seems like I walked right into a science fiction film. There are fellow fans dressed up as Starfleet officers, Kilngons, Vulcans, and other fascinating and unique costumed creations. I felt right at home.

I am grateful to Shore-Leave for granting me press passes to cover this show. This convention I was able to acquire two interviews, and many awesome photos. I interviewed actor Michael Welch, and yes, I was able to get the headliner on this event, Macguyver, I mean, Jack O’Neal, I mean, Richard Dean Anderson!

Other guests included Teryl Rothery, Silas Weir Mitchell, Eve Myles, our artist friend, Tye Bourdony and last but not least, Robert Picardo, who I have interviewed quite a few times before.

Throughout the weekend ,besides the guests signing for and chatting with fans at their tables, there were numerous panels, stage talks, art show, charity auction, gaming, photo op session with the guests, dealers rooms, a full size Doctor Who Tardis and Dalek among other items , the masquerade costume contest, and the Ten Forward party Saturday night plus so much more! Fun fun and more fun.

Three of my good friends, who are part of this convention and assist the guests, are Karen, Judy and Dee. I get to hang out a bit with these 3 and their guests at their signing tables , and the conversations are awesome. But, what happens at Shore-Leave, stays at Shore-Leave!
In my interview with actor ,Michael Welch, he tells me he loved being the boy , Artim, in the Star Trek film, Insurrection. He also mentions that his new series is called Z Nation. This will be out this fall 2014 on the Syfy Channel. Keep your eyes peeled for this one and try not to get bitten.

Richard Dean Anderson tries to hide when he is rumbled by Mark and his Klingon Allies.

Richard Dean Anderson plays peekaboo during photo op with Mark J. Gross.

Ok, hows about a few excepts from my, one on one sit down interview with Richard Dean Anderson. I thought you’d never ask.

Mark: What was a pivotal moment for you when you realized acting was something you really wanted to do?

Richard Dean Anderson: My father was a speech and English teacher as well as a director for school plays. I would go to rehearsals as a kid and sit in the audience , in the dark, mysterious big auditorium. Part of the action in this particular play had someone bringing out a birthday cake. But because it was a rehearsal, they wound up bringing out a tray full of hostess Twinkies instead. And I swear to you, as a kid, I thought if there is any job that I can get free Twinkies, that’s what I wanna do.

Mark: What was great for you in playing your role in Stargate SG-1?

Richard Dean Anderson: I really like the character of Jack O’Neal. I had a lot of fun playing him. Oneal was able to be the smart ass that he is.

Mark: In other words, to have those credentials, and still get away with being a smart ass.

Richard Dean Anderson: Yes, exactly, and that’s not too unlike my life right now. (we both laughed out loud at that). I also have to say that Legend, was one of my all time favorite series as well.

Mark: Are you a collector of anything?

Richard Dean Anderson: Besides being a collector of various hats and caps, I now collect Tee Shirts with messages on them. The other thing I kinda collect but it goes away rather quickly is, my addiction for blueberries.

Hilarious laughter ensued here starting with Richard himself!

Richard also tells me he is big into a charity he will be honoring for the rest of his life which is called, Sea Shephard Conservation Society. Please check it out.

Richard was a really great guy and interview. He posed and also signed a few things for myself and my photographer Jessica Blitz.

On Sunday of the convention the famous, Leonard Nimoy did an on screen Skype for the crowds at Shore-Leave. My friends Cathy and Jacy sat in on the Skype with more fans than a room full of Tribbles. They shared with me that Leonard came on singing with his grandson playing along on his guitar. He started the whole Skype with it. Leonard also talked about his unique photography as well. They said Leonard had a great time doing the Skype for fans. But that, for Leonard Nimoy is only, logical!

Always something cool buzzing at this unique convention!

It is always bittersweet to say goodbye to fellow friends and fans and autograph collectors on that
Sunday late afternoon.

But that is when all the guests and many fans have to try to secure a shuttle-craft or transporter pad to head back home.

Shore-Leave is a wonderful fun filled and packed convention. Hope to see you all there next year.

Right now, I have to see if my time machine/spaceship I dropped off to be repaired at some shop, is ready yet. If it is, see you all again somewhere in the galaxy, yesterday.

Check out some more photos from Shore Leave in the photo gallery below:

One Comment

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  • Cathy Bayer
    13 August 2014 at 12:53 am - Reply

    Wonderful job as always and made me smile.. Cathy Bayer

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