Sense8Con 2 Part 2: Day one, Saturday

It started at breakfast. I was invited to a table with some fans, and there I met Birgit, the only other Danish Sense8 fan at the convention, at least as far as I know.
I am terrible with recalling names, so forgive me if I do not give all the correct names of many other people at the con.
First on the official program was the Welcoming Party which was essentially a welcoming panel. All guests were there, and gave a short introduction, plus we had some games of, e.g. guessing quotes.
Right behind me were two young women coming there from Dubai. I had a nice chat with them until the guests arrived.
All the guests looked very happy to be with the fans, and while some were much like their characters, others were completely different. Michael Sommers has much of the wonder and liveliness of Bug, while Sandra Fish is very different from the character of Janet. Tina Desai was more fun than I would have expected from seeing the character on screen.
After a short break we had the autograph session (actually two sessions). All of the guests took time to speak with every fan who wanted to. They looked like they were having a good time. My ticket included the 4 main guests, but I purchased one for the bonus guest, too. I am glad I added an autograph purchase for the bonus guest (Sandra), because the line she had was very short, sometimes non-existent.

n between the two autograph sessions we had a panel (Q&A) with Sandra Fish
She was very kind, very unlike the character she plays, but she loves playing “unpopular” characters, Nomi’s mother Janet. Someone who hates losing control over her life.
She was telling us that in order to create the character she felt the need to get to know and love the character, as I understand many actors do.
Sandra told us about her work with prisoners who would die imprisoned, and how the ones helped still continue the work with others in the same situation. Very touching.
During the second autograph section of the day it was time to meet more fans outside the panels.
I was introduced to several, but the trouble was recalling all the names. Here are a few:

German fan Ursula who was active in the campaign to revive Sense8 after the canceling of the show at the second season. She has also attended Fedcon in Germany, and I am sure that I have seen her asking questions at panels there, too.
Matteo from Italy, a very enthusiastic fan (well, I should say that anyone coming to a convention dedicated to one story should be).
Derek from Scotland who, at the first Sense8con earned the nickname The Old Man of Hoy, due to his Scottish accent.
Crystal from Colorado, USA.
Manu, a German teacher living in The Netherlands. She had actually taught German to a number of my colleagues I had when I worked there.

After the lunch break, more panels.
Brian J. Smith told us about him being the only member of his family in Texas who voted differently in the elections. He loves his family despite that difference.
He talked about how he does not like violence, and how he had to learn how to fight physically, OK, choreographed fights, but techniques to make it look more realistic.
How he went out with police to get a sense of how real police work is done, again in order to act in a more realistic way.
Seeing and listening to Erendira Ibarra really gave the impression of a lot of the actress being in the character.
She also talked about living in abuse, and how she initially thought that this was a Mexican cultural problem, but that the #metoo action recently taught her that it is a much more common problem for women all over the world.
Michael Sommers is a fun guy to see on stage on Saturday he did a flash preview of his one-man-show that he did recently. He was asked if he would do some more, and promised that he would on Sunday.

There is a lot of Michael in the character of Bug, especially his body language and his use of language.
Last panel of the day was with Tina Desai. Despite having a bit of trouble hearing everything she said in her very fast and somewhat accented speech, it was quite a pleasure to attend this panel.
When asked about Indian culture she immediately asked, from which of the many states in India. The country has a lot of cultural differences and dozens of languages spoken.
Tina is not quite the quiet type we see on screen as Kala. She is actually very lively and has a quick wit.

This was the end of the official part of the first day of Sense8Con2. A group of fans went out to get some dinner. The smaller group I went with ended up having pizza, and a longer talk with Ursula about Sense8 and a lot of other stuff.
An that is the end of a very pleasant and fun first day of Sense8Con 2.
Sunday will be described in a later post.

Going to Sense8Con 2, an Introduction.

In the week end 30/31 March I was attending Sense8Con 2 in Paris.
This was my first travel more than 100km from my home, since I was diagnosed with colon cancer in late 2017, and had subsequent chemo therapy and an operation. It is gone now, and I just have to go to control visits. They keep an eye (or a CT scan) on you for about 10 years to check if it is really gone.
As many of you can imagine I am very happy to live in a country with universal health care.
I did have a ticket to the previous (first) Sense8Con last year, but had to stay home for the treatment, so now I take my “revenge” this year, going to several conventions and other stuff abroad.
Back to the travels:
When going to a week end convention like this one I usually want to do more than driving 1300km back and forth, so I arranged to visit 3 friends on the travel, one scifi friend in The Netherlands, an old colleague, also in the Netherlands, and another scifi friend in Cologne, Germany.

I have been in Paris before, so a general sight seeing session is not very necessary, but I decided to have a single day to visit a few of the Sense8 filming sites in Paris. The most famous one is, of course, hard to miss: The Eiffel Tower which I went to at the end of the day. I walked several hours, just taking some general photos, but Also seeing, from the outside, the center for the Arab world, and the nearby bridge, where filming was done, too.
At a later stage I want to visit more of the Sense8 filming sites, especially in Europe. On the way to Paris I decided, for time restriction reasons, to bypass the site in Belgium where the filming of The Lacuna was done. I will take that one, and probably the Dutch filming sites later, as I have connections in The Netherlands.

All in all I was driving just under 3000km (2000 miles), but it was definitely worth it.

The show itself is created by the Wachowskis and J. Michael Straczynski (JMS) who co-wrote all episodes with the exception of the season 2 finale which, for now is the final episode.

While JMS was heavily involved in the scriptwriting he was not so heavily involved in the production as such. That task was mainly done by Lana Wachowski who did a stellar job in the filming of the show.

Now for the convention:
The guests for the convention were 2 sensates and 3 supporting characters:
Brian J. Smith (Will)
Tina Desai (Kala)
Erendira Ybarra (Daniela)
Michael Sommers (Bug)
Sandra Fish (Janet – Nomi’s mother)
Friday evening, after walking through the streets of Paris, I made the registration for the con, but did not meet too many fans yet.

There were panels (Q&A), autograph sessions, photo sessions and meet&greet sessions. I did not do meet&greet sessions this time, but I just might do that next year (to be decided).

  • and, of course 2-300 of the Sense8 fanmily (spelling intentional)

Next post is expected to cover day one (Saturday) of the conventions. Let us just say: Many meetings.

A Brief Sense8 review (spoiler free)

Having a little bit more time available here are a few words on the original Netflix series “Sense8”.

Sense8 is created by J. Michael Straczynski (JMS) and the Wachowskis, Andy and Lana (the Ws).

It had its premiere of all 12 episodes (season 1) in the beginning of June this year. I took time off from removal activities and watched all episodes on the premiere day.

This is a hard one to watch, single episodes at a time. It invites you to binge watch, and it  has been stated by JMS that it was intentional.

I am now into the second watch, this time much more slowly, and the re-watch value of this story is very high.

The story focuses on 8 characters, called “sensates” who, due to a tragic event, are suddenly linked telepathically, and they are hunted.

The story is more focused on characters and themes, and starts moving very slowly, introducing all 8 sensates and their immediate relations. We see the story unfold from their perspective, meaning that what they know we know, and no more.

Last Sunday I participated in The Sense8 Podcast discussing Episode 6 “Demons”, which is very packed and has a very widely discussed scene.

I consider making a set of commentaries, episode by episode, spoilerific and possibly non spoilery, if time allows.

The show does have some rather explicit scenes, but also rewards patience and attention, so I will recommend it if that is the type of story you prefer.