Fans of all ages made their way to NRG Park in Houston, Texas on Friday, October 18 for opening day of Fandemic Tour Convention. Friday kicked off at 3 p.m. with several amazing things to welcome guests including, three panels, actor autograph and photo op sessions, an epic Artist’s Alley, and a wide array of vendors.
On the Main Stage celebrity guests Charles Martinet, Kevin Sorbo, and Sean Patrick Flanery spoke to fans during their panels throughout the afternoon.
Charles Martinet is best known for his voice work as the character Mario in the Super Mario video games. Much of the panel was dedicated to his work as Mario, and he shared several gems including one of his most memorable voice acting moments. For five years he worked on and developed the persona for Mario. As an optimist he really wanted Mario to be a happy, joyful character. “The whole process was making this character an ideal person,” shared Martinet. “I also believe comedy should never be harmful. The improv I do for the bad guys is it always falls on themselves. I don’t want my character to ever hurt people.” Martinet also joked that he eat, sleeps, and dreams as Mario, literally. He has had dreams as Mario, ice skated as Mario, and even drove while dreaming as the character. The character has defined a lot of his work, and he loves seeing fans embrace his work.
Hercules and Andromeda star Kevin Sorbo talked about his time on the set of both shows, what it meant to him, and his health scare that changed his life. Sorbo explained that the mythology of Hercules was always important to the show, and he used to receive letters from parents telling him that the show inspired young children to learn about mythology, a fact he does not take lightly. Of his favorite projects Sorbo said, “If it wasn’t for Hercules, I wouldn’t have got anything else but some of my other works like Let There Be Light I really loved.” He also shared that he and Dean Cain are working on a film together which is set to release next year. In it, a high powered, rich lawyer, played by Cain, pays a random homeless person (Sorbo) to get in his car so he can use the carpool lane. The film titled Carpool Lane, focuses on the conversation these two men have while in the carpool lane. Cain’s character quickly learns that there is more to the homeless person than meets the eye.
The Main Stage closed it’s day with Sean Patrick Flanery who is best known for his roles in The Bookdock Saints, Simply Irresistible, and Dexter. He kicked off the panel as soon as he entered the room by slamming his hand on the table and asking, “Be honest, why the f*#% are you all not at the Astros game?” This set the tone for much of his panel which consistent of anecdotes about his best friend and colleague Norman Reedus. When asked what the craziest thing he has done to Reedus, he laughed while saying, “There aren’t many, or any, of those I can share!” When asked if he found anything about acting challenging, he talked at length that he felt acting is an easy job. “I’ve had real f**king jobs before,” he shared enthusiastically, “this is not a real job. Making movies is the easiest thing on the planet in comparison. It’s glorious to be in the film industry.” Flanery also talked about his practice of Jiu Jitsu in which he is a black belt. In fact, Flanery loves the sport so much that he opened his own business, Hollywood Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, in first Los Angeles and then Houston in 2004. As the panel closed, Flanery took a moment to thank fans, “You guys come out and want to hear me talk about something I got paid for 10 years ago! It’s an honor and a privilege that that even happens. It’s sustenance to my soul. I honestly got the big end of the wishbone at this Thanksgiving dinner, thank you for being here!”
Between panels, fans took in the amazing Artist’s Alley which featured artists in nearly every medium selling amazing works. Check out our slideshow below for a glimpse inside the Fandemic Tour Artists Alley include artists such as Daria Aksenova with impressive visual narrative and Sarah Finnigan who paints beautiful oil paintings.
Also in the Artist Alley is an hourly PaintJam with Harvey. New to the world of speed painting, Harvey sets his talents to music. In five minutes or less fans can watch as he creates a large portrait of various characters such as Darth Vader and Lord Voldemort. It’s amazing to watch the painting come to life as Harvey moves and paints to the music using brushes and his own hands! At the end of each painting he does a dance to the remaining music, adding a lively, theatrical element to the show. He will be painting all weekend at Fandemic Tour, and fans can find him on social media.
The vending area has everything a nerd could ever wish for. From t-shirts to the batmobile to fantasy authors there is a little something for every kind of nerd. If you plan on attending Saturday and Sunday, be sure to swing by some of these amazing booths pictured below for one of a kind fandom art.
The fans turned out in some amazing cosplay costumes. Check out some of today’s impressive cosplay below!
Saturday and Sunday of Fandemic Tour will see panels from such stars as Sebastian Stan, Milo Ventimiglia, Sean Astin, James and Oliver Phelps, Scott Patterson and much more. Check back here each day for coverage on all things Fandemic Tour Houston!