Carousel and Caverns Community

and the 20th Anniversary Convention 





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Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your interests outside of B&B Fandom?

Well, I have been very active in several Fandoms. First, Dark Shadows and then  Space:1999, that changed my life forever. I have been working as a Unit Secretary since I got out of High School…first back home in Kentucky and then here in CA.  I am an artist and writer.  I love to travel, especially to Europe. I have a cat named Belle, who I adopted when she was 4, and she is the joy of my life. (Her name had already been given to her.)


What drew you to the Beauty and the Beast television series and how did it affect your life?

It was Linda Hamilton that drew me to watch the show. I honestly was thinking “Why would she do something so strange sounding as this?” The pilot blew me away!! The effect on my life came mostly after the end of the 1st Season. The mom of a very close friend died very unexpectedly, and while she was home (we both lived in Kentucky), I spent the time watching an episode a day to keep me grounded. I was home visiting and went to see her to watch “A Happy Life” together…so it was very healing.


Besides organizing three conventions, what else has your passion for Beauty and the Beast lead you to do/create as a group or individually?

I myself have been active in raising money for charity a long time before B&B entered my life…so for myself it was (and is) frosting on my cake.


In Real Life are you a closet "beastie" or do all your friends and family members know that you're a fan?

I am proud to say I am a B&B fan…all my friends and family know this!


What is the biggest difference you are finding between running the convention you held in 1995 and running a convention scheduled for 2007?

Not much except for our club members….much smaller now.


How has your group changed from the 1995 con to the 2000 con to the present?

We are much wiser. The group we are now and was in 2000 do this for the pure love of the show and it’s fans. No personal gain… which turned out to be a hidden agenda for a few in 1995.


When planning a con, how do you divide up responsibilities within the group and ensure that everyone is on track with their projects?

In reality there are only about 8 in our group of 12 that want to work on the Con. A couple of us have more than one duty, and thankfully a good number of fans from all over have stepped up to the plate and taken a task or two. We could not do this without them!!                                                                            

When Cece and I attended a Con in England in Sept 2004, someone asked if we would consider doing the Anniversary Con. We started making tentative plans and then heard someone in NY wanted to do it. So, in 2005 a vote was taken at the Burlington, VT gathering, and LA was the winner…so it was a go.


What types of negotiations do you go through with a hotel to determine if it's the place to hold a convention, and to determine what hotel services you'll offer (e.g., banquet options, possible snack breaks, the number of meeting rooms available to you, room nights promised, etc.)?

You want a hotel that is willing to work with you despite the number of people you hope will attend. Someplace easy to get to from the Airport is always a plus. Be careful with your contract.  Don’t overextend yourself.  Keep it small with room to grow. Hotels want you to spend lots of money…be honest and say you are on a budget. If they want your business they will work with you. Always talk to someone who has done this before you think about doing it!!


How do you approach the stars - through agents, personal contact, a combination, other?

A combination of all of the above. Over the years, some of the actors you get to know on a personal level. That’s a good thing. Others you must contact through the agent. I am dead set against paying anyone to appear! 


How has Fandom changed in the years between Los Angeles conventions?

A big loss in numbers. That’s normal in any fandom as the years go by.


How do you stay enthusiastic in the face of all the work you're doing to put on a convention?

For me it’s the Charity and the smile on everyone’s face during the Con.


What's kept you in fandom for 20 years?

The friends I have made…lost a few, but the real friends hang in there no matter the changes in their lives.


Did any of you have experience doing conventions prior to B&B? If so, how did that help you put together B&B cons?

Oh yes. In 1978 I attended my first Convention ever for Space:1999. Made a lot of friends, and by 1979 I was in charge of ‘something’ every year after that. Eventually I ‘chaired’ 2 Cons in Cincinnati and 3 here in LA.  The last one we did was in 1999. We raised $20,000 for our Charities that year. 


Did you learn anything about yourselves as you put together any of the 3 LA cons?

Definitely. You learn who is the most hard headed. Those with ‘stars’ in their eyes. Who is the most dependable. The ones who want only the glory. I can see that without working with them on a Convention.


What was the spark that caused you to try your hand at organizing a con when a lot of groups are afraid of the challenge?

Friends around you willing to do the work, in the group and out of it. You can not take on a task like this alone. It takes a lot of hard work, sacrifice and just plain love.


Some groups have even broken up over the process and stress of running a con, what has kept you guys together all these years?

I’d like to think just love - For each other (despite the many challenges) and that spark of energy that comes from the whole idea. We have what Brooke likes to call ‘the good people’ and that makes all the difference in the world.


Living in LA as you do, with such easy access to the celebrities, do any of the rest of you have stories or encounters that you can share briefly with WFOL?

There is this myth out there that those of us here in LA ‘hang out’ with the actors. We do not. If they do a play or something, we go certainly and say 'hello and great job’ but we don’t ‘do lunch’ ya know?


We know that your group was able to obtain a lot of the costumes from the show that were only going to be thrown out. Can you tell us a little about that experience and how it came about?

Now this story is a hoot. I pick up the phone one day and Mike asks, “Are you off work today?” I was. Seems he got a phone call from Judy Evans who is getting ready to move to Washington State. She wants us to come with two cars and take as many costumes that we can cram into them! We met at the lot. Security was expecting us and we drove back to the huge warehouse where many costumes are stored. Judy is a lovely lady (very shy and did not want to come to the 1995 Con). We took what they planned to throw out and then she took us into a ‘locked’ section where she gave us some of the good stuff. We have auctioned off many for Charity, and sadly, to pay off the debt left from the 1995 Con.  We still have some that we will never let go.


Can you give us a brief “sneak peek” into what you have planned so far for the 20th Anniversary con?

Wish I could. Too early to tell.


Is there anything else that we haven’t covered that you would like to say to your fellow BATB fans?

I’d just like to say that B&B fandom has some of the best people who make up for the really bad ones. I find that any fandom has people in it for all the wrong reasons. Thankfully, there are not many of those around anymore. Thank you all for your interest and hope to see you this July!                                                                            



Tell us a little about yourself and your interests in general.

My interests are cultural anthropology, ethnographic arts, Asian artifacts, textiles and all expressions of adornment. I enjoy nature, animals, conservation and reading. I have 3 cats on my bed at night, several yard kitties and a bunny.


We understand that you lived in Los Angeles where the series, Beauty & the Beast was largely filmed. Were you aware of this back in the late 1980's?

I wasn't aware of anything until the end of the 1st season. Then one day I read in the newspaper that the man who played the Beast was going to be speaking at a Hotel near LAX (Los Angeles airport). I couldn't get there fast enough. I was alone and scared to death. I ended up talking to another painfully shy person who turned out to be Don Davis who did the music. I also spoke to Howard Gordon who was one of the writers. One of the few dealers was selling T-Shirts and started a mailing list. I took her phone number home with me. Kimberly Hartman who did Helpers Network called me one day and asked me to start a fan club in my area. I didn't have a clue what to do so I called the lady with the mailing list. She set a date, time and place for a meeting and that is how our group started. We soon learned that the majority of us attended that first really small convention.


Did living so close to where the show was produced give you any advantages over the average fan? Was more information available to you because of your proximity?

One advantage was being able to find out where they were filming. When not on the set, someone would have to drive to Hollywood and look the location up on a shoot sheet. You had to take your chances because many times they were not out on location at all.


Many of those who will read this interview are newbies or joined fandom after the "golden years." Can you briefly describe the show's premiere, how it was received by the viewing public and how it grew to become a show that could boast a very loyal and dedicated fan base?

I can't really answer this question very well. At the time, I was a working mother and only saw the last 10 min of the 1st episode, and then bits and pieces of many other 1st season episodes. I would watch while I was cooking, cleaning, etc. I did not even have a VCR. I finally got one in the 2nd Season and it was ONLY for the sole purpose of taping B&B as I don't watch much TV otherwise. The first episode I taped was "Shades of Grey." After that, I was able to tape each episode and I watched them many, many times.


What was the audience's response to the casting of Linda Hamilton as Catherine and Ron Perlman as Vincent? Were both actors well known at that time?

At that time, Ron Perlman was just starting his career and had only done "The Name of Rose" and "Quest for Fire." Linda was more of an established actress having starred in bigger movies such as "Black Moon Rising" and "The Terminator."  Personally, I did not know of Ron at all and only knew Linda from having seen "The Terminator." I was not in contact with the larger audience and really can't say what the majority of fans' initial response was.


We know that you visited the set of BATB during filming. How did this wonderful opportunity arise?

Once our local B&B group, Carousels & Caverns, had formed we would keep in contact with the Studio’s office from time to time - just to be nice and let them know that the fans appreciated them. Sometimes people in our group would bake -  holiday cookies, etc. and we would send it over to the B&B offices. I usually wound up being the person to actually make the delivery since often my job and/or errands would take me by the general area of the studio. As a result, they sort of knew me there. Just to say hello to, nothing major. But on the last day of filming for Season 3, actually the last day of filming EVER, I went over to drop off a small gift that I had wanted to give to Roy Dotrice. It just so happened that Roy was walking by just as I got there! He invited me in, and I went, but was very much in shock and tried to be as unobtrusive as I possibly could.


Was it possible for anyone to visit the set or were you one of the privileged few?

I was aware that some others may have visited the set, but as far as I knew it was largely an accidental type of thing. You just had to be in the right place at the right time, as I was, or you had to know someone who invited you.


How many times did you visit the set and were you alone or with a group?

I was only on the actual set that one time, but I did happen across them filming on location a few times, mainly in Griffith Park at the drainage culvert and also once or twice at various locations around the city.


Tell us about your visit? What did you see and do?

When I was there they were filming a tunnel scene. Basically, you have to pretend you are not there and become part of the wall because you don't want to do something wrong and then have them tell you to leave, or cause them to have to do a scene over. I stood in the background with Pat Mitchell the sound man. You can't see very well and you have to remain silent. Towards the end when they moved the filming upstairs to another set I was allowed to wander around on my own. Walking around the tunnels I found Vincent and Father's chambers right next to each other. They were dusty and I didn't dare touch anything. Since I was Roy's guest, when his filming had ended for the day I also had to leave.


Do you know which episode was being filmed during your visit?

The day on the "set" was the last day of filming Season 3 but I don’t know exactly what episode it was. I would assume it was the last episode but I don't know which one that was - I don’t know the Third Season episodes very well, anyway. 

The times "on location" were 2nd Season episodes but once again it is hard to get very close and you cannot hear what is being said so I am really not sure what episodes were being filmed then either.


Were you lucky enough to see any of the actors or crew members during your visit? Did the chance to talk to anyone connected with the show arise? If so, who was it and what did you talk about?

Yes, I of course gave my gift to Roy and spoke to him at length. I spent a lot of time with Pat Mitchell, the sound man, because I find the behind-the-scenes stuff to be very interesting. I was able to meet and say a brief hello to both Jo Anderson and Judy Shimizu-Martinez (an extra) but to tell you the truth, I don't even know exactly what we said - I was just very nervous and you could say, in a daze just to be there!  


How long were you able to stay?

It was probably about 2-3 hours.


During your visit, was there something that really impressed you? Something that you didn't expect?

Two amusing things happened that made me smile. I had a glass of pink lemonade and every time I drank an inch Roy was there with the pitcher filling it up to the top again! I was trying to drink it and get rid of the glass but it never happened!

Then, during the lunch break, Roy pretended to bump his head against the lunch wagon and scared the hell out of the cooks and me!


Did your perception of the show change in any way after your visit and if so, how?

For me, it took away the magic of believing. There are no more tunnels under the subway system of New York. The Tunnel Entrance is now just a dirty drainage ditch in Griffith Park with fake trees around it. The tunnels are painted Styrofoam on a movie set in a horrible industrial part of town. When I watch an episode I don't see the scene as it's supposed to be. I see all the technical things around it.


Other then this interview, years after your trip to the B&B set, did you share your experience with other fans?

Only with a few close B&B friends.


Is there anything you would like to share with our readers about yourself, your trip to the B&B set, B&B in general or fandom?

I think today B&B is not so much about the show but all the friendships we have made. That's why I enjoy being a part of our Carousels & Caverns group and am looking forward to helping create a 20th Anniversary celebration that hopefully the fans will never forget. I hope everyone reading this can make it to "Perchance to Dream: A Life Without Limits" this July!  

To Perchance to Dream: A Life Without Limits


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