Avalon 2006. November 24-26, 2006
Convention, Wells, England
Saturday's auction was held in the Town Hall in a large formal room with high ceilings and portraits along the walls. Here the fans from the Saturday morning and Saturday afternoon sessions gathered, with standing room only, to raise more money for charity. To begin the event, Thomasina Gibson introduced the Mayor of Wells who gave a short welcome speech. Then the auction was under way as Richard, Amanda, and Dan Shea moved up and down the aisles displaying various pieces of memorabilia to the crowd.
Amanda began the lighthearted evening by telling again the joke she had shared at the FMA Awards about the pirate with a steering wheel in his pants, announcing, "Argh, it's drivin' me nuts!" In fact, Amanda seemed to lead the evening, and she particularly enjoyed dashing back and forth between competing bidders, encouraging or even daring each to outbid the other, and finally awarding the winner with a hug. Richard and Dan joined in the shenanigans as well, and as Richard began offering hugs or kisses to the winning bidders, it seemed that the competition was more for the hug than for the item up for auction.
One of the items was a set of four Stargate commemorative plates, with one of the original four cast members illustrated on each plate. Amanda was holding the plates for O'Neill and Carter, while Dan Shea displayed the plates for Daniel and Teal'c. As Amanda struck poses and encouraged the audience, she pretended that her two plates were kissing each other, making the accompanying sound effects. Following her lead, Dan Shea did the same thing with his two plates, to roars of laughter.
Another item was a piece of original artwork done by Amanda Tapping, a small canvas of five hearts painted on a dark background. She explained that she had painted several of these when she had been pregnant with Olivia and going through the mothering "nesting instinct," and she had given them to Peter DeLuise and other friends and co-workers. She smiled as she looked toward the portraits on the wall and admitted her masterpiece may not be "great art," but her work was nevertheless very popular with the fans.
Once again the final item was an opportunity for two guests to visit the "Atlantis" set. As Richard and Amanda tried to encourage the bidding, Amanda suggested that the winner could have lunch with Joe Flanigan, to which Richard quipped that she would have to be the one to tell him. Eventually the bids passed £2000 as two women, one near the back and one near the front, battled each other for the prize. Richard was standing near the front of the room, but Amanda called to him from the back, "Rick, come over here! I think we'll get more money!" As he walked back to join her, he placed his hands to his lips to make loud whistling bird calls in appreciation of the enthusiastic bidding. Later, in support of the money being raised for Sea Shepherd, he attempted to lift his black T-shirt to show the white Sea Shepherd shirt he was wearing underneath, but both shirts accidentally came up together, and there were many camera flashes in the back of the room before he could pull the white shirt down again to show the Sea Shepherd design. Just as the winning bidder was about to be announced, Richard told them to wait, and he and Amanda conferred in whispers in the back of the room. At last they announced that they had agreed to offer both of the bidders the visit to the set for £2500 each, and Amanda added that "Rick will straighten it all out with (producer) John Smith!" There was a huge cheer for the two winners, and twice the money raised for charity.
When the final tally was made, the bank representatives came forward to present a giant check showing a total of nearly £7000 raised for the evening. Richard was clearly touched, and he thanked everyone warmly and spoke at length about the work and dedication of Sea Shepherd. He described with enthusiasm his admiration for Paul Watson and told how he had helped to found Greenpeace but had left because he felt they had not been active enough in defending the environment. He extended his appreciation to all those who had joined Sea Shepherd this weekend, announcing that more than 10% of the Avalon attendees had become new members. He also said that he was looking forward to joining Paul in the future in Antarctica as they battle the Japanese whalers. He mentioned also what an honor it was for him to be asked to be a member of the Board of Directors, but he stumbled over the words and attempted to rephrase, finally ending with a grin, "Some have way with words. Some not have way!"
Finally the auction was at an end, and Richard and Amanda hugged each other affectionately, turned to congratulate and thank the crowd, and waved as they took their leave.
Many thanks for the additional photos from:
Carmargue Ltd., Legends Memorabilia, UgzY, Trekkie, Astra, Raquel, Teresa, Beverley J Barrett, dove0709, DMD, Wendy & Kelly & Scott, Diana, Gator101, Marieta, and Gabriele Gerritsen
Transcript written by KateR. Avalon 2006 is a production of Carmargue Ltd. Wells, England. November 24-26, 2006.