D23 EXPO – Part 2

Howdy, folks. Golly, so much has happened since Part 1! I’ve gone to Europe for two weeks of teaching, and then an anniversary trip to Vegas, and then a nap or two. So exciting!

So where was I?  Oh, yeah.  Pre-show. So we panelists and the dancers were taken down a back corridor to Stage 23 to scope out the venue. Unfortunately, the venue wasn’t ready for us, so we milled about for a couple minutes – and I got to take some candids. (You can see several of them in Part 1.) Here’s Tevin Campbell, chatting with a staff member.

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Bill Farmer’s wife, Jenny, had a special Goofy arrangement of flowers for the event.

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Smile, durn ya!

Then we filed into the auditorium. It was big and impressive. It held 900 seats! And behind the stage was a huge screen on which amazing images would soon be projected. It was all very exciting, and I couldn’t wait for the show to start. This event has been 20 years in the making, ya know! However, we soon had to vacate the premises so that the audience could enter – and off we went again to the “green room.”

After some more waiting, we were all finally summoned to the auditorium for the panel. Show time. The excitement was palpable, especially when we entered backstage and got a glimpse of the full auditorium. Packed! Noisy! I couldn’t stop grinning. You have to understand, there’s no such adulation and joy when you’re sitting alone in an office typing your umpteenth draft of a script. And even watching A GOOFY MOVIE in a general theater doesn’t have the same impact as nearly a thousand bubbling fans. I knew this was going to be once-in-a-lifetime event.

We panelists stood in a circle and put our hands in the middle like a sports team. “One – two – three – GOOFY!”

Then the moderator, DON HAHN took the stage. Now Don is no slouch. He produced Beauty & the Beast, The Lion King, Hunchback, and Atlantis to name a few. So to have him moderate this event is a testament to how much he enjoys AGM. He did a terrific job and was very funny, to boot, mentioning both the joy and pathos of the film. Note this very sad scene from the film.

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Since the script is the beginning of the production food chain, Don introduced me first. I climbed onto the stage, and the crowd applauded wildly. Writers don’t usually get this treatment! I looked up, and there was my face was plastered on the big screen – a shock I must tell you. Check out this photo. Yeeek!

Gad. Is that what Titanic ran into?

Gad. Is that what Titanic ran into?

I took my seat, and one by one the other panelists were introduced. Jenna Von Oy (who I had never met before), Rob Paulsen, Jim Cummings, Jason Marden, and Bill Farmer all came onstage to thunderous applause.

I don’t have to actually describe the proceedings, because you can watch the full-hour panel on YouTube.  But I will show you what it looked like from my point of view on stage.

A bank of monitors, a timer, and a sea of faces.

A bank of monitors, a timer, and a sea of faces.

Here’s Don introducing Rob Paulsen.

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And, of course, the obligatory selfie… with Jenna and Rob.

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So that’s all for today.  Part 3 soon!!!