Well, Happy New Year!
We are excited about a whole new year of the EWFC. We are planning all sorts of fun things for the upcoming year. And the good news is, the cost of your subscription to this newsletter is not going up :) !
Its been an exciting couple of months for Ed. He has traveled to several cons and made quite an impact on the audience. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of seeing him in person, we have included some 'reports from the field.' Suffice it to say, in all the years we have been attending conventions, we have never seen ANYONE like Ed. He is so sincere, so kind, and so full of life.
In addition, Ed has some exciting 'irons in the fire' regarding upcoming projects he cannot yet talk about. But one thing is for certain, you will see more and more of Ed Wasser in the coming year.
Enough. Enjoy the newsletter.
PS - AN ANECDOTE - I was staying at Ed's house on a recent visit to LA. As Shiloh (his dog) occasionally contends with fleas, Ed has this 'flea light' that sits on the floor and attracts fleas (and then kills them). Above the light, he has hanging a fern of some kind, with long, very thin leaves that hang down. Anyway, we said goodnight, and he left the room, turning out all the lights, except the flea light. I plopped down on the futon, looked up at the ceiling to see, projected there, a PERFECT shadow ship.
I didn't sleep a wink...
(Below is the part of an ongoing interview with Ed. It will be continued in every issue of the EWFCN.)
Well as you will read later in the Newsletter I have been traveling a lot, I have been to Scotland, England and Dallas, in the last couple of months. I have had a great time meeting the fans. I have been speaking with a production company in the UK about a project they would like me to star in. Of course I can't say much more because the fine print hasn't been worked out, but I must tell you that I like the project a great deal! I didn't get home to visit my family for the Holidays but still I had a wonderful time.
I love kindness and I detest insensitivity! I believe that we all have a responsibility to find a common thread and bring this world together. It would be a waste of time (in my opinion) to get up and just talk about me or Babylon 5, when we can talk a bout being kind to one another, showing respect for each other and reaching out to help one another. In the end that's all that really matters anyway, so why not talk about it now before it's too late.
Well I'm ashamed to admit that I'm what you would call a fair weather fan, and on top of that I'm not loyal to one team. When the playoffs come around in any sports I tune in and watch. And I pick the team that looks like a winner and start hoot'n and holler'n like every other idiot. Win or loose it's just a good time, I don't take it too seriously!
Don't do it! Get a life! Make something of yourself! Live and enjoy your life! And if they still want to do it I'd say, "Well don't come crying to me because I'll just tell you I told you so!"
Wow! What an experience....four hours in and two and one half hours to get out of it. I loved watching the transformation, that was a real kick. Wow! I have so much respect for those who have to go through that every day. It would be an incredible challenge!
At first I went to the mirror to see if I had to work a little harder for facial expressions to come through. It did feel like a layer of dried mashed potatoes on my face, but it was surprisingly easier to work with than I thought. In fact having the over done pepperoni pizza on my face was very liberating. It gave me a wonderful licensee to really play. I had a lot of fun on that episode.
I would have to say "The Hour Of The Wolf" :>) I had so much fun under all of that pizza I can't begin to tell you. And of course I think JMS writes exceptionally well for Mr. Morden (OK, so I'm a little biased), but on both fronts I was excited about doing this episode. And it turned out to be as much fun as I thought it would be.
What smile? Do I have a smile?
We will be adding to this section every issue to give you more background about Ed. (Observant readers will notice that our questions jump all over the map. These are primarily for fun and to try to do what is hard to do in a newsletter, really let you get a sense of the little things that makes a person what they are.)
Do I have to go to the bathroom too? Because I probably would speed if I had to go to the bathroom. Otherwise I would just leave it up to GOD.......and speed anyway.....just in case He was too busy to help me out in this very important matter!
I'd give it back! But if I was one of those two 8-year-olds who found $20,000.00 in the sewer the other day, I'd say it was a gift from GOD and throw a party. :>)
I took my brother's bowling ball out of it's bag and replaced it with rocks equal in weight so he would have no idea. When he got to the bowling alley to play he reached in his bag and found nothing but rocks.
Rocks instead of a bowling ball....need I say more? My brother got me back the following week! What goes around comes around.
I think I hear your mother calling.......(mother: "Londo, Lonnnnndo")........see, she's calling you. We'll talk about this another time son, you better go before your mom gets mad. All kidding aside, if he wanted that more than anything in the world I would do what ever I could to help!
*USA,CA Van Nuys.....Gallifrey '97, February 14th-16th 1997.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (ask for J. Shaun Lyon)
Shaun Lyon (818) 769-5973
*USA, PA.....SwilCon March 7th-9th 1997
E-mail: email@example.com (ask for Will Quale)
Mail Address: SwilCon
117 S. Chester Rd, Apt 101
Swarthmore, PA 19081
*UK, England at Newcastle....... Neutral Zone March 14th-16th 1997 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ( ask for Diana Lawson)
As a Con guest, Ed is a major hit. We often mail from people who have seen him at a convention and we welcome the "reports" we get back from them.
What Do You Want?
Well, what we wanted was simple.
What we wanted was Ed Wasser to visit Edinburgh Alliance, and, in true Morden style, Ed made that possible.
So, there was Cad and I standing in Edinburgh Airport at 10.30 am with Mr. Wasser's plane due in at 10.40 ...or so we thought. Wrong! Due to manipulation of the gene pool by the Vorlons, we had been misinformed: Ed's plane LEFT LONDON at 10.40, so was due in at Edinburgh at 11.55! [Yeah, okay, Craig, I fouled up the time!!! Cad.] Ah well, breakfast it was.
Then it was TIME. Ed was HERE! We resisted the temptation to ask him 'What do you want?' but nonetheless established that this was Ed's first visit to Scotland and that he was keen to see some of the tourist sights. Thus it was that the three of us spent the afternoon touring Edinburgh Castle, topped off by a visit to the Camera Obscura.
A quick hotel check-in and call home later, it was 6.00 p.m. and we arrived at the Alliance's home, the Claremont Bar. We all three proceeded to get organized, starting with complimentary meals from the Claremont (thanks, Robin and Graeme!) as the crowd started to trickle in.
In true convention fashion, we started just a wee bit late [Why *does* this always happen even when we *are* organized? Cad.] with the autograph session. Ed was on great form, having a few words with everyone in the line. Though this does slow down the queue, one thing we try to do with our special guest stars is allow EVERYONE attending to get closer to them than you will at the typical larger convention style events.
Then we showed a few 'Hello to Edinburgh Alliance' clips from Steven Furst, Bill Mumy, and Bruce Boxleitner (we recorded these at last year's Wolf convention in Blackpool). After that, it was straight into the video of our 'disco version' performance of the world famous [Shome mishtake, shurely? Cad.] 'Army of Light' song (again, from last year's Wolf).
The build-up climaxed with the specially commissioned, one-off performance of our latest musical (?) opus, 'Morden Morden Morden,' which Ed truly loved, leaping up from his chair to hear the lyrics better!
Then: talk time. Ed talked for over one and a half hours, entertaining us splendidly with stories including the tale of his psychopathic parrot, and putting his foot in it in Ireland when he said he didn't like Guinness (only to be told they were one of his event sponsors!). He seemingly recovered well from that one, saying Guinness was so bad, he had to have another, then another, each getting better than the last. Well, Guinness stout *is* a bit of an acquired taste.
Ed then told us of his visit to Alcatraz (as a tourist, not an inmate!), debunking many of the movie created myths about the place, and moving from there to his philosophies about life and how great it would be if everyone could overcome their prejudices against other people.
The time flew by, and we wrapped up the main talk rather later than intended. Ed was presented with a caricature of Morden by our member Jeanette Dinse, one of our coveted 'Shadows Comeback Tour' T-shirts (never more appropriate!), a bottle of 10 year old Glenlivet, and a laminated poster from the Claremont's licensees, which Ed INSISTED was signed by all the attendees!
The final event was the raffle in aid of club funds. Ed had kindly brought along a Season Four Main Cast publicity photo, signed by half a dozen of the principals (WHICH I DIDN'T WIN!), A B5 T-shirt that he signed and personalized (I watched him do this: he took at least five minutes, to make sure the ink would not wash out. I'm sure the winner appreciated this care!), and a signed photo of himself. The organizers of Sector 14 threw in a FREE membership to 'The Nightwatch,' an event featuring Jeff Conaway and some non-B5 guests, which happens on March 9th, 1997 in Glasgow. If you read this before then, and live near enough, this is one Not To Miss!
As things wound down, Ed was a real trouper, mingling with everyone, signing more, being photographed with attendees, answering a few more questions. It has to be said that this, for me, is the best bit: a chance to get a more personal and intimate experience of the guest.
Well that about wraps it up for our 'Evening With Ed Wasser.'
ALL of us in Edinburgh Alliance would like to sincerely thank Ed (as we do Jason Carter before him) for 'going that extra mile' to make the whole experience one which I (and everyone else attending) will treasure and remember fondly for a VERY long time.
Thanks a lot, Ed, and as we say in Scotland, 'haste ye back!'
This weekend my wife Jackie, my friend Mike and I attended Telefantastique in Folkestone, a mini-con with guests from Star Trek, Babylon 5 and Highlander. The con had a very low attendance, due to the Film Festival it was part of running into difficulties. However, the organizers plowed on regardless, and I'm very glad they did!
Ed Wasser made two very easy and natural appearances on stage before the small but appreciative crowd, after signing autographs and signing photo's. In his first appearance on the Saturday he answered the usual questions, as well as speaking about his spiritual and philosophical beliefs. During his appearance on Sunday, he turned the tables on the crowd (my fault I'm afraid) and asked us what we want from the stars when they appeared at conventions. In a very open and intimate session, he spoke more of his beliefs about what really matters in life, reading to the audience from a selection of texts that touched us all.
The Q&A sessions were good fun, but the highlight for me was the Saturday evening. Jackie, Mike and I had a meal at the nearest hotel to the con. After retiring to the bar, we met up with the con organizers and Ed (other guests present were Diane Duane and Peter Morwood - SF writers and husband and wife Olympic drinking team, and Peter Wingfield - Highlander's oldest immortal and all-round really nice guy) and proceeded to stay up 'til 4:00 AM shooting the breeze in a corner. The four guests and the three of us debated everything from athletics (Peter Wingfield runs between 10 and 18 miles a day when he's not working) to philosophy, from the internet (Ed intends to use it more, but doesn't like keyboards). During the night we drank the hotel dry of Southern Comfort, and would have faltered early if Peter Morwood hadn't acquired some cans earlier on in the night. What a blast.
Ed is a remarkable individual. During our conversations I found him to be open, inquisitive, funny, charming and spontaneous (as evidenced by the unexpected hug I got as he left). He was a marvelous guest and I'm sure has left many of us with memories to treasure (and my beloved won't shut up about him!).
My name is Dawn, and I had the good fortune of attending Stellar Occasion III in Dallas in December. Stellar III was a first in many ways...new friends, new city and a big surprise!!! That surprise was Ed!
I had not watched Babylon 5 and was not familiar with Ed or his character, so all that I'm sharing 'was' from a completely neutral party...until the convention!
Opening ceremonies were Friday night, Ed had not been there in time for the first autographing session. Where were you, Ed? The ceremonies were...well you know...ceremonies. The guests were introduced and we were entertained by a theater group who was doing their rendition of an old fashioned radio show. The closing skit was from "Flash Gordon". As the skit began, a man, who I didn't recognize, slowly opened the door of the meeting room and crept to the stage, without the knowledge of the other actors. He picked up a script and went up to the microphone. Much to the surprise of the other actors. Or so it seemed to the audience. The whispers were, "that's Ed Wasser, what is he doing?"
Shortly thereafter, the entire group was laughing! I must admit...Ed's humor took me by surprise! He has the wit and quickness of Robin Williams, but with a smile that brings warmth to the hearts of the entire crowd. From my observance of the crowd, we were all caught up in the comedy.
The first rule of conventions, and one that Ed must learn, is that you need at least one good nights sleep. My buddies and I turned in for the night. The rumor is...Ed went visiting. That is where he met many of his new friends.
Saturday morning came. This day was personally moving experience for me, really strange things happened.
I went to the convention with a group to help at a fan club table...not Ed's. My group was asked to host a panel discussion for that show. Only 5 people showed up! We couldn't figure out what happened to everyone. All I know is that Ed was hosting his first panel discussion at the same time. I mentioned a few times that I really wanted to be there, but was faithful to what I was doing to leave early.
After about 45 minutes of trying to keep up a discussion that was failing fast, the urge to hear Ed speak surrounded me and pulled me to the room he was in. We wrapped up our discussion and I was off to that room. Little did I know what I would find!
What I found was standing room only...as well as total silence. The topic of conversation was not known to me yet, but there was a warmth and calmness throughout. As Ed's words became apparent, I realized he said he was going to read a prayer! He had my immediate consideration.
"What a bold move", I thought. As he read the prayer by St. Francis of Assisi, I got teary-eyed. I was so moved, that when he finished the prayer and told everyone how he felt about us loving one another regardless of our religion, I began to clap...all by myself...when the rest of the room remained noiseless. As they started to realize he had finished speaking, more applause came. At that point the panel ended.
A group of people waited to greet him as he was leaving the room, being still spellbound, I was one of them. Ed is so very gracious, because what I said to him was a bit off the wall. He remembered it though. It is another quality that makes him very special. He has a very deep caring for others, we all felt it.
Stellar III, was a very well run convention. The underlying current was to care for other human beings. I have never been hugged so many times in my life. The people who attended the con, as well as the people putting it on, were fun-loving and giving.
Of all the factors that make a good convention, Stellar had some of each.
Going back to the tables I was hosting, the people I was with asked me what was 'wrong'. Not knowing how to answer, I suggested we should all go to Ed interact with the other guests! One of which was Walter Koenig from Babylon 5, the other was Robert Trebor from the Hercules and Xena series. The Three Stooges comes to mind. Robert, of course was caught in the middle...literally! The whole thing started out quite simply and we began to wonder if it would progress at all...then, suddenly without warning the entire room was in stitches! First Ed was bowing to Walter, then Walter was bowing to Ed. They bantered back an forth about their dogs and why their dogs couldn't have puppies. Some how, it was each others fault. All I can say is that a planned comedy routine could not have been funnier! You should see the pictures!
The next chapter in "The Wasser Saga" is hilarious and almost became very costly!!! Being asked to 'babysit' the con co-executives purchase of a prop from another show, I ended up in the wrong place at the right time. I only say wrong place, because my party had been looking for me for awhile.
The event we were about to witness was the masquerade. It is a costume judging event. They are very typical to conventions on Saturday afternoon. We were entertained by a ballerina, Ed succumbing to a character from B5 and many others.
Ed had asked for some time at the end of the event to ask for help for a good cause. He presented the audience with a special charity auction. The prize being a trip around the set and lunch with Ed. In the he would have the charisma to take us from sad, hopeless feelings to in total craziness and laughter.
He started the bidding at $200. As a woman bid up I found myself counter bidding her. Then just as I was winning, he asked how much he could get if he took off his shirt. Well, what can I say...the bidding went from $300 to $600 in an instant. The whole room came alive! Going once, going twice, going...the next thing I knew I was off my chair, with my hand up, yelling $650! Little did I know that my friends had came in and were sitting in the lower tier looking up at me in puzzlement, saying, "Dawn????!"
Going once, going twice..."how much will I get if I take my shirt off?" A woman jumped up and shouted $1000! Ed shouted "SOLD!" Once again, looking around, it was standing room only.
The woman, and her sister, who won the auction were wonderful and loving people. We had a chance to speak later. We decided it was a great cause and hope that more people could contribute to it.
Later that evening, I had a chance to think about the real reason for the auction. I wanted to offer something, too. Now my task was to find Ed and hand him a check. This is when I found the real warmth and love within the man.
The function that night was a dance and party for everyone from 'stars' to 'volunteers'. The nice thing about Stellar is that we can all be together without the fear of over zealous fans. That must be a relief for the stars of some of the most popular shows on TV. Ed finally made an appearance about midnight. (At least that's when I noticed him standing beside me). I stood up and told him that I was the other person who tried to "buy" him earlier but, someone out bid me. I said, "I would like to contribute $100 anyway, how can I give it to you?" At that moment I received the best hug ever. I knew he was overwhelmed with emotion about all who had given that day. He told me that people had stopped him in the hallways to hand him cash and checks. From all of us who gave...we can only hope is on time to help.
There aren't enough good words in the world to describe Ed Wasser. His smile appears without a thought, his giving nature that thinks of others feelings before his and his highly outrageous sense of humor stand out to everyone! From my perspective he glows with faith, warmth and understanding.
Since the convention, I have seen Ed's character, Morden. A real "flaky" guy! At least in that episode. He plays a really good, bad guy. It was strange seeing the character after meeting the man, though.
I would like to say a special "Thanks" to Ed. For the opening minutes of his Sunday panel discussion.
You made my journey brighter.
Hi everyone, I hope you all had a great Holiday season and a Happy New Year!
I have great News to share with all of you....it's a bit of a long story, but I know you will like it. A couple of months ago I received an E-mail from a woman requesting that I give her friend a call at home in NJ. Apparently she is dying of Leukemia and this phone call was to mean something special to her. Well I called and spoke to 25 year old Stephanie Etmanski. We had a nice little chat and that was it. JMS walked her through the set where she got to meet several other cast members a couple of months prior to my speaking with her. Anyway, the day before I left for the Dallas con (Dec.27-29), I received a letter giving me an update on Stephanie. This is the letter I received:
A young lady we all know through Babylon 5 named Stephanie D. Etmanski from Bogota, NJ is unfortunately ill and requires a bone marrow transplant. She does not have long now. She is surrounded by friends who all help here and Joe took her around the set not too long ago. The problem is that they have now found a match for her, the problem is that if she stays on the waiting list it will be too late she only has months left. They have located a donor in South Africa, the total cost is around $250,000.
She has raised around$150.000 through friends, savings and insurance, but it's not enough. I know you are attending a convention next week in Dallas . Any chance you could help raise some funds, maybe auction lunch or dinner with Ed. Richard Biggs once Auctioned a visit to the set, he told them they would have to make their own way to LA but once there he would give them the grand tour. He did very well. Even if you raised only a $1000 it would help. We are doing what we can here. I feel this is a chance to show the positive side of Babylon 5 fans. Maybe you could mention it to Walter.
I then asked Meri Hazlewood, Chairman of Phoenix Entertainment for the "Stellar Occasion 3" if it would be fine with her to try and raise some money. She was extremely generous about it and said 'of course.' Well here's how it went:
I auctioned off a lunch with Ed Wasser (that's me) and Walter Koenig and a grand tour of the set. I started the bidding at $200 and it climbed fast to $600 then inched up to $625 and got stuck. I made believe I heard $800, "$800 in the back row....going once, going twice,...going.....going....going......(pause)..........did I say twice yet, come on guys help me out. I'll take off my shirt for one thousand!" And a woman in the back row stood up and yelled out, "$1,000." Off went my shirt and the place went wild . "Going once, going twice, going three times to the lady in the back!"
Wow what a night. And my mom said I could never make money as a stripper....just kidding! :>) She always said I could make money as a stripper....just kidding twice! :>) Anyway, what was remarkable was that for the rest of the night and into the next day people were giving additional money towards Stephanie's cause. By the end of the weekend I was handed over $2,300 and those who didn't have their check books will be sending to the EW Fan Club...WOW! Those people in Texas were great, so supportive.
By the time I got back to LA and sent off the great news, even better news came right back at me. This is the letter I received:
That's great Dallas was such success...well Great News from here too. We just heard that Stephanie received a donation of $90,000 from a Jewish organization, the donation has to remain anonymous. The operation is booked for the 3rd of Jan, she flies out of NY today the 1st. We will contact her and donate the money to Leukemia research. They say she has a 50/50 chance.
This is a message I received from Stephanie's friend after I spoke with Stephanie yesterday and told her of the success we had in Dallas in raising funds:
Stephanie was really glad to hear from you, and is so touched by all of the support from you and the fans. She called me just before she left for Kennedy Airport; she's going to South Africa for treatment. A donor in Durban has been found, and she will be at the military hospital there for treatment and recovery. Radiation treatments begin either on Friday or Monday (Jan. 6), and the transplant is scheduled for either the 12th or the 15th. She will remain at the hospital for at least four months afterward. She told me that finding a compatible donor is a chance of about one in 40 million. Relatives in South Africa began a donor search through the temples, which is how her donor was found.
First of all, she thanks you tremendously for raising the money on her behalf. She asked me to have you donate it on her behalf to The Leukemia Society of America, 5500 S. Eastern Avenue, Ste. 190, Commerce, CA 90040. Their Public Information Resource line is 1(800) 955-4LSA. Their office line is 1(213) 724-4582.
Thanks for everything! You are such an incredible, kind-hearted person to auction a date and a walk around the set to raise funds for Stephanie! Most people wouldn't have thought of that in a million years. AND, your fan club is helping you in your efforts to raise funds for the Leukemia Society - that is fantastic! Stephanie is so amazing, too, to show such concern for others. I think there should be a Stephanie Etmanski Memorial Fund set up so people will always remember her.
Thanks for everything, and all the best to you in 1997 and beyond.
Well needless to say; this news was exciting for everyone who contributed. Secondly we need to thank Brian Cooney, who inspired the auction at Dallas among other fund raising ideas. What would be very special now is to agree to say a quick prayer for Stephanie every day at the "Noon Hour." The more people who participate the better, so pass on the news. Every day at 12:00pm even if it is for a minute or 30 seconds, just wish her well. We will continue this collective thought through out her recovery . Here is a prayer that a lot of us have agreed to say:
Lord, please take care of our loved friend Stephanie. Cure her of her illness so that she may live a long, happy, healthy, and prosperous life. Send her angels, so that they may watch over her to guide her through this difficult time. We see her smile, Lord, with health, happiness and success in her eyes. She is in your hands and because of this we have faith. Thank you GOD, Amen!
Please find some time to contribute to the survival of this young lady, even if it means to cut the above prayer out and tape it to your bathroom mirror and read it as you brush your teeth.
"No effort is complete without prayer.......without definite recognition that the best human endeavor is of no effect if it has not God's blessing behind it"
As you just read, while at Stellar Occasion in Dallas, Ed raised a few thousands dollars for this fan in need of a bone marrow transplant. At the EWFC, we have receiving email from other attendees asking if they could still contribute to this very worthwhile cause. The answer is 'Yes'. If you were at the Dallas con, or would like to contribute anyway, you can send your checks made out to the EWFC to:
A Good Cause
PO Box 1641
Corvallis, OR 97339
The fan club will take all contributions and make sure they all get to this fan.
First, last issue's contest results:
Another top 10 list. While he is not plotting evil, Morden likes to hang around the Zocolo picking up babes. So this month, we are looking for "Top 10 pick-up lines Morden uses at the Zocolo."
And the runners up are:
10 "Want to rub my crystal?"
9 "Hey, baby, my associates are a billion year old race with technology beyond your imagination. Would you like a drink?"
8 "My 'associates' are on vacation, and they left me the keys to the Battlecrab. Want to take a spin?"
7 "Drinks Are On Me, What Do You Want?"
6 "If what you want is a good time, there's a nuclear party going on at Z'Ha'Dum."
5 "You're exactly what _I_ want"
4 "Ever seen the sunset over Z'Ha'Dum?"
3 "I could give you the world. Any world - your choice."
2 (to Londo) "You can have that piece... and I'll take this BIG piece right here."
Our winner of this contest is R. Jason Boss with:
1 (after _Z'Ha'Dum_) "Once you peel away the outer layer, I'm really a nice guy."
Jason wins an autographed picture of Ed Wasser. Congrats!
This month's contest: In 25 words or less, describe something useful you have learned from Morden.
Contrary to the rumors you may hear, we are not on the lam from the law. You can contact us. To subscribe, email to email@example.com. Conversely, when you have had enough, firstname.lastname@example.org will do the trick. If you want to contribute anything, we will most likely print it, assuming it pertains to Ed, Morden, Shadows, B5 (i.e. doesn't ramble on about the Great Cow Plot). Email to email@example.com. Letters to Ed are also welcome, and you have his word that they will all be read and answered by him. Ed's email is, you guessed it, firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a web page for us at: http://www.catalog.com/wasser. It is growing, so be patient. Contest submissions are sent to email@example.com.
|Volume III, Issue 2|