A few weeks ago I got a Google alert on a brief interview that Steve Whitmire gave to a local news station in Knoxville, TN regarding the Fanboy Expo that was going on there. I hoped that would not be all that we heard out of Knoxville and happily, it is not.
This morning, YouTube helpfully and accurately suggested that I might like this 25-minute Q&A that Steve gave at the Fanboy Expo. This panel was recorded and posted by Joseph Scarbrough, a name I recognize from the Muppet Pundit forum, even though I don’t think I ever interacted with him there, but a big “thank you” to him on the off-chance that he’s reading this.
This panel is a little different than some of the other panels we’ve seen. It’s shorter by approximately 20 minutes, and instead of the moderator sitting up front with Steve and asking him questions that we’ve already heard a gazillion times, he stood in the audience and helped with their questions. The whole thing pretty much consists of audience questions, so in that sense, it’s a true Q&A
Now, I speak disparaging about the unimaginative questions that the moderators ask at every single one of these panels because, while I’m never loath to hear Steve talk about his history, I’m always keen to hear new stories that we haven’t heard before, so lately I’ve been feeling kind of resentful of these standard questions that keep retreading old territory. And yet, watching this panel I’m beginning to think that those standard questions serve a purpose because not everyone in the audience may be as familiar with Steve’s backstory as I am, and those standard questions sort of help to bring everybody up to speed. The need for that grounding was rather dramatically illustrated in this panel as the first questioner made the remarkable offhand statement to Steve, “I don’t know if you worked on Fraggle Rock.” Worked on Fraggle Rock? As far as I’m concerned, he WAS Fraggle Rock. Well that’s an exaggeration but…yeah, so I’ve decided that there’s something to be said for bringing everybody up to speed at the beginning of these panels.
Footnote: A few weeks ago, I mentioned the possibility of my traveling to Indianapolis for Gen Con at the beginning of August. I regret to inform you that I am not going to be able to make that trip after all, and in retrospect, I wish I hadn’t brought it up before it was fully decided one way or the other. I’m still hopeful that someday–probably not this year, but someday–Steve will make it to a convention that’s a little closer to where I live. There is actually a convention here in Sioux Falls (Siouxpercon); it only seems to be a few years old, and my impression is that it’s rather modest. I’m not holding my breath for Steve to attend Siouxpercon, but there are also conventions in Omaha and Minneapolis that I could attend without a great deal of trouble or expense. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed…metaphorically speaking, of course, because otherwise it makes it hard to type. 😉