#NYCC and me

The week post-NYCC has flown by, yet it also feels like an eternity ago. The contrast of daily life against the sci-fi and fantasy Disneyland that is New York Comic-Con, is not a transition one traverses lightly; or at least I don’t. Like emerging from the wardrobe after discovering Narnia, I’m still dusting snowflakes from my hair or, rather, quippy buttons, flyers and business cards. I met so many amazing people and went on some pretty cool adventures (some I’ll talk about here, some you might have to read about in my unauthorized biography #pretendingtobefarmoredangerousthaniam). But all in all, it was an awesomely fun, productive and exciting weekend.

Even though the media guests were sanctioned to a far away wing, I was stoked to see all the friendly and loyal fans who came by to grab an autograph, snag a t-shirt, or just to say hello. The laid-back pace was actually a welcome break. Hanging out all weekend allowed me the freedom to come and go and carry on real conversations, rather than frantically packing in a rush of autographs in just a few hours. Admittedly, I only ventured out into the madness twice. On Saturday, I naively walked around artists alley thinking it was the main attraction. A friend of mine with a comic book booth educated me on the different smells emanating from the different areas—that way if I got lost, I could navigate using my ninja olfactory skills. According to him, the publisher’s area was the most offensive, but I didn’t test his hypothesis. I chatted a bit with the cool and talented Cat Staggs, who was kind enough to give me one of her books. Apparently she’s going to be making some BSG art in the near future, so you should definitely keep an eye out. You can find more of her artwork on her site. I also tripped over Scott Adsit (Pete from 30 Rock) pimping out his precious sketchbook for artists to draw/paint/doodle/make magic in. I learned about his idea last year, but this year I actually got to see some of the fruits of his many travels and contributions from incredible artists. I’m not sure how many sketches he has in total now, but it’s an impressive amount and he’s somewhat modest about it; either that or he’s a little self-conscious about the inherent geekery in such an undertaking. I personally think it’s awesome! I also love anything that challenges the fan/celebrity separation. At the end of the day, we're all fans of something, right? And if you're not, sucks to be you! Anyway, I digress, Scott was also kind enough to be excited about my “OH MY GODS! THEY KILLED CALLY” t-shirts and even sported his very own on Sunday. If you catch him in any pics or videos that day, you’re sure to see him representin’. Thanks again Scott! If you're in the city, catch him doing Celebrity Autobiography. It sounds super hilare!

On Sunday I had the good fortune of having a dear old friend from Vancouver serve as my sidekick. So during the slow times we got to catch up and reflect on the good ol’ days kicking around Vancity. It was really nice, and always humbling to have old friends to help you remember how far you’ve come. It was also really neat to hear her perspective on the convention. She moved to NYC seven years ago and has since become a hugely successful and sought-after stylist. She loves her job, but will be the first to admit the fabric holding together the commercial and fashion industry is one of carefully constructed facades and shiny veneers. Her and I have always bonded over our mutual love and appreciation for the nerdier side of life, so it was perfectly apropos for us to unite in such a setting. Her comments on the event were both refreshing and endearing as she compared the people at the convention to the people she normally works with. Sure, they both dress up in outrageous outfits, some of them even with outlandish make-up and accessories. They both obsess over material commodities and identify themselves with their specific interests; most of them form social groups as a result of these interests. But still, there seems to be something tangibly different about these “genres,” if you will. I might be so bold as to say that sci-fi fans seem genuinely happier than my experience of fashion-industry types. But aside from that, I feel the major difference is expressed in their intent. Rather than trying to create an image in order to fit in and be liked by others, comic and sci-fi fans are expressing themselves in a way that is not typically accepted by mainstream culture, and cons are the one place they can actually share that passion with others. I don’t get the sense that con-goers are trying to be cool; in fact, it’s cool not to be cool at a con (the irony is not lost, but you get my point). To put it simply, I it seems like people at conventions come together through a shared LOVE of something, rather than a shared FEAR of something. And that's just cool.

Well that’s enough waxing philosophic for now... More to come on Baba Brinkman’s Rap Guide to Evolution, the Occupy Wall Street protests, and some more cool (mis)adventures I embarked on last weekend.

Oh, and did I mention, I KILLED it in this Black Eyed Peas dance game? KILLED. IT. :)




You know those ideas that buzz around your brain like an annoying mosquito in the middle of the night? Well I finally swatted one of those pesky lil' buggers and made some cool t-shirts. I'm bringing the first batch to New York Comic-Con this weekend, then I'll have them available to order on my site. Thanks to my friend Adrienne for making the graphic and to the handful of friends who actually laughed when I shared the idea. Pay no mind to the unimpressed expressions on the models' faces, these shirts are guaranteed to make you smile like a mentos commercial :)



My I-Con Reunion

I often remember my mom saying to me, “It doesn’t matter so much where you go, it’s who you’re with that counts.” I think at certain times I mistook this advice for her trying to prevent me from going places I wanted to go (probably with people who weren’t necessarily the best influence), but as I get older and add more places to my travel log, I realize there’s a grain of truth in her words; maybe even a very large grain. It’s not the places I’ve seen that stick in my mind so much as the jokes I’ve shared, the questions I’ve asked, or been asked, and the stories I’ve heard about people and places I can only imagine. Case in point, I’ve been to a lot of conventions in my veteran years as a sci-fi tv star. I’ve visited different countries, stayed in fancy hotels, not-so-fancy hotels, eaten great food, eaten frozen dinners, you name it. And while all of those things are interesting and certainly entertaining at times, what impresses me most is always the people. The reason I returned to I-CON last weekend, having attended it only two years prior, was exactly this: the people. I had such an incredible time, both with the other actors and the staff, it was kind of a no brainer when they asked me to return. The word that came to mind when I thought about what was different at this convention than many of the others was “community.” The word that comes to mind after attending the con for the second time, is “family.” And not just because I refer to the media chair as “Ma” and spent the whole weekend with one of her eight children whom I care for like a little sister (even though she spent most of her time taking care of me). No, not only because of those things. It also feels like family because despite all the chaotic events and activities and the massive amount of man power and organizing that must have gone into the event, everyone there seemed to be enjoying themselves. Like a high-stress holiday dinner, people coming and going, gears grinding, sparks flying, people were still smiling and having a good time. They still cared about being there rather than just getting the job done. In a world, and often an industry, where product trumps people, it’s refreshing to remember what’s at the heart of all this madness. The sci-fi community never ceases to be a good example of keeping this principle real.

Anyway, I’m keeping this short and sweet, but thanks for the good times everyone at I-Con. Hope to come back again soon!



the hazards of riding a yoshi

Every time I think of I-CON 28 (a convention I attended exactly two years ago, and am revisiting this weekend), I literally laugh out loud. This is because one particular event sticks in my mind and, kinda like farting in public, the joke just never gets old. Doesn't matter if I'm by myself or reminded by someone who witnessed it, I just can't get over the absurdity and hilarity that ensued the night of the costume contest. Let me set the stage... There was a kid who had been walking around the convention carrying a sign saying "Free Yoshi Rides." Appropriately, he was dressed like the friendly dinosaur from Mario Bros. Being the adventurer I am, I decided to take him up on his offer. As soon as I got on his back, I realized we had not discussed the rules of engagement and I had no idea where he was taking me nor for how long. I suddenly felt very vulnerable, but figured, what's the worst that can happen? After a few awkward minutes of skipping around a school gymnasium, he dropped me back off at my table and we all had a good laugh. He proceeded to make a mark on the back of his sign, apparently tallying his Yoshi ride totals. (Should I have felt used? Nevermind.)

So that night, as he would, Yoshi entered the costume contest. Each contestant did a little presentation or routine in the middle of the circle and some of the other guests and I were there to judge the best costumes. Simple right? Well, it was all fun and games until Yoshi backed right into me, not-so-subtly gesturing for me to enjoy and encore presentation of my Yoshi ride. What's a girl to do? I couldn't say no in front of everyone. So I hopped on and this is what happened... (Make sure you scroll to the end for the best part.)

Okay, wanna know what the best part was? After he dusted himself off and asked me if I was okay, he looked me square in the eyes, shrugged his shoulders and innocently proclaimed, "Game Over!"


(Special thanks to Tory Belleci from Myth Busters for the ongoing moral support and spontaneous laugh attacks.)

montreal, je t'aime

All of a sudden I have a whole bunch of things I want to write about, but it wouldn't be right if I didn't catch up on my convention escapades first... I actually wrote about my trip to Montreal on my way to the NY Comic Con, so here it goes: Time for another convention download! I better hurry or I’m going to crash my hard drive - my brain’s hard drive that is - as I’m headed to another convention this weekend... I had a great time in Montreal. The convention was quaint and community oriented; in other words, very small. It's always nice, though, because you get to have closer interactions with the fans and overall it’s just more relaxed. Like most small conventions, it seemed the people shared a history and the convention served as a reunion of sorts. I enjoyed the dysfunctional-family-dinner feel and felt very much welcomed by everyone there. Fortunately, I wasn't forced to unleash my neglected French, though I did escape a few tourists asking for directions with a convincing, "Je ne sais pas." But anyway, since my time spent at the actual con didn't go beyond my two Q & A's and a few hours signing, I had the luxury of wandering around Montreal, checking out some live music, taking a yoga class and eating at some awesome vegan restaurants. Here are some random photos of my trip.

Other discoveries I made in Montreal include:

  • Diamond Rings (walked into a performance randomly and have been smitten ever since. his new album came out today! yay!) http://diamondringsmusic.com/
  • Aux Vivres (excellent vegan fare and fun atmosphere) http://www.auxvivres.com
  • Bixi bikes (worked off the vegan chili with a little cruise around town on a rental bike. a little intimidating in traffic, but totally worth it. i hope the rest of the world catches on soon) http://www.bixi.com
  • No right turns on a red light! Say whaaaaat?


A week has already come and gone, but I’m still all smiles when I think about my recent trip to Chicago for Cyphan. Such an excited and welcome bunch, and a really well organized convention all round. I’m pretty sure everyone in attendance came away with some fond memories, some new friends and probably some fun new toys. I didn’t get a chance to look around too much, but the dealers room had some really neat things - I even borrowed some steampunk goggles from Julie (she'd bought them for her son, hope he didn't mind). They also hired a professional crew to come in and recreate the Star Wars Cantina - seemed to help all the storm troopers feel right at home. One of the highlights was a somewhat random and serendipitous occurrence... With everyone in full costume and full swing the night of the Browncoat Bash, there happened to be a wedding reception down the hall in one of the other banquet rooms; all ties, updos and fancy dresses. As it turned out, however, the bride and groom were huge Star Wars fans, so they boldly requested that the gaggle of Storm Troopers, Sand People, and even Darth Vader escort them down the aisle. Amazing right? All can say is I wish I could have seen the looks on their grandparents’ faces as they entered the room under the glow of light sabers. I can’t even imagine how awesome that must have been, especially for the bride and groom. Definitely not your typical wedding album. Even though I couldn’t see, the roar and applause echoed down the hall and turned my anticipatory giddiness into the embodiment of: “That was f’ing awesome.” So yeah, that was cool. What was also cool was the enthusiasm of all the people dressed in costumes (I know some of them are not comfortable, but they're a dedicated crew). One guy dressed up as Civil War Royalty held my tea for me while I took pictures, and he held it with such regal authority, I started to feel bad, like he was above such a chore. Luckily there were some lowly deckhands around to ask for future favors :) Anyway, here are some fun photos from the con. I hope more of you can make it out next year. And if you have any more photos, please post ‘em, either here or on my facebook fan page.

check out kitty zombie's site: body of a killer. mind of a puppy. sweetest and most playful zombie you'll ever meet. and the guy inside is just as sweet...

i was admiring some photos i'd seen of his character, a really beautiful photo essay of him with a little girl. so he later presented me with my own print... and even signed it. i just love it. thanks again kitty!

check out Joan Varitek's website, she's super talented. i was lucky enough to get my own print of this one too. thanks Frank!

before I left on Sunday, my dear friend and fellow Sci Fi veteran, Julie Caitlin Brown, ventured into Chicago for a "taste." Literally, we went to this massive event called "the taste of chicago" where local restaurants set up booths and sell you their token dishes. There wasn't a huge selection for me, being vegan, but I managed to find some yummy veggie tacos and watermelon ice. We were melting in the heat, but at least got to see a few sites.

Alright, that's all folks! Have a happy 4th a July!!!


finally home from some exciting travels, i realize it's a little late for a comic-con wrap up, but a brief one you shall receive nonetheless.  there were several highlights amidst the chaotic explosion of genuine fandom, sundance-esque celebrity hype, and thinly veiled car salesman-like consumerism.  as per usual, connecting with my beloved castmates was the bestest, but i would be remiss if i didn't express the honor, astonishment and pure love i felt watching the Battlestar Orchestra perform at the House of Blues Friday night.  i've always emphasized the integral role music plays in backing the emotional fortitude of a story, but it's often taken for granted.  engrossed in a characters' strife and struggle, seldom do we step outside to say, "wow, what an incredible score."  not only did the live performance provide such an opportunity, but it brought life this otherwise mysterious side of the production process.  what moved me most was witnessing the relentless and beautiful life force driving each instrument, each person's essence expressed through his or her contribution to the greater experience.  it was wonderful.  however, between the smiles there were also tears, as we paid tribute and celebrated the life of Harvey Frand.  i don't believe this is the place to share my personal feelings on his passing, but i will say he is in our hearts and will forever be an essential part of the battlestar family.  i was grateful we could all be together to celebrate his life and how he enriched each of ours. Visit bear mccreary's blog for an awesome account of the whole weekend's festivities and shows.

battlestar orchestra

other highlights included hanging with matt pizzolo and the rest of the Halo-8 crew doing Godkiller signings and other fun shenanigans, complimenting someone on her "cally" costume to which she replied, "thank you" and kept on walking, and watching Michelle Forbes watch the Mighty Boosh - i can't say i fully understand or appreciate their humor, but watching the pure delight she derived from their performance made it all worthwhile.

comic-con & godkiller

well, it's been a while, so i've got some 'splainin' to do...  first off, it's just been confirmed i'll be attending - for the first time ever in recorded history - the infamous san diego comic-con!  can you believe it?  it's the question everyone always asks me and my answer is always accompanied by a sad face.  but not anymore.  i'm super excited.  however, i'll only be signing autographs for a short period of time on Sunday, so don't get stuck in a panel about the influence of medieval art on modern manga or something like that.  i'll send out more details on the signing once i have them... which brings me to my next order of business...  i'll also be braving the chaos to chill with the Halo-8 crew, promoting their new illustrated film 'godkiller,' for which i do the voice of bad ass bounty hunter, soledad.  check out the official site to find more info or even download some soledad wallpaper over a dread central.


i think that about brings us up to date.  i found a cute picture of lucci and me from our philadelphia adventure...  we went for a long walk on the first night, taking in the humid summer air and enjoying all the parks and people out and about.  it's amazing to me how i can work with someone regularly over a period of time, yet still not know them as well as i get to during these short trips and intimate outings.  it's really wonderful.  it's like the classic phenomenon of running into an acquaintance or casual friend in some exotic location; all of a sudden you become best friends because of the degree of relative familiarity.  there's also a level of comradery that comes with the whole convention experience.  just as it can be nerve racking for fans to meet their favorite celebrities, it can be stressful for actors too.  being in a new place, being watched and scrutinized, talking about the same thing all day.  i know some people live with that kind of attention, but it's certainly not a part of my daily life, nor do i think i'd like it to be.  most people still think i'm lying when i tell them i'm cally and, quite honestly, i'm fine with it.  except when the bouncers at wizard world wouldn't let me in without a wristband, that was kind of annoying...  anyway, looking forward to next weekend, hope some of you are too...

nicki & lucci

wizard world

Each time I attend a convention, I have an ever-deepening experience of what it means to be a part of something as epic and influential as Battlestar Galactica.  Every time a fan poses a question, I gain a stronger sense of how important a television show can truly be and how far reaching its effects are.  And every time I reunite with my cast mates, I feel a bittersweet mixture of excitement and sadness over what we shared and what is now gone.  It’s overwhelming, to say the least, and difficult to put into words, but I am so grateful for the opportunity to see such a complex sphere of influence from the inside out. The highlight of my convention experience this past weekend, though, had to have been sharing a panel with my talented and much missed comrades, Lucianna Carro, Michael Hogan, and, most particularly, Edward James Olmos.  While I tend towards more abstract concepts and statements on the culture of philosophy and ideas, Edward James Olmos speaks from a place of such emotional truth and genuine authority, I couldn’t help but sit speechless each time he said his piece.  I admire so much the humility and simplicity with which he speaks and with which he manages to address even the most complex issues and ideas.  When I shared my admiration with him, he humbly attributed it to his years of experience and the recognition of how lucky we are to be doing what we do.  While I’m sure this is true, I can’t help but feel it’s more than that.  He has a strength and depth of character shared by few and he is one of the hardest working actors I have ever met, I doubt it’s a coincidence.  So thank you Eddie, you are, and always will be, an inspiration.

Thank you also to all the fans who came and said hello.  I’m always amazed by the intelligent questions and heartfelt tribute.




I knew I was in for for a surprise this past weekend as soon as I pulled into the hotel parking lot.  I'd never been to New Jersey before and I didn't really know what to expect, and I certainly could have never anticipated what came next.  The first thing that caught my eye was an extremely strange looking vehicle.  It almost looked like the effect of a future time, a sort of hybrid from a period past and a time to come.  It was jet black and if I didn't know better, I would have thought it could fly.  I paid the driver and entered the lobby to find another strange sight.  Two men in long dark robes sat across from each other drinking their respective Starbucks coffees.  Let me remind you it was not Halloween.  I turned the corner to hear unusual noises coming from a room nearby.  What I encountered in this particular room was not something I could have prepared for.  The bright flashing lights were blinding.  If I listened carefully, I almost felt as if I could hear my name being whispered... "nicki... nicki... nicki..."  People started to gather around me and question me about my life and my work and the future.  I began to panic.  I didn't know what to do when suddenly, a dark figured just appeared before me.  I breathed a sigh of relief with the recognition that it was Batman, he had come to save me.  And to my horror and disbelief, he handed me a pen and asked me for my autograph.  That's when I remembered I was at a sci fi convention in Secaucus, New Jersey.  Whew, that was close. 

Thanks so much to everyone who came out last weekend, it was a blast.  It's always a pleasure to meet the fans and get a sense of how people feel about the work we do.  Being a fan myself, I love hearing about new ideas, hopes for the future and people's own stories about how they came to love Battlestar.  It was also really great to meet the other wonderful actor's in attendance.  Ray Parks and Bonnie Piesse from Star Wars were sweethearts.  I sat next to Morena Baccarin and we had lots of fun taking in all the action.  And Richard Kiel and his kids were beautiful and generous people.  It's a real privilege to do what I do.  Thanks for sharing it with me.

me + richard kiel