The Sentinel-Record

‘Peaks’ and ’play­ers

‘Twin Peaks’ stars, cos­play­ers take stage at Spa-Con

- GRACE BROWN

A week­end full of cre­ative cos­tumes, crazy hair­styles and cu­ri­ous con­ven­tion go­ers ended Sun­day after­noon as two “Twin Peaks” stars took cen­ter stage at the sec­ond an­nual Spa-Con at the Hot Springs Con­ven­tion Cen­ter.

The con­ven­tion fea­tured four fun- filled days of video game tour­na­ments, live-ac­tion sword fight­ing, pan­els fea­tur­ing ac­tors from fan fa­vorites, cult-clas­sics and, of course, cos­play as far as the eye could see.

Sun­day’s fea­tured guests were Sher­i­lyn Fenn and Sh­eryl Lee, both known for their roles in the 1990 cult clas­sic televi-

sion show “Twin Peaks” and its re­vival se­ries.

Both ac­tresses were fea­tured in a con­ven­tion panel on Sun­day, ac­com­pa­nied by pan­elists John­nie Bran­non and Kati Hen­rick­sen.

Dur­ing their hour of in­ter­ac­tion with those able to steal a seat or find a place to squeeze into the packed room, the ac­tresses dis­cussed what it was like work­ing on the set of the orig­i­nal show and their ex­pe­ri­ence with the on­go­ing the re­make.

When Fenn first au­di­tioned, she said her agents told her to go into the au­di­tion, be her­self and not over­think it. How­ever, Fenn said that she did not re­ceive the best re­view for her au­di­tion.

Ini­tially, she was un­der the im­pres­sion that the au­di­tion was a lost cause and it was time for her to move on to the next one, un­til she got a call­back. The crew in charge of the film de­cided they wanted Fenn to be in­volved so badly, that they wrote in a char­ac­ter specif­i­cally de­signed for her.

Lee re­calls how in­ter­ested she was to see what it was go­ing to be like to play a de­ceased char­ac­ter. The thought of be­ing fully en­closed in plas­tic wrap and painted blue seemed oddly ap­peal­ing to her. Still, the au­di­tion process was nerve-wrack­ing.

“I was so ner­vous go­ing into the au­di­tion. My hands were shak­ing so much that I had to sit on them. Even to­day, I still get ner­vous in my au­di­tions,” said Lee.

“Twin Peaks” with­out a doubt played a large role in launch­ing the ca­reers of the young stars but, at the time, nei­ther had any idea the show would gain the fol­low­ing it has. Even decades later, peo­ple are still ob­sessed with the orig­i­nal and re­make of the se­ries.

“I re­mem­ber leav­ing the screen­ing of the pilot think­ing, ‘No­body’s go­ing to see this.’ I mean I had no idea,” said Fenn.

“Now, here we are, con­nect­ing with the fans that have be­come a part of a sa­cred fam­ily,” she said.

While con­ven­tion go­ers were prob­ing the ac­tresses for in­for­ma­tion about the up­com­ing episodes of the show’s re­make, oth­ers were al­ready form­ing a queue to have their photo taken with the stars after the panel fin­ished.

Fenn and Lee were ac­com­pa­nied by a plethora of other no­table cos­play­ing pros. Among them was Ginny Di, a pro­fes­sional in­ter­na­tional cos­player most rec­og­nized for her por­trayal of Arya Stark from the HBO se­ries “Game of Thrones.”

Di has been cos­play­ing for six years, but she’s been sewing cos­tumes since she was a lit­tle girl. To­day, she trav­els North Amer­ica at­tend­ing con­ven­tions through­out the year as a pro­fes­sional and teach­ing other cos­play­ers to mar­ket their own brand.

“Es­sen­tially, I’m a small-busi­ness owner. I’ve spent years work­ing on my brand and how to mar­ket my­self. Cos­play is a lot more than dress­ing up. You spend years work­ing hard, and only oc­ca­sion­ally do you get lucky,” said Di.

On Satur­day night, both ex­pe­ri­enced and novice cos­play­ers were given the op­por­tu­nity to show their stuff the Cos­play Club, Teen Cos­play Club and dance party. Techno beats and flash­ing lights filled the room as en­thused char­ac­ters took the stage in an at­tempt to win over the judges with their unique flair

ro­fes­sional guest judges, in­clud­ing Di, looked for au­then­tic­ity, orig­i­nal­ity and an over­all ac­cu­rate per­sona to pick the win­ners of the con­test and their per­sonal fa­vorites. Sarah Drew, who dressed in a de­tailed and cre­ative ren­di­tion of DC Comic’s Hip­polyta, took home first place.

“This was my first year at­tend­ing the con and I was su­per im­pressed with the work some of the peo­ple put into their cos­tumes. It’s re­ally cool that we can have some­thing like this in Hot Springs. I can­not wait un­til next year be­cause I bet it’s go­ing to be even big­ger and bet­ter,” said con­ven­tion goer Will Staton.

 ?? The Sen­tinel-Record/Grace Brown ?? GIRL POWER: Sarah Drew, left, Wendy Allen and Laura Todd stand on stage Satur­day dur­ing the Cos­play Club con­test at the sec­ond an­nual Spa-Con. Drew won first place in the adult cos­play cat­e­gory.
The Sen­tinel-Record/Grace Brown GIRL POWER: Sarah Drew, left, Wendy Allen and Laura Todd stand on stage Satur­day dur­ing the Cos­play Club con­test at the sec­ond an­nual Spa-Con. Drew won first place in the adult cos­play cat­e­gory.
 ?? The Sen­tinel-Record/Grace Brown ?? TALK­ING TWIN PEAKS: Ac­tresses Sh­eryl Lee, left, and Sher­i­lyn Fenn speak with fans in an open panel on the cult-clas­sic tele­vi­sion show, “Twin Peaks,” Sun­day dur­ing the sec­ond an­nual Spa-Con.
The Sen­tinel-Record/Grace Brown TALK­ING TWIN PEAKS: Ac­tresses Sh­eryl Lee, left, and Sher­i­lyn Fenn speak with fans in an open panel on the cult-clas­sic tele­vi­sion show, “Twin Peaks,” Sun­day dur­ing the sec­ond an­nual Spa-Con.
 ?? The Sen­tinel-Record/Grace Brown ?? A GIRL HAS NO NAME: Pro­fes­sional in­ter­na­tional cos­player Genni Di, dressed as Arya Stark from “Game of Thrones,” stands out­side of the Cos­play Club Party pre­par­ing to judge the adult cos­play con­test Satur­day dur­ing the sec­ond an­nual Spa-Con.
The Sen­tinel-Record/Grace Brown A GIRL HAS NO NAME: Pro­fes­sional in­ter­na­tional cos­player Genni Di, dressed as Arya Stark from “Game of Thrones,” stands out­side of the Cos­play Club Party pre­par­ing to judge the adult cos­play con­test Satur­day dur­ing the sec­ond an­nual Spa-Con.

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