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Date Posted: 23:35:27 11/29/04 Mon
Author: Robert Gillis
Author Host/IP: h00055dcde6c0.ne.client2.attbi.com / 188.8.131.52
Subject: A dream come true, meeting Joanna Cameron
I thought about this all week – to go or not to go –But even the night before, I kept thinking – this is Joanna Cameron. This is ISIS. If there was ever a person I idolized in my life, it was Joanna Cameron. She barely ever does conventions, and now she would be appearing nearby (well, 30 miles away nearby).
I knew I would regret not going.
So I went! Two days after my 40th birthday, I was about to meet an idol. My hero.
The “Super Mega Fest” convention was smaller than Star Trek conventions I’ve been to but had a decent sized dealer’s room.
No schedule was provided about speaking, but as soon as I entered I realized that all the stars were already at tables signing autographs – and then I spotted her - Joanna Cameron.
Breathe. Breathe. Be cool. Stop shaking.
“Joanna, hi, my name is Robert Gillis. I’m very happy to meet you. On the way up, I told myself I was determined to stay calm and not get nervous.”
She smiled at that. She put me at ease. I hope she didn’t notice my legs were shaking.
Nearly thirty years after Isis Joanna Cameron is still so beautiful. She’s aged so gracefully and it’s amazing how you just look at her and see Isis. I told her my name and shook her hand, and told her that as a kid when times were tough or lonely I saw her as a friend every Saturday, and what a tremendous role model she was. I thanked her for writing back to me so many times back then, and we talked about she likes answering fan mail. We talked about ISIS and I asked if it would be on DVD – she’s actually collecting signatures for that purpose, and would love to do a commentary or opening/closing. As I signed she explained that the original series owner finally “got it out of his garage” and sold it, so there is a possibility of a DVD. I told her that the Monty Python Holy Grail movie got to DVD starting with fan based petitions.
She also said she’s love to see a new ISIS today with today’s technology. We shot on a shoestring, she told me.
She had a great shot of her as Andrea Thomas that I bought, and the little trading cards as well. She signed, “Bobby, you’re the best” and offered to sign the other two I brought along as well – these were pictures I’d gotten from CBS almost 30 years ago). (Interestingly, she signed the Andrea one as “Andrea Thompson!”) She liked the “flying shot” and I explained that years ago I called channel 7 and asked for Isis pictures. She showed the flying shot to a friend and said, “It doesn’t show the damn boots!” She went on to explain that she hated the “damn boots” and that they designed the Isis doll before the series even aired (marketing even back then) and she hated the boots. I laughed and said I was amazed how Isis would always come running down the road, chasing the runaway truck or whatever, in those boots. She did ALL of her own stunts for Isis, and usually shot the Isis part on Fridays – there was a lot of work with the costume, makeup and hair so they did all of her scenes as “Isis” on the same day. They did a show a week.
I joked that I probably asked her to marry her when I wrote the letters and she smiled at that.
“When you were 14?”
I told her I’m happy now, married. She asked what my wife thought of me coming up today and I told her she understood.
I thought there was someone waiting behind me but there wasn’t; I told her that I didn’t want to monopolize her time but she said not to worry; she said she’s not a big draw like some of the others, which really surprised me. The only long lines were for Anthony Daniels (he looks like C3P0) and Erica Durance.
I asked Joanna if people recognize her all the time and she said not really, but some people do.
I asked her what she’s been up to – I knew she’d been in the nursing field – she did 12 years of home health care and found it very challenging and strenuous. Much of it involved hospice, and she said that it got difficult after some time – you need something inside you to do that. I told her I understood, that although he hadn’t been in hospice I told her about Dad, who’d died of cancer when I was 19.
After that, she got her marketing degree, and lives in Hawaii and manages two hotels. She says it’s a better way of taking care of people – for example, some German tourists came in recently, all long pants and shirts, pale. Three days later they’re in shorts, tanned and happy – she almost didn’t recognize them. She likes helping people this way.
Joanna was wearing a blue sweater with a cut out at the top; and her hair was long in the back. She’s beautiful and I told her so. She’s also in terrific health. She says that to stay looking good you have to exercise. She is an avid long distance cycler and loves to golf. Physical fitness is very important to her.
I asked a gentleman to take pictures of us that came out great, and I even gave her a hug and thanked her again, very much. She thanked me, too.
To see Joanna and person and actually have the opportunity to speak with her, one on one, for me, still has a dreamlike quality. She is such a wonderful role model, such a gifted person, such a giving, kind woman, and my hero.
Thank you, Joanna. You’ve made me very happy. It was a thrill to finally meet you and thank you for being such a wonderful role model.
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