Sometimes you have to Role With It
My first experience with Chicago TARDIS was as “guest” reflexologist for the convention in 2011. My office was in a corner of the green room. Any guest that needed a bit of stress relief could sit in my chair for a soothing hand/foot reflexology session before or after a panel, free of charge.
That year, the focus was on the 5th Doctor, so I had the opportunity to do several Reflexology sessions on Janet Fielding, who played Tegan, several times that weekend. Such an inspiring woman, we quickly became friends.
Although I asked Peter Davison to sit in my chair, he declined…until the last day. He said that Janet strongly suggested that he have a session. He agreed. Considering he was my Doctor, that was quite the honor. I worked as the TARDIS Reflexologist till 2013. What a wonderful job.
It is very hard to pick just one experience to highlight, considering the amazing opportunities to interact with cast, and crew throughout the weekend. Brunch, Photos, Autographs, the Artists Gallery, all amazing.
In 2018 Chicago was hit with a blizzard as we were sitting at brunch on Sunday with Russ Mullan. (Yes, we blamed him ?) It was an adventure getting home, and just as we exited I 39 for I 90, they closed I 39. Thankfully, we made it home safety, however all the guests were stranded in Chicago. The videos emerged to show they were having a grand time, and making the best of a snowy situation.
Skip ahead to 2020, and a pandemic has put a world in lock-down. The Chicago TARDIS was virtual. I had been watching the entire Convention, when the schedule showed a role playing game that sounded like fun. It was not only fun, it was epic. My character was a mischievous Thief/Assassin that couldn’t stand the sight of blood.
The game was scheduled for an hour. There were newbies, and I hadn’t played in years. It was a blast of a game that lasted two-plus hours. We may not have known each other when we started, but we were friends by the time it ended. I will never forget that game. Such fun in a time when we were experiencing great loss. The Doctor came through again, lifting people from a sense of despair to one of creativity and joy. For that, I will always be grateful!
My TARDIS Adventure
I’m fairly new to the Doctor Who world, but being someone who loves sci-fi, when I was introduced to it, I fell in love.
I initially adored the fact that the first producer was a woman, Verity Lambert and that throughout the whole of the series, diversity was embraced from its inception to now. Something that seemed more remarkable in the 60’s than it should now.
I am a sci-fi and fantasy fan. I have been to Comic-Con and other smaller venues of the local variety. Always fun and adventurous.
This was my first Chicago TARDIS Convention and I would dress up this time.
I wanted to be the TARDIS. Somehow, I believed that the TARDIS was female. I had no grounds for believing that – I just did. And I believed that if she were to manifest, she would be somewhat Victorian, with a corset for sure, and TARDIS blue, with a tiara for her light.
Part of the fun is preparing your costume. I had such fun! They may not remember me, but they would remember my outfit.
A few weeks later I came across The Doctor’s Wife episode. I literally screamed at my TV when I saw Idris. I knew she’d be in a corset and leaning Victorian. I felt a validated empathic connection. I loved that moment. For those who are not fans, it will seem silly. That’s okay. It also made comments said at the convention make sense, too. I love it when things come together.
Yet the cherry on this TARDIS experience was when Katy Manning, companion of my favorite Doctor Jon Pertwee, stopped me in the hallway to tell me she just loved my costume and all my tattoos! I knew I hit the nail on the head!
To be honest, I didn’t recognize her when she first grabbed me – yes literally by my arm to turn me around. I was stunned to see this beautiful small woman standing there. She was also surrounded by a few men who looked like protection.
So, automatically I thought, “who is this?” When I looked up, someone mouthed to me “Katy Manning,” and light bulbs went off. I had been watching her in my bingeing of Doctor Who! And my fan girl was jumping up and down inside! (I didn’t know I had one, but there she was.) I think I kept it cool on the outside but inside she was in a complete happiness meltdown.
She talked, asked me questions about my outfit and my tattoos. She told me about helping design her daughter’s tattoo. We could have sat down and had tea, but people were calling her to move on. Before she got whisked off, she gave me a wonderfully warm hug goodbye. I have never been a star-struck person, but she caught me in her rays that day – a genuine soul. She definitely made my first TARDIS experience a grand one!
Need more good reads? Check out these pieces from the MockingOwl Roost staff and contributors.
- Emylle on Wheels, Episode 2 – Web Comic
- Afternoon Daydream, 1997 – Poetry
- Tiffany Takes Flight – Micro Essay
- For Sale – Flash Fiction
- The Gun from the Unicorn – Short Story
- Words Unspoken – Things I Wish I Had Said Series (Nonfiction)
- A Silent Hello, an Unsaid Goodbye – Flash Fiction
- My Brown-skinned Girl – Short Essay
- The Boy at the Back of the Room – Short Story
- Ode to the End of the Earth – Poetry
- Black Cats – My Favorite Things
- Utterance – Short Story
Cyndi (she/her) is the mama of two grown children and Oma to eight grandchildren, all of whom she adores. She’s a biker chick with a lady’s heart and thirty-nine tattoos that tell some of her life story. Not just a cancer survivor, she’s a life thriver. She also loves painting, and finds the process similar to solving math equations. She has been a writer/poet since the age of nine, her first poem being about God’s Hands. She wrote for Christian Biker Magazine for five years.
You can follow her on Facebook for more inspiration on a regular basis. Email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sue Cook lives in Freeport, Illinois with her husband Randy and two dogs. Her passions include assistance dogs, rescue dogs, music, acting, theater, poetry, and Doctor Who. She’s been in both film and theater and is a regular cast member of the podcast Doctor Who’s Line is it….Anyway? Sue is an advocate for the use of Service Dogs to assist their disabled handlers to maintain their independence. Quigley’s Quest, her first children’s book, addresses how a dog becomes a Service Dog.