So unless you’ve been living under the geek equivalent of a rock, you know who Felicia Day is. She’s the creator/producer/star of The Guild. She’s been part of such shows as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Eureka. She showed off her singing chops as part of Joss Whedon’s intensely popular Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. And she recently became a part of Bioware’s Dragon Age universe by not only producing the new live-action webseries Dragon Age: Redemption, she’s been made into her character Tallis in the latest Dragon Age DLC, Mark of the Assassin.
First, let’s get this right out of the way now — Felicia Day fans are hardcore. We had some awesome Codex costumers in the audience, and plenty of folks rocking Guild T-shirts. More than that, we had one guy in a full-on Transformers Bumblebee costume, eight feet fall, leaning up against the wall just to catch Ms. Day’s panel. The two had a great back and forth flirtation, with Bumblebee offering to give her a ride and Felicia worried about the fact that the guy inside the suit obviously couldn’t sit down at all. If that gives you an idea of the kind of relaxed atmosphere it was, you’re getting the right idea. Felicia’s spotlight interview was more of a relaxed back and forth between her and oft-collaborators Parikh and Hardwick, who shared hilarious anecdotes about their times together — like what it’s like trying to kiss one another on screen (that’s Hardwick/Day and Parikh/Day, folks, no slash here!)
In between jokes about “top shelfing” (no, I won’t explain that one if you don’t know what it is!) and what kind of a kisser Chris Hardwick is, Felicia did go into explaining a little bit about what it’s been like working on season five of The Guild and Dragon Age all at the same time. “I’ve learned the limits of what a lady can do,” she joked. The Guild’s last season was extremely different than the previous seasons, too — the character’s headed to a convention, which took the show out of Felicia Day’s house and into a whole new realm of production value and logistic issues. “It was a tough year with doing Dragon Age full time, which is awesome. And then everything else full time. It’s been a very tough year.”
Dragon Age: Redemption, with its six episode arc, has been highly anticipated by the fans, who couldn’t wait for the next day’s panel to ask about it. Felicia described the learning process of producing such a complex and potentially expensive series as Dragon Age, giving the audience a little tidbit of set trouble she had during the shooting. She explained, “Adam, the guy who plays the hot templar — he’s pretty yummy guys — that first episode, he cut his eye… Not so yummy when you’re a producer and your lead actor cut his eye and had to go to the ER and you only have one day to shoot that fight scene and he leaves.” The process does bring its headaches, as she added, “It’s definitely more stressful. Y’know, when you’re on the set and you’re like, ‘Everyone, move faster, go faster, do your lines right.’ As a producer… you just have, like, heart attacks.”
She did also add that though she did all of the voice acting for Dragon Age’s downloadable content (which features her elven assassin Tallis) she prefers regular acting. Does that mean the end of seeing Felicia in future Bioware video games, or others? If they’d have her, she says, she’d do it. Same goes with working again with Joss Whedon. “Were he ever to call me, I’d be available. He literally made my career and he’s my hero.”
Most inspiring was hearing Felicia speak about the character development on The Guild over the last few seasons. “We don’t have a budget to have sets and everything, so it is all dependent on a character to carry that story… In the season one we didn’t have friends, we didn’t know each other in real life, and we were all kind of insecure or too much in a lot of ways. Zabu was too overzealous, I was too over-inhibited. And I think the big story, and the overall arc, is that everybody’s more confident in themselves because they have friends… They found a family online and they’ve formed a real family in person, and that arc has made them better people, in a way, or at least happier with themselves.”
Felicia, as well as Sandeep and Chris, answered lots of questions for the fans before encouraging them to come by and meet them in person for the rest of the convention. As this is only day one, there’s still a whole Dragon Age panel to showcase Felicia’s awesome elven chops.
By the end of the panel, Ms. Day had proven why she is one of the coolest women in geekdom today, deftly handling more sexual advances and declarations of love than you could shake a dagger at, all with a smile. So hats off to Felicia Day and her amazing work, and all to come in the future — we, the geeks of the world, are lucky to have her.
Shoshana Kessock is a writer, blogger, photographer, game developer, LARPer and all around geek girl.