Who Are By The Gods?

 

Dean Le Gassicke

Dean was the one who came up with the bright idea of running the By The Gods evenings. Having been involved in fan run events for years he decided it was time to be the one in charge.

His initiation into the world of Xena began one Friday afternoon in a London pub when he was forced to sit and listen to Karen and Kristen chat incessantly about the series. With his curiousity piqued he decided to see what all the fuss was about.

In the early days of By The Gods Dean was the master of ceremonies at the actual events; aside from that he was in charge of the practical side of the organising: securing the venue, maintaining the website, handling the ticket sales and keeping the evenings on schedule.

Asked to recount his favourite moments of By The Gods "Myk's stunned expression whenever we would auction one of her music videos, like she couldn't understand why anyone would pay that sort of money for them. Oh and the night when Tom came into the bar dressed as Aphrodite!"

 

Michaela Upton

When Dean suggested the idea of By The Gods to Michaela she jumped at the chance, she had something that she wanted to prove to herself and the rest of the world.

Michaela was skeptical about watching Xena, ("some overgrown bird in leather who thinks she can act, won't catch me watching that" were her exact words) but a spinal injury forced her to stay home one Saturday night and Xena was the only thing on the telly.

Worried that most people would think she was merely tagging along for the ride Myk threw herself into the creative side of the organising, designing the advertising flyers and posters and producing the music videos. On the evenings themselves she would dress in one of her Gabrielle costumes and organise the 'staff' but she refused to go anywhere near the microphone - until the final year when you couldn't get her away from the damn thing!

Her treasured memories of the By The Gods days include the auctioning of her music videos, getting the chance to write for the Xena magazine and not forgetting the night when everyone swapped outfits and she got to be Iolaus!


By The Gods would not have been possible without the help of a dedicated team of friends and family.
Thank you for all your faith and support in our dream.

 

 

Karen Parr

It is quite possible that Karen is the person who is most to blame for leading Myk and Dean down the path that ultimately led to By The Gods. She was appearing as a Xena look-alike long before DeanoMyk Productions even knew that Xena and Hercules existed.

Along with dressing up as Xena - but mostly acting like Princess Diana - Karen is a very talented artist. Two of her pieces were produced as limited addition prints which were available to buy at the Buy The Gods evenings; a couple of them even made it into the raffles, but that was just Dean and Myk's trick to get her to sell the tickets and then tear and fold them. Anyone who declined to buy tickets was subjected to a raised eyebrow and quickly changed their mind before they had the chance to discover whether she was capable of performing 'the pinch'.

Check out her website: Blackwolf Productions

 

 

Kirsty Burge

Though Kirsty was an attendee from the very first evening she wasn't promoted to the 'inner circle' until the third evening when she donned the spare Amazon costume and put a sword to Callisto's throat in the photo shoot. However, due to her ability to say out loud what everyone else is thinking she easily slotted into the Amarice role and got her very own outfit. From then on she became somewhat of a personal assistant to Myk both at the evenings and during the planning stages - which included her apprenticeship in producing music videos.

Her favourite achievement at By The Gods was wrangling a video message from Lucy Lawless saying thank you to Dean and Myk for all their hard work 'because it made Michaela cry'. "Oh and the cross dressing, can't forget the cross dressing"

Check out her web page: Sweet Nuisance Productions

 

 

Kristen Jones

Do not be fooled by the red hair and blue eyes! Give the girl a blonde wig and brown contacts and the transformation into Callisto is complete. Whether it was the warrior, the demon, the angel or even Liz Friedman this girl could pull it off. And then threatened to pull various parts of your anatomy off your body when you didn't buy her raffle tickets.

As a very gifted costumier Kristen was instrumental in helping Myk become the Bard of Poteidaia, the Amazon Queen and Hope, and also created Kirsty's Amarice outfit, plus a number of other costumes for which she was specially commissioned.

More recently Kristen has been putting together a portfolio combining her costumes with some modeling. Check out her web page: Sakara75's Album

 

 

Andy Sears

Andy surprised us all when he revealed that he was a Hercules and Xena fan, and then further surprised us when he informed us that he was working on his Iolaus costume. Right there and then we decided that we had to have him onboard for By The Gods and before the doors were even open he had his own following.

Andy was our second doorman, if you wanted into By The Gods you had to give this man your money. He took up the position after our first doorman Grant pleaded insanity when we had left 'The Ballad Of Joxer The Mighty' playing on loop for an hour and a half in the lobby.

His favourite moments of By The Gods: "Being picked up by the girls, literally. And the night we cross dressed" Andy was wearing Myk's Gabrielle outfit, with plenty of tissues!

 

 

Dario Persechino

Dario first attended a By The Gods in January 1999, by April 1999 his third By The Gods he was in costume as Autolycus. Seeing the irony of this we immediately put him to work as another of our doormen - more than one person had to think before handing over their money to the charismatic King of Thieves.

He briefly edited a fanzine called The Bards Quill which produced a By The Gods: Special Edition issue completely dedicated to the events, filled with reviews and quotes from all the regular attendees.

"Favourite moments? Turning up as the King Of Thieves and stealing a kiss from the Amazon Queen. And getting everybody to do the costume swap, especially getting Tom into that pink nighty."

 

 

Tom Paterson

Tom didn't realise what he'd got himself into when he agreed to run the tech rig at the By The Gods evenings. On the first evening he watched Adventures In The Sin Trade and realised that he had three seasons to catch up on if he had a hope in hell of understanding what was going on. Having now collected all six seasons he considers himself to be a true fan.

With ten minutes to opening time Dean would hand Tom the evenings schedule and Myk would hand him the episodes - more often than not they would not be in place. But Tom had a habit of getting his own back because he had all the video footage of every evening; so on her 21st birthday Myk, and the entire bar, watched a music video of herself to Toni Basil's 'Hey Mickey' and Dean got to relive his first ever announcement with a counter in the corner showing him delivering a minute and a half of words in about 18 seconds! But then Tom did dress up as Aphrodite that one time.

 

 

Maureen Hayden

Firstly Maureen holds the record for having attended every single By The Gods ever hosted. Secondly she heads up the loudest cheering section for Myk's music videos. Thirdly she has some great contacts that provided us with some great items and shall of course remain 'nameless'.

Also as co-chieftain of the XenaNet Maureen allowed Dean and Myk as much advertising on the list as they wanted, and then forwarded the advertising onto every other list she was on, and that was a lot of lists.

As a chauffeur, a sounding board and an endless supply of those American Library bookmarks, nothing was ever too much trouble. Thanks for everything.

Mail Maureen to join the XenaNet

 

Bevis King

The man who helped us stay one step ahead of Sky One when it came to showing new episodes. Actually a couple of times we were ahead of viewers in the United States as well.

Not only that but the episodes were without logos and fantastic quality which allowed Myk to make music videos that looked good even before the episodes were available to buy in the shops.

It wasn't just episodes, he also delivered Saturday Night Live featuring Lucy Lawless, The Simpson's Halloween Special with Desperately Xeeking Xena, Promo Reels and Entertainment Tonight Specials.

 

 

Ian Rentoul

Ian made every single person in costume feel like a star. If there was another costume then there was another photo shoot. Head shots, body shots, mid shots, action shots and moody shots, portrait and landscape. It boggles the mind to think how many rolls of film this man must have gone through over the four years of By The Gods.

Along with Maureen Ian is the co-chieftain of the XenaNet - a UK based mailing list, though there are members from the United States and Europe. The list has served the British based fans since 1997, and has just celebrated it's seventh successful year.

 

 

Laura Shave

Despite sporting a Xena: Warrior Princess baseball cap, adorned by almost 20 of the casts autographs which she acquired through use of her gold package ticket at the 2003 Xena Creation Convention in Pasadena, Laura is not a fan of the series!

As one of Kirsty's friends from school Laura turned up to a By The Gods and offered her services as doorwoman when both Andy and Dario were needed for a photo shoot. Big mistake. Huge mistake. She had a job for life.

And here's something for you to try at home. Go to Google image search, type in the word Alti and you get a photograph of Laura dressed as 'Mini Alti' before you get a picture of Claire Stansfield.

 

 

Sue and Jim Upton

Myk's Mum and Dad came along to the first By The Gods to be 'bums on seats' if attendance wasn't great. When they arrived two hours after opening there wasn't anywhere to sit in the entire bar. They continued to attend By The Gods, as long as they happened to be in the country, right up until the last one.

MommaMYK always picked the first raffle ticket out of the bucket, and nearly always won something herself - but insisted that the ticket be redrawn, except for that time that she won the script for The Bitter Suite and Myk didn't have that one in her collection! Myk's Dad was just happy because with all of the internet work and music video production it meant that his daughter got a better computer that he could play on!

Mum, Dad, thanks for always being there. Myk xx