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Aug 092010

Hey, everyone. I just got back from Anime Festival Orlando, a convention that’s devoted to all things Anime. I’d like to start with one the biggest highlights, which was meeting original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers stars David Yost, who played Billy the Blue Ranger, and Jason David Frank, who was both the Green Ranger and the White Ranger. They were really nice guys.

It’s always an honor to meet a Power Ranger. In fact, I brought an old Power Rangers magazine from 1996 for them to autograph and they were both surprised to see it. As fans might recall, you will notice that Tommy has a black belt while the others have white belts. David replied, “Yeah, he’s special.”

The thing is in martial arts, black belt means highly advanced and white belt means beginner. Since some of the other rangers are black belts also, it just appeared a little strange seeing them as “beginners”.

David Yost also had a Q&A session, which was a rarity because this not only was his first convention, he hardly ever does personal appearances. First everyone applauded for David as well as his water and his chair. That was hilarious. David also presented some prizes to anyone who asks him a good question. Yes, I was one of them. My question was, “On Power Rangers, what was your most favorite monster that you’ve gone up against?” David had a real interesting answer. His most favorite was Ivan Ooze from the Power Rangers movie because he was the most creative of all the monsters. Also on the TV series, the actors never really worked with the monsters, the stuntpeople did. The rangers as human beings never came in contact with the monsters. It looks like they do, but it’s all shot at different angles which were never in the same place. David also remembers when you walk into the studio, all the monster costumes were hanging from the ceiling, which was really cool. He also thought Rita Repulsa was a great character. So my prize was a picture of David in the dressing room wearing the Rita Repulsa wig. It was totally priceless, since some of the other people sitting near me wanted to see it too.

Believe it or not, David Yost never watched an episode of Power Rangers. They just shot four or five episodes at a time with all of the scenes out of sequence, including the audio voices, and it was also difficult to watch himself on screen. So he never actually saw how any of the episodes were put together. However, David did have plenty of good memories working with the cast and crew. He still keeps in contact with costars Jason David Frank, Amy Jo Johnson, and Steve Cardenas, and plays E-mail and phone tag with Walter Jones.

David Yost also enjoys working as a producer. His most recent series was Real Housewives of Beverly Hills for the Bravo channel. There were some Sci-Fi Channel pilots that David helped develop for the network, but never got picked up. One among quite a few others was called Alien Hunter, which was a hilarious scripted take on Crocodile Hunter but in outer space with an Australian actor. That does sound like it would’ve made a good series.

After the Q&A there was a raffle for a few leftover prizes, like David’s copy of a Power Rangers movie script, a Power Rangers movie poster autographed by all six rangers, and some T-shirts on The Trevor Project, which is a suicide prevention hotline for teens in crisis or who are struggling with their sexuality, which is a charity David supports. I didn’t win anything in the raffle, but that’s okay. With the rare picture I was given for my question, I felt that I already had won.

There’s more to come on this convention. Check my blog real soon.

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