stranded in the park

tricia and katee, hog-ridin’ fools

In a few hours, I’ll ignore everything non-Giants related, so I should get this out of the way while I’m thinking of it.

Tricia Helfer and Katee Sackhoff, best-known as Six and Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica, are long-time BFFs who share a love of motorcycles. As Acting Outlaws, they have been biking across America (L.A. to New Orleans, at least), raising awareness of two organizations dedicated to ecological issues related to the Gulf of Mexico (the Gulf Restoration Network and the Gulf Coast Fund for Community Renewal and Ecological Health). As part of their journey, they have been hosting live video sessions each night where they talk about their day, read and answer questions from folks who are watching and posting in a chat sidebar, and generally act about as goofy as any of us might if we’d spent the entire day riding a motorcycle without much sleep.

It’s hard to explain why the video chats are so delightful. It helps if, like me and a lot of other people, you are fans of the actresses, and it is true that many of the fans’ questions are about their acting careers. But what takes it up a notch has little to do with their “stardom” and a lot to do with their "bff-dom.” They come across like sisters as much as like friends. Tricia is the bigger sister … physically (she’s about half-a-foot taller than Katee, and you can see the difference even though they are sitting) and in age (she’s 6 years older). She’s also the more adult member of the pair, although she also gets silly and Katee is often a grownup, so I don’t want to exaggerate that angle. Katee is the one who cusses a lot, who admits that when she is tired and/or hungry she turns into a condescending asshole (her description, not mine), who seems a bit like a troublemaker. I don’t know how long they’ve known each other, but however long it has been, they are extremely tight, finishing each other’s sentences when they aren’t just saying the exact same thing at the exact same time.

Katee’s mom, Mother Mary, has a part in all of this, as well … she calls Katee on the phone (“I have to get this, it’s my mom”), she has her own fans in the chatroom, and she gets to pick a fan of the day who wins a free t-shirt. When she calls, it further emphasizes the feel of siblings.

The subject matter of the sessions isn’t particularly noteworthy … we rode here, someone was nice to us there, our hotel sucks … although it has some of the pleasures of cinéma vérité, if not reality-show television. It doesn’t hurt that we’re looking at two gorgeous women … and it’s not just guys noticing this, gay women are in love as well. We’re seeing the “real” them, though, usually without makeup, often before they’ve showered after a long day on the road, drinking and eating (one night, when they stopped at Olive Garden for takeout before the session, the two of them, especially Katee, spent a lot of time stuffing bread sticks into their mouths) and, in Katee’s case, burping.

I really can’t put this into words … you should just watch one of the archived videos on the Acting Outlaws site, you’ll know quickly enough if it’s your cup of tea (I can imagine it will seem pretty boring/silly for most people). For now, I’ll offer this screen capture, from last night’s session:


Doesn’t seem like much, I know … an explanation is in order. The sessions consist of the usual person-looks-at-webcam-and-talks, with the two of them squeezing together so they both fit in the picture. A few seconds before this capture, that’s exactly what we saw. Katee stared into the monitor and read something from the chatroom. “’I have eleven bike-ons back home.’ I don’t even know what that is.” Tricia reads the same thing and points out the person was talking about their bichons. You had to be there, I guess … except once they realize how silly Katee was to say “bike-ons,” they fall into a fit of laughing that goes on for at least three minutes (again, I fully understand how boring it might seem to watch two people laughing hysterically for three minutes), punctuated by Katee’s blurting out “I’m so tired!” In the picture above, you can see Katee’s mouth and a bit of her left arm … the thing is, they are laughing so hard they roll onto the floor, off the screen. Once they pull themselves up, they still can’t quit laughing, and Katee says “I’m gonna pee my pants!” When someone on the chatroom asks what they’ve been smoking, Katee replies, “Nothing, sadly. You should see when we do!” I guess you had to be there … if you want to be there, check out the video for 10/26, just past the 22-minute mark.