Lexington Comic-Con: Original Pink Power Ranger Amy Jo Johnson cherished the experience

jmoore@herald-leader.comMarch 13, 2014 

Amy Jo Johnson will be making her first fan convention appearance as part of a separate ticketed event at the Lexington Comic and Toy Convention this Saturday.

COURTESY OF AMY JO JOHNSON

  • IF YOU GO

    Amy Jo Johnson at Lexington Comic-Con

    What: The actress-musician-director will not appear on the main convention floor at any time, the show says. She will be only at the separately ticketed "Amy Jo Johnson Experience."

    When: 1 p.m. March 15

    Where: Hyatt Regency Hotel ballroom, 401 W. High St.

    Tickets: $100 in addition to convention admission. Available at Lexingtoncomiccon.com/AJJ.html. Includes private event with Johnson and autographed photo.

Amy Jo Johnson — best known for her role as Kimberly Hart, the Pink Power Ranger, in the 1990s children's television phenomenon Mighty Morphin Power Rangers — will make her first fan convention appearance at the Lexington Comic and Toy Convention this weekend.

The odds of her donning pink spandex during the convention are extremely low, but the former TV superhero is planning an afternoon to remember for her dedicated followers.

They will have to attend a separate event outside the main floor of the Lexington Comic-Con.

The "Amy Jo Johnson Experience" — which has a separate $100 ticket required in addition to the normal convention pass — will give fans the opportunity to spend several hours with Johnson, who also was a co-star on Felicity and Flashpoint and has since branched out into directing and music.

During her private event, she will screen her two short films, Bent and Lines, and perform a concert of songs from her latest album, Never Broken.

"I vacillate between all of my art forms as I feel them," Johnson, 43, wrote during an email interview. "Acting is like home. Directing brings me happiness and a fire that I've never felt before. Writing is the most peaceful and comfy. Singing is the most cathartic."

The leap into directing was a recent one for Johnson, who was born on Cape Cod in Massachusetts and trained as a gymnast as a child. For many years, she said, she had an urge to get behind the camera, but only over the past few years has she found the "courage and tenacity" to test the waters. Now, she says, there's no turning around.

"I will probably spend the rest of my working years busting my butt to get my films made," Johnson said. "It truly makes me happy."

Johnson, who has released three albums, says all of her songs "are reflections of issues and feelings" with which she has dealt. She says she laments having put down her guitar for four years during pregnancy and after her daughter Francesca, now 5, was born and views the hiatus as a lesson to never get rusty in any art form.

The convention circuit has become commonplace for fellow Power Rangers alumnus Jason David Frank, who this year will make his third appearance at the Lexington Comic-Con, which has found a niche in catering to Power Rangers fans. It took several years, however, for convention operator Jarrod Greer to persuade Johnson to attend.

The development of trust between her and Greer, and the promise of the special session to showcase her talents, was enough to finally get the original Pink Ranger on board.

She was ready to redirect her career after doing 152 episodes of MMPR, but Johnson looks back on her time as the first Pink Ranger with "a smile and a giggle," she wrote, and she appreciates the loyal fan support that has resulted from her time on the show.

"Power Rangers was basically like college for me," Johnson said. "I learned the ins and outs of being on a set, partied my butt off and at the end of the day probably didn't leave a better actor, just a more experienced kid ready to hit the pavement.

"It was a quirky, awesome beginning to my career, and I cherish it."

Joshua Moore: (859) 231-3200.

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