Monday, June 25, 2012

Diary of a Fangirl: James Marsters Fan Squee Moment

Okay, this is another fangirl donation from PattiJ, who is sharing a James Marsters experience.  Get your submissions in today!  Every Monday will be a fan-post donated by one of you, so make sure to share one of your stories!  And remember, the post can be about anyone or anything (i.e. seeing your favorite film or a favorite ep of show, etc.) that you found squee worthy.

2005 was a good year--it was a time of healing for me. I needed to move forward.   I’d only discovered Angel and then Buff, in late 2004 and early 2005.  I was new to the world of computers, Joss Whedon, conventions, online communities and forums.  

I stumbled on a link which lead me to the Forum for the Alternate Universe Convention, which is where I was introduced to Firefly, Serenity,  Jim Butcher’s books, Amber Benson’s movie “Chance,” and James’ latest film “Cool Money” (which I think is one of his most honest performances).  I have to say that while I had been very impressed by his portrayal of Spike, I wasn’t specifically a James Marsters fan.  I have never had “James Fog” as it’s come to be known; didn’t even recognize him the first time I saw him in person.  This is not my squeee moment but it does contribute to it. 

During his Q&A, I was entertained by James quick answers and stories which were new to me.  I was also impressed by his passion for his son.  That dedication touched on something very personal to me.  

This is also where I met my first British friend DeborahW and her sister; we had a discussion about the beautiful people of Hollywood.  I made another connection James--mentioned rock climbing, and my Ex had enjoyed this hobby.

As I waited in line, James was friendly and talkative with each of his fans.  As I approached the autograph table, I noticed that while he was looking down signing the picture of the person in front me, he was tightening his shoulders.  When I stepped in front of him he suddenly whipped his head around, grabbed my hand and stared me right in the eyes.  His eyes were just twinkling with mischief.  At the same time he looked soooo serious; then he cracked a smile.  I wanted to throw my head back and laugh, I was so tickled that he would work that hard just to get a reaction from me.  

At that moment I developed a little crush.  

As he signed the CD I told him that I regretted missing his concert so I was glad I had the CD.  There were several more people in line so I turned and was already down the few steps off the stage when he called “Wait!”  I almost turned back, but there were others in line.  Also, I was a volunteer, and Marlaine, one of the organizers, was in front of me asking for my help. 

A short time later after the auction, James left.  When he did, he raised his arm to wave and shouted “Goodbye everyone!”  At that second he looked across the room and caught my eye and gave a little nod in my direction.  The phrase "ships that pass in the night" ran through my head.  

I skipped the volunteer and celebrity dinner that evening so I could actually sit down and talk to my new forum friends.  To put faces with names, one of these ladies became one of the best friends I’ve had.   I actually hadn’t planned on going to anymore conventions that year; it had just been an addition to a trip I had planned to see my Mom’s family (I needed to reconnect).
My Squeee  Moment

Well that came at the end of the VIP party in Toronto in 2005.   

After a lot of thought, I decided that I wanted to attend James VIP Birthday party in Toronto, to give him a gift.  I had been given a gift when I was in college: a St. Genesius medal that had been passed down from one actor to another (I was a Drama Major).  I had never found anyone to pass it to.  James' performance in “A Hole in the World” had stunned me when I first saw it.  After reading several forums and articles, it was clear that he was passionate about his craft.  I discussed the idea with one of my new friends and decided that I had found the one who I should pass the gift on to.  Plus I wanted to hear him sing in person.  So, I traded in an old airline ticket and bought my ticket to Toronto.   

The night of the party, there was a bit of a kerfuffle at the restaurant, and we ended up downstairs at the bar. That’s where I met up with a friend, Jackie.  She used to get very sensitive after she would talk to James, so she followed me through the autograph line.  James was polite and listened attentively while I spelled out my name for him as he was personalizing an autograph. Jackie had given me her camera to take her picture when it was her turn, but as it turned out, one of the organizers was standing at the end of the table and offered to do that.  The flash, however, wouldn’t work, and we had to take it three times.  The refrain from James’ song "Bad"-- “The camera flashed” (or in this case didn’t flash) danced through my head.
After they had presented James with his cake, he stood up and headed for the back of the room.  Not sure if it was a pit stop at the restroom or if this is when he visited with fans that weren’t mobile enough to wait in the autograph line.  I actually thought he had left the party, so I went to the vestibule just inside the doors of the building for a cigarette.  

There was another couple there sitting on the staircase leading up to the restaurant, waiting for a friend who had attended the party.  They were Canadian, so we started discussing the differences between American and Canadian football.  There was a game on TV in the bar, and I didn’t understand some of the rule differences.

I was standing at the top of the stairs leading down to the bar when I caught a movement out of the corner of my eye.  It was James and Steve (his manager), deep in an intense conversation.  James looked up and his eyes drifted from the top of my head to my feet and then to the door.   I thought he was measuring the distance to see if they had enough room to get by.  I thought I was maybe blocking the exit, so I stepped back.   I knew James had a girlfriend, so it didn’t dawn on me that that the look was anything else.  As he and Steve continued up the steps, James did it again--he looked from my feet to my head and then back down to my feet, only a bit more exaggerated .  I froze and got giddy. 

When they hit the top of the stairs, he did it again but slower; his eyes were a little hooded, and his cheeks were sucked in.  My brain was racing with "OMG--he really is checking me out!" And I couldn’t do anything but stare back, grinning the whole time.  As they went through the door, James leaned back around Steve and checked me out again really slowly bringing his eyes back to meet mine.  I felt my cheeks flush and my eyes start to sparkle.  I felt giggly, giddy and obviously I wasn’t going to leave until I found out what he was going to do next.  

They walked out to a limo that was waiting and put James’ guitar in the trunk.  James walked to the far side of the car and kept looking back at me while he continued his conversation with Steve.  Then Steve abruptly turned around and left.  James gave me one last look and got into the car.  Obviously I was thrilled.  I turned back to the couple I’d been chatting to.  the woman grinned at me and he said, "Wow!"  I wasn’t really sure what to say other than a half giggled “Yeah.”  I went back to the bar where I had left my friend and finished my drink.

The next day, he was polite in the autograph line, and of all things we talked about shopping--how he liked to shop at Target when he was in Modesto.  I also delivered a birthday card that my friend had sent along with the message that he had inspired her to lose 35lbs.  He said to tell her he had lost 15lbs.  My expression must have revealed how skeptical I was in that I didn't think he needed to lose any weight.  I gave him my gift with a small card that I didn't sign my name to.

The last day through the auto line grabbed my hand, looked me in the eye and thanked very sincerely.

I twas a very nice moment.  

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