Fan Expo Day 3: There were tears

Today was nuts! The crowds were insane, the lines were bananas, there were (happy) tears – I’m exhausted and ready for bed!

Got to walk around a bit more today compared to yesterday so I managed to wander through the dealers room and I found some awesome Pokemon Lego sculptures.  But, once again, I had a busy day of tracking down celebrity guests.

I started out by lining up for Stephen Amell’s autographs.  I have got to say that that man is a true super hero.  I overheard the volunteers at the line up saying that Stephen Amell was planning on staying at his table all day – leaving only for photo ops and the odd 15 minute break – so that he could see as many of his fans and sign as many autographs as possible.  He even took a break while I was in line and it was definitely less than 15 minutes.  The man is a trooper.  And he wasn’t merely churning out autographs as quickly as possible to get them all done – he was spending decent, quality time with each fan.  Even though the interactions were still relatively brief due to the fact that the lineup was certainly not getting any shorter, they still felt special and personal.  When I got to the front of the line I was greeted warmly and Stephen Amell listened intently as I told him why Arrow is such an important show to me.  I definitely got emotional and teary eyed as Arrow is one of the shows that helped me work through my depression.  Stephen Amell took the time to ask a few questions about me and seemed genuinely interested to know if I was doing better and he made sure that I was ok.  It was a truly wonderful experience and I felt so appreciated as a fan.

Once I obtained my autograph I decided to casually make my way over to the Stranger Things panel as I still had quite some time before it started.  The line up wound all the way around 2 whole floors!  People were staring to worry they wouldn’t be able to get in (luckily we all did make it in).  That was the most insane line up I have ever been in at a convention.  The panel itself was crazy and fun, led by Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, and Caleb McLaughlin of Stranger Things.  They were sworn to secrecy about the events in season two, but this was still an immensely fun panel.  It was a little chaotic as it consisted mainly of 3 teenage boys all sharing their stories all at once, but it was a fun kind of chaos and it was delightful to hear about their experiences and witness their appreciation for their fans.  They even broke the rules a little and allowed a fan to film a personalized video for a friend who had been hospitalized.  Truly remarkable young people.

Next I ran to Tom Cavanagh’s panel.  I absolutely adore him but the experience I had at his panel was a little disappointing.  He was phenomenal but the panel itself did not seem to be too well planned or organized.  I’m not sure if the whole thing was just poorly planned to begin with or if Fan Expo simply did not anticipate how popular he would be.  The room was much to small and at one point I wasn’t even sure if I would be able to get in because there was so little space in the room.  Once I did get in I had to stand for most of the panel.  Seats opened up eventually…  But that leads to the other issue.  I feel like the timing of his panel was awkward because I know that personally I had conflicts with that time slot.  I had to show up late and there were even other panels I had to miss in order to attend this one.  Apparently, I was not the only person in this position.  There were a lot of people who showed up late (mainly from the Stranger Things panel), but there were also a lot of people leaving for other panels.  There was constant movement in the room and the doors were opened and closed non-stop, which was frustrating since the room was near a high traffic area and we could hear all the noise from outside every time the doors were opened.  Additionally, there was no microphone for the fans to ask questions so there were hands constantly flying up throughout the panel. It was almost impossible to hear the fan questions but Tom Cavanagh must have super-human hearing because he seemed to be the only one who didn’t struggle to hear the questions.  It was also difficult to hear him as his microphone was not loud enough and that problem was only fixed in time for the last 10 to 15 minutes of the panel.  That being said, it was wonderful to listen to his stories about acting on and even directing a few episodes of The Flash.  You could tell it is something he is really passionate and excited about when he spoke of how he chose to film certain scenes or all of the work he’s put into developing his different characters.  He mentioned that with his different incarnations of Wells he tried to fill gaps in the show by adding characteristics to his own character that were not yet present among the other characters in the show.  He was so much fun to watch and, like the other celebrities I saw today, he is clearly very appreciative of his fans.

Next was the Star Trek: Discovery panel and another long line up.  But we were given free posters in line so that was a bonus.  I can honestly say that I have no idea what the opening questions and/or comments were in that panel because I was too distracted by Doug Jones.  I am a huge fan of his work and he is my favourite actor and I was losing my mind and cried a little.  Once I managed to calm down it was really interesting to hear from all of the different cast members and it sounds like this new incarnation of Star Trek is going to be truly spectacular.  They are introducing new kinds of characters that I’m not sure have ever really appeared in Star Trek before and it’s all very exciting.  It was wonderful to see how passionate each and every actor was about this new project.  I did try to line up to ask Doug Jones a question but there was not enough time to get to everyone’s questions so I didn’t get to speak to him.  I did, however, get the chance to rush up to the stage and get some pictures of my favourite actor as everyone was leaving the panel.

Afterwards I went for my photo op with Stephen Amell and he was just as wonderful as before.  He even remembered me from this morning and I was so happy that I’ve got a huge dorky smile in the picture and I’m proud of it.

IMG_2591I ended the day at Billie Piper’s panel, and although I had already seen her once before I was looking forward to seeing her again.  She seemed a little more laid back this time and unfortunately for me the fans were asking many of the same questions I had heard the last time I saw her, so a lot of her answers were already familiar to me.  She did, however, share some funny answers and anecdotes, like the fact that Chris Eccleston would eat a whole chicken for lunch.  It was a very relaxed panel compared to all of the excitement I’d experienced earlier but it was a great way to end the day.

Now I absolutely have to stop writing and go to sleep.  One more day to go!

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