Thursday, July 19, 2012

Comic-Con: Part 3 - Surprise!

As the light faded in San Diego the night of Wednesday, July 11th, the fans that had been camping out for a good seat at the Breaking Dawn Part 2 panel started making their way back to the campsite. None of us knew what was about to happen, but we assumed we'd be getting a visit from a few members of the cast (since that's what happened last year). Cameras in hand, we all waited... Suddenly, there was someone in the tented area that was handing out posters. New Breaking Dawn Part 2 posters. AWESOME new Breaking Dawn Part 2 posters! We all were able to grab a few for ourselves and a few for friends back home (yes, we DO think of all of you when you're not with us!) and were then handed glowing BD2 necklaces. Unfortunately, the necklace clashed with what I was wearing (ok, not really - but I just didn't want it glowing in my pictures, lol) so it ended up in my pocket for the evening. All within a matter of minutes, we started hearing screaming from the other side of the campsite. At the same time, we started seeing people walking past us in the empty tent next to ours. Who was it? We could barely tell because it was so dark... but then we realized that was going on.

We were suddenly being greeted by a huge majority of the cast who had just walked into the tent where we'd been camping. Talk about sensory overload! You're seeing some of your favorite actors in front of you, hearing the screams of the fans behind you, experiencing an obscene amount of flashes in your eyes from the dozens of cameras going off, shaking the hands of and rubbing shoulders with countless people from the movie. It was amazing :)

The first people I (literally) bumped in to were Tracey and Valorie. They had asked if this picture turned out well, and when I flipped the camera back on to take a look, there was a picture of my cats when it started back up. They thought they were really cute, then started asking me all about them and told me that they just got matching cats. They were so so sweet!

Mackenzie and Erik were next to come by. I asked Mackenzie if I could get a picture with her and she said "sure!" I asked Erik if he could take the picture of us and he obliged. He asked where I was here from and was so excited to hear I was from Baltimore, exclaiming "I'm from Virginia!" After taking a picture with Mackenzie, I asked her if she wanted to take a picture of me with Erik. The poor little girl was so overwhelmed by my camera that one of her people said they'd take it instead, lol.

Actors were whipping by me right and left and Ashley just happened to be the one I caught up with next. I tried to get a picture with her but my flash didn't go off. She was sweet and asked if I wanted to take another one, but I just asked if I could get a picture of her instead. I'm lucky enough to have pictures with most of the cast members (including her) and didn't want to take up time that could be spent with other fans who wanted pictures.

The lovely and always kind Nikki came strolling by next. Somewhere during our conversation I blurted out "This is SO fun! We should do this every day!" If only... :)

I got to chat with Liz for a minute while she was signing autographs for fans. That was another thing I decided not to ask for. Again, I have everyone's autographs and didn't want to seem greedy. I just love talking to everyone, maybe snapping a quick picture... that's enough for me :) When I mentioned to Liz that I met her in Squamish last year, she said "I thought you looked familiar. I wasn't sure if it was from Comic-Con or somewhere else." I reminded her of the conversation we had when my friend and I saw her and Peter last year at a restaurant and she definitely remembered me then!

It was great to see Jackson again. I've met him a few times before and he's always the charmer and such a gentleman. And of course I was very much in my element talking to the new dad about baby poop and changing diapers :)

Toni and Judith came by next. I was so excited to see some tall chicks! You have no idea how many times we tried to get a picture of all of us together. Maybe next time it'll actually work out lol.

At about this point I realized that a lot of the actors had somehow passed by me. How dare they? ;) So, I moved on to the end of the line and waited patiently for them to come by. Lucky for me, Kellan was first! Do I even need to say anything about this guy? Just look at him... swoon... The first picture we took was really dark since the flash wasn't up, but Kellan went ahead and flipped it up for me, smiled and said "I have this camera too." OMG.

Peter came by next, followed by many other vampires... I tried to snap pictures as fast as I could when they walked by! I know I missed a few people, but was so grateful to have the chance to see the ones I saw and to talk to those that I did :)

Another cool part of the evening? We could see the after-party from the window of our hotel room!

It was definitely one amazingly eventful day and I wouldn't be able to thank Summit and the cast enough for being so generous with their time. For those of us lucky enough to have had this experience, it is something we will never forget. So, thanks for the memories!

Comic-Con 2012: Part 2 - Camping Out

The thought of camping out for another Twilight- or Twilight cast-related event always brings mixed emotions. I've camped out on street corners (Today show and Regis & Kelly), in a monsoon (Water for Elephants premiere), in city centers (BD1 premiere in LA), in too-few layers during the winter (outside the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver), and in numerous other sleep-deprived situations. However, no matter what kind of crazy things I've experienced in the name of Twilight, I still end up going back for more. I've learned that it's always worth it. No pain, no gain - right? This time around I found myself camping out for the Breaking Dawn Part 2 panel at Comic-Con...

I have to give credit to two awesome friends, Sandy and Mary Lou, who plopped their tushes down in line over 4 days before the panel was scheduled and who saved a lovely spot on the grass next to them for me :) As I was counting down the days and hours till I'd be in San Diego, I received this photo message from Sandy while I was at work:

"Your space my dear"
This picture is what got me through those last few long shifts at the hospital and made me even more excited to start the whole camp-out process all over again. 

I'm on my way...!
Fast forward to San Diego. Ah, beautiful, no-humidity, lovely San Diego. I miss you just writing this blog entry.... Anyway, when Sandy and Mary Lou brought me over to the campsite from the hotel, I was so surprised by how small the area was and by how few people were there. I expected that the fans would have come out in droves to camp out, but not so much. There were probably, at max, 200 people there and most of them were lined up behind us. 

Keeping the pool float industry in business
I quickly got settled into my little piece of grass and made my bed on a pool float. You've gotta be resourceful in these situations, and pool floats work just fine as air mattresses. After talking to several of my new neighbors, I dozed off to sleep for a few hours only to wake up - wide awake - at 2am. Taking the easy way out, I left a note for Sandy and Mary Lou: "Went back to the hotel at 2am. I'm a loser. -Sarah." I just couldn't see myself getting any more rest outside and hoped that I'd be able to back at the hotel. So, I walked back to the hotel and sunk into a deliciously comfortable bed for a few hours of blissful sleep.

The next day (Wednesday) was a busy one...

This was the first day I saw the inside of the San Diego Convention Center -- massive! 
I became the proud owner of a 4-day with preview night badge :)

After getting our badges, my lovely new group of friends and I strolled around the Gaslamp Quarter, grabbed some food, and headed back to the campsite to relax for a while. We had heard that we'd need to be at the campsite that night by 9pm for a surprise of some sort, so that evening I decided to quickly check out the Exhibition Hall - aka the craziest place I've ever seen. I made my way into the chaos of the Hall by myself, thinking I'd just see what it was like and then go back to the campsite. I had wanted to go to the Shotime and Summit booths to see what kinda swag they were giving away. Well, it took me about 20 minutes to actually find these booths, only to be told by Summit that their booth was closed (what?!). 

I jumped into the Shotime line adjacent to the Summit booth hoping to snag a Dexter bag. No luck there, either. Even after getting in line 3 times. By this point, I was overwhelmed and disappointed and decided to hightail myself outta there and go back to the sanity of the campsite. 

Once back there, I caught up with Kara from MTV. A fellow HBG fan, she chatted with Sandy, Mary Lou, and I about her awesome interview schedule the next day (jealous!). I swear, I'm gonna have that job one day :) 

As the light of the day started to fade, we were all getting more and more anxious to find out what was in store for us that night at the campsite. Never in my wildest dream could I have imagined a more fabulous surprise than what was about to come....

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Comic-Con 2012: Part 1

This year I decided that I wanted to go to Comic-Con in San Diego and through some sort of luck (or miracle? lol) I was able to score a 4-day badge with a preview night. You should probably know that I've never in my life read a comic book, nor do I have any desire to. However, I am a huge fan of the other part of Comic-Con -- the "pop culture" part. Movies, television series, and actors galore! It's like a little bit of heaven all rolled up into the San Diego Convention Center.

Once I knew I'd be heading West, I secured some days off of work, booked my flights, worked out the hotel situation (which can get pretty crazy for SDCC), and started counting down the days. I had friends that I'd be meeting up with out in San Diego (shout-out to all of you!) and was so excited to see them all again since I hadn't seen any of 'em since the LA premiere of Breaking Dawn last November. Oh yeah, that's another thing you should know... I'm a total Twilight fan :)

I consider myself lucky to have found myself involved in such a great and welcoming fandom. The people I have met at Twilight events over the past few years I can absolutely guarantee will be my friends for many, many years to come. We live all around the country, come from different backgrounds, and are a variety of ages. From young professionals to twi-moms (and grandmoms!), we all have this one thing that brought us together and I, for one, think that's pretty darn cool.

Sorry for the sidetrack, but I think that it's important to know how us Twilight fans work. We're supportive of each other to the nth degree. And that's exactly what was needed at this years Comic-Con. Without going into too many details, I'd like to tell you a little bit of why I am SO PROUD to be a Twilight fan. On my WiFi-enabled flight out to San Diego on Tuesday July 10th, I kept seeing these articles about a Twilight fan dying at Comic-Con that morning. With a heavy heart (and somewhat reluctantly) I decided to finally read one of these articles. It was so tragic to read about this fan, this Twilight sister, and her untimely death. About halfway through the flight I found out that my two friends that were already out in SD had just spent the past two days camping out with this fan, who I later came to know as Gisela or "G," and her three friends.

When I finally arrived in SD and got to the hotel, my friends Sandy and Mary Lou were there waiting for me. They were visibly shaken as they filled me in the best they could about the events of the morning. To say this was a tragic accident is quite the understatement. Throughout my days at Comic-Con, I came to know G through her friends Jen, Norma, and Lillian. She was a kind and funny lady who was a true Robert Pattinson fan. I know we would have hit it off great. The news of her death spread very quickly throughout the press and throughout the Twilight community. By that evening there was a beautiful flower arrangement sitting at the campsite, with candles and a cute picture of G & friends at Comic-Con a few years ago. By the next day we were all wearing black ribbons in G's honor and a fund had been started online to help with funeral costs. (Last I heard, $9,000 had been raised for G's family thanks to the generosity of Twilight fans.)

Meanwhile, I was getting to know G's friends who I was now camping out with. I became especially close to Jen, a Robsessed Alabama mama with a heart of gold. We actually really talked for the first time at 2am Wednesday morning when neither of us could sleep. This sweet woman had witnessed the death of her friend, and while I had just met her hours before, my heart broke for her. We ended up walking back to our respective hotels from the campsite together and from that point on I knew she was a cool chick.

The reason I wanted to share this part of my experience at Comic-Con is because it made my entire trip mean so much more. It may seem somewhat cliche, but the phrase "Seize the day" comes to mind when I think of what I learned over the past week. This one woman who I never met made me realize that you have to live every day to its fullest. If you want something, go get it. You want to fly across the country and camp out on the sidewalk to see your favorite actors? DO IT. You want to go back to school? Buy that new car you've always wanted? Move to Paris? Start a band? Whatever it is -- DO IT. You only get one life, so make it worth it.

The lovely ladies I had the pleasure of camping out with at Comic-Con :)

... more stories and pictures coming soon...

Friday, June 1, 2012

The day I met Kristen Stewart

When I found out that Kristen was going to be on Live! with Kelly on May 31, I was super excited to try to get into the show again. The first time was a huge success, so I was hoping luck would be on my side again. The typical 3 hour bus ride from my home to NYC took 5 hours due to a huge traffic jam. The ride was miserable, but once I got to my destination (aka my friend Lynsey's apartment) and had something to eat, I was feeling much better. Lynsey and I only got about 2-3 hours of sleep before heading out to ABC Studios and were ecstatic to be the first ones in line. Time flew by and suddenly we were inside the studio being seated. While we weren't sure the seats were the greatest (they were all the way on the side of the studio), we were really just happy to be in. And in a whirlwind experience, I ended up meeting Kristen after her segment filmed. It's one of those amazing, I-can't-believe-this-is-happening-right-now, OMG kinda moments that seem to go in slow motion and at lightning speed all at the same time. All I can say is that Kristen is so nice and easy to talk to. During our quick chat, I told her that I help run her bodyguard's fan page, to which she replied "Oh, yeah? I like that!" and was more than happy to take a picture with me. With my birthday a week away, that was one of the best presents I could have gotten! So, thanks Kristen for making my day :) Missing my bus back home was totally worth it!

We spotted HBG right away! He was scoping out the studio... so bodyguard-ish!

Kristen peeking around the corner :)

She loves her fans!

Christian Louboutins and backwards necklace. So Kristen.

HBG doing his thing

Finishing up her interview and getting ready to leave

Love the dress, love the hair - gorgeous!

Coming over to greet fans

My picture with Kristen :)