We're fans of the show and had "priority" tickets to see a taping. The tickets were supposed to guarantee us a spot. Nope. A huge crowd turned out that evening to get into the show. The seats filled up with about a dozen of us priority ticket folks left out.
Yet, there was still hope. Some of the guests of the VIPs were nice enough to give up their seats to let about a dozen of us in. My wife and I barely made the cut. We were about two minutes from getting into the show when Anne Wheaton, wife of Wil Wheaton, one of the comics that night, showed up. We got bumped out of the audience, but we allowed to watch it on a monitor backstage.
|The comics we almost saw: Wil Wheaton, Aisha Tyler, and Kevin|
Pereira. Kevin say hi to everyone backstage before going on.
We had no one but ourselves to blame for not getting in. Had we shown up 10 minutes earlier, we would have made the first cut. Five minutes earlier and we would have made the second. Despite knowing this - and my respect for Anne's work on behalf of animals - I had the urge to do a Sheldon Cooper-channeling-William-Shatner scream of "WWWHHHEEEAAATTTTONNNN!!!!!"
While backstage, I see the man himself — Chris Hardwick. Now in my fantasy, I would have spoken to Hardwick, made him laugh, leading to more conversation, and ultimately, friendship. Through him, we would have met Felicia Day, and through her, Joss Whedon, Neil Gaiman, Nathan Fillion, the cast of Mythbusters, and other celebs. We would all hang out on Saturday nights.
What I expected to happen was Chris would address every one backstage with a "Hey, thanks for coming out," before going on stage.
What actually happened was that I was gesturing to my wife to show her Chris was in the room. Chris, about to talk with a friend of a friend, thought I was gesturing at him and gave me a polite, perfunctorily nod as if to say "Yeah, I see you." He finished talking with the friend and headed out onstage.
I thought my wife would say something like "He's cute" or "He looks smaller/bigger than he does on TV." What she actually said was "I'm disappointed with his jacket."
Chris and the panel of comics just killed it that night. Much of the good stuff, however, was rather blue (two phrases for you — clit balls and hobo cum) and didn't make on air. Nerdist posted a link to some of the stuff the TV audience missed here.
We had a good time, got a couple of free @Midnight t-shirts and a promise of an email for VIP tix to a future showing. I won't believe the tix promise until I'm sitting with the audience and the cameras are rolling.
On Saturday, we were at the Emmy Costume exhibit at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (henceforth referred to as FIDM). This is a great exhibit featuring about 100 costumes from 20 different shows including Sleepy Hollow, Orange is the New Black, Agents of SHIELD (I refuse to do the little dots. It was an effort to make "shield" in caps), Downton Abbey, and Masters of Sex. And it's free, people.
I was in the midst of jockeying for position in the media horde during the exhibit preview when I found myself alone with the gorgeous Ming-Na Wen of Agents of SHIELD. On the show, Ming-Na's Melinda May is always scowling and looking tough. I was totally unprepared to see such a radiant smile. I melted like butter in a hot skillet.
She was a great interview — gracious and funny (on show costume designer Ann Foley — "she's great — but she didn't make my tits big enough. Oh, I bet you're going to make that quote big, aren't you?") Later in the evening, she and a friend sat on the same bench with me and my wife. Squee! I even wiped some water off the seat for her. Hey, I would have done that for anyone, not just for a fanboy hottie.
|Imagine her sitting next to you on a bench.|
Later, I went hunting for actor Michael Sheen. I didn't interview him. I just shook his hand and told him I loved him Frost/Nixon. He was very gracious too.
Ming-Na and Michael knew they were walking into an area filled with media, so they were prepped and ready to be at their best. Still, I can tell when someone talks to you not because they want to, but because it's part of their job — I'm looking at you Penn Jillette. I can also tell when someone is genuinely nice — I'm looking at you Joseph Teller. Ming-Na and Michael are the latter. I suspect Chris Hardwick is the same, but it's hard to tell from a brief nod from someone about to hit the stage.
Celebrities don't owe us a chat or an autograph or time for a picture. The only thing they owe us — and this goes for everybody on this planet — is this: don't be a dick. Some badly fail at meeting this minimum standard for humanity - Bieber, Brand, and LaBeouf come immediately to mind.
It is a great joy when someone whose work you admire turns out to be a damn fine bloke or bloke-ess. My admiration for Neil Gaiman, which was pretty damn high already, soared when I followed his posts and interviews during his trip to Jordan to meet with Syrian refugees at the request of the United Nations refugee agency.
Now, I have no idea what Michael Sheen and Ming-Na Wen are really like. They could have bodies buried in their basements for all I know. I do know that for a brief moment, they engaged me, smiled, and were gracious. And for that, I'm now an even bigger fan of both of them.
Back to the original purpose of this blog. There's some cool, cheap date opportunities out there, people. There is so much stuff I just want to cry at the things I can't get to. Here's some things I think are worthy of your consideration:
- The fore-mentioned FIDM Emmy Costume Exhibition opens to the public July 22 and runs through Sept. 20. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. It's free.
- Shakespeare in Griffith Park. The Independent Shakespeare Company is back this summer, performing Twelfth Night and Taming of the Shrew. This is a great bunch of performers and the setting in the meadow of the old zoo grounds is terrific. Pack a picnic and show up early. It's free, but you will be hit for a donation. Give what you can. Let's keep these guys going.
- Going Retro. On July 27, the Wilshire Ebell Auditorium is hosting a show celebrating music from 1900 to the 1930s. Presented by the Los Angeles Theatre Organ Society, this show will feature the retro ensemble Janet Klein and Her Parlor Boys (regulars at the Cicada Club), ragtime pianist John Reed-Torres and theatre pipe organist Tony Wilson. As of this writing, Goldstar had discount Tix.
- The Bob Baker Marionettes are doing a free show on Aug. 6 at the Levitt Pavilion in Pasadena. These folks are masters of a vanishing art form. Again, pack that picnic and get there early.
Lots of fun stuff going on. Get out there and enjoy life.