Okay, due to lack of blogginess in AGES, I am gonna do a full-court press. The goal: plugging em out as fast as possible.
First order of business: meeting my master.
I love Nathan Fillion. I am a full-blown Whedonite, and I encountered Joss Whedon (creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spinoff, Angel) through his short-lived, tragically doomed show Firefly, which I think is one of the greatest pieces of televisionary art ever produced. Nathan Fillion starred in it as Captain Malcolm Reynolds, a Han Soloesque leader of a band of misfits and defeated revolutionaries. They fly through space in their ship Serenity (Firefly class) smuggling goods, riding horses, brawling in saloons and generally being Big Damn Heroes. Nathan Fillion is currently busting up ratings as Richard Castle in the ABC show of that surname. (Surname: common Britspell for “last name,” used on everything, most notably entry cards into the U.K., which throw me off every time. Common usage: “What the crap is a surname? Claire?”)
Here’s a little background for you. Nathan has a MySpace. I created an account so I could friend him, so he would have to look at my profile picture for at least two seconds. Stalker points: 1. Nathan has twitter. I joined twitter so…I could follow Nathan. Stalker points: 2. Nathan tweeted that he was coming to London. I decided to study abroad here so…just kidding. That was pure serendipity.
RT:nathanfillion: London calling! The Guards Chapel Wellington Barracks, Nov 6! Come see http://www.completehero.com/ I will be there!! Can't wait to see you
Thus begins the greatest encounter/epic debacle with fame I have ever experienced.
RT:nathanfillion If you are coming to see me in London I want to know. Sound off for the Complete Hero project!
RT:me @nathanfillion I'll be there with some friends. How do you feel about catching drinks with some college kids from Notre Dame?
RT:me heading to the Globe for class. Highly anticipating meeting the Captain tomorrow night.
RT:nathanfillion Ahhh, Paddington. Just as I remembered you. http://yfrog.com/iydknj
And there was a pic of Paddington, which was, like, MINUTES from me via tube. I spend the entire day preoccupied with thoughts of Nathanness, our causal meeting, friendly chat, the invitation to get drinks at the Sherlock Holmes pub, instant friendship, advice on his character, an internship in LA this summer, etc.
RT:nathanfillion Sound off, London!!
RT:me @nathanfillion Welcome to the city - crisp weather just for you!
I had gathered a fine gaggle of geeks and interested onlookers – ten in all. We met at the ND centre and walked to the Guard’s Chapel to see Monsieur Filliohn!
We arrived and were handed headphones with which to view the public art project, a 25 min. video of people explaining what a hero means to them. Nathan had contributed and was attending the Gala that evening. The video was showing from 5 – 9. We got there at 5:15. And watched it. And waited. And waited. Finally I went up to one of the Army guys running it and asked when Nathan Fillion was going to arrive (no shame, none). Learned that the Gala would begin at 6:30. I gathered the troops (mine, not the Queen’s) together to deliberate.
We had about 45 min. till the Gala started, and then who knew when Nathan would arrive? Six peaced, not willing to brave the rain (yes, setting the scene nicely) to meet a man most of them didn’t know. So four of us were die-hards, true Flans, Whedonites with a mission undeterred. I looked around. Awkward looking kid in a brown coat standing near the bushes? He’s here for Nathan. Large, middle-aged woman with long hair and a goody bag? Yup, she’s here for Nathan, too. So we stand together, little blips of Jossy joy in a sea of otherwise upper crust Londonite Society here to view Art, braving rain, time, and nervous energy.
It was raining, hellza raining, and I refused to put on my fleece because who knows when Nathan will walk by and I am NOT having anything taint my perfectly chosen picture outfit. So we stood. And stood. And watched and stood.
Lo, from the depths of the crowd, giant in stature and sneaky under an umbrella, came The Captain. I spotted him, ran up and stood directly in front of him with a grin that would probably have cracked light bulbs. “HI…can I get a picture with you?” The ever-obliging master said sure and I fumbled with my camera. Think, think, something witty… “We’ve been waiting an hour and a half…” CRAP! WHAT THE HELL DID I JUST SAY THAT FOR?
“Well, then, let’s go!” I thrusted my camera at Mike. SNAP. No flash. Oh, crap, no flash and that was my one shot at the photo of my LIFE and now it’s gone and “Sorry can we take another the flash wasn’t on I’m so sorry Captain I kinda just blew your cover hold on here give it to me okay.” SNAP. Bam! Said the lady.
Nathan is now surrounded by flans who have come out of the woodwork. He is bombarded by snap-flashing folks all wanting their shot with Glory. I now feel awful, for it is becoming quite clear that all he wants to do is watch the project, whereas I have single-handedly ruined his anonymity. Oh, woe is me! To be such a beast! Might I grovel at the feet of one who shalt forgive!
He finally calms the crowd down enough to look up and watch the show. He stood there with his umbrella, next to his parents (am I that creepy? Did you really have to ask?) and watched it.
And then I did this. And then I felt bad. But not really.
There are moments, see, moments that come upon us which we do not anticipate or understand. They are the moments that define us, that separate us from the fantasy images we have created of ourselves. When I saw myself meeting Nathan, it was nonchalant, mutual, indoors. I was a calm, suave, educated person with interesting parlay and insightful witticisms. Instead I stood there in the rain, mouth hanging open, blatantly staring at Nathan like a large, uninhibited buffalo. I studied his nose, his chin, his coat. And in that moment I knew, knew beyond the shadow of a doubt, I am the creeper fan I always denied existed, that creature from my nightmares who chases celebrities down streets and sobs when they pelvic thrust. And I do believe, in my heart, that if Nathan had pelvic thrusted in that moment I would have passed out, weeping.
My next consciousness came when I realized that Mr. Mr. Fillion had walked out in front of Mr. Fillion to take a photo of his son. Mike and I, in complete synchronization, leaned right like a pair of Gumby characters in an attempt to get in the shot. Naught was said. We straightened back and continued to stare.
Soon the artiest who created the project came up and started chatting Nathan. He introduced his parents (“I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M WITNESSING A REAL-LIFE CONVERSATION OF NATHAN FILLION”) and conversed wittily with the creator. (I know it was witty. I just know it.) Soon someone rapped the shoulder of the artiest and the Nathan convo was put on hold. This was our chance. “GO MIKE, GO!”
We ran around to Nathan and I thrust a CD in a plastic baggie at him. He looked down at it confusedly. “It’s a compilation – British artists – listen to it later!” (No, listen to it now, in the middle of the Gala. Stupid! Stupid!) For those who’ve asked, the CD was NOT a recording of me singing the Firefly theme song nineteen times. People, I am not THAT bad. Okay, I mean…
Mike asked if he could get a photo. I took it. Bam! Said the lady. Mike, smiling like a school boy but managing to keep some semblance of tact said, “Mr. Fillion, I’m a film major, and I just wanted to say that it’s people like you who remind me that the industry isn’t shit.” True, beauteous, flawless words. Words with meaning, forethought, and intent. Complimentary, even. How did he manage to find those words?
“Oh, where are you from?”
“I’m from Chicago–”
And then it happened, the word-vomit that was building up inside of me, my meek attempt at respectable communication. Something about Chicago reminded me of Notre Dame, and before I knew it “WE BOTH GO TO NOTRE DAME WANT TO GET DRINKS WITH US AFTER THIS YOUR PARENTS CAN COME I’VE TWEETED AT YOU MULTIPLE TIMES??!?!”
I should have been smote.
“Ah, we have plans.”
And thus, he departed.
I returned home wet, freezing, and with no voice. I had made a mockery of myself, bypassing any hope I’d had at avoiding being That Fan, the kind of fan that shames the Browncoat legion. I had met the Captain, but I had failed miserably in communication. But frustration was short lived, for the digital pixels containing The Photo burned luminously in my camera, and my heart was content. I got back into the flat and began to tell the tale, realizing quickly that I had no voice. None. Lost, gone forever into the void that was The Encounter. Do I believe in Karma? Dude.
The moral of the story is that I should never be let near anyone famous, or anyone I idolize. Because they might end up looking like this:
Nathan, who looks like he wants to eat me. Or push me off a cliff. Or eat me and then barf over a cliff.
Nathan Fillion, wherever you are, I am a fan. I am a creeper. I am a stalker. I have no shame. I know this now. But I still love you, and maybe, just maybe, one day you’ll reply to my tweet asking if you’ve listened to the CD.