Fan Expo 2016

Guys. I have all of the feelings about all of the things.

I had casually mentioned to Chris that it might be fun to go to Fan Expo on Labor Day weekend. Mark Hamill would be there, Gillian Anderson, and, you know, an entire convention of cool nerdy stuff that we liked. A few weeks ago, though, it was announced that the Wynonna Earp cast would be doing a panel and autograph signing/photo op. My attitude quickly changed from “we probably shouldn’t spend the money” to “CAN WE PLEASE GO, HONEY?!” As anyone who has read this blog before knows, I have the greatest wife, and she agreed. Hotels were ridiculous, so she found us a cute Airbnb that ended up being about a $10 Canadian Uber ride from downtown.

I made some new friends on Twitter and was looking forward to meeting them in person, because if it’s one thing I excel at, it’s being friends with people I’ve never actually met.

That probably tells you something about my personality.

We left work early on Friday, and spent what felt like 17 hours driving there, but it was only 8. It should have been about five, but, you know, whatever. Holiday traffic. Also, Ruby Tuesday salad bar!

We settled in, had a glass of wine — well, like 1/4 glass because I’m a lightweight — and went to sleep. In true Monica form, I woke up 15 minutes before my alarm went off — 6:45am — because I was excited! We got ready, I realized I had the location wrong in my head — so many thanks to Chris for saving us at the last minute on that one — Uber’d downtown, grabbed breakfast, and headed to the convention center.

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Yeah!

We waited in this tiny line to get our wristbands.

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At least it was the first part of the day, when everyone’s deodorant was still fresh.

We walked around a bit in the North building, taking in some costumes, some vendors, and the closest I’ve ever been to George Takei.

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I FOLLOW YOU ON TWITTER! CAN WE BE BEST FRIENDS?! I LOVED YOU ON “LOST GIRL”!

We bought a couple of things (yours truly is now the proud owner of an awesome Wonder Woman belt), talked to some vendors and got cards for later purchases, and then I said I wanted to make our way to the South building because I wanted to see where the “Wynonna Earp” panel was so I would be prepared for later. We made our way to the other building, pausing for some important photo ops along the way.

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Excuse me, Canadian policeman. Can I please go across this tape and take a picture with this moose?

We made our way to room 701, as I nervously tugged at my t-shirt. You see, it was a “Wynonna Earp” shirt, but specifically one celebrating the showrunner, Emily Andras, proudly declaring I was a Fandras. The nervous part comes in because she was loudly opposed to the shirt’s existence — probably jokingly, but who knew for sure? I debated back and forth whether or not to wear it, and I even packed a backup t-shirt (honestly? There were two) in my backpack just in case I lost my nerve…or caught word on Twitter that she berated another Fandras-shirt wearer. Because I couldn’t be the only nerd wearing that shirt, right?

(Spoiler alert — wrong, mostly.)

After we stepped off the escalator and walked towards the room, I heard a shout of, “FANDRAS!!” Clearly, I had found my people.

The shouter was Sally, co-owner of Fangirl Shirts,  creator of my Fandras shirt and a crap ton of others (including one of my backup shirts — seriously, if you are a fangirl at all, check their site out. It’s amazing, and I want to order about 7 more things. In addition to having great products, a portion of all proceeds go to charity. They’re good people). Introductions were made between us and the 6 or so other ladies hanging out, waiting for the opportunity to line up for the 4:30 panel. She invited us to stay, and so we did. We went and grabbed lunch and walked around a couple of times, but for the most part, we hung out with the Earpers waiting for the panel, and the numbers increased throughout the day.

I met some really cool people — some of whom I’d been talking to for a few weeks before the expo (including a Pittsburgh native and the human behind the excellent Nedley’s Office Twitter account), one couple who had a story that echoed mine and Chris’ (huge Buffy fan, long-distance dating for a year, married two weeks before we were), and one who lived in Columbus and couldn’t believe we would drive three hours to go to World Market and Panda Express but admitted she’d drive the same distance to go to Ikea. Both valid driving reasons.

And we saw some great stuff hanging out.

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We are not the droids you’re looking for!

Unfortunately, despite the queuing up for hours (some of these ladies had been there since the place opened at 10am), they wouldn’t let us line up early, and to take it one step further, they let a group of people who showed up way later line up before us. That part was disappointing, but I’m trying not to dwell. But please, Fan Expo, let this be a lesson — you need a different system for at least the “Wynonna Earp” panel, because we HAVE NO CHILL. And apparently, some of us are horrible at con etiquette. But I digress.

Office saved me a place to sit (because I was lined up a few people behind). We were all disappointed to find out the signing/photo op would be determined by a ticket, but we all hoped for the best. I personally didn’t get a starred ticket, but one of my linemates did, and she was SO EXCITED to meet Tim Rozon (Doc).

The panel was amazing, hilarious, exciting, perfect. The cast and Emily were so nice and funny, and it was the first time I’d been to one of those, so it was extra special for me. Here is a list of the great “spoilers”/behind-the-scenes things we were treated to:

  • Almost all of the blooper reel was dick jokes (said by Melanie when the video wouldn’t load — untrue, but still hilarious)
  • They ate so much dirt after some days of shooting that the cast would go home and it would be crunchy when they chewed
  • Melanie said she loved the role because “action hero” usually equals “tart,” and Wynonna is anything but and doesn’t fit into any of the typical character boxes
  • Doc Holliday is “pretty fast when it counts,” whatever that was implying
  • When asked how she felt about being an evil genius, Emily responded, “I feel okay”
  • The Earps’ mother could be Juan Carlo, but tune in to season 2 for more
  • “We owe season 2 to the people in this room”

It sped by too quickly, of course, and as the lucky few lined up for their autographs, the rest of us just hung out. On Twitter, Fangirl Shirts posted a contest that whoever could get a picture with Emily and their Fandras shirt would win a sticker pack, so I weighed my options. I carefully placed myself with her in the background (just above my shoulder against the Fan Expo background), and this awkward selfie was born.

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You’re welcome, everyone

They had to move the signing to a different room because another panel was scheduled to be in there, so we all filed out. The lucky ones lined up; I stood on the sidelines with the rest of the non-starred-ticket holders. And then I turned around because someone said they were coming this way — specifically, Emily, subject of my t-shirt love.

Here’s the thing. I’m a giant nerd. I love the cast of this marvelous show — they bring these imperfectly perfect characters to life and deliver the dialogue in a way that no other person could. But the showrunner is the one who created it, and to me, that’s so much more intimidating and why I was most nervous to meet her. I’ve always been a “do stuff behind the scenes” girl myself, anyway. Also, remember, I was wearing a t-shirt that she complained about.

I turned around and stood awkwardly, wondering if I should just try to melt in the background.

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Too late. Special thanks to Tanya for capturing this moment.

OMG, guys, she was so nice. She stopped, hugged me, asked my name, and granted my request for a picture (“Can I look angry?”). Unfortunately, yours truly jacked that up a bit.

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This is why Chris takes all of our pictures.

I made my way across the street with Office and Sally from Fangirl Shirts to the meetup, which my new best friend Emily secretly told me that they would be attending. I was finally reunited with Chris (“I don’t want to stay for the panel because I don’t want spoilers!”), and we met some new people and asked for recommendations for our Sunday in Toronto, cementing our plan to go to Toronto Island (that’s a different post, you guys — don’t worry).

The cast and Emily showed up at the fan meetup, and something weird happened to me. I just…stopped. I just sort of awkwardly stood there, not wanting to approach anyone. Didn’t want to bother them, I guess? Weird Catholic properness? I have no idea. It took me a while to get over it, but eventually, I did.

And I just want to take this opportunity to say how truly wonderful these folks were. They signed autographs for ages and then headed over to the meetup, where they signed more autographs, took more photos, and were basically just all-around awesome people. This is my first toe-dip into any sort of fandom, and I think I can safely say no other group of people will come close to this. And being able to do it after their first season was, I think, a true opportunity. I believe the show will get even bigger in Season 2, and the cast will continue to grow more popular and busy, with this show and with other roles. So to be able to experience it now — I can’t even put that feeling into words.

So I’ll just move to pictures.

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So handsome. And so nice. The first person I managed to approach and politely (I think?) request a picture.

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I then had the wonderful opportunity to talk to Tim Rozon, who plays Doc Holliday (yes, that Doc Holliday). I had bought a comic just for this reason and asked if he would mind signing it. I pulled out my clicker Sharpie, and he (sounding a little bit like Doc) asked how it worked. I clicked it like it was a pen, and he was like, “Where did you get this?!” “Target?” He explained he was in the restaurant business and that it would be so great for that. I said I had heard good things about his restaurant, proving my fangirlness, and insisted he keep it. Anyway, that is the story about how I gave Tim Rozon a Sharpie and he signed a comic book for me, and it was super special to both of us, I assume.

Also pictured — the only other person wearing a Fandras shirt. Tim had one on underneath that he wore for the panel, but I was the only other Earper that wore one, so that was great and I didn’t stick out at all.

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Then I got the chance to redo my picture with Emily. There were a lot to choose from (because my wife knows me), but I chose this one because it looks like she’s giving me the finger. As I left her, I said, “Thanks for making the show.” There was no way I could have said in 3 seconds what it has meant to me — the show and the whole experience of that day — so hopefully, that simple statement did it.

Melanie Scrofano was there, obviously, but…every time I tried to approach her, someone else was more eager, pushier, etc., and I didn’t get a picture. By the time I was like, “Fuck it! I’m doing it,” they had to leave.

Chris was asking me why I was just standing there, and after my mumbled response, she shook her head, walked determinedly to Dom, and said, “Excuse me. Would you take a picture with my wife?”

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(Let me interrupt this blog post and say that the best choice I ever made in my entire life was asking Chris out on a date…even if it took me 1o years to do it.)

She was so nice and sweet and also so tiny, especially next to me. I don’t even know what I said — something about having to have my wife talk to people because I was awkward AF. She told me that I never needed to feel awkward about approaching them, because that’s why they were there. I managed to get my shit together enough to say how much her character meant to me, and if Waverly had been around when I was a teenager, it would have been a game changer.

I found out later that when Chris heard me say that, she teared up a bit — a rare thing for her. Unlike me, who is literally writing this post and crying.

Thus ended my experience with the cast and showrunner of “Wynonna Earp,” my current favorite show. But the memories will last forever — I’ll always have the pictures and the stories and this beautifully written blog to help me remember one of the best days in my life that did not involve marriage.

Cons:

  • Did not get to meet/get my picture taken with Melanie Scrofano
  • Got jumped ahead of in line by a bunch of jagoffs
  • Did not get the other comics I brought signed (because I was hoping to do a Twitter giveaway for the ComicCants)

Pros:

  • LITERALLY EVERYTHING ELSE

And the people I met and the friends I made from this fandom? I have a feeling those stories are just beginning.

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