Friday, January 14, 2011

Captain Caleb Castle, I Salute You!

I said to myself, "If Nathan Fillion wants a picture of himself on my vision board, he's going to have to take it with me himself!" Well, Nate, you stepped up to the plate. Congratulations, you made the cut.

Yes, it really happened. And yes, I have the photographic evidence to prove it. It was a brief moment, but the journey there was a pilgrimage. And by pilgrimage I mean pilgrimage, pronounced with a pretentious soft "g" and an elongated "aaaah."

I first heard about The Thrilling Adventure Hour last June from a friend who knew I was big into Joss Whedon. Nathan Fillion was guest starring in the upcoming show, and by the time I'd heard about it, it was -- of course -- completely sold out. My friend Robert LeMoyne and I showed up to the box office way early to try to get tickets, but to no avail. Actually, there was some avail, just not in the form of tickets. It was, after all, there and then that I first met Juliet Landau and the Ballads to the Buffy Big Bads project was born. Come to think of it, there was a metric caboodle of avail, but back to my original point, we did not get into the show.

The next time Nathan guest starred was last month, December, and despite extending the show to two nights, it sold out before I even knew it existed. By this time, I had a couple of inside sources, but none of them had the power to get me in. When the January show rolled around, I made sure to get my tickets right away. I didn't know the guest star list, but crazy celebrities or no (and they always have crazy celebrities), the show is an absolute romp, and I wouldn't miss it for the world. Eventually, they announced guest stars, and to my great delight, Nathan was one of them! It just might happen, it just might happen, I just might meet the freaking man himself...

Not that it was the only reason, but I decided that my potential meeting with Nathan was a good deadline for getting the new Buffy flyer done. (If you haven't seen it already, check out the pic on Facebook.) Carl Mahoney had taken an awesome picture of me in my Spike T-shirt, and we had spent the better part of the Wednesday before designing the logo, which took quite a bit of work. Inspired by the "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" logo, we modified and pieced together various fonts. Carl being the more Photoshop-savvy one, he pushed most of the buttons while I sat there and looked pretty and said "Do this, don't do that, a little bit more brushstroke on the 'B'." Later that day, my other awesome graphic designer/musician friend Brian Travis took our logo and designed the wallpaper for the back of the flyer.

I spent the next couple of days playing around with the color scheme and layout, and beefing up the logo to add a little more dimension to the characters. It was a mighty effort to get it in perfect, printable form. And I was cutting the edges with the paper cutter at Office Depot up to the moment I left for the show. By that time, I was so frazzled and exhausted, I could barely think. And the one thought that did swim through my muddy head was (and imagine me saying this with a faux-drunken slur), "Nathan Fillion might never see the light of this, but if I find myself standing next to him and he has that look on his face like, ' I could use the Buffy flyer right about now,' I can be like, 'Hey, I've got one of those!'" And I did. And he did. And I did.

The moment itself went by in a blur. I remember waiting outside the Largo, working my way through an unusually large group of people standing still as cattle, all waiting for the same thing. Everybody wanted their photo op with Mal/Castle/Capt. Hammer/Caleb/Ruggedly Handsome Heartthrob/whoever the heck else this guy symbolized to them. I couldn't help but feel a little cliché, but I was on a mission. He handled himself like a perfect gentleman superstar, taking photo after photo, being courteous but efficient, smiling that multi-million dollar smile.

I waited for some of the crowd clear, took off my giant coat, gathered my thoughts, pulled the shiniest-looking flyer from the pile, and went up to take my turn. Nathan said a quick hello, told me he liked my outfit, and put his arm around me for the photo op. (Yes, I touched him. Yes, it was 15 seconds or less a fan girl bliss. And YES, he really does look that good in person.) Jonathan Reilly -- friend, official event photographer, and impresario of AWESOMEness -- took two pictures; one with my camera and one with his. Both pictures served a purpose. The one on my camera was posted immediately, and the one on his actually looked good (in my frenzied state, I totally forgot to turn the flashback on!). After the photos were snapped, I handed him the flyer. He said, "Do you want me to sign this?" I said, "Actually, this is yours. I'm writing love songs to the Buffy super villains, and I'm going to write one for you." He looked impressed. He mentioned something about the flyer looking good, or the wording on the T-shirt, or some other gobbledygook I was too googly-eyed to remember. The point is, MISSION COMPLETE!!!

There is more to say about that night. And there is more to say about new songs. But I've gushed a great deal so you'll have to wait until the next entry in order to hear about the rest. And now, for your moment of Zen...

Apparently the only signature he needed was my fist...But with a pen in it... That I was signing with. These are not the hammer ...

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