Thursday, March 23, 2017

That One Time I met Gimli and Boba Fett

Last weekend was Salt Lake Comic Con’s FanX event. I had a great time there and I definitely made some memories. And this happened to be an occasion where I took the time to meet a couple of celebrities--one of them planned, the other unexpected.



Friday


I had debated whether or not to get John Rhys-Davies’ autograph when it had been announced he was coming to FanX. Forty dollars is a lot for someone living paycheck-to-paycheck. But it’s not nearly as much as the sixty I spent for Carrie Fisher, or the amounts over a hundred for some of the other big-name stars that come to Salt Lake.

Then two days before con, I was at work when a DVD copy of the Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert Let the Season In came through the line--still factory sealed. This is my absolute FAVORITE Tab Choir Christmas concert (AKA The very fun one in 2013!)--and among other reasons, because John Rhys-Davies, the actor known for playing Sallah in Indiana Jones and Gimli in The Lord of the Rings, had been one of the guest stars. I thought, you know what, after work you can go and buy that, and when you get to con you can ask John Rhys-Davies to sign it. And I did. And I got him to sign it.



His handlers took the cover out of the protective sleeve on the DVD case so he could sign the front cover. While he was writing his name, I said to him, “I graduated in English at BYU. And the summer before your concert, I actually wrote a term paper on A Christmas Carol” for a Victorian literature class.” Not sure he heard that part.

He looked up at me. “And what are you doing now?” he asked.

I hadn’t anticipated that. “I’m a writer, and a cosplayer, and I do volunteering sometimes. And some blogging.” How do you tell somebody famous that your life is actually kind of a mess right now?

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Then I leaned in closer to him and said, “Are you morally opposed to fanfiction?”

“To what?”

“Fanfiction?”

“Oh, no.”

“Do you know who the Winter Soldier is?”

“Yes.”

“I wrote a fanfic about his first Christmas after leaving Hydra. He is visited by the three ghosts from A Christmas Carol.” At the Tab Choir Christmas concert, Rhys-Davies had played the Ghost of Christmas Present. So I told him, “And in this story, the Ghost of Christmas Present is you.”

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“Ah-ha!” Well, he thought that was wonderful. Leaned back and clapped his hands.

And then Mr. Rhys-davies leaned closer to me. And he looked me in the eye.  “Keep writing,” he said. “Write every day. The first twenty years of your career is your apprenticeship.”

“I will. Thank you, sir. It was a pleasure to meet you.” We shook hands and I left the signing booth.

The forty dollars was definitely worth it.


Saturday


I had never been to the cosplay contest at the end of a convention before. I was exhausted and it might have been smarter to just go straight home. But it was something to do. I hadn’t been to any of the big celebrity panels all day. I didn’t go to a single smaller panel. And plus, I had a friend participating, that is Cassidy Beihn as Eliza Schuyler Hamilton.

They definitely took their sweet time starting the contest--at least that was how I felt. If they didn’t start in a timely manner or if I wasn’t entertained by the contest I would bounce out early. The emcee announced the judges for the competition. They seemed cool enough--I liked the bird guy’s costume.

“But we need one more person, someone who’s both local and a celebrity,” the emcee said. “Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Daniel Logan!”

He wasn't even a formally announced guest this time--he just came as a friend and fellow enthusiast, you could say.


For those of you who don’t know, Daniel Logan played kid Boba Fett in Attack of the Clones. He also reprised the role in the Clone Wars television series (Boba's character arc in Season 2 actually destroyed me but that's another subject). He visited the first-ever FanX in 2014. Daniel is currently working for Funko Pops and touring Asia for them. “I’m not into cosplay yet,” he admitted, but he says he wants to do it. But he is plenty geeky: he came wearing a Captain America shirt.

So, summary: the cosplay contest was excellent. Lots of beautiful costumes. My friend Cassidy won a prize in the Retro category for her Eliza, and my friend Mandi Ham for her Carlotta.

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Smol and angry young Boba Fett from Season 2 of Clone Wars and I'm giving myself a feels attack

I didn't need to feel bad saying hi to Daniel since I've seen Clone Wars up through season 5 now. But I think regardless I still would have done it. As the party was breaking up, I moved to the front of the auditorium. He was putting away some things in a backpack.

I approached cautiously. “Do you mind if people say hi to you?” I asked him.

“Not at all.”

“I’m actually an admin for a Prequels fan page,” I said. Those were the most relevant credentials. “My name is Lizy.”

“Lizy. Where are you from?”

“Provo, but before then, Texas.”

When he was introduced on stage, Daniel said that he had moved to California. But up until a couple of years ago he was actually living in Draper. He told me that he moved back to Cali because he got lonely. But he was glad for the experience of living here in Utah.

“What part of Texas are you from?”

“San Antonio.”

He told me he’d actually been there and he thought it was beautiful.

I told him it was nice to meet him. We took a quick selfie, and he told me to tag him on Instagram.
That was a sort-of celebrity encounter that I wasn’t planning for. But it was definitely worth staying all the way through the cosplay contest. And it’s actually kind of a big deal. Because, he was in STAR WARS and it’s not every day you meet somebody who was actually in STAR WARS, Clone Wars or the Prequels, period. But yeah, that was pretty special.

Dang, he grew up! (my photo)



Just to be clear, I'm not writing this post to brag about anything (ok, maybe I'm bragging a little), but I just want to share a couple of the highlights of the last weekend with my readers (notably my family). And before I close, I just want to say a very big THANK YOU to Daniel Logan, John Rhys-Davies, and of course Salt Lake Comic Con for making last weekend possible.

Side note: yes, I am going public now, I have been prolifically writing fanfiction since I got out of college. So for those of you who are curious about how it went down with Bucky Barnes and the Ghost of Christmas Present, click the link: Bucky & the Ghost of Christmas Present. Yes, this fic was heavily influenced by Dickens and the concert that Rhys-Davies did with the Choir (as well as the concert they did with Alfie Boe the year before). I may write more on the subject later--that is, A Christmas Carol, the Winter Soldier, my term paper, and the importance of memory.

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