Friday, June 23, 2006

Wil in Montreal

Last night, when I was in bed, I had the beginnings of a great post dancing around in my mind. Of course, I was half asleep and had absolutely no energy - not even enough to just write down (or apparently remember) that first, perfect line, from which the whole entry would have flowed.

However, I know the entry was about Wil Wheaton's super duper uber geeky - but not too overly geeky - presentation at the Magical Blend in Montreal. The shindig started a little after 1 PM, with Wil bursting in the room at the sound of applause. Of course, he made us laugh. He didn't make us cry, although that would seem to be the proper next sentence. Instead, he made us listen. Listen to him telling his stories. He performed two readings from Just A Geek. One was about his second day and wrapping up on the set of Nemesis, and the other, as he described it, was about a toy he had when he was a kid. Yes, the famous Death Star incident.

Wil - Thank you so much for performing for us. For taking just a bit of time to explore your geekiness with fellow, often disregarded Montreal-based geeks.

It was super amazing to go to the reading, and, as Ryan and Katie so well put it, network. It is true, what they said. Everywhere I go, people know me, they love me, they can't wait to meet me. But why?? I'm just me. Common courtesy. Treat others as you'd like to be treated. Don't be an ass. Actually LISTEN when people are talking. They might be sharing something crucial, something special, or of great worth to them, and you were the selected person to receive this precious information. You can just drop it on the cutting floor. Once those words reach your ears, they become yours as well. You are responsible of your actions, of the way you treat that information, that memory, that itty bitty part of that person, and their life.

In that same way, we were all witnesses to Wil's performance, and now, it's like we share that experience with him. We've all got a part of Wil in us, in our memories, and that's extra special. It's special not only because of who Wil is, and what he represents for us. It's special because another soul shared something with us and we accepted it.

During the question period where the audience monkeys had to think much so the head monkey could actually take a sip of water, someone asked about working on Star Trek, and what it brought to him as an actor. Wil, of course, told the story about the turbolift and other doors, and how they didn't speak while the doors made those "woosh" sounds. It was mostly because, well, the doors didn't "woosh". They squeaked and screached and yelped as they were being pullied open by the FX/props guy. And of course, voiceovers are expensive. Now imagine if you had to voiceover after every door opened on Star Trek... Millions and millions of dollars, right? So the actors just learned to shut up, and wait for the doors to close before saying their lines. Wil's little addition to the common story? He still does it. Not just when he's acting, but in real, everyday life, Wil cannot speak until the door is closed behind him. At this point, he commented that it was one of the bad habbits he'd picked up on the set. Of course, I couldn't resist, and had to ask what the others were. Gotta love those spur of the momment questions! The whole room laughed of course, and that was good :) The vibe was different, more relaxed, not that it wasn't relaxed before ;) And btw, the answers were poker... and other stuff ;)

Wil's a funny guy, but we already knew that. What we didn't realize is that Wil will (haha) actually take the time to welcome and talk to every single fan. During the book signing portion of the programme, every person had their 15 seconds to a minute of fame with Wil. I found this to be extremely thoughtful, and, well... un-celeb like, unless we compare it to the old Mike Ribeiro, or conversations with Doug Gilmore. For that short time when Wil was signing your books, movies, posters, etc., you were his whole world. It was just you and him. An exclusive 1-on-1, no matter how many other people were in the room, or peering over.

Turns out Chaz, a guy from Wil's forums that took a 10.5h bus ride to Montreal from Fredericton JUST to meet Wil (after a 12h shift, no less, and before his daughter's 3rd grade graduation), was standing in the line right before me/Katie/Ryan/Brian/Michael (Urbangeo from livejournal/Bandersnatch/Abbott -T'was nice to put a face to the name, and vice versa).

Chaz was really excited when I introduced myself. He said he'd really wanted to meet me, but the typepad link sent him to a non-existent page. Of course, the basics in my profile were filled in, but typepad links to your blog (non-existent), and not to your profile, so he couldn't contact me. I'd given him lotsa tips about where to hang out in Montreal and the like. During the wait, we all discussed Wil's work, Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Superman, and so much more! It was really interesting to see how much has changed and how little they have changed as well. Plus ca change, plus c'est pareil...

When Wil opened his pen to sign Chaz' books + DVD of Stand By Me (Special Edition that Wil hadn't seen yet), he desperately tried to get the cap stuck on the top of the pen. Of course, it was being stubborn. I offered up my Sharpie, and Wil was really excited, because Sharpies are the best, and all he had were silly little "fake Sharpies" permanent Bic pens. Anyone who's anyone knows that you can only use Sharpies for autographs. Duh. Wil also really likes the mini-Sharpies, which are super cool... I love the fact that there's some in many colors. In fact, I think I want the lime green one, even though I'd never use it. For autographs that is.

When it was my turn, I introduced myself at Starshine_Diva and said that I so super duper excited to meet him. His face light up, and he got really excited and giddy. We shook hands eagerly, each of us more giddy than the other. Turns out, he was really glad to see me because, well, apart from the fact that I started the demand, he was really thankful for all my support. Which, I was speechless at, at that momment. But truly, I am extremely honored, and thankful that Wil would actually know/remember who I am, and be excited to meet me. Extremely honored, especially when he said that he looks forward to my comments, because when he's sad, or gets many emails telling him he's a fraud, my comments cheer him up, and he feels that, at least, he's touching one person. Which I take to heart, I truly do. That is my goal in life. Touch at least one person with ever story, every comment. Just 1 person. That person will touch other people... kinda like paying it forward - A great movie, btw.

I let Wil keep my Sharpie, even though it was my blue one. To be fair, I still have that dark purple one, and while I prefer the blue one, I've been meening to get a new one, for better signing on cue cards. Maybe I'll get a mini-sharpie.

I had noticed that Wil's wife, Anne, had a Lush bag, and found it kinda amusing. She was sitting on a chair on the way out, in the hallway. There was a free seat next to her, so I sat down and told her how great Wil is, which I'm sure she already knows :P

We talked about cancer, and the marathons, and she updated me on the situation with her friend's sister, who was getting chemo. However, the chemo and other "new" treatments are less invasive than older treatments. I told her about Ryan's mom, and when we mentionned our names, later on, she put on a sad face when she heard Ryan's name. She said, "I have a Ryan too. I miss my Ryan." It was so cute, and so sweet... Poor Anne is gonna be without Wil for a very long time. After the 2 week cruise, they go home for a wedding. Then, Wil leaves for Poker Stars in Vegas for nearly a month, missing everyone's birthdays except for one. Last but not least, I told Anne I used to work at Lush, and turns out, she recieved it as a gift! It, of course, was the Come Fly with Me gift bag, which is actually being discontinued. I explained the different products to her, and how to use them. And she was truly impressed... and excited at the prospect of using all the cool products. The bag includes a Flying Fox 250ml shower gel bottle. I made her smell my Flying Fox temple balm, and she swooned. Honey blossom and Jasmin, reminded her of the jasmin plants in her front garden.

Anne is a truly beautiful person, inside and out. And while she's lucky to have Wil to share her life with, the inverse is also true. Wil is lucky to have Anne to tolerate his geekiness and shower him with love :)

To both of you, it was truly an honor to meet you, and to spend that little moment in your lives with you. Thank you for honoring me with your kind words, Wil, and for entertaining us for a couple of hours. Have a great cruise, both of you. I hope that the rest of your time in Montreal is a blast.


  1. Too bad I missed it. I coulda had Anne smell my coconut head.

  2. Ha!

    She didn't really know the store, actually... but mmmmmmm Trichomania!! :D

  3. BOOYA!(Ron Stopable voice) I was pleasently surprised to see that I got mentioned on your blog Nalia. I was indeed super excited to meet you and you awesome friends. I had a really great time chatting with you in line at the reading/signing and I was actually kinda sad we didn't get to hang out more. Maybe next time I get up there OK? Feel free to stop by my neck of the net and catch the pics I took of Wil's reading. Thanks again for being so cool.

  4. I did!! Very nice... Can't wait to see your blog account of his post!! :)

    Drop me a line when you're in town, and we'll see what we can do ;)