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One life goal completed!

That's how my husband termed it, anyway. I met David Tennant.

Two weeks ago, they announced that DT would be at the Wizard World Comicon in Raleigh. My husband, the wonderful man that he is, immediately told me to make reservations and go, to make sure to get in before it sells out. So I did: fly in Friday night, spend Saturday playing the creepy stalker, and fly out Sunday morning.

I won't waste any bytes here describing Raleigh or the trip itself, though I will say that I am very sad that I didn't get the chance to see the city or NCSU much; I love exploring new cities. Saturday was the big day: photo ops at 11 a.m., autographs at 1 p.m., and panel at 3 p.m, followed by photo op and autograph sessions for the other group. I honestly don't know when the poor man had time to eat, as he went directly from one event to the next. No wonder he's so thin.

The photo op was mostly a blur to me. It was literally walk in, "Hi! How are you doing today?" (him), "Great, thanks!" (me), *SNAP*, and the handlers shuffling me out. The autograph session gave a little more time. First, he wasn't behind a curtain, so you could watch other people getting their things signed. When it's your turn, you hand your item to be signed to the handler, and the handler gives it to DT. Almost everyone wanted a picture signed, either the picture from the photo op or one of the pictures they had available (you received one for free even if you didn't want it signed; I was disappointed they had nothing newer than Series 4 and especially no Alec Hardy, and I chose a print of Ten and Donna), though I did see two people, a mother and daughter, who brought in one poster and one Tenth Doctor cardboard standup. I had the item that I had with me in Victoria last year: my cricket ball. When the handler handed it to him, he stared at it and said, "Um, I think this is for someone else." I assured him that I really want the ball signed by both him and Peter Davison, and he said, "Okay. Though I don't really know how to do this." I got the chance to thank him for inspiring me and changing my life (because I wouldn't be traveling and I wouldn't be writing and I wouldn't be here if it weren't for his performance as the Doctor), and we exchanged a couple of other sentences before the handler pushed me out (which was fine - there were other people waiting, of course).

Then there was the panel. I won't describe it, because you can go watch the videos on YouTube (though I did film the entire thing), but I really enjoyed it, mostly because I was in the room with him and I could really get a feel for his personality. Who he is, and simply his personal energy and presence, just doesn't translate over video, you know? He amazed me with how excited and warm he was, to this mass of probably six hundred people, after spending the last four hours in a whirlwind of over-excited fans. When a young child came up to the microphone to ask a question, he knelt down to listen to her. It was beautiful. Oh! And the way he expresses himself! He used the word "vertiginous" in casual conversation! I've always admired the way he weaves his words, and his extensive vocabulary, but to hear it in person...

I enjoyed every bit of my experience with Mr. Tennant. But I have to say that I was not impressed with Wizard World or the con. Now, understand that I've never been at a con like this before (my only other con was the very first Minecon, and that did not have celebrity appearances), so I really don't have anything to compare to, but I felt very much like sheep. Everything was geared toward getting as many people through as possible, and the plan for the throughput was not well designed. (At one point, after waiting for 45 minutes, a few hundred people who arrived after us started moving ahead of us because the lines were poorly designed and were not guarded by the handlers; my friend and I had to cut ahead to regain our place.) I understand that they are in this to make money and therefore they're not going to turn away anyone who's willing to pay for the "VIP Experience" (I am sure con attendance doubled when they announced that DT would be there), but it really wasn't a VIP experience. (Pro tip: If you're getting a photo at the con to get signed, buy your own 8x10 hard plastic sleeve and bring it. They cost about $1, if you buy them in packs of 25, or $1.5 if you buy them individually, but Wizard World will sell them to you while you're standing in line for $5 apiece.) Wizard World just announced that DT is going to appear with Billie Piper at their con in Philadelphia, and I weep for the people who pay to attend that. Raleigh was small; Philadelphia is going to be a madhouse.

The con itself had nothing else of interest to me, but that's really my fault for being very specific in my interests. I had hoped that the dealer room would be interesting, but that was also disappointing. Probably because of DT's appearance, the vendors were concentrating on Doctor Who merchandise, but at least to me, you can't hold my interest with stuff that I can get on the web. There were a few local fan artists with interesting things (and I purchased an infinity scarf embroidered with Gallifreyan writing), but scant few. And for a "Comicon", there was very little actual comic art. There were a few booths of artists selling their comics, but not much, and certainly no representation from Marvel or DC. And no anime.

However, I'm not going to dwell on the bad things. I had a good time! I met a lot of people, most of which I chatted with in line about all kinds of things, and three of which I hung out with and have connected with on Facebook. I don't have many friends who are Doctor Who fans, so it was nice to get to spend time with a crowd of people with the same interests. And I really can't say enough about how wonderful Mr. Tennant was. Even in the few seconds I got to interact with him, he was interested and attentive and actually happy to meet me. He was absolutely brilliant.

No, I won't post my picture with him here, but here's my other proof.



( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 17th, 2015 12:39 am (UTC)
What a delightful post!! From what I gather most conventions are a cluster@#$% but the people you meet there are what really make the con!! Actually meeting DT must have been a blast!! Color me jealous!

Mar. 17th, 2015 04:46 pm (UTC)
Thanks! It was a wonderful experience, and yes, I met a number of very cool people there. And on the flight back, the guy next to me turned out to be a geek/Whovian/roleplayer/Trekkie/Browncoat college professor, so that was a great time, too. (The conversation started when he told me how much he liked my DW t-shirt and TARDIS pendant.)

DT was completely wonderful. I really can't stress that enough. I hope you get the chance to meet him someday!
Mar. 17th, 2015 10:43 pm (UTC)
I'm hoping against hope he winds up on the west coast or in the southwest before too too long. I toyed for about five minutes with the idea of dropping everything and booking a flight to Philadelphia (or slightly more seriously, combining that with a trip to Nova Scotia my husband and I have been semi-planning to take in May or June), since at least there we got some notice more than 2 weeks in advance, but it's really not a practical idea. These Wizard World people, lame though the cons themselves might be, do have assorted west coast dates later this year (including one almost literally in my back yard), so maybe, who knows. Fingers crossed.
Mar. 17th, 2015 11:40 pm (UTC)
I've thought about possibly doing the Sacramento one if he appears there. DT's really the only actor I would drop everything to go see, and now that I've done it, it would have to be convenient for me to do it again. The only other person I will go to an event specifically to see is Peter Davison, but it would need to be much more planned than this trip. That's my other life goal! ;)
Mar. 18th, 2015 01:16 am (UTC)
Sacramento would be workable and San Jose would be easy peasy. I could also hack Reno or possibly Portland, although in a time-off-work sense, the Portland date next year could be tricky because I have another convention the previous weekend (not Gallifrey One though). Ah well, we'll see.

You're here in California somewhere then (if Sacramento is "convenient")?

BTW, re Peter Davison, lol @ DT's comment about the cricket ball.

Edited at 2015-03-18 01:17 am (UTC)
Mar. 18th, 2015 01:36 am (UTC)
I'm in Oregon, actually - Sacramento would be an easy trip by train, I believe. The SF area also isn't too bad for me either. I'm sure the con appearances he's making are due to the fact that he's in the US for AKA Jessica Jones, so I doubt the Portland con next year is likely. I was actually surprised that he didn't do the Seattle Comicon in 2014, since he was filming Gracepoint in Victoria at the time.

Yes, I was very pleased that he understood that the cricket ball was more of a nod to Davison. But it's his, too, since he used one once. (So did Tom Baker, now that I think about it.)
Mar. 18th, 2015 05:45 am (UTC)
Yeah, I doubt Portland is that likely either, for pretty much that reason. I figure there might be just a couple more appearances, if that. Sacramento in June is probably even too much to hope for, too far in the future. But maybe he'd be around for some other thing within the next couple of years, or something. I only really started paying attention since last fall, so I don't know how often he does US cons.
Mar. 18th, 2015 06:15 pm (UTC)
I've only been paying attention since about Sept 2013 (when I fell *hard* into DW), and this is the first time I've seen him do a con. I think I heard he did one in 2012, and before that it was 2010. He might still be in the US in June. It took them five months to film ten episodes of "Gracepoint". I think he's only been here for about a month and there's thirteen episodes of "AKA Jessica Jones", so a six-month schedule would have him here through July. Here's hoping! :)
Mar. 18th, 2015 07:26 pm (UTC)
Sept 2013 (when I fell *hard* into DW)

lol, I did that too. In 2006 when I was living in Canada with my then-fiance (now husband), it was a land of magical broadband internet where you could, gasp, even contemplate the idea of downloading tons of video - like Doctor Who. (Despite living in "Silicon Valley" now, broadband wasn't available at our house until 2009!) So through a friend he had bootlegs of S1 and I watched it and... didn't really get it. (In retrospect the fact that I don't really click with Christopher Eccleston and am a bit wishy-washy on both Billie Piper and the Rose character may have had something to do with it.) I don't think I saw any of Ten's episodes in first run, though of course I was vaguely familiar with the character and his appearance. I casually watched an episode of Eleven now and then, not really making any effort to keep up.

And then for some reason, last October I got a bug in my ear that "hey, you know, I think actually want to have this in my cultural vocabulary" and sat down in front of Netflix to binge-watch and actually pay attention. And BAM, I was suddenly in love with a Time Lord, and there was a desire for that eternal enabler of obsessions, fandom.

It's funny about David Tennant, though. Prior to this he was really someone I was only kind of vaguely aware of as an actor. I knew he was Barty Crouch (to whom my reaction was basically "do you have to act with your tongue?" - little did I know how then-nonexistent tumblr would run with that idea...) the Doctor and that was about it. I had no idea there was this wonderful wide land of all this other stuff he'd done both prior and since.

I think it was that Radio Times list of 10 top episodes of New Who described Ten's popularity as "stratospheric" and it's not hard to see why. He's incredibly engaging as an actor, makes it very easy to get involved with whatever material he's doing. Like I watched the production of Hamlet he was in a little while back and while my previous memory of that play is that it can be a bit of a drag, it was like bam, three fascinated hours just flew by (and actually some bits of it struck me as sarcastically hilarious), and what's more, piqued a bit of interest in Shakespeare in general. He's like a gateway drug, lol.

bleh, sorry to go off like that. It's still new relationship energy for me, lol.
Mar. 18th, 2015 08:08 pm (UTC)
Oh, no, please continue! I love talking with people about DW, hearing about their love for the show and the Doctor. It's absolutely my obsession and I can't get enough of it.

I only started watching DW in Aug 2013, just three months before the 50th. My husband had grown up as a huge fan of the show, in the 70s and 80s, and he'd told me all about it. I remember watching the Eighth Doctor movie with him when it was first broadcast: it was terrible and he was so disappointed. Then when the new series came out, he refused to watch it, afraid that it would be bad and ruin his memories of the old show (probably because of his experience with the movie), and he kept that attitude even though we heard that the show was good. Finally, in Aug 2013, we bought the first series and he popped it in while I was playing on the computer or something, and within 5 minutes, I was sitting right next to him, completely enthralled. Like you said, BAM, in love with a Time Lord. The idea of this man who is just this one insignificant individual, who wants to travel the universe, exploring and learning, but tries his best to do good and help people through his intelligence and wit - that's what captivated me.

I know what you mean about David Tennant being incredibly engaging as an actor. My husband likes to tease me that I only like him because he's handsome, but he's so much more than that. (And in fact, my favorite character he's portrayed, Alec Hardy, is certainly not his most physically attractive.) I don't really know what it is about him, but he has the ability to morph himself into these characters so completely, you stop seeing them as him, the actor, and you see them as themselves. Does that make any sense? So many other actors are just actors playing the part.

One thing I've noticed about his Shakespeare work is that he understands the play and the language, and that understanding pervades his performance, making it more understandable for the audience and therefore more engaging. I watched the Joss Whedon "Much Ado About Nothing" and even though I know the play and understand it pretty well because of the Tate/Tennant version, I lost interest halfway through because it was obvious that the leads didn't understand what they were saying and couldn't portray their characters because they were simply reciting memorized lines. DT's "Hamlet" was the same way. His delivery did the work for me, helping me to understand the archaic English, which gave me time to appreciate the wonderful words and phrasing that the Bard chose. It was an eye-opening experience, as previously, the Shakespeare I had seen had been dull and obtuse.
Mar. 18th, 2015 08:13 am (UTC)
I looked at tickets for Wizard Con in Philly, since I live right near by. The VIP experience for Tennant and Piper is $600, not counting the price of admission. My soul was crushed. I'll have to settle for making my husband take me out to dinner in his 10th Doctor suit. The struggle is real.

Still, I am happy to live vicariously through you. It sounds like it was an amazing experience.
Mar. 18th, 2015 05:14 pm (UTC)
Oh, I can totally understand! The Raleigh VIP Experience was $400 (but that included admission). I'm already questioning a little if it was worth the price, if only because there was nothing else at the con for me. Philly is going to be packed AND the time is going to be split between Tennant and Piper, which wouldn't be worth it to me (I'm not interested in Billie Piper).

I've thought about it a bit, and I think my Victoria trip to see him filming "Gracepoint" was a far more fulfilling experience, even though I didn't actually get to meet him then. Part of it has to do with getting to explore Victoria and Sidney, which I value almost more than actually seeing DT (one of the things that DW opened my eyes to is going out to explore the world and meeting people). But even though DT only passed in front of me, I got to see him while he was working, not putting on a show for everyone. (Not that I think he's faking when he's interacting with fans. I think he's genuinely the wonderful person he seemed to be at the con, but to some extent, he's still performing when he's in front of everyone like that.) He was a real person then (and he's very intense when he's concentrating on his work, though you can see that he's enjoying every moment of it), and that was wonderful to see, even from a distance.

But, Raleigh was great and I am so glad I did it. I have even more respect for him now.
Mar. 24th, 2015 08:41 pm (UTC)
Oh god, that is wonderful!!! I'm sorry the con was a disappointment, but you met David Tennant!!!! And he sounds like he was absolutely amazing, indeed. Bless ♥ I'm so happy for you!
Mar. 24th, 2015 10:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you! He was absolutely amazing! I just don't have the words to describe what a beautiful man he is.
Mar. 30th, 2015 08:34 pm (UTC)
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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