So... day three of TwiCon! Wow, Saturday seems like six months ago already. The whole week already seems like some strange dream that happened in an alternate universe.
Okay, so the first thing I was involved in that day was the breakfast with Alex Meraz, who plays Paul in New Moon. It started a bit shaky as the food was kinda meh (danish and muffins), and people seemed a bit peeved, but then I think we helped them realize Alex was the main event...not breakfast, really. And Alex was brilliant (sorry for the fuzzy picture, flash was prohibited).
He's such a cool, laid back, and grounded guy. He
was honest, funny, and open. And I learned quite a bit about him that I didn't know. For example, he was about to sign up to join Cirque du Solei when he got the call about New Moon, he went to art school from the age of 13 (he's a painter), had a Fullbright scholarship, and is a dancer (I can't remember the name of the martial art he does; it's like break dancing...but not quite). Very cool guy, and I liked his mantra; it matches mine quite well with the 'do what you love and things start working out.... be joyful in all you do, do the best that you can, and things seem to fall into place.' It was also a nice moment of insight and calm in the middle of TwiCon craziness!
So after that I went through the vendor hall for the first time and enjoyed pouring over all of the kitchy little Twilight things. I was kind of amazed there weren't more vendors there
though- shouldn't someone
have been selling the books and the DVD? Or Hot Topic had a table of their licensed
materials? But what was there was fun. Jewelry, sign ups for fan trips, character-inspired lotions, dolls, tshirts and posters. Then I went to the session where they announced the winner of the Fan Fiction contest, and she read her story to us which was cool. The theme was 100 years after Breaking Dawn, so it was neat to hear how people thought the characters continued their lives. You can check that out on Twilighted.net.
Then I thought I'd just pop into the Dallas Ballroom to see how the setup for the Q&A was going, and it was a bit manic! So I helped out there (and here was the apparently memorable sound check). It took a bit longer than planned to get the audience seated, but it was worth the wait I think when the actors came out. People freaked. I keep thinking I've heard the loudest these fans can get (Breaking Dawn release, UK Premiere...) but it just keeps getting more manic. Peter Facinelli, Jackson Rathbone, Alex Meraz, Kellan Lutz, Billy Burke, and Christian Serratos were there, and it was a lot of fun. The questions were kind of random ('Jackson, if Jasper had a band, what would he call it?') but they came up with some wicked clever answers (Peter: The Grateful Undead... Alex: 100 Vampires... cute). They were flirty with the audience, funny, relaxed, and gotta admit it, they looked good.
There was a bit of an awkward lull at one point, and Peter decided it was a good idea that he jump off stage and run through the audience, and upon his return he said 'That was the scariest thing...' Not gonna lie, I thought he was gonna get attacked and come back with broken ribs. Glad he made it. And he did that on no sleep and manic audience members (he'd just come back from Hawaii and had been up for something like 36 hours). But the audience loved it, and it really lifted the session. It was great fun.
It was over far too early, but they had to keep moving if people wanted their pictures with the actors. That was efficient, apparently, so that's one plus! My next stop was the Meet & Greet. It was kind of like speed dating. All of the fans came in and sat at tables leaving one chair open, and then the actors came in plus some of the periphery Big Names (Kaleb Nation, Hillywood, Twilight Music Girls etc.), and spent two minutes at each table before they were forced to switch. They were running short on time, and we didn't see everyone, but I was at a rockin' table. I was with Danyelle and Luisa, two of my fellow staff members, and then four great gals, Colleen Hearn, Elizabeth Savoic, Nicole Anderson, and Seraphina Gonzalez (sorry if I got the names wrong, it's hard to read your writing, girls!).
We were totally the party table, Billy Burke even passed another table to come hang with us, and we got some great inside info. We had prepared ahead of time so we knew exactly what we were going to ask people, and I'm summarizing their responses; they're NOT direct quotes. Here's a bit of the rundown:
We had Peter Facinelli first:
Me: Do you ever refer to the books while you are filming? Or re-read them to stay close to the character?
Peter: Yeah, I just finished Eclipse. I read the books before we start filming, but once we're filming, I just go off of the script to keep the character a bit more my own, but I still
know where Carlisle is coming from.
With Jackson Rathbone (after he did a little rap for us on the table, with the stellar lyrics of 'yo, yo, yo')
Me: So Jackson, in the first film they don't really talk about Jasper's ability. It's kinda crucial to his character... is that rectified in New Moon?
Jackson (I'm summarizing, this isn't a direct quote): Definitely. It's quick, one of those movie magic, 'easily fixed with one scene or one line' things, but basically I have a conversation with Alice where she asks me to help Bella enjoy her birthday, and then during the birthday I'm working my magic and Bella says, 'Jasper, stop that.' so it becomes more clear.
Us: Did you get to do your own stunts?
Jackson: Yes! All except for crashing into the piano. I got to go up to that point though. And that was funny, I'd run to crash into Rob, and I'd be followed by these guys with a giant crash pad, then I had to throw myself backwards to show how hard Edward threw me back and the guys would catch me on the pad. It was fun...but very strange.
Then we had Billy Burke, who amazingly has not read the books yet; this is interesting to me as I was told last year on set that 'the central cast has all read the book'....maybe they didn't rope him into that, but I can see how Billy Burke is an entity unto himself :)
Us: How many times did you have to pull Gil Birmingham up those steps in the wheelchair?
Billy: Oh, 15 or 16 times. I've got practice with people in wheelchairs, so we didn't have to rehearse, but yeah, it was all muscle. And Gil didn't help at all. He was a big lummox.
Our last guest was Christian Serratos who I worked with during Vampire Baseball, so we cut straight to the chase with her character:
Me: So Christian, Angela is supposed to be dating Ben, and we learned about how they got together in Midnight Sun, but he's gone...is Eric replacing that?
Christian: Yes, they've kind of set it up already with us going to prom together. There's a bit more canoodling with Eric in New Moon and then in Eclipse.... (and she makes a funny face with raised eyebrows... haha)
We also chatted with Craig Deering, one of the guys from Evil Iguana. Some interesting points with him were that he saw the film first and then read the book, and was very disappointed in the book. He wanted to see more of the fighting and killing of James, and assumed the book would have more, so was pissed that there wasn't more action.... but in a rather hysterical way :) He also said girls are crazy, and guys would love to know their thoughts...sometimes.
And Kimber, who was the hand model for Twilight (it's her hands on the cover); she said her popularity has skyrocketed with Twilight and CNN is working on a story about parts modeling because of her. It's interesting how Twilight really is invading EVERYTHING.
Okay, after the Q & A we waved goodbye to the cast (Billy grabbed another beer on the way out, it was pretty great), and went to change for the ball.
Honestly at this point I was on my seventeenth wind, was really tired, rather worn out, and probably could have just crashed... but the ball was REALLY fun. It was one of those situations where you kind of remove yourself to fully absorb the craziness around you, and then I slowly just dove in head first. People took the costume aspect very seriously, and the outfits were stunning. Marcus Foster was playing when we got there, and as we hadn't eaten in about four days we ate some food and enjoyed listening to him for a bit, then started making the rounds, chatting with my panelists, running into Ashley ten times, losing Luisa, Danyelle and Kallie umpteen times and refinding them again... it was neat. It was a big slice of crazy, but once you accept that this is an exceptional situation and just give into it, it was SO much fun.
People were dancing, smiling, complimenting everyone's outfits, taking pictures with Hillywood (Jasper and Alice were in their prom gear, with Alice's dress being a perfect replica of the description from the book, and Bella and
Edward were dressed exactly like that godawful Entertainment Weekly cover from ages back... so funny.
There was a costume contest too, so we got to
see all of the costumes in all their glory. My
favorites were the grou
p of five girls who had gowns made by one of them, inspired by the book covers. They were GORGEOUS and so fun. Also the two guys who we think came on their own... smart move as they were covered in women for the rest of the evening taking photographs with them and 'Edward' biting their necks. Funny stuff... they were good costumes though. 'Edward' even had gold contacts, and 'Jacob'...well, he wasn't really in a costume, but he looked just like Taylor Lautner, just about a foot shorter. Cute. Mini Jacob.
I vaguely remember the night ending, but I somehow dragged my exhausted body to bed and passed out around 1 or 2 I think. I'll put all of my photos up soon. I need to leave Webshots, but everytime I think about doing that it's as I'm writing a blog post, and to be honest... I can't be bothered at the moment!
Well there's the TwiCon reports. I still have another video to upload too from the Q&A session, but it's taking forever, so I'll do it next time. I've got some debriefing stuff to do, I want to survey my panelists and see what worked, and what didn't work that I am able to fix... not TwiCon as a whole... just the academic bits, and then I think I need a massive breather from TwiCon. I have a chapter to finish, I still want to write up about my experience PA-ing in Oregon, and I just got the official photos (well, some of them that were approved for posting and sharing) from Vampire Baseball! So I'll get those up too. (this picture is from baseball, it's Peter in his private booth next to the dugout talking to fans during the coffee sessions).
AAaaaaand breathe. I'm in Boston now, and definitely moving into the Boston Public Library tomorrow for a full day of work. YAY.