This past Thursday I had the pleasure of going to the Backstreet concert that was at the Woodlands Pavilion. As always, I had a blast but this show was a little more special than the ones previous. First off, I was lucky enough to get a pit ticket – which is the area closest to the stage. I’ve always wanted that (for any show that’s at the Pavilion) and I jumped at the chance to be in it for this show. (It wasn’t the cheapest ticket – $150 – but I’ve seen those go for $500+ on resale sites…so worth it!)
Anyway…Avril Lavigne opened for the Boys and was pretty good. I followed her back in the early 2000s when she first started but haven’t kept up with her.She was a great show and wonderful to photograph – mainly because the sun was still up and the lighting wasn’t so wonky…
Next was the main event…THE BOYS!!! Being in the pit area for the show has its advantages. Not only are you the closest to the stage…but you also get to interact more with the guys. I felt like a flippin’ teenager when I got to grab their hands – MULTIPLE TIMES!!! – and reach out and grab them. I was so close I could hear Nick and Brian’s sneakers squeak when they moved and I probably had sweat dripped on me at one point or another.
As a result of being in the pit area (or one of the ‘pit people’, as they called us), I had a lot of rear views for the night and my photos suffered. I opted a lot for my iPhone to take video and photos when they were technically behind me (and on the curved catwalk around the pit). However, I must say it was definitely worth the money, the aching feet and legs and the constant moving around to follow the boys. I’ve dreamed of that night since I was about 11 and it did not disappoint.
To be honest, I don’t think the younger version of me who sat in the nosebleeds way back during the Millennium and Black and Blue tours would have appreciated it as much as the current me. I certainly wouldn’t have remembered it or cherished the moment as much as I do now. There’s a perk to doing things when you’re older and wiser
After the show, the boys had an after party where they ‘partied’ with the fans and took photos and autographed things for the fans (while they could). I splurged and got the ‘diamond’ VIP after party package which included a photo with 4 of the guys (Brian doesn’t do these things, for whatever reason). I wanted to do the soundcheck party before the show but I work and I didn’t want to take off time (which ended up only potentially being 60-90 minutes *smacks forehead*) so the after party was the consolation prize.
I had photos from last year’s show printed out (at the last minute) since I heard so many people on the fan club forum saying how the boys will sign things if you bring stuff. Since I was VIP for the after party, I was allowed to be at the front of the pack and the stage when the boys finished the photos and started partying. Thanks to that, I accomplished part of what I had set out to do for the night. I got Howie’s autograph with little struggle early in the night. I would have gotten AJ’s if I had been more tenacious and went back in the crowd when he ‘mingled’ with fans. However I was so hell-bent on getting Kevin’s autograph (and non-existent selfie) that I stayed where I was until it happened. AND IT DID….or at least the autograph part.
There was a struggle with the silver Sharpie I brought – pretty sure it was half dried out – and he struggled with it for a minute, scribbled on the back to make sure it worked and then signed. I felt so freaking embarrassed. I kept yelling ‘Thank you!!!!!!!’ at him and he, from what I remember, gave me a pity smile like ‘This poor girl…’. But again, it was totally worth it. I even thanked him for the autograph and big hug I gave him before the photo via twitter and he replied. Kinda…but still. He tweeted me and that made the whole experience even better. 😀
I posted some photos from the show on my flickr account. I’m moving to that platform for posting photos because of the ease of upload and, let’s face it, flickr is more common and easy to use than what I have now. I guess you can say the photos there are easier to share and more readily available to view than they would be in a coppermine gallery. I’m keeping my gallery up for the ‘archive’ of past conventions and concerts – but I’m moving to flickr from now on.
Along with some personal drama over the past few weeks, I need to write a blurb about my trip to Las Vegas and a little event called VegasCon.
I don’t know how many people will actually see this or know this blog exists. However I imagine if you’re reading this, chances are you got here from viewing my gallery and my con photos. You’ve seen the photos (or maybe not…) so do you want to read about it?
The con overall was a pretty great 4 day break from reality. I got to see actors and actresses I’ve never seen or met before and that’s really what it’s about – meeting people, famous or not. Of course, the con regulars like Richard, Rob, and Matt are always good to see again.
I wanted to be pretty laid back at this con because I wanted to relax, sit back, and enjoy the events without feeling like I was rushing off for a photo op or an autograph. The only ops I got were on Saturday (with Jared and the duo with him and Jensen) and Sunday with Misha. I only got a handful of autographs because of the chaos of the autograph lines (which I’ll talk about later…). Even with having a ‘chill’ con planned, it still wore me out. I think it was mainly the ~10 minute walk to the convention center from our hotel room (and vice versa) and the schedule going so late into the evening. I didn’t up hitting the bed most nights until midnight, only to wake up at 7.
My photo ops, though always nerve-wracking and panic-inducing, turned out pretty well this time. I usually screw up my duo photos by not smiling right or asking for the ‘squeeze’ and having Jared literally squeeze me to tight it nearly popped my back. I wanted something different and my dear friend Amy suggested the arm-on-shoulder thing. The end product:
It’s pretty much my favorite and the guys are such good sports about anything and (most) everything that’s thrown at them during the photo ops sessions. The autograph sessions went well too. I usually clam up and chicken out on anything conversationally with Jared whenever I see him. However this time I bought a little something special during our day out on the strip. I found an M&M Boba Fett (Star Wars) fan at the M&M world and thought it would be perfect
for Jared. It was. His eyes light up and he says how amazing it is and ‘I’m gonna have to steal this from you!’ I tell him it’s his and he gives me a high five and was still totally amazed by it. (I’m in a haze by now, naturally) I say my thank you and he winks and blows me a kiss (and I blow one back at him, as one does…) and I walk off…apparently nearly into a wall. All of this was after the girl in front of me had a huge banner version of one of the season 9 promos – the one with the v-neck sweater – and Jared mentioned he should wear that to a con soon. I chimed in, ‘Yes! Please!’. He heard me, laughed, and said, ‘HEY NOW. YOU CALM DOWN!’ I was embarrassed but it eased me into the gift-giving. The whole interaction pretty much made my weekend and sucked me back into a happy place after some not-so-great moments of the hours before.
I have to say one of the highlights of the convention was having so many female cast members attend. This was the most I’ve seen seen at a convention tied with last year’s Chicago con having 4 – thanks to the late addition of Alaina Huffman, and the others having 2, 1 or 0 females among a sea of actors.
It really tells me something when there are so many fabulous ladies who’ve been on the show and we don’t get to hear from them, hear their stories, interact with them and meet them at these events. I wish Creation would realize how important having these actresses (and any actress who’s been on the show – Amy Gumenick, Alona Tal, Amanda Tapping, Cindy Sampson, even Genevieve Padalecki – I’ve been campaigning for all these wonderful women to appear at more or even just one convention) attend these events and let their stories be heard. If anything, they should know from Felicia and Kim’s panel (not to downplay Nicki and Rachel) how empowering they are for the females in the fandom. These are strong, intelligent, amazing women who are voice for those who can’t be heard. We desperately need more of them at the cons.
I only have a few complaints about how it went – one of those being the autograph lines and having to wait so long for your chance. I understand that’s what happens when you have so many people wanting to meet someone. However, allowing people to spend up to 5 minutes with a guest at the table is inappropriate. Granted, it was Thursday and the guests were Nicki Aycox and Rachel Miner. I’m a fan of both these ladies but allowing fans ahead in the line to spend so much time with them and have a full-on conversation with them really puts everyone else at a disadvantage – especially when one of the Creation staff notices the lines not moving and decides it’s time to step in. I love the fan interaction with the cast members but this would never happen on J2 day, just by the shear (and much larger than Nicki and Rachel’s lines) numbers of people wanting those guys’ autographs. The handlers would be rushing people along, cutting them off from something they were telling the guys, and herding people through like cattle.
It could have been that it was Day 1 and they hadn’t quite gotten the kinks worked out. I had a not-so-great day that day because of getting blocked and unable to get many good shots of the guests during their panels. This has happened at every con I’ve been to (six, in total) and I don’t see the delayed start time or extra long waits going away soon.
Overall it was a good con with some really good friends. I guess you can say we liked it enough we impulsively re-upped for 2015. So…viva Las Vegas, again. Also – how long until DallasCon??
A lot has happened since the last time I posted. First of all, we welcomed a new baby girl into the family on July 5th! Though she was past her due date, Novena Bowman graced us with her presence and we couldn’t be happier. Her whole family (grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins) was there to welcome her into the world. She’s now 3 months old and is just as adorable and great as we predicted. My parents and I have flown to Tennessee a few times since her arrival and we’re shocked at how quickly and how much she’s grown. It’s hard when you’re so far away from family and can’t see the new little ones as much as you’s like. We’re flying up in early November to see her and her parents again and then we’ll see them at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Patience is a virtue in this kind of circumstance and we thoroughly enjoy spending what little time we have when them up there and getting updates, photos and videos sent to us over our email and iPhones.
Another great thing that happened since my last post – and more recently – is my trip to Dallas. I attended the Salute to Supernatural event that was held there and had an amazing time – an even better than my first convention I went to last year! I met some really great people who quickly became great friends and met some of the actors from the show – some for the second time. I had great seats, if I can say that, and took pretty good photos. I’m planning on loading them to the gallery some time this weekend. I can’t wait to share them with those interested. I’ll go going to another convention in a few weeks in Chicago and I’ll be back in Dallas again next year. My friends and I are already planning our shenanigans for next year. It’s going to be great. I cannot wait!
One more milestone to mention is the fact that I’ve lost approximately 40 pounds since I started my ‘diet’ plan back in March. I’m back down and beyond where I was when I graduated from grad school in December 2010. Last year was tough for me in every aspect of my life, especially food and motivation to be healthy. I finally kicked my butt into gear and I’m trying to make a permanent change for the better. SO far, so good. The next challenge approaching is Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’m hoping I won’t freak out like I’ve done in the past and eat everything in sight. I need to make better food choices, slow down, enjoy what I have and not eat like every meal is my last meal.
I think that’s it for now. Until next time…