Well, it's been quite the busy weekend, what with weddings,births, and graduations. I'm so happy for all of you, and I can't say that strongly enough. There has just been a bounty of joy and love and happiness concentrated over the past few days, and it's wonderful.
My weekend was pretty darn awesome as well, even though it didn't include any life-changing events. Well, maybe it did.
It's no secret that my entertainment of choice is television. I've probably devoted way too large a percentage of my brain to TV trivia, my own personal TV history, and housing a veritable IMDB inside my head. I know about shows, past and present and even ones I haven't watched. It's just my thing. So when I heard about the ATX Festival - a weekend celebrating all things TV - I knew immediately that I needed to be a part of it. Not that I bought my ticket 3 seconds later. Oh no, that would have violated my intensely frugal nature (duh), my tendency to procrastinate and stew, and my penchant for putting everything possible before myself. But I felt it call to me (or maybe that was just the voice of Jennie urging me along), and I hit purchase on a full access pass. In October. For June.
And then I waited.
Finally, the day arrived, and Jennie and I made tracks for the festival, where we met up with Erica (seriously, if you're going to a TV festival, there are no better 2 people to tag along behind - they are awesome). This being only its second year, I really had no idea what to expect. I had visions of long lines and huge throngs of fans and maybe getting to see an actor from a distance through binoculars. So imagine my surprise when we moseyed our way into the theater for our first junket of the day, the Friday Night Lights cast panel, and sat right on down in the front row (Hey, Bob Uecker, look at me!). Right before they released this hotness onto the stage.
And then I fanned myself.
They started the panel even though there were a couple of open seats at the table, but I figured (all I dared to imagine) that there was a couple of no shows. Anyway, they showed up a favorite clip of the two lead actors, Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler, doing what they did (do) best, and I was just charmed. Again, daring not to hope, but maybe, maybe, hey, there are 2 empty seats, what if -
GAH! HERE THEY COME! KYLE CHANDLER AND CONNIE BRITTON ARE 10 FEET AWAY FROM ME!
And with that, the whole thing was made for me. I could go home happy. Wow.
Seriously, it was the best moment of the entire kit and kaboodle. And only partly because I now had someone age appropriate to drool over. They - all - were charming and funny and gracious and clearly appreciative of both the series that gave them this experience and this particular moment itself. My only regrets were 1) that I did not have a single tissue to hand to the lovely Louanne Stephens (who played Grandma Saracen to perfection) when no one from the festival could produce one, and 2) that I didn't hang around to take pictures after the panel was through. I would have loved some shots without a giant table in front of everyone. But now I have goals.
Despite that being a crowning, heart attack inducing moment for the ages, it was only the beginning. I got to see panels that included the never-aging Scott Wolf from Party of Five (and his equally darling co-stars Paula Devicq, Wilson Cruz, and Lacey Chabert, all growed up), Scott Porter (yes, again) and Wilson Bethel from Hart of Dixie (seriously with the hotness), and finally a cavalcade of talent (and hotness) from actors across the channels and years, whom I could list, but instead I'll just show you a picture so I can share the hotness:
Yes, I realize that I could be most of these whippersnappers' mother, but I can appreciate hotness and give it its due. Nice job, actual mothers. And also: Kyle and Joshua, we of slightly enhanced experience can hang out anytime. We'll drink margaritas while the rest of them get carded.
By the time this final panel drew to a close, I decided to get over my inner timid mouse and make something of the moment. I did now shrink out of the door and just stood there until I could make this happen:
I'm kind of proud of myself for not giving into my fear of people and of myself a fool of myself in front of said people and just going for the moment and the memory. I mean, I probably did make a fool out of myself (at least to Jennie and Erica, but they didn't run screaming from me so I couldn't have been that bad, but then again, Jennie did need me to get home), and I still don't have the perfect line to make a celebrity instantly decide we should be the bestest of friends, but I'm not going to let that bother me. I got to hug Joshua Malina and Scott Porter. Kyle Chandler - next year, I'm coming for you.
Thanks to my husband for agreeing to my crazy scheme to make plans and pay money toward something that wouldn't happen for 8 months. Thanks to Jennie for bringing this whole thing to my attention and actually encouraging me to join her in the marvelous madness. Thanks to Erica for providing the best snarky comments and not calling security when I decided I was getting a picture with someone famous come hell or high water. Thanks to security for not tackling me when I did just that, or for any one of the 243 pictures I took while flagrantly disobeying the no photography disclaimer (and also, ha, no photos - that's funny, 2013 TV conference). Thanks to Natalie for sharing her home and family with us for a weekend (I'm pretty sure the coffee talk was as entertaining as all the TV bizness). And thanks to the ATX Festival for existing. Full stop.
Excuse me while I go pack 14 boxes of Kleenex in my luggage for next year.