Thursday, June 7, 2012

Sitting With Stars

Starting the day at an early 7:30, seemed like a stretch especially when it consists of interacting with television stars. I wasn't sure if I would be functioning normal to handle suppressing my inner-fangirl. Yet at my station at the Inter-Continental Hotel, went smoothly as the sight of stars woke me up. After working a few panels and chatting with other volunteers, my day was off to a good start.

The Friday Night Lights panel was on everyone's mind. Fans began forming a line early hoping to snatch the best seat to see the cast. While I helped place attendees in their lines, I encountered FNL cast members without knowing. Scott Porter and Matt Lauria sat down chatting away as fans in line snapped photos and squealed. I was clueless about the FNL cast, since I had never seen the show. After a hilarious panel I met up with the cast to talk with them, thanking them for coming. Swiftly I snapped a few photos with them, knowing I would later end up watching the show.

After FNL, I helped put more attendees in line and then headed to the "Book to Film" panel. Knowing Julie Plec (creator & executive producer) was going to be speaking, I hopped in the room and listened to her scoop on "The Vampire Diaries." When that finished I helped with few more tasks and I was free to go. Thirsty, I headed outside looking for the nearest smoothie shop. When I walked out the front door I saw the ever so tall, Neil Flynn ("The janitor" from Scrubs). I had to grab a photo since I loved him in Scrubs and watch "The Middle," every Wednesday. 

        Scott Porter (Jordan Street) [FNL].                                                   Micheal B Jordan.  (Vince Howard) [FNL]
Gaius Charles (Brian 'Smash' Williams) [FNL]                                           Neil Flynn (The Janitor) [Scrubs]

After a refreshing smoothie & a nice walk around downtown Austin, I arrived at the hotel to wait for Stripes to get off her shift. As I make my way from the bathroom of the hotel, I come across Julie Plec. I walk right up to her and quickly telling her my thoughts of the wonderful season finale. Thanking her for her marvelous job on the show and characters I let her on her way to the restroom. I then sit in the lobby waiting for time to pass. Five minutes later, a man sits down next to me on the couch, with papers in hand. I smile and continue to fiddle with my phone. Glancing at the man, I realize I had seen him before. We exchange another smile. After a few minutes of racking my brain and a little help from IMDB I realize it's Jason Ritter. Thirty minutes pass and we still sit in silence. We both just sit on the couch, doing our own thing. I leave him with another smile and he grins goodbye. 

Dolled up in our nifty 50's attire we headed downtown to attend a sock-hop and fashion show that night. We sat and chatted about our day listening to the records play and the dancers surrounding us. It was a nice break off our feet and a wonderful experience. The models and clothes were gorgeous. We even met with the designer before the show. 

The next day consisted of same duties. This time I also got to be the counter at the door and open the door as the panels began. It was a small task but I did open the door to Mae Whitman, Jason Katims (creator of Parenthood), Jason Ritter, Matt Lauria, and Shiri Appleby. I had been within two feet at all times when Jason Ritter was around. He seemed to always be where I was working. We exchanged smiles a few times and before I left he gave me a giant grin and head nod. (Sadly, I never got a photo with him, just smiles). Lastly, I sat in at the Actors Roundtable with Stripes. Laughing along with the actors and hearing their insane stories was one of my favorite parts of the weekend.

Matt Lauria & I.

Arielle Kebbel & I.
We ended our weekend with another trip to Whole Foods, which I wish every day that we had one in our little town. The Austin TV Festival was a wonderful experience and I am extremely glad I got to spend it with my dear friend. The first year was definitely a success. I can't wait to see the line up next year and volunteer. 


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