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If you follow us on any sort of social media, you may have noticed a few of us here at That’s Normal were together this weekend for a very special Outlander get-together. Starz put on a fan gathering at the Orpheum theater in Downtown LA featuring a panel with producer Ron Moore, author Diana Gabladon and the Bella and Edward of the Outlander series: San Heughan and Caitriona Balfe. WE HAD A BLAST. Here is how it went down:
I (Bekah) flew into LA early Saturday morning and took this sleuth photo of a guy who may or may not be my stalker:
If you’re wondering if the SOUND went off when I snapped this photo (after I carefully made sure the flash was off) it did. He totally heard but I played it cool.
My bff decided to join us for the weekend because I had an extra ticket for the gathering. Laura is a VERY new Outlander fan. As in.. she knew nothing about it until Saturday when we gave her a real quick Outlander lesson in this video:
How’d we do?
After meeting up with Beth (who was celebrating a BIRTHDAY) and Nikki, the 4 of us headed downtown to the theater & met up with pals Vicky and Chelsea in line:
FUN FACT about Chelsea & Vicky: We all met through Twilight and a former website we ran. It was quite surreal being at an event for another fandom we’re now involved in, meeting new pals we’ve only talked to online, with our pals that we met online years ago!
Despite the line starting at noon and the event not kicking off until 4pm, the day went surprisingly fast! The event was VERY well run. The line moved quickly, there were plenty of staff & the only thing that could have made it better was if Sam walked down the line and handed out donuts to everyone waiting.
We met a ton of our Outlander-That’s Normal pals in line. We handed out some very special TN buttons & got to meet a ton of people we’ve interacted with online.
Our very own TN contributor Katy (find her great posts here) flew down from San Francisco to join the event she described as just like “Black Friday at Mervyn’s [department store].” It was our first time meeting Katy IRL and she is JUST as hilarious in person as she seems online. Also she didn’t murder us so that was a plus:
Once we got into the theatre, it was a free-for-all for seats so we, of course, walked directly back stage and asked if we could sit wherever Sam would be getting ready*. They said no (bitches) and we ended up in the middle-ish, about 12-15 rows from the front. The seats turned out to be AWESOME helped greatly but the fact that our fab new friends in front of us weren’t the gals holding iPads up in front of our faces to get pictures (OH but THOSE PEOPLE were there. Of course) *no we didn’t.
The panel was really great. We learned a ton of new stuff, got to see the trailer and behind-the-scenes pictures of artist renderings of the set. And, of course, stare at Sam. And also Caitriona who MAY have been the hottest of the group. Damn that girl is pretty.
You can watch the event in its entirety here, so we won’t go into details about what we saw. But here are a few real quick behind-the-scenes tidbits about the #OutlanderInvadesLA event:
No really. It was after the fan questions started (Beth asked the first one!)
but we started to see tweets from people watching the live feed that every time a fan would ask a question, you could see Beth in the feed. We laughed & thought she was just barely visible on the side of the screen. WRONG: Somehow the spotlight would hit the question-asker AND Beth’s blonde head. AND THAT’S IT.
It was pretty amazing. And as a result we have a bunch of screen caps of Beth making amazing faces throughout the evening.
We’ve been wondering for a litttle while now that if the chemistry we’ve heard Sam & Caitriona have as actors has translated into their real lives. Yes, we’ve basically been wondering if they’re goingt o be the ROBSTEN of Outlander (Ya know, the Rob Pattinson-Kristen Stewart Edward/Bella real-life romance like existed in Twilight. #truelove #foreverandever etc. etc. amen) And after seeing the two interact on Saturday, Beth, Nikki & I answer the “Are they are or they not playing hanky panky on the off-hours” with a resounding: NO
While Cat & Sam were definitely friendly and looked like they get along fabulously, we think Cat looked at Sam like he was an adorable cousin. To us she came of as this beautiful, polished model who is probably dating a rich, intelligent silver-fox-investment-banker in his 50s who takes her on exotic vacations on a yacht. And Sam gives off the impression he lives in an Ikea furnished flat with at least 2 other dudes, possible more. Caitriona answered a question about what time frame she would want to travel back to as “the 1920s” which totally fits because she has an air of class & glamour like a Hollywood actress of that day. Sam, on the other hand, had his hip flask spill out of his pocket and on to his pants the day before so he reeked of whiskey like a frat boy on a Friday morning after a Thirsty Thursday all day long. [Oh but don’t worry- we’d hit a frat party with him any day.]
We haven’t discussed it much here PUBLICLY, but there have been some arguments amongst the Outlander TN crowd whether or not Sam is straight/bi/gay and if it even matters. We won’t go into details about who landed on which side of the argument, but have all come to some what of a conscious. And that is: Sam is straight.
We think he’s hard to read because he’s European, he’s a theatre guy and hasn’t been afraid to take on gay roles in the past. It has confused our American-woman gaydar, but we think we’ve “straightened” it out (pun totally intended). Nikki says his strengths-finder DEFINITELY has an “Includer.” Sam is so nice and kind to everyone (even those who are a bit (okay more than a bit) too touchy) and just excited and eager & it’s rare to see in a straight dude. I don’t know what it says about us that we were more likely to believe a nice, kind guy was gay than straight, but I think it means we have Daddy issues. Another conversation for another time. The good news is. SAM IS STRAIGHT AND WE TOTALLY HAVE A CHANCE, YOU GUYS.
In case you missed it, Diana answered the question, “What scene are you most excited to see visualized?” with (paraphrasing here)
“I hope you take this in the right spirit, Sam, but I’m looking forward to seeing him tortured and raped”
Our response was basically (summed up by this screen cap of Beth…):
Oh you guys, the trailer was everything. We’ll break it down in its entirety in a few days (Beth had to leave us mid-day yesterday (wahhh) and we didn’t have time) but all you need to know is we held hands the entire time we were watching and HOLY $H!T is it Summer 2014 yet?
How great is Ron? So great. That guy is so dedicated to what he’s doing & delivering the best on-screen adaptation of Diana’s work. And his perspective on fans is so incredible & refreshing. He gets that the fans are passionate and committed to the success of all things Outlander, and he realizes what a gift it is to have a built-in audience for the show day 1. Also he wears the shit out of a kilt.
Alicia Quarles from E News was the moderator, and despite calling Caitriona everything but her actual name (I think “Claire” and “Caitlin” were the names I heard most often and WE GET IT GIRL– that’s why we call her Cat!) she KILLED IT. Moderating an event like that is not easy but she made it look so. When a moment could have been awkward (and there were DEFINITELY moments that were!) she glossed right over them & jumped into another question. And the girl KNEW her stuff. Alicia is clearly a long time Outlander fan & she was prepped and ready to get the conversation rolling whenever there was a potential for lulls.
Want to know if we ran into Cat in the bathroom? Did Sam show up to the Tea afterwards with his hip flask of whiskey to spice up the drinks? Well, no. But there were big pictures of the characters and the scenery all around the lobby of which we took full advantage:
Of course we leg-hitched Jamie Fraser (because everything goes back to Twilight. Always)
And, of course, we capped off the event with a real quick selfie with none other than Claire & Jamie:
Mark our words- we WILL have a selfie with the real Sam & Cat some day. We’ve accepted this selfie challenge that has been bestowed upon us.
We had an amazing time on Saturday. Starz threw an incredible event. Sam, Caitriona, Diana and Ron were as wonderful as we’d hope they’d be. Sam was better looking in person than he is in pictures. We had ZERO issues with his knees. Caitriona is even more gorgeous in person, and no one looks as good as Diana does at age 62. No really.. is it Summer 2014 yet?
Stay tuned for our Trailer Break down in the coming days. What did you think of the Fan event? Did you watch/stream/Were you there/Are you wearing your TN button today?!
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