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That’s Normal recently asked “Would You Pay for a Celebrity Photo-Op?” and I was immediately all “No way – I have dignity to consider!”. Then a little voice reminded me, “Lady, you just spent upwards of 300 clams to get pictures with eight of the Outlander actors (not even the main ones)” and my indignation left the building post haste.
It’s true. It’s all true. I did attend the Outlander in the City event in NYC last month (hosted by Outlander Homepage, Liz Mercado & Associates, Outlander Forever, and Bonnie Terbush).
It was my first real fan event and I was more than a little nervous about it. I could envision ladies pushing and shoving and yelling for the actors’ attention and myself cringing my way on out the door. I was also concerned that my nervousness would cause me to drink too much, eat too little, and make just enough of an idiot out of myself to haunt me for the rest of my life. I was prepared for the worst, but hoped for the best.
You guys, it was awesome.
Granted, there were a few party-goers who were exponentially more popular than others (eight of them, in fact), but it really did feel like a typical night out at a moderately crowded bar. Each actor had an assigned handler, and they all seemed to be very diligent about getting them to every cluster of fans (really, those ladies – and one gentleman – were amazing and probably slept for a week afterwards). Some of our conversations were brief (Nell Hudson, Will Johnson, and Stephen Walters), and others were more prolonged (Gary Lewis and Duncan LaCroix).
I had a few fragmented chats with Rik Rankin, whose attention was in super-high demand. Grant O’Rourke and his lovely wife, as well as Steven Cree and Gary Lewis, stayed well past the official end of the event to spend time with fans they may have missed, and we chatted with them out front for a long time before leaving in search of late-night pizza. The vibe was so casual, though, and it seemed so normal to have these familiar faces roaming throughout the bar, that I kind of lost sight of the fact that this opportunity would probably never present itself again, and completely neglected to get a picture with the O’Rourkes – as if I was going to see them again at Bunco next week or something.
Granted, the vibe downstairs was much more chill than what I’ve heard of upstairs, but everyone I talked to was super-friendly and not scary at all. I made best friends with the couple seated near my chosen access point at the bar, Joe and Karen (their real names), and compared shapewear with the ladies sharing our alcove. We talked about Outlander just a little bit, and everything else a lot bit. I spent a lot of time taking pictures for people, because I assume everyone looks as badly as I do in selfies. The only bad behavior I witnessed was a couple of beautiful twenty-somethings commenting on how many “big” women they saw, for which I silently judged them and ate another piece of chicken.
It was HOT in there and I drank SEVERAL icy cocktails. If they had been stronger, or less full of ice, I would have been in trouble. Luckily, the most embarrassing thing I did was go around announcing things to everyone I talked to, as if I was the Most Interesting Man in the World, but a lady version. Nell Hudson: “I don’t hate Laoghaire!”; Gary Lewis: “My last name is Robertson!”; Stephen Walters: “My granddad was from Liverpool!”. My proudest moment of originality was announcing to Rik Rankin, “I like your accent.”
Thankfully, all of these people are gifted actors who pretended that my declarations were fascinating bits of information that enriched their lives immeasurably. Rik even countered back, “I like your accent…Virginia is my favorite accent,” which I ate up like a prisoner’s last meal until I heard that he said the same thing to someone else, and she turned out to be from somewhere horrible, so I don’t know what to believe anymore.
It was a great night, I met awesome people, and I have some fun stories to tell the Outlander fans in my life, so I would do it again in a heartbeat. I encourage anyone on the fence about attending fan events to get themselves a YOLO tattoo and go have a good time.
Check out more of my photos from the event here! (TN Editor note: Steven Cree is giving me Tobias feels.)
TN Editor Note: Huge thanks to Laura for sharing her Outlander in the City story with us here for our TN readers! Hope we get to meet you at the NEXT Outlander fan event.
Laura’s Current Obsessions: Scotland. Kivanc Tatlitug. Learning Turkish in case she ever runs into Kivanc Tatlitug who lives on another continent. Outlander. Outlander Fandom. Men who don’t wax their chests. Planning trips for herself and anyone else who will let her. Rufus Sewell. Vincent cheese and Apothic Red. Sharing her real feelings with Twitter and hiding them from Facebook. Aunting four kiddos, parenting two plants, and refusing to get cats. @laurasuevt on Twitter