First Time Experience @ MegaCon & Meeting Erica Durance
Saturday morning, March 8, 2008, my friends and I drove to Orlando (Florida) for MegaCon. It was only a 2 and 1/2 hours drive from where we live, which was in Orange Park/Jacksonville. That day was so windy and cold for a Florida weather. To think we live in a warm, sunny, sunshine state, lol. At least it wasn't raining 'cause the day before we had a heavy rain, some flood and tornado warning. So glad the rain stopped just for Saturday (as well as Sunday). We left at around 7 AM and arrived in Orange County Convention Center at around 9:30 AM and we found a free parking spot at just in the back of the OCCC building and we started to met a few people who were going inside the MegaCon event. As I was taking out one of my Smallville magazines and Season 6 DVD booklet to bring with me for Erica Durance to sign, one of them said, "Hey, is that Smallville? I watch that show." I said, yeah, and did you know Erica Durance is here today for MegaCon?" He said, "No way, she is? I love Erica Durance. I am definitely going to see her today." I said, "me too." We, then, started walking towards the building. It was a very long walk. I will say more about this as we go along...
- We had to walk a very long way to get to the floor at the convention as we entered the back entrance, instead of the front 'cause we though it was still in the same floor that my friends had attended last year, but it was moved as there was another event there for Comp. software people. When we finally got into the other floor nearby the halls for the MegaCon event that was going to take place, we didn't have our tickets to get inside yet as we waited for Saturday to MegaCon to buy them. We should've orded them online ahead of time and before the event started, but my friends told me that we can buy them inside at the same day as the event takes place (they did last year when they attended the same event)...but didn't know that the line was huge this time. It was about 5 different rows/sections long and we've waited about 2 hours just to get them. Good thing we got there around 9:30 AM. It was a very, very long wait...but we saw lots of people (nerds as my friends were telling me, lol) dressed up in interesting anime and sci-fi costumes in line as we wait and lots of them were dressed up as many different anime characters (my friends were into anime drawings and stuff, the main reason they came to MegaCon, while Erica was my reason for being there, lol). There were some dressed as Harry Potter, Ghost Buster guys, Spartan guys (from 300 movie), Star Wars characters (Jedi Knights, Obi-Wan Kenobe, etc.), Indiana Jones, even Jesus Christ (my friends told me it was from Dogma movie, 'cause I was wondering why Jesus was there, lol!), Joker (from The Dark Knight/Batman movies), Captain Jack (from Pirates movies), and many more as there was a Costume contest going on later that day.
- When we got our tickets we head on to the hall where the MegaCon event started to take place. We walked around and looked through all the comic books, anime books, cartoon artists, and other sci-fi stuff that are on display and are on sale for people to buy, shop, etc. Then, at around noon, we heard a first announcement of the Autograph signing session with Heroes, Adrian Pasdar. About 5-10 min. later (I think they were late to announced her, but I'm not sure), they announced, "Ladies and gentlemen, Erica Durance of Smallville is now signing autographs. So, come and see her and don't miss out." (not exact words, but I tried to remember, lol).
- So, one of my friends and I went to look for her as soon as we heard her name announced. We first saw, Noel Neil (the very first Lois Lane from Adventures of Superman series). You can read more of My M&G Experience with Noel Neill here. Then, we went on to find Erica, but before we found her (as she was several tables away from Noel Neill), we saw actress Kristy Swanson (of the Buffy The Vampire Slayer movie) and she was signing autographs and I snapped a quick picture of her, but was told there are no pictures to be taken, but too late...'cause that was after I already took one...and then, saw the warning sign not to take pictures. I was like, "Oops, sorry." But still got to take pics of her displayed promotional photos from her Buffy movie, lol. Then, my friend and I left to find Erica and her table, so we walked around a few more tables to find her.
Autograph Signing with Erica Durance
- When we finally saw and approached Erica who already started signing autographs to a few fans in front of me (though I was lucky to get there to met her and for her to sign something for me as early as I could before the line got longer). At a small line, my friend was telling me, "wow, Erica is so pretty!" I started to get so nervous. I was so excited and happy that I was finally getting close to meet her in person. When it was my time to see her, I was still nervous and couldn't believe I was standing face to face with her and randomly started talking to her, lol. I certainly didn't plan how I was going to approached or let alone talk to her. I just let it flow and let the moment take me as I know most of the time I plan of doing something, they don't usually happen the way I want them to happen...I just didn't want to miss an opportunity to say something with the Durance as it's my first time meeting her and as nervous as I was...I know, I, at least wanted to say something to her, so I won't regret later for not being able to talk to her, lol.
- I wanted to take some pictures of her signing autographs (like I did with Noel Neill and a quick candid pic of Kristy Swanson signing), but they won't let us. So, I couldn't take pictures of her (and husband David Palffy sitting just next her), unfortunately. A fan before was able to get an autograph from both Erica & David (as she let him signed as well for the fan who asked). I completely forgot to asked David to sign mine too as I've said my "hello" to her and I got into a quick and unexpected pre-Q&A conversation with Erica for about a few min. or so. I can't remember exactly, lol. It was my time and moment to meet her in person (finally) and things were happening so quickly, I wanted to make sure I had the opportunity to talked to her and asked her at least a couple questions before the line got longer or I may never had the chance (as I wasn't sure I was going to get to ask her any questions at the Q&A panel later on).
- So, back to when It was my turn to meet Erica, my friend and I both said, "Hi, Erica!" She said, "Hi!" back and shook my hand as well as my friend's hand (and she sure was happy to get a handshake from Erica, lol). Then, after that the next thing I know Erica and I started to have a quick conversation.
- My friend Luke (over at fd2c forum) won't believe this, but I actually and randomly told Erica about him (Yes, I did Luke, lol). I told her that a friend of mine has met her 3 times at 3 different conventions (or was it 2? I can't remember exactly. Sorry, I might have exaggerated in telling her, so correct me if I'm wrong, Luke). So, I asked Erica if she remembered a guy name Luke, and guess what, she quickly replied "Yeah, he was the guy who gave me a bag of chips." I was amazed how she quickly responded. She totally impressed me at that moment and I was glad I asked her.
- I also told her, "By the way, Luke said Hi!" (even though, Luke didn't actually asked me to tell her that, lol... but I'm sure Luke wouldn't mind me saying that for him, right Luke?) and she said, "Say Hi back to him for me." I said, "I will." Isn't she amazing? She has a great memory too and she was so nice and sweet.
- I congratulated her and Smallville (in behalf of all of us here at the fd2c forum) about getting picked up for season 8. She said, thanks and didn't expect to have it announced so early. I told her I was surprise myself how early it was announced and that we usually hear an announcement of new season renewal weeks after a season finale ends. She replied, "Yeah, I know right?" I asked her if she is already contracted for season 8 and if she will be in all 22 episodes. She told me that she doesn't know yet (if she's going to be in all 22 episodes) as they are still working on it. So, she kind of say that she's not fully contracted, but have already signed on for season 8.
- The pictures of her that she was signing was the promo picture of hers from Season 4, the one where she was wearing a blue outfit (see pic on the right above ^), it was one of the 2 pics that MegaCon used for their website.
- I brought my Smallville magazines with me (with the one she was on the cover with Tom Welling and one with Alison Mack. I got about 4 or 5 SV magazines with ED on the cover with me) as well as the Season 6 DVD booklet with Erica's S6 promo pic with the rest of the cast in the back of the booklet. I couldn't decided which one to get her to sign, but I finally ended up giving her my S6 dvd booklet and she started to sign and I was still nervous about meeting her that I almost misspelled my name, lol...so I quickly corrected myself while Erica waited to write my name. She wrote, "Jeane, all the best! Erica Durance (in corsive, see and click the scan ^ to your left to view bigger).
- The last thing I remember telling her was about how I've been watching Smallville since season 1, but ever since she (Erica and her Lois Lane) came to Smallville in Season 4, I've been active in waching the show more and of course, I'm a huge fan of hers. She said, "Thanks for watching." After I got my autograph, I went to pay for it as I didn't get to pay it before Erica signed it as she already started to sign it. I got distracted at the beautiful sight of her, lol.
Photo-Op with Erica Durance
- when I got my ticket for the Photo-Op with Erica. It was scheduled for 2:30 to 3:00 PM...so I went on ahead to get my tickets early as it was almost past noon. When I was walking to buy my ticket for a photo with Erica, the lady at a table told me to get my ticket as fast as I can as she is one of the 2 exclusive media guests (along with Heroes' Adrian Pasdar). So, I did and she told me to get in line very early at 2 PM as the line will get longer and I wouldn't want to miss when that time comes to get a picture with her because it'll go by quickly. I said okay and bought my Photo-Op ticket and left. My friends and I went to the refreshment area to get something to eat as we were so hungry esp. that we had to walk a very long way to get to the floor at the convention as we entered the back entrance earlier. So, anyway, back to us getting our late lunch. We took a quick one and then walk around again to where people at the event were selling comic books, anime books (my friends were looking for them, not me, lol), and comic book artists/illustrators. I just tag along with them while I wait for my Photo-Op with Erica. As 2 PM approaches, I split with my friends to get in line to get my picture taken with Erica. I was so excited and couldn't wait. I've met some nice Erica fans while I waited....but first, we were told that we were in the wrong line and the line was already long. So, we quickly moved to another line as the line we were standing at was the line the fans of Heroes' Adrian Pasdar were standing and waiting. He was at that time already taking pics with his fans. Erica wasn't there yet, but apparently her line on the other side was already long. Arrgh! So, we move over there as fast as we could. Then, we waited for a very long, long time as AP was not done taking pics. His line was long, but Erica's line was even longer and just got longer before 2:30 and it wasn't moving at all...and time passed by and was almost 3 PM (and the Q&A with 2 Lois Lanes starts at 3:50-4:40 PM) before our line started to move. At those times, I got to talked with a few Erica/SV fans. Though I didn't find anyone that I know from an online ED/SV fan communities nor the ones I've meet doesn't even go online, unfortunately...but hey, they were still ED/SV fans, which I thought was cool. When our line was moving, we ended up going back to the line we started, which we were lost and confused as the volunteers there weren't organized and didn't tell us where exactly we should be in line for Erica's Photo-Op. Some were getting so unhappy and disappointed as the time was getting late as she was only scheduled to take 30 min. for pictures, but they didn't expect to have a very long, long line for Erica. I was suprised to see so many of ED/SV fans (or perhaps other people who just want to have a picture with her, lol) in line waiting to get a picture with her! The line just keep growing and did move fast once Erica arrived at the photo-booth. As I was getting close to getting my picture taken with her, I saw Erica taking pics with a few other fans who were just in front of me and I saw her whole outfit (as she was sitting down the last time I saw her on the Autograph Signing session) and how tall and beautiful she really was in person. When it was time for me to get my picture taken with her. She looked at me and I said, "Hi, Erica!" and she said, "Oh, Hi, it's you again." (LOL) I was suprised at how quickly she remembered and recognized me. She then, told me to "come here!" and I did and stood next to her and she put her left arm around my left shoulder tightly and tilted her head to mine (as I did to hers, I could feel her hair next to mine, lol) as we got our pictures taken. OMG! I couldn't believe that moment I was actually standing next to her with her arm around me and mine around her. I could feel her kinda squeezed me and I thought to myself, wow, is this for real? 'cause it still hasn't sunk in yet. It was surreal! I think I smelled her perfume (if she was wearing one 'cause she smelled really good)...and that brief moment felt like a long time as well as it felt like she was like an old friend of mine who I haven't seen in so long and with her holding me tight on the side. I didn't want it to end, lol. But of course, it did. When we finished getting our picture. She said, "thanks." Then, I quickly told her, "See you at the Q&A!" She smiled and quickly responded, "Yes, thank you." Then, I left the booth and the next person behind me was loudly saying, "Hi, Erica! How are you?"
Outside I took my purse and the stuff I was carrying with my MegaCon program booklet (See the program I scanned here to your left). Btw, I was disappointed at their program as it didn't have Erica's picture and BIO anywhere like the other Media artists and guest artistsw who were listed. They only mentioned her name on the Photo-Op and the Q&A panel itinerary. I remember thinking, "what was up with that?" I began to wonder (before the event started) if she cancelled at the last minute, but I stayed optimistic and hoped that Erica was really there. When I heard her name announced, I was so glad and happy to know she was there). My MegaCon plastic bag has my SV magazines, and my S6 DVD booklet that ED had signed for me. The volunteers told us that it'll take about 45 min. to get our photos printed as her line was so long and there were still pics from Heroes' AP that were still being developed and printed at the same time. They sure weren't organized with that. So, we waited and waited.... 45 min. had passed by and it still wasn't finished. The Q&A Session was about to start and still our pictures were not developed and printed. So, I decided to just go to the Q&A, which I had to walk and get to an escalator to go up the 2nd floor to find S230B for Lois Lane, Lois Lane Q&A Session.
To Be Continued ...
Part 2 of my M&G Experience with ED is coming up ... so check back here to read more!
L&K News Note: The 2 ED solo pics (from the Q&A panel) used here are taken from Ferd's Fancy Files On Fandom And Life on LiveJournal. I believe her name is Jennifer, so, big credit and special thanks goes to her for all the awesome ED Q&A pics I'll be using here to show you all, as mine didn't turn out well, unfortunately. It would've been nice to have meet her there at MegaCon and share our M&G experience with the Durance. Sadly, I didn't meet anyone from online as I was hoping to.