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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Friday, March 16, 2007

There and back again... (part 4)

By the time Beefcake finished playing I was more then ready for that soft bed and down pillows! Even though it was only 10 pm there my mind and body were saying "1 am!!"

I ran into another gal I had talked with earlier and she asked if I was going to the "dessert party". Only those with the "big ticket" could go... that was me... but i was feeling my age!

She convinced me to go in just for a few minutes, and said how good their deserts were. Well, try as I may I wasn't sure I wanted sweet food that late at night. She dragged me down to the deserts and I took one, figuring I'd taste it.. push it around my dish.. and leave.

And I did just that.. well.. I tasted it (it was good).. I pushed it around my plate, and was ready to take my leave when someone got to a microphone and announced that in a few minutes there would be a big surprise. Oh ..lord help me. I wasn't even sure my legs would carry me back to my room!... so i waited.

About 10 or 15 minutes passed when the announcer was back on the microphone.. "ok, gang... for good or bad... nice or evil, let me introduce......... (long pause) Andy Serkis!"

OMG! He wasn't due at the con til tomorrow! How cool! And how nice he'd show up to say a special hi to some of the fans!

Then we are told he was going to each table. huh?..sure enough we watched as Andy went to the first table.. shook everyone's hand there and sat down with them. After a few minutes he did the same with the next table! So... i stayed. (duh)

It took him a while to get near our table. Before he got there I asked the others at the table if they had a question for him when he joined us. No one had anything specific in mind. Ok.. well... let me tell you all about Andy's latest movie, because I'd like to mention it to him!

I filled them in on Inkheart and his character Capricorn.

Eventually, Andy made it to our table... they gave him a seat right next to me. He shook everyone's hand, "Hi I'm Andy Serkis".. heh, did he think we didn't know? lol.

When he sat someone said something to him and he laughed. Then he looked at me..(well, I"m not shy so I went ahead..)

"Inkheart" I said.


"He's a despicable character!"

Andy laughed again. "You know about Inkheart? wow. I just finished filming that movie." He then proceeded to fill the others in somewhat on the basics of the story... but he never told them of his character much.

As he talked I could tell he was very genuine. Very comfortable around the fans, with many great smiles. He was racking up points with this old lady left and right! When he got up to go to the next table it wasn't before a last great smile to us all.

Ok.. now I really was dead tired! It was 11:30 their time... 2:30 my time... and I still had to push the clock ahead yet another hour! Aggggggggggg! I went to my room and proceeded to die!


A day I was looking forward too.. and yet dreading... my final day in California.

Surprisingly, I woke at 7:30 (their time), washed up, made my Cafe Vienna and headed down to the benches outside for one last time. It was already warm out and headed to 92 degrees! I had barely sat down when Kirstie and friends all from Scotland showed up, and we had our morning chat.

After coffee, my morning was fairly quiet. I checked out of the hotel and had them lock up my luggage as I still had to spend the day there.

I checked the schedule, and about 1 pm was when the Photo Op with Andy Serkis was to happen. I had seen lines for the Photo Op's at this and the other convention and knew I should get there a little early so as to not be way back in the line. This was the first time I was doing one of these things, not ONLY because of the price, but also because I hate being in front of a camera!

I was about 10th in line as the time approached. The photo's were taken quickly. You had time to say hello, then smile.. then the flash went off and they were ushering in the next person. I watched as Andy greeted each person with a smile and a hand shake. He impressed me yet again, being so genuine. I never felt he was anything but enjoying himself.

My turn came and I approached Andy saying hello... the next thing I knew he had kissed me on the cheek and put his arm around me for the photo!.. I had the feeling he remembered that I was the person who asked him about Inkheart and not about LOTR or Gollum...the flash went off and I quickly thanked him and moved out of the way. I was told that the photo's would be here to pick up about 6 pm.

Next was the convention's no minimum bid auction. You will realize why I put that in italics as you read on.

I go to their actions to watch the frenzy! If you've ever been to an auction you already know how some get so caught up in the moment that they can get... well.. carried away. As this auction proceeded I did my usual smiling and occasionally muttered some Holy Cow's and Good Grief's. I shook my head many times.

I have known Creation and their cons for many years. Way back when I went to Star Trek Cons when DeForest would appear... so I knew what the auctions were like, and NEVER have I EVER bid on anything!

During all my searching in the dealers room I did not come across a Liv Tylor autograph, so when one suddenly appeared in the auction, I found my hand raised! (hello? me? bidding?) Luckily I kept my head and knew my cut off price of 50.00 ... which came and went. In fact it went for 95.00! Almost double what I could afford! Only moments later a second one showed up... well dang it! Up went my hand again! (I don't remember it going up.. but up it was!) Once again I managed to pull it down when the bidding went over 50.00.. sheesh, you'd think just once they'd let me get something after all these years! But it wasn't to be. (can everyone say : bummer).

Smartly, they saved the best for last. (at least I was smart enough to stay out of it!) It was a photo of Liv and Viggo, signed by both... kissing. Heh..I think 3/4th of the audience raised their hands! lol.. within one minute it was over 100.00 and the hand count was diminishing quickly.

150.00... more hands went down.

200.00.. now you could count what few remained.

250.00!.. it was down to two.

David who was doing the auction played the two bidders. He'd go to one side of the stage and talk to one bidder: She probably won't bid again he'd say.

The bid went to 260.00.

He'd walk to the other side of the audience and talk to the other bidder: That's probably her final bid. Going to let her have it?


Back to the other side and the other bidder... he did this back and forth until one finally gave up... the photo went off at 320.00!!! (that was more then my airline ticket!!) I am sure the words, holy sh** passed my lips!

When that was over I was out and about again until it was time for Andy Serkis to take the stage.

The time came, and Andy walked out to a tremendous standing ovation.

The man was so sincere, so gracious and so willing to entertain during questions and answers, that you totally broke up laughing when every so often someone found theirself receiving their answer from Gollum! He even uttered the immortal words: My Precious in Gollums voice more then once.

Before I ever went to this convention I appreciated Andy Serkis. Due to his hard work on LOTR and KING KONG I knew he was the hardest working actor I knew of.

After meeting him... I was certain of it. And as big of a fan as I was, I came away an even bigger fan.

When his time on stage was over, it was time for the autographs.

For Andy, I had 3 books for him to sign. Two were LOTR .... (showing only one)

And the third was this gorgeous picture in "the making of: King Kong"

I was the only one that had anything other then LOTR for him to sign and I think he appreciated seeing this picture. I also had a brief moment to ask him if he had to come up with a special voice for this character in Inkheart, which he said was nothing like coming up with the voice for Gollum.

There was a huge line after me and Andy would remain there for more then another hour. Meanwhile when I was out in the dealers room again that book taunted me! I was actually glad to see Andy leave!

But that also meant the con was over... and all I had left, before returning to duty in new jersey, was one more evening with Sue. And then it was back to the airport.

We had to wait around for nearly and hour before the Photo Op pictures arrived...

Another sad moment... would I ever get to see this very nice man again?

It's doubtful.. but I am glad I got to meet him and the others. They may never remember me... but I will always remember them.

Sue came and picked me up...we stopped and purchased some Boston Market chicken on our way.. ate our dinner and watched a little television. We were both on the quiet side... I hate goodbyes.

... 'till next time.


Anonymous Jeff said...

Sounded like fun. I would like to go again to something like that - at least once before I die.

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Karmyn said...

What a wonderful memory to have! Aren't you glad you went for dessert!!!!

So - who gets the money from the auctions? (I am hoping it is some charity).

5:12 PM  
Blogger Melli said...

Awwww Pat... what a wOnderful, WONDERFUL time you had! And sO many truly special and memorable moments! I'm SO happy for you! And I thank you for sharing the entire story with us!!! It's been a really great read and I had looked forward to the next "chapter" each day! :)

1:23 AM  
Blogger Pamela said...

This whole series was a wonderful fun read -- I felt like I was there with you.

I just never knew about these kind of conventions (well I guess I did see something like this on TV once.)

What a Great picture of you, also.

You deserved that trip!

2:25 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Jeff: as nice as it all is.. the best part (for me) is still just having a bedroom in a hotel all to myself!

Karmyn: oh yeah, glad I stayed for dessert! Couldn't have asked for a "sweeter dessert" then Andy lol..

Ya know.. it used to be a charity auction eons ago.. but i don't think it is anymore.

Thanks Melli... it's sure nice to have something to write about since when at home it's the same everyday! ANd I can't help but feel good inside when I am around such creative people. Don't know why that is, but it's always been that way for me.

Hi Pam.. and thanks! I do enjoy them. I enjoy meeting the different actors and always meet interesting people at the conventions. Though I will have to stick more to just autograph shows since those are much more affordable!

1:49 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Great story Pat. Sounds like you enjoyed every minute of your trip and I am glad you were able to take this trip. Thanks for sharing it with me. I also enjoyed the photos.

6:55 AM  

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