One of the perks of being a fangirl living in California is that occasionally I have the chance (and the time) to meet some people I admire/idolize/am absolutely head-over-heels in love with (lol). I’ve been lucky enough to meet some amazing actors, musicians, authors, etc. but for this list, I’ll just tell you guys about some of the ‘celebrities’ that I have met and how that encounter went.
Here’s a list of my current top five favorite celebrity meet and greets!
5. Dominic Sherwood
When: First Time – February 3, 2014
Where: The Grove (Los Angeles, CA)
Before the movie adaptation for “Vampire Academy” hit theaters, they had a mall tour at several different cities in different states to help promote it. Fortunately, almost at the last minute, they decided to have a tour stop in LA. My friends and I arrived at The Grove around 6:30am to make sure we got wristbands (you needed them in order to meet the cast, otherwise all you could do was stand in the audience) and hung out there for the entire day until the actual meet and greet, which was at 7pm. (Yes, we literally spent over 12 hours at The Grove. We were insanely determined and probably a little insane ourselves, too.)
We didn’t just sit there and do nothing for 12 hours though. We hung out with other fans, ate lunch at Johnny Rocket’s, and participated in the few events they had going on while waiting. They had a makeup area where you could choose between two looks: Dhampir or Moroi. The Dhampir look was a more bold and evening look while the Moroi was a more natural everyday one. After getting your hair and makeup done, you could take photos on this huge throne-like chair that was wide enough to fit three of us. They were also playing music from the movie soundtrack and giving away exclusive movie-themed swag like a makeup set, VA jackets, pencils, and a phone case.
When it was time for the meet and greet with the cast, we lined up on the side of a stage where a table and chairs had been set up. Most of the main cast was there but I was mainly excited to meet the actors portraying my favorite characters in the books: Zoey Deutch (Rose Hathaway), Danila Kozlovsky (Dimitri Belikov), and Dominic Sherwood (Christian Ozera). Unfortunately, Danila wasn’t there (he was at the after party though!) but I loved meeting the entire cast, especially Dom because he was the sweetest! Before the meet and greet I discovered that his birthday was coming up so I decided to make a birthday card for him (Christian Ozera themed, of course) and give it to him when we met. He loved it! So much that he insisted that he give me a hug. He literally got out of his seat, went around the table, and gave me the best bear hug of my life ever. I never wanted to let go – half because I was dying a happy fangirl death inside, and half because I had been freezing my ass off the whole day and the warmth was very much appreciated and a welcome reprieve.
Right after the meet & greet was over, my friends and I went straight to the club where the after party was taking place. We got there so early that it was mostly empty by the time we were allowed inside so we had time to look around, get some free (yaaas!) drinks, and explore. Soon the place was packed and we were delighted to find out that the cast had finally arrived, too! We managed to hunt down a lot of the cast and get selfies with them (yes, I had to get another photo with Dom, haha) before they took refuge in the VIP only area. Lol That was by far the best meet & greet I’ve ever had with a movie cast and the first and only time so far where we got to party with them at the after party.
4. The Backstreet Boys
When: First Time – July 1st, 2011
Where: Staples Center (Los Angeles, CA)
During the NKOTBSB tour (Backstreet Boys teamed up to do a joint tour with New Kids on the Block) I purchased my very first VIP ticket to meet BSB. It had been a dream of mine and high priority on my bucket list since I was a child, but my parents never allowed me to even attend a concert, much less a meet and greet. Fortunately, by this time I was a working college student and had my own money to spend (not a lot but it was more than I’d ever had before lol), so I treated myself to my first ever VIP meet & greet with my all-time favorite boyband.
I went alone because the friend who was going to the concert with me didn’t want to do VIP. We entered the Staples Center hours before the concert was scheduled to start and after obtaining our VIP lanyards and passes, we were eventually allowed inside and took up the first several rows closest to the front of the stage. I remember seeing three of them wandering around on stage as we filtered in and being so star-struck despite still being so far away from them. Once they were all on-stage, they sang a few songs, did Q&A, and joked around with each other and the audience. I’d always seen videos of them messing around with each other like brothers do, and it was such a special experience to witness their brotherhood in person.
There were three tiers for VIP: the lowest allowed you access to the sound-check party (which was when they sang a few songs), the second added a group meet where you would take a photo with the Boys along with four other people, and the top tier one allowed you to take your meet-and-greet photo with them by yourself. Of course I only wanted a solo photo with them. How the process went was this: If you had a bag and you didn’t want it in the photo, you could hand it to one of the people there before greeting the guys. Then, you go down the line starting from the closest until you get to the middle, they make you turn around for your photo, then you proceed to greet the remaining guys until you end up back with security who is holding your stuff for you and a pre-signed poster.
I was seriously so star-struck (you’re going to see that term a lot in this post, haha) when I went to shake AJ’s hand that I completely forgot to even introduce myself, so I’m pretty sure I just said “hi” in an incredibly shaky and nervous voice. Lol When I got to Brian he actually read my shirt (I designed it myself and had it printed) and said he liked it! Unfortunately, Nick was right next to him and once my eyes landed on him I swear I got tunnel vision and everything disappeared except for him. Seriously, I felt so bad for Brian and Howie because I forgot to reply to Brian and thank him, and I honestly don’t even remember saying hi to Howie. I also nearly forgot the gift I had brought for Nick (the rolled up paper I’m holding in our photo below) and had to quickly come back to hand it to him.
One of these days, I’ll get the hang of meet-and-greets with Nick Carter. Hopefully.
3. Nick Carter
When: Fourth Time – February 25, 2016
Where: Saban Theatre (Los Angeles, CA)
During Nick’s All American Tour there was a VIP option available where – similar to the BSB VIP – fans can attend the pre-show soundcheck. Nick spoke to us a little and sang a couple songs from his latest album All American, acoustic style. (He may have also answered a few questions because that’s typical for BSB VIP soundcheck parties, but I’m not completely sure.) Afterwards we all lined up to take a photo with him. When it was my turn I had a small bracelet as a gift for him and a letter (in case I went blank during my meet and greet with him – it’s happened before, unfortunately – and completely forgot what I wanted to say, at least there would be a chance he would read it). Heart pounding and my mind screaming at me to CALM DOWN BREATHE, I walked up to Nick and basically told him a quick summary of my letter – expressed my undying love for him and the Backstreet Boys and all that. Haha
In response, and to my complete and utter shock, Nick took my hands, smiled at me, and said, “Thank you.” I thought that that would be it. We’d pose for the photo then I would reluctantly leave his arms then proceed to the nearest restroom so I could freak out and fangirl in private (my friends had yet to arrive so I had no one to fangirl with). But, nope. Before taking our photo together, Nick leaned down and kissed me on the cheek. Yes, kissed me on the cheek. Here’s what was going on in my mind at the time:
OH… MY… GOD… NICK CARTER JUST KISSED ME ON THE CHEEK!! Did that just happen??!!? It totally happened.
(Obviously, I died a happy fangirl death.)
But I totally played it cool.
Oh, and then of course we took our photo but not before I practically glomped him.
(Okay, I only mostly played it totally cool.)
I swear though, Nick was trying to kill me with affection.
I’m totally okay with it though.
2. Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins
When: First Time – November 15, 2015
Where: Pasadena Convention Center, (Pasadena, CA)
This photo actually almost never happened because it was ridiculously expensive and I found out about the convention only a couple months beforehand so I didn’t really have the funds for it. My awesome brother, however, decided to buy it for me (I insisted I pay him back later) and after that I purchased my general admission ticket just to enter the convention, then I was set!
I met up with one of my favorite YA authors (who is now a very good friend of mine) Jennifer Niven and then met a fellow SPN family member named Maddie (who is also a fan of Jennifer’s!). We walked around together and explored the Con, meeting a couple more SPN family members and even someone who owned a replica of Dean’s car, Baby! It even had weapons (fake ones) in the trunk, just like the Boys on the show. Seriously, so cool. We even happened to see Jensen walking by once! I’m totally a Dean Girl and was completely caught-off guard because I didn’t know they would pass by where the fans were. I remember frantically looking for my phone, finally finding it and turning the camera on, then filming Jensen just as he walked by us. I totally fangirled after with Jennifer and Maddie, but only after Jensen had passed because I was star-struck mute.
It wasn’t long until it was time for my photo-op with “the Trio” so I went to get in line. I was hoping my new friends could stand in line with me – for moral support because I was freaking out! – but they weren’t allowed to. Once I entered the room where the photo-ops were being taken and saw them at the far end I had to keep reminding myself 1) to breathe, and 2) what pose I wanted to do. When it was actually my turn I remember feeling so short and intimidated by them – they’re all so freaking tall! Still trying to not freak out, I think I kept my eyes down and I guess Misha noticed me freaking out and unable to make eye contact, so he tried to comfort me by putting his hand on my shoulder. If calming me down was his intention I think that pretty much backfired because instead of thinking about how gorgeous and tall they all were in person, I was thinking, “Oh. My. God. Misha Collins is touching my shoulder.”
Eventually, (meaning, a few seconds later after I managed to force myself to chill out a bit) I blurted out that I wanted to do the “squish hug” – meaning they all give you a big bear hug. These photo-ops usually go really quick because everyone has a schedule to keep, so they all nodded and were about to do it but I quickly added in that I wanted to be hugging Jensen. So then Jensen grabbed me by the shoulder, spun me around, then gave me the biggest bear hug ever. Again, I was caught so off-guard and couldn’t remember if my eyes were open, if I even smiled or just looked like a moose (heh heh) in headlights, or anything. All I knew was that they were amazing huggers and I never wanted to leave.
We were only there for that one Sunday but it was absolutely amazing and I had so much fun!
1. Ben Barnes
When: First Time – August 16, 2012; Second Time – April 26, 2015
Where: Pacific Theaters at The Grove (Los Angeles, CA), Jackie & Ryan Premiere (Newport Beach, CA)
I’ve already written extensive blog posts for both of the times I met Ben, so I’ll just leave links to my previous blog posts. I’m not choosing between either of them because they were equally amazing and further cemented my complete and utter adoration for this man.
- First time meeting Ben Barnes
(aka: the love of my life. Haha)– “The Words” Advanced Screening
- Second meeting – “Jackie & Ryan” Premiere
Which famous person would you love to meet? Or if you’ve met them already, please share your fangirl experience with me! I’d love to read them.