I arrived at FXShow in Orlando and immediately knew something was up. There was a line that stretched from the double doors leading into the main convention room to a small makeshift room made out of red and white curtains.
After asking around, I found out the line was for photo opps with Nathan Fillion, a.k.a. Captain Tightpants from Firefly and Serenity of the Whedonverse and one of the celebrities at the event. On impulse, I decided to shell out 30 hard-earned bucks to get a picture with him and see if he'd tell me who I could talk to to schedule an interview with him.
Adding to my impulsive decision was the fact I'm a Browncoat. A picture with Fillion couldn't hurt.
The line moved fast; the staff members inside the makeshift photo room were fast and efficient. Every shuffle brought me closer to my quarry as I listened to the people around me talk about Fillion and Whedon related news and gossip.
As myself and three other people were herded inside the photo area and handed over the tickets that promised us each a pose with the star, I was struck by how strange the event was. Fillion, ever affable, reminded me of a congenial politician kissing babies and wooing voters. Either that, or it was like a sideshow where two-bits extra could get me in to see the two-headed cow, or in this case a picture with a man who, up to this point, existed in my fantasies of living in a run-down transport ship at the edge of outer space.
"Hey sweetheart, how're you doin'?" He asked as he put his arm around me and smiled for the camera.
"I'm with the press," I blurted as I thrust my press pass towards him. The corners of his lips began to turn down as he glanced at me, so I continued, the words tumbling forth from my mouth. "Do you know who I can talk to to arrange a short interview with you?"
"No, I'm sorry I don't," he replied.
We both smiled and glanced back at the camera right as the flash went off. I could feel sweat build over my body as I began to tense up.
"Okay, I'll ask around." At that moment, I just wanted to get out, but our picture didn't turn out very good, even for speed shot standards. The photographer looked at his digital display and looked back at us.
"One more time, guys," He told us. We smiled wide, and Fillion pulled me back to his side for a second pose. Then, I was out of the stifling photo room and gulping the climate controlled air of the rest of FXShow. The whole fiasco behind the red and white curtains couldn't have taken more than a minute, and it felt more like ten seconds.
Ten seconds of failure. But, I was persistent. I love a good challenge.
After talking to three or four members of the FXShow staff, I was granted an interview with Nicholas Brendon (the resulting article will be posted soon) and told that Saturday was a busy day for Fillion, but it was likely I could talk to him on Sunday, when things slowed down.
Sunday worked well for me; I had a hotel room waiting and wanted to talk to as many artists and authors attending the con as possible. So, I explored the con to get my bearings, set up a couple of interviews, and drove to my hotel to check in and eat dinner, knowing the next day I could pick up my 8x10 of me with Fillion and have another crack at an interview with him.