Ladies and gentlemen if you’ll allow me I’d like to recall the story of my day playing with and interviewing the cast of Bates Motel at Comic Con…
(please note the interviews that took place at the tables will be out in September in Backstage’s Call Sheet)
First off I’m a journalist for an outlet that was semi-covering the con and a number of shows at it. I am also a fangirl. Like a BIG TIME fangirl for Bates Motel and it’s stellar cast. A couple months ago I thought to myself man wouldn’t it be great if I could make Norma’s periwinkle dress from the season 4 finale and walk around all day in it and lay around different places pretending to be dead. Before they had even announced their panel. My sister who lives a country away and shares the love of Bates with me told me “why stop there you should ask a question too.” Knowing how comic con operates… IE the MASSIVE lines that pile up for the Q&A portion… I didn’t feel right promising her that knowing I probably wouldn’t be fast enough to do it.
When they announced they’d be doing a panel I literally put aside everything else for that day and made their panel my priority… Because… duh… it needed to be a priority. It’s their last season, their last year together at the Con… I’d be moron if I didn’t. This also meant they’d be there and I would have a 50/50 chance of getting to cosplay Norma and ask a question. So I mean if that doesn’t make you wet yourself at the thought then you need to drink some water. Your Dehydrated. So I quickly finished my periwinkle (lets be real it’s straight up blue but periwinkle is hard to match with other blue shades) Norma gown and went about finding the perfect wig and contact lenses… It was a task I was all too happy to complete, neurotically and meticulously.
So here I was doing my thang when out of nowhere a rogue email appeared. Somehow word got out to A&E that I might actually have to stop fangirling and do my job. I was invited to do table interviews with the cast after their panel. and I mean IMMEDIATELY after their panel… to the point where I would have to miss the Q&A portion just to run the length of the convention center through a sea of body odor wielding nerds (said lovingly of course) to make the check in time. Well F*ck. First off I have never in my life RSVP’d to a press room faster than I did to Bates. I didn’t care if i had an angle or questions… I just wanted to be in the presence of this phenomenal cast and for a brief moment feel a part of that family they have so lovingly crafted.
So I was all but ready to give up my dream of asking a question… until my coworker hastily suggested I just try to stick around long enough to get a question in and then change before the Q&A. LOL “Change.” But it was now or never right. This was their last year presumably… We sealed the deal with a pinky swear and it was set.
So the day of the Panel I put on like a TON… not even being dramatic… A TON of makeup, some of it mortician grade stuff. I needed to look dead. So I slapped on the foundation, threw in my cloudy, murky contact lenses and slipped into that infamous periwinkle gown, my blonde wig, and headed to the convention with a quick change in tow.
Let me just state that I have done Comic Con a few years now and each year it’s been warm but pleasant and this year… it was like the breath of Satan. Literally it was in the mid-80’s and humid (a rarity for San Diego). The first stop was to check out the situation in room 6A (where the panel was taking place) and check to see what else would be in the room that day. Comic Con doesn’t clear the room after each panel so if there’s something popular at the end of the day… a lot of people will stay in that room until it happens. There wasn’t anything too pressing so my coworker and I went and took a bunch of pictures of me laying dead in random places and then came back a few panels before theirs and slowly inched our way over to the side with the microphone… Now I’m a professional journalist, I ask people questions for a living, and most of the time I do so without shitting myself. But it’s rare that I get to talk to people I truly admire on a show I live and breathe. But my professional self and fangirl alter-ego were at war and I was ready to barf during the previous panel. As Bates was getting ready to start I was getting geared up for my catwalk to the mic. And by catwalk I mean cautious dash. The panel starts and all is going well and then the question portion happens.
I was quick to the mic but still a few people back, but I knew I was in the clear. Oh SHIT I thought… I need a question to actually ask them. Somewhere in the “responsible” part of my brain, I probably catalogued that as one of the many things I needed to do before leaving Los Angeles and heading to SDCC but alas somewhere in the panic of actually solidifying my plans I had neglected to do so.
FYI before you can ask your question you have to tell the mic moderator what you’re going to ask so she knows you’re not a serial killer or something idk. So I literally looked at my dress and was like, “How did you dead so well?”
That’s not even a coherent sentence.
But she bought it and moved on. When I got up to the mic all my nerves literally just fell away and I just zoned in. I remember someone calling me “Mother” and Vera complementing my dress, and her stellar answer that involved acting technique (I’m an actor as well so it was like the perfect storm of amazingness) I remember Carlton taking my photo and wanting desperately to ask if he’d like send that to me but then I was like “No you fool…Be cool… be cool dammit” Nestor was filming me… and then it was over. As I was walking back to my seat I noticed my coworker was absent… she was standing at the back of the hall tapping her wrist and I thought “OH RIGHT I HAVE TO BE A JOURNALIST NOW CRAP.”
I SINCERELY hope no one saw me after that because it probably seemed super rude to dash out but I had a new thing to be re-nervous about. The Press Room. Some guy from NBC stopped me on the way out and took a quick photo but I have no clue what came from that… he was REALLY nice though. As we flew out the back of the convention center I literally peeled off my wig and blue dress while on an escalator with hundreds of other people… leaving a very see-through purple lining. So I ran half naked to the Hilton pressrooms as you do when you’re a serious professional person. Once we got up to the press area I flipped out my contacts, put on a shirt, and bolted for the room only to find out I was 10 mins early. gggggrrrreeeaaatttttt.
I sat at a table and cooled my sweat addled self and began prepping a few questions. Errr a lot of questions. Like too many questions. Way too many questions that may have even included what their favorite color was. I even angrily crossed off my opener for Vera that stated “Congrats on your Emmy Nomination” because that was an optimism that didn’t come to fruition. A couple of other outlets sat at my table but I was sitting there next to where the talent sits… because I ain’t stupid and I know that if you sit next to the talent they’ll address you more than if you’re like way across from them. That’s not scientifically proven it’s just my OCD self thinking it’s accurate. The cast was a little late but they eventually filed into the cramped room. The photo line was first, and situated along the side wall. You could immediately tell when Vera was there because it was like a strobe light of flashes, good thing no one was prone to seizures.
The first at our table was Max. He was a delight. Seriously just a really nice guy and very easy to bounce questions off of. While mid-question it hit me… omg what if someone recognizes me… I mean I had on a wig and contacts but my long face is still MY LONG FACE. I did everything possible to make myself look unlike whatever I had looked like as Norma. And for the time being, at least, I had fooled Max into thinking I wasn’t a crazy fan who happened to get a press badge.
We got about 5 minutes per cast member and my table was a relatively quiet bunch… so I took it upon myself to turn this into my own personal one on one interviews.
Next up was Nestor. Guys this man is pretty. IDK how else to explain it. Like he’s much more commanding in person. And those eyelashes aren’t as noticeable either, they just sort of blend. His smile is very noticeable though. He’s also incredibly charismatic and intelligent about the way he answers questions. I’ve interviewed a lot of people who give you the same answer for everything and you can tell the wheels aren’t really turning upstairs (that’s so mean I’m gonna need to repent really hard for that sentence) but I can honestly say everyone was excited and thoughtful about their answers. Also fun little nugget of info… Nestor is a hand talker and it’s awesome because he kept bumping my recorder so now I have like this remix version of nestor answering and then serving up a beat like some Unicorn rapper. Also while sitting there Max walked by and said “Don’t trust this man!” all jokingly. Nestor replied with “you can trust me I’m a Sheriff…” and then he super depressingly realized, “ well… I used to be…”
I fangirl died inside but remained Profesh on the outs.
If I’m remembering correctly Carlton and Kerry sat down next (fun fact I almost ran into Kerry on the convention floor the following day) They were also super gracious and sweet and here I was thinking that Carlton would be super intimidating to talk to because of LOST and all the shows he commands, but you could tell the care they had for this show and it’s cast by how gracious and honest they were with their answers.
Next was Freddie, who still looks exactly like he did in Finding Neverland and I love him to death but I was like, “OMG you’re a baby and you’re only like a year younger than me.” When he sat down you could tell he was a little distracted and he kept looking under the table and he stopped in the middle of his first question and said (trying to remember exactly without listening to my recorder) “I’m sorry I just… I just learned about this thing called Pokemon Go… and apparently they’re everywhere and I thought maybe there were some in here… under the table or something.” And from that point on all I could think about was how he thought Pokemon Go was the hunting of actual physical pokemon that someone had hidden in actual places. It was the best. Also he’s super british which I knew but it’s always semi-alarming to hear it in person.
Next was Vera. She’s like etherial guys. She’s also the one I wanted to recognize me least… and as far as I could tell she didn’t connect me to the girl who moments earlier was cosplaying her dead corpse so … win?
First off…She’s beautiful in person and she’s quirky and taller than I would have expected, as was Nestor but I digress… She sat down and you get kinda locked in on her eyes because they are iridescent. I also noticed she had a wee bit of lipstick on her tooth and I suddenly started questioning the etiquette of telling an interview subject that they need to lick their tooth. Luckily she got it before her first question and we were rolling. She is also a hand talker… and a body talker. Like reach across the table and into your damn soul. She also skews between shy and commanding and it’s endearing. She is also very Norma like in the way she sorta starts a thought and then gets lost in it and her stream of consciousness and it’s sort of entrancing. When she got up to leave she lingered at the table a little and was talking to her handler (the PR person who takes them from table to table and dictates the time you get). She was just incredibly down to Earth and friendly and as soon as she stepped away the other journalist started talking about how striking she was in person. Which rarely ever happens. Journalist typically just get up and leave, not sit and gush about the looks of the person they just interviewed… but feeling fangirly I shamelessly joined in. As we were exiting the room I exhaled and I was just completely taken by the whole experience. It’s rare that meeting and talking to people you admire or shows you adore live up to your expectations when you interview them but for over an hour I felt part of that family. And I get it, they’re all egoless people just enjoying their time on a show that doesn’t really conform to the way TV is often done and I can honestly say that day was a highlight of my professional and fangirl life.
ooc; the videos I have from when I saw raw last November tho :| now I truly see why I should not be allowed outside. Just me flailing in the background and shouting “do the ziggle wiggle, dolph, it’s my birthday!!!“ I mean srsly nat. And of course telling someone to stfu for saying Punk sucked, I mean. Funniest part is my brothers voice just going, “you’re a creep…” lmao.
So, every day Laurel Tweets something inspriational to kind of keep people thinking positively and moving forward each day. I really appreciate that, so I Tweeted to her and told how much they make my day and let her know I look up to her very much and now she’s following me on Twitter.