Sorry for the length of this post, but I had one of the best weekends ever. I’ve been volunteering and working autograph lines at Fan Expos and Toronto ComiCons for awhile now, but this year was my favourite experience so far. I really wanted to work Katie Cassidy’s line because I love Laurel Lance/Black Canary and my team leads were amazing. Knowing I wanted to work her, my team captain let me switch teams on the third day of the convention so I could work her line, I even picked up extra shifts. Katie flew from Salt Lake City Comic Con to LA on a redeye flight, then an overnight flight to Toronto for Fan Expo Saturday morning so she took a nap when she arrived so she could be on for the show, but some fans were a little annoyed with the schedule hiccups because that meant her signing line started later and they had been waiting. Luckily our table was positioned next to John Barrowman’s, and he really helped keep the crowd calm and helped the volunteers out by being hilarious. Not only did he keep our line entertained for 2 hours, but he gave out Tim Tams to all the fans that were lined up waiting and took a huge group photo with all of us which he posted on twitter and facebook.
Once Katie arrived it got even better. First of all, her handler, Cher, was so great. I loved working with her and Katie. Cher was amazing at her job and so nice and Katie was amazing with her fans and very apologetic to everyone for the delay, even though it was something that was out of her control. When John came back from his panel and saw Katie he ran over to the table and gave her a big hug. To see them both so happy was the cutest thing ever. She was very professional and I knew she was beautiful from seeing her on tv, but in person, she is gorgeous. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who looks better in person then they do on screen. I honestly couldn’t believe it.
Her autograph line was huge and her schedule for the weekend was really tight, but she made sure she signed for everyone and kept telling me to keep people coming, right up until her photo-op with John Barrowman and Alex Kingston. At one point during her signing time, she called me over to the table and quietly said, “Hey, sorry, excuse me. Would you mind getting me a diet coke? Is that okay? It’s okay for me to ask you that, right? Am I allowed to ask you?” And I just said, “Absolutely,” and went to get it for her. I was surprised with the interaction because she was so polite and didn’t want to be a bother to me or interrupt my job. I had no problem running and getting whatever she wanted, I was happy to help. Another thing that really stood out to me was how poised and elegant she was. From the way she sat, to the way she moved and spoke to people, every volunteer around her table commented on how well she presented herself. When she was done signing Cher asked me if I could come back and do Katie’s line the next day and gave me her number so that she could keep me updated with Katie’s schedule.
On the second day Katie’s schedule was tight. Cher texted me in the morning updating me about the plan for the day, Photo-ops, interview, Q&A panel, autographs. Since Katie & Cher liked me, Cher informed me that she had talked to Katie and Katie was going to be signing something for me for free, which if you had seen me that day you would know I was beyond happy. I was planning on paying for Katie’s autograph, but that was a very kind gesture that I appreciated. It’s a misconception that we get free autographs when we volunteer for Fan Expo. We typically pay the same as everyone else and if you do get offered a free autograph it means the handler and celebrity really enjoyed working with you. I had a photo-op with Katie as well which was cool and I didn’t mention this above, but Katie had two security guards that stayed with her throughout the event because of an issue with a stalker, and when I walked in for my photo-op her security immediately recognized me and started talking to me right away. The second Katie saw me joking with the guards she greeted me with the biggest smile and this big, happy, “Hey!”
In the afternoon she had a Q&A panel, which I got to attend thanks to my team captain. During the panel there were a lot of questions about her acting methods, she talked about finding out Black Canary would be the character who died on Arrow and how she only found out 2 episodes beforehand. Again the manner she conducts herself in astounds me, you could tell she’s still upset that she was killed, she talked about when she got the call from the producers and said, “It sucked and it still sucks,” but she was so gracious about it and went on to say that, “It’s tv,” and she was happy that she got 4 and a half years playing Laurel and Black Canary. She talked a little about her new deal to appear across Arrow, Flash, & Legends, and also said she’s going to be filming a movie in LA as well. She talked about her crossover episode on The Flash and talked about the fact that she and Caity Lotz are roommates in Vancouver this year and last year she was roommates with Danielle Panabaker. She joked about the fact that everyone on The Flash can sing like Broadway stars so there should be a musical episode of The Flash, but not of Arrow because apparently they aren’t very good singers. Someone brought up the fact that in the Arrow fandom it seems really hard to be a fan of both Felicity and Laurel to which Katie replied, “Yeah… I don’t know why. I love Emily. We love each other.” The same person also asked Katie how she deals with all the attacks on her and Laurel and the “Bye Bye Birdie” hashtag and Katie answered that she, “…didn’t even know that was a thing.” She said she doesn’t read instagram and twitter comments because it would make it hard for her to enjoy what she does and feel proud of it without being self conscious. She’s human too and said, “I guess the way I deal with it is not knowing it exists.” She then went on to say that she knows a lot of people started out not liking Laurel and she hoped the character had grown on them over the four years as she developed and grew into the Black Canary. A lot of people cheered when she said that and she talked a little about the alcoholism and addiction storyline of season 2. She also shared a story about a day on set that was a really emotional day for her playing Laurel. She had been crying a lot to get into the tone and character for the scene she and Stephen had shot and it was a heavy episode when all of a sudden she got this text from John Barrowman, who wasn’t on the call sheet that day and was supposed to be in Palm Springs. The text he sent was a series of photos of him in her trailer with his bare ass on everything she owned and when she showed it to Stephen, “he freaked out and was like, ‘Ah! I don’t want to see that!’” But apparently it was exactly what she needed to lift her up and make her smile after having filmed the heavy episode.
After the panel she came up and did her final signing for the day and once we got through her line I got to pick a photo I wanted her to sign, and I was happy just to have it signed, but she asked if I wanted it personalized. So I said, “Sure if you don’t mind,” and she smiled and said, “Yeah, let me personalize it!” So she asked me to hold my badge so she knew how to spell my name correctly, then wrote, “Thank you!” When she finished signing I took a quick moment and just said, “You’re awesome, thank you so much. I really enjoyed working your line and meeting you.” To which she replied, “No, you’re awesome. Thank you. You did such a great job this weekend, I really appreciated it.”
So long story, but if you read it all, all I can say is Katie Cassidy is beautiful and she is so nice. I’ve heard so many people try to say bad things about Katie, but having worked with her, I have nothing but good things to say. I had an amazing weekend working with her and Cher, and working at the table next to John Barrowman was so fun. Working with her also made me realize all over again how sad I am that Laurel was the character that the Arrow writers killed. Best weekend I’ve had at Fan Expo yet.