Where do I start? The beginning!
My mom and I were catching a 5:20am train to Penn Station in NYC. Since this signing was limited to 200 people, I wanted to get there early! She was up at 3:30, I was up at 4:15. We left at 4:45, stopped for hot chocolate and coffee, and headed to the train station.
The hour and 10 minute train ride felt like the longest ride ever! I guess sleep deprivation and excitement will do that. At 6:30, we were off the train and heading out of Penn Station. The sun was just coming up, and there was something beautiful about NYC so early in the morning. (If I had to do this everyday, I wouldn’t think it was so nice!)
It was a short walk from the train to the comic store where this signing was taking place. We weren’t surprised to see people waiting already! It wasn’t a long line, maybe 10-12 people, including me. Mom wasn’t waiting in the line 'cause she didn’t want to take a spot from a real fan. She didn’t spend too much time out there. She went to Burger, Starbucks, then took a walk down to Macy’s.
While waiting over 5 hours for something that would only last a few minutes, I was talking to a couple of guys in front of me, and 1 behind me. Like me, these guys love horror cons, and go to horror cons around here. We talked about the conventions, people we’ve met, autographs, movies, comics, books, authors.
During this time, the staff of the comic book store gave Grindhouse t-shirts to everyone in line. YAY for the free Grindhouse shirt! And we also found out that there were some special guests joining Quentin for the signing: Robert Rodriguez, Freddy Rodriguez, Rose McGowan, and Rosario Dawson!
After about 4 hours in line, we’re all tired, hungry, and desperately in need of a bathroom, but didn’t want to leave the line! And it was around this time when a small camera crew showed up and started filming the crowd. We thought they were news people. Nope! They were filming stuff for Grindhouse DVD extras! They went down the line, as us fans screamed and yelled into the camera. Then, they started interviewing fans in line. The guys said “Show off your shirt, they’ll interview you!” Why did I have to show off my shirt? ‘Cause it was a Death Proof shirt.
They interview a few fans and are now only a few feet from me. The woman doing the interviews asks “Anyone else?”, the guys point me out, and I say “ME!” So, she asks me my name, who I’m there to see (guess what I said), what I’m expecting from Grindhouse, what I heard about the fake trailers, what I liked about Tarantino’s movies, what I thought of the other guests’ work, and some other questions I’m forgetting now. So, parts of this little interview could end up on the Grindhouse DVD extras! In the famous words of The 5,6,7,8’s, “Woo-hoo, woo-hoo, woo-hoo-hoo!” When you get your Grindhouse DVDs in a few months, watch the extras, and if you see someone in a Death Proof t-shirt and red hat, that’s me!
By 11:45, the guests started to arrive. First, it was Freddy Rodriguez. I snapped a couple of pics of him before he was led into the store. As I was taking my pics, I noticed the low battery light flashing on my camera. No! This can’t happen! I need pics of this wonderful event! I ask mom to run to a store across the street to pick up some AA batteries.
Mom goes off to the store, gets the batteries, I’m struggling to figure out how they go in the camera, and guess who shows up. The genius behind Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, and Kill Bill, one of my heroes, and the only person who’s ever gotten me up and out of my house before dawn: Quentin Tarantino. And thanks to some poorly timed technical difficulties, I have no pics of his arrival.
A few minutes later, Rose McGowan and Robert Rodriguez arrive together. I got no pics of her at that time 'cause of some security guys and photographers in my way, but I did get one shot of Robert. The only one not there was Rosario Dawson.
Since 4 of 5 guests had arrived, the store staff started letting us fans in, 10 at a time. I was in the second group of fans to enter. Between the first group going in and my group going in, Rosario showed up, and I did get a pic of her hugging someone.
Shortly after 12pm, I went into the store, and a long time dream of mine was only minutes from coming true.
They led us to the back of the store, up an aisle, then to the front of the store, where the signing was happening. You think being so close to something I had been waiting so long for, I would’ve been a bouncing, screaming, shaking mess. But I was very calm, not nervous, and very quiet.
The first one at the table was Rosario. I wished I could’ve remembered one of her lines from Clerks 2, but I was just a little distracted. Next to her was Freddy. I told him how much I loved Six Feet Under, it was my favorite show, and I was sad when it ended. He thanked me. Awwww. Just as Freddy said thank you, and I was about to ask him if I could take a picture, Rosario looked in his direction, and I asked if I could get a pic of them together. They got close and I took a cute pic of them.
Next up was Rose. She looks great in all the Grindhouse stills and trailers, but she’s more beautiful in person. As she was signing my poster, I was trying to think of something to say, but drew a blank, so I said it was nice to meet her and asked if I could take a pic. She smiled and posed with her Sharpie .
Robert was next to Rose, and I wanted to tell him how much I loved Sin City, but I was distracted again. Not by him, or anyone else in line, or by my brain being seconds from exploding. Nope. It was all Quentin’s fault. When I put my Grindhouse poster on the table in front of Robert, Quentin said “She’s got the proper poster!” Then, I stood back a little to show him my Death Proof shirt. This must’ve impressed him, 'cause he leaned over the table to shake my hand. At this point, I was really in shock and forgot anything I wanted to say to Robert. I felt bad, 'cause he seems like a really cool guy.
And now, the moment I had been waiting for. Something I never thought would happen. I was face-to-face with Quentin Tarantino. And this is when my little brain finally started working again. The scene went a little like this:
Me: It’s nice to meet you. I’m a big fan, and I’ve got one question for you.
Me: When you directed that CSI episode, why did you torture Nick?
Quentin: Why not Nick?
Me: Because he’s my favorite character!
Quentin: Well, he survived and he’s stronger because of it.
Somewhere in that short period of time, I got a great pic of Quentin and Robert together.
Sadly, I had to leave the store. Would I have liked a few more minutes to talk to him? Of course! But with so many people in line and so little time for the signing, I didn’t get that chance. I’m just proud of myself for actually saying something and not going into total shock, standing there, silent and looking stupid.
The shock hasn’t gone away yet!