Thursday, December 22, 2011

Adventures in Non-Wonderland

This blog is a long time overdue, and I chock it up to being pulled in too many directions and being distracted.  So, let’s time travel a bit, to the beginning of December.  I get a phone call from my sister, who normally never calls me when I’m at work, or when she’s at work, so I figured it was something important.  She told me about a great opportunity with one of our friends who’s a screen-writer.  She had an offer I basically couldn’t refuse.  My sister works for US Scareways, so she has the ability to put me on a plane for less than $700, and with last minute fares that is what it would have cost.  This conversation took place on December 1st.

The following Monday, the 5th, I was pretty much all set.  I had packed a bag for overnight, told my boss I’d be MIA for the rest of the day and part of the following morning, and at about mid-day, I booked it out of my office.  I am not as familiar with National Airport (I know the real name is Ronald Reagan International Airport, but I’ve lived here too long to call it anything other than National).  Flying standby has a certain air to it.  There’s that feeling that you may not make the flight, but that you’re also going to jet off to someplace exciting, hopefully, and pay far less than most people.  Thankfully, my destination has an hourly shuttle, so I was never in any danger of missing the flight.

Once the one o’clock flight boarded, they gave my boarding pass and off I went.  This was also the point where I was reading the final Eragon book, and was surprisingly interested in the outcome (I was still early on, later I realised the let down).  The flight was less than an hour away and once I arrived at my destination, I was surprised by the warm weather. 

After I dropped my bag off at the hotel, I grabbed a car and went into town.  Now this is the part where I unfortunately have to give up my secret location, but it is half the fun.  I am not the most knowledgeable traveller, so I often entrust my trip planning to others, but since I was flying solo, quite literally, I had to plan for myself.  I’ve been to New York City many times, but mostly my sister has us running at a marathon pace, never really enjoying anything.  Lucky for me I got a great driver who took me right next to my first destination, the Nintendo World Store.

There is only one Nintendo World store in the world, so it was pretty cool.  Truth be told, it wasn’t the first time I’d been there, but as a proud new owner of a 3DS, I thought I had to go.  I mostly got things for my niece, a cutie onsie with a Koopa Troopa on it and a plush Koopa Troopa that she could play with (read put in her mouth, but she’s not yet one, so can you blame her?).  I also bought myself a cute Nintendo World t-shirt.  More importantly, for those of you who are fans, I took pics of the Zelda display that was there.

After that, I met up with my and my sister’s high school friend, Kelly Jean, who writes screenplays and is a member of a group that allows her access to what I’d say are hard to get into events.  We had dinner and then headed to the Time Warner building to the event being held by the BAFTA’s.  It was interesting to see so many people queued up on a Monday night in downtown New York, but given the person appearing, it wasn’t all that surprising.

We sat down in a modest auditorium; I’d say maybe two to three hundred people might have been able to fit.  Before the presentation began, there was a brief video trailer, one I’d actually seen before; you could call it a ‘mega’-trailer, one that’s made for a feature that has many instalments.  Being the fan that I am, most of you reading should be able to guess which few fandoms this might be.

Once the trailer stopped and the lights came back up, the guest of honour was announced in the building and this being the second time I’ve seen him in person, it was exciting to watch Daniel Radcliffe bound down the stairs and up onto the low stage to thunderous applause.  What followed was somewhat of a whirlwind, in all honesty.  The interviewer was utter rubbish.  He asked the same questions any die-hard Harry Potter fan knows the answers to.  It was beyond annoying to listen to Radcliffe answer the same tried and tired questions about how he felt being a star, what was it like growing up in Potter and the like.  But despite that, there was a freshness to the answers.  Radcliffe showed no signs of every having heard the questions before and answered them easily and with a good bit of humour injected.

I think the parts that stuck out for me were the moment he double-checked with his father on an answer, his parents were both in attendance, and his candour about his latest project on stage, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. I haven’t seen a ton of footage on that, so seeing it finally was interesting.  I also had seen Equus, so getting to hear his thoughts on that project was interesting.  I was really hoping for some of his other friends to show up, but that didn’t happen.

Also, sadly, there was no chance for any kind of photo op or autograph session.  Though truth be told, I already have Mr. Radcliffe’s autograph thanks to Artbox.  Google it and you’ll understand what I mean.

I do apologise for the lack of timeliness on this blog post.  I have been agonising writing it since I got back, but thanks to a quick and rather debilitating cold, I was unable to collect my thoughts.  Even now I’m sure I’ve forgotten something of note.  Needless to say, one night in New York, alone or with friends, is always memorable.

1 comment:

  1. glad you had a good time - puh-lease I don't take NYC in a whirlwind pace, sheesh! You are just not observing when I'm doing the tour guiding. And I think its sweet how you mostly got stuff for your niece. Blows my mind, "your niece," who would have thought it.