Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cheryl, our amazing field reporter

Okay, this is why I suck: ages ago, our friend Cheryl went to the Gleek Tour location in her area, and agreed to write a blog post about it. She waded through the sea of teenage goths at Hot Topic, only to have her brilliant article drop through the cracks of my email inbox. But now I've found it and am able to present, in all it's glory, Cheryl's awesome article about the Gleek Tour:

Y’all remember back in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s when the Disney Channel was subscription only? I used to beg and beg my parents to sign up for it, but, they never would. So I did something I’m not very proud of – I befriended a girl for her cable package.

Every day after school, we would go over to her house, her mom would make snacks and we would watch The New Mickey Mouse Club. We never missed it. So, when it was announced on the show that they were going to be coming to our local mall (our mall!), we were so there. I still have my poster with Ricky Luna’s autograph. Britney, Christina, Timberlake, Fergie and Ryan Gosling must’ve known even then that they were too big to sign autographs in a suburban Texas Sears.

Which brings me to Wednesday and the Hot Topic Gleek Tour. Even though this time I was able to drive myself there, and I was surrounded by kids that were in diapers when Jamie and I freaked out over the Mickey Mouse Club, the only real difference I saw in this mall tour was how much savvier TPTB have gotten in the last two decades. They’ve realize there’s a business in this. Eight-year-old me only had to show up and hope that she was there early enough to get a spot in line. Considerably older me had to buy a $25 t-shirt to get a wristband that got me in to the meet and greet. It guaranteed me a spot, though, so whatever. And this way also had everyone in line, some 200 people in Dallas, in and out in about an hour as opposed to the four or five the old way took.

Credit for pictures goes to Crystal Xia,
who agreed to be Cheryl's photographer.

Of course, that meant basically it was just an autograph assembly line, though. We were only allowed in three or four at a time and as soon as you were done getting your stuff signed you were very politely but firmly shoved out the door by a man with a headset. But, being that this was at Hot Topic, Headset Guy was a forty-something dude with an earring so his intimidation factor took a pretty big hit.

So, I wasn’t able to hang around (which would have been weird anyway) but I was able to talk with the cast a little bit while I was getting my stuff signed. The one thing that’s been bugging me since the pilot aired in May is the name of the school, McKinley High. My favorite TV show of all time, Freaks and Geeks, used the same name for their high school and, given the very similar tones of the two shows, I had a feeling it wasn’t a coincidence. I asked if I was right and Cory Monteith, who plays Finn Hudson, confirmed that it was an homage. If I wasn’t a fan before, that would’ve done it. Freaks and Geeks reference=good TV in my book.

Overall, they were just incredibly sweet. They really couldn’t have been more gracious. Even after all the press the show has been getting this summer and the hordes of fans they’ve seen this past week and a half alone, they still seemed to be genuinely pleased and surprised that people like what they’re doing.

After the meet and greet, there was a scheduled Q&A in the mall court that was open to the public. I had gotten a pretty good spot in line for the signing, so I was able to get through and out quickly and subsequently got a pretty good spot for the Q&A as well. They were setting up the mics as I got there so I was sure to get a spot with a clear line of sight to the tallest mic, which I assumed was for Cory Monteith. I think I speak for all tall girls when I say thank you Hollywood for all the tall, cute guys you’ve been putting on our TVs lately. Keep it up.

Earlier, while I was standing in line for the signing, a totally edgy and not at all conformist Hot Topic employee came around and asked if we had any questions about the show. Now, like I said earlier, I really like the show, but I have the same problem with it as Monkey Sri and Maggie and tons of other people do, namely that the only minority characters in a show about outcasts seem to be one dimensional stereotypes. For now, I’m willing to give Ryan Murphy the benefit of the doubt based on what a phenomenal job he’s done on nip/tuck and Popular, but it’s still something I’m curious about. So, I grabbed a slip of paper and asked Monkey Sri’s Comic Con question again. And again the censors got to it and it didn’t get asked. This is a PR tour after all. They’re looking for softball questions, and boy did they get them.

All the usual suspects were there:
Are you anything like your characters?
Did you sing at all before you got the part?
Who’s the practical joker of the cast?
Who’s the best dancer?

Blah, blah,blah, we’ve all heard it before. Chris Colfer, who plays Kurt Hummel, was able to keep it interesting though. His answers were either brilliantly crafted or painfully honest but either way they were so funny. When they were asked who they hung out with in high school, he said the lunch ladies, and his hero in show business is Mickey Mouse because he made it okay to be a guy with a high-pitched voice. Between that and him being so nice at the signing about my kindergarten-level artwork, Kurt is my favorite now.

Oh and, last thing, seriously guys, you gotta check out the routine they did to “Push It.” While we didn’t get a screening in Dallas, they did show that clip. It hasn’t been officially released so I won’t provide a link here, but it’s all over YouTube and absolutely worth a look. I had a lot of fun, I’d tell you guys to check it out in your area, but it’s almost over now. If you happen to live in LA, though, it’s definitely worth checking out.

Thanks for sharing, Cheryl!

1 comment:

Maggie Cats said...

Great job, Cheryl! I wish I could have been there.

And Push It definitely brought the house down when they showed that bit at Comic Con. You are right about the awesomeness!