I woke up at 6:30 am after a wonderful and deep sleep and couldn’t fall asleep again. My alarm clock rang 30 minutes later and I prepared my day…getting a croissant for breakfast, checking the web again and then took off to meet V so we could both get together to the convention center.
The EXPO shuttle bus was crowded with many cosplayer but we got a tiny spot and drove the 10 minutes to the convention center. We were a little bold and sneaking into the very long line ;o)
Here we were, inside FACTS with thousands of other people, half of them dressed up in awesome and very creative costumes.
The first thing we organized were the tickets for the photo shooting. Both of us decided for Norman and Sean together. Sean Clark was around and he prepared the places for the guys. Only a little while after, Norman and Sean arrived their tables. (Unfortunately they were placed all together…so you couldn’t get around for CLOSER contact.) It was so surreal to see Norman in front of me and not on a screen.
We got in line for Sean (to come a little down) and met shade-duelist. I remembered her outfit and just said hello. The talking with Sean was short but he was very kind. He asked for my name and I needed to spell it. He said he liked he name and asked where it comes from. Antje is a Dutch and North Germany name. In the end I offered my hand and he shook it…so cool.
Next stop Norman’s line. I was surprised. Okay, there were maybe 20 people in front of us and it was always the longest line of FACTS, but I expected MUCH more people and two hours waiting.
Again V was first and my nervous level was HIGH.(Not as high as before my Diplom Defense, but not much lower.) I had to pay, the camera, the gift, the book and Norman only 2 meters away…it was a little too much for me. Then he greeted me (but I can’t remember how he called me) and I also didn’t say my name. Nevertheless, he spotted my shirt (my own Cheap Trick version with his different rolls). He liked it and asked if he could get a photo…of course ;o)
He counted all the movies and only made a mistake with Moscow Chill, lol. But I think Norman didn't really get the Cheap Trick reference. Then I gave him my photo book present, with Action Daryl’s adventures ‚Meets me in Berlin‘. Somewhere there he hugged me for the first time. I also showed him my version of ‚Portrait of a Young Man Drowning the book Six Ways to Sunday is based on. He liked it. At last I asked for a photo of Action Daryl and Big Daryl passing my present. I passed the figure and Norman bit in Action Daryl‘s head (He has so nice teeth, why he shows them so less?). What a photo motive which no one took. My reaction: Waaah, no! I made a tiny short movie of the two, because the light was so awful to make photos without flash. I told Norman that it was a challenge to get my Action Daryl and thought the info were enough, but Norman really asked why…so I needed to explain it a little…so woah!
But then it was over…I just hugged him again and left with all my stuff. V and shade-duelist waited for me. We were so on a high but then I remembered, that I paid for more than one autograph because I should organize Scud for Kristina. See, it was really too much for me. I really missed this during the visit. I sneaked back to Norman’s table and talked shortly with his assistant. She remembered me and I got quickly the sign. I said sorry to Norman for the interruption but he was cool and relaxed.
Next station the blackbox where the Q&A and TWD-Seed screening should happen. We had great places, second row and sat there for 4 hours. V and I knew that when we give up the places we would never get them back. We were entertained by another show screening and two Q&As of a True Blood actress and a Battlestar Galactica actor. Because Lauren Cohan needed to cancel her appointment, Sean and Norman did their Q&A together (Sean should have one alone and Norman & Lauren another). AMAZING, AMAZING, AMAZING (beside the drummers)! Watch one of the many videos.
Last point of the day, the shooting with the Boondock Saints. Wow, what a huge line, but V and I got nice company of other German fans. The waiting, like the whole day passed by very quickly. The photo was over in a second…but in this second I had both guys in my arms and got a tiny squeeze of Norman in my side and he made another cute comment to my shirt…
…best experience ever. As I went, I shook again their hands and left.
Yes, FACTS day one went better then my highest imaginations about this day…
After meeting V we took again the bus to the convention center. Sunday was even chillier and the promised good weather was missing. But at least we met B+A the other German fans in the line and took again a good place.
First we organized our photo tickets. For this day we decided just to make a photo with Norman. Following we finally explored the convention. Saturday was no time to stroll through the aisles and the good thing of Sunday there were only half as much people around. One seller had wonderful prints of Norman’s TWD promo cards. I bought three and decided to use one to get another sign by Norman. I got in line and didn’t need to wait too long to meet him again.
Norman was very nice. He said he remembered me form the day before o_0. He asked for my name and I needed to write it down…oh my hands shook so much. I showed him my ‘Goren Knows Everything’ shirt and said that I cheat on him with Vincent D’Onofrio today. I asked for Pawn Shop Chronicles. But both actors didn’t meet on set. Sean jumped into the talk and said that he is now filming with Vincent. But he didn’t say which movie. I got my sign, long hand holding close to Norman’s chin (which I didn’t remember as V told me…oh dear so much input in too less time) and then I left to give V her moments with Norman.
A little later I remembered that Suzanne asked me to tell Norman how much we like Melissa McBride. See, I missed so much in Norman’s company. Next time I’ll make a list and skim the points. Like I told you day two was less crowded and so I got again in Norman’s line. Lol, even his security guard remembered me. I stepped to Norman to tell him that Melissa is the best and he should tell her, how much we like her. He answered ‘no way’. I argued ‘of course, she is the best’ and he replied again with a ‘no way’. In the end I said that I hope Melissa will be around TWD for a long time. I asked for another hug, got it and left.
For the Q&A we got places in the first row. Also shade-duelist could come again. Norman and Sean were very entertaining and the time flew by quickly. At least there was no drum session at the same time but the FACTS staff still had mic problems.
The last point of our day was the photo shooting. This time it went even quicker than the three seconds of Saturday. Norman was on his spot, greeting you, photo, photo, thank you, good bye sweetheart, out of the room.
To V and my surprise Norman and Sean didn’t left the convention after their photo sessions. They got back to their signing tables and met more of their fans. We placed around to have a few last impressions before we would go and end this adventure. shade-duelist got in Norman’s line again and she promised to point on us so we could wave good bye to him. It was perfect. He spotted us, we mouthed bye bye, waved (like crazy) and left…
Oh yes, Ghent coasted me a lot of money but every cent was worth. See, this was the birthday gift I made myself.
I had a great time. V and I bonded quickly and there were no odd or strange moments. She was the perfect partner for this craziness. My hosts were friendly and the room cozy. Ghent and also Brussels were beautiful cities.
Plus there was Norman Reedus. I know he won’t remember me, when running accidently into him tomorrow in the streets. But he is trained enough to be very kind and gracious to each of his fans. When you’re in front of him, he concentrated on you. He chats with you. You even got more questions to explain yourself. He let you feel like he is really interested (even if he can’t meeting so many people in so less time).
I hope to repeat this weekend at another time and another place. Maybe not tomorrow but sometimes next year would be great ;o) Let’s see were Norman will be next in Europe and I'll have my check up list.
I didn't make many photos. My camera is over 7 years old, the light was no good, Norman moved so much and I can't calm my hands for a second.