When we first started attending conventions I was excited and scared to meet celebrities. I would look from afar and try to sneak in a photo or two, usually the backs of their heads or some shit. That fear has since subsided and I have come to realize that they are regular folks just doing their job. Their job just happens to be witnessed and scrutinized by the public. However, there is still one celebrity that I wish to meet, but I am still intimidated by- Mr. Wil Wheaton.
I may never get an opportunity to meet him. I missed a couple of chances to meet him in the past, simply because of my nervousness in meeting new people. At the end of April 2012- the main cast of Star Trek:TNG met for the first time in two decades. Hearing them all together on stage brought back so many memories of my early teenage years. I still hold some hope in having a chance to at least thank him for influencing my teenage years when Star Trek:TNG was first being aired. It was also the Convention that I began to use Twitter, and he was one of the first people I began to follow. Watching “Wesley Crusher” on screen got me through a tough time in highschool where I wished to be anywhere in the universe but where I was. Now, years later, Wil Wheaton has inspired me to get my family playing tabletop games. Every convention we attend, my children head to the gaming area to play games. I have been told on numerous occasions how wonderfully behaved they are as well as how surprisingly good they are at teaching new players how to play tabletop games.
It may seem strange to mention gaming, but it was when just my wife and I went to Emerald City ComiCon in 2013 and the website/YouTube channel Geek & Sundry was just starting to take off. G&S was set up in the gaming section. I happened to wander over there and sat down to play Zombie Dice. I played against four other people whom I didn’t know. They were super awesome and explained the idea of the game to me- I ended up winning the round and was given an opportunity to return the next day to play a game against Felicia Day. I had no idea that this was going to happen. I had never met a celebrity in the past, and winning a chance to play a game against someone like that? Wtf! Cool!
I knew that both Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton were at the con, but had no idea that I’d be within the vicinity of either of them. That night I went back to my hotel room and re-watched “Tabletop” episodes on YouTube to get an understanding of what games were possibly going to be played. The next day I showed up to play my match against Felicia Day. Nervous as hell, I gave her a gift from my wife and I sat there and lost. Felicia Day wasn’t holding back and seemed to enjoy the game Munchkin!
After our game, she kindly posed for a photo with me. Then Wil Wheaton came out to play a game with another round of lucky winners. I faded back and was lost in the crowd now. His confidence and kindness towards his opponents blew me away. He monologued for a bit (pretty sure that was his way of dealing with large crowds, I don’t blame him) and then played his round of games. This was the year that Geek & Sundry announced and began International Tabletop Day. I was all over it! We made up-cycled some trophies, set up tables, invited friends, & played games.
As the date grew near, I posted a few pictures on Twitter about what we were doing for the event. Suddenly, it happened, the King of the Geeks re-tweeted me. There I was, a guy in his late 30’s, going all “Fan-Girl” because Wil Wheaton shared my Tweet.
Since this experience, I have gone out and met numerous Celebrities at these conventions that we attend. All of them have been amazingly kind. I don’t always ask for an autograph, often times I just talk to them about their past projects or upcoming shows. I express my thanks for the work they’ve done and usually they pose for a quick picture with me or a handshake. It’s a job & they work hard at promoting themselves. Talking with people has now become a hobby of mine. I guess I’m just the kind of guy that most people feel comfortable just blabbing with. My children also love to come up to say hello to celebrities with me. My son once told Boba Fett (Jeremy Bulloch) that he had just met Batman (Adam West) and Robin (Burt Ward). My middle daughter enjoys cartoons from the 80’s and 90’s and really enjoyed talking with the voice talents of The Powerpuff Girls when we met them at Comikaze.
My daughter wanted to come with me last year to meet Anne Wheaton and Bonnie Burton at Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo, where she (Anne Wheaton) proceeded to vandaleyes my shirt and gave my daughter some googly eyes to play with as well.
I feel that over the years, I have gotten so close to meeting Mr. Wheaton, but never quite made it there. I’ve met his friends, family, & coworkers. Meeting him just isn’t in the cards at this time I guess. Perhaps when I’m 70, I’ll run into him and we will talk about the old days- when beer was beer and board games were played on boards, not drinks from a replicator or games on a holodeck.