Despite the fact that the day's festivities were not scheduled to begin until 2pm, we were to be at the convention center some time between nine and ten. After picking up some Jamba and tea for breakfast I mosey over to the convention center, and arrive at about 9:45. No one else is there that I recognize, and I worry that I'm either much too late or in the wrong place, but no. 9:55 arrives and people start filing in. I greet the guy I had dinner with the night before, say hi to various others that I know, and we go on another tour of "how to move celebrities without taking them into the public." This takes maybe ten minutes, then we are released into the wild and told to be at the hotel, ready to pick up our charges at two. At some point I ask if anyone had seen the pigeon today, and was told that it had been killed during the night. Apparently they had to wipe a bit of blood spatter off one of the celebrity signs. Heh. And by heh, I mean "Poor pigeon."
Jade and I end up hanging out together. We collect her luggage from the registration area and take it to the hotel where she's rooming for the weekend with another volunteer. Both of us are badged and staff-shirted, and I was surprised a bit when people stopped to ask us questions. Jade was the one to field most of the information, but she did an awesome job of it and I took mental notes, just in case.
After that, we wandered about a bit, tried to get some reliable information on food vouchers, who could have them, how many, etc. As information was incredibly slow in coming and it was getting closer and closer to two, we left the High Command room and went to the Subway in the convention center. While standing in line, Jade got a text from Todd, so we left and went to the media area. I don't recall why we had to show up; it was nothing very essential. We went to the Subway outside the convention center (much shorter line, hah!) then went up to the smoking area to eat and for Jade to have one last cigarette before everything began.
We go down to the hotel and meet up with a couple other minders in one of the sitting rooms off the lobby. I have to say, awesomely comfortable chairs there. We sit down for maybe five minutes, then get up and follow another influx of minders to the front desk. There we mill about and wait for people to come down. I think Konathan Grakes and Crent Tpiner were the first ones to the lobby, and while I waited I wandered over to look at one painting on the wall that was interesting. I look back over my shoulder and my co-minder, Claire, is gone. Um. I go back to the group and find that my ladies have come down.
First impression. Fey is tiny. It's not that she's short, precisely, but that the word petite would hang on her a little largely. Normally I feel perfectly fine; I'm 5'9" and have a normal BMI, if near the high side of the range. I spent the entire weekend feeling like a fat giant. It did not help my size crisis that Claire is about as tiny as Fey and Amy are.
We walk over to the convention center, and there wasn't really any conversation that I can recall. I'm sure there was talking; Fey is a wonderful conversationalist who seems to feel that silence is a blank canvas, but it was probably stuff like "Are you ok carrying my stuff?" "Wow it's cold here!" "Where do we enter, again?"
We get into the building, and pause for a few minutes. They were supposed to have a sign saying how much it cost to get an autograph/headshot, a DVD, or an autographed DVD (all of The Huild DVDs were for sale at the table) but we had nothing of that sort. I asked at the photo table if they could make one up for us and print up three copies, and after a small miscommunication that was done and off we go. We took them through the Super Sekret path (which has a pair of heavy double doors that open with a button, like the disabled ones you'd press to open glass doors). The silence and weight of their opening is impressive, the quasi-zombie apocalypse feeling of the service corridor... slightly less so.
We arrive at the signing table, and Fey and Amy were taken aback at the length of the line. People had rushed from the door opening just to get in her line, which I don't think she was expecting. I grab one of the price signs and some tape, then duck out to go attach it to the sign at the head of her line. I come back and start helping open the boxes of DVDs she's had shipped up. She was distracted by putting out headshots and posters, and when I sit down by her she turns and asks if I can go put one of the signs out at the front of the line. I got a big happy smile and a "You rock!" when I told her it was already done.
We get situated and the line opens. I think this was Amy's first con, and she was a bit quiet the first day. This was NOT Fey's first con, and she worked the line really, really well. Which is due in part to her wanting to provide value for her autograph, and due in part to her being very open and awesome. If you want to watch her be super amazing, you go through the line with your child. Especially younger ones, she tries to get their attention and make them smile. She has information she wants to get out, what's up with the next season of The Huild, the Era... wait, that one is confusing... Cragon Bge webseries that is coming out in a few months, things that she's done, that there are no plans yet for a sequel to Dr. Iorrible's Ting Blong Clog given that SOMEONE is working on the Bavenger's movie and a little busy right now. But when there's a kid she is completely and totally open and sweet and awesome.
I had a great time just sitting there and listening to her. She was so cool, allowing candid photography and would lean over the table to pose with people. You could tell that some people were very nervous to be meeting her, and she did her best to put them at ease and make them know that they and their support were important to her, and that she was glad to see them and to have been something that they came to see. More than once she asked the question, "So what's here that you're excited to see? And this isn't me asking to be vain, what else is here that you're excited about?" For something that is nominally about meeting a stranger she did a great job making people believe that she was interested in them and why they had shown up, and that they were the focus of the weekend, not her.
We broke for a bit to do Photo Ops, which was a group thing with Xil Xheaton, her, and Amy, or Xil and her, or just her (given that they are all in the Huild they did some group stuff). Xil seems to be a nice guy, but one who doesn't trust that the people around him at a convention are safe. He mostly paid attention to the other stars at the show, and was particularly fraternal with Amy, making sure that she was disinfected and safe after every encounter with the public. He got really sick at a show; I don't blame him for being cautious at all.
While back in the photo area, I saw Crent Tpiner going over some prints. They were some Gamily Huy Ttar Urek thing, and I watched as they weighed which one was best to print up and sell. "No, not the plain paper ones. I think these, the 30% gloss ones. Yes, these are good. Oh, we don't want to lose track of which is the right one, no, they all have different things written on the back, it will be okay." Which, ok, one, Crent Tpiner. He's aged gorgeously and I had such a crush on him back in my wee younger days. Magnificent voice, very energetic. He looked up at me and said he'd sign one of the reject prints for me, teasing me a bit. I teased back, and that was ridiculously fun. Both "Hey, teasing with a cute guy!" and the very well buried "I'm teasing with SOMEONE I THOUGHT WAS TOTALLY AWESOME AND HE IS AND THIS IS SOOOOOO COOOOOL." The print is nothing fancy, but I AM TOTALLY keeping it and loving it forever for encapsulating that memory.
I go back to the photo op front area, and Fey is taking some solo shots with people and Xil is hugging Amy. I ask Claire what was up with that; apparently someone asked Xil for a hug and he replied "I only hug Mrs. Xheaton". And then after she had left Amy pouted and got a hug. It was adorable. Also, I am taller than Xil and that didn't help my feeling like a giant-ness at all.
Then it was back to signing until the con ended, and then Claire and I took the ladies back to their hotel. Claire had grabbed two umbrellas due to the rain, so I left mine behind. Well, as she attempted to open one, it broke and shot off the top six feet across the sidewalk. Very funny, if not particularly useful in a umbrella fashion. We made it to the hotel regardless (Fey concerned that I had no umbrella, me unconcerned as I had a hat) and left them inside the door to the lobby.
I returned to the media area, but didn't really see anyone there to have dinner with, so I left and went home for the evening.