We got up and got ready for our pictures. Luckily the photo shoot was the first thing of the day, so we would all still look good. We opted for the simple breakfast option of just eating at the hotel and then headed to the convention center just after 9am. The line was already stretched down the block, but we had pretty good spots.
At 10:00 when the line went in we headed downstairs to where the photos would be. Turns out we didn’t have to wait in that line outside that we’d been in for 45 minutes. We could have just headed in right away since the line was for people heading upstairs. Grr. So even though we had technically gotten there before her blond_bear ended up being further up in the line than us.
At first the line had the VIP passes mixed in with the Gold passes, but about 1/2 hour before the photos started they divided us into two lines and at that point we actually ended up being only about 7 spots behind blond_bear. It was all very nice & civilized. Everyone chatted with the people around them, and we didn’t have to worry about losing our spots when we went up to sit by blond_bear for a while. We also met some of her Canadian Browncoat friends. I don’t think she had met them before the convention… Right as the photos were going to start Steve, James’ manager, came out and told us that if we wanted to purchase extra photo tickets we could ($40 each! Eeep!) and that they also had photos, CDs and DVDs for sale. Of all the pictures they had I just really loved this one of him holding a guitar & kind of reclining on a couch, and knew that I needed to buy that to get his signature on it. Until that point I had been planning on having him sign the CD.
Because lucky13charm had purchased her DVD through the British site, it was packaged differently. But it also had playability issues. It was supposed to be region free so that it could play anywhere, but of the 3 DVD players she owns, it only worked on one. When she was asking Steve about it, we both kind of expected him to say that she’d have to deal with the British site to get it replaced or refunded, but Steve just took it & stashed it behind the table and handed her the US version! This was the first of many times that Steve impressed us that weekend.
Because of available funds at the time, I had bought the Civilized Man CD and lucky13charm had bought the DVD, and we each made copies of the other. With the savings on shipping and the whole convenience factor we were each able to pick up the one that we didn’t “own” yet.
Because we were all set with our places in line and we all knew that we would have our turn it was all just kind of relaxed and fun as we sat and talked. I’m not sure who coined the term, I’m thinking it was blond_bear, but we started calling the red VIP badges the “stalker badges” because they got to see James on Fri, Sat, and Sun. Of course, this was 95% jealousy because we didn’t have VIP. Cuz then it wouldn’t have been stalker badges, if we had them!
The VIP line eventually got all their pictures and it was our turn to start going through. They would let a few people at a time go through, and we first went to a table where we were given a piece of paper with a number on it, and we had to tell the woman with the book that had numbered lines that corresponded our names for her to write in. I was number 194. This means that by the time I had my picture taken with him, the poor man had sat through almost 200 photos!
Anyway, the chick asked my name & I said “Sharon” and spelled it. Then she needed the last name & some other smart-ass part of my brain took over and without thinking I said “Marsters.” She started writing it! She got as far as the “Ma-“ before I started laughing & saying, “no, I’m just kidding.” Then it hit her what she was writing… I gave my correct last name, set my bag over by the wall & grabbed moose.
I watched the girl in front of me get her picture and then it was my turn!
Eep! “OK, note to self. Do not turn into a blathering idiot!”
I had seen from the girl in front of me that they would take two pictures, one with James holding the number as a tag for the picture, and then the actual picture. He was sitting on a stool the whole time and it was a whole professional set up with backdrop, lights & the works. As each person walked over for their picture he would turn to face them and greet them.
As I walked up I said “Happy birthday, again. I don’t know if you remember from the hallway last night.” And he smiled and said “Of course.” Then he took the paper w/the number and said “First one’s just a mugshot, doesn’t count.” I’d seen that the second one would come pretty quick after the first so while the mugshot was being taken I asked if he would mind holding my moose for the picture. He took Moose in his left hand and put his right arm around me.
I have never been so glad for the three years I put in working at Proex Portrait Studios! Most people, when getting their pictures taken, don’t instinctively tilt their heads toward each other, even though it makes a better picture. After 3 years of tilting other people’s heads it’s instinct for me to tip mine for photos. So James had Moose in one hand, the other around me and I tipped my head in and so he kind of leaned in towards me too. My temple was touching his head. His hair is soft!
Walking up for the photos was also the first time I noticed that his hair was longer & a reddish brown color. There was a little extra time for the photo compared to some of the others because he was holding Moose too high at first and so the photographer had to have him adjust it.
Then it was over. Too fast! lucky13charm followed with her picture, and we headed upstairs to where the line for the Q & A was.