Still... a couple of weeks ago I flew out to Los Angeles for my friend Zeph's 30th birthday party. Zeph is an convention nee online friend who I met through Tribe fandom close to 10 years ago and she had a fantastic plan for a birthday party. For those of you who've heard me talking about Accomplice in New York City, there's also an Accomplice: Hollywood, and Zeph was having an Accomplice party!! I dithered back and forth for quite a while about going out to L.A. I'd need someone to watch Alys and make sure she got up for school in the morning, I'd need a ride to and from the airport, I'd need a pile of money to pay for said trip and of course, I have this REALLY pathological fear of earthquakes... so I'd have to go to L.A. That's the place that collapsed into the sea so that the movie Escape from L.A. could take place.
After lots of thought, encouragement from several friends, and the help of my eldest, I decided I couldn't miss out on something this cool and headed off for L.A. on an early Thursday morning (left the house around 4:30 AM after getting to bed at 3:30 AM... I was SLEEPY!) But before I left...
I thought about my other Hollywood dream.
See Michael G. Canaan lives in L.A. Who is Michael G. Canaan you might ask? Well his photo is up there in my icon right now. He's the actor who played the Pink Pummeler in Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog and I've been absolutely entranced with all six seconds of his nuanced performance as the Pummeler. Okay, maybe it's not that nuanced, I don't know, I just know that I was completely hooked on him from the very first time I saw Act 3 and even though his wasn't my first Dr. H. costume, it was the one I most wanted to make. I've been cosplaying the Pink Pummeler for more than a year now, mostly with the help of ... well Michael G. Canaan. See, I went online to find good photos of the outfit and I found his myspace page and emailed him.... and time went by. Then I found his youtube channel with some extra Pink Pummelery goodness and emailed him through there. Then I found his facebook.
You get the picture right? I SWEAR I wasn't stalking him. Just being ultra enthusiastic in a way that I so often tend to be. Anyway, not only did he friend me on facebook, but he pointed out that he'd replied to me on myspace (I just don't go there very often and um...I hadn't actually noticed *grin*). He actually facebook chatted me to let me know that he was creating the Pink Pummeler fanpages on facebook and that he wanted me to sign on as the first fan because I was so enthusiastic. He was holding off his wife until I signed up!! W00t. (He posted a bunch of photos to the fanpages and answered questions and I can safely say that MY Pink Pummeler costume is at least as good as his is... better than the other 4 costumes I've seen out in the wild, I took it very seriously!) Anyway, he's not online often and I try not to bother him for my fangirl moments so that's where things stood for about a year before this trip to L.A. came up.
Two days before I left, I was texting Zeph and saying, wouldn't it be cool if I could get my pink boxing gloves autographed? She said I should ask, what would it hurt, and well, I sent him email. What could it hurt anyway? I think I put something about meeting in some safe public place and that I would pack my gloves just in case, since I knew he didn't check his facebook too often. AND HE REPLIED!! I asked for details about the bar where he worked and where we were going to meet, and he replied again... and AGAIN! I was pretty well bouncing off the walls when I arrived in L.A. Thursday morning around 10 AM Pacific time, it was all worked out. Zeph was gonna pick me up at the airport and drop me off at her apartment in Pasadena, and then she was heading back to work. When she got back, we'd pack up and head to the bar where the man himself works and I'd collect some autographs and we'd grab dinner. I was gonna have a real Hollywood fangirl moment. I was ready to faint.
So, I wandered all around Pasadena for the morning and afternoon, grabbed lunch at a really nice Thai restaurant, found a place that sold Red Hots ice cream and also hit a comic store cause it occurred to me that if he cooperated, I should really get the comic poster with the PP on it autographed as well. (Turns out that the comic shop that I was in is Will Wheaton's regular comic shop, but I didn't see him there... I did have a great conversation with one of the guys who works there who is friends with Zack Whedon, Joss's brother. California is like being at a big convention, everywhere you look, someone, somewhere knows someone you've heard of before!)
Got back to Zeph's place around 4 PM and crashed really hard, I didn't wake up until close to 8 PM, totally disoriented and kind of freaked out. We had been planning on going out around 6 and it was 2 hours later. AIEEEEEE! I've blown it.
Well, no I hadn't. For one thing, the plans to visit the bar were still kind of nebulous. We knew we were planning to go there for dinner, but all Mr. Canaan knew was that I would show up sometime before 2 AM when he was finished with his shift. We jumped in Zeph's car and headed for Hollywood! Got to the bar, found parking and we headed up to the door. First step to get past the bouncer. Those of you who know me know that I'm not really a bar person. In fact this is one of about 5 bars, I've ever been in in my life. Good thing I'd brought I.D. cause we were carded to get in. ME??? I'm not a drinker and rather obviously in my forties (or maybe obviously in my fifities *gulp*) so I thanked the guy, handed him my I.D. and asked him if he knew Michael Canaan. He told me no and I started to get a little worried. I've seen facebook photos of the man without a pink mask and boots, and I've seen several of his roles on TV (particularly admired Burly Guy #1 from an episode of Cold Case) so I had a chance of recognizing him, but what if I actually couldn't spot him in a crowd... that'd be embarassing.
We went inside and waited around near a sign saying to wait for the hostess to seat us and looked around at the chaos.
The bar he works at is a sports bar, the Lakers and the Celtics were playing some important game (apparently it was the playoffs, see how well I keep up with sports when Rick is living half a country away?) and it was PACKED! I mean absolutely PACKED with people... and LOUD!! So loud that I could shout "scrotum" pretty much at the top of my lungs and no one noticed.... don't ask me how I know this. (Actually if you know me at all, you already know how I know this *grin*) Zeph and I asked the host dude whether we were likely to ever be able to get a table and he said the game was due to end soon and that it would clear out after that... maybe 20 minutes.
So no shit there I was. Holding a big bag containing pink boxing gloves, a Dr. Horrible comic book, the Dr. Horrible dvd, some sharpies and one other item I'll tell you about soon. Oh and I was wearing my Pink Pummeler hat and my Team Greykell shirt since I figured that would help him find me (having my name emblazoned on my body and all.) So we wandered through the bar area and over to the table area, just to kind of hang around until there was an available table... and I looked at the bar. It was huge, 4 bartenders running around like chickens with their heads cut off and people piled up 4 and 5 deep. Not the slightest chance in hell of spotting him. Worse still, the first, second and third bartender who wandered by all kind of looked like they might be the guy I was looking for. Luckily, number 4 was clearly and utterly him. I stared a bit but didn't want to even begin to bother him in the crowd and just about then the game ended and we were shown to a table, so Zeph and I got down to the serious business of eating. VERY tasty food by the way, I had a fancy grown up version of tomato soup and grilled cheese, and Zeph had a fancy grownup version of macaroni and cheese. Comfort food for the win!!
We finished eating and played some trivia and watched the crowd dwindle a tiny bit. It was getting close to 9:30 and I still hadn't nerved up to approach the man, when Zeph basically gave me a push and said, "go to it!" I wandered over towards the bar, drifted halfway around it to the cash register where there were fewer people and then tried to figure out my approach. "Hi, I'm your biggest fan, all the way from Maryland?" "Michael Canaan, it's me Greykell Dutton?" "Yo!" None seemed exactly right for nonscary, non fatal attraction kind of fan I try to be, so I thought maybe I'd just turn my hat bring forward so the Pink Pummeler logo would show and hopefully he'd spot me... and as I was considering this option he came around the corner of the bar, gave me a huge smile and said, "It's YOU!" Yup, I was pretty much as happy as could be. He ran back to get something which turned out to be a big manila envelope with the Pink Pummeler origin story that he wrote and he offered to buy me a drink, which I declined as I'd been working pretty hard on a rootbeer back at the table. He said he'd take a break and join me at the table and I headed back to Zeph, pretty much glowing!!
Seconds later, there he was. He is TALL, I mean really killer tall (not as tall as Immie for those of you in the know, but close) and Zeph and I are short, but I popped back up and introduced him to Zeph (even remembering to use her real name instead of her online one.) His response, with that KILLER smile... "I'm Michael, but my friends call me Cap." (Note: he didn't actually tell ME that I could call him Cap, but I'm gonna take it as read...) Anyway, he sat down, we chatted a bit, I didn't swallow my tongue, faint or make a fool of myself but I really wanted to get my pink boxing gloves autographed before he had to go back to work. Pulled them out and my sharpie and he said something about not having given many autographs and then he pulled out his sharpie... he'd brought his sharpie from home just for autographing purposes!! Squee! SO adorable. We talked a bit about where he was gonna autograph my gloves, and I showed him Felicia Day's signature and then I got him to autograph (they say Michael Canaan and have the little PP logo below.) Then I hit him with the DVD and the comic book, he showed me that his screensaver on his phone when he turns it on is the Pummeler from the comic, and I showed him that mine is the Pummeler in his fluffy room from Dr. Horrible. Then I pulled out my last item, my home-made Michael G. (Cap) Canaan Insane Rabid Fandom DVD. Yup, every episode I could find on TV that he was in, I'd taped and made into my own person fandom dvd. He autographed that too and we talked about the fact that I was missing some of his best performances, not a problem though, it just gives me yet another dvd to get autographed if/when I go to L.A. again!!
Next stop, photos! Zeph took a couple of photos of us with my camera and then he handed her his phone and we made a big pile of all the stuff he'd autographed and took a photo for him as well. In the midst of all this a couple of his friends came by to see if I was his biggest fan... I admitted to the fact. *grin* Apparently it was somewhat cool to meet me as well... I'm still thinking I had a cooler meet him moment but I'm glad he was happy too. He had to go back to work then, so I piled everything back into my bag and Zeph and I finished up our drinks and I just bounced and bounced and bounced. Enthusiastically, I might add.
When it was time to leave, Zeph headed for the front and I headed to the bar to say goodbye and thanks (and to return his sharpie that he'd left at the table) but sadly he was nowhere to be seen around the bar area, so I left without closure. (I did leave with his sharpie.. I admit it. I'm a thief. But I totally WOULD have given it to him if he was at the bar where he belonged!!) After we left the bar, Zeph told me that the bouncer/host dude told her that Cap had been talking all day about the fact that his biggest fan was coming that night and if he'd known we were said fans, he'd have found us a table earlier...
So that was my cool fangirl moment. Completely awesome and here it is a couple of weeks later and I'm still grinning about it.
Lots of other good things happened on my L.A. vacation. Saw some more of my old Tribe friends... SheHulk and PrincessBride, saw Dan Delaney who had just been posted to California so he came out to Zeph's birthday party as well, AND I got to do Accomplice: Hollywood. It was GREAT fun and deserves it's own post sometime when my hands aren't falling off, but rest assured that I'm gonna get a group together to do Accomplice in New York City hopefully sometime later this summer, let me know if you want to be a part of it.. it's not cheap, but it's COOL!
Sunday, I packed up and headed for home. Happy as a clam. L.A. continued not to fall into the sea, so apparently I can go back there and visit again sometime. I will. And yeah, I'll probably end up back at that bar again... see I COMPLETELY forgot to get Cap to sign the Pink Pummeler Origin Story (yeah, I AM a moron) so I have every reason to visit again.
it was fun! I'm glad I'm enthusiastic, it makes life so much more interesting.