Tuesday, December 16, 2014

There and Back Again: A Fan’s Tale

{Editor's Note:  I'm sure you are all tired of hearing about A Silent Film, but they have given me not just great music, but great friends.  Another one of those special ladies is Noel.  I met her a year ago at an ASF show and we've been friends ever since.  She even cuts my hair!  When I learned that we both nerded out over many similar things I knew she would be perfect as a guest blogger for The Nerdy Girlie.  Here she tells about her amazing Hobbit adventure, attending Peter Jackson's Walk of Fame ceremony, the Hobbit red carpet and premiere in Hollywood plus a Billy Boyde mini concert at The Grove.  WOW!  Get reading her amazing journey now!}

I wish I could say that Megan asked me to write this little piece about my journey to “Middle Earth.” The truth is I asked her, because how fun would it be to relive my adventure and share it with everyone.  Now that I am sitting here trying to recount every moment, I find myself stuck.  Where do I even begin to explain the craziness that happened in those three days? Maybe if I just put on “Concerning Hobbits” from the Fellowship of the Ring soundtrack. 

Ahh yes…….

Before I break down into fangirl tears let me just say I have never been to a movie premiere.  I have camped out many times for concerts but never for the red carpet.  I also have never witnessed anyone receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  That being said and not to be overdramatic or anything, but I had no idea that I would be thrown into a possible emotional breakdown.  But that is another story entirely.
If I were to start from the very beginning I would tell you that I had been searching through as many websites as I could on any information about The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies premiere for months at a time. When it was rumored to be held at the Dolby Theater on Hollywood Blvd. I knew my time had come.  This was it.  The last journey into Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth.  There was no next time.  This was #OneLastTime.
Now it is not a hard task to find fellow fans to partake in this adventure with.  I met up with four lovely hobbits who I never met in person before.  All I can say is that I have found four new friendships that I know will last a lifetime!  Our first stop on our adventure was Hollywood and Highland to try and catch a glimpse of the ceremony for Peter Jackson to have his star marked on the Walk of Fame.  People had been lined up since 8 pm the night before, and there we came, strolling up to Hollywood Blvd. an hour before show time, and magically a new section opened up, leading us directly in front with a tremendous view of where Orlando Bloom, Richard Armitage, Lee Pace, Elijah Wood, and Evangeline Lilly were going to sit.  Yep!
I was ready.  My phone was in one hand and my LOTR book was in the other.  The first person I spotted was Lee Pace, standing almost a foot above everyone else.  One by one I saw Frodo, Thorin, Tauriel, and Thranduil walking around and chatting!  And then I saw Gollum, going to hug Peter Jackson.  All that went through my mind was, “What is my life right now?!  I should be taking pictures!  Is that..?  Orlando?  ORLANDO BLOOM!”  All of a sudden all of my teenage feelings for Legolas came back to me tenfold!  Who gave Orlando Bloom the right to be perfect I’ll never know.  
As guest speaker Andy Serkis took the stage he told Peter, “…you brought much needed magic, mystery, cinematic poetry, creative ambition, and most of all joy to the film industry and to the world.”  As I stood there looking on I felt so proud to be there with the cast, the fans, and most of all Peter Jackson.  It was a short but sweet ceremony.  When it was over, Peter was so nice to chat with everyone.  I was able to thank him and have him sign my LOTR book.  We were able to take some shots of us next to Peter’s star and we quickly began to plan out our strategy for the premiere for the next night.  We were going to line up at midnight and take shifts so we could try to get a little sleep. 
Sleep?  What is that?  I got maybe 20 minutes worth that night.

At 11:45 pm my friend Daisy and I were lined up in our fold out chairs, wrapped in blankets. I felt like Theoden ready for battle: “So it begins.”  Every once in a while we got strange looks and laughter but I didn’t care.  I was on a mission.  Around 1am, we noticed theonering.net had posted our picture on their Instagram letting everyone know that there were indeed people already camped out.  About 15 minutes later, they came out to take some video shots of us lined up.  I was thinking, “I am sleep deprived with no makeup on -  why are you filming me!?”  Then from the corner of my eye I saw Graham McTavish (Dwalin) - let me repeat - GRAHAM MCTAVISH standing around talking to the line sitters. I couldn’t speak.  Literally words could not come out of my mouth as I turned to alert Daisy.  Then from behind me out popped Dean O’Gorman (Fili)!

“Hey guys, are you ready to see The Hobbit?” 
Daisy lets out a scream as I once again could not speak.  My blankets went flying, my phone fell to the ground, and I tried to stand up.  He gave us both a great big hug and he smelled so good.  I couldn’t think straight.  Graham made his way over to us along with Stephen Hunter (Bomber).  I wish I could explain the feelings that went through me at that moment!  All three were so very sweet and charming.  They were completely amazed that we were staying out all night and asked us if we were warm enough.  Before they left we took a group picture: Three dwarves and thirteen fans grouped up on Hollywood Blvd.  As everyone settled back into their seats, half of us were crying the other half were shaking.  Someone yelled out, “Did that just happen?!?” 

After that everyone was very much awake and all of a sudden things became very real.  The hours seemed to fly by surprisingly fast.  As they began to build up the set and laid out the green carpet I started to get nervous and anxious.  The trailer began to play on the big screen and once Billy Boyd’s “The Last Goodbye” began playing, I was done.  Nothing can bring me to tears quite like Billy Boyd’s voice.
   
We noticed there was a lady passing out wristbands to random people.  We had no idea what they were for but we knew wanted one!  After getting her attention with our awesome neon signs she gave our whole group a wrist band.  She quietly and calmly lets us know that at 7:30 p.m. someone would come and collect us and escort everyone with a wristband into the theatre to see The Battle of the Five Armies.

Wait …WHAT?!?!?!
I had emotionally prepared myself to possibly get a chance to meet my favorite actors but not to see the actual movie in the same theatre as the cast!  Was I ready for it to be over?  Was I ready to finally say goodbye to Bilbo and the Company?  Absolutely not, but I was going to do it anyway.  As the five of us looked at each other in awe we let out a cry of happiness. 

Mission: Accomplished. 

The next hour was such a whirlwind that I can’t remember every detail.  I remember Graham McTavish being the first one to come across the street to sign autographs.  He was wearing a kilt, God bless his heart!  I had my Hobbit book with me this time and he signed my book.  After that Dean O’Gorman, Steven Hunter, Peter Hambleton, Richard Armitage, and Peter Jackson all came down and signed my book.  I couldn’t believe the luck I was having!
My whole hobbit group wanted a picture with Andy Serkis.  As he approached his handler agreed to take a picture with all of us and Andy as long as he could take a few pictures of us for Andy.  Uhh…yeah!!!!  So there we are all huddled around THE Andy Serkis!  Flashes were going off as more than three photographers were snapping away.  Actually a few days later that same picture was posted not only on Andy’s Facebook, but also on The Hobbit’s official page as well!!
I might have mentioned how much I love Billy Boyd and I was so happy to find out that he would be at the premiere as well.  He is fun to watch when he interacts with fans.  You can really tell he appreciates each and every one!  He grabbed my phone from my hand and said he was an expert at taking selfies.  He took an extremely blurry first picture and then he laughed and took a second one. 
The final person to arrive was Orlando Bloom.  Now I can write a short novel about my love for that man, but I will save you the details.  The crowd was insane.  Screaming fans were pushing their way towards him, thrusting their Legolas pictures for him to sign.  I was no different.  I tried to balance my book, my Legolas picture, and my phone while also trying to compose myself.  One of my main goals was to meet Orlando Bloom and there he was!  I set my phone into selfie mode and as he reached me I asked if he wouldn’t mind taking a picture with me.  It took him a second to look around to see who asked.  When his eyes landed on me, he smiled and said yes.  Now I’m not trying to make this into an ode to Orlando but he has the most beautiful face!  As I went to take the picture, a security guard pushed everyone out of the way, and as I took the picture his hand is covered my face!!!!  As Orlando walked away, I am a little more than heartbroken!  Luckily my friend Jen took a few shots of us and you can see us together. 

When it was over we all compared stories and pictures and just reveled in the excitement.  We barely had time to let everything sink in before we were escorted into the Dolby Theatre.  That bittersweet feeling had come to rear its ugly head.  This was it.  In a few hours there would be no more Hobbit or Lord of the Rings movies to look forward to.  We entered the theatre with excitement, not knowing how we would be coming out. 

I’m not going to put any spoilers here, although if you have read the book you obviously know what is going to happen.  All I can say is that there is something special about seeing The Hobbit with a room full of people who understand how much these movies mean to you and how much the Tolkien world has become your home.  There was laughing, cheering, and a whole lot of crying.  I was openly sobbing when that first note from “The Last Goodbye” started.  We all walked out a broken mess. 
But our adventure wasn’t over yet.
The next day we went to Barnes and Noble at the Grove to see Billy Boyd do a signing and perform “The Last Goodbye” with his band mate BJ from their band Beecake.  I had made a Billy Boyd shirt with his face plastered on the front.  I was ready to see Pippin!  As we walked through the Grove, I happened to spot someone who looked awfully familiar.  Once again my words failed me as I pointed, trying to alert my friends that Dean O’Gorman was walking around the mall!  He was doing a little Christmas shopping with fellow dwarf Stephen Hunter.  Again I ask, how is this my life?! They were gracious enough to take some more pictures with us.  Such great guys and I can’t wait to see what they do next! 
Now it’s no secret that Pippin is my hobbit!  I just adore Billy Boyd and getting to meet him for the third time was such a blessing.  He laughed so much at my shirt, signed it, and said he loved it. Anyone who has met Mr. Boyd knows that when he meets you he doesn’t just sign your picture; he takes the time to talk to you.  I overheard the host talking to her coworker, mentioning that he is such a talker and so nice to his fans but he needs to speed it up.  That right there is one of the reasons I love Billy!  He makes everyone feel so special.  Afterwards Billy and BJ brought out their guitars and played three songs, “The Last Goodbye” “Perfect Time” and “Blessed Eyes.”  Seeing half of Beecake playing my favorite songs had me in so many fangirl feels.  I was honored to be there. 
I played the Battle of the Five Armies soundtrack as I made my drive home back to San Diego.  I had a lot of time to think about everything that had happened and everyone I got to share the experience with.  I couldn’t help but cry as “The Last Goodbye” started to play.  I sent one last Facebook status to my friends under our #OneLastHobbit: “I’m glad to be with you, Samwise Gamgee…here at the end of all things.” 

10 comments:

  1. Gabriela MenchacaDecember 16, 2014

    Wow. What a whirlwind of fantastic events! That was fun to read! I always love hearing about genuinely kind actors, and it seems like everyone involved in LOTR/The Hobbit is nice!! What great memories :)

    P.s. ORLANDO!!!!! ;)

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  2. Oh wow... such an amazing event!! That looked like so much fun! Glad you got to experience something like that!

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  3. So. Frigging. RAD!
    I'm so stoked for Noel Marie! Such a great experience!

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  4. Theresa AkinsDecember 16, 2014

    Words cannot express the joy I had reading your adventure! I too am a huge Billy Boyd fan and my family and I cry at his songs as well

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  5. Noël FerreiraDecember 19, 2014

    Thanks so much! It was a dream come true!

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  6. Noël FerreiraDecember 19, 2014

    Everyone I met was so nice and gracious. Thanks for reading.

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  7. Noël FerreiraDecember 19, 2014

    Have you checked out Billys band Beecake? You won't be sorry . Thanks for reading!

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  8. Noël FerreiraDecember 19, 2014

    Thanks so much! I hope you enjoyed reading my adventures.

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  9. Oh my gosh, what an awesome adventure. Thank you so much for sharing this.

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  10. Wow.....So lucky!!! Loved the way you wrote all that up and awesome how you got to meet the cast and catch the premiere...

    Im still in denial about it all being over!

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