I first visited LFCC last year and I loved the experience. It was my first major Con and after months of planning I had a very memorable time. I got to meet the lovely Sarah Douglas (Ursa from the original Superman movies) and Michael Rosenbaum who played Lex in Smallville. My all time favourite television show.
Earlier this year it was announced that Tom Welling would be attending this years Con and within moments of the news hitting the internet I had ordered my tickets! Welling had never visited England for a convention before and I didn’t know if it would happen again so I knew I had to go. I ordered the Diamond Pass which gave me everything I needed.
One photo opportunity, one guaranteed in person autograph, a priority seat at the Tom Welling talk and a limited edition print. Well worth the money!
Now, Tom Welling was well worth the trip alone but there were other stars that I wanted to see. As well as Tom from Smallville, John Schneider was also going to be there. Schneider played Jonathan Kent on the show and I just had to meet him and pass on my thanks for doing such a fantastic job for so many years.
I started planning my trip and what I wanted to do and who I wanted to see. Last years planning was very detailed as it was my first time and wanted it to be perfect. This year I was a little bit more calm and that made the event a lot more enjoyable.
I had two guests that I HAD to see and anything or anyone else would be a bonus. The weeks leading up to the Con came around quickly and a few times I met up with a local geek to help them prepare for their first big con. I helped Kaitlin plan their trip with her husband to make sure they were ready to embrace the geeky sides and make their experience a fun and organised event. They had a great weekend and I enjoyed walking the Con-floor with them.
A few days before the event, and after my bags were already packed, Showmasters announced another guest would be attending…Zachary Levi! Only a week before I had fallen in love with the Shazam trailer so I knew I had to add him too my list. I jumped online and ordered my photo op and I started to get excited. More than I already was!
On the first day of the Con I was up early, real early! I wanted to make sure I made all my appointed photoshoots and got my virtual autograph tickets. I joined the queue at about 7 and because the doors didn’t open until 10:00 I had plenty of time to talk with fellow geeks about what we loved and who we were there to see. Thats one of the many things I love about Cons. Everyone is there for a different reason. Comics, movie stars, music, toy collecting, Funkos. There are so many things to do at LFCC and so many people to see. It really does appeal to people of all ages and walks of life.
The time had come and the doors opened. The line that went back for what seemed like miles, had quickly started to move. My first plan of action was to get my virtual autograph tickets. This method was great, it meant that you didn’t spend all day in line and that you could go away and come back when your batch number was ready to be called. I headed to Zachary’s booth and then Schneider’s. My Welling autograph as already guaranteed with my Diamond Pass so now that I had my tickets for my other autographs I could relax, a little!
The time was now 10:30 and it was time for my first photo op! I joined the rest of his fans who were line for his photo and I got talking to an excellent cosplayer in a Flynn Rider costume! After some well organised planning by the Showmasters staff, my time had come. I was standing in front of Shazam! I didn’t know what to say as I had nothing planned so I said “Hello, Shazam. Thank you for all you have done and will do”. He said thank you back, we shook hands, we posed for the camera and our time was up! It was all over so quickly!
From this shoot I went straight to my next one, this one was with Tom Welling…Clark Kent! I was instantly nervous. I have spent over a decade watching and re-watching Smallville and I was finally meeting someone who I have adored for so long! I had no idea what to say or what to do or how to pose. I was so nervous. Again, the line moved quickly and it was soon my turn to pose with the star. I stepped up to my mark and shook his hand. I even managed to get out a thank you before striking my pose! We took our photo, I turned to him, made my thanks once again, and I was on my way.
I needed to make sure I passed on my thanks and that I actually did shake his hand and it wasn’t a dream. I got my photo before I left and finally felt calm. I had met another actor who had played my hero and shaken hands with them. I was insanely happy and I had only been in the Con for an hour. I had no idea at this point that my time spent there would get even more exciting…
Next on my list of jobs to be checked off was the autographs! This made me a little more nervous as often with autographs you get a little bit more time with the person who is signing for you. I went to Zachary’s line first and joined the queue. I had my poster ready for him, my letter of thanks in my hand and a small gift for him. Whenever I meet stars at Cons I like to give them thank you letters. Now , I am sure in some situations they are very busy and may receive a lot of them and may never read them but the letter really is for me. I need to pass on my thanks and why I am so grateful for what they do and what they will do. If I said in person how I feel I would keep the line from moving and I never want to upset anyone!
I reached the front desk and there he was, Zachary Levi, Chuck Bartowski, Flynn Rider and of course, SHAZAM! After watching the trailer so many times the week before and days leading up to the Con, it made me very excited for the future and that is why I just had to meet him. We talked briefly about his character and why he felt the trailer was so dynamic. Zachary spent most of the time talking about his character and I could tell that he appreciates the role so much. I cannot wait to enjoy the movie when it comes out next year. I ended our time together by handing him a letter and a rather small Shazam toy and said thank you one more time, shook his hand, and waked away. I was over the moon and I thought my experience with “Shazam” was over. I was wrong…
Later on that I got a quite a few notifications about a certain post on Zachary’s Twitter and Instagram page…
It was a picture of my Shazam toy I gave him! Senpai noticed me! I was glad that he got some enjoyment out of it. Later on that weekend Zachary also posted a video montage of his time at the weekend and in that video was some footage of the toy and there was also a shot of my envelope and myself standing next to Paul from D.C World. That was fun!
After this autograph it was time to meet Clark Kent, Tom Welling. I was nervous. I had a diamond pass so it meant I could join the queue at any time so I took my place and waited and grew more nervous with each step!
Finally it was my time. I handed him the item I wanted to get signed. A replica script from the pilot episode of Smallville. I handed Tom the script, and as he flicked through it, I realised he thought it was a script I had created. Once I explained that it was actually a replica of the pilot episode he dove right in! A memory I will cherish is when Tom looked for a certain line and then read it to me…”I’m Clark Kent and you’re in Smallville”…
Clark Kent, I mean Tom Welling, was reading a line from Smallville to me, from my copy of the script! A very surreal moment and one that will stay with me for a very long time. We talked briefly about how much the show meant to me, I shook his hand, handed him his letter and wished him well as I left the area as calmly as I could. As soon as I was out of his line of sight I internally screamed and I am sure I jumped with joy! I had met one of my most beloved actors and had lived to tell the tale AND I had proof with the photo of us together combined with the signed script. I could have left the con there and then and I would have been happy but I had one more person to see that afternoon…
Jonathan Kent is one of my favourite characters in the Superman universe. He is part of the reason why Superman is so grounded, caring and good natured. Johnathan Schneider’s portrayal of Pa Kent was perfect and everything I hoped it would be. I needed to pass on my thanks to the actor as his character helped me get through some tough times in my younger days, and still does today. I lost my father at a young age and could relate to a lot of themes when Clark lost his father on the show. I won’t go into too many details about what was in my letter as it was personal and wordy!
When my time came to meet Mr Schneider I was nervous and excited and a little bit worried. What if he was not like the character on the show, what if he doesn’t like me?!?
I had nothing to worry about. As soon as I approached his desk and welcomed him with “Good afternoon, Mr Schneider.” and he replied with a “Good afternoon, sir”. It was like I was standing in front of Mr Kent. He was standing, not sitting and we began talking about his day. I just wanted him to talk to me for as long as possible. I truly felt like Pa Kent was talking to me. He was exactly like the character on Smallville. Wise, polite, charming and funny. We talked about his acting on the show, how much fans mean to him and about his music career. His new album is out now and he is really happy with how popular it is in Europe.
After our time was sadly up he asked if I would like a photo…WHAT?!? Photographs at autograph booths are normally not allowed but if Mr Schneider/Kent says its ok then I am listening to him! I pleaded with fan behind me to take a photo and our short but sweet interaction was recorded forever. I shook his hand one more time and handed him my letter and he placed it in his bag. Would he read it? Would he throw it away? I didn’t know, I never know but I always give out letters of thanks as I feel I have to and I feel better for doing it.
That was my list of jobs for that day and it was a roaring success. I walked around the rest of the Con and admired the many vendors and met up with Kaitlin and Adam (a husband and wife from my hometown who have become good friends now). It was their first time at LFCC so I was happy to show them the ropes and give them some advice on what to do first and where to go if they needed some air or to calm down. Kaitlin is a huge Tom Welling fan as well and I loved seeing her react after meeting her idol. It was also nice to see Adam react to his first major Con. He was amazed at the cosplay and loved all the vendors and cosplayers. I am so happy that they had such a fun time and I hope they go back next year.
After we said our goodbyes I went back to my room to regroup and calm down from all my exciting interactions and gaze lovingly at all the items I had obtained. I then laid down on my bed and was ready to pass out for the night. Then it happened. I received a Facebook notification…
“John Schneider has sent you a message.”
WHAT?!? I was shaking and had trouble unlocking my phone to see if it was real or if someone was playing a horrible prank on me! It was real though. Mr Schneider had read my letter and had reached out to me on Facebook AND liked my page. GAH. A perfect end to a perfect day at LFCC. I thought I was going to have a problem sleeping after I found out that exciting news but I think I fell asleep smiling as I passed out!
I woke up very early (and very happy) the next day and I was ready to do it all again.
Join me soon for part two.