5FF: Fangirl Squeals

5 Fandom Friday on HarperHoney

It's 5 Fandom Friday again on harperhoney! Brought to you by The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick! Today's #Fandom5 wants to know about 5 times I TOTALLY fangirled.

You guys, I fangirl a lot. Like, I try to keep my cool, but I'm a very emotive person because I process emotion best outwardly. Allowing yourself to really dig into emotional moments amplifies them and allows you to really fully experience their richness. 

I'm skipping non-IRL freak outs because, well, showing you screenshots of when celebs follow me or reply to me on twitter is not very exciting. Nor is it terribly fun for you to read about how I hyperventilated over this movie announcement or that episode of a show.

Meeting Arthur Darvill

Probably one of the biggest instances of me totally freaking out. Now granted, my time watching the Ponds was at the tail end of my enjoyment of Doctor Who (which, in my opinion, has really gone down in terms of its trueness to the spirit of the show, and its ability to write compelling female characters, and quite honestly its interestingness) but it was still fun. The bigger reason why I freaked out though was because it was the first time I'd seen one of my favorite musicals: Once

First off, if you ever get a chance to see this show, you absolutely must. It's amazing. It's beautiful. It's emotional and magical. It's really accessible even if you're not "a musical sort of person." Part two, I saw it with Arthur Darvill as the star. I'd only really known him as the valiant and un-hunk-ish Rory Williams on Doctor Who, but holy-mother-flippin-crap is he amazing and unbelievably cool. Darvill is an amazing musician and an amazing actor and way cooler than Doctor Who would have you believe. I cannot even begin to explain how palpably intriguing and talented this man is. You know when you thinking there's another step on your way down the stairs but there isn't and you just fall into the floor with unexpected momentum? That's what it was like to be awakened to Arthur Darvill's true charisma and coolness. This performance is one of the few moments in my life I wish I could relive at will. The photo above is an impeccably authentic representation of what it was like to meet him: my hands shook so badly I couldn't even center the image correctly, and then there's Arthur, diving into your soul with his eyes.

Listening to a speech from The Dalai Lama

Buddhism isn't a fandom, so maybe this shouldn't count, but I was super starstruck by the Dalai Lama and his infinite wisdom and compassion. I mean, wouldn't you be? He visited my school and gave a talk in one of our arenas and it was massively well-attended. I adore him. You can read about some of the stuff he said in this blog post about it

Going backstage at Newsies!

If you know anything about the past 2 years of my life, you probably know that Newsies was a pretty big part of it. I even set up a fun Valentine's Day Swap for fansies (that's what we call ourselves) to get goodies from one another. I was considered a BNF (big name fan) and made tons of new friends, many of whom are still in my life and who I am so, so grateful for, including Beth, Kaz, and a cast member named LaVon who is currently killin' it at the Radio City Spring Spectacular! 

I went to see Newsies for a second time with my friend, Chelsea, as a gift to myself for my birthday for after we finished our business with MTV. I went and had a great time and LaVon tweeted me an invite to come backstage, so we both got to stand on the set and meet some of the cast! It was so crazy wonderful! 

LaVon and I are still buddies, and I helped out at her baby shower over the summer. She is a wonderful, hilarious, joy-filled, talented person! It was so so so much fun to see the stage! It was my first time backstage, pretty much anywhere and this show was such a huge part of my life! I have actually been backstage at Newsies twice. It was pretty rad.

Chatting with the Adam Chanler-Berat

If you're not into musicals, you might not have any idea who this is. Adam Chanler-Berat is a fantastic actor on Broadway who is really great at playing emotionally-aware average guys. I first fell in love with him for his work as Henry in Next To Normal, which is another of my favorite shows. His character is my favorite character. I saw him in Fly By Night at Playwright's Horizons, which is another of my favorite theater-going experiences (read my review here). I don't think I can put into words how beautiful and touching and heartbreaking and intimate that experience was. I ended up watching it 3 times, twice on closing day. Afterward I went up to all the cast members and gave them each a bracelet I made that had to do with their character as a little gift. 

I chatted with each of them as I did (except Patti, she was super-duper busy so I had to move quickly), and they are all so phenomenal. But Adam was special to me because he originated my favorite role in one of my favorite shows, and that show had so many special connections to me, one of which was the fact that it debuted at with the theater company that had given me my start in playwriting. I won some student playwright competitions with them in high school, which resulted in them actually reading and performing my work. I told Adam about it, and he encouraged me to keep creating and writing. It meant so so much to me-- he is such a sweet and sincere guy, and having his encouragement means the world to me.

Meeting Dulé Hill Backstage

Should I have asked for a photo with him? 100% yes. Did I? No, because this moment was way too magical for me to be thinking about mundane stuff like iPhones. Ya'll may remember Dulé as Gus on Psych, or as Sam, the "I can fix that" guy from Holes (a perfect film). Dulé was on Broadway headlining a show called After Midnight (which you can read my review of) and was so amazing in it. He's an actor, a singer, and a phenomenal tap dancer. I have a thing for tap-dancers-- which I've gathered from people's reaction is kind of weird, but that just leaves more tap dancers for me in my imaginary competition for their collective affections.

I've never told the story of how I got to go backstage at After Midnight on my blog, mostly because I didn't want to share it while the show was still running and ignite the hordes of fans who inevitably would demand to know why I was so special and complain about not getting similar treatment. The fact of the matter is this: I am a ridiculous person, and I attract ridiculous things. Usually it's embarrassing stuff, but every once in a while, the universe karmically balances itself out from all the embarrassing sitcom-esque hijinx it throws my way by giving me something totally awesome.

I'd decided to go see After Midnight during a business trip to New York, shortly after the business part ended. Dulé was in town, and I needed to see this man live. It was an absolute must. When was I ever going to have the chance again? So I bought my ticket online and the day I was supposed to go, I went to the box office to pick up my ticket. I'm standing in line, alone (I see shows alone fairly often) and more and more people file in. I'm standing in line, big goofy smile on my face, and a dude walks by, looking in through the glass doors, presumably at this robust line of people. We make eye contact and I smile at him, hoping to make this dude who appeared to be considering checking out this show actually pull the trigger and step inside the box office. 

He walks in.

He doesn't walk to the end of the line.

He walks right up to me.

I wonder if he's gonna ask for my opinion on the show, or for directions, but instead he says "Would you like to come backstage?" I blink in confusion. The words are all words I know but I am struggling to make them make sense given the situation. 


"Do you want to go backstage?"




"I'm play trumpet in the show," he explains, speaking slowly because my eyeballs are rattling around in my skull like a cartoon. "Would you like to come backstage?"


I saw the show later that night, and afterward I went backstage. I waited for Bruce, the trumpet player, and as I did I stood on the stage, by the curtain, trying to be out of the way of the performers heading out. I told each one they put on a great show as they passed. Finally I see Bruce and we talk a little bit. I ask him why he invited me back, and he said I just looked like a really good person and he decided to make my day. I told him I love the show and that I had to see it because I'm a fan of Dulé. He said "Maybe I can grab him for you."

Dulé was on his way out but Bruce pulled him to the side for me and we had a short chat. He is so cool, you guys. Like whatever amount of coolness you think he has, multiply it by like 800. His voice is like a very chill velvety murmur. He was very glad I came and supported the show and even signed a personal autograph for my Playbill. 

Thanks for the love!
- Dulé Hill"

Amazing. I later thanked Bruce by bringing him snacks the next day to the stage door and sending a thank you card. 

I hope you enjoyed these wild and crazy tales from the life of Harper. I'm a ridiculous girl who has ridiculous things happen to her. My friends privately refer to these ridiculous things (both good-ridiculous and embarrassing-ridiculous) as #howdidharper moments.

Have you ever real life fangirl-freaked?


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