Just a reminder folks. This is part two of a longer blog. Part one is over here.
I've had the chance to hang out with some pretty cool people over the last year: Peter S. Beagle, Tad Williams, Neil Gaiman. Folks I've idolized for a long time. But I never had this strange vertigo with any of them.
I've thought about it a lot since then, and right now my best guess is this.
I think talking to someone you've seen on TV is like meeting someone you already know. Your brain has become familiar with the image of this person, you know the texture of their voice, their body posture. For all intents and purposes, you know them.
Except you don't. You're just familiarized to the sensation of them. What's more disorienting is that if they're an actor, the personality you've attached to their image isn't really their own. Or at least it's not *entirely* their own.
I don't think it's the same with writers. When you're experiencing our work, you don't see our faces. You might get a peek inside our heads (or think you get a peek) but that doesn't lead to the same visual imprinting that you get from watching someone on screen.
I'm not ashamed to admit that I've probably watched Dr. Horrible over a hundred times since it came out. I haven't watched The Guild *quite* as much as that, but if you count the times I've re-watched each of the individual episodes, I've probably moved into the triple digits by now.
This means that in the last year, I've seen Felicia Day's face more than I've seen the face of my own sister. More than I've seen the faces of any of my friends who all live out of town. More than any real-world face except Sarah's, and honestly, during the week when Dr. Horrible was first released, that particular race might have been too close to call.
I think that's what where this strange vertigo came from. It was some rational part of me hitting my the degauss button in my brain again and again. Helping me realize that the person in front of me was fundamentally different from the person I had been watching on the screen of my computer.
And eventually it worked. I was able to settle down and talk with her and the moments of odd vertigo grew farther and farther apart. Unfortunately one of those moments happened when I was signing a book for her. A signing that I screwed up to a degree that still embarrasses me.
I also have to say that I was really impressed with everyone else at the signing. I know a lot of people must have recognized her, but from what I saw, nobody freaked out on her or hassled her.
Part of this I'm guessing has to do with the fact that we were in LA, but I'm willing to lay a lot of it on the fact that my readership seems to be composed of very cool, intelligent people.
For example, when I was signing books after the reading, a couple folks came up to the front of the line, and thanked me for introducing them to Dr. Horrible on my blog.
I motioned them a little closer and they leaned in. "Be cool about it," I said quietly, excited to get the chance to tell someone who could appreciate the news. "But Felicia Day is here. She's behind you, standing in line!" I grinned, vibrating with geeky joy. Probably looking like a garden gnome who has recently stumbled onto the a particularly interesting patch of mushrooms.
"We know!" They grinned too, just as excited as me.
After the signing, the lot of us went out to dinner: me, my gracious hosts, a few of their friends, and Felicia day.
We ended up at a small restaurant, where I had the best Thai food of my life. And I must say, sitting there, surrounded by rocket scientists, librarians, and other persons of eclectic occupation. Chatting and trading stories with Felicia day. It was my own personal Valhalla.
Lastly, since we're talking about public appearances, I'm going to be having a little reading up here in Hayward in a week or so.
So if you live up here in the north woods of Wisconsin and are not an elk, feel free to swing by. It should be a nice cozy event with just a few of us, so I'll have plenty of time to chat with everyone who comes. Plus, I hear there will be cookies.
February 26th, Thursday, 6:00-8:00
Hayward Public Library
10788 HWY 27/77
Hayward, WI 54843
For more info call 715-634-2161
And back to work for me,
posted by Pat at 11:07 PM