The big race was next, grab your stuff and get upstairs for Hayley Atwell's photo-op session. Geez was it a mad dash, and the minions were ready to point you in the line you were about to stand in for A FULL HOUR WITHOUT MOVING. Yes I said that correctly – I stood in the same spot for a full hour and never budged. This became one of the most annoying parts of my whole Con experience. The people around me were nice; a few people in front of me were from Canada and the people to the side of me seemed like they’d been through this before. I sort of listened in on conversations and chimed in once in a while. Noticing people a few lines over sitting on tiny stools they brought with them made this entire experience clear: you go to wait and stand in line... (Hit Read More To Continue)
It baffled me for a second then it all made sense – bring the stools! Why stand for an hour when you can sit and read a book or something. Did I mention she had about 8 lines of people? Plus on the other side of the room was another actress who was only appearing on Friday who was having her photo-op at the same time. I also think people were starting to be annoyed after a while of not moving. To give ECCC a tiny benefit of the doubt, this was the first year with a new company doing the photo-ops for the Con, but still. I was getting pissed.
We finally moved and were hustled towards the entrance area. Get out the ticket for the photo-op, get it scanned, put your things down on the table, quick check in the mirror, “Hello!”, “Hello!”, one two three click!, “Thank you!”, get your stuff, and that’s IT. THAT IS IT. You walk out and pick up your picture, get it scanned and then walk out of the area. You don’t get more than literally, LITERALLY 5 SECONDS with the celebrity! I was NOT expecting that at all. On top of it all, I totally hate my picture. I have some nervous smile going on and she’s like mid smile/surprised. I don’t totally blame her, but you wait wait wait and then they crank you out like toilet paper. I felt like cattle. Right then and there I vowed to NEVER get a photo-op again.
I was lucky I got my photo-op done when I did though – the next stop was her line for autographs in which I JUST made the cut. Yes, they had made the decision to cut the line off because it was getting super long and, from what I overheard, she had to fly back that night to London so probably wanted to make sure it didn’t drag on forever. If I may indulge for one second regarding my frustration for these schedules: Stan Lee had one autograph session, as I said earlier, for 5:30pm. People were standing in his line ALL DAY. It got so bad that the Stan Lee line was stretching across the entire room and into other sections for other celebrities AND minions were telling people unless they had “Friday Only” passes they couldn’t get in line and to come back the next day. I had wanted to have him sign my Mallrats DVD but there was no way I was going to get into that line. I figured I’d save some money and I was seeing him at the movie in a few hours anyway, so it was alright.
My experience in the autograph line was much better than in the photo-op line. I met a SUPER nice couple and who were just a total delight to chat with. I believe their names were Catherine and Bob. She was dressed as Peggy and did such a great job I didn’t know she was wearing a wig either haha. They had some fun stories about previous conventions and events they’d been to and we talked about different television shows and celebrities. While we were talking Orlando Jones’ autograph booth opened up next to us. Again, I didn’t think I would have the chance to get to him but as luck would have it I did. Catherine held our places in line and Bob and I went over to the other booth. My mom is a huge fan of his and LOVES Sleepy Hollow which is why I wanted to get his autograph as a surprise for her (she previously told me not to worry about it). I told him all that and how my mom was happy he was a good guy again and that the show was renewed and such. He was SUPER nice and cool and funny and I was just thrilled to get the chance to meet him too. (As an aside my mother flipped out about the autograph when I gave it to her and framed it.)
We got back in line and waited some more, but eventually it started flowing pretty quickly. I had her sign my Captain America DVD and a picture for a friend of mine. Catherine decided to have Hayley sign her red hat which I thought was a brilliant idea. As the line was getting shorter a minion told another minion the line was opening up again “since she’s here til 7 anyway.” (The convention floor hours were 10am until 7pm on Friday.) When I got closer to the front I could see why it was moving so fast: take the money, get the post-it name on the item, sign, and bye. Again you got less than 5 seconds with her. No chit chat, no handshakes, nothing I had experienced with my previous 2 autograph sessions. Again I’m not saying it is her fault or that she was rude, she was not at all, but you couldn’t even say “I’m a big fan” or anything before feeling like you’re pushed aside for the next person. It was really disappointing. I guess you just don’t get the time with the super huge names that you get with everyone else.
As I departed from Catherine and Bob (thought I’d see them at the movie but I never did), I looked around to see what else I could do. I came to the conclusion that I spent all the money I wanted to, was tired and hungry, and would go back to the hotel to rest up before the movie at 8:30. I took one last look around and headed out...
About the Author
I'm Sarah, an aglophile at heart with a sever wanderlunst and a talent for making chocolates.
Still waiting for my prince in a blue police box...