One would think that this mission- a picture with John Barrowman- would not be a difficult task, but this is a mission 5 years in the making! But in order to tell the story, I have to start at the beginning-
In the fall of 2006, I had uprooted myself from sunny California to the great city of Chicago in order to complete a masters degree. Through the social networking and fandoms at the time, I was blessed with friends all over the world- but none in Chicago. The closest people I knew were relatives in Wisconsin (who I didn’t really know) and a dear friend at the southern end of Illinois. So… as I waited for classes to start and semi wandered the city to acclimate myself, I also dug into shows and movies that I had missed. One such was the 2005 Doctor Who, with Christopher Eccleston. Now I remember watching DW as a kid on PBS (though I couldn’t tell you who my first Doctor was) and I know I watched the 1996 telefilm on FOX with the 8th Doctor, but I really didn’t know much about the series.
Of course, by the end of the first episode I was hooked. And I barreled through all the eps until I reached the introduction of Captain Jack Harkness. That delicious scoundrel.
So I admit, the end of that season/series came and I immediately looked up the actor who played Captain Jack to see what else he’d done. Turned out (and you should all already know this) that John Barrowman was a Broadway/West End man, and had also been in several shows in the 90s that I had a vague recollection of. So of course, this led to an insane hunt through the internet to find Mr. Barrowman performing- I do love the theatre (and musical theatre, especially) so! Much was found and my love for him grew. Grew so much I had to share it with my dear friend Jackie!
Time passed and after finishing my degree I moved back to California before the summer humidity could hit. In 2008, I attended my first San Diego Comic Con. And on the way south, we stopped at “Book Soup” in LA for a quick signing of his first autobiography, “Anything Goes”, with his sister Carole.
Got the book signed, enjoyed the Q&A, but couldn’t get a good pic… Oh well, not the end of the world, right? So off to SDCC! Got something else signed and something signed for Jackie as well… and had a minute to chat with the ever so lovely John Barrowman, but didn’t have the funds for a photo-op and as always happens when I’m speaking to a guy, my brother had wandered off. Still, it was fine. I’d had my moment and I was pleased with it.
In the spring of 2009, I was itching to go back to Chicago and see my friends. Bonus! A torchwood convention was announced for June and Jackie and I decided to take the weekend and go. I call this convention cursed… The week before, Kai Owen had to cancel due to personal issues. Days before the convention, John himself had to cancel due to an injury and not being able to fly- I want it noted that John went above and beyond though, he skyped in multiple times (they were delightfully hilarious times); and the day of the conventions start Tom Price was hit by a bike messenger and severely broke his arm. Not to mention the nasty Con Crud I picked up. BUT! Jackie and I still had an awesome time at this event- chatting with Gareth David-Lloyd multiple times, chatting with the lovely Carole Barrowman, Peter Wingfield, Mark Sheppard, and meeting some very interesting people. We people watched a lot. My only sad thing was really the failure to get a pic with John Barrowman. This was the first event where I was really trying- it was part of my package. But I still had a great time. (The pics with the rest of the guests can be found on the People I Have Met page).
Not too long later was SDCC 2009. I had quit my job at a prison the day before the convention (not for the convention, I went back to school and had to move) and somehow this came up in conversation when I was having John sign the book everyone else had signed at the Chicago event and enjoying chatting with John and Scott. And somehow my boobs also came up in conversation. I really don’t remember how this happened- though I have an amazing rack. And somehow this turned to John asking permission- and getting it (hi, not like I’d refuse him, let’s be honest- he’s to faboo)- to grope me. Right there in the middle of SDCC. And still I have no picture! Seriously, this would’ve been an epic photo- the one of Angus Oblong doing it sure is.
This is where my mission to get the photo with John Barrowman became a wee bit of a thing. I mean, I’ve had the opportunity three times at this point and I’d still failed! (Course, I fail worse at my attempts to get a pic with Jane Espenson…)
To add insult to injury, April 14, 2012 was my birthday. My dear friend Brian was going to C2E2 in Chicago. John Barrowman was there. So Brian sent me a pic for my birthday. Of John Barrowman groping him. There’s more to the story from Brian, but it’s his story, not mine. In any case… here I am, on my birthday- fuming- because Brian had managed in one try what I had failed to do in three! But I wasn’t mad… I was determined.
I tried at SDCC 2012. And failed due to a lack of funds and never having a chance to get near John. And I failed at SDCC 2013 for the same reasons. But I do have the video from the Arrow panel and that pleases me- for the Arrow cast is wonderful and John is fabulous and the interaction between Stephen Amell and John make me happy to fangirl the series.
I’d been thinking this mission was never going to be complete- I mean, how can I get a pic with someone who is always at events I can’t get to or when I can get to it, I’m too broke to even try? (Being a grad student is NOT a financially awesome life choice- fyi. However, being able to say that I am almost a doctor is pretty awesome) But last week I caught a brief blurb on twitter. John Barrowman was going to be at the “Hollywood Show”. Hmmm, I said to myself. And so a plan began to form. I reached out to friends to see if any would be interested in going with. Charity said yes, and we hashed out the details. This was my birthday weekend, you see, so if ever there was a time to complete the mission it was NOW.
The “Hollywood Show” is a strange event- it’s autograph alley, but mostly with people who haven’t worked in a while. Or were HUGE years ago. But it was still interesting and I’m glad to have gone at least once before I leave LA (have I mentioned here that I’m leaving LA soon and returning to my roots working at a prison? Anyways.) So we arrived at the show and after the brief issue getting in (someone always has to make things difficult, don’t they?) we got in and scoped the place out. Walking past one line of tables we found ourselves in the main room, and then we spied it- John’s table on the far side of the room from us.
And no line! We hurried over and patiently waited our turn behind the person speaking with John. And then it was us… I got the second autobiography, “I Am What I Am”, signed and though we’d been told John was doing photo ops later, I hoped for a more personal quickie at the table. I shared this story- in a much more condensed version- and was granted my wish, a photo with John. I am impressed that I did not explode from squee right there. Seriously. He also granted my wish for a slightly more… interesting pic. Ya know, for the groping and all. He told me after that my heart was beating so fast. Yes, sir, it sure was- hello, do you know how awesome you are, Mr. Barrowman?
I am surprised my heart did not beat it’s way out of my chest! Seriously! And Charity also got in on the action with an adorable picture. I ended this mission with a long chat with Scott (getting info for my upcoming trip to Palm Springs), and getting both a pic with him and having him sign the book as well (he is a starring role in it, ya know).
So there you go… five years (plus!) of hunting the Wild Barrowman. He’s not easy prey… But the results of the hunt- the perfect picture- will last a lifetime. A very happy birthday to me.