When I rolled out of bed last Saturday morning I was faced with two options:
1. Veg at home in my pajamas and play the ridiculous, but addictively fun Bayonetta or the deep and enthralling, Mass Effect while enlisting the company of a few beers and maybe hunting down a box of Kraft Dinner for lunch. Are you even allowed to have Kraft Dinner for lunch?
2. Shower, get dressed, jump on the subway and head to Fan Expo Canada. Fan Expo being a comic/videogame/sci-fi/horror convention. Essentially, all things geek/awesome.
While both of these options reside in the realm of South Dork-ota (alongside this joke apparently), the first option was lazy and cheap, the second active, but significantly more expensive.
What helped me make my decision was having the opportunity to meet some of the hosts from Reviews on the Run/Electric Playground. Not only do I watch these shows on the regular and feel some sort of bizarre kinship with the hosts, but I also believe it’s never a bad idea to talk to those doing things you want to do in order to gain insight on what is involved in getting to and being in such a position. Therefore, my ticket to Fan Expo was a small investment in my future, and if that’s not enough, there’s a crap load of free swag there as well.
So after throwing my lazy plans out the window in favor of Fan Expo, I set out into the blinding light of day, aiming to be at Fan Expo for noon so I could meet the main hosts of Reviews on the Run/Electric Playground, Victor Lucas and Scott Jones, who were doing a signing session. Hurrying down Front Street, dodging zombies and Storm Troopers, I was having a helluva time finding out where tickets to the Expo were sold. Eventually I got the ticket and managed to push my way through a crowd of vampires and Power Rangers to the Victor and Scott signing lineup only to have security staff cut off the line right in front of me.
Wait a second, Zombies/Star Wars crossover, is that a great idea or a car wreck waiting to happen?
To make a long story, well, less long I managed to meet up with more of the show’s hosts than planned and was pleasantly surprised to find that they were willing to give up some of their time to talk not only to me, but other fans of the shows.
I first met Shaun Hatton, who rivals Victor Lucas in the recognizable hair category, and he was happy to talk at length about his career journey. Hopefully, I’ll run into him sometime again in Toronto. Total class act.
Next, I was able to talk to hosts Steve Tilley (also a writer for the Toronto Sun) and Raju Mudhar (also a reporter for the Toronto Star). Steve and Raju were waiting for their turn to sign for fans, but were delayed because Victor and Scott were desperately trying to steal their thunder. Despite having their spotlight stolen (in their own city no less!) they were more than happy to talk videogames and pose for a quick picture.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to meet new host Marissa Robert0, seen in the background wearing a Jays jersey (lover of baseball and videogames?! Wow).
Steve Tilley on Twitter
Raju Mudhar on Twitter
Marissa Roberto on Twitter
From there I grabbed a quick picture with Jose “FUBAR” Sanchez, who although being hounded by Green Lantern, was able to share a quick discussion on his amazing t-shirt collection (which includes the greatest Flight of the Conchords shirt ever).
After that I met the lovely ElecPlay/Reviews on the Run ladies, Miri Jedeikin and Briana McIvor, both of whom were even more attractive in person. Briana was surprised I wanted a picture with both her and Miri, an endearing humbleness to find in a TV personality. Miri’s Mom was nice enough to take the below picture. Miri introducing me to her Mom on our first meeting was a bit forward, but I often have that effect on women. No Miri, it’s too soon to move in together. Let’s take it slow. (Obviously, I’m kidding. She was nothing but professional).
Briana’s Facebook Page (apparently, the only host who uses a Blackberry over an iPhone and the only one too cool for Twitter)
Lastly, I managed to catch Scott Jones for a second and snap a picture. With him having signed autographs and taken pictures for the previous 3 hours, I was happy he had even that much time for me. He also revealed at the Q&A panel that despite making so many on-air jokes about his ex-wife, there actually was no ex-wife. It was a joke that he made one episode that just kept carrying on, and hopefully doesn’t stop.
While I never did get to talk with Ben Silverman or the face, (hair) and brains behind ElecPlay and Reviews on the Run, Victor Lucas, I was thrilled to meet all of the other hosts and felt they understood Fan Expo wasn’t about the exhibitors, celebrities, or the costumes, but about the fans.