Right, I am sitting here with the cat on my lap and some peanut butter M&Ms within easy reach so I have no excuse not to write about my New York trip (actually, I have uni work I should be doing but I’m going to do this first).
And before you ask, of course it’s relevant to my research interests. I met David Duchovny, who was in The X Files. I am writing about The X Files. I’m also writing about fan activity. I got to take part in a large amount of fan activity (and it was all awesome).
Saturday, the day of the play, started off with all of us freaking out about it being the day we’d meet DD. I think we’d all been ok before – we knew we were going to see the play and hopefully meet him, but it was still far enough away that it didn’t seem real. Today was the day though, and there was lots of ‘in eight hours’ time we’ll be there’; ‘in six hours’ time we’ll be there’. We packed up all our stuff though, and headed into the city. We did a fair bit of sightseeing on Saturday – Central Park, the Time Warner centre, various Ghostbusters locations, the Empire State Building and an awful lot of NY districts (neighbourhoods? I can’t work out the difference). We then got a cab up to our friend’s house in Uptown NY again, and dropped off our shopping there before the play. It was about five by that point, and we were all acutely aware that the play wasn’t far away. We went to a diner for tea, which served huge portions of lovely food and I felt awful about leaving as much of it as I did. It was the subway then to theatre (including a few transfers) where we met our friend and settled into our seats…
I have to say I really enjoyed the play. It was an interesting concept, which I’ve thought about a bit previously. The premise is that John Smith (DD) sees the face of God in the middle of the worst office shooting in American history. He goes on to try and persuade the people he knows, and the wider population, that God wants us to be better people. I won’t say too much more as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but I found it to be funny and thought provoking and all the actors did amazing jobs. DD is in each scene, and it was so bizarre to be sitting five rows away from him. I don’t think I breathed for the first five minutes he was on stage! He gives a great performance and it allows him to use his skills really well. There’s one scene where another actor is talking and DD’s facial expressions convey exactly what the character is thinking – it got a great reaction from the audience. It’s definitely a play I’d go back to see. And the use of Depeche Mode’s Personal Jesus at the end I thought was brilliant!
After the play, then, it was time to hang out at the stage door. We were all huddled together because it was quite cold and we were all really nervous. After a few minutes there was some hubbub behind us, and we turned round to see DD coming out of the front door. I was really worried that I wouldn’t get to see him as there was a big surge in his direction, but I needn’t have worried. I hovered while friends and strangers got his autograph and photo, then handed him my IWTB posted (signed by GA, Chris and Frank in London two years ago) and asked if he would possibly be able to sign it for me. He said sure, and asked if I’d seen Amanda Peet and asked her to sign it for me. I said I hadn’t, and he said I really should because she was in the film too. He gave the poster back and went to turn around so I asked if he’d mind having his photo with me. He said no, put his hand on my shoulder and asked which camera was mine. He was so nice it was unbelievable! We all hung around for a bit longer while he signed for more people, then he went to leave. Before he did though, he turned round and asked if everyone had what they wanted and did anyone else need anything before he left! I was amazed when he asked that because it was so thoughtful, and if that was me I’d probably have wanted to get some food and go home. But he didn’t – he was really considerate, and when no one said anything headed across the road to a bar and sat down with some of the other cast members.
We were all on a massive high by that point so took more photos outside the theatre and generally tried to calm down! What was really nice was that there were no ‘crazy’ fans. Everyone there was really respectful. There was no pushing or shoving like there had been when GA did Doll’s House in London. There was no signing of XF related songs, or people following him to the bar and gawking at him. It was all in all a thoroughly great experience. We wandered to the next block to look at the Friends’ apartment, then wandered back and past the bar that DD was in. We all glanced sideways as we passed, but didn’t freak out or run in after him! We headed over to this bar called Jekyll and Hyde for a drink afterwards, calling <lj user=”sandiscully”> on the way because she was waiting to hear about the experience! We all just kept repeating how nice he was and what he’d said to us! It was great though.
After that we made our way back to Uptown NY to pick up out stuff, then (after much waiting in the subway for a train that never came) got a cab to Port Authority and the bus back to NJ. We stayed up quite a while when we got there, uploading photos to Facebook and replying to Philes’ comments! And went to bed very happy.
What else was good?
Watching two eps of Californication on the plane, in which they cut out the swearing and the sex. It was very odd hearing Hank call someone a melon farmer…
Explaining to Homeland Security that I was staying with a friend I met on an X Files Facebook group, and him not batting an eyelid at it.
My first sight of the city from the front seat of a yellow cab.
Buying a baseball shirt and a blue t-shirt with Mantle on the back (‘I get this message marked ‘urgent’ on my answering service from one Fox Mantle…’) and the sales assistants looking at us a bit strangely when we started acting out the end scene from The Unnatural.
Modell’s Sporting Goods store which made us all laugh.
The Knicks game at Madison Square Garden.
It was an absolutely amazing week. I’m so glad I went – not only did I get to meet DD, I got to see NY and meet my utterly awesome friends! It was tiring, and I walked miles and miles, but I’d go back again in an instant. Thanks so much everyone who made it that special.