I recently went to a Vampire Diaries convention in Chicago put on by Creation Entertainment, so I'm sharing my experience with my readers! I will have a series of posts (hopefully with a lot of pictures!) of all the panels I got to take part in during the event, which took place in April 2013. There may be spoilers for both the TV show AND the books in this series - so read at your own risk!
One of my favorite panels at the Chicago Vampire Diaries convention was Steven R. McQueen (Jeremy Gilbert). He was funny, personable, super sweet...and totally hopped up on Red Bull. He appeared on Saturday of the convention, and he admitted to us that he was running on hardly any sleep. That didn't seem to deter him - he charmed the audience, right from the time he walked out on to the stage, cutouts of Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley in his hands.
He placed the cutouts on either side of his chair during the entire panel, and he routinely kicked Ian's cutout, as well as flicked the eyes and nose. He openly admitted to being "Team Paul," because of his hair! hahah ...and because he plays hockey :) Steven's panel differed from every other panel at the con. He actually had the people who were chosen to have their questions answered come up on stage with him. Like this extremely lucky young lady named Ally (funny story - Ally's mom is a reader of this blog!). Ally asked Steven if he would go to prom with him, and he said that if he could get it worked out, he would love to. This was her response:
I think that pic is just perfectly framed with Paul's cutout oblivious to what's going on! hahahah When Steven pulled people up on stage with him, he kind of did mini interviews with them as well, asking them their favorite songs, movies, TV shows, etc. He actually cared about the people he was talking with, as well. He really listened to them, and he showed he really cared. He also sang lots of songs - little snippets - and asked those on stage to sing along with him if they knew the words. An ongoing theme he had during his panel was chiding the Hillywood Girls for rolling their eyes at him - whether they did or not, we couldn't tell, but he got a kick out of calling them out for it haha The woman behind me had someone take a cup with cola and alcohol in it up to Steven during his panel. He didn't drink it, but eventually it ended up spilled haha
One young lady, when her name was called, sprinted up to the stage in record time, jumping up on him, snagging Steven in a huge bear hug. He suggested she go out for the track team. She was so overwhelmed that he had her sit down in the studio chair on stage for him, and proceeded to interview her. When it was her time to ask him her question, he put her paper close to her, and everytime she reached for it, he would snatch it back. And when someone started talking to him from the audience, he turned and said, "Excuse me, I was talking to my girl up here." It was so darn cute! Anyway, she asked him about his reaction when he found out Jeremy had died. He said he was sad, when then he was like there was going to be some sort of mystical thing happen to bring him back. Then in the next episode, he read that they burned the body, and he thought "Oh! I must've pissed somebody off."
Steven also shared that he got a job offer...but won't share what it is! One fan from the audience suggested it was Dancing with the Stars - and he promptly informed the fan on stage with him that they were going to dance, saying this was his audition tape, so she'd better not screw it up! haha He also spoke about his brother, Jessarae, who is a musician. Steven didn't mention much about his family during the panel - and he's got some famous people in there...including his grandfather, the incomparable Steve McQueen, and his stepfather, the amazingness that is Luc Robitaille.
When I went to get my autograph from him, the line was super long, which I knew meant that he was spending time and talking with the fans, which is amazing. He was super tired and yet he was speaking personally with the people? Cuteness! So when I got up to the table, here was the conversation:
Steven: Hmmm, Destany (narrowing his eyes, weaving his head back and forth looking at me)
Me: I'd like to ask you a question.
Steven: Well, you go right ahead and ask.
Me: Has anyone ever used the song Steve McQueen as a pick-up line?
Steven: You mean the Sheryl Crow song?
Me: Yeah, that one.
Steven: Nope. But they used to play it at conventions when I'd come out.
Me: That's too bad.
Steven: Well, maybe one day someone will. Maybe tonight at the dance! (getting all bright eyed and staring at me) Maybe you should tonight. Sing it. *smiles widely*
I am fairly certain it took everything I had not to faint dead away at that very moment. But when the dance rolled around and he walked in, I waited for my moment, swooped in and said "Insert Steve McQueen pick-up line here" and proceeded to sing, quietly, a few bars. He said "YES!" pumped his fist in the air and gave me the biggest bear hug. As he walked away, he threw back over his shoulder to me. "And now I can say that's happened!"
It. was. amazing.