Tuesday, November 13, 2018

That Time I Met Clark Kent and Lex Luthor From Smallville

Last summer I wrote a long, emotional post about how excited I was to finally have had the chance to see Lifehouse in concert.

I talked about their music being the perfect soundtrack to my favorite show of all time, Smallville. I even wore a Smallville shirt to the concert, because I will always associate certain Lifehouse songs with the show.

Well. On September 1st, 2018, I wore that shirt again. This time? To Dragon Con, where I FREAKING MET THE STARS OF SMALLVILLE, TOM WELLING AND MICHAEL ROSENBAUM! (And Aaron Ashmore too!)

Why yes, I did put this photo on the back of my Christmas card with the caption

I honestly still can't believe this happened. It all started when a fellow Tom-fan sent me the link to an Instagram post announcing that Tom and Michael would be appearing at Dragon Con in September.

Here is actual footage of my reaction:

After all, Dragon Con takes place in Atlanta, and I live in the suburbs of Atlanta. There was no way in hell I was going to let this opportunity pass me by. 

My husband, on the other hand, even though he was a Smallville fan before I was, did not get as excited. He agreed to go only because he was worried about me making the trip alone. So I wasted no time buying our tickets. Or getting my son a Superman T-shirt to match his dad's.

Waiting for the MARTA. We were melting.

And can I just tell you what an absolutely amazing experience it was?

Sure, the MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) was late and crowded and hot, but how often do you get to ride a train with people dressed in costumes, everything from Deadpool to Disney characters? 

Yes, it was hot as hell outside, and the hair I'd spent an hour straightening the night before was frizzy and sticking to my sweaty neck by the time we stepped off the train, and my son managed to drip a melting chocolate popsicle all over his khaki-colored shorts before we even arrived at the con. We also missed the parade.

Didn't matter. We had. The best. Time.

We started off on the Kids' Track, at a Jedi Training for my son. He got to make his own light saber out of a foam noodle. Then he got to learn how to use it from the Star Wars character of his choice -  he chose Rey. 

From there we made our way over to the line for the Smallville: Reunion of Lost Choices panel. Don't ask me what the name of the panel meant; I don't have a clue. I just knew I was about to be in the same room with two actors I've admired for more than a decade. 

Except upon entering the ballroom where the panel was held, an attendant looked at my little family, glanced around the room, and said, "There's three seats open right there." AND POINTED AT THE VERY FRONT ROW. 

I almost fell the freak over. There was literally nothing but a few feet of carpet between me and the table where the actors from Smallville would be sitting. You guys, I could not. 

The introductions started. Erica Cerra and Aaron Ashmore were brought out first. Then the moderator started Michael's introduction. And what happened?

OUT COMES TOM! He totally crashed Michael's intro, and I was thoroughly unprepared for the shock, as you can tell from my delighted shriek.

Not to be outdone, Michael then made his entrance shirtless.

What followed was an hour of hilarity and adorableness. Like Michael sharing this story about one of the most memorable pranks played on set:

And Tom, relaying this embarrassing moment:

Michael also talked about hating having to shave his head each day for his role as Lex. He said sometimes he'd get cut, he had to wear special makeup so the set lights wouldn't reflect off his head, and he was also self-conscious about his big occipital bone.

He ran out into the audience trying to find someone who had a big bone at the back of their heads like his - and ended up finding it on my big-headed little boy.

My kid has no filter. I may have panicked a little
in this moment.

He also put the microphone in front of my son long enough for him to ask, "Are you Lex Luthor?" Michael laughed, and turning to Tom, said, "He called me Lex Luthor."

But my favorite moment was one in which Tom unwittingly paraphrased a scene from my book BUSTED.

I may have mentioned one or a thousand times that each of my published novels contain at least one Superman reference each.

Well, in BUSTED, there is a scene in which TJ explains to Marisa why purple is known as "the imperial color." (BTW, some of these images are taken from my Instagram stories, which can be seen under the highlight "DragonCon 2018" on my Instagram page.)

At one point in the panel, Tom Welling talked about how easy it was to dress for the part of Clark Kent - he either wore a red shirt and a blue jacket, or a blue shirt and a red jacket. To which Michael responded, "Why was I always in suits? And why did I wear so much purple?"

So you can imagine the free fall of my jaw when Tom turns to Michael and proceeds to TJ-splain the reason that purple shirts might be symbolic on a rich, powerful man like Lex Luthor.

Not only had a character in my book said THE SAME THING....

.... but he said it after the Lois Lane reference I'd slipped in 88 pages earlier....

... and he's the same character who has a loft in his barn, complete with a telescope, that is 100% a love note to Clark's loft in Smallville.

So, my book containing Superman and Smallville references was referenced by my favorite Superman from Smallville. And that is how a panel at Dragon Con 2018 turned into my Inception moment. 

(Okay, maybe it's a stretch. Just let me have my moment.)

Following the panel, we walked around for a bit, then got in line for the photo op I'd paid for ahead of time.

Remember how I said my husband wasn't all that excited to go to Dragon Con?

Well. When it was our turn to get in the photo booth with Michael, Tom, and Aaron, he said, "Here babe, this is your good side." And literally shoved me out of the way so he could stand next to Tom. I swear to God, I almost kicked him.

The one chance I'd probably ever have to stand next to Tom Welling, and his giant hand is on MY HUSBAND'S shoulder.

Though if you look closely, you'll notice that my own hand is creepily resting on top of Michael's, which I swear I did not realize until my mother saw the photo and pointed it out afterward. I was actually trying my hardest NOT to touch anyone, in fear of being creepy, and thought my son's shoulder was my best bet for hand placement. Oops.

Of course, my precautions went out the window when we were about to exit the booth, and I realized I hadn't gotten to say anything meaningful to Tom. As I said in my Instagram caption of our picture:

I wish I had time to tell them how much Smallville meant to me. That I write novels because I hope to make other people feel the way their show made *me* feel. That I've slipped a Superman reference into all 3 of my published novels. That I wore this same shirt to a Lifehouse concert, thinking it was the closest I'd ever get to anything Smallville-related.

I didn't get to say any of that. But as we started to leave, I turned back. I offered Tom my hand, and he obliged me a hand shake, despite the "no touching" rule. I looked him in the eye and told him thank you. And even though he had no idea just how many different things I was actually thanking him for, I am content that those words said it all.

In short?

Best. Day. Ever. 

(And my husband wants to go back again next year.)


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