I recently attended a Starfury event, G2. For those of you that have never attended an event hosted by Starfury, you really should, it was an amazing weekend.
Starfury host many events based on famous television shows such as The Vampire Diaries, Doctor Who, The Game of Thrones and of course, the one I attended, Glee.
These conventions are three day events spanning from the Friday till the Sunday and include guests from the appropriate shows. The event organiser must be a magician (Fez included), he worked wonders and his team were amazing, they were so friendly and helpful it was unbelievable.
I have had many people asking me to write about my experiences at the event, so here goes!
Be warned! This may take some time to read, I will try not to babble too much!
After arriving at the Hilton Metropole Hotel in Birmingham, signing in and unpacking my bag I wondered downstairs to see who else was about. Bear in mind that I went alone (shudder!) and did not know any other attendees (pat on the back here, brave old me). The place was full of cheerleaders and Warblers sitting in their groups awaiting the start of the first item on our agenda, the meet and greet with the stars. The atmosphere was already electric with anticipation!
We were ushered in to a large room and sat around tables of ten people with a space on each table for the guest to sit. I was thrilled that the chair next to me was unoccupied so the guests could sit there! As the guests arrived, they rotated around the tables to speak to each group. The first Glee star to sit with us was Max Adler (David Karofsky), he was just the sweetest man ever! He gave the girl on the other side of him a big hug as she was a huge fan of his; we had to remind her to breath! This went on with Ashley Fink (Lauren Zizes) being next, then Curt Mega (Warbler Nick) who actually knew my name and who I was without me telling him, therefore of course, I had to have a hug, I am yet to decide if Curt knowing me was a bad thing or not! Stephen Tobolowsky (Sandy Ryerson) regaled us with stories of past adventures and we were all glad and relieved that he was the complete opposite of his Glee character. I could go on for page after page describing what was said by each guest but that would not even come close to showing how fantastic they all were, so just know that they were all funny, kind and adorable. I later asked Curt what his highlights were from G2 and he stated them to be the meet and greet sessions, so just maybe, the cast enjoyed them as much as the fans did.
Later Friday evening there was a disco and karaoke, some people dressed up as the theme was Jocks and Cheerleaders, there were many of each! The guests were kind enough to join us at the disco and listened to a few of the karaoke singers, they were so generous with their time, allowing people to approach them and ask questions, just say hello and giving many hugs. Even when approached in the hall or at the bar, they gave their time to talk and answer any questions until their PA’s moved them on to their next appointments.
Okay, Friday finished, bed, get up blah, blah and it was Saturday!!
The day of the photo shoots with the stars, such an exciting time! Waiting for the doors to open was just as much fun as meeting the cast because we listened to the Darren Criss Street Team playing guitars and singing Warbler songs in the hallways, of course I joined in!! They were a great bunch, the life and soul of any party. Yes, right, back to photo shoots….as I am disabled, I was lucky enough to be ushered nearer the front of the queue with a chair (Thank you Starfury team). I had a picture taken with Curt which meant I had yet another hug, can you see a theme occurring here?! I then queued again for a group shot with the cast, and the picture looks awful, for whom I blame Mr Curt Mega!!! Sexy poses sir? He made me giggle so much I could not keep a straight face, of course, this group of actors all took fantastic pictures but alas me, not so much. Oh well, it was fun!
With photo sessions complete, we went yet again to line up outside the main hall for the guest talks, and yes, lining up meant more Warbler songs and a few other Glee songs but Warblers appeared to be the main theme (Yes, I will get to more Warbler news in a while, hold on!). Where was I? Oh yes, guest talks. Whilst awaiting the start of the talks we were shown episode one of Buffering, a web series starring Curt Mega, I was shocked that a few people had not seen it or heard of it, so of course I just had to give out the link to it whilst simultaneously tweeting the buffering cast. We had a non-Glee guest, Alessandra Torresani from the American Horror Story who did a question and answer session first then we were excited to see Curt Mega, he was asked many questions and replied the best he could, he was a total gentleman and quite funny when regaling us with his stories of Warbler practice sessions.
Stephen Tobolowsky’s talk was utterly amazing, now this gentleman is a true story teller! Not only did he answer questions from the audience but he also mesmerised everyone with stories of his past. If you do not know his name, look him up, I guarantee that you have watched at least two shows that he has appeared in if not more.
Now to the ‘Piste de resistance’, Ashley Fink and Max Adler, what a double act these two were! The whole room was rolling in laughter nearly the whole time! Every time Max was asked a question by the audience, Ashley would interject, regardless how serious Max’ reply was. One person asked him what animal he would be and he answered in all seriousness a dolphin, now at this, the room erupted, Max was obviously unaware of the Glee reference that a dolphin is a gay shark so he was unsure of the audience reaction until Ashley explained it to him and refused to let him change his animal. When Ashley was asked the same question she was unsure at first then replied that she would be a bird, she then started flapping around the stage mimicking how she as a bird would be, going over to listen to gossip then reporting back to Chris (Colfer) all that she had heard and seen. Not so funny written down but watching her act it out with the different voices had us in tears of laughter. Max regaled us with a tale of when they received the scripts for ‘On my Way’; Darren (Criss) called him and said “Dude, I think I’m gonna sing to you while you kill yourself”. Obviously this stirred strange images in Max’s head and he stated that he was pleased with the outcome of that scene, where it was intermingled with Darren’s song. Curt interjected the session by asking what Chris Colfer smells like, after some debate, Max decided on Chap Stick and Ashley answered with Inspiration!! Hmmm! I am sure those are answers that have been used elsewhere for a similar question.
After the talks there was more queuing as we went round and had our photos signed by the cast members, a little chat here and there although we were aware not to talk for too long and hold up the lines. Again, I was very lucky and extremely grateful to Starfury’s Dom for taking me around the room and allowing me to jump the queues whilst he held my pictures as my balance was not too great even whilst using my walking stick. Starfury really do bend the boundaries for everyone!
The rest of Saturday evening entailed dinner and more lining up to enter the main hall for the disco, the guests sent their apologies for not attending as they had a prior arrangement. I would just like to add that throughout the weekend, if any guest agreed to join the attendees somewhere and were unable to, they made sure to apologise so that we would not be too disappointed.
I must admit that Saturday was an early night for me as I had worn myself out with all the lining up and laughing all day.
So onto Sunday and sadly the last day of the convention, awwww, I heard you say it!
For me personally, I found Sunday an emotional rollercoaster.
Whilst others were in photo shoots and autograph signings, I wondered the hotel and chatted to a few people, rather a relaxed morning for me. Midday bought the first guest talks, Curt Mega. Whilst we were waiting for the talks to start, the organisers showed Curt’s web series Buffering episode 2 on the big screen, I had fun tweeting the Buffering cast and writer to inform them of this, they were thrilled at the reception it received at G2. We were also shown Ashley Fink’s Parody of Call me Maybe which had the whole room singing along and laughing. I kind of felt sorry for Curt going first each time as the others could refer back to each other’s talks when answering questions. As always though, Curt was the consummate professional, making everyone laugh with his stories and replies to questions, he managed to gain a new nickname of Salmon Pants due to his rather tight salmon coloured trousers. He did not appear to mind in the slightest! Curt is such a big thinker, his words ore often very inspirational to many people. I was surprised that he was not asked questions about his eating habits as he often tweets about his healthy eating lifestyle.
Ashley was the next guest to come out on the stage, she was much shyer this time with not having Max there to bounce off of but she did really well, her facial expressions when she did not understand a question or was unsure how to answer it were quite funny and she often called to Max stating her preference for having him onstage with her. I half expected her to go and drag him up there too! Ashley really should do a stand up show, she was fantastic!!!
The next speaker was Stephen and oh boy!! He blew the room away with his life stories. He told one story which nearly had me in tears, the whole room was silently enraptured by his memories of the time that he fell from a horse and broke his neck. I will not regale the whole story here as I feel that I could not give it the justice it deserves, I will say however that the story was extremely empowering. He mentioned that this story was on a pod cast called Afflictions of Love, which I highly recommend you go and listen to! Whilst regaling the story, he pointed out that during his darker times, he used a method of additions, where when things seemed bad, he looked for something that was an addition, to which is a positive outcome, for example, on one occasion he moved his garden bench to a new spot where he saw a mother bird teaching her young to fly and another time where he moved to a different spot in his garden and saw a flock of parrots, now these are positive additions because had he not moved his bench to its new positions, he would never have experienced these fantastical sightings. His whole speech was just enthralling! I took personal interest in this story because where I also suffered with a broken neck, I had never thought of this amazing new way of seeing the positives in life, I generally focus on the negative, which is something that I seriously need to change about myself!
The last guest to speak, Max Adler, also had some of the audience in tears as he reminded us of his attempted suicide scene in Glee, he went on to explain how he researched the part by talking to people who had attempted suicide or had suffered due to a loved one committing suicide. It was needless to say, an emotional talk. He also made everyone laugh by explaining the locker room scene with Chris Colfer, where Chris’ character Kurt called Max’ character out for bullying and was scripted to call Max a Ham Hock but kept calling him a Ham Cock by mistake, this happened so many times that both actors were told to break for 30 minutes to regain their composure. Obviously the audience found this insight rather hilarious which helped to lighten the mood of the room.
All in all, the talks were very emotional and many left the main hall unsure of their feelings, it certainly opened a few wounds to some and bought closure to others but it also bought enlightenment to many on how we think about situations and how we feel about ourselves and those around us. It was quite an amazing experience to be a part of that atmosphere. Stephen himself told me that the guest talks were a part of his G2 highlights, listening to his colleagues. Many people stated that their highlights included the guest talks. One fan, Vicky stated ‘The highlight for me was the Q&A and getting to know the cast better and what their interests are outside of glee!’
Sunday evening bought us a talent show judged by the special guests. The amount of talent in that room was astounding! I am sure that everyone who attended would agree how high the quality was, even the judges seemed a little astounded at times. Due to the high standards, the judges had a hard time choosing a winner, so instead, they named five runners up and three winners, each winner received a free Gold Exclusive ticket to next year’s G3 conventions, which is an amazing and generous prize from the organiser. Again, Starfury cannot be beaten, they were fabulous to everyone! Please keep an eye open on this site for an interview with Moa, one of the talent show winners who performed an original song, her singing and guitar playing were brilliant, as were the lyrics that she wrote.
After the closing ceremony, there was obviously another party, yes; Glee fans know how to party!!! Once again we were joined by Max and Curt, also by Jenn, Max’s girlfriend, who treated us to their fantastic voices as they performed on karaoke. It was a fun and exciting evening, enjoyed by everyone, attendees and cast members alike. As so often happened when the guests needed to leave, they were met with adoring fans with whom they gladly hugged and talked to as they prepared to return to their hotel.
Hmmm! I did mention some Warbler news, I do believe, well here goes…….G3 will be Warbler themed!!! Yes, can you imagine, our beloveved Warblers coming to England!!!! The thought on location is currently around the Heathrow area but who knows, we will find out soon!
I cannot thank the guest stars or Starfury team enough for providing us all with wonderful memories of a magical weekend.