Well, I went to Chicago Tardis this past weekend, and it was AMAZING. I figured the 50th anniversary would be the year to go, and boy was I right! Getting photos and autographs from 3 Doctors and 5 companions all in one trip is not too shabby! Plus, this year being the biggest ever meant tons of awesome cosplay! I have two memory cards filled with unbelievable photos, which hopefully I will sift through and post here sometime soon, but I'm still so exhausted I haven't even unpacked everything yet!
Anyhoo, I cosplayed for the first time! Thanks to getting really sick two weeks before the Con, the Barmaid Clara dress was the only big dress I got finished, but I wore it on Saturday night, and posed for pictures with two other barmaid Claras, which is so cool. And I wore my black & white Susan Foreman outfit on Friday night, which I have to say I was almost more excited about, because the Hartnell era is a much smaller segment of the fandom, but I got recognized several times, and everybody who knew who I was was SO appreciative it just made my heart swell. (I started watching Classic Who for the first time earlier this year, and I'm officially an Old School Whovian now. It's shocking how much worse the obsession becomes when you get into the old stuff.)
During the day I wore my Tardis dress with Tardis stockings, or Tardis tank top, all picked up at Hot Topic during sales, and I felt quite fabulously geektastic. And I think it's the one time where running into other girls wearing the same clothes as you is actually an awesome occurance!
I must note that I am officially broke now, for the record. Between all the merchandise I picked up in the dealer's room (including finally plunging into Big Finish audios; they were having sales and I went for it!) and the autographs and photos, I literally spent every penny I brought with me. But it was totally worth it, not just for the items themselves, but for the one-on-one time with the actors themselves. I am totally amazed at how gracious and nice all the actors were to everyone. It felt like we spent forever waiting in lines, but then you realize it's because they take the time to actually talk to everyone they sign an autograph for. Unfortunately my mom cried in front of Sarah Sutton and Louise Jameson, which totally set me crying too, and now I feel awful that they looked so worried for us! And I was totally cool as a cucumber the whole rest of the time! Well, actually I totally fangirled Frazer Hines when I ran into him in the dealer's room; I was proper giggling idiot then, but he put up with me very patiently! And either he forgave me, or didn't recognize me the next day when I went to get an autograph, because when I calmly chatted about how excited I was to see 'Enemy of the World' and 'Web of Fear' for the first time, and somehow the conversation turned to how people would tell him how they used to have a crush on him, and I said that I would always have a crush on him no matter how old he got, then he leaned across the table and gave me a big hug AND a kiss on the forehead! I was SO not expecting that, and I was just floating around with a stupid grin, squeeing like the ditsiest fangirl all the way home. I got kissed by Jamie, people!!!!
I also got the famous Paul McGann Soulful Gaze in person!!! I mentioned how I loved him in 'Our Mutual Friend' and he was like "my favorite thing I've ever done! Eugene Wrayburn, so many layers to that character, you know?" And he was giving me that look that he does, that 'I can peer into your soul and you will understand' look that makes me melt when I see it on screen, and I was just nodding and smiling and agreeing, because yeah, Paul McGann, I do know exactly what you're talking about! (Seriously, I thought that was just an actor thing he does for the camera, but apparently it's something indigenous to his actual person. No wonder he works so steadily, no female casting director could be immune to The Soulful Gaze! But I think he must not be aware that he's doing it, because that would make him a very wicked man indeed to be throwing that at fangirls knowingly. Oh boy, it's heady stuff!)
So in addition to the aforementioned encounters with two of my biggest Doctor Who crushes, I also got a personal recommendation from Nicola Bryant of 'Peri and the Piscon Paradox', shared an elevator with Michael Jayston, and rescued Colin Baker from missing his flight after my mother started chatting to him as we were both checking out of the hotel. I met Daleks, Cybermen, Doctors, amazingly creative cosplayers and knitters and crafters, and shared moments of squee with complete strangers who nonetheless felt like friends because we all spoke the same language of loving Doctor Who. I've never been to a convention where you could leave a sweater or a camera on a chair and expect it to be there when you got back, but we did here. Everyone we met was so nice. And I think that's the real magic of Doctor Who. Beyond fantastic adventures in time and space, there's an underlying philosophy of openness and caring and doing the right thing that makes the show special, and the people who love it embrace that totally. And just like that, life imitates art, and the Doctor really does make the world a better place. :)
(At least at one Chicago hotel for one weekend out of the year. Hurry up, 2014, I can't wait for next year! Where's the Tardis when you need it? ;-D)