My trip to go see Josh at his NYC 30Rock book signing started Thursday Dec 1st. I got up at 6 a.m., went to work the full day, got home, showered, finished packing two day bags and, with my hair still wet, rushed to the Providence RI bus terminal. Found a phenomenal parking spot, for once, and went over to wait. The 7:30 bus was a tad bit late, but I got on and we were on our way to Boston.
Now I've had a lot of people ask me why this trip was so complicated in routing - simply, a plane ride there, whether a red eye or early in the morning, wouldn't have gotten me there on time or perhaps earlier than I even got to NYC anyway, and would have been just as arduous since there are no flights from Providence to NYC (unless they're extraordinarily expensive). I also could not afford a hotel, so waiting for a 1 a.m. bus out of Boston was the only option.
I got to the South Station bus terminal a little after 8:30, got a sandwich from D'Angelos because I was starving and began the long wait. I rearranged everything in my bags, then went to the public rest room to do my nails. After they dried, I finished reading "World War Z" by Max Brooks, then started to read "I, Steve" about Steve Jobs. I grew tired of reading, went to the wall to charge up my iPod, and before I knew it, it was time to board the bus. Surprisingly, there were a lot of people waiting to get on a 1 a.m. bus to NYC, but I still scored the seat next to me so I could try to sleep.
About 3 and a half hours later during a highly overheated bus ride, I was in NYC way too early. It was still dark out and a little surreal to be walking around NYC with everything from 42nd St through Times Square to Bryant Park closed and no one around (note - this is the PERFECT time to shoot a zombie movie in this city LOL).
I searched for a 24 hour spot to grab a quick bite, moreso to ease my stomach because I was too anxious to really be hungry and enjoy eating, but the only thing open was mcDonalds. I had three bites of stale pancakes along with half a cup of a small Coke, went to the restroom to change into my day outfit and I walked the next few blocks to 30Rock. On my way there, I saw a bunch of people asleep behind barricades on a stand by line for SNL, rounded a corner and was awestruck by the tree they set up each year. I'd never seen it up close before in all my years visiting this city, so it was a nice sight after my long night.
I got to the door of the NBC store, set up my "DT" base camp sign since I was the first one there and waited - this was a little before 6 a.m. I got to watch people getting ready for the Today Show across the street and a little before 7 a.m., my buddy Kristin showed up, who is actually such an admirer of Josh that she wrote a section of her upcoming memoirs about him. After Kristin, a few more people started to trickle in. We all talked about DT, but other stuff in general. A lot of people I interacted with asked me stuff like how many times have I met Josh, what got me into DT and so on. It was cool to get to hang out with everyone.
It was close to 8 a.m. and through the doors of the NBC store came Paris, a man I'd met the previous weekend when I was just visiting for the day. He recognized me immediately, smiled and said "you weren't kidding about first in line Amanda, huh?" They set up stanchions around all of us waiting and Paris said we had a choice if we wanted to stay outside or come inside. We all laughed and said we wanted in.
The time passed a little faster once inside because it was warm and there was a little more visual stimulation in the store. We joked about "Occupy Syfy" (hi Ryder!) and everyone made quick trips to the nearest restroom. I was finally pulled upstairs by Maureen at Syfy around 9:10 a.m.-ish so that I could interview Josh and do some fan site promo stuff beforehand. I went up the spiral stairs, past the cafe and into The Digital Cafe room that was slightly closed off so people couldn't come in.
I saw Josh before he saw me, he put down his coffee, turned and said "hi Amanda!" I think at this point my brain was so fried from the previous night's journey that all I could choke out was "Josh, I am SO tired." I felt kind of rude, but Josh laughed, sat down and said "did you have to get up really early to get here?" I rehashed my journey to him and Maureen - both their responses were basically "oh my God" and Maureen as well as Debra Saal of the NBC Store offered to grab me a small bite to eat along with coffee to prevent me from passing out, which was really nice of them.
I gave Josh his Christmas present (various items including bacon + cheese flavored crickets, a mini pack of Altoids, DT dogtags and a copy of "Born this Way" on CD), chatted a little, then did our interview. After all that, I told him how someone who preferred to remain anonymous offered to donate $10 to Amanda Tapping's Sanctuary for Kids if I either had a photo of myself piggybacking him or if I kissed him on the cheek. He said "so, you have to be on my back, or me on yours?" I laughed and said, well if you were on my back, and he cut in by saying laughingly I'd die. I agreed and said I'd just kiss him on the cheek. We did a first take and the photo's hilarious, but it was washed out by the light outside, so we did another and it's so cute. I'm awaiting the receipt from whoever said they'd donate, but if they forget or lied, I'll just donate it myself, I told Josh. He told me stick around after the signing and he'd see me downstairs.
I went back down and a couple of people in the line clapped for me since I got to see him first, to which I laughed. I positioned myself outside the stanchions and waited to film the crowd reaction to Josh coming in. The reception for him was great and it was amazing seeing him interact with fans. I also got to talk with Craig Engler who runs the Syfy Twitter account - I wanted to be sure no one was harassing him too much about the air date and he said everyone was respectful, which was good. I gave him his DT dog tags and he loved them. I'd given Maureen in PR a pair earlier since I appreciate her so much for setting me up initially with all the fan stuff since 2009 and she wore them the whole morning before she had to leave since she was in the process of moving.
At one point, I saw the President of the Syfy Channel David Howe. I missed my chance to meet him in 2009, so I had to do it this time. I walked quickly over to him and introduced myself as the fan page runner for DT. He thanked me for promoting and I thanked him for running a great network. I told him we were all really anxious for a DT air date and he said he'd pass that along. I took a photo with him and was a little dumbstruck to get to talk to him, to be honest. Maureen before she left, along with Debra, grabbed me a Syfy Holiday Party swag bag, which was a really nice gesture considering fans don't usually get one and I was really grateful.
Soon the book signing ended and Josh came over to chat with a few of us who stayed behind to watch him until the very end. He handed me a stack of the promo head shots the NBC store had made up for him to sign and he said I could give those away as prizes, even though they weren't signed. I asked if he found out who traveled the furthest to see him (as he said on Twitter he would reward whoever did so) and he said in all honesty he forgot. I told him two of the girls I was with were from Virginia and he asked me to collect their addresses. he said he had something to do upstairs and he'd be down in 5 minutes. after about 10 minutes, someone came over and said Josh had already been corralled into a car for an interview at another building and I told my friends after she left that they were just saying that to us because they wanted to get that part of the store back up and moving with merchandise.
We went to grab a quick bite to eat and came right back upstairs. Sure enough, when we came back, Josh walked through the door with his winter coat and his bag with him. He apologized for the wait and said they kept him a little longer than he wanted. I gave him the girl's addresses and he thanked me again for coming all the way out, as well as making conversation with the other girls and my friend Phillip. He eventually turned to me and asked what Gaga's workshop was because I mentioned another girl I was with was a big Lady Gaga fan too and should go. I explained it to him and he asked if I had gone there yet. I showed him my Gaga's Workshop tote bag, he laughed and said "yeah, stupid question, right?" He then had to be on his way and we all tried to find somewhere to eat our food.
Exhaustion kicked in and though I had a 4 p.m. bus back, I bid everyone farewell, got in a taxi with Phillip and made my way to the Bus Port Authority. I was able to get on a 2 p.m. bus back, plugged my iPod and phone into the charger next to me, laid out across two seats and fell asleep. And so, that is my journey to NYC :)
Audio interviews and non-YouTube Videos from Josh's
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