The impact of this book, and the excitement or young adult readers everywhere was on full display Thursday night. When I arrived at the War Memorial courtyard, there were already tons of people already lined up, hoping for a chance to see the stars and hoping for a chance to sit in on the Q&A. Some had been camping out since midnight--that's commitment!
I think it's safe to say that I probably wouldn't have gotten inside that auditorium without my media pass. By pure chance, and by knowing certain people, I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to greet the stars as they walked down the red carpet.
Here I am in front of the red carpet:
In the media pen, I met up with two blogger friends: Lauren and Shalena. We talked about the movie, and books in general (i.e. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn), while we waited for the red carpet show to start.
John Green, Shailene Woodley, and Ansel Elgort, and Nat Wolfe were expected to arrive at 6:30pm. My two friends, who were inside and waiting for the show to start, let me know that Nat was inside performing with his brother. Not going to lie--I kind of wish I had been there! And then finally, screams erupted around 7pm, signaling the arrival of John Green and the actors (they were late). John took the longest coming down the red carpet, as books and posters were being held out to be signed. He signed almost every thing set in front of him.
Then when John cam in front of the press pin, he stood in front of the backdrop and posed. How close was I? Very close!
Courtesy of Lauren, I have a picture of John Green and I:
I am still in shock that I met John Green. I didn't say anything to him, as everything was happening so fast, and he was trying to move things along. Still, it was thrilling, and I was amazed at the crowd's enthusiasm and excitement. Few authors would have received the fan fair that John Green experienced, and I couldn't help but think of how amazing it is that one author could bring so many people together. Even if Shailene, Ansel, and Nat weren't a part of the event, the turnout would still have been huge for John.
I just had to take a "selfie". My inner fangirl couldn't be denied, even if I tried to remain composed. Because I was part of the "Media" and I had to be "professional".
Shailene Woodly followed, taking time to sign posters as she made her way down the carpet. She didn't pose for long, but I did get some pictures of her being interviewed.
And as quickly as it started, the stars headed inside and the red carpet show was over. Dazed, but still excited, I headed up to the auditorium while a 10 minute clip played. It was a complication of scenes from the film. Scenes included the "egging" scene, the "okay" scene (which got a huge response front he crowd), and Gus chastising Hazel for wasting her "wish". It made me that much more excited to see the film in its entirety.
Clint Redwine (DJ for local radio station and husband of author CJ Redwine) announced the stars of the night, and the Q&A began. I honestly do not remember many of the questions asked, but one of the highlights of the Q&A was when Ansel was asked if he had any hidden talents. And just like that, Ansel started to breakdance. Don't believe me?
Here's a pic (albeit blurry):
And a video that someone captured of the entire dance:
His dancing was accompanied by Nat's beatboxing. The stars also spent a great deal of time, showing their love and appreciation for John Green. "You are unprecedented" Shailene said. The crowd was so loud, that I almost worried my eardrums would pop. We learned about Trazel (a combination of Tris and Hazel) and we also learned about Jansel. And when someone asked John, "Who the F is Hank?" people in the crowd began making the nerd fighter sign. I don't know if the question was genuine, or intended to bring up VlogBrothers, DFTBA, and Nerdfighteria, but it was still awesome. And we learned that Shailene, Ansel, and Nat are now proud Nerd Fighters.
The stars talked about their favorite scenes, and what it was like to film in Amsterdam. As I watched these four answer questions, though, it was clear that these four had formed a rather unique and special bond. They hugged, they laughed, and they teased.
By 8pm, the Q&A was finished and the four heartily thanked everyone for coming. And while it the night was short-lived, it was spectacular, and I am every so grateful that I was a part of it.
As cliched as it sounds, it will be a night to remember.