By Teresa Jusino
I’ve always been a PC girl. I own a PC, and I use a PC at work. I own an mp3 player, not an iPod. I have a clunky old Samsung phone, not an iPhone. The only “i” item I have is iTunes, and that’s on my PC. I’ve always rolled my eyes at my technologically obsessed Mac-owning friends, and whenever I see one of those Mac vs. PC ads on television, I like John Hodgman so much more than Justin Long that I feel justified in still owning a PC. But right now I’m going to do something I never thought I’d do…
I’m about to pimp Apple. That’s right. Apple just made me so happy on Tuesday, I’m going to tattoo that smug little bitten fruit logo on my forehead I’m so excited. After waking up at 4:30AM the Sunday of NY Comic Con only to not get an autograph ticket for the Joss Whedon/Tahmoh Pennikett signing that day, and after missing half the Dollhouse panel (including the screening of the first act of the pilot) because I was interviewing the cast of Fringe (I know. What a tough life I lead!), the Apple Store in SoHo, NYC, finally allowed me the opportunity to meet Joss Whedon on Tuesday night!
Both Joss Whedon and Eliza Dushku were in attendance, and after screening the same segment of Dollhouse that they showed at NYCC (this show looks AMAZING), there was a lovely discussion moderated by TV Guide’s Matt Roush. Joss repeated a lot of the points about Dollhouse that he made both at NYCC and in the conference call in which Pink Raygun participated, but he played off both Eliza and Matt in a playful, humorous way. The pressure and stress of the con had been lifted, it seems. Eliza, meanwhile, was delightful, and it was interesting to hear her take on Dollhouse. The major draw for her is that Dollhouse allows her to explore something that she’s experienced in her own life, both as an actress and as a woman – struggling to figure out who she is even as everyone seems to be trying to force her to become their idea of who she should be. Joss and Eliza seem not only like great friends, but like an amazing team. It will be exciting to see how their partnership on this series (don’t forget that Ms. Dushku also serves as its Executive Producer!) will shape it as it goes along.
Then came the Q&A. The highlight, of course, being the young gentleman who mentioned the fact that he’d really like to get something signed, as he wasn’t able to at NYCC. After rambling about that for a second, Joss asked him if he actually had a question, then said “OK, ask your question. If you ask a really good question, I’ll sign stuff for everyone here!” Cheers from the crowd! “But. If. You. FAIL….EVERYONE HERE SUFFERS!” Heh. No pressure, right? The young man asked simply, “Why are you so awesome?” The Great Joss was pleased, and even though there was no answer to that question since it was less a question and more a statement of fact, Joss agreed to stick around to sign things for everyone. The people rejoiced.
Sadly, Eliza didn’t stay after the Q&A, but the Apple staff brought out a table and chair for Joss and he began the task of signing Dollhouse posters as well as any assorted DVDs/comics/boxed sets that fans brought with them. Though we’d originally been told that there would be no photos, and that he would only be signing Dollhouse posters, Joss took pictures with everyone. He was extremely patient, and took time with each person, really talking to them and signing whatever they put in front of him.
Here is where I’ll say that venue itself, as well as its staff, had a lot to do with how relaxed and organized the event was. If you’ve never been to the Apple Store, there’s a small room, rather like a lecture hall, with a large screen where they do workshops and tutorials for Apple’s various products, as well as have events like these where they talk to filmmakers and other creative types. It accommodates about 200 people, the seats are enormous and squishycomfortable, and the lighting and design of the room are muted and sleek, much like the products sold there. The staff did an excellent job leading people to Joss in an orderly way, row by row, and they did so nicely, not as if they were sick of their jobs or wanted to be anywhere else. The Apple Store made this intimate event the best signing I’ve ever been to!
Everyone was feeling the Joss love. Everyone was relaxed and chatty. I saw two people there that I’d met at NYCC in line for the Dollhouse panel and we talked up a storm. One of them had visited Pink Raygun since I told her about it at the con and may be submitting something to us in the near future! (What’s up, Jen!) Best of all, one of them, a fabulous young artist named Laura, agreed to snap pictures of my friend and me with Joss, as my batteries were depleted and my friend had forgotten his camera. The Whedon community is really like no other, and I’m never more at ease than when I’m sitting smack in the middle of a room full of Browncoats.
Finally, it was my turn to speak with the man himself. Did you know that Joss has an earring? I didn’t! I’d never noticed it before. It suits him. Anyway, we shook hands and I introduced myself. I gave him my Dr. Horrible DVD and Issue #1 of Buffy: Season Eight to sign. I told him that I respected him not only for his writing talent, which I hope to emulate, but as a person; that because of the work he does for Equality Now, his work during the Writer’s Strike, and the creation of Dr. Horrible, which demonstrated that it is possible for creator-produced entertainment to be successful, I admire him as a human being, and that I love how he inspires action from his fans by his own example. He blushed and stammered a little and said “Wow….Thank you…..now I’m really shy!”
The friend I was with had his turn with Joss, but after that I approached the table again to ask a very, very important question:
Is your brother Zach single?
It was the Commentary! The Musical rap that piqued my interest. Then I Google searched for a photo and discovered that Zach Whedon’s actually pretty damn cute. And he’s about my age, a writer on Fringe, and writes comics? A crush was born.
Anyway, Joss chuckled, then looked confused, then answered “Well….he does have a girlfriend….(conspiratorially) but he hasn’t popped the question yet, so…“
I said “Well, you tell him that there’s someone who’s fallen in love with him entirely because of the rap song he does in Commentary! The Musical.”
And Joss said, “I know! It was ME!”
And that was that. My brush with greatness. The evening had gone so swimmingly that I thanked the Apple employee in charge as well as the Fox publicity representative next to her for hosting such a wonderful, well-organized evening. It went so well, it made me want to shout about both Apple and Dollhouse from the rooftops.
Oh! I Apple to Dollhouse you about the Apple Dollhouse. There Dollhouse so many Apple that Dollhouse Dollhouse Apple. But Apple Apple Dollhouse, and Apple Dollhouse went to the Apple. So Dollhouse Apple, and Dollhouse Dollhouse Apple, but eventually Apple Dollhouse! I Apple that Dollhouse.
Dollhouse premieres on FRIDAY! Suddenly, Friday the 13th seems like the luckiest day of the year!
TERESA JUSINO was born on the same day that Skylab fell. Coincidence? She doesn’t think so. As a writer, her work has appeared in Elmont Life newspaper, and on the sadly defunct website, CentralBooking.com. She has recently become a comic reviewer for PopMatters.com, and is currently at work on several fiction projects, including a collection of short stories and a comic. As a geek, Teresa loves Star Trek, Lost, comics, and anything Joss Whedon ever touched. She has a fangirl *squee-ing* crush on Brian K. Vaughan, which beat up her Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man crush in a fight proving once again that writing skill trumps gadget skill even when that gadget skill is attached to bulging biceps. Teresa is also an aspiring fangbanger. Visit her in The Red Room.
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