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29 March 2006 @ 07:38 pm
Meeting Anthony Rapp  
So yes, yesterday I managed to get to the Wang Center to attend Anthony Rapp's book signing. And I really did get to meet him. Okay, here's the whole story. Long, with about 36 pictures, so dial-uppers and others be forewarned.

First, because of the NEU signing, Anthony didn't have much time at the Wang. As such, only 150 people were guarenteed to meet him, and there could be no personalizations, posing for pics, and he could only sign one item per person. However, my friends and I got there early. Really early. As in I was #31 early. Those of us in the "Boston Under 50" seemed to be the most enthusiastic people there, and we were also treated pretty much like VIPs: got to cut the line to go in, front row for his actual appearence, and first to go downstairs to meet him.

This was taken while we were in line at about 1PM. Aside from my friend Sarah's foot, pictured are all of our books, Sarah's DVD, my CD, and my Mark worry doll attached to a magick gemstone bag.

So after getting our tickets and exploring Boston, we were, as I said, ushered in, where we clustered in the front. Admittedly, many of us were getting sick, especially me, but when Anthony came out, it was like all that was forgotten:

Anthony makes his appearence.

Here are some pictures of him talking and reading. He read from the chapter "It Begins":

I will also note that during the reading of the chapter, where he had typed out a verse from "What You Own", he actually did sing it, on his own and a capella. He did a very lovely job.

Next, he sang "Seasons of Love" with four people. According to the program we were handed, they were Briana Carlson-Goodman of Emerson College, Jeremy Cohn of Boston University, Jill Giacchi of Boston Conservatory, and Kevin Ross of Berklee School of Music. I don't remember who is who, though.

After that, we were escorted in groups of fifty at a time downstairs to the lower lobby for the actual signing. Again, being in the first fifty, we were in the first group. My friends actually made me go ahead of them, although I had gotten my ticket last of all of our group, as they were nervous. Here are some pictures of the signing (if any of you were in the below fifty group and recognize yourself in any of these pics, let me know and feel free to take the pic):

Note: the last two are of Anthony signing my friend Hillary's bag.

And Sarah ended up getting a pic of me with Anthony...well, sort of:

I'll use that as a segue into what happened when I met him. First, you have to know that I have been in e-mail correspondance with Anthony for quite a while now. This mostly stemmed from my part in being the founder of Gender Issues Advocacy, a so-far Maine-based group for people dealing with a myriad of gender-related issues. I had asked him to be my mentor, and he conditionally agreed as long as I realized how busy he is and that he won't be able to e-mail me often.

When I introduced myself to him, he recognized me and we talked about the e-mails for a moment. Then I told him exactly how I felt about his book: it had a profound effect on my life and helped me to start my life as an advocate, and I can't tell him how much I appreciate that, and that I thank God every day there are people like him in the world, who have the courage and honest to be completely open about themselves and inspire others to do so as well. (Not to so many words, but that's more or less the gist of it.) He stared at me for a moment, obviously stunned, and didn't say anything. Then he broke into a grin and told me "I'll definitely get back to you as soon as possible. I mean it, too: keep in touch." (It has been a while since I last heard from him.) And that was that. I collected my book, waited for my friends, and we left to get some dinner and spent a few hours in Borders, talking, laughing, and discussing Anthony and our experiences with him. I got this picture of the friends:

From left to right: Sarah, Hillary, and Victoria.

What was so special about this? None of us knew each other before that day. And yet we met at this signing and started talking, and it was like we had known each other all of our lives. We had a lot of fun with each other and many other people in the line, and we were so totally at ease, talking about ourselves and life in general. And that is perhaps the one thing as important, if not more, than getting to meet Anthony Rapp: to have an experience where a group of total strangers can meet, know they have at least one thing in common, and instantly bond and form a friendship that no one would believe had just been forged that day. (Sarah has a picture that I haven't gotten yet that the security guard took of all four of us. The security guard didn't believe we had just met that day.)

And that's my signed copy.

Thank you, Anthony Rapp. And thank you, Rent. For giving me such a wonderful experience that was totally beyond what I expected to get when I came down to Boston from Maine.
A Trainwreck in Transitmalakijr on March 29th, 2006 05:33 pm (UTC)

Great story. I'll admit, I've gone to signings and stood in line the whole time just to walk away at the end without an autograph, or admitting the autograph didn't mean as much to me as the experience of meeting people in the line. It's awesome to meet people who are as passionate as I am about something. :D

Thanks for sharing.
Lady Cyon: Ed/Dantewofl_iron on March 29th, 2006 05:37 pm (UTC)
*flailsflails* eeeee I wish I could have gone! But I'm glad you had fun!! ♥
chandra161chandra161 on March 29th, 2006 05:38 pm (UTC)
Nothing like Anthony's illegible scribble. (Hee!)

The best photo ever is the one where Anthony is looking at the camera like some sort of albino anglerfish (third one from bottom). I'm glad that you had a great time in Boston! (Me too!) Hopefully, we'll see each other again soon. (Gah! I'm so annoyed with the fact that I won't be here when you come to NYC next!)

- Victoria
Samanthapyralisha on March 29th, 2006 05:48 pm (UTC)
That's so awesome. I'm glad you had a good trip.
Simple Sharon of the Knapsack: rainbow ponyssotknapsack on March 29th, 2006 05:49 pm (UTC)
Hey there,

Awesome story! I'm a major Renthead myself, so I can only imagine how much that meant to you (I'd melt if I ever got the chance to meet Idina Menzel!).

Anyway, I've been paying attention to your posts over at Snopes for a few weeks (the rants on gender identity issues and such), so I hope you don't mind that I friended you. :-/

Take care!
A Guy Named Goo: Anthony Rapp Straight by pyralishaguynamedgoo on March 29th, 2006 05:51 pm (UTC)
No prob. Added you back. ^_^
(no subject) - malakijr on March 29th, 2006 06:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aguynamedgoo on March 29th, 2006 06:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - malakijr on March 30th, 2006 03:11 am (UTC) (Expand)
good god i wish i was tallnotfarfromhome on March 29th, 2006 06:13 pm (UTC)
:) I'm glad you had such a good experience... and you didn't have to wear a face mask, I presume? ^^

I also love it that you have something really IMPORTANT that you can talk to Anthony about... I have at least two friends who, living in this red state of ours (OH), aren't always accepted because they're both transsexuals, and for them to be able to have a group like yours would be SO good for them (not to mention all my lovely GLB friends)... So, um, on behalf of my friends and I, thank you. ^^
A Guy Named Goo: TG Gender Stereotypesaguynamedgoo on March 29th, 2006 06:25 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to be of help. Really, I am hoping to make this a country-wide thing, because I hear a lot of people out of state who would like something like that group to turn to. My ultimate goal is to be in a position that I can help to spread the message and set things up so that more people can have it.
(no subject) - notfarfromhome on March 29th, 2006 10:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - malakijr on March 30th, 2006 03:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - notfarfromhome on March 30th, 2006 02:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - malakijr on March 30th, 2006 04:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - notfarfromhome on March 30th, 2006 05:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - malakijr on March 31st, 2006 02:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
the Anything Muppetxerne on March 29th, 2006 06:14 pm (UTC)
That is so, SO cool.

Also, I am twelve and can't stop giggling at "Wang Center".
Tracy: Wordpickle_breath on March 29th, 2006 06:15 pm (UTC)
I was Two/three people behind you the whole time you dork. I screamed your name (both Goo and Jason) and you never turned around. =P

I love the photos you took though, and I'm stealing all of them.
starrrlight013 on March 29th, 2006 06:16 pm (UTC)
I just followed the link from the community but really wonderful story. It's great that you have something you can actually talk to him about. I hope you found stuff to do in Boston... (I was at the NU signing)
Aarinfreak_thankyou on March 29th, 2006 06:17 pm (UTC)
That's such a great story. It sounds like you had a great time. I hope that happens if I get to go. I only have one Renthead friend and she would never be allowed to go thanks to her over protective homophobic parents, so I'm on my own.
Roberts Larionovskaupixgirl on March 29th, 2006 06:20 pm (UTC)
hello :]

thanks sooo much for posting the pictures :]
i was there, too (#64 - yay) :] but unfortunately didn't bring my camera with me.. sooo u just made my day with this lovely post

Anthony is such a great person :]

My kids go to Hogwarts: AdamAnt hot rubsingingchipmunk on March 29th, 2006 06:31 pm (UTC)
Glad you had a great time! ^_____^ And great pics.
pissimissi on March 29th, 2006 06:45 pm (UTC)
Oh wow. Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us.
anyathewiccananyathewiccan on March 29th, 2006 06:51 pm (UTC)
hey you. I meant to upload that picture the security guard took, but as I was absolutely physically unable to move any part of my body other than my head today, i was sort of confined to my bed. I'll have that one up either tonight or tomorrow. I'm stealing a few of your pics. yeah can't feel my face right now and its just not pleasant. ciao!
Tracy: despair.and.ecstacy*mine*angel1828 on March 29th, 2006 07:14 pm (UTC)
aww yay for a happy story!!! how early did you get there? i go tomorrow OMG!!! yay!! I'm trying to get all my fangirlishness out ofmy system so i can form a coherent sentence when i meet him.
A Guy Named Goo: Anthony Rapp by mrsminnisaguynamedgoo on March 29th, 2006 07:16 pm (UTC)
We got there at about noon and they handed out the tickets at around one.
(no subject) - angel1828 on March 29th, 2006 08:04 pm (UTC) (Expand)