Another ZQ admirer manages to meet Zachary Quinto in person recently.
This time it's Lorie "Sunfell", who managed to gather her courage and make it to the city of Los Angeles for the Hollyshorts Film Festival earlier this month.
I know she's been hoping to meet Zach for a long time, and I am glad she got her time with Zach. Especially since many of us have experienced memorable face-to-face contact with the tall, handsome and very gracious man!
Here's Lorie's account of her LA adventure:
When Lindsay "SantaFeFan" Robinson proposed that I go to Hollyshorts Film Festival back in May, my first thought was 'No way'.
I have great difficulty with crowds and noise, and, while this was not a convention (which I used to love going to), it was still going to be tough to negotiate. But she twisted my arm, (I finally got it working properly last week), and I booked a flight. To say that I was nervous about the whole thing was an understatement. But I found some courage and determination, and went.
LA is HUGE. The traffic is chock-a-block ALL THE TIME. The crowds are never ending, and the noise... well, let's just say that I was glad I was able to acclimate a little. Lindsay and I did a little preview of the place on the day- it's in the heart of Hollywood's tourist area. And it was packed with people. But seeing the HollyShorts sign and exploring around a bit helped to unfrazzle my nerves, and we arrived well in time to meet ZQ's friends.
I was quickly able to spot Philip Quinaz in the pre-movie huddle, as well as his brother Victor Quinaz and his wife Anna. Phil had really trimmed up. When we saw the movies, it was like watching him age backwards.
I also got to meet the Before the Door guys, and got big hugs from fellow geek and webmaster Sean Akers. I also met Neal and Ash Dodson, and Corey Moosa. Corey has a wonderful voice. He was in the short "Hags", which along with "FOPS", was my favorite "PERIODS" piece.
Then along came singer Chris Dallman and his husband Josh Pohja, who were very happy to see me. Josh wondered why the big burly guys patrolling the photography gauntlet/ red carpet weren't running him off like they tried to do with us, and I pointed out that he was wearing the "Magic Wrist-Band" of immunity.
Speaking of the Red Carpet, it was very clear when Zach finally arrived, the whole tone and energy of the room changed, and that end lit up with some brilliant and nearly continuous flash strobes. Some were incredibly bright and fast, and seeing them live, and seeing glimpses of Zach, walking that gauntlet with grace and aplomb, made me admire him that much more.
He was a bit late to the event, having been swept up from the set of "American Horror Story", run through the shower and suited up for his appearance. He was in what I call "Star-Mode" - no hat or scruff or nerdy glasses, no Quinto-stripes, dog-chewed shoes or rumpled jeans. Instead, he looked like he was ready for a GQ photo-shoot, but still laid-back in his quiet Zen manner. In fact, all through this whole event, Zach was a moving oasis of deep, soothing, almost Vulcan calm. No wonder he's becoming in demand as a producer.
We were herded to the incredibly beautiful Chinese theater, and I had an opportunity to meet Coco and Gloria who flanked me in the seats. It's always fun meeting other ZQCers, and I also met Sara and her friends as well.
Then we watched several other shorts before Zach loped down to the stage to introduce the Quinaz clan and their movies. It was kicked off with the first of the two "Before After" shorts starring Zach and Phil (the one with the matadors, priests, and clowns). Then the main event: all the "PERIODS" movies played together, stitched together with an interview with God, who seemed to be a pretty nice fellow.
Seeing them together like that gave me a good look at how they evolved from the early guerilla-style, sneaky-cam Central Park mumblecore pieces to the more fully developed (including music and sound effects) pieces of more recent vintage. The final and newest one was a take on Steinbeck's "East of Eden" with 5'9" Penn Badgely playing a 'twin' brother of 6'8" Phil, and was, in my opinion, the best of the lot. (I do still love the hilarious vicount played by Brian Shoaf in "Fops", though.)
When the lights came up. I was nimbly herded by Lindsay to meet Zach at long last. My first impression? He's so tall! And darn, he looked gorgeous! And what a genuine, sweet smile and voice.
It was clear that he enjoyed meeting his fans. I was greeted very warmly by him, and he called me not by my Internet handle, but by my own name, which really touched me. And yes, he said, "Hello, I'm Zach" as if I didn't know, but that was so sweet of him. He told me he was very glad that I'd made it out there, and thanked me for coming. We spoke for a few minutes, and posed for a group photo. And I got a wonderful hug from him.
I complimented him on his Obama button. And as a passionate supporter of both Obama and progressive government, he quietly shared with me his concern with the direction our country and government was heading.
We were then hustled out of the theater, and I managed to spend some time talking to musician Chris Dallman. I then felt a tap on my shoulder, and was asked if I was "Sunfell" by a very shy lady, who turned out to be Annette H. She'd come all the way from Ulm, Germany to see Zach, who was standing about 10 feet away. Lindsay immediately led her to Zach, who was very happy to meet her.
Of the after-party, I cannot say much, because it was so loud and dark and crowded that I had difficulty processing it, and ended up staying on the periphery. I wish I'd had the courage to mingle with him and his friends a while longer, or get a photo with him, but jetlag was taking its toll and I was fading fast. Even so, it was probably the best introduction to Zach one could reasonably conjure, and I am very glad that Lindsay convinced me to go.
I got a glimpse of his world, friends, his extended neighborhood, and even his current workplace when we visited the Paramount Studios lot the following day. And we got to see his boyfriend, Jonathan Groff, in a riveting performance with Alfred Molina in a stage performance of the play "Red". Lindsay and I were so thunderstruck by the play that we wandered around the plaza for a while. It didn't even occur to us to go to the stage door and meet the actors.
On our final evening in town, we walked up the street to the Franklin Tavern for supper. Someone once told me that it wasn't a proper Hollywood visit unless you saw a star in a restaurant. Wouldn't you know it..... we were seated right next to Michael McMillian, who is currently in HBO's "True Blood", but who is better known to me as the author of BtD's first graphic novel, "Lucid".
I actually held up a little piece of paper with the word "Lucid?" written on it, and he saw it and warmly greeted us. No, I didn't get a photo, but Lindsay did sneakily buy their dinner.
It was the cap of a wonderful three days in Hollywood.
Thanks Lorie for the report!