To really tell the story of this trip, I have to go back a bit of a long time. Something like 20 years, probably even a few more than that. When I was in high school, my best friend was a girl who was a bit quirky, but in a lovable way. While we don’t live near each other anymore, and drifted apart a bit after high school, we reconnected via Facebook and now do chat a bit on occasion or even try to get together when I visit Indy. She is still one of the most fun people I’ve ever met, and I love her. Thanks go to her for my love of the TV show The X-Files. She is the one who first introduced me to it, and there it began.
I started watching The X-Files in Season 2, I think. I soon fell in love with it. We both did, as well as in love with the characters and actors on it. This was a very smart, interesting TV show with a lovable, sexy, open-minded male FBI agent and his equally intelligent, critical thinking female partner who, while beautiful, wasn’t your typical “Hollywood blonde”. I think we both wanted to… “date” (we’ll go with that) Mulder, as well as be just like Scully. We even became members of a David Duchovny (Mulder) fan club, the teenage spinoff of a fan club called the Duchovniks. We were hard core. I’m pretty sure my mother still has VHS tapes of mine with almost all of the episodes of The X-Files recorded on them.
At some point, I kind of lost interest for a bit around the time David Duchovny left the show and also about the same time my friend went off to college and I met a whole new group of friends that I started hanging out with a lot. So I missed the last couple of seasons during their first run, but during Seasons 2 through 6, I was glued to the TV for those Friday and later Sunday nights when X-Files was on. I bought X-Files collectible cards, posters, books, you name it. I still have TV Guides from the 90s with Mulder and Scully on the cover. (All the X-Files books in the featured image on this post are mine from the 90s as well.)
The Scully Effect
I want to interject a bit of a sidebar here before I jump all the way to present day. See, with the X-Files, there’s this bit of a phenomenon. It’s called the “Scully Effect”. There are all these intelligent women that were inspired by the character of Scully. Inspired that they actually could go into a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) field – generally dominated by men – as a woman. As a now 36-year-old woman in the field of technology with a BS and an MBA, I’d have to say that I was a part of this phenomenon as well.
Fast forward to recent years. The episodes became available on Netflix, and suddenly my interest came back almost in full force. I rewatched the whole series and fell in love with Mulder and Scully all over again. 2013 was the 20th anniversary of the show’s first episode, and David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson (Scully) were at San Diego Comic Con. I saw pictures online of people with them at the convention. Wait, what? It was possible to meet them in person? As a kid watching TV in the 90s, you never really imagine anything like that. You see these actors as people separate from their characters, yes, but never people that you will ever meet or get to know what they are like. They might as well be Santa Claus as far as you’re concerned. But seeing ordinary people meeting them and getting photos taken with them sparked an interest.
Then all kinds of stuff happened. David and Gillian (yeah, we’re all on a first name basis with them now, so what) started doing more things. Gillian did a TV show called The Fall. And then starred in a play. David wrote a book. And then another one. Released an album. Then, blowing all of our minds, a revival of The X-Files was announced. All of a sudden they started showing up more places. Conventions. Book signings. Plays you could get tickets to. The possibility of actually meeting them was a reality. Teenage dreams became reality.
Wizard World Chicago
One day I discovered that David was going to be at this convention, Wizard World, in Chicago, along with a couple other members of The X-Files cast. I had PTO and airline miles to burn, so I thought – what the heck – and bought a ticket. Holy crap, I was actually going to meet him! And then one day things got just a bit more crazy. Rumors went around and eventually it was confirmed – Gillian was going to be at the same convention. I lucked out, because rarely are they ever at the same one. This was going to be epic.
To be continued….