So where was I? Oh yeah – I bought tickets to Wizard World in Chicago and was planning to meet the stars of The X-Files. And I was really excited about it. Let’s just start there.
X-Files, Here I Come
Leading up to the time of the convention, I started seeing other people post about it. Of course, the fact that I was in several X-Files groups on Facebook kind of helped with that. It seemed that I wasn’t alone. There were others just as excited about this convention as me, and also coming from other states and even countries to Chicago, even as far away as Australia (Hi, Alicia!). There were even people that had gone to see Gillian’s play in New York and then gone to Philadelphia for the Wizard World there that David, Mitch Pileggi (Skinner), and William B. Davis (the Cigarette-Smoking Man) were all at. And because all of them were going to be in Chicago WITH Gillian, these people were heading there to see them all again, together.
I communicated a bit with these other fans before the convention, which helped a bit in knowing what to expect since I had never met any of the cast. I had started following a couple on Twitter, the @Duchovniacs (no relation to the earlier group, the Duchovniks, from the 90s, I found out), that had even followed David around Europe on his tour for his album. They were, of course, heading to Chicago as well. This was turning into one big X-Philes (what X-Files fans have been dubbed since the 90s… X-Phile is to The X-Files as Trekkie is to Star Trek, you know) party.
Some don’t like traveling or taking trips alone, but I kind of love it. I’m an introvert anyway, but I find that I’m never really alone on trips. This was no exception. From my first night, I was rarely alone. I met up with someone from one of the X-Files groups the first night, and the next day we were joined by more X-Philes and become one large group of fans and new friends. I’m grateful for social media these days. It makes this possible. Our love for this over-20-year-old show had just made us all almost instantly feel like old friends. We hung out at the convention, going to signings, photo ops, and panels. After convention hours were over, we went out to dinner. We even helped each other, giving rides and finding places to stay. What a great group of people that I’m now glad to call friends.
An Inadequate Explanation
I could tell a long story of everything that happened at the convention, but honestly, it kind of feels like a special experience that just can’t be adequately explained. It was a mashup of a ton of things. I visited Chicago. I made new, wonderful friends that all share the same love that I have for this awesome, smart TV show from the 90s and the characters on it and the actors that played them. One of the coolest things about this weekend for me was this… as I have already started to learn from meeting other authors and celebrities, what with the accessibility of communicating with them on social media or meeting them in person at book signings and conventions, they are very much real people with real personalities. It is possible to get to know them, at least a little. And most of us did that.
Between all of us, there were a lot of photo ops, signings, book readings, and panels. You get to see real personalities of the celebrities shine through in that. You might say “they’re actors, they’re just acting”. Call me naive, but I don’t believe that. They were genuine. They didn’t have to do this, and yes, they probably got paid quite a bit of money for it, but they showed up and brought themselves and their personalities. They’re not there to be monkeys to jump on command. They don’t always smile in photos. They don’t always like every gift from every fan. Because they’re people. That’s ok, and it’s GOOD. It’s reassurance that they are genuine while they’re talking to us. Between all of those photos ops, book signings, and whatnot, you do get to know them a little. And in this case, it made me like them even more.
My Love for David Duchovny
Here’s a good example. I started out knowing David Duchovny as Mulder. As much as I identified with Scully, I always just really liked Mulder. That peaked my interest in David. I watched a few movies with him in them here and there, but recently I’ve started reading his books. So far there are only two, and they are both very different. I read Holy Cow, and thought it was very fun, but still had a certain sort of intelligence and deepness to it that I liked too. Now I’m in the middle of reading Bucky F*cking Dent, and I love it just as much, if not more. It’s smart. This guy went to an Ivy League school and almost got a PhD. Of course it is.
Hearing David speak about the book as well as X-Files and other things during the panel and book readings he did, I ended up really liking his personality. He’s smart, funny, and just very relatable, at least for me. I like his take on things. I started liking him because of Mulder, but now I’m very much a genuine fan. And that brings in the negative part of getting to actually meet celebrities. You start to genuinely like them as people, and then there’s no way to further hang out with them and get to know them. I would love to buy this guy a beer and have a conversation with him. But dammit. He’s a freaking celebrity.
Teenage Dreams Achieved
So there you have it. This weekend, between waiting in all those lines, so many visits to the autograph table they probably got sick of us, panels we paid too much money to sit in the front rows on, photos I hate how I look in, and dinners with other crazy and amazing fans, I made a bunch of awesome new friends that get every one of my obscure jokes from The X-Files, and I also gained even more admiration for celebrities I’ve loved since high school.
Thank you David, Gillian, Mitch, and Bill for humoring us crazy fans (because we do know that we are crazy, believe me). We love you even more for it. And thank you to all my fellow crazy fans for being just who you are and loving this amazing TV show as much as I do. Much love and thanks for a fantastic, unforgettable weekend.