I had a few weeks to mentally prepare myself for the event, but it still wasn't enough time. The day swiftly approached and I got more & more anxious as the hours ticked by. On the morning of October 24, 2007, my Dad and I began our 2+ hour drive to Toronto and the memories of a lifetime were set in motion. The event was being held at the Harbourfront Centre in a place called the Brigantine Room at 8:00 p.m. We arrived fairly early and checked into the hotel and proceeded to do some sightseeing, followed by some lunch at a little restaurant overlooking the harbor.
After a few more grueling hours of intense anticipation it was time to head to the event. We got there promptly and waited in line to get into the room where the reading was taking place. The room itself was very nice with small round tables lined up in several rows with little candles decorating them. My Dad and I found a table in the third row where we had a really good view of the stage. We had been sitting at our table for just a few minutes when I happened to look up and see two younger girls in the front row going crazy. I peered to the right and there stood David Thewlis, in front of a black curtain next to the stage!! I could not believe what I was seeing and thought it was my imagination for a moment. To see him in person for the first time, so close, was absolutely overwhelming. I wanted to scream and get all fangirly too but I kept my composure and remained as calm as humanly possible (for someone who is seeing their idol for the first time).
David ended up sitting in the first row almost directly in front of us, so while the other authors read excerpts from their books I basically stared at the back of his head the whole time *blushes*. I felt so honored to just be sitting there in his presence, it was truly surreal. After what seemed like an eternity it was finally his turn to read, and while he read I was in sheer heaven, taking in every single word he uttered as if it were the last words I'd ever hear :). He was absolutely wonderful, as the actor in him came out and he brought the different characters to life.
After the readings were completed we waited for a few minutes before entering a separate room where the authors were waiting to sign their respective novels. The room itself was not particularly large and they had each author seated at a small round table edge-to-edge (which sucked because they couldn't really stand up and give you a hug etc.) The line in front of David was of course the longest so my Dad and I decided to jump in and get a spot. The wait seemed incredibly long and I was getting quite panicky. I tend to get extremely nervous amongst large amounts of people and when meeting my favorite person on the planet~ you can imagine my state of mind as I edged up closer to his table.
I am extremely shy so just being there was a feat in and of itself, and as I approached David I began to feel my heart race and my face get flushed but I tried to maintain a sense of steadiness. So many thoughts were running through my head that I didn't know where to begin. I had thankfully written him a letter expressing my thoughts and feelings because I didn't know if I'd be able to get them out, and I'm really glad I did. Unfortunately they were really rushing people along so I had about 2 minutes to spend with him :(.
However, those 2 minutes turned out to be the most precious moments of my life. He signed my copy of The Late Hector Kipling and as he wrote I tried to tell him who I was and why I'd come. As noisy and distracting as it was in our surroundings, he never once wavered from trying to comprehend everything I was saying to him and for those brief seconds his focus was entirely on me. I can't begin to describe how I felt, it truly was magical. Towards the end I was getting a little choked up and he took my hand and tried to assure me everything was alright *dies*. I quickly asked him for a picture and he agreed. He couldn't really stand up so I leaned in across the table and he put his arm around me, stroking my back a little as the picture was taken *dies again*. Here it is:
I just want to point out that David is the most sincere and genuine person I have ever had the pleasure to meet! He was amazingly kind at a very vulnerable moment for me, and that meant SO much to know that he truly cared. Although it was very brief, this is a memory I hold very close to my heart and will never forget as long as I live. I was incredibly fortunate and blessed to have gotten the opportunity to meet such a beautiful soul and I cherish my experience every single day!
Note: I want to send out a very special thank you to Amanda, whose amazing website Thewlis Rox led me to the information relating the event. If it wasn't for her I never would have known about it and missed out on what could possibly be the greatest experience of my life. I am forever in your debt, Amanda, you are such a sweetheart <3!