[sorry I haven't written in a while - been busy]
OK, we didn’t exactly make history but we had a blast!
I recently found out that the current Doctor from Doctor Who [Matt Smith] would be on the Craig Ferguson show, which tapes just a couple of miles from where I work. I immediately put myself in for a couple of tickets and was confirmed (although they state that they frequently overbook, so admission was not guaranteed). I thought it would be fun to go in costume. When I saw that Ferguson was promoting the show as The Doctor Who show and even got a Dalek for the occasion, I KNEW that I had to go in costume. I called up Bob Mitsch [yon Costumer Extraordinaire] and told him of my plan. Initially he wasn’t sold on going in costume but I told him that it was a MUST.
After it was decided, there wasn’t much doubt that Bob would be going as the Fourth Doctor. The most recognizable of all eleven costumes and I believe Bob’s favorite. I, on the other hand, wasn’t sure whether to go as Eleven [Smith] or my personal favorite number Five [Peter Davison].
The only reason Bob was balking about coming to the show dressed in costume was that on the ticket it states NO WHITE CLOTHING, supposedly so people don’t stick out in the crowd. I think it’s just supposed to look like an audience as opposed to individuals. To squash any fears for Bob I did some internet searching and called the audience coordinator. The conversation went something like this:
Kev: Hi! My friend and I will be coming to the show tomorrow. Whereas it is the Doctor Who show, we were thinking of showing up in costume as Doctor Who. That sounds like fun, right?
Negative Nancy [a guy]: No, absolutely not.
Kev [slightly taken aback]: Are you sure? Cuz I think Craig would LOVE it, with him being a big Doctor Who fan and all.
Negative Nancy: No, I know people have tried this with special shows in the past and we’ve had to turn them away. I can check with some people and email you back but I’m sure they’re going to say no.
Kev: Well if you can check that’d be great!
[email information exchanged - end of telephone call]
Huh. I really would only want to go if we were dressed up. I’ve been to TV shows before and really don’t need it. Sure it’d be cool to see Smith in person but on the other hand I could go to my girlfriend’s place and smooch instead.
And the email came [cut and pasted from my email]:
I passed the request along, but got shot down. Sorry bud.
Well this wouldn’t do. Bob and I discussed the matter and decided that I would go as Eleven [even though my hair is super short now and no longer resembles him] because his costume while slightly fancy could possibly be worn by a normal person…more or less. Bob would still go as Four, complete with scarf. If they turned us away we would bring normal clothes in Bob’s car to change into.
The doors opened at 3:30. Bob showed up to my work at 1:30 with the costumes. We changed – much to the delight of my coworkers – and headed out. We ended up getting there at about 2:10 or so and there was already quite a line. I perused the queue and saw that we were really the only two in costume which concerned me (but I didn’t share my negativity with Bob). We waited. We posed for some pics for fans. We waited. I stepped out and got a Veggie Hot Dog at The Grove around the corner. Finished it on the way back to the line [it's so good to buy a veggie hot dog in public - so tasty and convenient!].
Finally the line starts moving. Audience coordinators had been perusing the line during our time there and nobody said anything like “the costumes gotta’ go” or such. Then the line stops at with about three people in front of us and a coordinator comes out. He explains to us that not everybody will be getting in. I hold back the urge to point out that Bob and I deserve entrance due to our obvious passion for Who. It was a nervous few minutes. The line starts moving slowly again. The people ahead of us get in. Bob and I get in. The gal on her own behind us gets in.
And that’s it. [Whew!]
So we’re in, right?
While waiting in the next line [TV shows are like Disneyland and mountains that way - there's always another peak], a coordinator comes up to Bob and I and asks if he can talk to us for a minute. In my head I’m thinking that this could be either fantastically fantastic or fantastically bad. He explained super, super nicely that while it’s great that we have enthusiasm for Matt Smith’s appearance – it is important that the people at home believe we are as much fans of Craig himself. Bob and I enthusiastically agree and confirm that we are big Ferguson fans. This was a bit of a stretch on our parts. We both appreciate his presence and comedy but neither of us had actually watched the show. Our new friend then asked that I remove my bowtie [!] and Bob remove his scarf.
We were nice. We acquiesed. I took my tie off and Bob took his scarf off. I was pretty disappointed.
Then we got in the audience and sat down. Bob mentioned that the coordinator told him that his scarf was OK to wear after all. In my head I was all “What the fuck?! But my bowtie is too much?!” So I put it back on.
Skip ahead to Matt’s entrance.
Now, I’ve been in LA for thirteen years. It takes a lot to get me starstruck these days. I’ve seen Prince, Al Pacino, Eric Idle, John Cleese and many others.
But this guy is The Doctor.
I had that feeling inside…that… “Holy Cow, it’s really him”. It was very, very cool to see him in person. Not only did I decide to break the rules and wear my bowtie, but I decided I would be one of the last folks to sit down after the standing ovation. Matt really should see the costume, I rationalized.
So he sits down. Craig asks him about obsessive fans and Matt surmises that the fans can be enthusiastic. He then POINTS TO ME:
He says something like “There’s a chap dressed in a bow tie, you look very smart!” I stood and gave him a small salute. The camera didn’t catch it or anything but we became instant BFFs.
The show goes on. It was lots of fun. The taping is pretty much over. The crew is all “Are we done?” and somebody mentions “We need another shot. Where’s the guy in the bow tie?” I raise my hand, and the audience warmup guy says, “OK, you’re going to be on TV tonight.” I waited as they got a shot of me sitting in the audience. I played it cool. Too cool (and rather dorky). I should have just sat back and gave Matt – who had left by then – a similar salute to the one I gave him. Oh well. And Bob was in the shot also!
As they often do on TV shows these days, we all got a copy of the Fifth Season of the new Doctor Who series on DVD on the way out. Distributing them was the audience guy who told me not to wear the bow tie. As I accepted the DVD box set from him, I told him “I’m sorry I betrayed your trust.”
But I’m NOT!
We show up at about a minute and forty seconds into the above video.
So. We broke the rules. We got on TV. The Eleventh Doctor told me I looked smart. It was a pretty fantastic day!
Next Stop – Appearing on Doctor Who ITSELF!!