Adventures With Crystal: ChuckFest 2

I know this is nearly a week late, but college likes to suck the life out of me. I had a 15-page short story for my Fiction Writing class due the day I came back from L.A. on Monday, and the rest of the week consisted of me trying to catch up with a bunch of schoolwork and whatnot. BUT...today is Friday, I've finished my last class for the week, and I'm finally free to give my full report of the awesomeness that was ChuckFest. Buckle up and enjoy the ride, people, because this is probably going to be one long and extremely detailed post—complete with pictures! (Unfortunately, no videos, as we weren't allowed to record any footage of the event.)

Here's the thing. I really have FFNet's very own Yokaputo (Emily) to thank for even making my trip possible, because she was amazing enough to host me as well as another Chuck fan, tisISam (Sam), for the entire ChuckFest weekend. So come Sunday morning, the three of us rolled out of bed and headed over to BJ's for lunch, where we met up with YoItzIvy (Ivy) and rosesyjuco (Rose). Turns out I was the oddball of the group, because the four of them are all part of Chuck's Stable of Hos. (For the record, after that weekend I am now officially an honorary Ho. Hee.) Afterwards, we headed over to the decidedly sketchy club/bar where ChuckFest was being held, called The Joint, and met up with other Chuck fans who were already waiting in line. One of these fans was a fellow Youtube Chuck vidder named Callie, while another, Katy, came all the way from London to attend the event. 

The doors opened around 2:00, and Bailey (LittleChuckFan) entertained the crowd with Chuck Trivia and whatnot while we all signed in. The club itself was pretty small/intimate, with round booths along the walls and tables set up in the middle. The stage was set up for the band that would entertain during certain points of the night, and of course the bar was open for drinks. I stuck with water, not just because I'm underage, but because I'm too cheap to pay for a drink. :P (Hey, I spent almost 500 bucks for the trip! Can you blame me for being a bit tight with my money?) They also had RockBand set up, so we all played a couple of rounds while waiting. Turns out I can only do Medium on both the guitar and drums, which is pretty decent for someone who doesn't own the game...right? 

And check this out—the people sitting at the booth next to us made little wooden replicas of the cast! The most adorable thing I've ever seen. Each cast member would sign their respective doll and then were given a copy to take home. Honestly, I wish I could've thought of something as creative as that. 

The cast wasn't arriving until around 5:30, so that left us with a looooot of time to just hang around and twiddle our thumbs. No, I'm just kidding, it wasn't that bad, but we did have to wait. Other than RockBand and getting drinks (water) from the bar, they did play some videos from Operation Smile as well as a little of Chuck Versus the Other Guy. Why they chose that episode over Honeymooners, I will never understand, but I guess I can't be too picky...although it was pretty hilarious when people booed whenever Shaw came on scene and shushed the room during the "Sarah, do you love me?" scene and squealed when she said "Yes." 

At 5:00, the band finally came on stage dressed right out of a 70's rock band closet and played a few songs. I'll admit, I was surprised. They were actually quite good, and definitely entertaining. At one point during the song "All Right Now," the guitarist started running around the room and jumping onto the bar and tables, and the lead singer was chugging down liquor straight from the bottle, and at one point one of the ChuckFest volunteers shoved a dollar into the front of his pants, and...well. It was just plain amusing overall. 

And then, the moment we'd (and you) all been waiting for: the cast's arrival! From our booth, we could see them filing in one by one through the back door: Josh and Mark, followed by Ryan (TotallyChuckFan actually screamed when she saw him walk in), Adam, Scott, Chris, Bonita, Yvonne, and Sarah...and...was that who we thought it was?

It was. The cast was introduced one by one, until Wendy Farrington came on stage and informed us that Zac was running a little late. "He will be here...but to make up for it, ladies and gentlemen...LINDA HAMILTON!" Cue deafening screams and cheers. 

So here's the thing. Before the cast was introduced, the coordinators of the event, WeHeartChuck, told us some rules, which included that we could NOT stand up during the Meet&Greet to take pictures with the cast. We'd only get about 4-5 minutes with each (or both, in the case of double-ups) of them, they said, so standing up and taking pictures would get a little too hectic and they wanted to utilize what little time the cast had. As a ChuckFest first-timer and someone who really wanted to take pictures with the cast, I was seriously bummed. From what I'd heard, the last ChuckFest had allowed pictures with the cast, and it had been one of the reasons I was so excited to come to this event. Still, rules were rules, and the coordinators seemed to stress that if we didn't follow them, there wouldn't be any chance of another ChuckFest in the future. I'm sure I wasn't the only one a little irritated about not being informed of this prior to coming to the event, but what can you do, right? Anyways...

mxpw would be shocked to hear this, but I was totally not spazzing out and tigger-bouncing like I thought I would end up doing. Even when the first people to sit down at our table were—you guessed it—none other than Yvonne and Sarah. Seriously, they're so sweet. There was a little confusion at first because there were so many posters for them to sign (and a lot of them were the same version—the season 4 artwork), but once that was figured out, we got to do some small talk. First of all, though, I had to complete the main thing I had set out to do when coming to ChuckFest, and that was to have Yvonne sign the drawing I'd done of her a while back. (Yes, that is what you see in the picture! :D) I handed it to her and asked her if she remembered it, and she took a moment to stare at the drawing a bit quizzically before recognizing it with an "Oh, yeah!" and a small laugh. And that's when Sarah leaned over to look at it and said, "Oh, wow, did you draw that? That's amazing!"

Yes. I basically died. 

Unfortunately, since Yvonne was on the opposite end of where I was sitting, I didn't get to talk one-on-one with her much. Still, Sarah Lancaster is great. Rose was having all of the cast sign the back of her iPad in Sharpie (yes, she got reactions from all of them for that), and Sarah was like, "Oh, man, I don't think I would ever buy one of these, I'm so technologically inept." We all gushed to her about how brilliant her scene with Linda Hamilton had been, and she smiled and thanked us, then told us that Linda is just amazing to work with and a great person in general. Yvonne agreed, saying that she's so sweet and down-to-earth: "I mean, she came here dressed as a hippie!" Hahaaaa. We asked them about the TV Guide cover, though it seemed as though none of them knew if they'd won or not. When we asked what episode they were filming tomorrow (Yvonne said that she had to wake up at 4:30 the next day, ouch), they looked at each other and were like, "Episode...12? 11? I think it's 12..." Then Sarah looked to us and said, "Well, who are you gonna listen to, the girl with the water or the wine?" I love these two. :) 

Time was too short, of course, so when the annoying siren from the megaphone sounded, we all groaned and commented on the ridiculously short time we had. We weren't disappointed for long, though, because Captain Awesome himself approached Yvonne's chair and told them to move along. Haha. Yes, Ryan is just as awesome as his character, if not more so. I got to gush to him about his appearance in Sugarland's music video, Stuck Like Glue, and told him that my favorite part was right before they threw the bag over his head and he was like, "WHAT THE F—" He laughed and said that he was surprised they actually put that in the final cut, since they'd asked him to do a retake without the swearing. He asked us about our favorite episode, and then was like, "Fine, choose the one I'm not in," and we were like, "Oh, no no no, our favorite episode was Tango. And Operation Awesome. And Coup d'Etat!" Apparently he says that they might have the Awesome Statue on display at the WB tour, I think...

Mark was next, and I feel horrible to admit that I don't actually remember much of what we talked with him about. I know that he follows Ivy on Twitter, because he noticed that she goes to a lot of his standup comedy gigs whenever she can, and he said that he really appreciated it. I swear, those two were like buddies. (I am jealous, yes.) He'd already done his filming for the past episode as well, so unlike the rest of Team B, he didn't have to wake up at ungodly hours of the morning. Haha. 

Up next: Bonita Friedericy. I think a lot of people (including myself) were shocked to see that Bonita (who introduced herself as Bonnie) doesn't actually have red hair in real life. Either way, she is definitely not anything like her NSA counterpart at all. I LOVE HER. Seriously, she was so nice and so sweet and so happy to be there. We asked her why she wasn't at the last ChuckFest, and she replied with a shrug that she wasn't a regular back then. She also called ComicCon whacky, haha. We proceeded to tell her that we wish we saw more of her in person, as well as more of her at the BuyMore (she loved working with Josh, since they rarely see each other on the show) and she told us that that was something we'd have to bring up with Chris Fedak when we saw him. Then she dubbed us "Beckman's Babes." :D She also told us a story about her husband (who apparently is quite famous, though I didn't know this) being a guest host at a convention in Germany and kept taking off his pants...just because. I'm not even sure why, but all I know is that it was hilarious. Poor Bonnie, haha.

The real bummer was when she was like, "So, how about pictures?" and slided up next to Katy, only for us to kinda hesitate; Katy even said "Well...I don't want to get in trouble..." The thing is, I'm not sure if the WeHeartChuck crew even told the cast that we weren't supposed to take pictures with them, so Bonnie was completely confused and a little lost about the whole thing. :\ Anyways, we ended up taking pictures of her just sitting there and smiling. To this day, I regret not explaining to her why we didn't take pictures with her, although I'm hoping that someone on another table did. 

Linda Hamilton came next, and let me tell you, guys—she is just as awesome and amazing as everyone claimed her to be. Seriously, aside from Zac (who I'll talk about later), Linda was basically the person of the night. She is one of the nicest, friendliest, and most down-to-earth celebrities I have ever met. (Granted, this was the first time I ever met/talk to celebrities, but you know what I mean.) 

Linda was also the first person who basically did the whole "I don't care about the rules" thing and insisted on taking a picture with Katy. Haha. Like Sarah, we told her that her scene with Ellie was amazing, and she thanked us and proceeded to say how it was so easily to hate Morgan Fairchild's character and how she was so well-cast. We also asked if she thought Terminator was going to hit it big when she decided to take the role. Her response? "Not at all. Not even close. It's not that I didn't take it seriously. At that stage of the game, an actor just takes whatever is offered—I mean, I didn't have the wherewithal to turn down anything. But I did not think it was gonna be any good cause it was Arnold Schwarzenegger. Oh, he's SO not an actor, I'm such a snob." 

The best part was while we were introducing ourselves, though: when Ivy said her name, Linda literally gasped and was like, "Your name is Ivy?! I LOVE THAT NAME!! I wanted to name my daughter Ivy! WILL YOU BE MY DAUGHTER?" We about died laughing, and Ivy's jaw dropped and she was like, "Did Linda Hamilton just ask me to be her daughter?" It was freaking brilliant. When the siren sounded and she had to leave, she asked us if she'd made us happy, and if there was anything else we needed her to sign, or if we wanted any more pictures. We were basically like, "Are you the most awesome person in the world or what? You're all of our mothers, MamaB. We love you." Later on, after she had finished talking to all of the tables, she was just wandering around and people were standing up and asking to take pictures with her. At that point, we were like, "Are you serious? Screw the rules, we're taking pictures with Linda." 

Adam sat down next. (And wow, I just realized how long this post is getting.) Anyways, Adam was...well, Adam. Kind of straightforward and a bit Casey-like, but still pretty awesome. He saw Emily's Twitter name on her nametag and was like, "At Yo-ka-pu-to. ....Okay. What does that mean? Yo-ka-pu-to." And then he looked at Sam, who was filming him for her mother (who loves Adam), and said, "Hi Mom! What's your mom's name?" then blew a kiss into the camera. So sweet. :)

Josh and Chris were next, and I got to tell Chris personally that it was because of Chuck that I started looking at Film and Media as a potential future career. I also got to tell him that the short story I was working on was inspired by Sarah's history as a con artist. He sincerely thanked me, then asked what college I was at and what classes I was taking, then proceeded to give me advice. I was like, 'Wow, the co-creator of my all-time favorite show is giving me advice about writing.' It was pretty surreal. Unfortunately, since Josh was on the other side like Yvonne had been, I didn't get to talk much with him, either. :(

Scott was the last person to come to our table (Zac had come by this point, but he was making his rounds at the other tables and it would be a while before he came to us). There was a moment of awkwardness as we explained Ivy's love for him (in front of Ivy, who was embarrassed as hell), then asked him where the "Ster" of Jeffster was. (Vik was in Canada at the time. Bummer, too, because apparently if he'd been there they might've done a Jeffster performance.) He, like Linda, was fine with taking pictures with us, and when I mentioned the rules, he was like, "Well, it's not breaking any rules if I just stand next to you while you're sitting, right?"

At this point, a lot of the cast needed to leave (Adam, Ryan and Chris had already left earlier), so everyone went on stage and Zac talked a bit about Operation Smile and the $10,000 contribution we made just by coming to ChuckFest. 

Zac was sticking around to talk to the rest of the tables he hadn't gotten to yet (us included), but the rest of the cast waved their goodbyes and slowly made their way towards the back exit. Needless to say, I was distressed—my other goal for the night, which was to get my picture taken with Yvonne, was literally about to walk out the door any minute. I owe everything to Bailey's mom. I don't know how she knew this, but she recognized me as the person who'd drawn the picture Yvonne ended up using as her Twitter profile picture and told me that she really liked it. I thanked her and mentioned that I was hoping I'd get a picture with Yvonne, but that she was already leaving. She  was like, "Oh, do you want a picture with her?" I looked at her and was like, "Really? Would you...would you be able to ask her?" She said sure, and without another word she took my camera, went straight to where Yvonne was talking with someone, waited until she was done talking, touched her shoulder and asked her. And Yvonne was like, "Yeah, sure, of course!" 

Yes. That is the smile of a very, very happy Crystal. 

Last but not least was Zac. If my night hadn't already been made by that point (and it had), Zac definitely sealed the deal. Seriously, it's amazing how freaking cool that guy is. He treated us as though he'd known us for years, and he's so personable and funny and totally awesome. We were the last table, but he took his time to talk with us and make sure we had everything we wanted, including signed stuff and pictures. He actually knew Katy quite well, and they were practically buddy-buddy with Katy making fun of his British impersonation before he started making fun of all of ours (Sam's ChiCAHgo accent, my Hawaiian/MAOWI accent, etc.). He loved working with Linda, of course, and when we asked him about how he felt about being the voice of the lead character on Tangled, he said it was a dream come true. "I grew up listening to Alan Menken's music, and now he's written a song that I got to sing. It's unbelievable."

And he knew the Chuck's Stable of Hos! When Emily and the others mentioned it, his eyes widened and he was like, "YOU GUYS are the Stable of Hos? I've been to your site! My sister was in the office and she's like, 'Zac, come in here. What is this?' And I walk in and she's on the website and it says 'Chuck's Stable of Hos' and I'm like 'Oh, that's...that's just-just...it's just a website, okay, they wanted to make a website!'" So yeah, Zac's been around online, apparently. Or at least his sister has. Haha. 

After meeting with us, someone requested that everyone who was wearing a Nerd shirt take a picture with Zac. Luckily, I had mine in the car, so I hauled ass per Zac's orders ("You better hurry up and get it, then!"), sprinted back to the parking lot behind the club, threw on my shirt and ran back inside just in time to take the picture. :D

The band played a couple of songs after that, and then Zac came back on stage and thanked everyone again for coming out to ChuckFest and supporting Operation Smile as well as the show. The usual fan appreciation. ;) And then, of course, people started chanting, "Sing!!!" and Zac was like, "No, no, I'm not going to sing. You'll just have to wait for Tangled to come out, sorry." Everyone was a bit bummed...until the lead singer of the band walked up to the mic and convinced him otherwise. After a bit of joking around, Zac finally said, "...Alright, so this is about to happen, apparently." Cue cheering, and one kickass performance of "We Are the Champions." 

So. My thoughts overall? Well, obviously if you can't already tell by the behemoth that is this post—I applaud you for making it to the end, by the way—I had a blast. Definitely worth every cent, even if I came back to school and stressed my ass off for a couple of days just trying to catch up. I met some awesome Chuck fans, got to talk to my favorite cast, got my pictures and videos, and just had an amazingly fun day. If there ever is another ChuckFest, I highly recommend those of you who haven't gone to try your best to attend. You won't regret it, trust me. ;)


  1. Hey! This is TotallyChuckFan. A couple of things just to give more info on your post, XD. One, I was the fangirl that screamed when Ryan McPartlin came in, I am proud to say, lol. And the DVD they played was mine, and it was kind of a group decision to choose Other Guy, because we kind of all wanted to see Routh get popped in the chest by Zac. Too bad they didn't get to that part, but you have to admit. It was a good choice, since it is the first time that Chuck and Sarah are really together as a couple, XD. Anyway! Great post! Had fun reading it and reliving the memories! It was fun meeting you!

  2. Anonymous13.11.10

    WeHeartChuck asked that you dont get up out of your seats to do pictures for 2 reasons:

    1- there was very limited space for everybody to be getting up. It also was a security risk for the talent.

    but mainly because...

    2- each table only had 4-6 minutes with each person and if everybody at the table wanted a personal picture with whoever was at the table then there would have been almost NO time to talk, so it was decided to just say no pictures so that one person wasn't able to rob all the time away from the others at the table. It was a lesson we learned the hard way at the first ChuckFest. Some tables [at the first ChuckFest] didn't really get to exchange words with some of the talent because by the time pictures were done, it was time to change tables. Also, at the first ChuckFest, when the actors were scheduled to leave we found out that their limos were running late, so they all hung around, and thats when a LOT of the pictures were taken. Also, if ALL people wanted were pictures then we could have just had everybody come up one by one to the stage and get a picture with the cast then leave. We thought fans would rather have conversation with the cast. Or we could be like Creation Cons and charge $100 for pictures and make everybody sit in the audience while the talent stands on stage. I don't know of ANY other show who has a cast and crew who is willing to do this for their fans. I know you spent a lot of money but before you think about what we weren't allowing, think about what we WERE allowing.

    The no videos rule was a WB thing. And the no videos during Zac's performance was even more than that. If it was filmed and used on a website it could have caused MAJOR trouble for everybody involved. There is copyright issues on the song used (its okay to cover it live, but if it gets filmed and put up on a site that makes money off the website it becomes commercial and you need the rights), also Zac requested it not be filmed so anybody who was caught filming was told to either stop or delete whatever they had filmed and thats just out of respect for Zac first and foremost. If you asked people to not film you and they did it anyway, would you go out of your way to do something nice for those people again? No.

    I'm glad you were able to get your pictures, and we appreciate you following the rules, obviously after a while the rules were bent until broken, but there were no major security breaches and no complaints from the talent so that is good. We wanted everybody to have fun, and everybody worked REALLY hard to make it as awesome as possible without burning any bridges.

    I really enjoyed reading your recap! despite all it seems you really had fun and that makes me super happy!

  3. TotallyChuckFan: Edited to include you! ;) It was nice meeting you too!

    Anonymous: Not sure if you'll be back to read this, but I appreciate the comment. :) I understand everything you explained; like I said in my post, I was just disappointed because I'd heard about what people were able to do during the last ChuckFest and realized it wouldn't be allowed this time around. Trust me, I am VERY appreciative of everything WeHeartChuck did to organize and make ChuckFest feasible not once, but twice now, and I am in no way complaining about money issues (the drinks comment was just a joke). I know that I wouldn't have been able to get this kind of experience with any other fandom, and for that, I'm happy to be involved in the Chuck community. :) Again, thanks for your comment, and I'm glad you enjoyed my recap!

  4. Sparky13.11.10

    Hey,it sounds like you really had a good time and got zac to sing.

    It seems like it was worth the studying you had to do to catch up:)

    Next time,someone should ask yvonne to sing,maybe she can sing too. The musical episode could have a chance then :P

  5. Gonzo 197813.11.10

    I loved reading your recap. Thank you for coming to the event. Everyone was kind and understanding. Raising funds for a great cause and seeing the coolest cast in tv is a great joy. Chuck fans are the best. I thank you for proving it again.

  6. Anonymous13.11.10

    I am green with jealousy right now. Green! I would normally hate you for this, but since you provided us with such a thorough recap, plus pictures, you are are completely forgiven. You might even be my favourite person today. This again proved that Chuck's fans rock! They just do.

    Thank you so much for this. Now, excuse me while I go pout in corner and curse the stars who made me an Easterner and a Canadian. Californians get Chuck and I get snow. How is that fair?


  7. Sparky13.11.10

    Lily, so you are canadian and complaining? Canada can't have everything,you know :P

    Let good old US of A have California.Otherwise,canada would be too awesome to exist :)

  8. I'm pretty sure you're wrong about that. Canadians can claim 80% of my favorite actors. Yes, Australia claims the other 20%. Score one for the Commonwealth.

    So now I view Crystal like the intrepid young reporter on the CI staff. We sent her to ChuckFest2 to get the scoop, where should we send her next? I am open to suggestions*.

    Excellent recap, Crystal. I am very disappointed that you did not ask about the disappearance of the Castle Slide, but I'll let it slide (haha, see what I did there?) since you have provided more pictures of the cast into my life.

    *If your suggestion involves the question, "Has Crystal had all of her shots?" it will be summarily ignored. Thanks, mgmt.

  9. Good post, Crystal. Nicely detailed. Good pictures. Jealousy is definitely ensuing.

    Also, Zac has very white teeth.

  10. Anonymous13.11.10

    I say we send Crystal to stalk the CEO of NBC, until they give us a fifth season. What? Sure, it might sound a bit extreme, but think about it. Who could say no to Crystal? From what I hear it would be like saying no to a bunch of kittens and puppies. Perfect plan!

    When someone I love need medical care, when I need to pay for school or when my gay best friend talks about getting married, of course I love being Canadian. That said when winter starts and my professors start talking about their hometown in the USA, I start wishing I was American. Hey, I'm half French. Complaining is in my DNA. Give a French woman an inch, she will bitch and complain, relentlessly, until you give her a mile. That's just how we are. That and you, Americans, are just fascinating to me.


  11. Lily: This is true. As the Frea/mxpw-proclaimed Adorable Mascot of CI, sending me to stalk the CEO of NBC might just work. Of course, I might get sidetracked and ask to be on Chuck's writing staff instead...

    Thanks for all of your comments, guys! I'm glad you all appreciate the post. Writing it took up most of my day yesterday. I only wish I was kidding.

  12. THANK YOU, FINALLY A DETAILED account of what happened, I am so jealous, loved every minute of it!!!


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