Wednesday, 26 March 2014

I've been up in the air...

...And I'm never, ever coming back down.
It's currently 11:36pm, and I've just returned from my very first concert EVER; a Thirty Seconds To Mars show. I'm sitting in my hotel room on the verge of tears, wondering how the hell any day of my life is EVER going to live up to today. Even if I won a million dollars tomorrow, it STILL wouldn't be as amazing as today. Nothing can top today. Ever ever ever. HOWEVER, there's still Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane to go...
I am going to write this post assuming that not everyone will know about the band. This is my becoming-a-professional-writer blog, after all. If you're not the Echelon, welcome! Let me know if you have any questions. If you are the Echelon...Sorry for the over-kill on  explanations and detail. I DID promise excruciating detail, though...
I'll start at the beginning. This is very 'stream-of-consciousness' and I'll probably come back and tidy it up when I get home, but I want to write down absolutely everything right now. I can't forget a single detail. Forgive me.
When I woke up this morning, I could hardly breathe. Mars were here in Perth, and I was meeting them for the very first time. I felt sick, excited and I was completely freaking out. To burn some energy, Bec and I (@beccjay on Twitter...If you aren't following her, DO IT) decided to go for a walk around the city. We may or may not have been hoping to spot a random wild Leto, but alas, we did not. However we did find out later that he (Jared) had been jogging in the VERY PARK WE WE'RE WALKING IN, so it was just a matter a bad timing. Dammit! Although to be honest I'm glad we didn't meet him randomly before the show. Everything happened too perfectly. I wouldn't change a thing.
After a couple of hours of wandering around and stalking the places Jared, Shannon and Tomo MIGHT be (yeah, we did that...Sorry not sorry :p), we came back to the hotel to get ready. The nerves REALLY hit me then, and I started to cry a little (happy tears) and pace around the room. After I pulled myself together I started tweeting all my incredible friends, and sent one last picture of The Mars Project to Jared, Shannon and Tomo on Twitter. For those of you who don't know, The Mars Project is a book I made for the guys full of love letters and artwork from the Echelon around the world. It was a labour of love, and it's honestly the best thing I've ever done. When the show was postponed in March last year, I made a Volume Two so people who missed out on Volume One could take part. It is also incredibly beautiful. Thank you so much to everyone who took part.
About half an hour after I posted the tweet, I got a notification saying that Jared Freaking LETO had faved my tweet. My heart pretty much stopped beating, and I swore. A lot. Sorry, Twitter followers. He had seen the books. He knew they existed. He knew they were coming. I knew it may NOT have been him who actually faved the tweet, but I decided not to think negatively about it. I decided to believe it was really him and not an intern (as we all know sometimes interns or other members of his team use his Twitter account for him).
By then it was time to go, so Bec, my mum and I headed down to catch a taxi. The taxi driver was asking what was happening tonight, so I was very excited to gush about Mars. As we all know once I start I pretty much don't stop, so we chatted about it most of the way.
Once we arrived at the venue, I felt sick to my stomach. Bec and Rob (@Rob_Cosby; follow her, too) were trying to calm me down, but nothing they said helped. They'd both met the band before, so they were decidedly calmer than me. While we were waiting in the line to sign in for the Meet and Greet, we could hear the boys inside doing sound check. I nearly cried, but I kept it together. I didn't want puffy eyes when I met them. For those wondering, they played Up In The Air and Conquistador :)
Check-in went pretty quick, and Rob told Reni (the Adventures liason) that she and I needed to talk to her (Thank you so much, Rob. You're wonderful). Reni told us to just wait to the side and that she would talk to us soon. Once everyone was signed in, we went over to talk to Reni (who is wonderful, by the way.) First Rob presented Reni with a gift as a thank you for all her help at Rob's previous shows. It was a beautiful painting-slash-sketch of Reni's dog. Then I explained about my books and asked if the boys could maybe sign them at any show, since I have a VIP ticket to every show and so will be meeting them at every show. Reni smiled and said yes, they can sign them tonight. I'll be honest: I pretty much died. They were going to see the books. I was going to have to talk to them and explain the books. WHY THE HELL DID I THINK THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA?! I spent the remainder of the time in line practicing what to say to them and trying to remember how to breathe.
After a bit more waiting in line, it was time to go inside. My heart was pounding and I thought I was going to die. Not even kidding. We went into the Meet and Greet room and sat down on the carpet. Reni came in and explained the rules -- fairly basic rules like be respectful, and for the love of ALL THAT IS HOLY, don't ask Jared about his hair. After a few minutes I heard people giggling and I turned around, and he was right there. Right. There. In person. In the same room as me. It sounds weird, but it was amazing to see him in real life. He had been like this mythical creature in my head, but there he was in the flesh. Real. Close enough to touch. He sat down on the signing table and started chatting to us. He talked about the tour, thanked us for our patience with the delay and told us that it turned out that the delay worked in our favour because they know the songs better now and because we have the videos for Do or Die and City of Angels. I have to say, I completely agree. He also pointed out that if it had been in August, we wouldn't be meeting an OSCAR WINNER, to which we all clapped and cheered :3 He then asked for some questions and spent a little time answering those. There was a question about VyRT, and he said that they're going to try to VyRT the Hollywood Bowl again, have a Mars Lab 3 and maybe a VyRT with Shannon. While he was talking, Shannon and Tomo came in and I stopped breathing. Again.
After the Q and A, it was time for the signing. I started shaking and couldn't breathe. My mum was trying to calm me down, but I was so far gone. A lady came around to collect the gifts (as we are not allowed to give them our gifts personally), and I was surprised to see they're weren't very many. I went to the very back of the line with my mum, Bec and Rob, and continued to practice what I was going to say.
Bec was right in front of me, and she had made a #TeamRayon poster full of pictures of everybody's wristbands. It was very cool. When she put it down in front of Jared, he said "Oh wow, look at that! That's great. Thank you." He signed it and pushed it to Tomo.
Then it was my turn.
I took a deep breath and placed The Mars Project Volume One down in front of Jared. This is what happened next. I still cannot F-ING believe it.
Me: This is a book I made for you guys. It is full of love letters from The Echelon. My mum has Volume Two.
J: [Picks it up] Oh I saw this on Twitter!
Me: Yeah you did!!
J: Oh this is great! So can I keep this? [Flicks through a couple of pages]
Me: Well, I gave a copy to Reni for you. It's over there. [I pointed. It was right next to the table.]
J: Oh you want me to sign this! [Flicks through some more. I notice he stops on the introduction to the LOVE section] This is so great. Thank you so much! [Signs it and pushes it to Tomo. My mum puts down Volume Two]
J: Oh I love this!! [Referring to the triad on the cover. He turns to Tomo] Isn't that great?? I love it!! I should put this on a t-shirt
Me: Yeah, I was thinking about doing that actually!! [Side note: I have no idea if Tomo said anything back. Sorry, Tomo.]
J: I love it. Especially this part [the top]. Thank you! [He signs it and pushes it to Tomo]
Me: I love you guys so much.
Tomo: Volume One AND Two!!
Me: Yeah [I smile shyly at him and walk over to Shannon]
Me: Thank you so much. [I try to pick up the books and Shannon pulls his hands back. I realize he hasn't signed Volume Two.]
Me: Oh I'm so sorry!!
Shannon: [Signs it. Looks up at me and smiles the sweetest smile I have ever seen in my life] It's okay. Thank you.
Me: Thank you. I love you. There's a copy for you and Tomo, too.
Then I walked away and went and FREAKED OUT with Bec, Rob and mum. In retrospect, they totally saw that. They probably heard me say 'OH MY GOD I SPOKE TO THEM.' Oh well :3
Next it was picture time. I spent the lining up time committing the conversation to memory, and I was positively bouncing and shaking by the time it was nearly my turn. My mum was in front of me, and when she went to get her picture Jared turned around and looked me in the eye and smiled. I'm pretty sure I'm currently blogging from my grave.
Then it was my turn and I went straight between Jared and Shannon. Shannon said "heyyyyyyyyyy" really softly in my ear as he put his arm around my waist, and Jared pulled me gently towards him. I had the biggest dopiest grin on the planet, and all I could say was "I love you guys so much." I don't even know what they were doing in my picture, haha. I probably look like I'm high. I WAS high. After a second I felt Shannon lightly push me towards the edge of the photo area, so I said "thank you so much" and walked away. I wish I had turned back to smile at them, but I was too high. I was up in the air, and living a dream I didn't even know was possible. I walked out to the line and replayed every single detail in my mind until it was time to go into the venue. It was the best day of my life, and it was only just beginning.  
UPDATED TO ADD: I just remembered something else. After the Meet and Greet was over, Reni followed me out and asked me if I had left a copy of the books for J. Do you think he asked her to do that...?


(I know it's Volume Two then Volume One. I was excited when I took this, okay :p)
Title lyrics: 'Up In The Air' by Thirty Seconds To I LOVE YOU SO MUCH.
You can read about all my adventures with Thirty Seconds To Mars on the Australian leg of the #LoveLustFaithDreamsTour HERE.

Ps...He did put my design on a t-shirt. Which means MY DESIGN is in THE OFFICIAL MARS MERCH STORE.
I think I might be having a seizure.