Artifact in Sydney :)
Our flight to Sydney left at 7am, so my mum and I had to be out of my aunt's house by 5am. It was a hectic morning and I was so insanely exhausted given that I'd slept for less than an hour (no, really). I spent the car ride over trying to sleep, but being unable to because of my nerves. I'll have to admit that I was very apprehensive about the Artifact screening, as the last one had hit me so hard. I was scared of connecting with Jared's words so intensely again, as silly as that sounds. I don't even know why. Maybe because it hurt...But it also didn't. I don't know.
When we got to the airport I couldn't help but laugh as I saw a Mars tee on practically every second person. I love how dedicated we all are. Only the Echelon would be out in full force at 6am after having danced their asses off just the night before. We all looked bleary eyed and exhausted, but super excited about what was ahead of us.
Once we were seated on the plane and awaiting take off, I heard the word "Hurricane". My Mars senses (like spidey senses only SO much cooler) are finely tuned, so I knew someone was talking about Mars (they have a song called Huricane, in case you don't know). I stuck my head through the gap in the seats and saw that two of my friends -- Lucy (@lucygrie) and Niargo (@niargo4MARS) were sitting right in front of me, discussing the Melbourne show. We laughed at how the Echelon are EVERYWHERE (for real; we are taking over the world) and talked about our experiences so far. I had my (SIGNED!!!) copies of The Mars Project books so I handed them to the girls and let them flick through (but not actually read them because the stories are private). Niargo had submitted a beautiful artwork for Volume Two, so I was glad to be able to show her how I had used it and how it turned out. Needless to say, she was very happy.
After a bit more catching up, I started falling asleep. I think I only slept for about 5 - 10 minutes at a time, but it was enough to get me through the rest of the day. Thank goodness.
Once we arrived in Sydney, my mum and I rushed to our hotel to check in. We knew we wouldn't have time to come back to hotel to get changed between Artifact and the band Meet and Greet, so we each took a spare set of clothes and went to my friend Karan's hotel (Alibi_1710). She was staying directly across from the show venue, and had been kind enough to say we could get changed there after Artifact. Along the way to her hotel, my mum and I also picked up Jenno (@JennoVonMARS) and randomly bumped into Hela (@helagee), so we all decided to go to Artifact together. We dropped off our stuff at Karan's and caught a taxi over to Dendy cinemas.
The line was pretty insane by the time we got there and we waited to check in. I got to meet even more of my Twitter friends for the first time in real life, which is just so amazing. I adored seeing the variations in the types of people who were there, all brought together by one incredible band. I'll never get tired of saying this: They are NOT just a band. No no no no.
When it was our turn to check in Reni recognized us again and didn't even take our tickets. It's a cool feeling to know that someone on the Mars crew knows us well enough to just wave us through like that. We got our wristbands for both the Artifact screening and the band Meet and Greet before going inside to wait.
As in Melbourne, I was really only there for the VIP component with Jared, as I've seen Artifact thirty billion times and own three copies (the original download from VyRT, the limited edition download from VyRT and the DVD) [Updated to add: I now own FIVE copies :3 Thank you for the signed DVDs, Jared!!) However that being said, I still absolutely loved every minute of it. I could never ever get tired of watching that documentary. If you haven't seen it already...What the hell are you waiting for?? I also loved that Jared bought us all popcorn and bottles of water again. He is just too adorable.
Once it was over, the people with general tickets left and we waited for Jared to arrive. Reni came in and ran through the rules, and I noticed that Emma and what I assume to be her family were sitting along the back row right next to us. Very cool. Emma is Jared's "bigger and better brain", if you don't know who she is. She is a crucial member of the Mars crew.
Suddenly the doors directly behind us opened, and in came Oscar winner Jared Freaking Leto. He walked straight past us and we all took a moment to catch our breath. He sat down in the middle of the stage and thanked us all for coming. He then started telling us about Artifact, and as in Melbourne, asking if we knew what it was about. I really wanted to yell out "dreams!" but I am too shy for that. Gah. Maybe I should have done it. (Spoiler alert: the answer is dreams.)
Jared scanned the crowd, looking to see who had come along, I imagine. His eyes stopped on our row and he started smiling, then he said "I see you up there, buddy! The little blond haired kid!" He was talking to Zack, Karan's son. Zack was so overwhelmed and Karan was so happy. It was such a beautiful moment. It's amazing how something so simple can mean so much.
Jared then went through a similar overview of Artifact as he did in Melbourne. It was just as amazing the second time around, in case you were wondering. Then it was time for questions. Once again people asked really decent questions, and not a single person mentioned shampoo. Thank goodness. Somebody asked a question about fear and doubt, and once again his answer hit me straight in the guts: You have to do it anyway. There is no reward if there is no struggle. You just have to do the work.
Someone else asked an interesting question about how we can make sure that we are supporting the BAND and not the record companies, and he said by coming to the shows. He said that's the best way to do it; keep believing and keep coming out to see them play. (Always, Jared. I'd follow Mars anywhere and everywhere if I could). He also said some interesting things regarding how they get paid for album sales and views on YouTube (spoiler alert: they pretty much don't) and said that soon music videos will only be available on Vevo because that's owned by record companies. He had some very interesting insights about that. He's such an intelligent and well-read man. Let's just love him forever, okay? Okay.
After a few more questions I saw Zack's hand shoot up, and Jared called on him immediately. Zack asked where Jared thinks he would be if he hadn't won the lawsuit, and Jared said that he doesn't know but he's thankful that everything worked out as it did. Zack's voice was shaking but he did so well. I am so happy for both him and Karan.
There were a few more questions which covered a lot of things we've heard before:
Why the name Artifact -- it's an Artifact of that time;
Why the name Sisyphus Corporation -- it relates to the Greek myth of Sisyphus who was condemned to roll a boulder up and down a mountain and get nowhere, and 'corporation' because Jared thought it would be funny. "Now WE'RE the corporation!"
He also told this really sweet story about how he went to visit an actress who had been through something similar to Mars' battle with EMI. She had fought the system and won, so he and Emma went to Paris to visit her and get some advice. She was an elegant old lady (in her 90s, Jared said), and she had arranged a little afternoon tea for them...Of cheese hors d'oeuvres. If you don't know, Jared is a vegan (or a 'cheagan' as he calls it because he cheats sometimes) He said he wanted to tell her that he doesn't eat cheese, but she was so excited to share them with him and Emma, and she kept saying they were her favourite food...So he ate them anyway. This is the man who has repeatedly said that cheese is "disgusting" because it's like "sucking on a cow's booby." But he ate the cheese to be polite and pretended to enjoy it. Good grief I love him. Like really. I wish all the people who complain about his every move had been there to hear that story, because it shows you exactly what kind of person he is. He is wonderful. No one will ever convince me otherwise.
But I digress...
There was a girl down the front who did not stop talking the entire time, so she got told off by Jared. Threatened, actually, because she kept back-chatting. "Look just stop it, okay. You don't want to see the dark side come out." Is it wrong that I loved it? Haha.
After the question time was over, it was time for pictures. Once again I was lined up near the back so I could go last. He was very sweet to everyone, and recognized some of my friends which was awesome. He commented on Rob's tattoos (YAY ROB!), recognized Zack and told Karan she was the best mum in the world for bringing Zack over for his thirteenth birthday, and recognized my mum. Then it was my turn. He recognized me as well and said "Hey you! It's good to see you again." I smiled and said "Can I have a hug please?" to which he replied "Sure!" and wrapped his arms around me. I sort of collapsed into him and rested my face against his chest. (HELP). I have no idea if I was smiling or not in the picture, but when it was over I had the biggest grin on the planet. I thanked him and went to meet my friends and my mum, where we all freaked out over what had just happened while we made our way over to the venue. After all, the night was just beginning...
He bought us all popcorn and water. He is too lovely for words.
Fun fact: This was all I ate that day. No wonder I lost nearly four kilos that week :p
UPDATED TO ADD: I just remembered something else. Someone asked about the 'Into The Wild 'Tour DVD, to which Jared replied that it is the bane of his f#%king life and that it is coming...And we all yelled out "SOON!!" Haha. I love it :3