Saturday, 20 September 2014

My life. Insane. Nothing I would change.

Chula Vista.
What a show.
What a day.
What a life.

By now I'm sure the majority of you know the story of the Meet and Greet, but I'm going to share it again anyway! I just like reliving it, okay?

After the Hollywood Bowl show, I had a few moments to talk to Reni. Given that the rules about the signings had changed so much, I wanted to ask about getting something special signed. As most of you know, earlier this year I made two books full of love letters from the Echelon around the world, and gave it them the guys the first time I met them. Their reaction -- Jared's reaction -- pretty much made my entire life. You can read about it here. Most of you know again that Jared loved the triad design on the front cover of volume two, and he said he should put it on a t-shirt. And then he did. Which means something I created is available to buy from the official Mars Store.

Just go on without me.

Anyway. The new signing rules stipulate that signing t-shirts and textiles is out of the question, so I decided to make a poster about the shirt. I included a picture of the signed books, a tweet about the new merch by the Mars Store, my conversation with Jared and a picture of me wearing the shirt. I wasn't sure if they would sign it, but I brought it just in case. At the HB show I asked Reni about it. She immediately remembered the books and said, yes, of course that's fine. My heart kind of dropped a little because I hadn't expected that. I was so scared that they were going to say no that when I checked in for Chula Vista the next day, I showed her the poster just to be sure. She reassured me that it was okay.

Once again we sat down the back for the Meet and Greet. Jared and the VyRT crew were back to being happy and goofy after the Hollywood Bowl heartache (I could see that on Twitter and on VyRT Violet), which made me feel so happy. I had been scared to ask for something special if he was still...How he was after the VyRT. Jared was running late, so to pass the time Reni held a trivia game with free merch as the prizes. We (Bec, Jess my mum and I) decided to sit down and wait because it was too hot to do much of anything.

After about twenty minutes or so, a helicopter arrived. We knew Jared would be arriving in a helicopter given that he had been in LA all day, but it was still pretty freaking awesome to see it happen! When he came into the room (which was outside), he was all smiles and looked so much happier. I just wanted to hug him, but what else is new?

He laughed about arriving by helicopter and being a typical rock star. He talked about how funny it is to fly above the traffic and be like, "fuck youuuuuuu" to all the cars below. Shannon and Tomo came in and he told them he'd arrived by helicopter, and they all laughed. Jared then pointed out his HOLY GUACAMOLE shirt and said it was National Guacamole Day, so he wore the shirt to celebrate. He said he knows it's not considered "cool" to wear your own merch, but he doesn't care because he loves what he makes. My heart. As always. Someone said something about guacamole day which I couldn't hear, but he said that it IS National Guacamole day and that she was making it sound like he was doing something bad.

He spoke about how freaking hot it was, and showed off his new kimono-moomoo-type-thing. He said that he stayed late in LA to work on some VyRT things, and then quickly changed the subject by asking where we were from and then for questions.

He picked someone by name, and the person behind her started asking a question. He stopped and said, "Did I say you, Jeanette? Or did I say Rosa-Marie?" He was so sassy oh God,  haha. She must have apologized and said she was confused, because he said he didn't know how she would get confused when he clearly said Rosa-Marie. He smiled at her then and said it's okay, and Rosa-Marie asked her question. I can't remember what it was at this point. Haha.

Somebody asked a question about what they listen to on the road again, and their answer was the same as last time.

Someone else asked about what their buses looked like and if they have their own bunks, and Jared said he thinks they've earned it after all this time. Tomo explained a little about what the buses looked like, and the girl kept asking what seemed to be if the crew buses and the band buses were the same (I couldn't hear her, only their answers) Tomo asked, "What do you care where we sleep??" and Jared said that they have good buses for both the band and the crew because they work hard and spend a lot of time on the bus. The girl asked another question about the buses and Tomo said that they are basically just the bunks, bathrooms and kitchen. Next question! Haha.

There was a question about Artifact and how to conduct a great interview, and both Jared and Shannon said it's important to listen. Jared said the best thing you can do is just show up and talk to the person about what's going on in that moment, and then respond to what they say. Don't even ask a specific question about rituals or band names -- just listen and be in the moment. I feel that is a valuable lesson in life in general.

Someone asked what they would play if they were standing in front of their instruments, and not necessarily Mars. Jared really liked that question. Shannon said, "Mars! I would play Mars or make up something weird." Tomo said, "I play the same thing every time, and it's in Artifact." [He said that in the commentary edition of Artifact, too] Jared said, "I would play End Of All Days because it's my favourite song to play right now. It's like a conversation. Do you guys like that song?" There were a few "woos" but not enough for J so he got all sassy and said, "Oh, nobody likes that song?? Fine, I'll never play it again!!" He then giggled said, "I know ya'll love it. It's the heat that's sucking away your enthusiasm!" He said he wasn't going to move at all on stage because it was too hot. Said he'd go easy on us and get us to just put out fingers in the air. He then proceeded to act out a mosh pit using just his fingers. God love him!

Someone asked why they never play old songs like From Yesterday, and Jared said that it was circa 2007. "Taste of Chaos baby, 2007!!" He laughed and said that while he does love the song and has a powerful emotional connection with it, it's so hard to find time to practice old songs when you have so many new ones. He also said that when they do play old songs, the reaction from the crowd is a lot more muted than it is for the newer songs. He said that a lot of the new songs are better than the old songs, so their focus is on the new songs.

After a little more goofiness and dancing around (they were in such brilliant moods!) it was time for the signing. I was super nervous about my poster, but took it up anyway. Ander (an AIW rep) tried to stop me, but I told him I'd cleared it with Reni and he said, "Okay, I trust you."

My heart was beating wildly but what else is new, and then it was my turn at the table. I've posted this all over Twitter and Instagram, but let's all take a moment to relive it, okay??

Shannon and Tomo were up first and they signed it together. Shannon looked at the poster then up at me and said, "Look at that cute face! You're so adorable, I love it! Thanks, [Name-y]!" Now on Twitter and Instagram I haven't used my real name, but for the purposes of understanding how cute this was, I'll tell you now: My name is Steph. My nametag said Steph. And Shannon called me Stephy :3 I normally HATE that, but good grief that was awesome. Haha. Now forget that you know that and never call me that on social media, haha.

I giggled and thanked him.

Tomo just smiled at me and then slid the poster over to Jared. Before Jared even looked at the poster, he looked up at my t-shirt and said, "Holy shit!! Where'd you get that shirt??"

I said, "From the Mars Store!"

He said, "I've never seen it before!!"

I said, "Don't you remember it? It's from these!" and pointed to the cover of The Mars Project: Volume Two (a picture of it was on the poster I made.)

He looked down at the poster and smiled, then said, "No I mean I've never seen it before in person. This is the first time. It looks amazing. I love it!!"

I giggled and said, "Thank you! I love it. It's my favourite shirt."

By this time I'd been standing there for at least a minute, which is a long ass time in the signing line!! Normally you get maybe 3 seconds in front of them. He stared at the shirt, presumably reading it. He stared for a really long time, like maybe 47 years. I shifted nervously on my feet and glanced at Reni. She grinned at me.

Eventually Jared said, "That's great. But this is much better." He looked down at the poster and circled my design with his finger. He looked up and said, "Right?" and gave me a scrunchy nose smile and  chuckled a little. I swear to you my heart stopped beating.

He stared at the shirt some more, for maybe another 30 seconds. By this time I had been there for maybe 3 minutes. The line was held up behind me. I really should have thanked him but my brain wasn't working.

Finally he said, "That's fucking amazing. Thank you." He signed the poster right near my original design and smiled big as he handed me back my poster. I said, "Thank you so much!" and took it back, walking away in a total daze like...What the hell just happened? Haha.

Then it was time for the pictures. I asked them to all point at my shirt, and Shan said, "Sure, yes! Of course!" and grabbed me and pulled me towards him, but I was facing Jared (you'll see what I mean in the picture.) I made a triad covering my face so that I didn't have to blur my face out when I posted it on Twitter and Instagram, haha. After the picture SOMEONE patted me gently on the waist twice, but I actually have no idea if it was Jared or Shannon. Initially I thought Shannon, then I thought Jared, then I though Shannon, and now I've given up. It was a Leto, that's all I know! That was a nice change from the little push they give you to get you to move along after the picture.

We collected our things and made our way over to the entry. At this point I feel I am starting to repeat myself with my descriptions of the shows, so let's go through the highlights instead: Standing on the barrier. A shirtless, sweaty wild Leto running straight past us, twice. The view we had for End Of All Days. The balloons. Confetti. Bright Lights. Everything. Just everything.

At this point, I feel Jared said it the best:
My life
Nothing I would change <3

We are the Kings.
We are the Queens.

So this :3

"But this is much better, right?"

TITLE LYRICS: "Crossed The Line" (Unreleased) by Mars

For more posts about my adventures in The City Of Angels, click HERE.