Robert's Fan Encounter
Robert had the opportunity to meet Allison Mack at the Celebrity Charity Challenge, held in Toronto September 7th, and shares his Fan Encounter with us!
It all happened so amazingly fast.
It was only on Friday that I find out from Allison-Mack.com that Allison Mack was actually coming here to Toronto for this charity event on Sunday night at the Royal York HotelHilary Duff's (16th) Birthday Benefit for Children "Celebrity Charity Challenge".
So I phoned them to see if they needed volunteers, which they did, starting Saturday. I showed up and introduced myself, about how I'm a fan of Smallville, which led to why I'm herea chance to see Allison Mack. The nice volunteer coordinator, Dorna, then casually asked if I'd like to join her to help pick up Allison Mack at the airporton that same day at 5:30 pm!
I couldn't believe my ears.
But before I could think any further about how shocked and surprised I was at this, I just as casually replied "Sure!". I'm glad I did.
So there I was at 5:30pm, terminal C arrivals area at Pearson airport, holding up the "Allison Mack" sign that Dorna brought along. I remember taking turns with Dorna holding the sign and walking around to search for her, all the while silently kicking myself for not having brought a camera, thinking about how sadly unprepared I was because I only thought I'd get a picture tomorow night and now here I was with a chance to actually talk, so I was also trying to figure out what remotely intelligent things I might say/talk with her about.
Dorna found Allison first, so Dorna then fetched me and then together we all headed back to our van. Chewing gum, lugging an ordinary backpack over one shoulder, wearing sneakers and jeans, Allison looked just like any other ordinary student from anywhere. She did do one thing (which I won't describe here) that I think was probably for hiding her from attracting unwanted attention/rabid stalkers, so if she hadnt revealed herself to us, we probably would have taken a lot longer to find her.
The three of us all chatted a bit on the ride back, Dorna updated her a bit on some of what was happening, and I, right beside Allison in the passenger's seating in the back, got to ask her little questions and chatted a bit about her charity involvement.
Allison impressed me as a confident, knows-what-she's-doing type (just like her wonderful character Chloe!), as well as being a mature and very high-energy person. She's also quite a fast talkerbut never overwhelming or competing with you and always clear.
We talked a bit about fans, and she modestly said she doesnt have a huge fan base (probably compared to the other celebs at this event), but she does appreciate the fans and various fan groups such as Cult-of-Chloeshe related a very memorable moment when a sweet little 11-year old girl approached her at some event and told her she was a Cult-of-Chloe member! She knows about and appreciates the fans who donate money in her name for her Make-A-Wish Foundation, the fan art that people do, and those who write petitions on her behalf to the producers of the show about changes/improvements for her =)
When I asked her about her blog, I found out she really is the one taking taking those disposa-kodak-cam photos for her online WB-hosted Allison Blog she even had some cameras in her bag! She explained that she actually takes tons of pics but only a few get selected and those are the ones you see posted on the site.
Allison got involved with charity work early, for instance with the Make-A-Wish Foundation since 14 or so (a close friend of hers had cancer and was helped a lot by Make-A-Wish Foundation so thats how she first learned about them). She's been able to keep helping them because most of the work isn't too personally demanding- donations of autographed paraphanelia, occassional small-scale parties for kids. Kids With A Cause is more about personal charitycelebrities themselves actually doing hands-on charitable projects, which she regrets she hasn't been able to take part in more because of of it being so hands-on that she couldn't always be available for their many projects. But the hands-on part is exactly what she likes about this charity, so this is one of the few events she's been able to take part in.
After a while we arrived at the Royal York Hotel, so I helped Allison with her bag and getting out, then we all exchanged our parting "see you later"s before Allison went in to check in, so that was it for Saturday.
On Sunday, the day of the event, I made sure that I brought a camera, but there was virtually no chance to see Allison Mack or any of the celebs for most of the day because they were hidden away somewhere else (except Hilary Duff, who had an earlier event).
Again I found myself at the right place at the right time. Being part of the 8-10 stage volunteers, I had to wait with our props and toys (that we would have to haul out there) for the games in the medium sized Ontario room. The Ontario room, conveniently, had nice candle-light illuminated dining tables and food set up because it was the same room the celebs would have to wait in before they headed out into the massive open area of the Canadian room!
The celebrities were finally led in, through this small back kitchen door that lead right into the room, which was probably done to avoid the impassable massive crowds already packing outside at the moment.
With Allison Mack now in plain sight, I got my camera. Walked over to her, asked her if I could take a photo with her which she agreed, and was instantly composed and ready for the camera, like reflex action! And I'm very glad she was that fast, because before I could get a second pic the booming, seemingly annoyed voice of the huge and intimidating "acting coach" of Hilary Duff interrupted.
In the Ontario room with Allison Mack. Note Orlando Brown's head popping up between us in the background.
The sight of us ordinary mortals mingling with celebs must have annoyed him. He tried to kick us volunteers out, but learning that we were actually supposed to be in the room too, he then resorted to banishing us to our dark little corner with our props. So I guess his job tonight was to wall off and protect the celebs from anybody else they dont actually need to see. His protectiveness greatly annoyed us, but he sure was good at his job, and if I myself ever became a celebrity rock star or something and needed to hire a bodyguard to keep people at a distance, I'd definitely find and hire him.
So, thanks to the presence of this huge guy who was so darn good at his job, I never got a chance to go over to Allison Mack for another pic or to chat again.
After the celebs went out to the Canadian room/open area and the games started going, there were some games where I did get near Allison Mack's team, passing them chalk, props, balloons, teddy bears, rolls of toilet paper (yes, one of the games required toilet paper for something like the mummification of celebrities!), cleaning up after whatever mess they made, etc. We also had a nice unobstructed view of the games while waiting as they played and competed in the games, so I did get some little photos from from far away, but nothing beats the up-close photo with Allison or the chat on the ride back from the airport.
Celebs on the stage, with Allison Mack (sitting and wearing red), front row centre.
Then the games finally came to a close, the celebs grouped around/on the stage, there was a unique birthday song to Hilary Duff, and then shortly after they all marched away and disappeared into the Ontario room where they probably also exited from the kitchen door they came in from, I never saw them again or Allison Mack as I started with the cleanup work.
Oh well. I had tons of fun, got a photo w/ Allison, got to pick her up at the airport and chat and all this came together so very very last minute. I'm still amazed and still digesting it all.
So The Moral Of The Story Is
Always check Tara's sites (like Allison-Mack.com) for up-to-date Allison Mack info!
No matter how last minute it seems, always phone and offer to volunteer at an event if Allison Mack is going there!
Have a fan encounter to share? contact us!