Just as Claire reaches her hand out to Frank and, in a brilliant camera twirl, we are suddenly back in the past!
Season 2 has premiered and though the week leading up to it is gone like a handsome Highlander of yore, I ask that you take my hand as we time-travel to the weeks leading up to the première and the final week of Droughtlander.
So much happened that week in New York City that I wanted to share my experiences before they fade like an echo of a ghost that is James Fraser.
Weeks leading up to the big events in NYC
I work in show biz. What that really means is that I work in the Production office of film/tv shoots for 12-14 hours every day. Sucking down coffee while it grows cold as I cull through an exorbitant amount of emails, answer phones, order equipment, put out the proverbial fire, chastise assistants, and eat way too many cookies and chocolates. All of this until 4am sometimes…Yes it’s all very glamorous.
But every now and then there are perks.
For days I was babysitting Twitter. After LA got their (free) panel, I had to keep an eye on ANY alert about tickets to the Première that had no date. Undoubtedly, two hours after it was initially announced that the key cast and crew were to be at a panel in April (days before the air date only adding to the fervor of Season 2), we all saw that it was only open to Television Academy members. Well I was not one of them nor did I know of any. For over a week I hemmed and hawed. How was I gonna get a ticket? How?! There’s gotta be someone I know who knows someone else! That’s how show biz works anyway, right?
Meanwhile I was working on a pilot and got chummy with the very sweet Production Designer from LA. One day I decided to just go for it and ask if he was a member. Turns out, he was! I took a deep breath.
“You see there’s this show I really love and the season 2 premiere is happening in a few weeks and there’s this panel with the cast and crew that week and I really want to go but it’s only open to Academy Members and I’m not a member and I don’t know anyone who is but I really wanna go and I’m wondering if maybe you could somehow RSVP for me if you were ok with that but I don’t wanna bother you since we just started working together but you should really watch the show!”
He replied assuredly, “I got you”.
My head buzzed with excitement but dipped into panic upon wondering how I could ease the inconvenience by RSVPing using his account (although I’d need his password) or taking the chance if he’d come through by signing up for me during our busy production schedules.
While that pot boiled, I asked what some might say was an outlandish question to a certain employee of a certain Big Studio that might be associated with the show if she could pull some strings and get me into the panel? This was another person that I didn’t know very well let alone never met! Our only correspondence was through email and brief phone calls as she was on the West Coast and I was on the East. Yet it turned out she was a big fan of the show (us fans are everywhere)!
“Let me see what I can do,” she said.
Days passed. Finally late one night as I began falling asleep my phone trilled notifying me of an email. It urged me to look and see who could’ve emailed at such a late hour.
“I got you” was all the message said in an email titled Highlander Who? (clearly I still had some work to do to if I was gonna get another congregant). It was an RSVP under the Production Designer’s first name of Wendell! I could go as Wendèll or Wendy for short but regardless of the details, I was in! Thrills!
2 Weeks Before the Big Week
One morning as I randomly searched for the word Outlander in my email (of course), I saw an invite to the panel from an organization of which I was a (legitimate) member! Quickly I RSVP’d upon realizing that the email was sent at 11pm the night before. How many others could have possibly RSVP’d into the wee hours of the morning?! Best not to think of it.
Now I was on two lists.
Friday Before the Big Week
By this point, the Première at the Museum of Natural History was known and the fact that it was invite-only was well known. I was kicking myself for not originally asking my West Coast contact about access to that event seeing as I was already on two lists for the panel. It was still radio silence from that end and I didn’t want to push my luck…but I pushed a little when I emailed her pictures of my Saks 5th Ave trip and brought it up. Again, she’d let me know if her contacts could do anything.
<Pouting while kicking an imaginary pebble> Fine.
The show I was working on had it’s big shoot on a Friday evening. Certain high powered people from a certain Big Studio that may or may not be affiliated with Outlander were in attendance at the stage.
Someone stood nearby and caught my Outlander calendar that hung behind my desk.
“You like that show?” she asked.
She peered at me, “Were you the one asking about a ticket to the premiere?”
My eyes widened.
“Well yes kinda! I mean there’s the panel and then there’s the premiere. Are you… Are you talking about the premiere that’s happening at the Museum of Natural History on Monday? Or the panel on Tuesday at NYU?” I just couldn’t figure out if she was referencing the panel (my original request) or the première (my pitiful follow up request)! My mind was jumping with all the possibilities.
“Yes the premiere!” she said.
“Well yes I mean I asked about the panel first and I already have tickets but then I learned about the première and if you could get me a ticket to the première that’d be amazing!”
Very confidently she said, “I’m gonna get you a ticket”.
Swooning and squeeling ensued for the next hour or two. I didn’t realize that she was a Director of Publicity at this certain Big Studio.
Later, she told me that there were no tickets available and my heart sank a little. The excitement of the past hour snuffed out by the blow of disappointment. I kinda figured but then I also thought well she’s a Director so there’s a good chance…
I told her if an assistant was sick I’d be happy to take their place. She chuckled and with a roll of the eye retorted, “I don’t really want to go. I see those people all the time.”
You don’t really want to go?! Those people?! Why would you say that to me?! What part of your brain thinks that’s ok?!
“But I got you on the list for the panel!” She said with a whisp of hope as if that would curtail the bad news.
Now I was on three lists.
Monday – Red Carpet Première at the Museum of Natural History
And thus it begins with the Red Carpet Première!
I didn’t go since my invitation got lost in the mail <ahem>. Moving on.
In my excitement at watching the event unfold online (the magic of technology!), I gazed upon the stoic and quite serious face of Tobias Menzies as he was being interviewed. I’ve begun noticing a pattern. At first, like a cat, he’s aloof and always seems to have a slight weariness at answering questions (perhaps it’s the redundancy of press junkets that grinds away at his sensitive soul).
(And here’s another just for fun)
He doesn’t seem to warm up alot but perhaps he needs to be coaxed. There’s this subtextual current underneath that kinda says fuck you but in a small voice with great British modesty of course.
Beneath the coolness of the British Actor Façade, it got me thinkin – Who IS this Mystery Man with the attitude? What makes this man tick? His motor hum?
Is it Chekhov? I can speak Chekhov though I’d have to brush up. I was a Theatre geek in college afterall (oh sorry I mean <donning best British accent> univehsity!). Hark! I now realize the reason for studying theatre didn’t go to waste. Now I just need to “accidentally” bump into him at a bar.
Tuesday – From Scotland to Paris: The Season 2 Journey of Outlander Panel
I hopped onto the LIRR with a minute to spare and quickly looked around for a seat. There was one amidst a group of hockey fans and commuters heading back into the city. I plunked down and got ready for the evening.
I was giddy while practicing my question for the Producers in my head and touching up my makeup! Outta the corner of my eye I noticed the woman sitting next to me was reading a book with a pale sunburnt orange paperback cover. Dragonfly in Amber peered at me as my lady neighbor quietly read.
I leaned in and asked in a measured tone that discreetly hid my inner squee girl, “Are you going to the panel?”
“The panel?” She looked at me with her glasses and seemed a bit scared. “Yes.”
What luck! I found a seat next to a complete stranger whom is now an Outlander friend. Donna who works at the Historical Society in Long Island is an avid Diana Gabaldon fan who has read all the books. She was rereading DIA (her favorite in the series) enroute to the city to meet up with her daughter who was also attending the panel. Her daughter got her into the books years ago and they enjoyed the show. Together they’ll be vacationing in France in a few months. Oh and she doesn’t appreciate the historical inaccuracy of the TV show Turn.
I felt that finding a seat next to Donna was an auspicious sign that the night was gonna be good.
When the train arrived in Penn Station, I said au revoir and sped off to West 4th Street. It was still early when I arrived and the line wasn’t too long. Of course, both of my friends texted me that they were running late. As I waited for them, I turned over in my mind how to get them into the panel. My name was on two of the three lists and along with a plus one ticket, Libby or Sarah were gonna have to put on their best covert spy persona and use my name or the name of the Production Designer to gain admittance.
I fretted. I wanted all of us to have a good time and get in!
Click on the photos below!
Luckily, we did! There was an added bonus of being on the Studio list because we got to wait by the Step and Repeat. I managed to snag the photos you see above albeit my phone was freaking out more than I was. Unfortunately alot of photos didn’t come out well so I chose the ones that came out the best believe it or not.
Oh and by the way, Tobias Menzies was quite chummy with Caitriona and Maril Davis as he waited his turn to take photos (why wouldn’t he be by this point, right?). My suspicion that the stoicism can melt away once he’s warmed up a bit was confirmed. <Sigh> I’ll continue gazing.
We were able to sit close to the stage and the panel was great although there was no Q&A. All of the practice I did for my question was for naught.
Check out the panel here if you haven’t seen it. Great for those curious about the costume and set design for Season 2!
At the end of the night, we glided out of the auditorium, marveling at the presentations by Terry Dresbach and Jon Gary Steele. The evening ended at Mercer Kitchen in Soho. At the bar, we ate some delicious pastries thanks to Sarah’s boyfriend being Head Pastry Chef there and enjoyed fancy libations as well.
All of my earlier fretting was cast away as the evening turned out to be so wonderful. How could it get any better? I told Sarah that all I needed now was for her to say, “Oh my god Jordyn. Don’t freak out but Tobias Menzies is sitting right behind you…And he’s totally. Checking. You. Out!”
And he was!
Ok fine he wasn’t.
Regardless, I went home grateful to the Outlander angels dancing around me as they bestowed their grace that day from sitting next to a fan on the train, getting into the panel, standing so close to the cast and crew, and then afterward eating and drinking with friends!
(I didn’t go to the Apple event or Saks Red Carpet but here’s some fan photos from outlanderhomepage.com and here’s my friend Sarah and I getting ramped up for the panel!)
Saturday – NYC TARTAN PARADE & SEASON 2 PREMIÈRE!
How did you spend it?! I attended the NYC Tartan Parade and held my own Gathering for the Première that night!
Funny story about the parade: My friend Kiki and I met up and proceeded to search for a pair of gloves for her. It was cold and raining but our fortitude held swift…until we saw a group of people standing outside the Algonquin Hotel. Earlier, thanks to Twitter, we saw a few photos of the Grand Marshall arriving to the parade and joked that he must be close. Well he was verra close!
We waited for an hour encapsulated by a growing number of fans coming to gawk. It was apparent that there was no security. There’d be a surge the moment Sam came out and the minutes ticked by inching closer to the start of the parade.
Kiki and I surmised that there must be a back door he could exit from. Would he take the chance of exiting out the front where a swarm of people waited without any security? Two NYPD cops stopped inside the hotel for a chat or so it seemed and then they quickly exited. At first, their presence alerted us that perhaps he would come this way but two NYPD (along with two skinny Bell Boys barely twenty) would be no match against the fervent excitement of (mostly) women armed with their cameras, phones, and raging estrogen levels. We further speculated his secret escape but wanted to wait there just in case.
— The Urban Outlander (@urbanoutlander) April 9, 2016
Inevitably, Heughan gave us the slip and exited (allegedly) behind us from the hotel’s bar that sat next door. Kiki and I ran for 6th Avenue laughing at our own gullibility.
Thus ensued the mayhem on 6th Avenue:
— The Urban Outlander (@urbanoutlander) April 9, 2016
Like a relay race, people ran from block to block to snag a spot by the street and take video/photos. As soon as Sam passed by, we’d all run to the next block and repeat!
— The Urban Outlander (@urbanoutlander) April 9, 2016
Click for more photos below!
We ran across the street towards the bus and saw Sam off as he was driven away in a black SUV. Kiki and I relented that we must return home and watch the première. It was a fun day but not over yet.
Also, we forgot how cold we were.
Later that evening, I had a few friends over to watch. Sarah made a vanilla mousse laced with whiskey and Scottish shortbread for dipping which was delicious.