Guest Blog: Mary’s Marvelous Meetings

You’ll remember Mary Houston from our first episode where she gave us a preview of her jetsetting-fangirl ways and experiences meeting her celebrity crushes. Here, she makes her debut on the Your Biggest Fangirl blog to go more in depth on some of those moments:


Mary Houston

Hey, everyone! Mary here. You may remember me from YBFG #1, where I talked about my love of travel, especially when it involves traveling for fangirl experiences! This past summer, I was lucky enough to see two fantastic plays: Woyzeck starring John Boyega, and Hamlet starring Oscar Isaac, and the 10 Rules of Fangirling played a big role in how amazing these experiences were.


My first trip of the summer was to London — which was actually a trip I planned as a graduation gift to myself in February, without even knowing that Woyzeck was being performed. As I started planning how I would spend my time abroad, I discovered not only the play but also that John Boyega had the lead role. I booked my tickets immediately! As the date of my show approached (and as I saw others on Twitter telling stories about meeting John at the stage door), I began to get really excited about the possibility of meeting him!


In my experiences, I’ve found that the London theatre scene is that it is much more chill than the American theater scene. After Woyzeck, fans queued calmly outside of the theater, all buzzing with excitement about meeting John. This was drastically different from the few times I tried to stage door at New York plays, where people tend to be much more aggressive and unfriendly while waiting to meet their idols. After about thirty minutes, he made his way down the line of eager fans, taking the time to talk with everyone and even pose for pictures.


Mary with John Boyega

By the time John made it to me, I was completely starstruck. He was absolutely more beautiful than in pictures (remember Rule #7?), and that took some time to adjust! Before I could even get a chance to say my well-practiced speech, he gripped my arm and complimented one of my tattoos. Staying true to Rule #8, I mentioned his lesser known movie Imperial Dreams — not just because it’s obscure, but because it held special meaning to me as a social worker. He posed for a picture with me and continued on down the line, and it was truly one of the most lovely experiences I’ve ever had meeting a celebrity.


Then, almost exactly a month later, I traveled to New York to see a highly anticipated run of Hamlet at The Public Theater, starring Oscar Isaac. If you’ve listened to Episode 1 (or ever talked to me), you’ll know that I am a big fan of Oscar (and previously traveled to Toronto for the premiere of his movie, The Promise). I had been looking forward to seeing Hamlet ever since it was announced earlier that year, and was fortunate enough to snag a front row seat!


Since my show was the second of two, I arrived at The Public early to see if I could meet any of the actors during the break between shows. Outside the theater, I ended up chatting with Keegan-Michael Key briefly, and spotting both Gayle Rankin and Roberta Colindrez as they took breaks between shows. At one point, Oscar Isaac walked right past me into the theater, which was way more overwhelming than it should have been.


Mary and Keegan-Michael Key

The show itself was phenomenal — an intimate theater with four hours of blood, sweat, and in this production’s case, lots and lots of dirt. At various points, I had at least three actors sitting in the seat directly next to me, and Oscar Isaac gave portions of Hamlet’s Old Yorick speech while sitting beside me! I think my heart actually stopped — Oscar Isaac. Sitting close enough to me that I could have rested my head on his shoulder. What are the chances I would have bought the one seat that he sits next to?? Because of the strenuous nature of the show, most of the actors did not stop to meet with fans afterwards — which was completely understandable. In fact, The Public Theater ended up canceling many of the shows after mine because of actor exhaustion. However, I did end up returning the next day and got a lovely picture with Keegan-Michael Key, who was kind enough to stop and chat with folks after the Sunday matinee.


Throughout these experiences, the 10 Rules of Fangirling were incredibly relevant! Because these were both plays, I made sure to dress well out of respect for the actors and the performances. I checked Twitter and other social media in the days before my shows to see what tips others could give me to help with my own experience. This was particularly helpful at The Public — that’s how I found out that they don’t have a “stage door,” but rather the actors come out via the lobby to meet folks. I remained calm and respectful when talking with the actors, keeping in mind that they had no obligation to come out after a show, and made sure to thank them! And as always, I took a selfie over an autograph — but that’s also because I so rarely have anything with me that can be signed!


Thanks to Tori and Kristen for letting me to tell you about both of these fantastic fangirl experiences! I was so lucky in 2017, and I hope to have more good luck in 2018. My goal is to return to TIFF this September to hit the film festival red carpet once again — here’s hoping more of my faves have premieres there this year!



Check out Mary’s blog here:

Mary’s Twitter: @extraordimary

Mary’s Instagram: @extraordimary

Listen to Mary’s episode here: