SDCC 2012: Nerd HQ!
One of the best parts of this year’s San Diego Comic-Con experience was actually an offsite event: Nerd HQ. Nerd HQ hosted a series of intimate panels with the likes of Stan Lee, Joss Whedon, Nathan Fillion, Jared Padelecki, and more. At $20 a pop for tickets to these Conversations for a Cause, the organization was able to raise $140,000 for Operation Smile in one weekend. I feel proud to have been a very small part of that, as an audience member and customer. Woo hoo! Not only did 100% of the ticket sales go to an awesome charity, but the panels themselves were unbelievably entertaining. Couldn’t make it to San Diego last week? Didn’t manage to score any of the quick-selling tickets? The Nerd Machine made all the panels available via live streaming on Break.com. Score! And if you’d like to support Operation Smile, here is a link to donate, provided by @thenerdmachine.
Francesca and I were able to attend the Chuck conversation on Thursday, July 12th, 2012. You can find Part 1 of the video here and Part 2 here. It was the best. After watching so many panels in Comic-Con rooms like Ballroom 20 and Hall H, where we were surrounded by 4,000-6,000 screaming fans, an audience of only 225 felt super intimate. We could actually see the stage, and not have to watch video monitors! Can you imagine? Here are some tidbits from the Chuck conversation:
- Panelists included Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, Adam Baldwin, Josh Gomez, Mark Christopher Lawrence, Vik Sahay, and Mekenna Melvin. There was also a special appearance by Ryan McPartlin’s head, and quick call-ins from McPartlin and Sarah Lancaster.
- The cast talked a bit about where their characters will be in 10 years. Yvonne joked that Sarah and Chuck will have 10 kids. Then she and Zachary did a little “sexy-time” chair dance.
- For part of the panel, Levi held a huge bust of Captain Awesome’s head. Ryan McPartlin even talked to the audience a bit, through the magic of Levi’s ventriloquist skills. Levi also said what we have all been thinking: McPartlin would have been great in Magic Mike. Sequel please?
- Yvonne said that she would have liked to perform with Jeffster, “Salt-n-Pepa style.” Then she performed a short dance, while the crowd (and panelists) beatboxed “Push It.”
- On the question of what the cast learned from their characters, Josh offered the following answer: “Adam Baldwin doesn’t learn things from his characters. His characters learn things from Adam Baldwin.”
- Adam Baldwin was sipping on Stella during the panel. Excellent. It was nice to finally someone at one of these things drinking something besides water.
After the panel was over, there was a signing with the cast, but we had some time to kill. We decided to hunt down these free Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hats that Francesca had spotted earlier that morning.
Success! A little backstory: growing up, I had a very noticeable birthmark on my forehead that literally looked like the Foot Clan symbol, so my brother used to always make fun of me (lovingly, I’m sure). I blame this for my life-long love of villains. I was born into it. Hail Shredder! Armed with our geeky new hats, Francesca and I decided to check out the Nerd HQ bar, which was very cool. Check out the video below for a closer look at the nerdy scene.
In the video, we were in line to buy Nerd HQ merchandise. Totally worth it, because the gear is super cute. I bought one of the tank-tops, and Frani got the green “Robonerdicorn” tee. Next was the Chuck signing, but we were woefully unprepared. The first and only time we waited in line for a signing, the poster was provided for us. Not the case here. Oops. Luckily, Nerd HQ had a free photo both, so we took some pictures and got those signed by the cast. Nerds!
Later that night, Francesca and I stopped by the Nerd HQ party–the one open to the public. It was pretty low key, but the drinks and music were fun. After a bit, Zachary Levi showed up, and offered to take pictures with fans. $20 a photo-op, and all the money went to Operation Smile. Some girls paid $100 for a kiss on the cheek, and one even paid $1,000 for a kiss on the lips. We did not go that far, but Frani did get a pic with Levi, blowing kisses to each other. Anything for the children, you know. She was really willing to suffer for charity. So selfless. Viva La Nerdolution!