A Great Story From A Castle Fan & Stanatic At The Castle Paley Panel

September 30, 2013.  It was a Monday.  It was also the day of the Castle panel at the Paley Center for Media.  I had been sick all weekend with rapidly progressing sinus nastiness, but I didn’t care because it was the big day. I had been waiting for months.  It was time to be in the same room as Stana “Shana is a crazed fangirl and thinks she’s a unicorn” Katic, Nathan “omg he was so good as Caleb that he scared Shana out of watching him as Captain Tightpants for YEARS” Fillion, and the rest of the Castle cast.  It was time to live the dream… 
I awoke at 7:00 am to two bits of disturbing information:  First, the only reason why I was awake was that a telemarketer called to discuss my non-existent mortgage.  Secondly, despite the fact that I hadn’t heard anything concrete one way or another regarding a plan to get in line with some of my fellow fans, there were people that had been lined up since 3:00 am.  I’m not a morning person at all, so being awake at 7:00 and getting bad news?  Didn’t exactly start my day off on the right foot.  Or in the right universe, frankly.  When 8:00 rolled around and I wasn’t able to get back to sleep, I sent out some angry tweets, got myself fed and dressed, and called a cab company to get me to fandom headquarters outside of Paley.  $36 and tons of major anxiety later, I was there by around 10:00 am.
I’m not going to lie.  It took me a while to get out of my bad mood, especially when I heard that there were things like petty rivalries that caused people to line up that early, or that an entire group of people had just dumped a bunch of chairs in line early in the morning to get themselves a good spot in line but then left (they seriously didn’t come back until it was almost time to be let in at 6:00 pm…), or a few other not-so-savory things.  Eventually, though, I found myself opening up and having a good time.  I got to talk to a lot of fans that I knew from twitter.  I even met a ton of other people as well.  As it turns out, we were an incredibly diverse group.  There were Castle fans from all over the US and all over the world.  I was aware of fans from Romania, England, Australia, and Canada; I’m sure there were also other countries represented.  And aside from that initial nastiness, which I had finally gotten over, it turned out to be a really fun environment to be in.  People were very supportive and willing to watch each others’ belongings while we did things, like going to grab lunch at nearby eateries or running to the Starbucks for potty breaks and much-needed power outlets to charge our phones.  I mean, we all had to tweet about our day, right?

Sometime in the middle of the day, Juliana Dever came by to bring us dessert, sign autographs, and take pictures.  (In case you’re bad with names, Juliana Dever is the wife of Seamus Dever.  Seamus plays Detective Kevin Ryan on Castle, and Juliana plays his wife Jenny.)  Juliana was almost completely unrecognizable at first, but when I realized who she was, I did a fair bit of fangirling.  She took a totally goofy picture with me, which I pretended to attack my incredibly delicious strawberry cream cake pop (chosen because the icing was pink, obviously), and then she moved on to the next group of fans.  At one point, I heard her asking if we’d caught the interview that Seamus did on KTLA that morning.  I’d missed it, but apparently others hadn’t.  Bonus?  Juliana asked something along the lines of, “wasn’t he adorable” about her own husband, and when people agreed, she also put a “he was sooooo cute” out there.  Win.  In case you couldn’t tell from the fact that she BOUGHT ENOUGH DESSERT FOR ALL OF THE FANS IN LINE AND BROUGHT IT TO US, Juliana was a wonderful, sweet person.  I feel honored to have met her.
Tons of hours (and trips to Starbucks) later, it was finally time to go inside for the panel.  Ohhhhhh the panel.  I’m not going to recap much of it because it’s available on the internet for you to watch for yourself (as you should), but I WILL recap what it was like to be there.  I never thought I’d be anywhere near anyone from my favorite show, but there I was in the room with almost the entire cast, as well as the (least evil of all evil showrunners) showrunner and tons of other people involved with the show.  Costume designer Luke Reichle, producer Terri Miller, and set designer Alfred Sole all sat only a couple of rows in front of me, and I’m sure there were others that I somehow missed.  It was unreal.  Watching the actors interact with each other and answer questions about the best damned show on tv was just…surreal.  I tried to capture the moment with 100s of pictures, none of which were super great because of where I was sitting, but honestly, there never could’ve been a way to capture what it was like in that room.
Because I’m admittedly so enamored with Stana Katic, I spent a ton of time just watching her.  It was sort of like how I really want to admire the great work of everyone on Castle when I watch the show but constantly find myself watching The Stana Show instead.  She just has that power over me.  As most things involving Stana do, the discussion deteriorated into talking about THE HAIR at one point.  It wasn’t even me that did it this time, unlike in some of our SRTV staff meetings!  Stana turned a lovely shade of red as Susan Sullivan (aka Martha Rodgers) discussed her latest hairporn of a haircut, and I turned a lovely shade of dead fangirl in the process.  I thought this was going to be the highlight of the entire panel for me, but Stana had to go and top it.  She also had to go and make me fall a lot more in love with her (as if THAT’s healthy) with what she had to say about the Castle fans.  Stana’s words won her a standing ovation from the crowd, as they should have.  Here they are:
“I think before we leave, you guys should know that we’re grateful for all of you.       This show doesn’t sustain without all of you.  It only lasted the first two seasons      because of you.  So, thank you, this is our honor to be here for you.”
As the cast was leaving, fans got up from the front rows to get autographs.  I was the fourth to last row, so I was utterly heartbroken.  I thought my one chance to meet anyone was blown by being so close to the back.  After some pushing from a dear friend, though, I ran down to the front of the room.  Most of the actors were already gone, but Stana Katic herself was still there signing autographs, as was showrunner Andrew Marlowe.  I made a beeline for Stana.  As I mentioned at the beginning of this word vomit, I was sick all weekend.  A long day of hanging out and chatting with fellow members of the fandom had left me nearly voiceless, but I managed to croak out Stana’s name and look pathetic whilst holding up one of the limited edition script pages from her film, “For Lovers Only.”  Stana nodded her head and gave me a quick half-smile, then resumed signing for the people in front of me.
I waited.  And waited.  And waited.  I felt myself shaking both inside and out.  I kept waiting.  And shaking.  And waiting.  The wait was probably a couple of minutes at most, but it felt like it was way longer than the entire day that I had already spent waiting outside.
The next thing I knew, I started hallucinating unicorn voices…no wait, that’s not right.  In actuality, I heard Stana saying, “let me make sure I get this signed for you” to someone.  Turns out that someone was ME.  She asked me my name, I said “Shana.  It’s only one letter from Stana.”  The thing is, my fading voice made it so she didn’t hear that second part, which has kind of been an important fandom thing for me for a while now.  Drat.  So, she asked me how to spell my name.  I was like, “oh, it’s like Stana with an H where the T should be.”  She said “cool,” (SHE ACTUALLY SAID COOL) did her signing thing, and then moved on to the person next to me, who happened to be one of my Australian twitter buds. I’m glad I got to share that moment with her, even if she WAS so happy to be meeting Stana that she didn’t even notice when I nudged her!
Here’s the thing that makes Stana signing autographs for us even more awesome:  We were repeatedly told by “important” people handling the event that Stana had to leave, and there couldn’t be anymore autographs.  “This has to be the last one!  She has to go, people” was the security guy’s constant refrain and my constant nightmare.  Stana, however, had other plans and kept signing for all of us fans.  As I said before, I honestly thought that I wasn’t going to have a chance to get to meet her, especially after I saw that the rest of the cast was gone in the blink of an eye.  If you weren’t in the very front, you didn’t get a single thing signed by anyone who wasn’t Stana or Mr. Marlowe.  Stana was incredibly gracious and kind in a way that makes me more convinced than ever that she can’t possibly be a mere human.  Because of the rush and the state of my voice, I didn’t get to tell her the multitude of things that I wish I could, but I’m still glad to have spent even a brief moment in her presence.  As soon as I get home on my red eye flight and pass out for a few hours, I’m running straight out to get a frame for that script so I can keep it on my wall as a reminder that sometimes, even if there’s a rocky start, dreams really do come true.
I made it a point to thank Stana after she signed that script for me.  I hope she heard me, but a simple “thank you” will never be enough to say how grateful I am or what that moment with her meant to me.  I really can’t thank her enough.  I also can’t thank my bud Christy enough for sending me that script page.  It’s quite possible that I wouldn’t have been noticed if I hadn’t had that thing with me.  I also can’t thank the universe enough for sending me good vibes after my excruciatingly painful self restraint on my first night in town.
And the best part?  This wasn’t even my only chance with Stana like I thought it would be…you’ll have to check out the next installment to find out what happened next!

Source: Our friends from showratings.tv
Captain Founder, Administrator, Editor and Writer

The moment that I met you, my life became extraordinary. You taught me to be my best self, to look forward to tomorrow's adventures. And when I was vulnerable, you were strong. I love you, Richard Castle. And I want to live my life in the warmth of your smile and the strength of your embrace. I promise you I will love you. I will be your friend and your partner in crime and in life, always. - Kate Beckett The moment we met, my life became extraordinary. You taught me more about myself than I knew there was to learn. You are the joy in my heart. You're the last person I want to see every night when I close my eyes. I love you, Katherine Beckett. And the mystery of you is the one I want to spend the rest of my life exploring. I promise to love you, to be your friend, and your partner in crime and life, 'till death do us part, and for the time of our lives. - Richard Castle

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