As I have moved into the world of these social networks I heard about things such as the Child’s Play Charity Dinner. This year when it came up I decided I had to go. Several of my co-workers had gone in past years and they said it was a good time. I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I haven’t gone to any auctions before and I haven’t gone to any conventions (PAX or Comic Con) either. But getting dressed up for charity sounded like fun.
At the beginning they just have a silent auction. They had a lot of interesting things. The Guild Jones soda, jewelry made with dice, quilts, large bundles of Xbox 1 stuff, etc. I went in with the idea that I wasn’t going to bid on anything, but there was so much cool stuff. It was a little hard to say no to some of it, but knowing that I would never use it or have a good place to display it.
Beth ended up bidding on The Guild Jones’ Soda pack. As we were walking back to see if she was out bid, there was Sandeep, i.e. Zaboo, looking at the auction! It was just kind of crazy to have had the chance to be right there and talk with him.
As we were wandering around I heard what sounded like a familiar voice. Turning around I saw that it was THE Wil Wheaton! Pointing out Wil and Anne to Beth got her all excited and then she tried to hide behind me. After talking Beth into it being ok to say hi to Anne and try to get a picture we went up to say hi. I was nervous as well, not really sure what to say. I also didn’t want to ruin either of their nights. I wasn’t sure if this was one of those places where you are just supposed to “merge” in and not really call out the other people. I believe that I said hi, and then Anne started to ask who I was, paused, and then asked if I was Derek… Wait, did she just recognize me? She just recognized me from the 1 or 2 twitter conversations that we had!
The dinner started and the food was good, maybe not $70 a plate awesome, but still good. It was enjoyable to see them auction off the other crazy things. The dynamic of how the prices increased and how much people ultimately ended up spending on things was unbelievable. But, that is the whole point of a charity auction right?
The guys at our table ended up joining forces to try to get a tour of 343 and a voice mail by Jen Taylor. They ended up biding the item up to $5100! At another point in the night, Jerry and Mike were trying to waste some time until the next couple items were ready. To be funny some people in the audience raised their card to indicate that they were bidding. Mike responded with “What are you doing? There isn’t anything up here but us.” I am not sure if he did that on purpose because, well that just made EVERYONE start to bid. Then the Idea hit him and he started auctioning off for Jerry to take off his jacket. Quickly the biding got up to $1000! And yes, he did take is jacket off.
After dinner was over, I went over to talk with Wil and see if I couldn’t get a picture with him. It was interesting getting to talk with him and him recognizing when I mentioned I was the one behind Bob the replica detent ping pong ball.
It also made me realize, getting to read his words every day on Twitter, kind of breaks the barrier between fan and star a little. Talking with him, it sounded very much like he was performing. Well not that he wasn’t genuine, but that he was separated. Thinking about it, I don’t blame him. I mean I am sure everywhere he goes, he has fans coming up to him and talking with him, wanting pictures, and wanting something from him. Sure, there has to be the thrill and joy of having people that admire you and want to talk with you. But I can see that easily wearing on anyone.
So Wil, if you ever read this. I really hope I was not too much of a burden and I really appreciate you taking the time to talk with me and letting me get a picture with you. And then I over think this… Have I mentioned I over think things? I really don’t want Wil to think that I am ungrateful, or for him to feel like he gave an air of not wanting to be there talking with me… I just… Well I am digging this hole deeper. I’ll stop here. Thanks Wil!