by Chris Tobias
I’m going to meet Summer Glau at Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con in a little over a week. If I had a bucket list, I’m pretty sure that would be on it, and I’m very appreciative of the fact that she’s taking time out of her busy schedule and private life to visit our great state and meet with us PA Browncoats. (In fact, she was the first of the Firefly cast members to sign on for Wizard World Philly.)
I was initially opposed to the idea of ever paying for an autograph or photo-op because I’ve always equated it to paying to be kissed. I have to admit I was surprised how quickly my conviction weakened, however, once I learned Summer Glau was going to be at Wizard World Philadelphia!
I am a fan of Summer Glau’s work on many levels. I think her performance as River Tam in Firefly and Serenity demonstrated not only physical grace and dexterity, but also dramatic chops that remain underrated to this day, and in her role as Cameron in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles she proved she had the toughness it takes to be a kick-ass action hero. Since then she has taken on a variety of roles in varying genres (Dollhouse, The 4400, The Unit, The Cape, Mammoth, Help for the Holidays, Alphas, Hawaii Five-O, the soon to be released Knights of Bad-Assdom and the indie short Inside the Box, to name a few) and I have yet to see her give a bad acting performance. As the son of a dance teacher and someone who has been around dance and musical theatre for most of his life, I admire her obvious talent as a dancer, and as a martial artist with over a decade of training, I am in awe of how quickly and effectively she learned Wu Shu for Serenity. Next to Nathan Fillion (because come on, who doesn’t love the cap’n?), there is no member of the Firefly cast I admire more.
And yes, I’ll admit that I find her exceptionally attractive. In fact, I’ve been known to admit jokingly to my German students from time to time that I’d watch Summer Glau read the San Antonio phone book! (Earlier this year it resulted in my AP German 4 class writing a skit as part of their annual Karneval project in which I judged a “phone book reading contest” that pitted Summer Glau against Scarlett Johannson, Katarina Witt and a popular local newscaster!) It was my desire to be able to prove to my students that I actually met Summer Glau that initially convinced me to pony up the necessary coin to reserve a photo-op with her at Wizard World, but I’m pretty sure that somewhere deep down there is also an element of Charlie Brown paying to have his picture taken with the little red-haired girl. I’d be lying if I said I weren’t a little nervous about the whole thing, and though I know it won’t be more than a couple of minutes (perhaps even less than a minute), I want to do everything I can to ensure that the smile on her face in the photo is genuine.
So, I will not be uttering anything ridiculous like “Gee, it’s hot in here. It must be Summer.” (How many times do you think she’s heard that one? There’s obviously a reason why it was featured as part of the gang’s antics when she appeared on The Big Bang Theory.) Nor will I greet her with “Eta kuram na smekh” (though I’d give her credit for having a sense of humor if she pretended to fall asleep if someone did), and of course I’ll do my best to remember my own suggestions from our most recent post in order to avoid making her feel awkward or uncomfortable. Let’s face it, she’s a professional and has a ton of experience in situations like this, so even if I’m nervous beyond the capacity for rational thought, as long as I follow her lead I’m pretty sure she’ll do what she does best and make the scene work. So really, all I need to figure out is whether I want to have a very simple and conservative photo taken standing next to my favorite actress, or whether I want to ask her (politely) to indulge me by playing along with something choreographed and zany.
I wonder where I can find a copy of the San Antonio phone book…