The year was 2010 and I stood in a line queue at New York Comic Con. I fidgeted with my fuzzy bear cap and anxiously danced in place as the front of the line grew nearer and nearer. Back then, Artist Alley and the Celebrity Autograph area were one in the same, and since the crowds were nowhere near as insane as they are today, it was MUCH easier to meet celebrities back then. When I saw that Felicia Day would be signing and doing photo ops, I knew I had to meet her. Unfortunately I was a college freshman, and the, gasp, 20 dollars to take a photo was way out of my price range, especially on Sunday of NYCC. As I got to the front of the line, I remember approaching the table which was up on a small platform. “Hey! I’m Felicia, It’s so nice to meet you! What’s your name?” “Uh…Amanda.” “Well, hi Amanda!” “I’m really poor and I don’t have money to take a picture with you or get an autograph, but I just really wanted to tell you that I love The Guild and I loved you on Buffy and you’re pretty much the reason I even came on Sunday.” I blurted out in a weird run-on-sentence way. “I’m sorry I don’t have any money.” I said, looking down and away from her. “No, no, don’t be sorry! I’m so glad you came by to talk to me. That’s pretty much the sweetest thing that anyone’s done for me all day.” I tried to make small talk through my starstruck stupor. “Did–did you get to see any of the convention today?” “No, I wish, I’ve kind of been stuck at this table all day. But I hope you’re having a great time and you enjoy the last day.” “I won’t keep you any longer, I know you’re probably busy…” “No, It’s really no problem.” Felicia stands up and shakes my hand with both hands, firmly and with a smile upon her face. “It was really nice to meet you, Amanda.”
Would you believe it was THIS encounter that lead me to eventually start up this blog? I mean, if you’re reading this and know ANYTHING about Felicia Day, you know she kind of pioneered the Internet in terms of webseries and general nerdery, you know, before Comic Con was mainstream. But, yeah, I’d be lying if I said that this toe to toe encounter with one of my Buffy/nerd faves didn’t shape me in some way. All the awkwardness and conversation above is 100% true, and yes, Felicia Day is definitely that nice. She seems like someone you could be friends with in real life.
Which is exactly the way she comes across in her book, a New York Times Bestseller, “You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)”. My fellow geeks will definitely appreciate this book. It definitely doesn’t pull any punches in terms of the extreme awkwardness of our youth. For example, she explains in extreme detail the first encounter she had IRL with her roleplaying buddies, which was a scene that was all too familiar to someone like me, who spent time on countless forums rather than interacting with kids in my own school, who just didn’t understand my weird hobbies.
I really enjoyed learning more about her early life as well. She really paints a picture of what it was like to grow up in a small town in the South, being home schooled and thriving on the Internet between study sessions, as well as the blessing/curse of being ‘gifted for your age’. Did you know she went to college at age 16? And that she was a violinist? Crazy.
Most celebrity memoirs gloss over the hardships of getting where they are today, but not this one. Felicia’s foray into acting was anything but glamorous, and gives us a realistic image of what it’s like to break into the industry. (She tells a heartbreaking story about a jerk acting teacher who basically belittles her talent and picks on her for absolutely no reason at all. Booooo.) It definitely isn’t all sunshine and rainbows in Hollywood.
Bottom line, I would recommend this book to anyone who’s ever had a problem fitting in or who’s got at least one awkward bone in their body. Through her writing, Felicia Day makes you feel like she’s in your corner. She’s funny, smart as hell, and definitely gifted in all that she does…and an interesting person to boot. This book would be an awesome stocking stuffer for the Fangirl or Geek Guy in your life.
And I’ll never forget how she inspired me that day, just by being nice. So thank you, Felicia Day, for being generally awesome..