Throughout my years as an entertainment journalist I have attended hundreds of red carpet events, movie premieres and of course, a whole lot of conventions. Naturally every event is different and I never know what to expect however, there are some things that remain the same each time, the fans are certainly devoted. This past weekend I attended Creation Entertainment’s Salute to The Vampire Diaries convention in Parsippany, New Jersey and it was definitely a step out of reality.
The Vampire Diaries is one of the CW’s most watched television series, based on the books by L.J. Smith. The series follows the lives of teens living in a town called Mystic Falls, where vampires and werewolves once existed and have once again returned. Of course, because it’s a show centered around teenagers romance and love triangles are prominent within the overall story. Teen girl, Elena Gilbert is torn between vampire, Stefan Salvatore and his bad boy brother, Damon, also a vampire. The series burst into popularity immediately and a lot of that can be attributed to star, Ian Somerhalder, who some might recognize as Boone from the JJ Abrams hit, Lost. Somerhalder is unbelievably gorgeous and it seems as though the casting director made sure that anyone cast on the series at least came close to Somerhalder’s level of attractiveness. Due to it’s attractive, young cast the series and the conventions attract mostly female fans, many of which are under the age of 30. But who can blame them? What teen girl doesn’t want a sexy unforbidden love affair with a smoldering blue-eyed vampire?
The convention was held at the Hilton Hotel just off the highway, a convenient location for anyone traveling from out of state but not entirely convenient for those who choose not to stay at the convention hotel, like myself. In order to get to the Hilton from my hotel I was forced to make a bunch of frustrating u-turns into heavy traffic, which made the idea of leaving my hotel less appealing. Once I ventured out of my hotel to register at the convention I was transported into a world where vampires, werewolves and hybrids exist and in this world, that’s a good thing. The three-day event began on Friday mid-afternoon with a welcoming by the convention’s host, Micah Parker, who played the hybrid Adrian on the series. Parker was joined by the house band, Samurai Fish, lead by Chase Coleman who played Oliver on the Vampire Diaries spinoff series, The Originals. The convention has a variety of different events including autograph sessions, photo opportunities and of course, a slew of different panels. Friday’s panels included Micah Parker, Chase Coleman and Chris Brochu, who played Luke Parker on The Vampire Diaries. Brochu, a name you should recognize from a recent interview I did, was one of the highlights of the day for me. He was a true gentleman and treated the fans as his equals. Fans lined up for his autograph and photo ops and came out squealing with delight.
For me, the best part of the Creation Entertainment events is Friday night karaoke. This is the one time where there are no rules, well except for the obvious rule to behave oneself, and anyone and everyone can attend...free of charge. Thanks, in large part, to the success of the karaoke events at the Supernatural conventions, Friday night’s karaoke was 80s themed although upon walking in the ballroom I didn’t see many people dressed for such a theme. Mostly girls were dressed in barely there outfits. One-by-one fans got up on stage and sang their favorite karaoke versions of popular songs from Bon Jovi to Eminem, with the help of Chase Coleman, Micah Parker and Chris Brochu, of course. The evening turned into chaos as Coleman jumped into the crowd and made fans’ day as he sang right to them. Another highlight of the karaoke party came when Brochu showed off his rap skills during an Eminem song. Talk about multi-talented! I usually don’t make it through the entire karaoke party but the crowd and the energy level was so intoxicating I didn’t realize how late it was until I got back to my hotel room and of course, I had to be up early the next morning.
Saturday welcomed more music from Coleman and hosting by Parker but it also welcome a few new guests including Zach Roerig (Matt Donovan - the only human left on the show), a return of Chris Brochu and Chris Wood, who plays one of the sexiest villains I’ve ever seen...Kai. Wood was someone that I was truly looking forward to seeing. Despite his villainous behavior, Kai was one of my favorite characters on the show, plus the fact that Wood is drop dead gorgeous didn’t hurt. Of course, Saturday night was the big draw with the concert starting Samurai Fish as well as special guests, including David Alpay (Professor Shane). The concert began at 9:00 p.m. with Samurai Fish kicking it off and rocking out like there was no tomorrow. Fans screamed and sang along to every song and then came the big surprise, David Alpay killing it on violin! And when I say killing it I mean, wow!! If you didn’t already find him sexy than seeing him play the heck out of the violin would have changed your mind instantly! It was the absolute highlight of the evening.
Sunday was the big, busy day with both Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley making an appearance. However, for me the big deal was Matthew Davis (Alaric Saltzman). I have been a fan of his since I first saw him in Legally Blonde all those years ago but he didn’t do many conventions. In the morning I took my picture with Ian Somerhalder, which most people would have been squealing about but not me. I was calm and collected and gearing up for my big moment with Davis. When the moment came my hands were clammy and shaky and I could barely hold myself up. It was so bad that even Davis noticed and literally pumped my arm up and down to loosen me up before wrapping it around his remarkable stomach. He was as gorgeous as I thought he’d be and doubly as nice. But I must admit the sexy tattoo he has on his forearm took me by surprise and nearly forced me to melt in my seat during his Q&A. Now, you all know that I do not get star struck simply because to me, a celebrity is just another person, but Davis had me giddy and bubbly and ready to burst at the seams. What is that about?
Unfortunately shortly after my photo op with the only celebrity to make me giddy, I had to retire back to reality and back to New York awaiting the next convention and the next brilliantly good time.