Meeting Paul Wesley
To give you some background information, Paul Wesley is not the only celebrity I have met. In fact, I have met many celebrities over the years, given that I live in California. Some I have seen in concerts, or live events, and/or some that I ran into coincidentally.
The story about meeting Paul Wesley is one of the most memorable memories I have. It puts a smile on my face every time I think about it.
And the story begins…
My friend, Alex, and I arrived at the Westfield Topanga Mall in Canoga Park, close to Los Angeles. We went up the escalator to the second floor where the Hot Topic store was, but by the time we got there, there were at least 30 people in line! The line to get to Hot Topic was long, and this is where we bought our shirts in order to get into the meet and greet with the main cast. The beginning of the line started when we walked a few feet from the escalator. Most of the girls in line were all wearing the same shirt we bought. Alex and I didn’t want to wear the shirt because I guess we wanted to stand out from everyone. The shirt had the three main stars of the TV Show: Paul Wesley, Nina Dobrev, and Ian Somerhalder, underneath with the title, “The Vampire Diaries Cast Tour.” The fans (many of them girls) lined up and waited for the main cast to arrive. It reminded me like Disneyland, where we had to wait to get in line for the ride, except it was to see the stars. The line was huge U shape, and we waited behind glass with the bars. Alex and I looked at each other, and we knew that we would be in line for a while.
I found out about the Vampire Diaries cast tour through Facebook. If it weren’t for social media, I wouldn’t have met Paul Wesley in the first place. I graduated from high school, and it was summertime. I was scrolling through my news feed on Facebook, out of boredom, and I was hoping to find something fun to do that summer. At one point, I saw something on Facebook that caught my eye. There was an event that was coming up, and it was the “Vampire Diaries Cast Tour.” Hot Topic was sponsoring this event, and, at the time, the company put together big events that involved music or pop culture. This event was to meet the main cast: Nina Dobrev, who plays the role of Elena, Paul Wesley, who plays the role of Stefan, and Ian Somerhalder, who plays the role of Damon. I was so excited! I was (and still am) a huge fan of the T.V. show. Back then, this show just finished midway through season 1. My friend, Alex, who also loved that show, and was thrilled as soon as I told her about the event. Once I saw this, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to meet the cast of my favorite show and that this opportunity would never come up again.
The summary of the show The Vampire Diaries goes like this. It follows Elena, a young heroine who is the object of passion for two vampire brothers. Four months after the tragic car accident that killed their parents, 17-year-old Elena Gilbert and her 15-year-old brother, Jeremy, are still trying to cope with their grief and move on with their lives. As the school year begins, Elena is fascinated by a handsome and mysterious new student, Stefan Salvatore. Stefan and Elena are immediately drawn to one another. Elena has no way of knowing that Stefan is a centuries-old vampire, struggling to live peacefully among humans. At the same time, his brother Damon is the embodiment of vampire violence and brutality. Elena then becomes attached to both vampire brothers, and she is torn between the two of them: Stefan, who is good, and Damon, who is bad.
I guess you could say that like Elena. I, too, was torn between the two characters: Damon and Stefan Salvatore, because they were incredibly good-looking. As I watched Paul Wesley playing Stefan’s role, I was drawn to him more than Ian. I liked the role he played. He was such a gentleman, a bit mysterious, and he sacrificed a lot to save Elena’s life when she was human. That was when I became infatuated with Paul Wesley as Stefan Salvatore. I then realized that in the Vampire Diaries Cast Tour, Alex and I were going to meet the main cast of my favorite T.V. show.
It was an hour since we patiently stood in the line. While my friend, Alex, and I were waiting, we overheard the fans saying we can ask the cast questions. I encouraged my friend and said that we should think of some questions to ask them, and she agreed to it. Alex got a tiny piece of paper and pen out of her purse, and we brainstormed questions we wanted to ask.
“What should we ask Ian, Nina, and Paul? Do you have any ideas?”
“I haven’t got anything yet. I’ll let you know when I think of something,” I answered.
It had taken us a while to get started. Alex first wrote her questions, and then later, I wrote what I wanted. We labeled our questions according to whom we wanted our questions to. Two questions were for Paul, another two questions were for Ian, and one question was for Nina. Asking these questions and meeting them made me feel all giddy, and I was proud of myself for finding this event in the first place.
Two hours later, the fans in line were screaming excitedly. I had to know what the commotion was all about, and then I asked someone about what happened. The latest update was that only Paul Wesley had shown up. Ian and Nina were on their way on a private jet, but would not be able to make it to the meet and greet with the fans. However, all three of them would be at the live interview that would take place after the meet and greet.
We were a little disappointed about the news, but at least one of them had shown up for the meet and greet. It could have been worse if we could not meet the cast at all. I was thankful that never happened.
We realized that the meet and greet were starting because, finally, the line started to move. I was glad of this because it felt that we had been waiting for a long time. The more we got closer to the store, the more Alex and I were excited and nervous.
When we finally got inside the store, there was Paul Wesley, sitting behind a table with a bunch of posters stacked on top. My anxiousness grew. There were two girls ahead of me. One was talking to Paul while the other was getting ready to talk to him. Soon, I was next. I was just a few feet away from Paul, my celebrity crush. There was a guy in front of Paul Wesley who told everyone about the rules, which were not to ask any personal information and basically common sense of things when you meet someone. The guy spoke so fast that it was overwhelming and hard to comprehend, but exciting nevertheless because I was so close to meeting Paul.
I then moved over, and Paul Wesley was standing before me. He looked flawless up close. I wondered if he put any foundation on his face before he came, but I couldn’t care less. He spiked his light brown hair in the front, and he had a masculine jawline. He certainly was the guy who played Stefan in my favorite T.V. show. He was right in front of me. I was shocked, but I knew I had to keep my cool.
“Hi, how are you?” Paul Wesley greeted me with a smile as he signed a poster quickly and gave it to me.
The poster had Paul on the left, Nina in the middle, and Ian on the right with “The Vampire Diaries” sign underneath their faces. Paul signed on the left underneath his face of the poster.
“I’m good, how about you?” I replied.
“By the way, thank you for coming down here to support the show.”
I then told him that he was a great actor, which I figured he would have liked hearing from a fan. He thanked me politely as he smiled about that comment. He asked my name and other little details. Everything was going so well until I had a feeling that I had to go because probably other fans like me were dying to meet him. I then left.
I felt a little relieved after leaving. I was waiting for Alex to talk to her outside of the store. It was nerve-wracking that there was so much security outside and inside the store for just one actor. After a few minutes later, Alex came out, and she was beaming. I’d never seen her smile this big before. She told me Paul Wesley was going to ask me where I went to school, but I left, and he was chuckling about it. This surprised me. I remembered how his talks with the other girls seemed so short, but it felt longer when it was my turn. I guessed he had some interest in me. I wanted to go back inside, but I knew it would be too late. Most likely, the security wouldn’t have let me back in.
As we moved away from the store, I asked my friend about how her encounter with Paul had gone. She told me she’d been speechless and that her mouth could not move. All she’d done was nod her head. I guess I didn’t feel as bad when she told me that. At least, my celebrity crush and I had a decent conversation.
After that, I was psyched that I’d gotten to meet and know Paul Wesley, and now had a poster with his signature on it. My friend and I got dinner, and we watched the live interview on the second floor. It was one of the greatest moments of my life. Sometimes I wonder if I will end up meeting Paul Wesley again at another event.