I went to Let's Play Live 2017. This is my gushing story.
I don't usually go to many shows. When I do, I usually tag along to whatever my friends want to see. But, like many in the RT Community, I love RT, AH, and FH content a lot. I was determined to go see them in person. So come Wednesday, April 26th, I got out of work in DC a little early, Metro'd home, grabbed the car keys, hugged my kid goodnight, kissed my husband in thanks, and dived out the door to sit in traffic with my tickets for the show and the VIP meet-and-greet burning a hole in my pocket.
Two hours later, I was at the Baltimore Hippodrome-- Orchestra Row J, armed with a can of Stella, jittery with excitement. I grinned at my seat neighbor (a total stranger) like a lunatic (he was very nice about it), and expected whatever happened next to be awesome.
It was awesome. The show was pure energy, it was mayhem, it was hilarious, it was mustard and mayonnaise and broken bits of chair and table all over the stage and people running up and down the aisles shrieking the lyrics of Smashmouth's All Star at the tops of their lungs. It was everything I'd hoped for. Jack was an excellent emcee, with the air of one benevolently and barely retaining control over the proceedings. Elyse's querulous rendition of the Lord of the Rings song on the ocarina was a thing of muted hysterical beauty. Lawrence and James executed some kind of terrifying suplex thing that made everyone scream like we were on Monday Night Raw. Ryan went on a murder kick in the GTA heist and we all lost our minds. Bethany appeared for a moment to smile tolerantly at the lot of us and we all roared in approval. I could go on.
Maybe one or two hundred of us stayed after for the VIP event. We milled around as the theater emptied, tense with the excitement of meeting the guys and gal up close for real. Me, I wasn't sure what to expect. The VIP ticket had been expensive, but I figured if I could smile and shake hands with Gavin or something, I'd be more than happy.
We were escorted to a ballroom next to the auditorium, and the Let's Players walked in. Everyone cheered. I happened to be right near where Jack stopped, so I got in line to say hello to him. And when I said hi to him was when I realized that my expectations had been WAY too low.
Beginning with Jack, every single one of the guys I was able to talk to was so gracious, so warm, and so pleased to be talking to every single one of us. And more importantly, everyone was just so... normal. And I don't know why I was expecting anything different, but I was floored. Maybe I was just bracing for reality to be less excellent than the internet content I love? Maybe I was expecting some famous-people standoffishness? But no-- while all of us fans were quietly freaking out about meeting our favorite internet stars, they were just cool people, acting like we had all met up with some friends and were hanging out. There was nothing artificial, nothing bored or tired or forced about it. It was fantastic.
Jack wanted to know everyone's name and what we liked best about the event. He asked me my name, and remembered it later. Damn, I thought, baffled, that's rare in the world of normal professional networking, let alone at a fucking live theater show. I told Jeremy I loved the AH rap and he said "Thank you!!" with the biggest smile, like it was the first time he'd ever heard that. I found myself talking to Gavin about how it was weird to watch someone on the internet for years and then suddenly see their face responding to you in real life. What the fuck? Why was I chatting with Gavin Free about useless internet observations? Why was he smiling at me? Was this real life? I figured Geoff would be a funny asshole, but damn, what a sweetheart. I figured Ryan would be a sweetheart, but DAMN, what a sweetheart.
I know I'm a bit of a giddy mess, but I really did come away from that event with ten times more in the way of good feels than I thought I would-- and part of it was just realizing that the people in the content that I love are just that--normal, real humans, albeit behind the green curtain, honest-to-god delighted to be doing what they're doing. And that makes everything they do even more fun and impressive.
My only regret is that I couldn't follow them down to Florida and meet Michael and Funhaus at the next VIP event-- but hopefully next time. <3 Thanks, Jack, Bethany & team, and all of AH and FH and RT for an excellent, excellent time.