From Ringer Helena. Here follows my memories of January 21 and 22, my birthday and the day I met Viggo Mortensen and Karl Urban:
I arrived at Tower Records by 7 pm to check Viggo’s books’ prices, since only those who bought at least one item next day would get a ticket for the signing. For my surprise, there were already a few women outside the store for the signing, they had blankets with them and the intention to spend the night there, in line on the street. We started talking , in the end I stayed with them all night and morning.
It wasn’t permitted to stay in front of the store, waiting for the next day event. After the store was closed, 2 security men came to spend the night outside and make sure no one line would be made until 5 am. During the night there were fans all around the store, waiting for a sign to start the line for the tickets. I had the most miserable night of my life, I have never felt so cold. I wanted to go to a warm place and have some sleep, but there were already more than a hundred people there. and no one knew how many tickets were available, for some reason they wouldn’t let us know, no matter how hard we tried. The night was horrible, but at least the company was good. There were some mean people there, but some great people too. I made good friends, since I was all alone and the youngest person, they looked after me. I’m very thankful.
At 5am we were told to get in line by the 2 men, everybody rushes, the space is small and some people got hurt and others lost their cell phones.
The morning came without sun to warm us, by 7 am there were more then 250 people in line. A employee came and told us to relax, that everyone in line by that time was going to get a ticket.
We entered the store by 10am, moving in line to the store’s stairs, from the first floor to the seventh, where we would get to buy the books and get the ticket. I got mine by 11 o’clock, ticket number 124. Now I had some free time until 5:30 pm, the time we were told to come back.
We got inside ‘Stage One’ by 6pm, one of the staff explained us the rules : no pictures, just one when you get on the stage (from a certain distance), it was ok to give him presents and one person could get just one item signed. After finished, he introduced Viggo and the crowd of 400 fans started screaming. Viggo spoke about the experience of making LOTR and thanked our patience, he knew we were there since very early in the morning. At last, he introduced a very dear friend of his in Japanese, Karl Urban. We had no idea Karl was coming, it was a big surprise. Karl and Viggo were wearing the famous t-shirts with messages against war, this time written in Japanese.
The signing finally started, the two were giving all the attention they could to each fan. Karl made the crowd laugh for several times, he waved, sang and made jokes. Viggo was too busy for that.
Since it was my birthday, I decided to be one of the last in line, so I could try to take a picture with Viggo. I waited for 4 hours, it was very hot in there and I was feeling sick. When my turn got closer, I showed my ID to a Japanese lady standing by Viggo, to prove it was my birthday and try to get a picture. She was very rude to me, in fact, all the staff, from the night-security guys to those up in the stage weren’t nice people at all, I am sure the actors would not approve the way we were treated by the staff, but since they don’t understand Japanese, they have no idea of what was going on.
So, after dealing with the mean woman, I got to be in front of Viggo. I tried to talk to him in Spanish about the picture, but apparently it was so weird that he thought I was Italian. I laughed and said ‘no, Brazilian!’. He took my camera from my hands and tried to take a picture of us, but the camera didn’t work. I told him to ask the rude woman to take it for us, and he did. Now she had to take the picture, well done! The picture she took turned out great, I am very thankful. After taking the picture and getting his autograph on my book, I moved to get Karl’s sign. We talked about ‘The price of milk’ and he said Happy Birthday to me. He signed me a Eomer picture.
Despite waiting in the cold for more than 10 hours, in the hot for 4 hours and the horrible staff people, I believe everyone left Stage One with a big smile and shining eyes.