It feel kind if strange to write a happy blog post about how amazing last night was, knowing that Jared is hurting right now. I hope today is brighter for him. When he hurts, we all hurt. Simple as that.
Yesterday was The Hollywood Bowl show. This was an incredibly special day for so many reasons: It was my first band Meet and Greet for this tour cycle; it was the anniversary of Bec's first Meet and Greet; and they were VyRTing the show so that people all over the world could take part and join in the madness. The VyRT was doubley special (Yes I said doubley. What of it??) because for the first time, they were VyRTing the performance of another band as well -- Linkin Park. This was the first real test of how VyRT could reach audiences outside the Mars family, and it was a big day for Jared. Huge, really. He had been doing a VyRT Violet* almost every day to encourage people to take part and bet on VyRT. Bet on him. It really makes what happened even more heartbreaking, but I'll get to that.
I was extra nervous about the show for a number of reasons. I actually had three full meltdowns before the show. I'm talking rolling around on my bed and repeatedly saying "I can't do this. I can't do this. I can't do this." Some of you may wonder why I still get so worked up after having done a few Meet and Greets before /cough/ four, unless you count Artifact, in which case it's seven /cough/, but you have to understand, this band, these three men, they mean everything to me. I have never loved anything like I love them. I have never needed anything like I need them. I have this constant fear that they are going to hate me (which is stupid because as if they even know me) so before each Meet and Greet, I manage to convince myself that I am going to get my heart broken. That's never the case of course, but that's just how my mind works. Unfortunately.
We (Bec, Jess, Mum and I) got a free ride to The Bowl courtesy of the hotel, and began the horrible wait for check in. It was just ridiculously hot, but thankfully the AIW did their best to keep us in the shade and gave us plenty of water. After we checked in we waited in a little outdoor room for the guys to arrive. By this time I felt so sick that I thought I was going to pass out. It was a combination of extreme nerves, surviving on very little food (who can eat before you meet Mars?!) and the heat. I actually felt really horrible, but I tried to ignore it because I was determined not to let anything ruin my day.
After everyone had checked in, Reni came in to go through the same rules as always: No personal questions, what can and can't be signed, please be appropriate in your pictures. Suddenly everyone started clapping and cheering, and I saw the tops of Jared's and Tomo's heads bobbing along as they walked down pathway behind the brick wall that separated the 'room' from the rest of the venue. They came inside and everyone went crazy, clapping and cheering. Tomo sat down but Jared stood in front of the tables, smiling at the crowd. He stopped in front of someone who obviously didn't look happy enough and he said, "Are you in a bad mood?? No bad moods allowed! This day is far too exciting for any sad faces! If anyone doesn't smile I am kicking them out! This day is too good to have any sour pusses." He was so happy and excited. It was beautiful.
He then started to talk about VyRT and the broadcast for the evening. He asked if anyone had watched the VIP, and seemed kind of disappointed that no one had. He kept saying how we missed out and how much fun it was. He was also eating cereal while speaking, which was way more adorable than it should have been. Some people said they'd seen part of it, and he jumped on that quickly. "Where did you see it?? Twitter? Tumblr?" He said instagram clips are okay, but that's it's important not to leak more than the 15 second clips you can make for instagram. He encouraged us all to check out VyRT and asked if anyone didn't know what it was. Nobody raised their hands, so he laughed and said, "Some of you aren't being honest! Is it because you think I'm going to make fun of you?" A couple of people then tentatively raised their hands to say no, I don't know what VyRT is, and he laughed and said "What the fuck is wrong with you??" before explaining it properly.
Someone mentioned his watch (he was wearing the new Mars watch), and his adorable factor went through the roof. He was like, "Oh. My. This?" and was all giggly and happy. He spoke about the new Apple watch, and said that while the Mars watch couldn't take your temperature or measure your insulin levels, it did look like "THIS!" He spoke about how much he loves "making shit" and said, "Thank God some people buy it, because then I get to make more shit and I love it." It made me feel better about the amount of Mars merch I own, haha. (Spoiler alert: It's a lot.) He then passed around the watch for us all to have a look at it, and when it came to me I put it on. Because reasons. Haha. I wish I could have snapped a sneaky pic of me wearing it, but I didn't want to get in trouble.
Then it was time for questions. As always, I can't guarantee I remembered every question and every answer exactly as they were said, so forgive me if I mix anything up or leave anything out.
Somebody asked about how they cope with life's challenges, and Shannon said that it's really about finding what works for you and having a good network of people around you. He said that they lean on one another when things get tough, and they work through it together.
Someone else asked about what kind of music they are listening to right now, and Tomo mentioned a radio station (I can't remember which one), Shannon mentioned electronic music and Jared didn't say anything. But we know, Jared. We know. You're listening to Banks. Haha. While Shannon and Tomo were answering questions, Bart paid us a visit and drew a Bart Art on the table with a sharpie. I swear I could watch him work all day. The concentration in his eyes even for a simple doodle...I admire him so much. He hadn't finished the doodle by the time the signing started, so he kept hesitating on signing the posters so he could add a few more details.
There was a question about why the European shows get big events like the colour war, and Tomo said that while the colour war was amazing, it cost a lot to organize and even more to clean up. He said they got an enormous cleaning bill after that, so they won't be doing it again any time soon. Jared laughed and said that they should just hold one in a field somewhere so they don't have to clean up afterwards. It would never happen, but that would be seriously amazing.
Jared was incredibly happy, goofy and in a brilliant mood. He was laughing about how he has been twerking and wiggling his booty on VyRT, and then began to booty pop. I wish my eyes had a camera inside them because I need to watch that again and again and again. Ser-i-ous-ly. He was talking about how much junk he has in his trunk (Hahaha oh Jared) and said that he wiggles it so hard that it starts to come up over his shoulder, and he has to knock it back. It did all this while acting it out. How we made it out of there alive is a beyond me.
A couple of people tried to sneaky watch the Meet and Greet from above, so Jared stopped to talk to them. He mentioned their "handsome bisceps" and asked us if we thought other bands would have this much fun. Of course we all said no, because no other bands can even begin to compare to Mars (in my personal opinion of course!) The AIW staff then made those people move along.
After a couple more jokes and questions, it was time for the signing. I was only getting my official poster signed so there was no reason to be scared, but I was. The line seemed to move all too quickly and all too slowly at once, until I found myself standing in front of Shannon. He and Tomo signed my poster at the same time, and Shannon looked up at me, smiled, and said, "Cute flowers! I love them!" (I was wearing my flower crown). I giggled and said thank you as I stepped over to Jared. I swear he has heard me giggle way too often. Bec was in front of me in the line, and I saw Jared give her an adorable little smile and a wave. He was still smiling when he signed my poster, and our eyes met for a second. I both love and hate that. He looks at you like he is staring right into your soul. I thanked him and took my poster back with unsteady hands.
We ran back outside to join the line and obsessed over every single detail until it was time to take our pictures. I stood between Shannon and Jared and asked for Best Time Ever. Shannon said, "Sure! Best Time Ever, guys!" and stuck his leg up in the air in front of me. I have no idea what my face was doing because my arm was on Jared's bare, sweaty ribs. Haha. I think he had his arms up but I'm not sure. Guess I'll have to wait for the picture to find out! The picture was taken and I felt Jared give me a gentle but firm push towards the edge of the photo area, as they always do. As usual I skipped away and rejoined the line to collect my stuff.
While we waited we were able to watch the last few people get their pictures taken, and then the guys said their goodbyes. Jared told us to wish him luck with the VyRT (my heart) and then they were gone. We collected our things, went over to the signing table to take a picture of the real-life Bart Art and began the wait for the show.To be continued...
Jared's guitar pick. Which is now mine.
Real life Bart Art!!
TITLE LYRICS: 'Conquistador' by Thirty Seconds To Mars
*VyRT Violets are like Skyping with a couple of thousand people from around the world. They are concentrated awesome. For more info, go to beta.vyrt.com
For more posts about my adventures in The City Of Angels, click HERE.