Home > Death, Los Angeles, Nerd, TV > Remembering Andy. Remembering life.

Remembering Andy. Remembering life.

Buffy Summers may not slay sickness the way she does vampires, but she and her gang comfort me through sickness in other ways.

Buffy, Xander and Willow on VHS were my most reliable companions through my  lonely season in South Korea. They held me through my law school years in Los Angeles, and a later move to Japan. Unlike the friends and family with whom I loved watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I could pack them up and ship them with me, a portability I cherished. Being with the latter Scooby gang far away from home made me feel not so far away from home at all.

I’ve mentioned I was a fangirl, and that I worked as an extra on the show several times, but I haven’t really talked much about the specifics of my fandom. Sometimes it’s a little embarrassing to remember how devoted I was to a television show. Most the time, though, I just smile and shake my head at my younger self, all the while remembering to be thankful she led me on such interesting adventures.

This morning, sick and happily lost in Buffy marathon, there’s no embarrassment, just gratitude as I remember one specific fangirl encounter.

One of my fangirl delights in law school was the annual Posting Board Party, where various fans gathered together various Buffy-related folk for a party benefiting charity. My first one resulted in pictures such as these:

Me with Alexis Denisof (Buffy & Angel's "Wesley")

Me with Alexis Denisof (Buffy & Angel‘s “Wesley”)

Me and Amy Acker (Angel's "Fred")

Me and Amy Acker (Angel‘s “Fred”)

I have other pictures to show my fandom, such as ones where I did silly scene recreations like those below, taken at “Sunnydale High.”

Full of grace

Full of grace

Missing the skateboard

Missing the skateboard

At a later Posting Board Party, I took pictures of actor Andy Hallett, Angel‘s karaoke-loving “Lorne,” as he belted out a few tunes. I had just developed them the next day when Andy himself walked by. My friend Briel and I said hello and that we’d actually just been looking at our pictures of him. He sat down to look through and chat over the pictures with us and left having sweet-talked us out of at least one.

Andy Hallett

Andy Hallett

I thought of that exchange in late March 2009, when I learned he had died of heart failure. Although I didn’t know him personally, his work moved and continues to move me. I thought of it again when I awakened from a fevered dream, enveloped in the comfort of Buffy but saddened to remember Andy’s passage.

In my new year post, I said, “Always, I will be grateful to have another day left just to be.”

I am bedridden today, and feeling miserable. Physically, that is. Otherwise, I’m doing just fine. I’m in good company, company that’s kept me going through many years and hard times.

I’m glad the silly adventures I’ve had along the way are with me as I lie in bed and remember. I’m equally glad to know they’re with those who shared those adventures.

I may be sick, but I am also grateful, so grateful, I have another day just to be, and remember.

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Categories: Death, Los Angeles, Nerd, TV Tags: , , ,
  1. January 1, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    I always was an Angel fangirl more, though really I loved Spike the most. I watched Angel in reruns over and over and over some more in the mornings in my hotel rooms, for years. Even when I knew exactly what would happen in every scene I watched. I cried when I heard Andy Hallett passed.

    Feel better soon. Enjoy your Buffy marathon!

    • January 2, 2013 at 7:19 pm

      I loved Angel, too, but in a very different way than I loved Buffy. Even though S2 felt like the best season, it was S4–about growing up and branching out–that felt most like home to me. (That was the season I was watching, as it happens.) But Angel S5 has a special place in my heart, especiallyHole in the World, with such amazing work all around. I get goosebumps even thinking about it now.

      When I watched that episode the first time, I watched The Scene between Wesley and Fred and asked my then-boyfriend, “What do you want to bet that’s one of those miracle single-take scenes? Like, it was just so perfect the first time around there wasn’t any need to bother with another?” We watched the commentary and, indeed, that scene–slated for shooting the following day–only needed the single take. Andy (as Lorne, obviously) is bound up in that, too, because it’s his look when Fred starts singing that shows just how serious is what has transpired.

      I cried, too. And I feel better today. Part of that’s Anthony’s care. Another part is, I think, all the love here. ♥

  2. January 1, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    Deb, I missed all the Buffy years (I have a few decades on you, my dear!) but I did enjoy your account of being comforted while sick by familiar folks. My choice for a little TLC would be I Love Lucy or Raymond. Great post, and Happy New Year!

    • January 2, 2013 at 7:20 pm

      I Love Lucy! I would love to catch a little of that, honestly. My very first writing for fun was in second grade, when I started writing I Love Lucy choose-your-own-adventure stories. 🙂

  3. January 1, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    Dear Deb,

    Here on the summit I find that Buffy on Netflix has been a mainstay for many observers unable to sleep in unfamiliar, cramped dorm rooms and being out of phase with their circadian rhythms. At the urging of some of them I have watched one episode (the very first) and am glad to read how happy they have made you. I’ll think of you and watch for you as I begin to work my way through the canon.

    Be well, breathe deep, love.

    Happy New Year and Aloha,


    • January 2, 2013 at 7:26 pm

      Dear Doug,

      It makes me smile to see your name, even without reading the words that follow! Then, of course, actually reading your words is a sweeter treat.

      You miss a bit of back story if you start with the second season of Buffy, but it’s a more compelling place to start if you find your attention wandering during episodes from the first season. They’d really found their groove by then.

      Angel is edgier, and darker (although still with the killer humor, as it were), but I’ll always love how Buffy takes me back to my early teen dreams for my future. I didn’t know about “vampire slayers” then, but I did know I was destined to become a superhero.

      I’m still working on that one, but it’s easy to touch the dream, even while sick, when watching my favorite team of crimefighters.

      Happy new year!


  4. January 1, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    I hope you get to feeling better! I totally loved Buffy too back in the day and watched it and reruns over and over again. Definitely embrace the fandom especially if it gives you comfort watching those favorite shows when you aren’t feeling too hot.

    • January 2, 2013 at 7:28 pm

      Thank you! Most of the embarrassment has subsided as I’ve learned what parts I want to take with me and what parts are better left behind, but I still have occasional moments. Really, though? But for fandom, my BFF and I would never have met. And I would never have been accidentally locked in a food closet, however briefly, with ASH. These are memories for smiles, and I’m glad for them.

  5. January 1, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    I love that you were a FANGIRL and you had these adventures! Not many people can say they met so many of the stars of their favorite shows. What a neat thing for him to do, sit down and look at photos w/you! I wonder if he knew that was important to the fans and/or if he was simply just being a nice guy. Thanks for sharing!


    • January 2, 2013 at 7:30 pm

      Thank you for reading, and commenting! Even more exciting for me was being in the show. That was the part that I couldn’t get over: the magic of standing on Sunnydale’s main street and remembering looking at that very street time and again with good friends back home. Being able to hear myself shouting in one episode doesn’t suck, either. 😉

  6. January 2, 2013 at 3:34 am

    God bless your great attitude, girl. I’m a little embarrassed how whiny I immediately got when I came down with the flu. Hope you get to feeling better soon!

    • January 2, 2013 at 7:33 pm

      I’m not always on my best behavior when sick, but it was pretty easy yesterday, with Anthony’s herculean efforts to make sure I was free to rest up. Thanks to that and about eighteen hours of sleep, I woke up feeling pretty darn spiffy today. Thanks, lady. ♥

  7. January 4, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Never got into “Buffy”, but know VERY well about being a fanboy, Maybe I’ll write about a few of the more memorable events, like talking with Kip Carpenter for a couple hours while having NO clue who he is. (Look up the British TV series “Robin Of Sherwood” – he created it.) But all that taught me the same thing as you learned – be thankful for having that day to enjoy.
    Regardless of how much a drooling fool you turn into when your favourite actress walks by in short-shorts. 😉
    Hope you’re feeling better!

  8. January 5, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Buffy was something my husband and I bonded over. In fact, our first date centered around watching the latest episode. Great things come from fandom.

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