Edmonton Expo 2015: Carrie Fisher
Updated: May 28
When my sister left to go line up to get Carrie Fisher's autograph for my brother, I stayed behind to man my table in artist alley. My mother kept me company, she was curled up in a corner with her book.
Suddenly there was a dog wandering about, off leash. I was like “Mom! Mom! Look, there's dog! Look!” and with minimal effort she popped up to sneak a peek before quickly returning to her book. All the while I'm thinking 'That's weird. I thought pets weren't allowed because of allergy concerns...' but a crowd soon formed around the cute dog with its tongue hanging out and, since everyone seemed okay with it, I shrugged it off.
An Expo attendee approached my booth and we got to talking, that is, until the attendee suddenly exclaimed something like, “Holy crap! Carrie Fisher is right there!”
“Where?” I looked behind the booth into the main pathway, thinking that she was walking along the edge of the room as she was probably on her way from one event to another.
“Try peeking through the booth next to you,” suggested the Expo attendee.
I tried but I had no idea where Carrie Fisher was supposed to be and there was no space for mobility on my side of the table.
That's when a second attendee tried to help me out, “Look through the crack between the posters of the booth next to you.”
Again, I had no idea where I was supposed to be looking to spot Carrie Fisher but that was quickly resolved when she was suddenly at my table.
at. MY. table. MINE! MY TABLE!
Carrie Fisher was... was at...
Oh. MY. GOD.
By some MIRACLE I managed to stay calm—on the outside—and did my usual spiel:
“The samples of my and are up here and I have all my prints listed down here.”
I don't really remember any of what she said and I’m not even remotely sure if I shook her hand in greeting, but what I DO remember is that I—
a girl with social anxiety disorder who has absolutely NO confidence when participating social interactions, not even with close family, and who also has had a handful a near mortifying interactions with celebrities
—was cool as a cucumber while having one Hell of a panic attack. “Actually, I've done a commissioned piece featuring Princess Leia before. It was for an Australian exchange student who was heading home. She was a Star Wars fan so I was asked to draw a picture of Princess Leia and 'something Canadian' so I drew her in a snow storm and did a bad star wars pun— hang on, I think I have it right here..."
I picked up my iPad and quickly looked for the piece in question. When I had trouble finding it, my anxiety built up hard and fast at the thought that I might be keeping the actress waiting. Thankfully, I found the picture soon enough, not as quick as I would have preferred but soon enough.
"Here it is!" I held out the iPad so Carrie Fisher and her entourage could see. I think they enjoyed the bad pun, they laughed. "If you'd like, I could give you a print—wait—I could send you a copy if you'd like." I was pretty sure the clients who had commissioned that art wouldn’t mind my sending a copy to the starlet herself and I’m ABSOLUTELY certain that the recipient of said artwork would approve of Carrie Fisher having the only other copy.
I definitely remember Carrie Fisher saying "Please do!" and I floundered a little because ‘How does one send something to a celebrity in a way they actually get it?’ but her agent answered my—maybe mumbled—question by immediately giving me his business card and said "Contact me and I'll make sure she gets it." I gratefully accepted and then they were off to the next stall.
After a small pause I turned to my mom and was like “OMG! Mom! Did you see?” “See what?" "Carrie Fisher!" “Seriously?” “Princess Leia! She was just here!"