Many fangirls up at the front of the stage, some of whom have been waiting all day. The TWoP group (me, Shoebox, Marmie, Calamity, Shing, Sophiesmom and Nocturnal Blonde) gradually assembles at a healthy distance from the crowd. We wait, and eat some chocolate chip cookies I brought from home. Several strangers admire my t-shirt.
5:30. Jann Arden comes and goes, and makes funny talk with the DJ's but doesn't actually sing. The DJ's play "Good Mother" and you can see the teenies at the front looking at each other all confused, like, "Wait, isn't this Theresa's song?"
6:30. Kalan shows up right on time, looking neither fragile or androgynous (it would seem that neither TV nor still cameras do him any favours), and sits down with the DJ's for a brief interview -- not that we could hear anything he had to say, over all the SCREAM!ing from the front. Then he sings. He screws up the beginning of the song, but recovers well and puts on a pretty decent performance, considering how tired he must be by now.
Since I was one of the 150 people who happened to arrive through the right door at the right time to get a wristband, I join the lineup to get my t-shirt autographed. Rules are: one item only to be signed, no personalization, keep the line moving. They let only three or four people in to the signing area at a time, probably for fear that otherwise the crazed fangirlies would trample Kalan like a herd of rampaging buffalo. (Only not, because if they were buffalo, Kalan would have no trouble dealing with them. But anyway...)
I'm waiting at the gate when Kalan's manager (Jim Campbell, IIRC), looked over at me and burst out laughing. "Look at her t-shirt!" he said to the guy standing beside him -- probably another of Kalan's handlers -- and the other guy laughed too. "That's great," he said.
When I got up to Kalan, I said, "Do you like my shirt?" and grinned. He just gave a sort of thin, weary-looking smile and said "Yeah." I don't think he actually read the "Fear My Manly Hat" bit, he just saw that it was a picture of him and immediately tuned out on the rest. Too bad -- I was hoping he'd get at least some amusement out of it. I'd already got the OK from Kalan's manager to have the shirt signed, so at his direction I sat down on the table, with a hulking security guard on either side (what did they think I was going to do, fall backward and crush the poor kid?), and Kalan signed the back of the shirt. A couple of people took pics of this little exercise, during and after.
Remember what I said about the camera not being kind to this boy, though. None of the pics I've seen from Sherway, even the best ones, looked anything like the Kalan I saw that night. I've always found him more attractive as a performer than just to look at, but I have to admit that in person, the kid is almost supernaturally good-looking -- and, despite the curls, he really doesn't come across as even slightly feminine.
After getting the t-shirt and a CD insert signed (Jim told Kalan to sign two things for me instead of just one -- he must really have got a kick out of the shirt) I returned to the table where Shoebox, Shing and Calamity were waiting, and I gave the shirt to Shoebox. I had to convince her that yes, I really did want her to have it, and that in fact I'd planned to give it to her -- Kalan's signature included -- all along. But eventually she took it, and I think she was pretty pleased.
As a final note, I told my husband what had happened when I got home, and we chuckled together about some of the crazier fangirlies (especially the middle-aged SCREAMers at the front). Then he put on a little-girl voice and said, "Ooh, Kalan touched your back! Does that mean that if I touch your back, I'm touching Kalan Porter?" And then later, as we were drifting off to sleep, he poked me between the shoulderblades and said, "EEE!!! I touched Kalan!"
So I smacked him. After I stopped laughing, that is.
And that is all.