You get Star Fucking With Kevin Smith.
This was my first time at SModCastle, and the stars couldn't have aligned any straighter for me. From the amazing people who were in line with me, to the fucking orgasmic food from the food truck of Tapa Boy (I believe that was the name), things were setting up for a great show. And man, did the universe deliver.
Kevin came out and set up the show for us. This was going to be a unique experience in where we were going to learn more about Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer than what Wiki gets wrong about them.
Sure enough, every string of the heart, every elbow with a sense of humor was pulled and banged respectively as Kevin delved into the wonder that is Neil and Amanda which I will from now and all time refer to as Gai-Pal! Probably not.
As if that weren't enough, the Jacks and Jane of some trades had something special in store for us. Amanda Palmer was first up to bat.
Now I should make note, I have heard of Amanda Palmer, I have followed her on Twitter, but I have never heard a song of hers, or have heard her perform. It's just one of those things in life that weirdly works out that way for no other reason than because it did. I would liken the experience to that of a solar eclipse. You would think as a resident of Earth, that you would at least once in your life experience a solar eclipse. But you'd be surprised how many people have never been witness to one. Sure you've seen it on a documentary, and it sure as hell can't look any prettier than it does in the title sequence of the now-cancelled show "Heroes", but nothing can ever compare to the actual experience.
Amanda Palmer was my solar eclipse experience.
She made me laugh, think, and cry in a minute and forty seconds, and left me jaw-dropped. Just like a celestial movement, I couldn't believe it happened, I couldn't believe I was experiencing it, (hell, I couldn't believe this was coming from a ukulele!), but most importantly, I didn't ever want it to end. Most people sing songs, Amanda Palmer lives music. I still have goosebumps after watching her perform Half Jack.
I was left flabbergasted. I felt like someone birthed me. Kevin comes out after her performance and introduces Neil.
What? So soon? I needed a second to catch my breath. I was just given a glimpse into someone's BEING, how the hell are you going to introduce me to someone else right now? How the hell is Neil going to top that?
I'll tell you how, with a glint of his eyes and a smile.
If Amanda Palmer was like experiencing birth, Neil Gaiman is the slap on the ass that allows you to breathe your first breath.
You cannot imagine the joyful rarity there is in hearing a writer read his own work. As much as I can assume that having an audio book of Charlton Heston reading Coraline would be this side of morbidly awesome, no one person could ever read it the way the writer intended it, not truly anyhow.
And Neil delivered. He read a piece that is near and dear to every writer's heart. I believe I laughed louder than anyone in the room when he mentioned the T.V. being on as he wrote. Writers, in general, are recluse creatures, and each has its own methodology in writing, some do it at Starbucks, some do it in a log cabin in winter, and others do it late at night with the T.V. on as a light source and background noise. It was an honor to share this particular trait with Neil.
How does one top off a perfect evening? You do an encore, that's how! But not just any encore, we get a trifecta finish with Neil, Amanda, and Kevin doing an impromptu reading of an excerpt of American Gods.
Amanda ended the evening with one more song. And I filed out more energized than I started out in the evening, still trying to understand what Kevin has just done. He basically laid bare the souls of two incredibly talented individuals for all in the Castle to see, and we were walking away from that as if that was the norm in life. "This was L.A., we do magic for a living", was what was racing through my mind.
But then it hit me. There was magic to be had in this kingdom. There was a new castle, a SMod one at that, that was just as enchanted as any other, and it resided on Santa Monica Boulevard of all places. This was going to be the norm.
This was Star Fucking with Kevin Smith, come back next time, we'll do it all over again.