Tuesday, October 27, 2009

FAN REPORT: Luke & Noah Event in Paris

On October 17, the first Luke and Noah fan event in Paris took place. It's pretty amazing to me that a couple from a United States soap has become so popular that an international event in France was organized when AS THE WORLD TURNS doesn't even air in that country. That's to fans who post the clips on YouTube and DailyMotion (one fan translates every clip into French), fans around the world are able to follow the story. It would be wonderful if soaps from all over the world found a way to monetize their international following.

Nadine Schulz has written a detailed fan report from the October 17 event which was such a success that an event next year is already being discussed.

Continue to read Nadine's Paris fan event report...

It all started in February 2008 when I watched a clip of Luke and Noah’s famous first kiss on YouTube. The actors’ charm and talent hooked me right from the start and so I became one of their biggest fans. Jake and Van’s talent and devotion to their characters were the reasons I fell in love with two of the most wonderful characters on American daytime.

After a few months I heard stories of fans meeting Van and Jake at several fan events like the ATWT Fan Luncheon or Soapfest. I only heard good, amazing things about the guys like how incredibly sweet and appreciative they are of their fans, so of course I envied the people who had the chance to attend those events. I am from Europe and a college student, that’s why I thought that I would never have the chance to meet those two fantastic actors myself.

But then last June the “Luke and Noah in Paris” event was made official. I couldn’t believe that Jake and Van would actually come to Europe to meet their fans. Of course I started planning my trip to Paris right away. A few weeks and conversations with the organizers later, I was a volunteer for the event. With each passing week I got more and more excited to meet the actors and to be a part of such an event.

As the 17th October finally arrived, I still couldn’t quite grab it that it was THE day. Like I mentioned before, I was a volunteer and had to be at the venue about one and a half hours earlier than the others. I helped with decorations, setting up tables for the meet&greet and later I helped cleaning up the place a bit. Before we started working though, the organizers showed us around. They showed us where the meet&greet, the Q&A, the raffles/auctions , the photo and autograph sessions were about to be held. Additionally, they showed us around backstage: our staff room, the restrooms and the guys’ dressing room.

All those weeks before the event, I thought I would be incredibly nervous to meet Jake and Van but to my surprise that wasn’t the case. The first time I saw them was backstage. I was on my way to the staff room to get money to buy raffle tickets when I spotted them for the first time. The actors stood right in front of the staff room and I have to admit, I didn’t recognize them right away. It took me a few seconds before I realized that I was about to walk past Van Hansis and Jake Silbermann. I only got a shy “Hi” out before I disappeared into the staff room.

As I left the room a minute later, the guys were gone. I walked back to the others and just arrived in time for the guys to be introduced to their fans. You could really feel the excitement in the room. Everyone was so happy and excited to finally meet Van and Jake. The fans welcomed the guys with loud applause and cheers. After they had been introduced it was time for the meet&greet. Jake and Van mingled a bit and talked to their fans for a while. I only had the chance and time to talk to Jake for a bit. It was amazing to talk to a guy whose work I had admired for over a year. I always thought that I would be so nervous and shy when the time came to actually talk to Jake but somehow that wasn’t the case. Jake is so easy to talk to and he actually keeps the conversation going. That’s one part I loved most about meeting him. Jake is a down to earth guy who is really interested in getting to know his fans a little bit.

Before I had the chance to have a little chat with Van, the time for the meet&greet was up. Van and Jake went backstage to prepare for the coming Q&A. Within minutes fans found their seats in the Auditorium where the Q&A was about to happen. Thanks to my staff status, I was lucky to get a seat in the first row, pretty much right in front of Jake and Van.

The Q&A started with the usual questions about the current storyline and what the show has in store for us. Of course the guys couldn’t really say anything. They just teased us as always. Van once again mentioned that Jake’s best work so far is coming up soon and that the current Mason storyline is more a build up to the next storyline than anything else.

What I really enjoyed during the Q&A was the little scene Van and Jake acted out for us. It was the scene in the park where Luke asked Noah how he could compete with Mason which aired about one and a half months ago. It was amazing to see the guys getting into character and to actually act right in front of us. After that they did a French version of that scene. Let’s just say we all had a blast. Including the guys.

Another thing I loved was the picture show where Van and Jake shared some memories with us. It’s always nice to hear funny stories from behind the scenes like Jake running after a chihuahua which escaped from its owner. The last point from the Q&A I would like to mention is the association game Jake and Van played. Jake gave Van a few words and Van had to tell us which word – or sometimes in Van’s case sounds – came up to his mind first. Van wasn’t really that creative. For example Jake said “Lily” and Van went “pad” or he just made a funny sound. Jake once went “That’s not a word” but Van defended himself with “It’s the first thing that came to my mind”.

It was definitely a blast to watch Jake and Van interact with each other and joke around. It’s such a beautiful thing to see that these guys are great friends in real life.

After the Q&A it was time for the raffles and auctions. You were able to win signed scripts, shirts the guys wore on the show, a thing called Mystery Box, a VIP ticket for the dinner only VIP ticket holders could attend to that evening and all kinds of other stuff.

I was one of the lucky winners that day. I won the Mystery Box which consisted of a doctor’s coat from the Oakdale Memorial, pictures of other ATWT actors, an ATWT shot glass (Van, Jake, one of the organizers and I had to snicker a bit as she pulled out the shot glass), two ATWT coffee mugs, an ATWT “to do” list with a pen, an Eiffel Tower key chain, a free 8 x 10 photo and one free photo with Van or Jake. While one of the organizers was showing the guys, the audience and me what was in the Mystery Box I had quite a hard time to actually concentrate on my prize because Van and Jake were right behind me. Yes, the guys are distracting even though they aren’t really doing anything.

After the raffles the guys auctioned off things like signed scripts, coffee mugs and shirts they had worn on the show. Van and Jake definitely have a talent for auctioning. As I found out later the guys weren’t supposed to be a part of the raffles/auction thing. One of the organizers told me that they checked the schedule of the event and saw a point called “raffles/auctions and games”. Jake and Van were told that they didn’t have to be there, that they could relax backstage but they wanted to be a part of it and helped the organizers with the raffles and auctions. That once again shows what amazing guys Van and Jake actually are.

A little while later it was time for the photo session. You got one free photo with both guys, for additional photos you had to pay. To my luck I had bought individual photos with Van and Jake before I won that free photo at the raffles. Well, that way I got four photos instead of three.

After I told the photographer and Jake that I had won a free photo and chose to take it with him, he threw his arms around me and squeezed me. The photo turned out great and that moment is a moment I certainly won’t forget anytime soon.

Between the photo session and the autograph session I had a little time to get something to drink and eat. Plus, Bijou – a fan from the Netherlands – and I talked a bit about which gift we should give Van and Jake first. She and I had made cookbooks for the guys, additionally we sort of represented one of the biggest fanpages of Luke and Noah – the Luke & Noah wiki. Fans from the Luke & Noah wiki had raised some money and with that money we adopted a dolphin for Van called Moonlight and a leopard triplet called Sami, Nimira and Alam for Jake. With these adoptions the foundation will support and protect the adopted animals.

We ended up giving Van a stuffed dolphin and a card signed by a bunch of wiki members first. We already knew that Van loved that gift because Bijou had sent him a pm on Facebook about a couple of weeks before and Van had thanked us via pm and via status message. He once again thanked us and said how happy he was that we did that for him. Then we gave him his cookbook and thankfully he loved that gift, too. He mentioned that Jake and he loved to cook and that it was a great gift.

After Bijou got her autograph I gave him a drawing I had done months ago. Back in April I drew a pic of Nuke á la Simpsons. I had sent Van a scan of that drawing on Facebook weeks before the event and he let me know that he thought it was awesome and hilarious. That’s why I thought it would be a nice idea to give him a copy of it. He immediately recognized the picture and thanked me.

A few moments later it was time to let Jake know about the adoptions. We gave him a stuffed leopard and a signed card as well. Jake hadn’t read my pm on Facebook yet and went “Aww no, you didn’t”. He was definitely happy about what we did for him. Then it was my time to give him his cookbook. I think at first he didn’t realize that it was a book especially made for him, because after flipping through the pages he closed the book and went “It says for Jake” and pointed to the cover. I think that’s the moment it dawned on him that it wasn’t a normal cookbook you could buy in a bookshop. He thanked me a bunch of times for it and he had a huge smile all over his face. Of course I let Jake sign my photo before I left his table. Then I watched the other fans approaching the guys to give them presents and to let them sign their photos.

After the autograph session we did a group photo with us fans, the organizers and of course Van and Jake. The photo turned out great and everybody looks very happy in it. Before the guys left they gave a short, little speech where they told us what an amazing time they had and how thankful they were that we all came to Paris to meet them. As the guys left, we applauded and cheered once again.

October 17th 2009 is definitely a day I won’t forget. It was incredible to finally meet two of the most talented and sweetest actors you can find on this planet. Van and Jake are very appreciative of their fans and you actually believe them when they tell you that they are so thankful for your support. Even hours after the event, I was still on a high. I couldn’t stop looking at my pictures with the guys, especially that one picture with Jake. It was an incredible day and I am so happy that I went to this event. I still can’t quite believe that I met Jake Silbermann and Van Hansis. It still feels surreal sometimes but my pictures and videos remind me of this fantastic day every single day. This day was definitely worth the wait.


  1. Thanks for the recap, Nadine. You made me feel as if I had been there. I'm not sure which I like better, the fact that fans like you appreciate and respect the guys so much, or the fact that the guys appreciate and respect us so much. I guess it goes both ways.

    I'm glad the event was such a success. There is no better way to show Van and Jake how much their true fans appreciate them.

  2. Roger thanks for covering this :) I think the fact that there was an event in paris for Luke and Noah is amazing.

    and Nads, I've told you before that I loved this recap but it bears repeating. You made me feel like I was right there with you enjoying the guys smiles and conversations. Thanks for the detailed report and I hope there is a trip next year. The guys are amazing and have such respect for their fans. It's always nice to see the fans who respect them as well.