Friday, August 30, 2013

The Day I Met Aaron Ashmore- Guest Post

Today's guest blogger is Tiarna Lehmann, a 19 year-old Australian whose enthusiasm for the actors she loves reminds me a little of myself. 

I don't know if I followed Tiarna first on Twitter, or if it was the reverse, but I do know that I started reading her posts the same week that I got the "My Brother's Keeper" DVD, starring Aaron Ashmore in the mail. Steve Byers, whose interview with me you can read here, also has a significant role in the movie. I'd bought it in my quest to watch as much of Steve Byers' non-scary stuff as possible.  Not to mention I'd thoroughly enjoyed watching Aaron in previous roles, including Jimmy on "Smallville."

Steve saw my tweet about getting ready to watch it and informed me via Twitter that his role wasn't as a very nice guy in the film. He also joked about having to wear spandex in the film, but said that at least Aaron Ashmore did too, and being a jokester, he was teasing Aaron about it.  Somewhere amidst the banter, Tiarna or I saw the other's comments and started Tweeting.  I informed her that as a big fan of Aaron's she absolutely had to watch the film, since Aaron is in almost every frame of it since he plays both lead roles as twins.

I'd noticed the photo of her with stars of "Warehouse 13" on her Twitter page and asked her about it.  She was so enthusiastic about meeting Aaron Ashmore and Eddie McClintock, that I asked her to write a piece about what it was like meeting them. 

This is part 1 of 2, and in it, she talks about several performers she's passionate about, and about Aaron Ashmore.  I asked about Eddie and she assured me she'd address what it was like meeting him in a second part to her guest blog post at a later date.

Since I haven't met Tiarna, I asked her a few questions of my own to get an idea of the perspective from which she wrote her post.  She's a pretty interesting person herself.  Here's what she had to say:

Christina Williams:  Your twitter name is @InspiringCamels which is pretty unusual.  Would you be willing to share the story behind that?
Tiarna Lehmann: Well, the full name is 'inspiringcamelsofmilwaukee'. Now, anyone who knows me would know I'm a massive fan of the band, Hanson. There is a silly story behind it:
     Interviewer: "Who is the most inspiring person you've ever met?"
     Taylor: "I don't know about person, but I did meet an inspiring camel once."
Now, I wanted a place name and I remembered they have a song called "Man From Milwaukee", so BAM! 'inspiringcamelsofmilwaukee' was created.

Aaron actually asked me to explain it to him! :)
CW: Are you friends with, or just a fan of the  two guys you talk about at the beginning of the post? 
TL: No, I don't personally know them, I'm just a massive fan of them. After seeing them in the Les Miserables film, and realising they've both been in the West End stage production of it, among many other productions, I just fell in love with them and their beautiful voices. But I have received a fair amount of tweets from them both! They're both Irishmen, living in London and not very many people in Australia know of them.
CW: Other than Warehouse 13 and Animorphs that you watched as a kid, are there other scifi shows you're wild about?
TL: Weirdly enough, there's not very many other sci-fi shows I can get into. I have a massive mix of genres of I'm into. At the moment, it's the crime genre (The Following, Breakout Kings and Graceland)

CW: I've noticed that you have quite a few photos of you in costume on your Twitter page.  Are you an actress?  Professional or community theater?
TL: I wouldn't really consider myself an actress. I danced for 11 years in a local dance club, did all five school productions while I was in high school, plus two class drama productions, the most memorable was a play called "Juvie", by Jerome McDonough. 

"Set in a juvenile detention center, Juvie depicts the life of kids that are scared, lonely and locked up. Some are drug offenders, some have killed and some are just misfits...Although the set never changes, the 'juvies' venture out of their cells to tell why and how they were caught. The barren cell and lack of props are effective and in keeping with each character's desolation" ~ San Jose Spartan Daily

But this year, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to be a part of the Riverland Musical Society's production of "Anything Goes", where I was a chorus member and what I like to call "Screaming Fangirl Number 1". Suits me, don't you think?
CW:  I think "Screaming Fangirl Number 1" suits her perfectly, and like I said, she reminds me of myself.  That's just about the same part I had in a high school production of "Bye Bye Birdie" quite some time ago. 

CW:  Following we have what Tiarna wrote about the day she met Aaron well as her take on a couple of other performers she loves.

The Day I Met Aaron Ashmore
By Tiarna Lehmann

It’s no secret to those who know me who my favourite actors are, whether it be the West End stage actors Fra Fee who played Jean Prouvaire, as well as first covers Marius and Enjolras in Les Miserables as well as Coufeyrac in the highly successful  2012 film, as well as roles in the stage versions of Dirty Dancing and Fame or Killian Donnelly, who was second cover Javert and Enjolras, later moved to principal Enjolras, plus third cover Jean Valjean in Les Mis as well as Combferre in the film. He was also Raoul in Phantom Of The Opera and Tony in the West End’s Billy Elliot: The Musical, finishing earlier this year and is soon to be starring as Deco in Roddy Doyle’s The Commitments, both of these actors, both Irish, are fantastic, trained singers and some of their works can be found on YouTube.
Fra Fee-- photo from

 Killian Donnelly- Photo from a web link no longer up

Fra Fee – The X-Mas Factor (a silly parody video showing Fra’s comic talents)
Empty Chairs at Empty Tables (Fra Fee - Live on BBC Radio Ulster)
Killian Donnelly – I Heard It Through The Grapevine (Live on “Saturday Night With Miriam”)
Killian Donnelly – Bring Him Home
I’ve also had two Twitter interactions with Killian and three from Fra :)
Okay, enough about these two amazing stage actors-slash-singers, you’re probably interested in my experiences meeting Aaron Ashmore, the equally as amazing older half of the gorgeous Ashmore twins, aren’t you?

Well, okay.

So, backstory cut short, I’ve been a fan of Shawn since I was four years old and Animorphs was airing and, well, like many people, I didn’t realise he was a twin. Terrible person, aren’t I? I’m sorry.

Anyway, I decided to check some of his works and I stumbled upon Warehouse 13 which I fell in love with instantly. I also checked many of his other films and shows, including those crazy Servitude shenanigans including being thrown into a dumpster with a licence plate reading “STD MFN”, Playing a set of rivalling twins by himself in My Brother’s Keeper and one of Veronica’s bad-boy boyfriends, Troy Vandergraff in a few episodes of Veronica Mars as well as playing another bad-boy, Matt “Hutch” Hutchinson in The Skulls II. All of these were awesome but of course it was his portrayal of Steve Jinks in Warehouse 13 that I enjoyed most.
I remember seeing a tweet from Eddie McClintock announcing that he’ll be going to Oz Comic-Con, so I checked out the website, not only he was going to be in Australia, but he was going to be in Adelaide – just a two-hour drive from where I live, and Aaron was going to be there too!
The two-month wait was painful.
It was the morning of the 16th of March, 2013. My best friend, Lizzie (a fellow nerd) and I had travelled to Adelaide the night before (my first time driving through Adelaide – you’re welcome). Trust me, when you’re on public transport at Comic-Con time, you can tell who is an attendee, usually because they’re in costume. Lizzie and I didn’t bother dressing up, mainly because we ran out of time before we could organise anything.
The day was going off to a interesting start. After purchasing my tokens at around 9:30am, after a HUUGGGEEEE wait, I went and lined up at the second photo booth which is where I believed Eddie McClintock would be and the volunteer up the front asked the group, “Who’s here for the Warehouse 13 double photo?” I put my hand straight up and they let me straight through, even though I was at the back of the line of about 20 or more people.
I will admit, my heart was beating rapidly and I was a little nervous, and I was running through the things I’d say to them in my head. A few weeks earlier, I woke up to an Instagram notification saying that Aaron was following me, even though I hadn’t asked him, even though I’d asked Shawn’s wife Dana to as we’d been having many a conversation on Twitter. That was pretty exciting. I walked through the curtain and there Eddie and Aaron were, being them smiley selves. I walked up to Aaron and gave him a hug and introduced myself and then said, “So, you probably recognise me as InspiringCamelsOfMilwaukee on Instagram.” He knew what I was talking about J
I went and hugged Eddie, and he actually mispronounced by name as ‘Tiana’, rather than ‘Tiarna’, but I really couldn’t bring myself to correct him. After Eddie hugged me, I turned around and Aaron had his arms out, looking for another hug. I FELT LOVED!

Christina Williams:  Thanks Tiarna. Can't wait to read more when you send me part 2 of your fan encounter :)  For evidence of my being a "crazy fangirl" you can read post about wanting to adopt actor Steve Byers.



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