You didn't ask for it, but here you are: a post of extolling Alex Hirsch after I met him on Big Festival Russia! Initially I went on the Festival only because of Hirsch - to say him a huge "thank you" for "Gravity Falls" and get an autograph. I didn't expect more and tried not to give myself any baseless hopes. And that was an absolutely right tactic, because as a result it paid back handsomely. During the first day of the Festival I behaved like a tyrannical trainer and was mercilessly hurrying my friend lorna-ka
with whom we made this crusade to the Big Festival. To begin with, I didn't sleep all night (adrenaline is a terrible thing). We came to AVA Expo with the first bus at 10 a.m. Festival would open at 11.30, so we were standing near the gates for half an hour counting Dipper's caps in the mirror ceiling. We did damn right as we came so early, because by the time the Festival opened there was already a huge crowd and it all rushed to the "Gravity Falls" panel where autograph session with Alex Hirsch would be held. Each day of the Festival Alex would be able to host 250 people - 500 lucky beggars in two days. So the struggle was strong. Despite the fact that we were in the forefront in the queue I was only fiftieth and Lorna right after me. And so the great standing began. I remember this queue as something quiet pleasurable as I befriended so many wonderful people. There was a guy cosplaying Stan and pointing out each 15 minutes: "Only 4 hours left! Together we stand!" "One and a half hour left!" "I drink this "Slurm" for our queue - the best queue in the world!" and so on and so forth х) During this time Alex gave a press conference at the big stage. It was his first press conference after GF finale. And it finally blew my mind as I realized that it's all for real happening right hear, right now! I will not retell what Alex was talking about: you'd better watch fan-made videos or wait for the official video. It's really worth watching! Alex gave out lots of new information, canons and facts about different characters.
After 7 hours in the queue I appeared to be face to face with Alex Hirsch. What is Alex? Alex is one thousand and one smiles, rays of positivity, 150 level of soulfulness, unlimited sincerity and bearded mommy. I remember as 8 years ago I was at my one and only autograph session with Alan Wilder and how much thrill and trepidation I felt. But there were no such feels towards Alex. First of all, he is about the same age category as the rest of the people at the Festival. Secondly, he's behaving like a big child and everyone looking at him immediately wants to laugh, smile and fool around. He can gift himself to the others and inspire them with his energy, and he is doing it with such a great dedication that there are no doubts left in his sincerity. When it was my turn, I walked towards Alex with a brisk stride and didn't even have time to say a word as Alex exclaimed "Flapjack!" and embraced me in his flannel grasp. The fact is: there were hundreds of people wearing flannel shirts and my red and white striped shirt was highlighting in the crowd. But wearing it I was thinking about little Stan. I absolutely forgot that in "The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack" the main character was wearing red and white striped shirt too! After the hugs Alex noticed two brooches on my shirt: grunkle Stan and comics bubble with a word "fuck" (it was pinned in a way that looked like Stan was saying it). Alex burst out in laughter and barked in Stan's voice "FUCK!" Not every day the creator of your favourite cartoon says you "fuck" хD "Yup", - I said. - "It's a PG-13 edition!" (guess he liked it because he's currently working on a project oriented on an adult audience). I prepared a present for Alex: a linen bag with my print on it. I drew a picture with Alex sitting on a bear. The bear is wearing Ushanka hat and playing balalaika; Alex is holding vodka in one hand and a pickle cucumber in another. On the other side of the bag I drew Hirsch's head and a phrase from the picture he posted on Twitter: "Give me your vodka". Among other things on the front side I pinned 5 wooden brooches with traditionally Russian symbols. It's like I collected all the stereotypes and put Alex on the top of them. "It's a helpful present - you can put all the other presents in it!" He rejoiced childlike, laughed at the pictured, touched each brooch. After that I gave him my drawing for an autograph: he looked at it closely, noticed how many characters are drawn and laughed as he saw little Bill below the sheet: "Poor Bill!" "There is no place for him on a happy family portrait", - I justified. Another one wonderful thing about Alex: he wants to pay attention to each and everyone so that there will be no one deprived. Initially it was told that there will be only 30 seconds per person: 1 autograph and 1 photo. But Alex physically couldn't resist hugging every fan, drawing them some little sketches, making selfies and posing on camera. As a result 30 sec stretched into 1 minute and longer and even soft hints and pleas from organizers didn't help to speed up the process. Alex drew me sketch as well, signed it and engaged Bill in the corner. Then he made 3 selfies on my phone... I guess that's because he saw me making stupid faces each time he was making a photo, oh God xD In the end I literally soared away from this autograph session being full of incredible enthusiasm ⌒(o＾▽＾o)ノ
The second day of the Festival presented lots of surprises. There were so much more events with Alex this day: another autograph session, "Voice Acting" with Alex Hirsch and Sienduk (popular Russian blogger), Q&A, best cosplay chosen by Hirsch... and a farewell with Alex ): Master plan was done in the first day so we let ourselves relax and came to BF only at 12 a.m. If Saturday passed in the queue, Sunday I spent mostly standing near the stage. And it was worth it! Lorna and me were standing at the center in the third/fourth row near the stage, though during the event I somehow managed to get in the first row and due to the fact that people behind were pressing hard sometimes I was forced to literally lie my elbows down on the stage in order to save myself from being squashed х) The host of the second day was Sienduk... in a dinosaur suit! Twice he threw some stuff in the crowd and both were obtained by Lorna and me xD She caught a comics and I got a plastic plate, lol (it'll play it's role later!) You guys might not know it, but Sienduk dubbed GF (and "Rick and Morty" as well) all by himself and this monophonic dubbing is absolutely the best, it's much better than the official Disney dubbing. But Sienduk's dubbing is illegal as you can guess. And here we had the creator of GF and the pirate who dubbed GF in Russian on one stage. Practically everyone on BF: "OMG! Does Alex know about it? How would he respond?" And Alex was like: "Oh, I know. Sienduk told me. I don't mind, really". Thaaaaat's our booooooy! ;D "Voice Acting" was amazing: Alex was inventing the story about grunkle Stan and Soos coming to St. Petersburg and Sienduk was translating it (he wonderfully imitated all the characters voices, I swear). After that Alex was speaking Russian: "Санкт-Петербург, привет!", "хачапури", "Пухля", "Гравипадово", "жидкое мясо", "адовая туса" ("Hello St. Petersburg!", erm..."khachapuri" - there is now way I can translate it, "Pukhlya" - that's how Waddles was translated in official Disney dubbing, "Gravipadovo" - that's how Gravity Falls may sound in Russian, "liquid meat", "hells party"). His Russian sounds so sweet! With those ostentatious roaring and the way he pronounced each letter so neatly. And finally Q&A began! By the plan there should have been only 6 questions. But Alex Hirsch was unstoppable! 6 questions were not enough for him and he made it in 20 questions or even more. Questions about GF, its characters, Hirsch himself etc., etc. I will not even try to retell Q&A: you'd better watch fan-made videos or wait for the official video. It's really worth watching! Of course I was trying to draw his attention and plastic plate helped me in this task. Lorna came up with a great idea: write "pick me" on a plate. Oddly enough we immediately found a black marker and soon I was waving the plate with "PICK ME" over my head. Alex was overlooking here and there, but after all he surrendered and with a wily smirk pointed at me. I asked him why did Stan's marriage lasted only for 6 hours. Unfortunately Alex gave a very brief answer, though I was happy with that too. He said that it might have happened in Las Vegas, where Stan noticed a woman who was so much better then him at scamming. And that's all he could tell. I conjectured that this marriage was her fraud and that Stan got into troubles just in 6 hours.
Time was up and organizers were softly asking Alex to end Q&A, but he was like: "Wait-wait! One more question!" "That's the last one, I swear!" "Just another one!" "One more maybe?" In the end he made a final touch: selfie from the stage with all the fans on the background. He came exactly in the middle of the stage, right at the edge where Lorna and me were standing, squatted... and his bum is right in front of my face (・_・; ) Ehm... That's even more then I expected! хD After that Alex returned to the autograph session. It didn't last long in contrast with the previous day, so I even managed to see the whole farewell process: he was shown GF panel, Gravity Falls city model, allowed to hack Fiddleford's notebook... and at that point Alex fed all the shippers as he entered "STANFORD" for the password ლ(ಠ_ಠ ლ) And then under the supervision of some handsome security guards Alex left the Festival.
We were on BF fairly long, practically till the very end. And after many hours of fandom craziness Lorna and me being tired and happy were walking to the dressing room to get our outer clothings. I turned my head and what I saw through the glassy wall was Alex Hirsch standing near a car with his companions and security guards. Me: "Is it Hirsch?.. it IS Hirsch!" Lorna: "Hiiiiiiiiirsch!!!!" As Alex turned in our direction Lorna and me gave him the most cheerful smiles and waved goodbye. To be honest, Alex had a hard day, nope, three days: on Friday he had a lengthy flight from America, on Saturday he had autograph session till 7 p.m., and today he had all these events behind his shoulders. He could easily pretended that he didn't notice us and that'd be OK. But we're talking about Alex Hirsch, guys! He grinned widely and waved us in response! We gained a personal "bye-bye" from Alex Hirsch! What a man! Much time has passed since I met him, but I am still energized with his positivity. I really wish I could be like Alex: to be able to give people happiness at any time and do it sincerely, make people happier just by your presence. It's incredible gift and Alex share it generously with everyone who needs it. Before I met Alex I only loved GF, but now I really love him too for being such a wonderful person... though he love to booze, but he needs some emotional relaxation after such a self-feedback ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Also I'm very happy with the fact that Alex loved St. Petersburg so much (huge thanks to the BF organizers for cultural program they made for him!), how warmly he's talking about Russian fans and it seems to me that he increased Russia's level at least in the eyes of those people who're interested in his creative work. All this reasonably give me hope that Alex will visit my country not just once.
Thank you, Alex Hirsch! During your visit to St. Petersburg you made me and hundreds of other people much more happier.