I can’t even begin to explain how much fun I had at the From Wilmington To Paris 2 Convention, held at the Hyatt Hotel in Paris, France on October 18th and 19th.
First of all, I’d like to give a special shout out to the two women who made it all happen, Brigitte and Laetitia and to their team GuestsEvents. How a rather young team fully made of volunteers, who held their very first convention only 3 years ago, managed to gather almost the whole entire cast of The CW’s hit show One Tree Hill is still a wonder to me. Fitting Q&As, M&Gs, and Fans Hangouts for not one or two, but ELEVEN people over the course of only two days must have been insanely difficult, but they did it and that only deserves a lot of praise.
Now, as I mentioned, the lineup was huge! And when I say huge, I mean Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton, James Lafferty, Bethany Joy Lenz, Antwon Tanner, Torrey DeVitto and Paul Johansson on Saturday and Shantel VanSanten, Kate Voegele, Stephen Colletti and Robert Buckley on Sunday. The team had even managed to get Chad M. Murray to come, but the 33-year-old had to cancel last minute due to a conflicting filming schedule.
I would describe the experience minute by minute for you guys, but it would probably take me forever, so I picked up my Top 5 Favorite Moments for you guys, and it was probably the hardest thing I had to do!
5) The Inaugurative Video
It may seem like something small, but props to the lady who created it, Aurélie! There couldn’t have been any better way to start the weekend than to watch this montage. From troubled teenagers to respectable adults, from tears to happiness, from failure to success, Aurélie managed to sum up perfectly the whole 9 Seasons of One Tree Hill in less than 5 minutes. Following the video, the actors arrived on stage to the One Tree Hill’s Theme Song —Gavin DeGraw’s “I Don’t Wanna Be”— that the 700 fans there gladly sang along to at the top of their lungs much to the cast’s pleasure.
4) Shantel VanSanten & Robert Buckley’s Friendship
Shantel & Robert’s Q&As session was definitively one of my favorites! Those two act in real life the exact same way they act on the show, which is basically the way two absolute dorky best friends who’ve known each other their whole life act. As soon as they walked on stage and sat on the couch, Robert’s head was on Shantel’s knees as they were sharing inside jokes. Would Robert ever accept a proposal made with a $2 toy ring, the same way Clay proposes to Quinn on the show? Of course he would, but only if the proposal came from Shantel! OTP, I’m telling you!
3) The Guys Dancing & The Girls Singing
Whether it was James, Antwon or Stephen, they all had to go through it! I mean, you cannot film an epic episode where all the male characters dance to raise fund and then expect fans to just forget about it! Following requests to recreate the scene from a few fans during Q&As, James pretended not to remember the choreography while Antwon got up and danced. As for Stephen, who wasn’t in said-scene, well.. he took a deep (very deep!) breath before launching into the infamous Chase Adams Turkey Dance!
As for the girls, we hoped for a small showcase from either Bethany or Kate, but the tight schedule just couldn’t allow it! However, to please the fans during Q&As, Bethany sang bit of a classic French song “La Vie En Rose”, while Kate sang a verse of the song she enjoyed singing the most on the show, “Sweet Silver Lining”.
2) Shantel VanSanten Receiving A Donation For Team True Beauty
1) Sophia Reading Austin’s Letter
“To the greatest fans I’ve ever known: the French,
Some of you came from across the world with messages and signs, spend all day waiting in line, breaking through the rain in North Carolina. If you didn’t fly there, you made your presence known as the most excited and passionate fans ever. Many years went and you’ve not disappeared. Instead the opposite, you’ve cheered. As we moved into the next chapter, you’ve supported what came after. Always there, always fair, always making noise to show us you care. I’ve made many other shows and movies, but I’ve never had a response so groovy. And when you finally feel that love, you never forget. You hold it high above and embrace it. I’ve been welcomed to Paris with confetti, with Mark and Rob and Colletti. It was a trip of a lifetime, and if you’re using a translator right now, you’ll notice that this doesn’t rime. I wanted to give you a poem, something meaningful to show I care about each and every one of you, I swear. I came to Tree Hill late in the game. It can be intimidating to join such a hot group of dames but everyone was kind. Each person up here today made me feel like home. And you, the fans, opened up your heart to me, to Julian, as if I had showed up on Day 1 as a Raven. I couldn’t be there today, because I’m working on something new, and when the time is right, I will tell you the details too. But I hope I’ll never lose you, your love and passion. You will always be my French girls, I will be your Julian.
Bisous (an: Kisses in French), Austin.”
There you have it!!! It was so hard to choose only five moments, but these were quite memorable!
We have a full gallery of pictures coming on the site soon, stay tuned for it!
Guests Events has several conventions coming up in 2015, including:
- Charmed (Feb 21-22)
- Glee (Mar 21-22)
- Once Upon A Time (May 2-3)
- Teen Wolf (May 23-24)
- One Tree Hill (Sep 26-27)
- The Walking Dead (Dec 12-13)