1st & 2nd August , 2009

Centro Nacional de las Artes
Mexico City, Mexico


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It all began on the last days of July. The last Thursday of that month, I was doing some summer work at school along with a couple of very good friends. During our idlest hours of hard working, one of them told me about the Instituto Mexicano de la Juventud (IMJUVE), and how he had found some of their publications very useful and interesting. I had my laptop with me that morning, so we went online to the IMJUVE’s website, and started looking for their list of printed materials. Suddenly, as if struck by a bolt of lightning, I gasped. The words “Conferencia con Doug Jones” caught my eye, and I couldn’t help but flap my hands in a most fan-girlish style. After a few seconds of sheer astonishment, I calmed down and clicked on the picture of The Pale Man.

The IMJUVE organizes twice a year a comic convention named ExpoComic, and the latest edition of it would take place the following weekend, with Mr. Doug Jones as a special guest. I freaked out. Saturday, August 1st, was the date of my brother-in-law’s graduation from college. Saturday, August 1st, was the date (according to the official site of the Con) of Doug’s conference. I couldn’t find the schedule for that day posted on the website, so I sent a couple of e-mails to the ExpoComic staff, asking about Doug’s slot on their time table.

My next step was to go to the best source there is for Dougie-related knowledge: The Doug Jones Experience. How surprised was I to discover that, according to “Appearances” page, Doug was scheduled for ExpoComic on Sunday! How on Earth would that make sense? I went to The Tank [Dougie's message board ~ Ed.] for answers. Saturday got closer, and I still had no clue how would I be able to attend the conference. Then the answer came in a reply from a very nice woman named Helen: Doug will be attending on Sunday. I could breathe again. Minutes later, I got a message from IMJUVE: “Doug will be attending on Saturday, 1:00 PM. Stick to our schedule.” And then I went back to The Tank and, once again, asked for clarification.

It was Friday already, and I needed a plan: I would leave all my stuff packed in the morning, run to ExpoComic, attend Doug’s conference, run back home, get dressed, run to my best friend’s place around 4:30 PM, and finally, run together (in time) to her boyfriend’s place (the brother-in-law). It seemed flawless. Until my mom decided she’d come with me to ExpoComic, just to make sure I would stick to my own schedule. (After all, it was I at a comic con, so … you’d never know). Destiny forbade me to get near a computer between Friday afternoon and Sunday night, so I just assumed the world had stopped on the Internet.

Saturday morning came, I felt so excited, so terribly nervous, so happy. I would be listening to Mr. Jones, live. “If it all goes well, I’ll get it on video and write something about it for the magazines I work at”, my wildest dream included getting close enough for Doug to sign my Hellboy 2 notebook, right above Abe’s head. I sighed; it was too good a dream to become true.

My mom and I took a bus to the Centro Nacional de las Artes, where ExpoComic was being held. We arrived around 12 o’clock, so we had a little time to walk around, appreciate cosplays, get a coke. About half an hour later we went to line up outside the Plaza de las Artes, where Doug would be speaking to us. At first I became annoyed, because a lot of the people walking by had no idea who Dougie is, but I thought “Let them be, they probably geek out on stuff I have never even heard of”. So, I waited in line for a couple more minutes when a group of four or five people passed by my side, and all I could catch from them was a glimpse of a tall, sleek, white figure with what looked like ginger hair. I squeaked. Mr. Doug Jones had just walked less than a meter away from me.

Fast Forward: My mom and I ran and got first row spots for Doug’s conference. And again we waited. Finally, around 2:30pm, a montage of various Dougie gigs was played on a screen over the stage. It ended with the lovely scene from Hellboy 2 where Abe and Red sing along to Barry Manilow’s “Can’t smile without you”. I could swear that somebody had given a microphone to Doug, because I am sure Abe’s voice sounded too alive and close to us. There were about 100 people in the audience, and most of them went mad when Doug was finally presented on stage. He looked so peaceful and happy! Doug calmly walked to the table they had set up for him … and climbed on top of it, where he cheerfully sat down to face us.

Dear Mr. Jones was dressed in white, his tall figure calmly sitting on top of the table, on stage. One of the organizers presented him to the audience and asked him to start his speech. Dougie said hello to his audience and excused himself for his terrible Spanish. After that, he proceeded to telling us everything about his career: how he started out, how he got cast as Mac Tonight, how one of his make up department friends got him to appear in Mimic, how he met this “geeky fan boy” also known as Guillermo del Toro … it was about an hour of pure joy listening to Doug Jones (and of ignoring the poor translator, whose comprehension of the English language was terribly limited).

Then the moment of truth arrived. It was time for the Q&A, and I had a whole page of my notebook scribbled with questions I was dying to ask Dougie. It has to be said: I’m short; I barely reach 1.54m. I’m short, so it was hard for me, even standing in the front row, to be noticed by the organizers. I was so scared I wouldn’t be able to ask my questions … but then this teenage-looking guy came to me with a microphone and said the magic words “Después de ésta sigues tú”. I wanted to hug him.

When my turn finally came, the boy told me it was OK to ask in Spanish, that the girl on stage would translate the question for Doug. I said I could ask directly. And so I did. I forgot my professional mood for a couple of seconds, so the first words that came out of my mouth were “I think you are amazing” and dear dear Mr. Jones answered something along the lines of “Thank you very much, you are so sweet”. Then I got my act together and said to myself “Be a journalist, for the love of God!” and I asked away. Frankly, right now I’m not sure what I asked to him, but I do remember it referred to the way he manages to build such deep and enthralling characters from the inside, how he is able to transmit so much from under so many make up and prosthetics. The very tall, very nice, very gentle Doug Jones gave me a huge smile and said “That’s a very interesting question …” and he gave me an incredibly long and interesting answer (which escapes my mind but is recorded on tape, for future reference).

It was a quarter to 4 already, and Doug had to say goodbye to the audience. I almost cried from the shock of a) having Doug answering my question, and b) having to say goodbye to him. Surprisingly enough, I heard someone say “¡Vamos a la sala donde va a firmar autógrafos!”; I looked at my mom, and she had this look in her eyes when she just knows she can’t and doesn’t really want to stop me.

We ran and got in line for Dougie’s signing. Minutes went by, my departure time was approaching, and there were still like 20 people before me. I started to panic, but my mom assured me it would be ok (I trusted her, ‘cause she’s my mom … she somehow just KNOWS). When the time finally came I was freaking out. There he was, taking a long time with every person he met, taking pictures, signing away, hugging, kissing, smiling … my palms were all sweaty. There was a girl standing on the border of his table, asking for our names to write down so it would be easier for Dougie to copy them when he needed to sign something. A gallery of Doug’s portraits was lying over the table, photographs from his movies, behind the scenes material, it was all there. The lady told me to chose one so that I could get it signed. I was shaking all over.

My turn came. There he was … all glowy. He said “Hello” with such a sweet voice that I could have fainted. I answered back at him and he hugged me. Then he noticed the electric-blue streaks in my hair, stroked them with his fingers and said “Oh! You have blue hair. It’s beautiful!” My only possible (nervous) answer was “Thank you. It’s Sapiens-blue, actually”, to which he startled and gave me the biggest and most beautiful smile I have ever witnessed: “Oh my!! You did it for me?! Oh you are such a sweet, oh dear, dear!” he kissed my hand as if I were some kind of princess, and he hugged me so tight and so sweetly and so gently and so amazingly warmly that I could have died right there. We spoke for about three more minutes. He asked me for my name and I said “Marce”; he asked me what do I do for a living and I answered, “I’m a student, but I’m attempting to become a make up artist”, to which he said “Oh, one of my people!”

Those four or five minutes I spent talking with him have been some of the best minutes in my entire life. There we were: a geeky girl and a very very talented actor, in a room full of people, with time rushing me home, and still he made me feel like nothing else was important. Like the universe had stopped outside our little bubble. Like everything in the history of mankind had happened so that those few minutes could happen. Doug Jones has that quality to make you feel instantly loved. He asked what did I want him to sign, and I picked a photograph of him dressed as Pan, facing Guillermo del Toro. “May be someday you’ll get Guillermo to sign it too” Dougie smiled again. My brain gave a jolt and I remembered my blessed Hellboy 2 notebook. “Could you please sign this? Right above your head …” I asked timidly. “Of course I will!” and so he did.

I got my picture taken with him, he hugged me exquisitely once more and I had to say goodbye to one of the loveliest persons I have met in the 21 years of my life. The person right behind me was my mom (a big fan of Pan and of HB2’s Angel of Death), who got her hand kissed by Dougie and also got a picture and one big hug. We practically ran home. I was already very late, but I couldn’t care less. I had met Doug Jones, THE Doug Jones. The most amazing guy ever. I went to dance that night, and still everything went back to Doug.

When I finally got home next afternoon I found some messages from dear Hellmistress telling me that I had been a lot of help in clearing up the scheduling misunderstandings between Doug’s management and the IMJUVE. She said to go to Dougie and introduce myself as Ethne from The Tank, because Dougie had a special bosie waiting for me. She said Dougie was looking forward to meeting me. She said Dougie’s appearance was such a success that they had asked him to go back on Sunday. But it was all too late … it was almost Monday. I wanted to kick myself for not reading all those on time. But then I realized that no matter what, I would always have that hug, and Doug’s sweet words. So I smiled one amazingly big smile, and started writing the articles I needed to get done about that same convention.

Bottomline: not only is Doug Jones a great and immensely talented actor, but he is also a delightful and beautiful human being … he is almost an angel, he’s just missing the wings (which he might be hiding under a prosthetic set of human shoulders).

Marcela Vargas / Ethne
August-November 2009

The Photographs of Marcela Vargas

© 2009 Marcela Vargas. All rights reserved.





© 2009 Cionoticias. All rights reserved.




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