Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"You Warm Our Hearts and Light the Candles in Our Souls"

Johnny performs to "Smile"  
in Ilya Averbukh's "Big City Lights," Moscow.
Photo © Irina Volkova, who writes:
" 'Smile'... He made us smile... 
He made everyone smile... He always does!"

Today's post comes from guest blogger Irina Volkova, who posted this wonderful note on her Facebook page yesterday. I loved it so much that I asked her for permission to reprint it here, so that other fans who are not on Facebook or Twitter might have a chance to read it, love it, laugh at the funny parts, and cry with Irina at the end. And she graciously said yes.

Thank you, dear Irina, for sharing your thoughts and your heart with all of us... and with Johnny.

"Chanelf" art
created by Lizzy Pine.
BUT WAIT! Before we get to Irina's story, please note: It's not too late to participate in Show Johnny Weir the Love's holiday gift project! We have a sparkly surprise planned for Johnny (but no spoilers here!), and just $5 gets your name on the card that will accompany the gift. 

The deadline-ish for contributions is this Friday, December 16. If you'd like to join in, please visit the SJWTL Facebook page for details!

Johnny and Irina at the fan meeting, 
Sunday, December 11, Starbucks.
Photo © Anastasiya Bochkareva.
See all of Anastasiya's wonderful 
fan meeting photos in her Facebook album!

Well, this crazy but wonderful weekend is over and I should tell something about the show, about fan meeting, about everything that happened these days, to you, my dear Johnny’s kittens, and everyone who loves Johnny Weir this or that way.

As usually I got a lot of emotions (positive for sure) from Johnny’s visit to Russia… And no matter I’ve been sleeping only for 3 or 4 hours every night since Wednesday because I had too many things to do and I wasn’t at home in the afternoon or evening, buying flowers, meeting with Johnny’s Russian fans (my friends from "King on Ice" on vkontakte.ru and weir.ru) to discuss some details of his arrival/fan meeting/show, I am still full of energy and want to share my impressions with you.

Of course nothing would be possible without great help of Johnny’s personal guide and driver Arthur Lookyanov, his agentress Tara Modlin, Ari Zakarian, Ilya Averbukh, and (of course!) Johnny. Let’s talk about everything in order…

Every Johnny’s arrival to Russia is very exciting for us, so we always try to do our best in everything. Unfortunately there are some mistakes (excuse me one more time for failed livestream, we didn’t notice that the Internet connection was lost), but this time everything went much better and smoother than I had expected. Our four-days-marathon began on Thursday in Sheremetyevo airport. Oh well, for me it began at 8 am from buying of flowers for Johnny. After that we went to the airport to meet Johnny and Tara (but firstly we met Arthur there and were very glad to see him). I was deeply worried for Johnny because of our awful political situation, especially because till Wednesday neither I nor Arthur knew who will attend and drive Johnny. But when we finally knew it would be Arthur, I calmed down… 

Our main "mission" in the airport was to show Johnny that he’s still loved in Russia and to arrange about fan meeting. We had already chosen time and place but we were not sure Johnny and Tara will be able to come. Anyway the time turned out to be "perfect" and Johnny’s favorite Starbucks was the right thing for early Sunday morning. Starbucks coffee we brought to the airport was still hot and made Johnny happy! I told Johnny and Tara that there was no snow in Moscow and Tara said, "Really? Johnny, GO HOME!" We discussed several details and, safe and sound, went home…

On Saturday there were two shows. Unfortunately I had a ticket only for show on Sunday (I supposed that one show would be enough, but actually the show was GREAT! There’s no words…) but I met my friends from St. Petersburg (Tanya and Ira) before the show and… OMG at that moment I felt like I was crazy!... after the second show… Actually we were buying flowers for fan meeting when they called me and yelled, "Ira! You should buy ticket for evening show and come here! Johnny is incredible, so flexible and sweet! You should see it." But there were no "good" tickets (almost all the tickets were sold two weeks before the show), so we decided to buy flowers and go to Luzhniki [stadium, where the show was held] AFTER the second show, to meet Johnny. BTW, that day it was snowing, but because of practices Johnny didn’t see it and when he came out of Luzhniki in the evening, he just saw rain, mud… and us.

My girls were right — he was so "smooth" and lovely that I even got a heart attack… The first thing he told us (in Russian for sure) was, "Tomorrow at 11 am, Starbucks. I’ll be ready with hairstyle and make-up." Then he shared his emotions from the show and his role, and got into the car… Arthur, Tara, and Johnny were totally impressed by the show, and so I was.

Of course I should have come home and go to bed before the fan meeting in the morning but… What? To sleep? It’s for dweebs! :) So I was preparing everything till 3 am and went to bed after that but couldn’t sleep… even though I knew I had to wake up at 8 am…

Good morning! Oh, really? I wish someone could take a photo of me when I went to Starbucks: wine glasses for Johnny with the letters "JW," camera, his favorite cakes (there were only two of them in "Azbuka vkusa" when I came there, lucky me, I was in time), notebook, Vyacheslav’s wig, my bag and 50 roses for Johnny — it’s the full list of all I kept in my hands… At 11 am, Starbucks on Pokrovka Street was full of Johnny’s fans, flowers, presents, laughs and happy eyes! Hot "Spicy Tea Latte" was waiting for Johnny. 

The car stopped in front of Starbucks and I came out to meet Johnny. Though it was morning, he looked wonderful as usually and was smiling! "Good Morning! How are you?" — he cried from another side of the road and hurried to cross the road. "Morning! Fine… Are you ready for our questions?" — "Yes! You look beautiful!" I’ve almost fallen but took myself in hands and just said, "Thanks, Johnny! You too, as usually!"

Fan meeting. I wasn't as nervous as I’d been the first time we met Johnny, but… THESE EYELASHES will drive me crazy one day! Beware of them…

Well, we had a list of questions (together with our smiles and excitement as usually). They concerned his projects (Spectacular, BGJW new season, WTMW edition in other countries, dress collection, etc.), figure skating, Russia, Vitya, and many-many other things…

The most popular questions were about projects, Vitya, and (because of Grand Prix Final results in men’s skating) figure skating judgment. I have 4 favorite moments:

(1) The wig. I took it just because when I was looking for Japanese magazine about Johnny, it caught my eye and I just put it into my bag "just in case." So it was unexpected for everybody, even for me. So we were talking about BGJW new season, and I asked Johnny to show us "some Vyacheslav," who will appear at the end of each episode of the new season and sum up everything. I suppose it was funny…

Another look at Viacheslav from a different angle--
and yes, it's funny! 
More videos from the fan meeting 
are now available here!

BTW, the new season will start after the new season of RuPaul's Drag Race.

(2) The second funny moment — Johnny parodying Galina! We were talking about his recent meeting with Galina, and the question was, "And what was the result? What did she say?" So Johnny in his usual manner said in her voice, "Johnnyk, ty tolstiy" (which means "Johnny, you’re fat"). [OMG LOL.]

(3) Another (the third) funny situation was also connected with Johnny’s recent twit about that Vitya made him go to the rink in the morning. Johnny said he was training much more, but it was difficult enough after such a big break. So I supposed that Vitya and Galina have a plot against him. Johnny laughed and said, "You know, it looks like they do! I won’t be surprised."

(4) And the last funny moment was when we were talking about his fears. He said that Vitya tried to make him sail on boat a little bit because he "won't be in water," but Johnny answered, "No! And what will I do if it sinks?" Also Johnny is afraid of cinemas because he can get some virus there.

We had only hour for meeting, but we spent an hour and fifteen minutes together and Johnny didn’t want to go away at all (he pouted and looked at me with Cheburashka’s eyes when I told him the time was over [dying]), but he had a meeting with Averbukh that day at 12.30 so he had to go. But we promised to meet him after the show!

As I have already said, the show was incredible! 150 tons of decoration… Lots of light… Lots of Olympic and World Champions… Singers… Dancers… Rain at the end of the show… (I loved everything, I even couldn’t take photos because I wanted to WATCH and SEE…) and our angel, our magician, our kitten — Johnny! It’s a pity that he had only one performance in this show, at the end… He played Chaplin and skated to Michael Jackson ("Smile"). Light, bright, flexible as usually… and I understood what I missed most of all since March (of course I love everything he does but…) — I missed his skating. His U.N.I.Q.U.E. skating. [YES. THIS.]

Photo © Irina Volkova.
See all of Irina's photos here!

There were many Olympic Champions there who skated great, but I forgot to breathe when Johnny was skating… 

So if he decides to compete again, I’ll support him, though I love Daisuke and Javier as well. And I hope he won’t have problems with federation anymore (at least because they don’t have really strong skaters now), and do all the quads and triples and win Patrick (I’m still shocked by the results of GPF) though he said that nobody could win Patrick. You CAN, honey! Just make an effort! You began skating when you were 12! And you jumped axel in a time that other skaters require to learn just maybe spin! Wasn’t it a miracle? I didn’t want you to compete again before Sunday, but now I want!

Oh, sorry… The show.

Johnny certainly was in a good mood and he was dancing nonstop during the finale. Tatyana Navka even pulled him up. :)

The show ended, but we had to say "Good Bye" to Johnny and meet him as I promised in the morning.

Luzhniki. Entrance 10. Like 20 fans of Johnny are waiting for him. Actually we wanted to take several photos with him because we didn’t have time on fan meeting. Thanx Tara! She let us do it "if it doesn’t take much time, we have to wake up early to go to the airport tomorrow." I was the last one. Actually I didn’t know it… And when Olga made a photo of us, I said, "Johnny, may I give you a goodbye kiss?" He agreed, and when I touched his cheek, he also turned his head and kissed me on cheek. It was so tender! Then he wished us everything he could even imagine (from health to sex, from success to shopping) and when he was already leaving, he told me, "Ira, spasibo tebe… za vse!" ("Ira, thank you… for everything!"). I was so touched that when he had got into the car, I hid my face into Olga’s shoulder and cried! OMG and I’m crying right now writing it… My girls were sure that I didn’t want him to go away… But he’ll return soon for new Averbukh show. And I was just happy and overexcited because of his beauty, kindness, openness, sincerity, and those shining eyes (with my favorite eyelashes…).

A goodbye kiss, 
outside Entrance No. 10.
Photo taken by Olga 
and tweeted by Irina.

When I came home I found a letter from Tara, she thanked all of us and told that she was glad to meet us and spend time with us on fan meeting… I sent her some photos, answered other messages and went to bed at 4 am (again)… tired but happy.

Thank you, Tara, thank you, Arthur, thank you, Patti, for your kind words and of course for your son… And big thank you, JOHNNY! You warm our hearts and light the candles in our souls! We already miss you and looking forward to see you again as soon as possible with more than one performance (or maybe with Johnny Weir Spectacular).

Sweet sweet love!

So much happy at the fan meeting!
Photo © Arthur Lookyanov.

Bonus pics!! From my dear friend and 
extraordinary photographer, Tatiana Edrenkina
Of this stunning photo, Tanya writes: 
"Standing in the dark, waiting for his entrance. 
I had serious doubts whether I should take this pic or not. 
Didn't want to disturb him. Hopefully I didn't." 
I'm glad she took the risk. 
Photo © Tatiana Edrenkina.

"Sometimes the best shots 
just come out of the dark..."
Photo © Tatiana Edrenkina.

"Outside the arena. Dec 10, 
after the second show."
Photo © Tatiana Edrenkina.

At the fan meeting.
Photo © Tatiana Edrenkina.

"Johnny in the loving hands of Tara."
Photo © Tatiana Edrenkina.
Absolutely love this. 

"Order your copy of the 2011 Benefit Gala DVD, 
including performances by Ice Theatre of New York 
and honoree, Johnny Weir. 
Also for sale, the 2011 Benefit Gala and Benefit Journal, 
signed by Johnny Weir. 
Limited copies available. Get yours now!" 

to vote for Johnny as 
"Must-Follow Athlete on Social Media" 
in the 5th Annual Mashable Awards!!

IT'S KIND OF A BIG DEAL. Mashable gets more than 50 million page views per month, and has been named by Time Magazine as one of the top 25 blogs on the Internet. 

He's up against some stiff competition from Yuna Kim and John Cena, among others, but hey--we're really good at voting, and since he tweeted about it and is promo'ing it on his website,  let's make it happen!

He's also in some amazing company: As Megan Gusinski pointed out, finalists in other categories include The Trevor Project, NOH8, GLAAD, and Ellen Degeneres, so you might want to do some additional voting while you're on Mashable's site.

Voting ends on Friday, December 16, and the winners will be announced on Monday, December 19. Just click the graphic above or at the top righthand side of the blog to be taken directly to the voting page for Johnny. 

You can vote once per day per Twitter and Facebook account. Please VOTE VOTE VOTE!!!

Just 10 days until Holiday Dreams On Ice!! 
More info on the Holiday Dreams On Ice website!

"Like" HDOI on Facebook
and use promo code "philadelphia" 
for 50% off your general admission ticket!!

Johnny's Glitter and Ice collection 
with MAC is selling out fast! 
Don't miss your chance to sparkle--
visit a MAC retailer or order online ASAP! 

New Q and A! Go read it now!

Yes! Johnny's dresses are now available
for purchase only on eDressMe.com!

At last: Pop Star On Ice is now available on DVD!
Order yours today from the Pop Star On Ice website!

Johnny tweeted:
"Buy my single,'Dirty Love' via iTunes.
Tell all your friends to as well. The more copies sold
takes me one step closer to making a video! №1!"
You know what to do.
Please buy the song from Johnny's website,
or just click the "Buy" button on the player
at the top of the blog!

Hey, Welcome to My World also is available
as an eBook! More info on Johnny's website!

Bonus video via The Advocate, from their post titled:
"Possibly the Most Beautiful Ad for Marriage Equality We've Seen." 
The video was produced by an equality group in Australia, 
where nearly two-thirds of voters favor legalizing
gay marriage, according to The Advocate
but prime minister Julia Gillard remains firmly opposed. 
I agree with The Advocate
This is one of the most eloquent illustrations I've seen 
of this simple concept: Love is love.

copyright 2011 / Binky and the Misfit Mimes / Lynn V. Ingogly / all rights reserved


germansoulmate said...

Ira`s account of Johnny in Russia, Johnny fan meeting, Johnny at show was one of the best stories I´ve ever read about...well...anything Johnny, so warmhearted, so full of joy and happiness. Johnny really has a very special gift...he makes people smile. What better gift is there to have.

Thanks again to Ira. I love your story so,so much. Thank you.

May we stay together as fans..as people..to share all the love, all the smiles Johnny has to give.

aaaack said...

Thank you, Irina, for a wonderful account. Thank you, all, for the photos.

Maybe Vitya can provide a sparkly lifejacket, from a designer if possible, for boat rides?

Princess Johnny-Love ♥ said...

read this when she posted it yesterday and loved it! what a lovely time for all of them.

it was a delight to read it again, esp with all the kick ass photos!

#eyebrows for sure!