In 2007, many fanatics of the very young The Office converged on Scranton, PA to celebrate their favorite show. I was very lucky to have been there both as a reporter and as a fan. I’m going to share some memories in old blog posts from that time.
On the evening of the first day, the “VIP” level people were invited to a local horse track to re-enact “Casino Night” from The Office. Here’s my story…
After a quick stop off to check-in to the hotel, we were back in the car and back to downtown Scranton. The very nice parking spot across the street was gone, but we found a great parking garage around the corner.
Back into the Radisson to wait for the buses to the Casino and to check for our VIP passes. Tucker is still hunched over his laptop and we still don’t have our passes. The backup plan? Tim Holmes’ business card on a lanyard. Tim Holmes was the man in charge of everything for the Convention, from what I was told, his business card is like gold around Scranton.
A fun moment of getting back to the Radisson was meeting up with a MySpace friend – Bobblehead Gary. He was waiting for his VIP pass as well. Such a nice guy.
We go to check out the rest of the lobby and NP points over my shoulder. Standing there in the lobby was Creed Bratton. Our first cast sighting. He signed a few autographs and then ran into the elevator with the Scrantones. Nice.
The buses finally arrived and the VIPs all poured on to about 4 or 5 city buses. 30 minutes later we arrive at the Mohegan Sun Pocono dogtrack/casino. The casino is a relatively new part and only is allowed slot machines. The VIPs are given 100 credits to use in our charity event. We are told over and over and over again that we are not allowed to take pictures in the Casino and cameras/camera phones will be taken if they are used. NP and I didn’t even bring our cameras in.
There are many food tables set up. Crackers and cheese, seafood such as shrimp and oysters, a roast beef carving station and 4 open bars carved of ice. We have gaming tables such as craps, texas hold-em, and blackjack. I sit myself down at a hold-em table and the games begin.
About 30 minutes later I look over my shoulder and sitting at the hold-em table behind me is Craig Robinson (Darryl). Over the next few minutes, poker is being played by Ed Helms (Andy)and Angela Kinsey (Angela). At a blackjack table, Brian Baumgartner (Kevin) is dealing. Phyllis Smith (Phyllis), Kate Flannery (Meredith) and Oscar Nunez (Oscar) are walking around chatting with fans.
I lose my poker money on a bad beat and head up to the stage where a local band is performing fun cover songs. Just as I get to the stage, Creed is strapping on a guitar strap and here come some Scrantones! They rip into the Blues Riff they played on the deleted scene of Booze Cruise. Good times!
They end the song and I literally run right into Angela. She and I chat for a little bit and I thank her for her TwoCents Interview and give her a TwoCents logo pin. Angela recognized the name and was so gracious in putting the pin directly on to her scarf.
This is where it became very evident that NP and I may have been the ONLY two people who listened to the no camera rule. Camera, flashbulbs, video everywhere. I had my camera phone. So, we got a few grainy shots, but it’s pretty upsetting we missed out on some great shots.
From there we went and had a conversation with Bobby Ray Shafer (Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration). Again I thanked him for his TwoCents Interview and gave him a pin. We chatted about the reception they have gotten so far.
We hear I Will Survive, turn around and who’s on the microphone? Craig Robinson! He was great! The guy is excitement personified. Later on in the evening, towards the end, Craig got back on the stage and ripped into a version of Creep. Who’s standing next to me enjoying it? Ed Helms. He was very nice and was into the performance as much as any fan. It was at that moment that I realized that the stars of the show are having as good a time as the fans are. I get some chat time with Craig and thank him for his TwoCents Interview too.
Tim Holmes announced a special guest – Kent Zbornak, Office Executive Producer, who had some special prizes for the big money winners. He brought with him the following: glasses worn by Rainn Wilson, a calculator watch worn by Rainn Wilson, a watch worn my Steve Carell, the green recorder played by Rainn, the jellybean candy dish from Pam’s desk and mustaches worn by Rainn, Steve and John Krasinski in this past week’s episode of Branch Wars.
We all loaded back on the buses and the night ended, but what a full first day!