Fan Experiences During 2018 - Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:12 am
Really wonderful story about how Darren once again went above and beyond for his fans. He really does value making that personal connection with his fans, in a way that really is rare among celebrities.
Darren Criss is a class act
Ok, so this is the story of how it came to be that Darren Criss came to pay us a visit in a tiny cafe in Toronto.
Having driven from Ottawa earlier in the day, I had time to kill so I decided to walk around and check out the venue. I noticed the tour bus parked out back of The Sony Centre and happened across some fans, also from Ottawa, waiting around. They confirmed that Darren and his crew were still on the bus. So I decided to stick around and see whether I could catch a glimpse of him and the band leaving the bus en route to the stage door. And we waited. My two fellow fans had to run to another event which left me alone in the wait. Me being me, I struck up a conversation with the security guard who was keeping an eye on the bus. We had a great conversation about everything, for two hours. Yeah, two hours. During that time Darren’s band and the crew were milling around and Darren did pop out for 10 seconds to check the outside (he was on the phone at the time) but he went back into the bus. Anyhow, by this time I had been there a long while and wanted to meet up with @gleekto and @klaineandbiscuits and the other lovely ladies at Belzacs cafe for a coffee and pre-concert chat, so I bid farewell to the guard and mentioned that I was off to Belzacs. And off I went.
I met the wonderful ladies and began to relay my time at the stage door and was just getting to the part about catching a glimpse of Darren when @gleekto says “…and here he comes…”. My back was turned to the door so I did not see him come in, but tuned around and just about lost mind mind (@gleekto can provide more details, but her face was priceless). There was Darren with a huge grin on his face coming to find ME!! O.M.G. He clearly had asked the guard where I went and came three blocks over (through patio central no less) to say hello! This was not random, nor was this planned in any way! O.M.G. I managed to be eloquent and said we were all there for his concert and we’re thrilled to meet him. I was able to give him a hug and @gleekto asked if we could have a photo. I offered my phone and Darren did the honours. He suggested that he and I share a chair (squeee) so I squeezed in beside him and he took the photo. And with that we thanked him for coming for a visit and off he went to get ready for the show.
If there weren’t for the photographic evidence, I would not believe it. And the ladies with me would not believe it either. I think we all looked at each other in stunned silence when he left. And then we flailed. Wow! I’m still amazed.
Thank you Darren for being amazing and being the very best. I also went back before the show to thank the guard for being so lovely and helping make my day, month, year!
Yeah so this is a fucking CRAZY story. But yeah - this was not random. He came to find darrenismydarcy who had hoped to see him coming out of the bus and had waited but left. We are at a cafe a few blocks from the venue.
He came to see a hopeful fan. WHAT EVEN?!!!!
@darrenismydarcy wrote up the background to how this happened which most of you have probably read by now…I’m going to try to find words to explain how LOVELY and trippy and bizarre these minutes were…
So picture it, we’re sitting around the table in Balzac’s cafe…and this is an important detail - Balzacs is NOT right beside the Sony Centre, It is not the Starbucks half a block away. It is not just across the street. It is a 7-8 minute, 4 blocks and down a street walk (google it!) from the Sony Centre.
Anyways, that’s us at Balzacs - We’re sitting around the table, @darrenismydarcy (in the blue) facing in towards the back (black) door. She’s telling us about her chill couple of hours hanging by the tour bus and chatting with the guard. We’re looking at her as she’s talking about Darren when I look up (I’m facing her/the front) when I spot a small dude with rumpled curly hair, glasses, and a beard -
My head: That’s Darren.
I say - “And there he is” - Everyone is chill (including me) because whatever - obviously not - “Darren Criss is here”.
So we all turn and by this point he is simply walking toward us as if we are his group of friends and he’s sorry he’s late. No time to even worry about it - he’s here, he’s come to see us. The usual. So he comes up to the table and first recognizes @darrenismydarcy from I assume the bus (and whom he is explicitly looking for) and he says to her, “Hey. Oh I’m so glad I found you. I heard you left So glad etc…” And she - very casually - because whatever, chill friends saying “hey” - says “You came here for me?” And she stands up to meet him and give him a hug. (Nice to see each other. The usual).
He asks her if they’ve met before (they haven’t), and then sees me sitting beside her, “We know each other!” (Of course we do. Old friends meeting at a coffee a shop after a couple of years). He takes my hand, I introduce myself, tell him we’re all coming tonight etc…He makes eye contact and nods at everyone at the table and I say, “Well, now that you’re here, can we take a picture to remember this?”
Darren says he was just going to say that (of course) and asks who has the best camera etc…and then - see above. He then tells us he’ll see us all at the show and have a great day.
So if you were seeing this from the table next to us, you may not have bothered to look up from your book. Guy was obviously late to meet his friends for coffee. He found them. No big. As @room108 said in her tags, he forgets he is a celebrity.
In seriousness, though - I have been around this fandom a long time. I’ve been a Darren fandom fan for 8+ years - I did 2 Listen Up Meet and Greets, Hedwig 4 times, H2$, and on and on - I know - and you all know - that Darren is so good to his fans, stage doors for hours, makes eye contact, is warm, wants to give - I knew all that already.
This moment fucking BLEW ME AWAY. This guy woke up from a nap on his tour bus, came out to meet the fan waiting - when he realized she had left, he must have asked the security guard about her and (bless @darrenismydarcy for randomly mentioning she was going to Balzacs) then googled the cafe - which was (see above) several blocks and an 8 minute walk away - walked casually there JUST to say “hey” and make a fan happy. Not only would she (nor we) ever have expected this, it was so beyond that I don’t think we could have imagined it.
When I went in for the VIP meet n’ greet and we had a “hey old friend!” hug, I turned to him and said “What you did was truly something special-” He interrupts with “Was so happy to do it. So glad.” And I just looked him in the eye and said, “Darren, you are a gem.”
What else is there to say?
And it looked like Lea and Darren spent some time with this young lady, who is being mighty brave. It obviously meant the world to her. So glad they were able to really give her this wonderful experience.
YesenniaNevarez: This is me hugging my idol @LeaMichele even though it looks like I’m choking her (ITS BC SHE HAD COFFEE IN HER OTHER HAND) and my other idol, @DarrenCriss watching after I told them my biggest secret. Weird as it sounds, I think being sick was definitely worth it.
YesenniaNevarez: 16 months of not telling a soul so I could hang out with my favorite dude and have moments like these.
@DarrenCriss will always be worth it.
YesenniaNevarez: It’s midnight my time. Secrets out.
EDIT: From dcriss-archive:
Added more pics and a sweet message from this young fan who Darren spent a lot of quality time with--it's so heartwarming how much he cares. On her twitter page, she mentioned how he was giving her hugs through much of the time they spent together. He understands how both comforting and joyous is physical contact--how much it means to his fans in general, and especially to this special young lady. I wish her all the best; she is such a courageous person.
yesennianevarez: On the 8th, @darrencriss made my teenage dream come true. Or granted my wish like the fairy godmother I always knew he was.
I’ll never be able to thank him enough for everything he did for me in that one night. I can’t explain the importance this man holds in my life. He’s helped saved it, in more ways than one. We know I haven’t had the easiest last few years… and there were times that all I had was Darren’s art. It was one of the only things holding me together in my darkest moments alive. Luckily, he’s always been around in some way.
Darren, thank you for everything, man. Thank you for talking with me and liking my gifts and calling me back literally seconds before the limo took off. You dedicated my favorite song of yours to me…like… I can’t believe that. THEN you let me meet my other number one idol on the planet the gorgeous, wickedly talented, @leamichele who I hope loves her gift and I also thank from the bottom of my heart for being not only the best idol a girl like me could possibly ask for, but also for being so comfortable with conversation and thus making me comfortable.
These gorgeous humans gave me the most memorable wish experience I could ever ask for. I got to hear them sing my favorite songs and hug Lea when just being in her presence was more than I could ask for. I got to hug the most important man in my life, tell him how much he means to me and how he truly helped keep me alive, and hear him not only sing a made up song about me but also I got to hear my favorite song of his after his speech that couldn’t be more spot on. You could never embarrass me, Darren. Even though I doubt you guys are reading this.
Both of you are the peak of the most important chapter of my narrative. I couldn’t be happier BOTH of you gave me the time to thank you.
On November 15th my life was over. Since then I have been attacked by my own body, lost countless loved ones, and have been left by people I held dear. These two helped me through it. Darren, the biggest, brightest star & most important man in my life granted my one wish. He made me the happiest little sick girl.
Thank you, Dorro. I’m a fighter because of you. I’m alive because of you.
X X X