^^(Pictures above are Hank’s signature and hanklerfish on the back of my guitar, and Hank’s set list for the night.)
I got to meet John and Hank Green today.
A lot of people got to meet them, but I was fortunate enough to have a few hours with them backstage before the show (perk of working for a bookshop). I talked to John quite a bit, but he was very occupied with signing backlisted books and talking to his family on the phone, so I spent most of my time with Hank.
I asked him at one point if he would sign my guitar (I brought it with me) and after he did so (with his signature and a hanklerfish), I asked if I could play his. He was very kind and let me play his for a while. After I returned it and picked mine back up, he sat down and started playing a pretty basic progression in A minor. I just aimlessly improvised and soloed over him. After maybe ten minutes of this in a few different keys and tempos, he turned to Katherine and said this:
“It’s funny that we live in a world where Sean here wants ME to sign HIS guitar.” Greatest and most memorable compliment I have ever received in my entire life.
I spent a long time afterwards talking with him about other music, production, and several entirely unrelated subjects (tardigrades). After we had eaten some pizza the brothers had to head onstage for the show, so I went down and stood with the rest of my bookshop’s staff.
Hank got on stage after John talked for a while and discovered that the guitar cable we had used during soundcheck had disappeared. He played one song without the cable while I sprinted to my car (parked on the other side of a very large school) to grab him one of mine. I was granted the privilege of walking on stage to get him plugged in, and he thanked me for the help. I was greeted with a round of applause from a packed auditorium. Not my first time to receive applause on a stage, but definitely my most memorable (despite the fact that I did next to nothing to deserve it). Hank and John made a few more jokes about me during the remainder of the show, and apparently it was enough to gain me some small amount of fame with the crowd of nerdfighters.
After the show, during the long and tedious book signing, I was often requested to take pictures, given some baked goods (along with a couple of phone numbers), and even had to sign two people’s books. The staff all thought it was hilarious, and it really was. I had a great night.
But as much fun as I had with this, it was certainly not about me. It was inspiring to see how incredibly happy it made people just to be in a room with John and Hank. They treat their fans like each and every one of them is a close friend. They are both wonderful and hilarious people, just as much in everyday conversation as they are in their videos. I was already a fan of the vlogbrothers, and I’ve been a part of nerdfighteria for a long time. But now I’m a fan of Hank and John as specific, real, individual people. Good people. Not one bit of it is a front or an act; they are genuinely great guys, and I know they’ll keep spreading awesome and fighting worldsuck for a long time.