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I Met Patrick Stewart!

About a week ago, I received an alert about a gala event happening in support of Unique Voice, a charity in Bristol that works with schools and the community to “empower children emotionally through the use of Drama and the Arts” (source: About Us section of their website). Their Patron is Sir Patrick Stewart, and he would be hosting their Summer Gala.

I wanted to go.

With everything that’s been going on, and all the other things we have planned this year, it wasn’t looking like a possibility until someone close to me decided they wanted to purchase a ticket for me to attend. They have asked that I not say publicly who they were, but they are someone I love very much. My ticket arrived in my inbox a few days ago, and I became excited.

I decided to wear my LindyBop dress because it gives me confidence and I love the way it looks on me. I wore it with the underskirt this time for extra poof, and added a little feathery blue clip in my hair to try to dress it up a bit. I didn’t clean up too bad if I say so myself!

I was sat at a table with 9 strangers, but fortunately, they were all amazing and immediately drew me into their fold as they all knew each other. I can’t remember everyone’s names (sorry!) but table 9 had a blast. We shared stories and laughed and it was like I had been friends with these people for years and not just minutes.

One of the organizers recognized me from my Twitter photo and we had a short conversation with a promise to talk later, but we sadly never got the chance…but I’m sure I’ll be around again as I really like this charity and wish we lived closer to Bristol so I could work with them!

There were signs on the table telling us not to ask Patrick for selfies, but to take photos and to share them on social media. I took a few from my vantage point that didn’t really come out the best, but I’ll share them here anyway.

After dinner, Patrick was coming around to the individual tables to talk to everyone – the room had 13 tables of 10, but at least two of the tables were all people related to/working with the organisation, so it was an intimate gala. When he got to our table, he was on the other side from me and chatting and one of the men at our table said “She’s come all the way from New Jersey to see you!” I called back “He’s lying, I live here, I promise,” but Patrick Stewart came over to speak with me. His hand came down on the back of my chair and he said, “You know, I used to be married to someone from New Jersey.” I answered back in the only way I possibly could – “Well, then on behalf of my home state, I do apologize.” He laughed and stretched out his hand to shake mine.

Our minute was over…or was it?

During the auction, I was trying to win one of the items – all winning bidders would get a picture with Sir Pat – but it got too high for me. Especially when he auctioned off breakfast with him the following morning and it went for £350!

The rest of the night there was dancing, drinking, and talking to my new group of friends. After the Gala, we went to a speakeasy, and that was a new experience for me too.

In the morning, I had breakfast in the same restaurant Patrick Stewart was in, and after I was standing outside waiting for my taxi and he came out. He had his suitcase, and we made polite conversation. We both were complaining about how long it was taking our taxis to show up and he said he was trying to catch a train at a specific time. Since I have the ability to take whatever train I want, I offered him my taxi when it showed up first. He thanked me, and I had another handshake.

Ironically, his taxi turned up only about 30 seconds later. When I got to the railway station, I needed to speak with the gate attendant to be waved through the barriers. Who was standing there talking to the man? None other than Patrick Stewart! I made some silly joke about meeting again, and we both went through the barriers and started heading in the same direction. More jokes about “I’m not following you/You’re not following me” and the like and it turned out we would be boarding the same train. We both went into the waiting room, but when they called our train, I noticed he went out the door for the opposite platform.

When I didn’t spot him on the platform, I thought I had better let him know, so I walked over to him and gently tapped him on the shoulder to let him know. He thanked me with a hand pressed against my shoulder and another handshake.

These small encounters with one of my absolute favourite actors will stay with me for a long time, even without photos of the event. Who can forget getting three handshakes within a 12 hour span?

***
First two images from Unique Voice on Twitter.

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission.

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1 comment

1 Comment so far

  1. Nick Manchester June 8th, 2018 16:24

    Thank you for sharing your experience! This is amazing and am so glad someone was able to help you. 🙂

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