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Meeting my Celebrity Crush: Ian Somerhalder

On my 22nd birthday this past May, my best friend sent me a picture message of the greatest birthday gift ever: two tickets to “The Vampire Diaries” convention for July 28. I was jumping with joy! We then decided to purchase a ticket to take a photo with none other than my dream man, Ian Somerhalder.

For those of you who don’t know who Ian Somerhalder is, he is the sexiest vampire on screen and the most caring environmentalist in reality. He plays the charming vampire Damon Salvatore on the hit CW series, “The Vampire Diaries.”

This show is an absolute guilty pleasure for me. I had a love/hate relationship with Somerhalder’s character from the first season, a result of his his sexy, smoldering yet evil and a total bada** personality. As the show continued, I started to fall in love.
Salvatore is seductive and aggressive, but has a pure heart deep down inside. Now, that’s my kind of man!

Yes, I know, he’s just a fictional character, but we can all fantasize a little and no other actor can play Damon better than Somerhalder. I began following Somerhalder on Twitter and just from reading his tweets, it seems as though Somerhalder is a caring, humble, earth friendly, animal-lover -completely opposite from his character on the show. The only similarity are the smoldering, seductive looks and those amazing translucent blue eyes…

For two months, we constantly thought about the moment we’d meet Somerhalder and how close we’d stand next to him. Then, the day finally arrived.

The convention was held at the Hyatt Hotel in Burlingame. A full day event, everything was promptly scheduled; the celebrity panels, photo ops, autograph sessions, discussions, and contests.

The celebrity panel included Torrey Devitto (plays Dr. Meredith Fell), Paul Wesley (plays Stefan Salvatore- the good vampire), Steven R. McQueen (Jeremy Gilbert) and of course, Somerhalder.

The first panel of the day was with DeVitto and what an excitement that was. She was sweet, fun to listen to as she answered questions from the audience. Some of you may know her as Melissa Hastings from “Pretty Little Liars” and Nanny Carrie from “One Tree Hill”.

After a few other events that didn’t include any celebrities, the next celebrity panel included the three sexiest men on the show; Wesley, McQueen, and Somerhalder. The moment they walked on stage, the crowd, mainly women, roared with cheers, clapping and screaming.

The whole experience was surreal. They sat on their chairs, looking out at us, answering questions from the question box, making jokes here and there.  It was pure entertainment and a dream come true.

Then, after about 3 hours, the most amazing moment arrived. I fixed my hair, reapplied mascara and eyeliner, and applied some lipstick. Both my best friend and I knew that the photo op was going to be quick: a brief hello, photo taken, then a closing thank you. But it was more special than that.

We stood in line that was slowly emerging into a room. As soon as we entered the room, there he was, standing there in dark blue jeans and a gray t-shirt as his dark, black hair shined by the lights of the room. He stood in front of the camera with confidence, as his steamy looks and bewitching smile made every fan blush. His glowing skin and ripped muscles made it seem as if he were mannequin.

We were able to watch how each fan took a photo with him. The line moved faster and my heart began to race. He was loving with each fan, putting his arms around them, giving a sexy, yet sweet smile, and even kissed a young girl on the cheek.

When it was our turn, my heart was racing so fast with excitement, I couldn’t help a huge, cheesy smile forming on my face. As we took a few steps toward him he said “Oh, I get to take a picture with two beautiful ladies.” I could not stop smiling.

He stood between my best friend and I, and wrapped his arms around us, squeezing us tightly and close to him, (and yes, he had muscles!). The photographer took the photo with his fancy camera and bright lighting, and as soon as the photo was taken, I thought to myself, ‘Ok I have to say something to him.’ I turned to him and said “I just want to say thank you for playing Damon and for being here.” My voice slowly trailed off, realizing that I was about 2-3 inches away from his face. I was lost in his mesmerizing, blue eyes and perfect skin.

“Thank you for letting me,” he said with a caring smile touching my shoulder and briefly holding my hand. He winked and gave me a sexy smirk as we walked away, and my heart melted.

My best friend and I walked out of the room, smitten, completely sprung over this guy – over this moment that seemed like a dream and so unrealistic. He was so friendly, humble and kind and appreciative of his fans. He made this experience a special and unique moment for every fan and that’s what makes us love Somerhalder and other celebrities like him.

Now, I’m not saying that I know him on a personal level since our brief meeting, but a first impression can go a long way.

For days, that entire scene replayed in my mind; fast forwarding and rewinding to our brief conversation. That moment was the perfect ending to our eventful day. Once the fourth season begins on October 11, I will have a whole new experience watching “The Vampire Diaries”, remembering how close I got to him that day.

Photo taken by Chris Schmelke.

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Hassina Obaidy

San Francisco

I'm a journalism major at San Francisco State University with a minor in Women and Gender studies. I have a passion for long, feature writing and reporting magazine type news that can help make a difference in the world. My goal is to write about topics that people don't recognize enough and make a difference using my words. I was raised in the tri-city area of the East Bay (Fremont, Union City, Hayward). Ever since I was in middle school, I've always wanted to be a journalist. It took one Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey film to inspire me to become a journalist. I loved Kate Hudson's character and lifestyle in How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days. I wanted to be just like her, but reality hit. I realized I can't have a fictional character's life, but my passion for journalism grew. I began to gain respect for journalists and the work they do. Although I commute from Fremont to San Francisco nearly every day for school, there's not a day that I regret it. I love the education I am receiving and the journalism department that I am a part of. Before attending SF State, I attended community college and wrote for the campus news paper. I was a feature writer then promoted to opinion's editor. After graduation, I want to be a magazine writer and enjoy life like Kate Hudson in How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days.
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