Day 4: Write about someone who inspires you.
I don’t know if my heroes are good people. I have not met them to confirm if what I believe of them is true. I’ve been told I should never meet heroes, so they remain an ideal to strive for. In the same way that new cars lose some of their value when you drive them off the lot, sometimes your ideals lose some of their initial worth when you take them down from their pedestal.
I’ve only met one, and only once. I met Vic Migogna briefly at Connecticut Comic Con when I was 14. My mother, in a rare moment, brought me to the Con with a friend of hers because she knew a voice actor I loved would be there. (I think it was a birthday present of sorts. The Con is always within a week of my birthday in July.) There was a signing panel of several voice actors, most of whom I don’t remember now. When I was 14 and in high school, quote books with our favorite icons (RIP Iconator) were The Thing, so I had mine and his signature went right in that book. I had a picture with him (since lost between several moves). I was talking really fast. Even my mom said “I think I hear your voice in my house more than my own,” because he was in nearly every one of my favorite anime at the time (Fullmetal Alchemist and Saiyuki, to name a couple).
When he signed his name, he wrote “God Bless You.”
And I know, over ten years later, that isn’t a big deal. That it’s a kindness, that someone would want to pray for you, even if you don’t share their God. So many hoard their religions, think you have to pass a series of tests to deserve their God’s love. But at 14, this was a bone of contention in my house, where I was constantly at war with my parents over my lack of faith, my struggle to accept or understand it, and eventually my refusal to pretend for their comfort. I’m still struggling. I’m still looking for the words for what I believe.
I didn’t call him out on it (I wasn’t rude), but I think I flinched. Or my face pinched. Something in my demeanor shifted that made him look at me, and go “Oh.” in this quiet, sad sort of way. Not necessarily annoyed or disappointed, but sad. Like he’d let me down. And I guess, at 14, I felt a little like he had.
I haven’t met him again. Fate has not brought us to the same Con at the same time, and I accept that. I did, however, send him a fanfic I wrote when I was 17, and he read it and critiqued it, and that praise (and constructive criticism) meant the world to me. That someone with such a huge fan following, who does so much, had time to read the drabbles of a high school girl and take them seriously was so important.
But if I were to meet him again, I’d ask for his signature. I’d take better care of his picture. If he says “God Bless,” I will say “Thank you.”