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Semper Fi's own, Claudine, got to meet our man, Robert Patrick, at Collectormania 2017 in Birmingham last weekend! We had to scramble in order to get our fan gift for Robert printed, and fan lettres written! And we succeeded! Claudine was able to hand deliver two T-shirts that we made for Robert, a #TeamDoggett and a #TeamDSR shirt, bearing his last name on the back! We hope you like the shirts, Robert!

Claudine was gracious enough to write about her meeting with Robert, and we will archive it here at Semper Fi for all to enjoy! Thank you, Robert, for being so sweet to Claudine and her family! Words cannot express how incredibly happy I am that Claudine got to meet Robert, and spend five minutes chatting with him! Just reading about her experience has set me on a Robert Patrick (John Doggett) high!

MEETING ROBERT PATRICK
3 JUNE 2017 || COLLECTORMANIA || BIRMINGHAM, UK
BY: CLAUDINE HARPER

Night before meeting Robert Patrick I said I would go to bed on time. But I didn’t. I was way too excited / nervous. I decided last minute to write him a letter in case I literally could not speak when seeing him. I was doing that about half 11 and re-wrote it about 5 times. I didn’t get to bed ‘til about 12am. I could barely relax enough to sleep so I don’t think I had a proper sleep at all.

I woke about 2.30am and didn't fall back to sleep properly and got up at 5.30.

Everyone got ready early and we left the house at 7.30am.  We live an hour from London. Got the underground from London Bridge to Euston station and then another train from there to Birmingham International, which took about 1 hour 15 mins .

I wore my dress on the train journey up because, well I wanted to look nice for my favourite actor!! But once we arrived at the NEC convention venue I got excited and less nervous, so I went to the toilets there and changed into my #Team Doggett T-Shirt and black skirt.

We arrived at half 10. There was a great atmosphere; loads of cosplayers and excited Sci Fi TV/ film fans. Kids dressed up in superhero outfits, T-800 lookalikes. You name it.

Within 10 mins of being there, looking around at the sites and stalls some guy stopped me and said he loves my t shirt and wants one. I told him I had it made special. He had a some kind of I Want To Believe (Mulder’s poster – not the 2nd movie) t shirt on. He said he loves Doggett. I said that is great because he didn’t get much love.

We had a long look around and then about half one went to the row of tables where the autographs were happening. He was on the end at the right and he had a full queue the whole time and the biggest queue there. I went to have a look at him and there he was being very sweet with everyone and the moment I saw him in real life somehow didn’t seem too weird or too much for me to handle. It was like seeing an old friend but I distinctly remember feeling like it was like falling in love with Doggett for the first time all over again. He just looked like him, still that smile and those eyes and ears.

We had something to eat there and I as time passed I was becoming less and less nervous. I looked at the schedule poster they had up and noticed there was no time slot for RP photo session in the afternoon. So we all worriedly tried to find a crew member and ask them what the heck was going on. I was so scared they cancelled his time slot and I had lost the chance to do it. But the crew member said he is still doing it at 4.45pm but they missed it out on the poster by mistake. He said that RP is a really nice guy, is very chatty with his fans, so it might take a while for each to have a photo but you only get a few seconds with him for the photo.

We decided that the photo session was going to be too quick to be able to give him the t-shirts and talk properly to him so I got a ticket to get his autograph. I got a ticket at 1.30pm to buy an autograph and I had no 390. That's how many were waiting at about 2pm, aside from the others who had pre -bought tickets. I couldn't queue until the number near mine was written up. It was on no 170 at that time. 

At 1.50pm I let my kids go off and play some video games with their dad and I queued up where he was to give a free talk on the main stage. I got there about 40 mins before he was due and about 4 people were already were queuing. Once I got there, loads started queuing behind me.

As I stood there this lady behind me asked if I was in the queue for RP. I said yes and she was happy she got there so early if people were already queuing. Then we started talking. She was Italian, came all the way from Italy to see him and has been his fan since 2001. I said “so have I!” From there we got on like a house on fire, talking about the XFiles Revival, Gillian Anderson, Doggett, DSR / DRR (she prefers DSR) , our kids, schools in the UK compared to Italy, her work, our lifestyle, which Robert Patrick films we had seen and liked. It was like I had found a new friend but an old friend at the same time. She knew all about Semper Fi website and loves it! We talked so easily together that it felt like we had been friends for years. We sat together at the Talk audience and continued to talk whilst we waited for RP. She told me about her encounter with RP at the autograph table and the photo session and said how nice he was and that his eyes are so blue and amazing that they are almost intimidating. She said there was one girl in front of her at the autograph table that was shaking when she spoke to him and close to tears because he meant so much to her.

And that same girl was the first to ask a question at his talk and it was “ Can I take you home with me?” He said he is happily married since 1990 but otherwise she was so beautiful that he would take her up on that! “So….timing!” he said and everyone laughed.

He talked about what films he did and The Last Rampage and that Filter is doing the music for the film. Someone asked about Fire In The Sky and he said he was really proud of that film and it didn’t get enough recognition at the time.

He said that he has done so many films his memory isn’t working very well now and sometimes he turns on the TV at home and sees himself in a film and says “What the f is that?!”  

I wanted to ask a Question but for the life of me didn’t know what to ask! But seeing him talk before I got to meet him helped me feel less nervous for when I was to speak to him later. So I am really glad that happened. It didn’t feel weird watching him talk in real life. It was just like watching him talk on a video I have watched before.

One question at the end of the talk was if he'll be in X-Files s11, he said he's contracted with CBS but the person asking pressed him about it to say more and in the end he said  "you never know". 

I left my Italian friend after that as she was so tired from it all that she went back to her hotel. We exchanged contact details and mentioned I am on You Tube and I make Doggmatic Productions videos and she said “oh my god, I know those videos! I love them!” It’s so funny when people know you somehow without having met you.

At 3.30pm I went to see if the line number was near my ticket number and it was on 190 or something. So I waited near the RP autograph section to see how fast the queue was going down but people just kept joining it. So it was consistently full.

At 4pm decided to ask the crew member at the line if I could get in the queue anyway as the photo shoot will be in 45 mins. She said yes and was letting anyone in.  I was so happy I asked!

I paid up and had to choose a photo for him to sign from the selection of photos they had. I chose a Doggett season 8 one and what was possibly a 5 min wait I was there in front of him. 

I felt fine by this point because of seeing him talk earlier and because my Italian friend said he is lovely and laid back and puts you at ease. It's true. He really does.  

He saw me and his eyes widened at seeing my t-shirt and pointed at the picture of himself as Doggett on my t-shirt. I stood in front of him as he ate some health cereal bar and I said “I don’t know what to say!” He said it was 17 years ago when he was Doggett (and added “man I was skinnier back then”)so I that allowed me to tell him that that's how long I have been his fan. He nodded at my youngest son and tilting his head to me asked him “Who’s this? Is this your mom?” and my son nodded. “So she's been a fan of me before you boys were born". I said yep. I told him they think Doggett is the best character on the X-Files, he nodded and pointed at them both and said" I like you guys " and fist bumped them saying "Team Patrick!" 

I then gave him the #Team Doggett and #Team DSR T-shirts and explained they were from Cassie of Doggett and Scully.com. He looked at the t-shirts and said “Wonderful! Wonderful! I’m gonna wear them!” He knew Cassie the moment I said Doggett and Scully.com and said “She’s a big defender of mine! She’s great!”

He told me to hold up the t shirt both sides and he took a good long look and kept saying it was great. I then gave him an envelope of letters from Cassie and her sister He took it and said "shall I read them now? Shall I read them out loud?" I said “If you want” and then as he took the letters out I remembered I put my own letter on the top. I said laughing “Oh that letter is mine and you probably don’t want to read that out loud.”

He sat there reading my short letter and nodded as he read it, pointing at the letter, nodding at my husband James, pouting his lips like “yeah, she loves me” and at the end of it read the last bit I wrote out loud “The UK's biggest Doggett Defender”  He glanced at Cassie’s letter and said he will read those later, putting them away. He asked if I was doing the photo session later and I said “yes I am” and he said “ok, I won’t get up and give you a hug now then” and I was “Ok” like “whatever you say!”

After that he became quite serious with me. Before the letter he was joking and chatting to my kids, asking who the other people with me were (my other son and husband, whom was filming all this on his phone).

He asked me where we lived and I explained and said it took us about 4 hours to get here and he rolled his head to indicated how shocked he was. My husband said “she’s a big fan.”

He asked me how I knew Cassie and I explained “we met online about 8 or 9 years ago and have been friends ever since all because of you!”

He signed my picture and picked up the pile T Shirts and like a kid says “and these are all for me?!” and after I said “yep” he said “Wow, I feel like I should buy you lunch!” and Iaughed and said “Well you can if you like! But it’s a bit late now.” He laughed like his usual gorgeous laugh, I went to walk away and he asked again about meeting Cassie online and I told him “yeah, we met online. And you’re Claudine.” I said yeah and he repeated “Claudine” like he was trying to make an effort to remember it and he said “ I appreciate you” right into my eyes and I said “I appreciate YOU!” Like OMG! Me?!! You’re the one we all appreciate!!! He shook my hand and we both said thank you. He said bye to my family and my husband asked if he could get a fist bump and he was like “yeah man”. My husband was very impressed and said to me afterwards “He is a really nice guy.”

Throughout it all I had a massive queue behind me and distinctly aware that time was ticking for the day and yet he was talking to me for a good five minutes and I was so worried I was going to say something silly that I was trying to get away and not take up too much of his time or delay the other fans behind me but he kept talking to me! I think I turned into a giggling, constantly smiling girl in front of him.

He was so lovely! So easy to talk to. So attentive.  

The only thing left to do was to queue with all the rest of his fans for the photo at 4.45pm. His photo queue was huge! He has just seconds to do each person. You queue up outside this area with walls and they take your bags for you and in the middle of the room is the photographer and the printing area. He had loads of people, of all kinds, men, people with their kids and babies. I just stood there smiling away as he did each person, so patient and sweet with them all. Smiling and thanking them and looking at them in the eye. He held the baby of one family for the pic of them all, he knelt down for people in wheel chairs and the photographer sometimes took more than one pic to make sure the fans got a good pic. I knew that RP was up since 6am today and this is coming to 5pm and he doesn’t seem tired or annoyed by any of this. He held up an older boy with the dad and put him down and waves good bye to them as they go. 

I had the T-800 lookalike (he had the whole gear on and make up and the red eye) in front of me and when RP sees him he goes " My nemesis," narrowing his eyes.

Then my time comes quick and he smiles at me and points to my husband and the boys watching at the side and says " there's your family" and then he opens his arms to me for a big hug and as he does this I say " I love you." (Kinda like shaking my head, like “I’m sorry but I damn well do” kinda thing!) He gives a huge warm cuddly hug! I think I kinda skipped / twiddled off as I went away. I almost forgot to pick up the photo I was so happy!  My youngest son told me RP waved bye to him as we left the photo area.  

That was it! I was done! I literally could die a completely happy woman! Possibly the cherry on the cake was the fact I had his aftershave smell on my hair and clothes, because well, you go in for a really tight hug with him and my hair was next to his face/neck and you stand like that for a good 5 seconds whilst they snap the shot.  

I was just in a dream. It was like the Doggett years all over again and I was just rewinding everything he said all in my head. I think going to it was the best decision I've ever made! 

It's beyond words the feeling he gives you. He is just so special and really cares. He was the most popular man there. But he just treats you like you are the only one in the world when you have your time with him.  I noticed he was all funny and cool with my kids and husband and it wasn’t until he read my letter which just politely and concisely explained how much he means to me, he changed, like he was overwhelmed or he got what it meant to me. He can be cool when he needs to be and then when he knows the impact he has had on a person, he makes sure he honours that. He really listens and takes the time and even though I was fangirling, he didn’t make you feel awkward or nervous, he just treats you like a friend.

And yes, he might be nearly 60, but he is still that cool, laid back young man we all fell in love with. When you look in his eyes and he smiles at you and the cool way he talks, you forget his age or how long it was since he graced our screens as Doggett and you see him as you see him as Doggett or any other character you have seen him as. I was so smitten and had so much respect for him that I sometimes didn’t say all I could have said, it was too much for my mind to comprehend because I have watched him through a screen for the past 16 years and thought of him in so many ways, but it was a great experience. The “I love you” kinda just blurted out involuntarily! But the pic I got with him has a sweet smile on his face that I think the I love you worked wonders on him!! They say not to meet your hero but I think some people are just special that that saying is not true. From the first interview I read of him when he joined the X-Files before I even saw him as Doggett, I got the sense he was a hardworking, appreciative actor, dedicated to the ones close to him, friendly with everyone, had the right attitude to work and responsibilities and loves his fans. It was one of the first things I liked about him even before I saw him act on the show. And I was right. He does act that way – professional, respectful to everyone he meets and does his job without complaints no matter how long a day he has had or the pressures on him. He is one in a million and I am one lucky, lucky lady. Proud to be his fan.

It was the perfect way for me to honour him as Doggett, to make sure he knew how much he was loved, that the work he did on the show did not go unnoticed or unappreciated. I told him in my letter I think he is the best character on the X-Files and that I think that was because of him and how brilliantly he portrayed him. I wrote that he gave me happiness, confidence and purpose at that time and I will never forget it. I said Thank you for your hard work, dedication and talent. I am so glad I could watch him reading those words. It was understatement really, but to know he has been told this makes me happy. One of the things that bothers me about actors or entertainers that I am a fan of is if they do not know how loved they are or how talented they are. Now I know I have told him and that my love for him has been told to him properly. He deserves all the love he gets!


 


Claudine getting that HUGE HUG from RP!


These are the front sides of the two T-shirts for RP!


The back of both shirts!

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