Here comes the very 1st fan account of the Thailand fan meeting! And this happens to be the very 1st fan meeting AnnMichelle was able to attend. To celebrate, I’ll open the comment section for this post so that fellow fans can share her happiness. 😛 [The random pictures are all borrowed from elsewhere.]
I wanted to go to the Bangkok FM because the timing could not have been better – my rare chance of vacationing in Asia after moving away more than a year ago, oh, I forgot about the 2012 Seoul concert, but hey, who’s counting.
Also I worried that being his first FM in Thailand, Seung Gi would feel a little unsure and needed as much support as he could get.
As my seatmate, a Thai fangirl, by all looks a normal, pretty woman in her mid-20s, screamed her heart out almost nonstop, and looking at the relaxed, shining Seung Gi on stage, I knew I should not have worried. At all.
It’s no surprise that Korean fans and World Airens showed up to lend their support, and Chinese fans too (who so wanted to nail down their own FM), but from the response of the Thai fans (by far the majority) I’d say Seung Gi has enjoyed a very deep rooted popularity there.
Instead of a drama career retrospective feel of last year’s FMs, this Thai FM was designed to highlight GFB, a smart way to promote the drama I think. But Choi Kang Chi seemed to be doing very well without the promotion. He was voted the most favorite character by the audience (look at the red dots all over his picture!).
After clips of GFB were shown (top three scenes from fight scenes, romance scenes, and kiss scenes, etc.), as SG and the FM MC merrily chatted along, poor me was trying my hardest to piece together what they were talking about by a few Korean words I picked up (too few!) and by SG’s body language.
That was where MC Seung Gi showed his true colors. Imagine you were in a foreign land, hearing a foreign language, on stage being stared at by thousands of fans, and trying to answer rapid-fire questions with wit, insight, and sincerity. He not only did that but with the most calming ease and a delight only from someone who truly enjoyed doing it.
In one segment, the MC was trying to trick him into saying bobo (kiss) in Thai. And our quick and cute SG said (in English) ah, I know it (your trick). He also casually interspersed the few Thai words he’d learned into the conversations. The results were the MC doubled over with laughter and the audience going totally nuts.
[For more detail about the drama conversation, perhaps we can wait for the FM conducted in English (in Singapore) and Chinese (in Taiwan and perhaps China later).]
And then it’s time to showcase SG’s variety spirits and rapport with the lucky audience!
The first group of 10(?) was chosen by catching the stuffed doll/animal SG threw. (I am sure he aimed carefully and his arm strength and throw range was amazing.)
The last challenge of this segment was for each ‘survivor’ to tell SG why she deserved him. (Again, I wish I knew what each girl said.) Seung Gi picked a Thai fan as the winner (who’s wearing a pretty skirt and looked very cute) by giving her the long stemmed rose. As a reward she got to enact a GFB scene with SG. And she chose the back hug – with her acting as Kang Chi! Wow!
When the MC said you’d better be careful playing games with SG he’s not kidding. The mischievous HeoDang would get you any time he wanted. (For this music chair like game I think the Thai fan club or organizer staff was the designated ‘victims’.) Like just raising his arm so the hula hoop won’t get past him! The poor girl next to him tried and tried but the hoop just fell back to her side time and time again. But, ah, let’s not forget the fact that the whole time she was holding SG’s hand too!!!!!
Then as SG retreated to backstage to get ready for the performance part of the FM, we were treated with a nicely edited film where actor/MC Seung Gi got beaten, cried, ate, and kissed his way through all his dramas and 1N2D. With English subtitles!
Oh, there was also a cute cartoon produced by the Thai Airens. The story was plain enough, and we had heard about it many times before: how a forlorn fangirl counting the days for his visit (starting with the 2010 CeCi Magazine photo shoot at Bangkok – gorgeous spread that was). The animation was rudimentary, but the heart and passion was what mattered. When a map of the 2012 Asia Tour was shown, 1N2D style, you saw that poor girl waiting in Thailand patiently, only to see other countries graced by SG’s visits one by one, and you could not help but get teary eyed (I know I did). When at last the Thai Airens expressed their thanks to SG, we all raised the card saying I LOVE YOU to him. Wow!
The music performance part was vintage SG, energetic, emotional, brilliant. My only complaint was the sound systems were at times too loud (please forgive this old-fashioned ajumma). A film using “Words that said I loved you” as BGM to show highlights from the 2012 Hope concert seemed to drive home the point: to see Singer/Dancer Seung Gi at his tip top form, and to immerse totally in the unbeatable ambience of all Airens united as one, you have to go to the year-end concert!
Then came the moment for which I had been waiting, and dreading, ever since the day I decided to go to the FM.
I had never got close enough to SG to touch him. To me he’s this wonderful, talented being, whether on stage or screen, an almost sacred existence, totally and fittingly out of my reach. But now, I was offered an opportunity to see him close, to shake his hand. Should I take it? By then the FM had gone on for about two and a half hours. I knew he must have been tired. And there were scores of devoted fans ahead of me waiting to shake his hand. Should I just slink away and let him rest, if just for one handshake?
Then I saw a face I recognized, a very SENSIBLE fan who adored SG but never shied away from criticizing him if she saw any perceived shortcoming (I simply could not find anything wrong with him. Honestly.) Now that same rational fan, after shaking hands with SG, just bounding down the steps like a 5-year-old, her face totally lit up, a big smile from ear to ear. I think that face steeled my resolve. Well, that and the ushers’ urging us to line up quickly to go up stage for our handshake.
His hand was soft, warm, and meaty like a most comfortable cushion. I took it calmly and firmly. Then I looked up to him, and said, “Thank you very much. I hope you can visit the United States again.”
He was a little surprised. And then his smile deepened. I could see his double eyelids curved. Did he say “thank you” back? I am not sure. It all went so quickly. The next moment I was back down stage again. My friend was right behind me so I turned and asked her if she saw SG’s expression changed. She said yes, she saw it too. For some reason that just made me the happiest person in the world.
Outside a lot of fans still lingered. Everyone seemed reluctant to put an end to this magical evening. Suddenly that sensible fan-friend grabbed me (although by then the word ‘sensible’ was no longer suitable to describe her) and gave me a big hug. Then torrents of words just poured out of her describing her handshake. I smiled. Apparently here was another happiest person in the world.