Friday, April 26, 2013

Jim Parsons: Just When I Thought I Couldn't Love You More....

So tonight I had kind of a unique experience.  As a member of the Screen Actors Guild I get a lot of opportunities to go to things like film screenings or Q&As... generally I can't make it to any, but when I saw that there was a Q&A with Jim Parsons tonight through the SAG Foundation, I moved mountains to clear my schedule... only to get wait-listed.  And then this morning the glorious e-mail came.  Somebody cancelled and I got a spot.  So tonight I got to experience Parsons in two totally different ways, first as himself and then as Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory and realized how wonderful he really is.

Now, this isn't the first time I've seen Parsons speak.  At the end of the second season of Big Bang, they screened and episode with a Q&A after.  I remember showing up super early wearing my "Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock" shirt, thinking it would be packed.  In actuality the screening was in a small room and maybe only like 12 people showed.  After, I ran into Parsons in the lobby, expressing my love for his character, to which he kindly and humbly thanked me as he walked down Madison Ave.

Tonight, we were in a fully packed theatre.  I got a second row seat, and since I didn't have my "Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock" shirt, I settled on Doctor Who and eagerly awaited.  When Parsons first walked in, I  first thought, "THERE'S SHELDON!" but as he sat and spoke so casually, I couldn't even marry the character and the actor together.  Parsons didn't even look like Sheldon in his snappy clean cut outfit and stylish thick framed glasses.  How could they possibly be one in the same?!  Parsons is relaxed personable and HILARIOUS!  I spent 90% of the hour and a half laughing as he admitted he's never watched an episode of "Star Trek" in his life, to which literally the entire audience gasped.  He responded "Oh!  Come on!  I don't have to!  I'm an actor!"  Then, when the conversation moved toward Parsons theatre career (which is extensive, he is a genius) the moderator spoke of "The Normal Heart."  Parsons gushed about how much he loved the production, but also how devastating the show was and he was brought to tears.  There he was, crying in a raw moment and he was so human... nothing at all like the character he plays on TV.  By the time I left, I couldn't even think of what Parsons was like as Sheldon.  (The video of this Q&A will be on The SAG Foundation's Youtube channel in a few weeks).

Good thing Big Bang was on tonight.  I practically ran to my DVR, and tonight's episode gave us full frontal crazy Sheldon Cooper.  The awkward, rude, smart, anal-retentive Sheldon Cooper.  Throughout the episode, Amy tries to break Sheldon of his compulsion to have finality to everything.  Sheldon nearly has a nervous breakdown as Amy stops him sort of finishing a multitude of tasks, much to Sheldon's complete and total chagrin.  It was some serious Sheldon Cooper gold.  And that's when it really hit me.  So many people in the world just see Sheldon Cooper... but the actor behind that mask is a genius. Not just at this one character, but in every part he plays from stage to screen, but 99% of the world will just see Sheldon Cooper.  I made a promise to myself tonight to see Jim Parsons first, and Sheldon as his incredible creation.

On a side note, the secondary part of Big Bang tonight was Penny wishing she was as passionate about things as the "nerds" are.  Penny finally realized what it is to be a nerd.  It has nothing to do with the type of things you watch or what your career is, it is the all consuming passion that I can never understand how other people don't share.  We nerds may be a lot of things, but we are intensely passionate people.  When we love something, we love it to its core.  But seriously Penny.  How could you not like Buffy The Vampire Slayer.  Shame on you girl.  I kind of wish they tried watching Charmed next though, it would be hilarious if Penny was like "this is awesome!"

Anyhoo, another great CBS Thursday night (nerd thurs?) was made even greater by realizing the awesomeness that is Parsons.