by Lorie Lewis Ham
Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE Buffy the Vampire Slayer-it is my all time favorite TV show. Well if you too are a fan of Buffy, then you are in for a treat! Nicholas Brendon, who played Xander, is on a special kind of tour doing different types of small meet and greet events for fans, and one of those events is in Fresno! When I saw that he was coming here I just couldn’t believe it! I also couldn’t believe it when I got the go ahead to interview him from his event coordinator and social media manager Sarah Allison! So here is the interview, along with details about the Fresno event which takes place on January 25, and in case you don’t live in Fresno, there is also information on some of his other events coming up! We also asked Sarah a few event related questions.
KRL: What are some of your favorite acting jobs since Buffy?
Nicholas: I enjoyed the character Kevin Lynch on Criminal Minds. Also Seth on Kitchen Confidential. When the first acting gig you get is the apex of 99.9% of any characters career, it’s hard to have that again. The bar was set so high.
KRL: Do you have a favorite Buffy episode? And if so, why is it your favorite?
Nicholas: “Once More with Feeling”, because we brought that feeling one more time. It was fun to sing and dance. And bring the feeling.
KRL: Do you have a favorite Xander moment on Buffy?
Nicholas: That’s like asking someone to pick out their favorite kid. Speedo on Go Fish. Writing the shawarma monologue on Teacher’s Pet. Being nominated for an Oscar for the Wolf of Wall Street (it was just an honor being nominated.)
KRL: What did you like best about being on Buffy?
Nicholas: That it got me the exposure to be nominated for an Oscar. No seriously, I’m pissed I wasn’t nominated for a Golden Globe. But seriously, working with some of the finest actors in the industry.
KRL: Is there anything you wish they had done with your character that they didn’t?
KRL: Favorite, or funniest behind the scenes moment?
Nicholas: Hana, our on set chef, made the most succulent beef stew. I mean, it was deliciouso! Whenever it was beef stew day, I’d tie on my stew bib and all of my worries seamlessly went away.
KRL: What are your hobbies?
Nicholas: Rollerblading, fly fishing, painting pictures of missing pets on rocks that I find in the park and then selling those rocks at a craft fair, and juggling marshmallows. In all seriousness, I enjoy surfing, writing, reading, shopping, and taking pictures. Oh and eating at Panda Express!
KRL: What do you watch on TV?
Nicholas: Bobs Burgers!!!!
KRL: Do you have any pets?
Nicholas: No, I had a German Shepherd named Steve. My world crumbled when he passed.
KRL: I know what that’s like. Future career goals?
Nicholas: My future life goal is happiness or at very least contentment.
KRL: That’s a great goal. How did you come up with the idea for the Happiness Runs Amok Tour?
Nicholas: Two things, I love my fans and it really hasn’t been done before. It kind of came out of nowhere. It was kismet. Last year I named it Kicking Depression in the Gutterballs (bowling) Tour, because my business partner said kicking depression in the ballsack wasn’t as appropriate (my mental health awareness hashtag has for years been #kickingdepressionintheballsack). I’ve suffered with depression for much of my life and this was a way to help myself by helping others. This year I named it Happiness Runs Amok… because I give amok tour, because happiness is running amok and I also give a fuck. It’s not just about helping those with depression it’s about focusing on happiness and love.
KRL: What are some of the things you have done and will be doing on the tour?
Nicholas: It started with a karaoke event in Boston January 2018. Which lead to over a hundred and fifty bowling and karaoke events last year along with 200,000 road miles. This year we will be branching out. On January 21 and 22, we’ll have our very first Buffy set tour in Torrance. January 25 I’ll be doing my first watch(er) party where we will watch a couple episodes of Buffy in Fresno. I’ll also be doing a Buffy trivia event in Las Vegas on February 2 at Millennium Fandom Bar and in San Francisco on January 26 we are planning a Buffy Flash Day, where Castro Tattoos will be offering discounted Buffy inspired tattoos where I’ll be spending time playing cards with those waiting to get inked and I’ll be donating a portion of proceeds to charity (most likely suicide prevention San Francisco.)
KRL: What fun! Wish I could go to all of them! I have to ask-I’m glad you picked Fresno, but why did you?
Nicholas: I often get requests and ask for requests for cities to hold events and this man goes where this man is wanted. Fresno gave me a call. Thank you Fresno. I do stop in smaller towns because a lot of people don’t get the opportunity to travel to big cities or conventions.
KRL: Well I for one am very glad you are coming to Fresno. What do you like best about getting to meet fans?
Nicholas: They are very forthcoming, honest, and trusting of me with so much, and their stories truly inspire me.
KRL: Anything you would like to add?
Interview with Sarah:
KRL: What are the details of the Fresno event?
Sarah: At 6:30 meet at mini mansion Airbnb, food and talking before watching two episodes of Buffy that we’ll have guests help choose. Autographs and selfies along the way and someone will be bringing their karaoke machine for some singing!
KRL: Where all has the tour gone?
Sarah: Over 150 stops last year, pretty much every state in America plus UK, Germany, and Northern Ireland.
KRL: Anything else you would like to add?
Sarah: I think Nicky covered it with 7+7=14. 🙂
These events allow people to meet someone they have idolized for 20 years. They also allow fans to meet and make connections with people in their area who also have a love for the show. On his FB discussion group, I see people connect in separate countries, states, and so many connected after his events. It gives people support and acceptance among new friends. Nicky has so many open up to him about their lives. He always asks questions and gives advice to better their lives and situations and they do! They can’t wait to tell him how their life has improved. Lastly, even those who struggle with anxiety, depression, PTSD and other mental illnesses feel comfortable at his events, people who never go to public setting as such. Unfortunately some end up not showing because of it but most allow the desire to meet Nicky to push them through it.
Not only his in person events, he has Facebook live events! He started what we call Nicky@Nyte last Halloween where he watched episode Hush and did a commentary and answered questions from fans watching. He spent 3-4 hours that Thanksgiving watching Pangs episode and Bobs Burgers marathon while cooking a turkey. New Year’s Day he watched Once More with Feeling, along with many separate live Q&As and karaoke where he sings in the car. A lot of people struggle on holidays with depression and have really benefited from Nicky’s outreach.
Thanks to Nicholas and Sarah for taking the time to chat with us! If you are a Buffy fan like I am, don’t miss this awesome tour! If you would like to follow Nicholas on his social media and YouTube here are all the links!