Monday, May 13, 2013

Fangirling over Hannah Hart? Splendid!

I wrote a couple months ago about my girl crush on Hannah Hart, her YouTube series My Drunk Kitchen, and her Hello, Harto tour.  It was my distinct and absolute pleasure to meet her on Saturday!

She kicked off the Hello, Harto! tour in late April, rented an RV, and hit the road.  Most of her stops include shooting for the Hello, Harto travel portion of the show, shooting an episode of My Drunk Kitchen in a fan's house, and a volunteer event/meetup.  They even developed a smartphone app so fans can stay connected throughout the tour.

When the tour calendar was announced, I was sad to see that the tour wouldn't include my kitchen, but I was happy that they would be stopping in (somewhat nearby) Chicago.  It also happened that the Chicago stop was scheduled for Mother's Day weekend.  I immediately called my mom (who is also a fan of Hannah) to ask if she would be interested in volunteering and meeting Hannah for Mother's Day.  Being awesome, my mom enthusiastically agreed that it would be a great way for us to celebrate.  The hard part was waiting for details about the event.  Both of us checked the app multiple times a day in hopes of the volunteering signup being open.

In the meantime, my Grandma came up from Florida to visit and celebrate my cousin's college graduation.  When registration for the event finally opened, she asked if she could join us.  My boyfriend also agreed to go, which was fantastic since none of us particularly like driving in Chicago.  The event also included a food drive, so before Saturday, I went and picked up some things for us to donate.

Saturday we headed north (MUCH earlier than I've been awake lately) and enjoyed watching all the U of I Commencement traffic heading the opposite direction.  We met Mom & Grandma in the suburbs and headed for the venue.  It can be difficult to find a food bank to accommodate the number of volunteers Hannah was able to recruit.  Because of this, we weren't actually able to help at a food bank.  Our act of volunteerism was the food drive, and I think that turned out pretty well.  All the food was donated to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

The event was at the Catalyst Ranch in Chicago.  I had never been there, but I heard that it's used a lot for corporate retreats and to encourage creativity.  I can totally understand that because it is a very eclectic space.  In addition to colorful decor, the room we were in also had a bunch of different vintage dinette sets and fabulous chairs.  Waiting in line to meet Hannah was easier because there was always something interesting to inspect.  Before we could go in the room where Hannah spoke, I asked Scott to take a picture of my grandma, mom, and me, because it's not often we all get to do something together, especially something so awesome!

Unintentionally color coordinated and everything!

Since we weren't able to help at a food bank, Hannah was able to devote a lot more time to talking about the tour and answering questions from the audience.  She was so gracious and sweet.  She talked about how the tour was going, and her plans for the future.  She was warm and funny and absolutely charming.  One fan combined Hannah's show and her love of Doctor Who by creating a sonic spatula and presenting it in front of the group.  It was a replica of the sonic screwdriver David Tennant used as the 10th Doctor, complete with blue light and sonic sound effects.

The Sonic Spatula is in the top row.

After the Q&A session but before we could meet Hannah, Pearl (Hannah's friend and the tour's producer) took a panoramic shot of everyone who attended.  It was suggested that everyone Grace Face as an homage to Hannah's friend and excellent YouTuber, DailyGrace.  Hannah shared that her usual reaction to that request is to flash both her middle fingers at the camera, and those of us in the audience could choose which we wanted to do.  Not knowing what Grace Facing is and not wanting to flip off the camera, apparently my grandma opted to give the camera A finger instead of THE finger.  She just held up her index finger.  It was pretty adorable.  If you look closely in the Instagramed photo Hannah posted after the event, you can even kind of make her out.

It took us quite awhile to make it through the line to meet Hannah individually, but it was absolutely worth it to me.  When we got to the front of the line, I went first, she shook my hand, introduced herself (it was a very Harriet Jones, Former Prime Minister moment for me), and then gave me the best hug.  Seriously, home girl can hug.  Then I explained to her that I take 98% of my pictures with my mouth open, and I was wondering if she would do that in our picture.  She asked me to demonstrate and then was totally game.  After introducing her to my mom and grandma, she hugged each of them, and the four of us posed for a picture.  Hannah asked if we were going to take the picture with open mouths.  Again, in case you didn't catch that, IT WAS HANNAH'S IDEA TO TAKE AN OPEN MOUTH GROUP PICTURE WITH MY FAMILY!  And then I died.  No, really, it was so sweet.  Pearl noticed the three generations in our group and asked if we would mind being interviewed on camera.  I was obviously up for it (and therefore decided all three of us were up for it), and she sent us to see Sam the cameraman.  Sam asked a few questions about how we became fans of Hannah and what we love about her and similar things.  Hopefully we'll make the final cut in the documentary at the end of Hello, Harto!

Hugs and open mouth pictures with HANNAH HART!

Meeting Hannah has definitely been the highlight of 2013 for me.  It's hard to meet someone you look up to so much, because the higher the pedestal you put them on, the more likely they are to disappoint you.  Hannah Hart did not disappoint.  She was absolutely as lovely and welcoming as I had hoped she would be.  On the trip back home, we decided the best single-word descriptor for her would probably be delightful.  She really is just so delightful.

If you have the opportunity to meet her, definitely take it!  And call me so I can go with you!


  1. Hi I'm Zoe, the girl with the sonic spatula, and I loved your post about the hello harto meet up! :D I was wondering if I could have some of the photos you took of me giving Hannah the spatula. I'm so glad you posted this!

  2. Hi Zoe. I would be happy to send you the photos I took. Leave your email address as a comment, and I'll delete it after I send the photos so you don't get inundated with extra spam.