Five-hundred people, give or take, crowded into the darkened hall one at a time, VIP's proudly wearing their badges around their necks and taking their front row seats. As I welcomed the audience and started playing some Eliza-trivia, I was awed and inspired by how loyal Eliza's fan-base really is, and in New Orleans, the fans were some of the most well-informed I'd ever encountered!
Everyone had fantastic questions to ask my Boston-homegirl, including updates on Eliza's passion project, THRIVE-Gulu, formerly, THARCE-Gulu (The Healing and Reflection Center), a center Eliza built from the ground up to help the people of Northern Uganda rebuild after decades of war and social oppression. It was beautiful watching Eliza talk to fans about helping others, including how she is currently enrolled in college classes in efforts to help do more for people in need around the world. It's why she could only make one appearance that weekend; Eliza had to get back for one of her classes.
And if that doesn't make you fall in love with the gorgeous inside-and-out star, Eliza is great with her younger fans. Always girls, when one is brave enough to stand in line for her turn at the mic, Eliza loves to compliment them on their clothes and hair, or if in costume, talks to them about how wonderful they look, making each feel like they've received special attention. Another great moment was when an enthusiastic fan explained the local Mardis Gras tradition of the king cake, presenting Eliza with a plastic baby, thereby making her "King of the Comic Con." And she certainly was!
My time with Eliza was a very fun and inspiring experience, as always. She's a remarkably talented, intelligent woman with a larger-than-life personality and generous spirit. There is no doubt that Eliza Dushku is 100% #PopCultureProfessor APPROVED!
To learn more about giving back, check out the #PopCultureProfessor's REPAIR THE WORLD page and see where 100% of my book proceeds went in 2012. Maybe one of those causes will catch your eye. And don't forget to check out Eliza's passion project: http://www.thrivegulu.org/
Look for more on my Comic Con tour in the coming days, including details on my time with the Hollywood icon, Michael Madsen, whose generosity and kind demeanor were both amazing to behold.