Meeting Lord John Grey: The David Berry Experience

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I don’t need to tell you that we at Timeless Sass3nach Journeys are HUGE Outlander fans; that would be like telling you we need oxygen to breathe. Yet it still amazes me how much these books and TV series have inspired artistic creativity, motivation to follow dreams, and the generation of powerful relations. The Outlander force is immense and continues to be strong with us and the fandom.

With the break for season 4, the momentum has not slowed down one bit. In fact, as the series continues, more and more fans (like us) find ways to connect with the books and TV show.  Whether it’s through gatherings or meet-ups, we go through extreme lengths to experience Outlander – even if it means traveling great distances, taking time off our professional careers, or reorganizing our personal and family calendars. We simply do it. One such special occasion was attending the Outlandish Vancouver party where I met David Berry! In today’s post, I will share one of my most memorable moments of this Outlander MANIA: meeting David Berry.


It all began with Outlandish Vancouver.

It all began with Koko Pipkin and her team at Outlandish Vancouver who scheduled David Berry to appear in Canada for several events, one being a hotel suite party I attended. Other activities such as panels, meet-ups, photo ops, and dinners were also created and made available to members of her Facebook group. I was fortunate enough to attend this unique gathering back in October 2017 with two other women. If you would like more information regarding this group and how to get tickets for their future events, read our article, Outlandish Vancouver with David Berry and Àdhamh ÓBroin, where a link to their Facebook page is listed.

(L to R) Gina, Àdhamh, Samantha, David, and Koko /  Photo Courtesy  |  Outlandish Vancouver

Let’s set the tone with a video of Àdhamh.

Before I start my David Berry story, I do want to premise that the ever talented Àdhamh ÓBroin, Outlander’s Gaelic and language consultant, was also present at the party. We were most entertained by his gifts of storytelling, music, and humor. We love his colossal inner light that ran the get-together; however, in this blog, I will spotlight my David Berry experience.

So, to honor this amazing person, Àdhamh ÓBroin, here is a short video of him casually playing the guitar at the suite party in Surrey.


Video by Samantha Kraupner


My David Berry Story

I traveled to Vancouver, Canada.

It had been a whirlwind of events the night I met David Berry. I still can’t believe it, and with months gone by, the excitement still lingers. I’m positive it will always be a part of me, and images of that very night will forever be imprinted in my mind. On October 20, 2017, I traveled from San Diego, California to Vancouver, Canada with two kindred spirits: Sass3 writer Jae and our dear friend Susie. Lady K unfortunately was unable to make this journey with us. Like everyone else, balancing family, career, and our Outlander obsession can be rather challenging. I was able to manage this mini Lord John Grey vacation, along with my friends, and see Diana Gabaldon at the Surrey International Writer’s Conference as a bonus. The three of us closely worked together to make it happen. Touring  beautiful Vancouver was a must for us before heading to Surrey.

 

Touring the beautiful city of Vancouver, Canada

 

Surrey, Canada for the David Berry event and Diana Gabaldon signing

I was nervous.

The evening I arrived to the hotel in Surrey, I was edgy.  Anxiety crept up as the idea of “hanging out” with LJG was just around the conrner. Honestly, I felt like a young teen fangirling over some famous boyband. It’s quite funny when I observe myself through an outsider’s lense. You see, it’s only through Outlander that I finally accepted the crazed consumption of a show or character the way Trekkies or comic geeks do. I never really understood those people, until now. So, yes, I guess you can say I’m one insane Outlander nerd who was on “pins and needles!”


I was thrilled about the intimate party setting.

Friends from the party

My friends and I were aware that the suite party was going to be an intimate one with only 22 people; however, when we walked in, the head count was merely seven, plus the three organizers. I’m sure you can understand how thrilled we were because that meant more interaction time with the honored guests. We felt (and still feel) truly fortunate for the small setting. Many questions filled my mind: What will I ask him? What would I talk about? Oh, gosh! Will I sound like a silly star-struck fan?

In general, I am not a shy person. At times, I may not say much, especially amongst people I don’t know, but I am overall approachable and outgoing. I had to convince myself that David is just like any other human being: he’s a son, a husband, and a father.  We’re on the same playing field living on this same planet called Earth. How different can he be? But a part of me kept thinking, “This is Lord John Grey!” Eventually, I pulled myself together and was good to go … until David walked in.


Then Mr. Berry walked in.

David Berry and Àdhamh ÓBroin  / Photo by Samantha Kraupner

This to me is a bit fuzzy as I reflect on the experience. Was it David who walked in first or was it Àdhamh? Okay, I got a bit star-struck. We all did. The group was supposed to already be in “party” mode by the time the “stars” arrived, making it less awkward for them – well, really for us!

Àdhamh casually entered with a guitar, and David had a small tablet in his hand. It became quiet for a second, as you can imagine, and then everyone continued with their conversations. After some introductions, David and Àdhamh began to mingle with guests. I was, by then, at the kitchen getting a snack before heading towards Susie who was talking to David. Jae was sitting next to Àdhamh chatting. The mantra, “Be yourself. You’re fine,” was repeated in my mind over and over again when I saw both my friends very relaxed. Conversation between Susie and David was easy. I  joined them, asking David questions regarding  Lord John Grey (easy, right?). While David was talking, my thoughts wandered to that list of questions I mentally prepared. I’m not sure what I said after that because I couldn’t comprehend Susie or David’s words.  It was that Charlie Brown scene where you hear the adults speaking and saying, “wah, wah, wah, wah.” How could this be happening?! Simply put, I was nervous!


I needed a wee dram of whisky to ease my nerves.

A wee dram

I’m not certain how long the conversation was, but I excused myself to the kitchen. There, I saw a bottle of whisky that I knew would help. I asked Koko for a glass, and she gladly poured me a dram. I had a serving or two (I think) before I began feeling a bit grounded, believe it or not. The insecurities that flooded my psyche disappeared. Did I dare and return to the conversation you ask? I did. And feeling superb!

(I’m not typically a drinker, but when I do have any spirits, I enjoy a glass or two of whisky.)


David Berry shared with the group.

At some point we all sat in a circle, with David and Àdhamh “center stage.” Introductions had been completed, and party-goers began asking questions for David and Àdhamh to answer. One question in particular was asked, “We feel you are very talented when it comes to acting and singing, David, but we were wondering is there anything you’re not good at?”  It was a great question, but would he share? A hesitation from David emerged as he contemplated on it, and someone in the circle said, “Why don’t we all share?” One by one, starting with David, each person described his/her challenges – it was a kumbaya moment for the group. And what did I share? Singing. I love to sing, but that’s about it! We laughed, joked, and listened to responses. Later, the “entertainer” in David surfaced because the idea of performing accents came up: Is it difficult to do an English accent? Or, can you do an American accent? Both David and Àdhamh went into acting mode as they spoke from different regions of Europe and the US. They imitated various accents we yelled out: English, Scottish, American, American country/southern, Californian, middle American (Ohio), and so forth. It was straight out of the show “Who’s Line is it Anyway.” The two kept up the charades while chatter and buzz took over the room regarding their brilliance.


David Berry entertained us with singing.

His artistry didn’t stop there. If you haven’t heard by now, David Berry can sing, and he has a voice that will make you melt. Some time during the evening, he sang for us. Below are a couple of videos of the duo in action:

Video by Samantha Kraupner

“Peaceful, Easy Feeling” was sung by David and Àdhamh (you can see me on the left as I sit down at 0:07).


Video by Savvy Santana

Here’s another video of David, but not from Surrey. I wanted to add this in to show his talent. Ladies, you will swoon!


Video by Samantha Kraupner


My excitement was captured on film.

No words can express how thankful I am for the opportunity to have met David Berry. Below are several photos from the gathering!

Me with David Berry in Surrey, Canada

Many selfies were taken, and David was just fantastic with these. My first set of pictures looked blurry, and when he overheard me mention it to Jae and Susie, he (without hesitation) retook them.  I recall David turning towards me saying, “They’re blurry? Let’s do them again.” And, just like that, he grabbed my camera and snapped away. I can’t tell you how grateful I am!

 

Here’s the blurry photo with David Berry

 

Photo Courtesy  | Outlandish Vancouver

Photo Courtesy  | Outlandish Vancouver

Two more snapshots of us with David and Àdhamh. David is so playful!

My friends Jae and Susie / Photo Courtesy  |  Outlandish Vancouver


Now, I am a huge fan of David Berry!

As you read earlier, I’ve always been a fan of Lord John Grey. Now, I’m a huge fan of David Berry. Since this event in October, I have binge-watched four seasons of the Australian TV series, A Place to Call Home, where he plays James Bligh. He is definitely gifted in his craft. I have a lot of respect for David Berry and the time he has given to us, Outlander fans. I want to thank Mr. Berry so much for his kindness and allowing me to fan-girl a bit.

If you are a fan of David Berry, join Appreciation of the English Beefsteak Facebook group to stay connected with his work.


All photos from our blogs are owned by Timeless Sass3nach Journeys, unless noted or attributed. The use of our photos is not permitted unless consent is given.

 

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6 thoughts on “Meeting Lord John Grey: The David Berry Experience”

  1. My biggest dream is to be with Jamie and Lord Grey on my deathbed! Actually way before that! You guys have done an amazing performance! We all can’t wait till April!

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