Gillian Anderson at Southland, Melbourneby Caroline Seawright
January 23, 2001
Two people were rushed to hospital and dozens more treated for hyperventilation after more than 10,000 people showed up to see The X-Files star Gillian Anderson at a suburban shopping centre in Melbourne on Friday.
Anderson, who plays FBI agent Dana Scully in the popular television series, appealed to the crowd to be careful as it surged forward after she appeared on stage.
"Be careful of each other, you don't want to make a bad impression on Scully, do you?" she said as the centre's 22 security staff struggled with the crowd, the Age newspaper said.
"We knew that she was going to be popular but I don't think anyone envisaged she would have drawn such a crowd," said the Southland's shopping centre manager John Gilbert.
Anderson's appearance was cut short for fear of serious injury to the fans.
- CANBERRA, June 29 (Reuter)
I was actually there that day, way back in 1996 (wow, was it that long ago?!).
I believe that I'd arranged to meet one of my friends that day, and we went in together to see her. I was in university and didn't have any classes on, so I was happy enough to go - she was at Southland, 10m away from where I live! (I am still waiting for David Duchovny to turn up at Southland, now!)
I didn't expect the huge amount of people who were there, though. Southland, back in the olden days before it was expanded, only had a small centre stage... designed for only a couple of thousand people (if that).
Matt and myself were lucky enough to get a spot on the floor, up near the front (though not too close). We kept getting moved around, though, due to the huge amount of people... it was hot and squishy, but not as bad as it obviously was in some places! I guess we were lucky.
Stupid me didn't bring a camera.
I had, though, bought a magazine talking about the X-Files, to get signed. Though I didn't know how on earth that was going to happen - apparently there was a queue that you had to line up in to even hope of getting a signature!
My sister got a note from my mother, letting her off school for the day to go (which is amazing in itself!), but I had no idea where she and her friends were.
Eventually, the crowd started chanting out her name, because she hadn't turned up yet. The radio people up on the stage were trying to get everyone calmed down, but you could hardly hear a word that was being said. It got worse when she did turn up!
The cheering was deafening! And there was a huge surge in the crowd and we were all pushed closer. I still couldn't see very well, so Matt, being the tall sort, offered me a lift on his shoulder. I saw Gillian Anderson!
I didn't realise that she was so short (and cute - I guess she'd hate that, being thought of as short and cute, like a doll. But she was!)... People started tossing roses and things at the stage, yelling out "We love you Gillian!" and other such things.
I got to take photos for people who did bring their cameras, being able to see her somewhat!
Anyway, the people wouldn't stop pushing, all those behind, who wanted a closer look... people were fainting and having to be pulled out of the crowd everywhere...
I think she was pretty overwhelmed by this... she called for the people to stop, and said that if things didn't settle down, she'd have no choice but to leave - she didn't want to see people hurt because of her!
As you can imagine, she said this a number of times, and people did settle down for a bit... and she went through with her autograph signings.
Suddenly, I saw my sister up on the stage! She was going to get an autograph!
That was shocking. What was even more shocking was that she actually heard us calling her name, and found us in the crowd in front of the stage!
A friend of Matt (who we'd run in to) offered to toss my magazine up to my sister so Leanne could get it signed for me...
And, somehow, it worked! My sister caught my magazine!!!
She also managed to pick up a rose that someone had thrown down, to give to the X-Files star... and she got her own magazine and mine signed. And she gave her the rose, to which Gillian said "Thank you" (awwwww!)
It was directly after this that she left. People wouldn't stop pushing, so she was escorted out and away... my sister was in the last small group of 5 or so people to get signed!
I can't believe the coincidences that happened that day to let me get her autograph!
That night, when I got home, I got my signed magazine from my sister. Apparently, she was lucky to get in the queue to get signed - she asked one of the security guards why the people were in a queue, and he told her why, and allowed her and her friend to join. Somehow, she managed to get further along in the queue, because of people disappearing (and due to the crush, her friend was taken out to get air - along with Leanne's camera), but she got on stage, and got to actually meet to Gillian Anderson!
I'm so lucky to have the autograph!
The only thing I'm wondering about is how crazy she thinks I/my sister am... The magazine had unfolded during it's flight path, and was no longer on the page with a picture of Gillian herself. It ended up on the front cover, which had a photo of David Duchovny. (However yummy he might be, I think it's kinda embarassing that she signed his picture!)
Oh, well! I was happy to get my magazine signed, that my sister and her friend survived, and to get out of there alive after actually seeing her!
An amazing day...
Who'd have ever thought that she'd be at my local shopping centre, anyway??
Why not enter my X-Files Writing Challenge?
© Caroline 'Kunoichi' Seawright 2001 - present
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