FanBolt was fortunate enough to get an inside look at the massive hype that is Nerd HQ! Over the last few years, Nerd HQ has graced San Diego’s presence during the very popular and buzzing Comic-Con. Between gaming showcases and epic events, it’s no wonder why this tradition is ever expanding. This year, The Nerd Machine had a spectacular line-up of celebrities for their panel series, “Conversations For A Cause,” benefiting Operation Smile. Operation Smile is a charity organization which provides cleft lip and palate surgeries for children in need. Tickets for the Conversations For A Cause panels are only $22, and provide fans with an extraordinary and humbling experience with their favorite celebrities. This year, FanBolt sat in during the Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki panel, along with the Tom Hiddleston panel that followed straight afterwards.
The panel started a bit late, but Zachary Levi took the stage to tame the very excited audience. Spitting out harmless banter, and cracking jokes, Levi showed no signs of breaking a sweat regardless of the minor hiccup. When Jensen and Jared finally did take the stage, they relayed to the audience their massive trouble getting to Petco Park for their panel. The duo showed a lively reenactment of having to jump on golf carts, drive on sidewalks, avoid a train delay, and break a few laws in the process to get to Nerd HQ on time! The audience, of course, loved it! But Levi wasted no time in jumping into questions from the audience (seeing as Jensen and Jared’s tight schedule required them to be off the stage by 2:50 PST). Throughout the panel, it was hard not to have a smile plastered on your face. The fans supplied great, fun banter and questions for the guys. One fan even threw two bags of gummy bears to Jared to make up for only having a question for Jensen. It was adorable, and you could truly tell how much the fans mean to the duo. It was sad to see them leave, but Nerd HQ quickly made up for it. Tom Hiddleston soon took the stage and delved right into questions from his fans.
Being in the presence of Tom Hiddleston had an unexpected effect on me. I wasn’t a massive fan of his, but hearing such intuitive answers to various questions was astounding. Tom was a great sport, doing impressions on stage, signing items in the middle of his panel, even kneeling at the request of an obvious Avengers fan. He was up for anything, and he provided an unforgettable experience for those in attendance. Zachary Levi even revealed that tickets to this single panel had raised a whooping $6,000!
The Nerd Machine held a series of spectacular events. For those that missed out this year, make no mistake, Nerd HQ is a must in the future. It’s not about the celebrity panels, but more so about coming together to share in something extraordinary. Such an amazing experience, and such an amazing cause!
As Tom Hiddleston said (in French) during his panel, “We all have two lives – the second begins when you realize you only have one!” Make it count!
For more information on Nerd HQ and the Nerd Machine go to http://www.thenerdmachine.com/
Review By: Dhalyn Warren