The Complete MCC Convention Photo-Op Jazz Hands Collection (so far)

John Barrowman!

One of many faves from Wizard World Chicago 2016: John Barrowman (Doctor Who, Torchwood, Arrow), who’s game for just about any pose you suggest, several more that never would’ve occurred to you, and a few you’ll never live down.

Here in the doldrums of January, when not much is going on outside our humble abode, my wife Anne and I have already tentatively mapped out our 2017 convention plans, with room for additions if any wild opportunities come up in the months ahead. As an antidote to the soggy winter blues and the current political climate that has all but murdered my enjoyment of most of the internet lately, we’d like to take a look back at the actors we’ve met over the past three years with this very special photo compilation of one of our favorite convention activities: asking actors if they’ll join us in a bit of jazz hands.

Matt Smith!

There’s a common saying among Doctor Who fans: “You never forget your first Doctor”. By the same token, here’s our very first jazz-hands attempt starring a jolly Matt Smith.

We’ve been attending conventions since the 1990s, back in the good ol’ days when the guests’ autographs were included in your admission price and cons were consequently easier to manage on a low budget. Photo ops were a rarity reserved for VIP guests, priced beyond our means when we were mere youngsters still working at McDonald’s. For us that paradigm was flipped upside-down at Wizard World Chicago 2014, where headliner Matt Smith was charging more for autographs than for photo ops. As newly indoctrinated Doctor Who fans with a bit more disposable income today, we decided we wanted to meet him but wouldn’t be opposed to saving a few bucks on the experience.

We can’t remember whether jazz hands were her idea or mine, but by the time we reached the photo booth, we knew it had to be jazz hands. Rather than impose on the idol of millions, we merely said hi and assumed our stances, leaving the Eleventh Doctor to do whatever he wished. We got in place; he chuckled and joined us. And our new convention tradition was born.

Karen Gillan!

Jazz hands photo #2, also from the world of Who: Karen Gillan, that Guardians of the Galaxy costar, at the first and last Wizard World Indianapolis in 2015.

Now, we’re older and we don’t mind asking so much, most of the time. Sometimes we don’t even ask them because we can just tell it wouldn’t be their thing. Some are elderly and understandably limited in movement. Some prefer to comport themselves in a dignified public manner. More than once we’ve asked an actor if “we” can do jazz hands, only to have them kindly respond, “You may do whatever you wish,” with “you” in implied italics while they merely stood and smiled. Which is okay! We understand completely. A few times our body-shameless poses have gotten a laugh out of them, which is differently satisfying.

Jenna Coleman!

The intent was never “WE MUST HAVE ALL THE DOCTOR WHO PHOTO OPS” but Jenna Coleman just so happened to be next up at Indiana Comic Con 2015.

The following assortment omits several photos in which we did our jazz hands but the actor didn’t. Sometimes they’d misunderstand and we ended up going in another direction. For a pair of instances in which the actors ran with their own ideas, I direct you to the time John Rhys-Davies tickled us silly and the time Michael Rooker responded, “Yeah, here’s my jazz hands!” and I pretty much knew what was about to happen.

Hayley Atwell!

C2E2 2015: our first non-Who hands with Hayley Atwell, a.k.a. the Agent Peggy Carter.

Edward James Olmos!

One of two Academy Award Nominees who said yes: the great Edward James Olmos, at Indy Pop Con 2015.

Jeremy Renner!

That other Oscar nominee: Marvel’s Jeremy Renner proffers Serious Jazz Hands at Wizard World Chicago 2015.

Jon Bernthal!

Also from WWC 2015, and also from the Marvel universe: Jon Bernthal, the best Punisher ever, posing with me for our new sitcom Penny and Dime.

Daredevil Trio!

Also from Marvel, Netflix, and WWC 2016: a jazz quartet with Daredevil‘s Deborah Ann Woll, Charlie Cox, and Elden Henson. (Cox will also be a guest at this year’s Indiana Comic Con!)

Mehcad Brooks! Jazz Hands!

Convention centers aren’t mandatory: from the 2016 Superman Celebration in Metropolis, IL, here’s Mehcad Brooks, a.k.a. James Olsen from TV’s Supergirl.

Teddy Sears!

Cincinnati Comic Expo 2016: Teddy Sears also represents for the DC Comics side as Jay Garrick (uh, well, sorta) from The CW’s The Flash. He’ll next be appearing in Fox’s 24: Legacy.

Christopher Lloyd!

The oldest guest to indulge us so far: Christopher Lloyd at WWC 2016 for a charity shoot with a DeLorean and a Hill Valley Courthouse backdrop. Jazz with ambiance!

Pausing here for space before presenting my three favorite jazz-hands photo ops to date, commended for outstanding achievement in the field of Showing Us How It’s Done.

Jazz Hands Supergirl!

C2E2 2016: Melissa Benoist and Chyler Leigh from Supergirl. You have no idea how many pointers this photo gave us.

Rosario Dawson!

WWC 2016 Best of Show: the heart that connects the Marvel/Netflix universe, Rosario Dawson said yes and shouted “FOSSE FINGERS!” It’s awesome when someone really gets it, but I almost wish this were a video so you could see our fingers were actually moving like they’re supposed to.

Nathan Fillion!

WWC 2015 Best of Show: when I asked as humbly as I could, Nathan Fillion paused for precisely zero milliseconds and said, “Absolutely.” with the total, sincere conviction of a first-class gentleman and starship captain.

Most of our 2017 cons are months away from finalizing or even announcing their guest lineups. Should they happen to invite more folks we appreciate from our favorite shows, then we look forward to expanding on our odd performance-art photo gallery in the months and years ahead for as long as we can keep up. Age 50 is nearer than we wish it were, but we’re not feeling too old for this stuff yet.

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