An Evening with One Tree Hill
The second I heard about the One Tree Hill event coming to UNCW in October, I called my mom and said, “I have to get tickets.” She called the second they went on sale and got them for me, because I was too stressed that I would miss it, which was an adequate fear seeing that they sold out in under five minutes.
It started at 7:00, but I went early so I could get the best seats possible. Standing in line with all of these fans, that were just as crazy as me, was really fun. We were all talking about One Tree Hill, and they told me that they visited Wilmington all the time. We all had different stories about seeing the cast and visiting locations. They were all jealous that I lived here, and they wanted to come to UNCW for grad school.
While waiting in line, the girls working the event brought around release forms we had to sign, to say it was okay to be filmed, because the event is supposed to be on the season 9 DVD. I will be buying the new season the day it comes out anyways, but I will be even more excited to go to the special features section to see if I can find myself in the crowd.
One of the girls who had been monitoring the line came out with the t-shirts a little later. I’ve gotten a t-shirt from almost every concert I’ve ever been to, and this was way bigger than a concert, so I knew I had to get one. It was cash only, so some of the girls in line were nice enough to hold my spot as I practically ran to the ATM in the student center so I could buy a shirt for my sister and myself.
The line began to grow, and people were filling the entire sidewalk down past the parking lot by the Cultural Arts building. Girls were walking up and down the line, asking if anybody had extra tickets to sell, because they had just showed up hoping to somehow get in. A small group of girls got taken out of the line and brought inside early. I’m not sure if they got to meet the cast or if they just got to sit up front. I wanted to be walking in with them though.
It finally began to get dark, letting us know that it was getting closer, and we finally got to walk in. Walking into the building, the anticipation kept growing. I was obviously horribly excited, but I was a little less amazed at the fact that I was about to see the entire cast in person, because I had already seen almost all of them. And I hadn’t just seen them; I had talked to them and taken pictures with them and worked with them. And that was way more exciting than seeing them all sitting on a stage answering questions, but this was really cool too.
The room was all set up and ready for the cast, and it looked just like the set of a talk show. The big screen was in the back with An Evening with One Tree Hill written across it, and there were a bunch of couches and chairs sitting on the stage. There were already a lot of people in there, and the whole front section was filled, but I got a spot right in the center of the middle section. The room was pretty small so, really, nobody was very far away from the stage.
We got a pre-show while we were waiting. Jackson started dancing around the stage in a red body suit with a black curly wig on. He kept going, and we all knew it was him, but his face was covered the whole time. Then when he was done, he bowed and took the mask part off for a second and everyone cheered.
We had to wait a while after that, but then it started. The lights went down, the band held their instruments up, and everyone stood and cheered.
I never cry. Never in public. Never in front of anyone. And I was holding back tears in a room filled with strangers with cameras pointed at me the entire time. Each actor walked out onto the stage as the UNCW band played I Don’t Wanna Be with the clips from all of their opening credits from each season. I had seen these clips a million times, but this time it felt more like a final montage that would be shown after a series finale.
All of the girls, Sophia, Joy, Lisa, and Shantel, were crying or trying not to cry too, so I think every girl in the audience was feeling for and with them and feeling the finality of it. “It’s really ending,” was all I could think the whole night.
Jimmy Edward’s mom (Renee Vincent) came out on stage, and I found out that she is a professor in the theater department at UNCW. I thought that was really cool, and I still want to make up some excuse to have to talk to her in her office, just so I can say I’ve met her too. But at least I got to add another One Tree Hill person to my list of people I’ve seen.
Almost everyone was there. Pretty much everyone from the cast except Paul and Tyler (they were supposed to be there, but something came up so Daphne came instead), and Mark Schwahn and Joe Davola were also there. They had to force Joe to go sit on the stage with everyone, but he eventually went up there and they made room for him on the couches and chairs they were all sitting on.
They cried and talked and answered Renee’s questions. They were all laughing the whole time, and they would randomly start crying too, when the question had to do with the show ending. A few girls, who had their questions chosen before the event, got to stand up at the microphone and ask the cast questions.
Lisa was the cutest. She kept saying, “I just never thought anything like this would happen to me,” and she could barely get it out, because she would start to cry. It clearly showed how thankful she was for this show.
Shantel and Rob were the same way, saying that when they signed on for the seventh season, they had no idea if the show would even make it another year. They were glad that they had been given the opportunity to work on the show for a few years, and they now felt that they were truly a part of the OTH family.
Jackson seemed to have an answer for everything, and he seemed to be loving the chance to answer all the questions he could. Each person talked a lot, and for some of the questions, they would go around and all give an answer.
Antwon was the funniest. He just made everyone laugh the entire time with all of his answers and stories. Everyone else was more serious and reminiscent, but he brought humor to it just like he does in the show.
I can’t even imagine what the people who have been here since the beginning must be going through. They had been here for nine years. Wilmington was there home. Tree Hills was there home, and now they’re all gone. I’ve been reading things on Twitter, and Sophia has a new show, Lee had to move to California to look for work, and I just think it is so sad they’ve already had to move on and leave the town that they called home for such a long time.
The event ended with the season 9 promo. It was the one where they basically showed all of the worst clips from the season, with Dan and Chris getting ready to kill someone, Brooke destroying a café, and Julian getting beat up. I almost thought it was a joke as we saw Haley look at a body and Chase in the back of a cop car, but as we’ve seen so far, a lot of the stuff from the preview has already happened.
When it was over, they all stood up and just looked so thankful for all of their fans. They made their way off stage, but I think all of us just stood there for a little while longer, even after they were all gone.
I left the event with a greater sense of finality. And maybe that was good, because we all need to prepare for the finale. The night that we finally have to accept that the show that has meant so much to us for so long, and that we have grown up with, is over.