Just a few days ago, on Thursday October 22nd, I was blessed (and I mean blessed) with the opportunity to meet and listen to Tavi Gevinson and four other lovely Canadian contributors in celebration of the Rookie Yearbook Four release, at the Buddies In Bad Times Theatre, downtown Toronto.
I walked into the launch event not knowing a single soul. To make conversation, I headed over to the complimentary (yes, free) candy bar and filled up my bag with the sweets that were offered. I met these two girls (hi, Amanda and Carla!) who were pretty cool and let me stand with them during the event.
The event started at around 7:35 PM and was moderated by Monica Heisey (who was hilarious). The ladies who were apart of the panel were: Tova Benjamin, Kendra Yee, Anna Fitzpatrick, Tavi Gevinson and, Anne Donahue. Everyone was shoulder-to-shoulder in the pink-toned lighting, leaning in to hear what the group had to say about the last *cries* instalment in the Rookie Yearbook tetralogy.
The ladies covered everything from their favourite piece in the newest Yearbook which Tavi stated was Solange’s interview, calling it “so personal”, to what they would say to their younger self, Tova telling us to channel our alter-ego. She even mentioned “Beyonce Pad-Thai” (from the Mindy Project) to prove her point.
Throughout the Q&A, I learned a lot about the women on the panel. Roasting eggplants can help when you have a writer’s block, which Tova swears by. Anna has her writing archives on a USB that she has not wanted to read for about 10 years, claiming now is "too soon". Kendra considers her parents to be cooler than her. “My friends will come over and be like we’re here to see your mom”. A boy who called Anne loud and annoying in high school now follows her on Twitter; “Who’s loud and annoying now?” she asks. Or the fact that Tavi prefers Simon over Garfunkel (but who doesn’t?)
Once the Q&A had concluded, packs of girls formed into a line that went around the small venue carrying their Yearbooks in one arm, and a phone in the other to capture the moment that everyone was here for: To meet Tavi Gevinson, the brains behind Rookie.
The launch was filled with emotional throwbacks and laughs that filled the room. One girl behind me said “This is so beautiful!” while flipping through her Yearbook, and she couldn’t be more right. It was definitely an experience I wouldn’t take back. I mean, I met Tavi Gevinson. And she said she liked my purse. And she was wearing a Bruce Springsteen t-shirt. It doesn’t get much better than that, folks.