Q&A with Gilmore Girls Fan Fest Founder, Jennie Whitaker

b98d0b30-12f5-0133-461b-0a2ca390b447From the moment I heard there was going to be a Gilmore Girls Fan Fest in Connecticut, I knew I had to talk to the literal genius behind it. As you can imagine, Jennie Whitaker, the festival’s Taylor Doose, is very busy! But she took the time to answer some of my questions–even though I was totally geeking out–and talk about the fest, how it came to be, and, of course, Gilmore Girls.

After the jump I go all Ace on it!

Q: First and foremost, what is your relationship to the Gilmore Girls? OG fan? Netflix convert?

A: When the series first aired I was nearly Rory’s age so it’s always been easy to relate to her. It seems as though I was the original target audience. I admittedly didn’t watch it when it aired. Can you believe that? I mean, I was a real Rory Gilmore and typically had my nose in a book at the time. It was my first year of college and I don’t even think I took a TV with me. But, then I found it. Season 5, when Rory and Logan met, was airing on ABC Family as I was flipping through the channels to find the news one morning. I instantly hit the record button on the DVR because it immediately drew me in. So yes, I started watch Gilmore Girls in 2010 right before a trip to Peru and I seriously think I sang Carole King’s intro throughout the entire country. Oh and back to it…I watched the show completely out of order the first time, starting with season 5, 6, 7, 1, 2, 3, 4. The second time I watched it, the series made a little more sense. 😉

Q: How did you get the town’s permission to do this?

A: I literally just asked. I mean, we worked tirelessly to put together a lot of the initial pieces, but to be honest I just went for it.

Q: Did you have to go through Taylor Doose?

A: YES! Town Selectman Mark Lyon and second selectman Dave W. have been instrumental!

Q: Attend a town meeting?

A: HA! I did, I presented at several. And it was every bit as surreal as you’d expect.

Q: You’re having a knit-a-thon. Do you have any plans/hopes to incorporate other Stars Hollow-style festival activities? Dance-a-thon? Firelight Festival? Festival of Living Art? Etc?

A: YES! Living Art! If you think they’d go for a dance-a-thon let’s do it! We were thinking more like a Miss Patty Recital with local Studio D!


Q: October seems like the perfect time to do this festival–you know, since it’s always Autumn in Stars Hollow. Did that figure into your decision making about timing at all?

A: Of course! Fall is THE time to visit Stars Hollow. It made the most sense to me!

Q: Are you hoping to make this a regular event?

A: I would love to go to Washington, CT every fall. That’s all I can say with certainty right now! 🙂

Q: You’ve got quite a few of the show’s stars committed to coming — including Kelly FREAKING Bishop! Do you know how you’ll be “using” them at the event? (Also, c’mon, it’s Emily Gilmore, are you totally freaking out about meeting her?)

A: I do, but I’m waiting on confirmations to announce it! Second question….Ha, I am really excited so many cast members have been interested, but thankfully I don’t get star struck often! I worked for a country singer as a nanny when I was in grad school and met lots of neat people. I think so far my only truly awkward interaction was with President Bush when I was in high school. I said the dumbest thing when I met him! Back to the point, I’ve talked to a lot of the cast already helping to book their travel, they are just as nice by phone as you’d hope they’d be!

Q: Is there anything you want us to know? Anything you want to get the word out about?

A: I’d love all the cast, crew and creators to participate somehow. So, there’s my zillionth plea. Come one, come all!