Joe Pantoliano was my favorite part of The Sopranos. I only started watching when they introduced Ralphie as a character. So, of course it was inevitable that we were going to attend his signing.
We got up to BN Santa Monica around 6pm. The events manager, Shane, saw us there and we started talking about upcoming events. Shane has always been awesome, but he’s sort of offered me some help for future signings so now he’s super extra awesome.
The crowd for Joe started to arrive early. And overall, they were a bit odd. Everyone seemed to know Joe and they were all from NY. That is not what made them odd. We ended up with a mouth breather woman behind us who was ridiculously loud and a woman to the left of me who was making a list of some sort while staring. Staring at me, staring at my purse, staring at everything. It was a bit creepy.
Joe got to the bookstore just after 7pm. He was caught in traffic and then had a bit of a problem with parking. He jumped into an introduction about the book and how he struggled with depression before he even knew it was depression.
Joe talked about how after he got involved with the 12 step program, he found that he really liked the structure. Eventually he started becoming a part of all of it: alcoholics, overeaters, betting, shoppers anonymous. One of the best things he said was “Fuck it, let’s not be anonymous, call it Association of Alcoholics so we can keep the cards”.
He then started to do a reading. He read part of the introduction, reading from his iPad so he could enlarge the words. After that, he also read part of chapter two. The best part is that the book is written as if he were talking.
He said that he wrote the entire book on his iPhone. He was thrilled to see that technology had finally evolved to something that could help with his ADHD and dyslexia. He was so animated while reading that Shane had to adjust the PA system three different times.
There wasn’t really time to do a Q&A session because Joe had talked for so long. When we got up to him, I asked him to sign my Nook, he asked if I liked it. I said I loved my iPad more. As he handed me the Nook back, he started laughing because he noticed that he wrote “20012” for the year.
Hubs had the book to be signed. Joe was teasing us about being married, said we looked like we were related. O_o We both got pictures with him before thanking him.
Joe broke out of the Hollywood stereotype and announced his mental illness. And he does it in typical Joe fashion: loudly and in a humorous manner. I haven’t read the book yet, but I can’t wait.