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Friday, February 27, 2015

Meeting Famous People

I'm constantly reading stories about how people who have met Bill Murray, Jennifer Lawrence, or George Clooney are completely blown away by how nice and down to earth they are.

But you're more likely to hear about when a football player doesn't tip, or a movie star won't make eye contact, or a rock star asks if you can leave them alone.

It's a weird situation where one person is so excited to meet someone they've only seen on album covers or movie screens. It's like something in their brain shuts down. Usually their brain would say, "that's a stranger, stay away from them." But the excitement takes over and their body moves without permission from their brain. Next thing you know, they have stumbled up to Brad Pitt's table while he's having dinner and they blurt out, "Mr. Pitt, ILoveYouSoMuchCanIGetAPicture."

Now the unfair onus is on the celebrity. They have a few options.

1. "Please, I'm having dinner. Can I have a little privacy?"

In this situation, they have to hope this this person isn't going to immediately post this to Twitter how much of a jerk they are.

2. They wipe their mouths off, hand the camera phone to someone at their table, and say, "Sure, let's take a picture."

3. They say, "Why don't you pull up a chair? We'll get another glass for wine."

And then they become an internet celebrity for the next 12 hours.

I've only had run-ins with minor celebrities.

I sat right behind former NHLer Jamal Mayers at the Blues game last year. My plan was to let the game end and then ask him for a picture. However, Blues were winning 3-1 going into the third. Jamal sat down and then the Senators came back and won it 4-3. I decided that his time with the Blackhawks was bad mojo and stayed away from him.

The Riddlin Kids and I hung out in Mississippi Nights parking lot until roughly 12:30, cutting my sleep down to about 5.5 hours the night before I took the ACT. Really awesome guys.

I busted my forehead open in a mosh pit in college. As I was heading back to clean up, I ran into 4 members of Reel Big Fish. They actually stopped me and asked what the hell happened and after I flipped out for a few seconds on them, I had them sign a ticket stub. I pulled out this immaculately crisp ticket stub that didn't go with the image of my bloodied head and torn shirt. They were amazed I had kept it that crisp.

I met both Fall Out Boy and All American Rejects when they were openers for punk bands I was seeing. Pete Wentz bought me a beer and Tyson Ritter talked about music and how to record without a major label getting involved. Both incredibly nice people.

The only incident I had that was awkward, is the reason I thought about this blog.

It was high-school. I was moody as hell and loved yelling and being angry. Finch was one of my favorite bands at the time and I ran into 3 of the members at a Pointfest.

My dumb body turned my brain off and I sprinted across the blacktop and ran up to them saying, "Holy crap, you're Finch."

They said, "Yes."

I hadn't really thought about what to do beyond this point so I said, "I really like you guys."

They sort of awkwardly stared at me waiting for the "and then..." from me. But I had nothing. It was spur of the moment. Camera phones weren't a thing yet, so I couldn't even do the picture. So, after 30 long silent seconds, they just said, "Well, we're going to go watch the Used now."

It wasn't until much later that I thought about how much the "celebrity" has to work to make that interaction now crazy awkward. They have to be friendly, in a good mood, they have to have some standard questions they can ask to get a small conversation going.

I feel like I would be pretty good at making the general populas happy. But then there are days where I feel really tired and I just don't know if I could do it.

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