Being me, I think I am pretty cool but I’m realistic. I’m not cool like Steve McQueen or Jay-Z. I am cool like the person who likes that obscure band that blows up the next year. I’m just cool enough that after a few conversations I merge into your group of friends. I have a breadth of likes and experiences I am relatable. I am not handsome enough to steal attention from your really good-looking friend nor am I a grenade. I am not smarter than the brainy one, nor wittier than the funny guy but I can keep up.
Whenever I’m around a celebrity my inner ten year old emerges. I revert back to a time when one is still learning the nuances of acceptable social interaction. I regress into a shy child burying his face like an ostrich into the safety of a parent. For instance when I met Yellawolf.
My wife and I had VIP tickets for a meet and greet. I expected we would meet with the group of fellow VIPs at the venue. An ultra cool tour manager wearing fashion far ahead of my coolness vision says cool things and leads us back to the green room. We are offered snacks and drinks from a catered table while we wait for Yellawolf. When comes out and mingles with the VIPs, he and I have an aloof but memorable conversation. He is so stricken by my coolness he is compelled to mention me on stage.
What really happened. We waited in line and a polite but rushed guy from the tour came by with a list of names and a mobile device to scan our tickets. A fellow behind him had a series of black bags for each ticket purchased containing a headshot of Yellawolf to get signed, a VIP lanyard with tour pass, and a “limited edition” patch. We waited in line outside until all tickets were verified and all bags handed out. They led us in a line through the venue like a game of whiplash only we didn’t hold hands. There was a tall bar table near the wall. We lined up against the fenced off area in the center of the concert floor where the sound people twist dials and slide sliders waiting for Yellawolf to come out.
We were in the front half of the line. The tour guy yelled out robotic instructions, “Have your phones out and ready. You can get one photo per ticket purchased. Included in your bag is a photo you can get signed. We will call you up one at a time. After you get your photo taken exit through that door. Keep your tickets. You will need them to get into the concert.” I watched how Yellawolf interacted with each fan casually straining to hear the brief exchange.
When the couple in front of my wife and I were called up I couldn’t think of anything memorable to say. The guy ahead of me is showing Yellawolf his wallet. He approves, they have some sort of connection. I have but a precious few moments to compose myself and come up with something memorable to say. The couple get their VIP passes and glossy headshot signed, photos taken and phone handed back. It is our turn.
“Hi, this is my first rap concert.”
“Cool, well you are in for a treat”
He signs our VIP passes and head shots then poses between my wife and I. “Here you go, see you at the concert,” as he hands me my phone. Another tour guy rushes us out. Well, that was the most un-memorable exchange. I am confident that even if we had mingled in the green room rather than rushed through a line I would have been just as awkward. We were hungry and had time to kill before the concert started. I wanted steak so we walked to Flemmings.
“Hi, this is my first rap concert. I can’t believe I said that. Who say’s that?”
“Well, at least you said something. You wouldn’t event talk to the Metallica guy.”