Thursday, August 01, 2013

On shaking hands with the famous, and how Wil Wheaton would hopefully be proud of me

Before you read this, please read what celebrity awesomeness and genuine kind and unique person Wil Wheaton has to say about being the target of trolls who pretend to be fans. Click here to go back to his 2011 adventures at Comicon.


Let's talk about Tanglewood.

At the end of the concert, we were walking out of the park and my friend Abbey pointed over to our right and said "Chris, look. It's Brian. He's right there..." And indeed, there stood The Thundergod. My hero. Talking to a couple of people in the shadows outside the wings of the stage, near the buses.

I walked over to him and he immediately turned to me. I stuck my hand out to shake his and said "Happy Birthday Brian," he swung his hand out from way out to his side and slapped it into mine and shook it. He thanked me for the birthday wishes and said "Thanks, I'm old!" He just turned 40 so ... he's  6 years younger than I am, and I do not count that as "old" per se, but his friends laughed. "I'm going to go home and celebrate by going to sleep."

We all laughed and I told him it was a great show and I was touched by his daughter's appearance. He just smiled hugely and said that was awesome. Someone else said something I couldn't hear and he said "Yeah, it is my mom's birthday too so it is a double special night."

Deciding that I didn't want to glom on him any longer, I told him "hey, happy birthday to your mom too. That really was special. Thanks for a great show," and he had a big smile on his face and thanked me again and wished me a good night.

I walked away.  I think my heart rate was about 200 bpm right then, I could feel my pulse in my eyeballs. I fell in next to my daughter and we started to walk to the car.

"That's it?" my daughter said leaning gently over to me. "You're not going to get a picture and talk to him longer?"


See, I don't know if he was surrounded by fans or real friends who came up from around the region to see him. I do know that in the end, me spending any more time gushing about my adoration for him would be meaningless.

Asking him for an autograph, or talking about the harbor cruise I took with them in Boston with the release of "Ganging up on the Sun" was awesome (like he'd remember me) would be extra meaningless.

I had my moment to thank him, and leave him alone. To be honest, I'd love to sit and have a slice of pizza and a beer with him and talk about babies and Brooklyn and life and the Road Journal and stuff.  I would love some time to be The Fan that sits and talks to her favorite person ever. I have a very short list of people I'd like to spend time talking to, and I think Brian Rosenworcel is on the top of that list.

He on the other hand doesn't need me to bother him. He just played his ass off, he's hanging out at a show where his family is in the house, and ... he should be able to spend that time with them, with friends, and have a freaking life.

I didn't need an autograph, I didn't need a flash flushed out picture of us,  with me looking wilty and sweaty and him with his eyes closed or looking the other way.

I had a pretty close to perfect moment, and that is what I need.

Thinking heavily on what Wil Wheaton had to say in his autobiography "Dancing Barefoot," I actually had this thought in my head as I walked away:

" It's about that brief moment, that brief encounter with a Star Trek cast member, that is so important to the fans. That 30 seconds or so of hopefully undivided attention is what they're really paying for, and I always do my best to make sure they get their money's worth. Contrary to popular belief, sitting at a table signing hundreds of autographs for several hours without a break is hard. It's not just mindlessly scrawling my name; It's stopping and listening to the always excited, sometimes shaking, always sweating, sometimes scary dude who wants to know exactly why I did “X” on episode “Y” and would I please sign his picture in silver, because Marina signed it in gold and now he wants the men in silver and the women in gold, and I hated your character and here are 25 reasons why and I expect an answer for each one of them and I'm not leaving until I'm satisfied."

I think I came off less overwhelming than the person demanding an autograph in a particular color demanding to know why x and y happened on an episode. I most definitely wanted to shake the man's hand, the hands that play a drum set that rocks my entire heart and soul, and thank him for a great show. That "30 seconds or so of hopefully undivided attention" that Wil Wheaton talks about is truly all that mattered to me last Tuesday night and that's all I need.

By the way, Wil Wheaton is on my short list of someone to share a slice and a pint with too. But in the meantime, I like to think that the fan behavior I exhibited while meeting my most favorite rock star ever was sufficient.

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