I really have an aversion to meeting "famous" people.
My favorite artist/band of all time; musically, lyrically, and ministerially, is Casting Crowns. There isn't a song that they've recorded that hasn't hit home for me- at some place or another in my life- this band has ministered straight to my heart.
One decision I've made, and will hold firm to, is that I DON'T ever want to meet this band. Not in the passive "Let me get your autograph!" way. I've yet to attend one of their concerts; but I can guarantee that a person wouldn't find me standing in line at their autograph table on the day that I do get to one of their concerts..
My husband and I were stoked to have won tickets (years ago) to a private concert by my husbands ALL TIME favorite Christian band. It totally rocked. (literally). We were front and center, up close and personal, hollering out request to our favorite songs, laughing at the faces the guitar player was making and LOVING EVERY MINUTE OF IT. Man!! These guys were amazing LIVE!
And then. (Oh my) AFTERWARD. We. Got. To MEET. the BAND!!!!
(Eeeeeeee! Whooooo! AhhhhhH!)
We stood in line behind 200 other guest (and we were GUEST!) waiting our turn to meet these cool, awesome, nice guys. To get our picture taken with them. To meet the men behind the BEST Christian music EVER (according to my husband).
And.... for me- it was sadly disappointing.
These guys didn't seem very nice at all?? They weren't excited to see us. Why was that? After I was met with a disinterested lead singer, and the other guys in the band that wouldn't even look up to see who they were talking to, I tried empathizing to why it was that these guys weren't who I had imagined they would be. "They were tired, and their hands hurt from signing autographs, and the lead singers lungs were possibly ready to explode from singing his little rocker-heart out. They missed their families, and they may have been stressed out due to some technical difficulties....."
Now, I have this empathy toward WHY it is these guys weren't all smiles, and "God bless you" and "YES! Come over here and get a picture with us...." but it didn't change the fact that; They Weren't NICE to us. They weren't mean. Or rude. Just.... unwelcoming.
Since first impressions are lasting... they are not only just men, they are Not Nice Men to boot. I'm distracted when I hear their music. I think to myself "I wonder if these guys are The Real Deal." It's unfortunate for me that I met the band, because in meeting them, I was forced to HUMANIZE them.
Realizationally speaking, I can admit that they probably ARE, in fact, Nice Guys. Even still, back to that first impression thing.... You know..... whatever.
It was a great experience, though. I had a nice time with my husband. We were on a super-great date, and it felt like we were teenagers- hanging out; carefree, kid-free....Very fun!
I vowed, that night, to NEVER do an autograph thing with any other "famous" person.
I didn't mean to, but I sort of broke that vow one afternoon after a Gary Chapman marriage conference. (Don't worry. I'm not gonna say that he was "not nice". He's actually a pretty nice guy. Very wise). For some very strange reason, I followed the crowd up to the podium at the end of our conference, and got his autograph. I already KNEW that I had told myself that I never wanted to meet another famous person. Maybe I didn't quite think that he was actually famous? I don't guess he is.... Who knows.
I got the autograph, and made a dork of myself in the process. I may as well have stuck out my front teeth, hunched my shoulders, and snorted when I laughed as I said, "Hey Dr. Chapman. I love your books..... " Pause. Pause. Pause. (Insert laughing and snorting, and wiping the snot from my nose while pushing up my horn-rimmed glasses.) OF COURSE I love his books! I'm at his MARRIAGE CONFERENCE! Gah!! His reply? Simply, "Thankyou." I should have hit myself in my forehead and told him straight up, "I'm a DORK, Dr. Chapman. Can you write a book about the love languages of Dorks??"
Afterward, I asked myself WHY I actually cared about this guys signature?! He's just..... A GUY. That wrote a book. (Ok? A LOT of books. A lot of great books!) BUT!?!? Why did I want to have this dudes signature on my book? His magical signature did not actually entice me to READ that book. It's been an entire year, and the infamous signed book has been sitting- on our dresser- collecting dust!
So? I really don't want to EVER meet any person that I have, or ever will learn something from through any avenue of media. Wait? Let me back up. I don't want to meet "famous" people via a drive-by autograph and a hand shake. These people are HUMANS. They're just like me; and you. I know that if I were talented enough to create some sort of media that "taught" people, or "entertained" people, I wouldn't necessarily want to sit at a table for 3 hours signing books, or cds. I WOULD want to talk to people- and get to know them.... but NOT just sign an autograph. It would disappoint me. I love talking to people- so- just signing a piece of paper wouldn't be fulfilling.
Perhaps these people are separated from us "regular" folk cause they have a more interesting job? Maybe not! I have a pretty DARN interesting job here at home with 3 AWESOME little girls, let me TELL YOU.
For some reason or another, though, there is this magnet that us "regular" people have to those artist that actually get to use their gifts, within their career.
Backing up to the humanization of famous people- more specifically, music artist- I will say that I have been blessed to get to know a specific artist of a well-known band. Ironically, I met this cool-dude at the aforementioned "not very nice" people concert. His band was signed under this (other) bands label- and they happened to be there. I knew the producer (sort of knew him through another friend) and said "HEY!!! How's it going." The producer/promoter that he is, he said a nice "Hello......(insert ADD stare)..... HEY! Have you met these guys....." And we were introduced to the drummer and bass player from the band "Two-Bare Feet". Nice guys. We talked about the town we were from, (they were SUPER local to our town) and the high schools we went to... and so on. I was talked into creating a Myspace page ("You don't know what MYSPACE is!??!) and.... whatever else we talked about- I don't remember. I'm telling you- it was a COOL night!!
Fast forward (I'm not sure how many years later) and I am at our local YMCA. I need something for my work out, and I go to the desk. The guy there was all smiles, and super friendly, offering me the help I needed.
Thankfully for me, I don't actually think before I speak, and I said "HEY! How do I know you? You look really familiar."
He said "Oh? I don't know...." and we played the "Do you know... and what's your husbands/wifes name...where'd you go to school- where do you work... blah blah blah..... and then it hit me!!! "OH!!!! You're the guy from Two Bare Feet."
Again- speaking before I think- I forgot that the bands name was no longer "Two-Bare Feet", but it had changed to Echoing Angels. I knew that.... but forgot. So- friendly guy from Echoing Angels didn't just sit back in his chair arrogantly announcing "You know me because I'm a ROCK STAR!" And he didn't disregard my dorkyness in not knowing at first glance who he was. He was STOKED to meet me (again), and walked around the desk to give me a big hug- like I was some long-lost friend or something.
Nice guy. For the past 2 years, any time I've talked or chatted with him at the Y, he's been the same humble, friendly guy. Openly talking about the bands "news" and the trials and hurdles that it's had to go through in getting a new record out, and talking about his cool kid- and sweet wife, and so on....
I have been tremendously blessed to get a better appreciation for Christian artist and all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into it through this guy.
I got a new experience in the humanization of "artist". A much better realization. A deeper empathy. There's a lot of TRUSTING God involved in having a career that ministers to folks through music. I s'pose for some artist (Hey D.C. Talk, Third Day, and Casting Crowns) it's like super-fast-fame and non stop recording, and touring, and...... eh... maybe not.
I still don't ever want to do a 'meet/greet/autograph thing' with Casting Crowns. Or any other band for that matter. I AM, however, SUPER glad that I got to get to know JP from Echoing Angels. I haven't met the other dudes from the band- but in being priveledged enough to get a sneak peak at some of their new music- I can say that this band ROCKS. They have incredible talent. Some of the (new) lyrics I've heard are OUTSTANDING. (This is ON TOP of their already INCREDIBLE CD "You Alone".) I'm on the edge of my seat- waiting for them to overcome their hurdles, and get the stuff (wad-of-cash) they need to get their new CD out.
There's a freshness in what I've heard, a boldness, and seriously- musically- IT MOVED me. I was left wanting more after hearing a small portion of the songs JP had on his iPod. I can't remember the lyrics- but there was a point that I almost got teared up it was THAT good!
For me- the musical talent absolutely HAS to match up with strong vocals, and most importantly PASSIONATE lyrics. And it does, on all counts for Echoing Angels' new stuff- and let me tell you- I just got a taste of what it could be, and what it's going to be!!!! Trey has a WOW-strong voice. Dude's got vocal chords!! JP has mad-passion for what he does, and for the people that he serves. The label that signs this band is going to be BLESSED. Not only are they gonna score some sweet talent, their gonna get to work with a great band!
14 hours ago