You know how when you're a kid, you always dream of what it would be like to be able to chat with someone famous? Someone you admire, whether it be a film star, or a musician or whomever?
I remember when I was little, I used to get crushes on celebrities, as I'm sure many other people did/do. When I was 7 years old, I had the biggest crush on Christian Slater. I used to fantasize that he'd show up at my house, hiding in a big box as a birthday present... then he'd jump out and surprise me, and take me for a ride in his limo!
As I grew into a teenager, I'd day dream about making out with whomever I had a crush on at the time. And as I got older still, I used to dream about just hanging out backstage with a famous musician that I really liked and just talking, getting to know them. Sure, sometimes I'd think about what it would be like to make out with them, but I didn't want to be just another groupie. I didn't want to have meaningless flings with famous people. I wanted to get to know them as real people. Sometimes I'd even fantasize that we'd have a real relationship... though those ones tended to go up in smoke almost as soon as I'd thought about them because hey, what are the chances of me ever actually dating Chad Kroeger or Adam Gontier? :P
But to me, I've always thought it would be amazing to be able to get to know these people for who they are. Find out what makes them tick, why they write the way they do, where they get their inspiration from. I grew up realizing that it's who you are that defines what you do and how you do it. And that's important to me.
Today, I actually got the chance to speak with someone I greatly admire. He's a guitar player/singer/songwriter. He's also pretty famous. To my shame, I only heard of him about a month ago when we went to see him play at The Schwaben Club. Since then, I've added him to facebook and watched all his YouTube videos; I am both fascinated with his skill and in awe of what he's accomplished. I figured he'd be like most of the other celebrities who have facebook profiles, in that he'd update his page but wouldn't really talk to anyone. I was wrong.
I commented on his wall a few weeks ago, and to my astonishment, he actually commented back the same day! That made me feel pretty special. When I saw him online today, I decided to message him just to tell him that I thought he was awesome. Because he is. And I wasn't expecting a response.
Instead, I was quite pleasantly surprised that he not only responded, but ended up having an entire conversation with me. Never have I stopped believing that famous people are human like the rest of us, and it was refreshing to be able to talk with someone who actually acts like he is still one. I've heard horror stories of celebrities who think they're too good to talk to fans, who act high and aloof or ignore people altogether. Phil was not only kind, he was funny, fun to talk to, and amazingly down to earth. This is the way stars should all be. People get famous because the public likes what they do. Some celebrities fail to remember that they are where they are because of the little people.
Today has reaffirmed my faith in humanity. It doesn't take much to offer a compliment; as Phil told me, you never know how badly someone may need to hear it. Even if they're famous. Because famous people are still people too.
Thanks again for the chat today Phil. It meant a lot to me, and I look forward to more in the future (and hopefully working together!).
*Check out Phil's stuff, if you get a chance: http://www.philx.tv/index.html