Top Five Celebrity Meet Ups
I’ve been fortunate to meet quite a few celebrities over the past six or eight years, and if you follow me on Facebook, you’ve probably already seen several of the pictures below. People always ask me how I manage to meet the stars, and the truth is, most of the time it’s a matter of sheer luck. Although I’ve gladly paid for meet and greet opportunities, I’ve found that meeting celebrities is more often about being in the right place at the right time. Being 2’7″ and cute is helpful as well. Ha!
Since people often ask me who my “favorite celebrity I’ve met” is, I thought today I’d tell you guys about my top five. It’s impossible to pick just one!
Fourth Runner Up: Harry Connick Jr.
My friend Christy (whose name you will see A LOT in this post) and I met Harry Connick Jr. at this year’s New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Having been to Jazz Fest many, many times, we knew that there was a spot on the racetrack behind the stage that he performed on where, when he walked off, he would be able to see us if we screamed, yelled, and flailed around to get his attention. We were hoping he would just walk over and sign an autograph or take a selfie. Well, he saw us, along with the rest of the people back there that had the same idea we did, but instead of coming over to take a picture, he grabbed a guard, pointed at Christy and I, and had him lead us backstage. Needless to say, Christy and I were both slightly hyperventilating.
We were lead backstage into a tent and Harry couldn’t have been nicer. We were the only ones back there with him besides his manager, and he spent a good five or ten minutes chatting with us. We got to take pictures (all of us equally sweaty) and even met his dad (who is extremely well known in New Orleans). He is a genuine person, and I’d gladly hang out with him again!
Third Runner Up: Blake Shelton
A few years ago, Christy and I took a week-long trip up to Nashville to pass out some of my portfolios to see if I could get any work in the music industry (which I obviously love). That part didn’t really pan out BUT while we were there, we decided to go to the Blake Shelton show at Bridgestone Arena. (Just a side note–Bridgestone is probably the worst arena I’ve ever seen with handicap accessible seating. We probably will never go back due to how bad it was and how unaccommodating the staff was.)
We decided to hang out around the arena WAY before the show started to see what the radio stations were giving away and to watch whatever football game was on the big screen. We got there around 2:30 PM and found out that the radio station had passes to meet Blake. Well, you know we entered, and then hung around all afternoon to see if we won. They did the drawing at 6:30 PM, and unfortunately it was not us. They called the guy, and told him he had to be there in 15 minutes, otherwise they were drawing again. We were hoping he wouldn’t make it, but alas, at the last second he pulled up. However, it turned out that he thought he had won tickets to the show as well (which he didn’t have) and couldn’t use the meet and greet passes without tickets. So guess who he gave them to??!!! US!!!
We were both SO nervous to meet Blake, but there was one point I thought I might have to give Christy CPR! When we walked up to him, I was able to have a five-minute conversation. In a different city at another show, he had taken a kid in a wheelchair backstage who couldn’t see the concert after the show, and I just thought that was so cool of him. I told him how nice that was and gave him one of my books. I still wonder if he ever read it. Even though he smelled like Jack Daniels, he was one of the sweetest guys. And those blue eyes…whew!
Second Runner Up: “Day Drinking” with Little Big Town
If you know me even slightly, you know that I am absolutely crazy about the band, Little Big Town. On top of being insanely talented, Karen, Kimberly, Jimi and Phillip are four of the nicest, most genuine people you will ever meet. Christy and I have been following them for years and years, and have met them many times. They know our names for sure, and a couple of them keep up with my art on Twitter.
One year, we attended a festival in the Middle of Nowhere, Alabama, called Rock the South where Little Big Town was headlining. Their song, “Day Drinking,” was brand new on the radio, so we thought we’d bring them some gifts that coordinated with that theme. By this time we were already on a first-name-basis with them and had meet and greet passes for the night, so we decided to have a little fun with them (much to their tour manager’s dismay…Sorry Jen…). We loaded my backpack on my chair with all of their favorite alcohols, including a bottle of red wine, a bottle of tequila, and a bottle of Crown. We even brought Kimberly, who has her own cooking show and line of cookware, a jar of muffuletta olives and a bottle of flavored olive oil. And of course we had Fireball miniatures for ourselves. They had a great laugh and could not believe how much stuff we jammed into my backpack. They even mentioned us (not by name, but we knew which crazy fans they were talking about) in an interview the next week. It was absolutely hilarious. I give you, the “Day Drinking” meet and greet.
First Runner Up: Sugarland
This is hard, because the winner and the first runner up are really tied for me. One of the first concerts I ever attended with Christy back in 2010 was Sugarland in Bossier City, LA. We actually met at a Sugarland concert the year before. Now we go to many concerts a year together and have become really good friends. Crazy huh? But I digress…
During the encore of the concert, Christy and I made our way up to the stage because we both had some items we were hoping Jennifer and Kristian would sign. While they were singing the last song, Christy leaned over to the lady behind the barricade (who we now know is Gail, their manager), and asked if they were going to sign after the show. Gail said no, she didn’t think so, but asked what we had. Christy had a photo or two she took at a previous show, and I had a poster that I made. She took the pictures from Christy and said to wait a minute, and that she would take us backstage after the show for them to sign everything. Wait. WHAT??!! We nearly had heart attacks right there.
And just like that, Gail took us backstage. I was literally shaking. Jennifer Nettles is one of my idols, and the idea of meeting her just completely overwhelmed me. Even though I’ve met her several times now and SHE follows my art on Twitter (and has commented on it!), I still get butterflies until we start talking. We got back there, hung out with the band (who I knew I couple of), and then met Jennifer and Kristian. We took pictures, they signed everything we had, and Jennifer gave me a rose (which I still have dried in my room today). It was literally the best night of my life up to that point.
The Winner: Reba McEntire
Yep. You read that right. A few years ago, I got to meet my all-time favorite singer in the entire world, Reba McEntire. Reba was my childhood. I grew up on her music, and her Read My Mind album was the first CD I ever bought with my own money when I was seven. And believe it or not, I managed to get enough words out to tell her all of this when we met her.
I work for a non-profit called the New Orleans Musicians Clinic that helps to provide medical services to local musicians who often don’t have the means to get them otherwise. They are involved in the festivals around the city, and have connections with Bayou Country Superfest (which I’ve attended for the last five years). The head of the clinic knew that I was going the year Reba was headlining, and knew that I would absolutely die if I met her. She reached out to a friend/colleague with the festival, and at 2:30 PM the day of the show called me to tell me I’d be meeting Reba in three hours. I can’t even put into words what my reaction was. Christy was concerned that I would need a defibrillator when my heart stopped. Ha! I freaked out in every sense of the word.
I was actually given a private meet and greet with Reba McEntire. I almost cried when we saw her get out of the golf cart and walk through the door. In the room, it was me and Christy, a security guard who had escorted us, Reba, and Reba’s people. That’s it. No one else. Let me tell you, Reba is everything I hoped she’d be. She is the nicest lady, and super classy. She is as pretty in real life as she is on TV. I managed to get my story out of my mouth and give her a copy of my book. She took multiple pictures with us, and even insisted on holding my book in one of them. She said, “It’s free promotion!” I mean, oh ma gawd!!! Reba McEntire just gave me free promotion! And wanted to learn more about me! It was pretty much a dream come true, and I will never forget it.
Again, it was incredibly hard to narrow down this list, so a couple of honorable mentions: Keith Urban, Wanda Sykes, Florida Georgia Line (who will soon get a blog dedicated to them entirely), and Brett Eldredge.