Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"So we're standing there, and Jewel says to me..." (a.k.a. That time I almost hit a celebrity with my big bag lady purse.)

You may remember that I mentioned I was going to see Jewel at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee last week.

You may also remember I said I was going to meet her backstage. (SQUEEE!)

Well, the backstage performance was before the concert, in the adjoining InterContinental Hotel. There were swanky drinks and swanky appetizers and a general aura of swankitude. My friend Amie came along with me, and we stood around trying to make it look like we did this sort of thing every day. (Which I don't think for a second we pulled off.)

A few minutes into the soiree, a woman stepped up onto the tiny stage (five FEET from the little chairs they had set out for our private backstage performance!) and announced that while there would be no photography allowed while Jewel was in the room, each of us would have an opportunity to have our picture taken with her. Cool!

So Aims and I got in the photo line and slowly made our way to this curtained off section of the room. Soon, we were hurried inside - together - for our photo with Jewel. And there she was. This cute little blond thing that was smiling and cute in her pretty black pant suit that made me instantly feel tall and huge and oafish and not at all tiny or cute. Amie is as tall as I am, and I can't speak for her level of self-consciousness, but, well, we flanked the star like a pair of bookends.

We walk over to Jewel, and stand close to her. You know, close enough to not look too entirely awkward while posing for a photograph, but not so close so as to seem like weird and stalkerish fans, either. I think I may have murmured "Uh, thanks for doing this!" To which she replied, in her cool, cute-chick way, "Oh, my pleasure!"


So we smile, and face the photographer who basically has the same camera I do mounted to a tri-pod with some digital screen thing mounted below it. Click.

And then he goes, "Oh, wait a minute. I didn't get it."

So we stay put while he swaps out the camera. And fidget. Cuz we don't know what to say to Jewel, and I realize I'm holding my HUGE-ISH knock-off Jimmy Choo bag between Jewel and I, and as I'm waiting patiently with a smile plastered on my face and my teeth drying out from smiling so long, I'm swaying from side to side a bit and I'm almost bashing her ankles with my purse.

So I decide to swing it around behind me, cuz, you know, that's totally a natural way to stand. And I'm standing there, smiling and trying not to blink, because I blink in photos all.the.time and then I look like I'm drunk or deranged or something.

Then the photographer has a helper come from somewhere with a new video screen thingie and they swap that out. Click and "Dang it - wait a minute." They both start messing with the camera again.

Somewhere in here, Jewel chuckles and says, "Well, it could be worse. At least you two smell good!" And we laugh along with her because we really don't know what else to say.

Insert more moments of technical futzing on behalf of the photographer.

By this point, I'm mentally kicking myself in the arse. Think, darnit, think! How many people have a chance to be this close to a celebrity? And for this long! You should totally think of something really cool to ask her so that you can, like, talk about it on your blog. Or at least at parties for the next ten years. Because you really don't get out that often, do you, self?

Entire minutes go by. I glance at Amie and make a goofy "well THIS is awkward!" face at her over Jewel's head. Because we really are that much taller than she is. She makes a goofy "I KNOW, RIGHT?" face back and I'm reminded why she's my friend.

As we're laughing at our extreme nerditude, I turn back around only to hear CLICK! and "We got it! Thanks!" and be quickly pushed out the curtain on the other side.

Later that evening, this is what we were emailed:

Me & Aims, with Jewel
Amie, Jewel & Me

GAH, stupid un-photo-genic-ness!

Jewel went on to answer our questions during the backstage performance and prove herself to be a really down to earth gal who's got one heck of a voice. At her show, later, she continued to perform solo, with only a guitar as accompaniment. It was an awesome way to spend an evening!

I'd like to thank Country Financial for sponsoring Jewel's tour, and for sending me to the show. If you haven't checked out their concert series Web site yet, do it! Road Trips & Guitar Picks - go win yourself some free music downloads, and check out when the tour (or the tour of Jason Aldean) may be coming to your area!


Tara R. said...

All three of you are just adorable!

Jean said...

Jewel is so awesome. What a great story and it's nice she said you smelled good :)

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Oh heck, you all look gorgeous!
How nice that she was NICE!

Roger said...

So what should I wear for my chance encounter with Jewel so that she can tell me I smell good? :)

Awesome story and I always figured Jewel to be a down-to-earth kind of person because of where she came from and what she had to do to get to where she is.

Burgh Baby said...

You look adorable, but how funny is it that it took the photographer forever to get that shot? It's not particularly remarkable from a photography standpoint, y'know? There should at least be perfect bokeh and lovely lens flare and all sorts of fanciness. Heh.

ExtraordinaryMommy said...

I love this - I laughed all the way through...why? Because I had that same awkwardish - 'hi, thanks for doing this exchange'....she is so damn tiny and so cute.....and smiled the whole time. Love that you had so much fun!

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

That is so cool. But I'd wonder what to do too and would have no idea what to say. I think you handled it the best you could!