My Brush with Fame…By
I like to meet famous people as much as the next guy. But I can’t say I’ve ever been one to “seek them out”.
With the Super Bowl in town, however, I must say I’ve been keeping an eye out–looking over my shoulder–for “celebrity sightings”. In a few cases, the search came easy. Actually, they came as assignments.
“Today” gave me some of the best access.
The “Today” show brought some of its morning team to Indianapolis—broadcasting from the Super Bowl Village Friday and Saturday mornings.
Saturday, during our Sunrise show, I hung out at the “Today” show set–right at Capitol Avenue and Georgia Street outside the NFL Experience.
In true Hoosier fashion, there was a good size crowd ready to welcome both shows–some standing in a cold rain as early as 4:30am–and as friendly as we’ve come to expect. And it was that “friendliness” that most impressed Today show anchor and correspondent Jenna Wolfe.
I watched throughout her broadcast, as she genuinely gushed about “Hoosier Hospitality”–and how helpful and friendly folks here have been to her. After meeting her, I must say, the feeling is mutual.
You never know what to expect between the person you see on t-v and the one you meet in person. Will they be as nice? Do they have an ego? In my short talk with her, I’d have to answer “yes” and “no”.
Even before I interviewed her live on our air for our special Super Sunrise show, Jenna was gracious, and fun to talk with. It was as if I was talking with someone I’d known for a while. I felt immediately comfortable.
Her crew just as accommodating–offering coffee and a warm place to wait in between our live segments.
She had fun with the crowd, too. While she did go inside the Pan Am plaza building to warm up from time to time–she also took time to take photos with fans, sign autographs and just have fun with the crowd of Hoosiers who’d waited all morning to see her.
Another celebrity bowled over by our Hoosier charm, Adam Levine. “The Voice” coach and Maroon-5 front man was in town to entertain, but also to promote the new season of “the Voice” which airs right after the Super Bowl.
It was for that reason I was given a few minutes to interview him.
Full disclosure, while I’d heard the name, I wasn’t familiar with “who” Adam Levine is. I have young children, so what little t-v we do watch is usually something on PBS or Sprout or the latest Disney film. And I must admit, I’m not up to speed on current music either. It wasn’t until “after” my interview, really, that I found I was the envy of women everywhere.
Headed into the interview, one of Adam’s (for practical purposes we’ll say I’m on a first name basis) press people sent an email to media warning us because he’s been putting in long hours, and he’s tired , that he might be, let’s just say “irritable”. So just be prepared for that. Got it. Expect worst (pop star divo) hope for best (nice guy). I got the best of Adam Levine.
The interview was set up inside the IMS production studios in Speedway. There were media from Houston and Cincinnati there as well. We each had about 5 minutes with the musician/tv star.
In these scenarios it works like this: the interviewee (Adam Levine in this case) is set up to do a series of interviews with various media outlets. Most of them are done via satellite–meaning he stands there with a backdrop, listens through an earpiece to an anchor/reporter who’s set up in their own studio, and talks to the camera. He’d been doing this about 3 hours when we showed up. (you can imagine that might make one a little cranky)
From the moment we showed up, his media liasion was welcoming. And once we entered the room with Adam, not a trace of ego or irritability to be found.
I actually did my interview live for our Noon show. Yes, I was nervous. But it was short-lived. And yes, he was promoting a show–so you might say he “has” to be nice. Maybe to a point. But I judge these situations based on how a celebrity acts “off” camera. And in between interviews, Adam was funny, cracking jokes, and just having a the kind of conversation with anyone– you would have with friends or co-workers.
Plus, I was able to sit in the “chair”–a prop like the ones they use on “The Voice” (I haven’t watched the show, but I’ve seen the promos).
While I didn’t get to meet her, I was one of the bazillion reporters/photographers on hand to see Madonna.
Sitting in the front row, on the floor, I had a good view–and I must say she looked fantastic.
I wasn’t sure what to expect with her either–it could go any way with Madonna–but by appearances, she seemed down to earth, and more than accommodating to a litany of ridiculous questions thrown her way.
Plus she mentioned her kids would visit the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis—so giving them a plug before a worldwide audience made her ok in my book.
With so many high profile people in town for the Super Bowl, who knows who’ll I’ll meet next? It’s part of what makes this job fun.