Friday, September 2, 2011

My 15 Minutes of Fame

Well, I was a celebrity on Wednesday (if only in my dreams).  After winning the Ultimate Fan Contest for "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" they flew me out to New York City.  My mom was the lucky guest for this fabulous trip and we were so excited to stay at the Paramount Hotel.  You have to check out their site to see the gorgeous lobby.  We were just a short walk from Times Square and most of the theatres.  Our room was modern looking and actually had a view! 




Our first night in NYC we walked around Times Square and took in a few suggestions from the fans on the "How to Succeed..." Facebook page.  We went to Colony Music, the M&M Store, and Dylan's Candy that night, had dinner at the Roxy and dessert at Serendipity.  If you are a lover of ice cream or massive desserts, this is the place for you.  Just a quick trip on the subway and we ate ourselves silly. 

Yummy hot fudge sundae!

Wednesday was our busy day.  After a quick trip to the Disney Store and the Times Square visitors center we had to head back to the hotel and get ready for the show. 

Mark, Whitney, and Michael (from the company that ran the contest) came to the hotel and we filmed a few spots as the fan correspondent.  You'll have to check the Facebook page soon to see the completed video.  After filming in the room we came out of the hotel and walked to the theater.  The camera followed us (my mom and me) to the theater.  Crossing the streets of NYC, people kept whispering about the camera and wondering what was being filmed.  A few people even asked if I was someone famous they didn't know about...I wish!

We filmed in front of the theater and we picked up our tickets.  The front of house manager was extremely nice and gave us complimentary drinks...New York's finest bottled water :)  VIP treatment all the way! 

We saw the show from eight rows back in the center.  It was just as fabulous as the first time I saw it.  The stage and sets are massive, the lighting perfect with the time period and costumes used, the choreography spot on, and the individual acting and singing of the cast members was impeccable.  It truly made me cry in seeing how well the show was performed.  (The last time I cried because a show was so good was "Big River" when it was performed in conjunction with the Deaf West Theatre...absolutely beautiful.)  It wasn't just about one cast member but about the entire ensemble that really made this show spectacular.

After the show was over we were escorted backstage.  We picked up our passes and met with the stage manager for the show.  He showed us the sets and explained how they moved on stage and all the work that goes on behind the scenes to make the show appear flawless.  Next we met the girls of the show.  Every female cast member came up to say hi (except for one) and they all stayed and chatted with me for about 10 minutes.  It could have been a bit longer but the time just seemed to fly by.  They were all so nice and seemed to be sincerely interested in me and how I made it here.  They also joked about how long it took the men to get ready after the show was over.  You could definitely see the camaraderie that they have for each other.

After a few more minutes some of the male cast members came up to say hi.  I spoke with a few of the dancers and then Christopher J. Hanke came up (Bud Frump) and Daniel Radcliffe!!!  Now, they made no promises as to what actors I was to meet, so I wasn't even sure if I was going to be able to say hi...but I did.  The guys were such a blast to talk to and we got our photo with them.
Yes, that is me with my arm around Daniel! 
As a thank you gift for the guys...I gave them each a bottle of hand sanitizer.  I said "from one Ultimate Fan, to protect you from the other fans out there."  They all got a kick out of it and Daniel was especially excited and showed his dresser that it fit perfectly in his pants pocket.  It would be too easy to gush over the interaction I had with these guys, but it was truly a great time.  (P.S. in regards to the girls giving them a hard time about taking so long to get ready, they mentioned that the girls have it easy because they do nothing the last 20 minutes of the show.  While they are dancing and sweating to "Brotherhood of Man" the girls get to relax in the back.  Fun times!)

After meeting the cast we came back out of the theater and talked with a few other fans of the show.  I spoke with several girls and a mom out there (from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Canada) about their experience with the show, what they liked about it (the choreography), their favorite songs (Brotherhood of Man, Company Way, and Old Ivy), to what character they wish they could be (Rosemary...because she gets to kiss Daniel). 

I had a blast talking with these fans and wish the day would never end.  As soon as the camera was off and we said goodbye to Mark, Whitney, and Michael...I was back to being "Just Julie."  No more 15 minutes of fame.  I'll have to live through my photos and memories to get me through until my next 15 minutes comes about. 




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