Thursday, July 17, 2014

You May Be Right (I May Be Crazy)

Just how crazy do you think I am?

Wait, wait, don't tell me. Because however crazy you think I am, I think I'm even crazier. If you know me and you know how I think, you understand. Maybe.

As you may know, I've been preoccupied with Billy Joel since April (long story, check the blog archive for details) and tomorrow I will be driving to Chicago  by myself for his sold-out concert.

I'm not sure if I'm more excited or nervous. And I'm already wondering what life, post-concert, will be like.

You see, it's become more than just a concert for me. It's an epic adventure – a challenge of creativity and bravery, an opportunity to carpe the snot out of the diem. Others might say it's an exercise in futility, stupidity and time wasting.

The first challenge was to convince myself that I could do this alone. I'm still worried about getting lost on the drive and just the thought of riding the “L” makes me nervous. (Although the Red Line is a straight shot from right outside my hotel to Wrigley so if I screw that up, I'm some special kind of stupid.)

But I'm OK with the “alone” part. It's kind of exciting, in fact. I'm making plans for things that I want to do without having to listen to anyone whine, like go to the art museum. I may even have lunch at the House of Blues... by myself. Heck, I can have lunch anywhere and anytime I want.

The second challenge was securing a concert ticket. This was more a matter of perseverance and dumb luck. But still, I navigated the ticket sites and ordered the ticket all by myself.

And here's where the crazy starts to show. Not only did I whine to anyone who would listen (and a few who didn't) and blog about the concert being sold out and how unfair scalpers are, I started sending emails.

Sending random emails is a sure sign of mid-level crazy.

First I emailed the official Billy Joel web site (maintained by Sony Corp. if you read the fine print) to ask if any additional tickets would be released (there were, and I got one). I still haven't heard back from them (ha).

Then, in a fit of pique I emailed the Cubs organization asking if the high-end VIP tickets ($500+) included a starting spot in the Cubs lineup. They actually did take the time to send a nice reply, saying that was news to them and that concert questions should be directed to Sony (as if).

After I had my ticket, the final challenge was to wait patiently.

Which I failed miserably at.

What do I do when I have too much time on my hands? Send emails.

Not only did I blog about wanting to interview Billy Joel, I sent emails requesting an interview. Neither Sony nor a talent rep who may or may not represent Billy Joel (can you trust press releases you find on the i-net?) have responded to my (very polite) requests.

Did that stop me? Of course not.

Yesterday (that's two days before the concert) I decided to try to get press credentials. I had no idea what this might involve, but it was another adventure! I did actually hear back from the concert promoters (yay!), but after sending a couple of clarification emails the final answer was a big, fat “Requested Credentials Are Not Available” (boo!).

So, did I really think I'd get to interview Billy Joel or get a press pass authorizing me to wander around Wrigley? No. But that doesn't mean it wasn't exciting to receive those emails. And I'm not going to give up. I'm taking my notebook full of interview questions with me.

Did I have a lot of fun doing some kinda crazy, unexpected, definitely out of the ordinary stuff? You betcha.

Saturday night when I arrive back home in West Branch – without getting lost anywhere at anytime and blissed out from a day at the art museum – I expect I'll have some fun Chicago memories to share. But more than that, I think I'll have a little more self-confidence and courage to try some more new challenges.

In one of those cosmic coincidences (or "God winks") I recently saw a quote attributed to Franklin D. Roosevelt: “Above all, try something.”

Carpe credentials!

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