In case you haven’t figured it out, I really love my job. In what other profession would I be able to wear a ball python snake from the Cincinnati Zoo as a necklace one day and then be up on stage at Riverbend Music Center on another singing along with Reds players Homer Bailey, Jay Bruce and Logan Ondrusek as Brad Paisley tears it up on his hit song “Alcohol”?
That happened last week.
All the while, Paisley tourmates Chris Young, Lee Brice and the Henningsens are running around the stage, playing the fools as a giant foam rubber-headed Brad “mascot” pours drinks. Definitely a bucket-list moment, one I didn’t realize was on my bucket list until it was happening, if that makes sense.
Yep, I’m a fan. To be able to sit in a nice studio every day and talk to folks and play my favorite music is a dream come true. But before you think we have country artists running in and out our doors on a daily basis, please know that we don’t. I’ve been able to meet a few in my time, but Brad Paisley was definitely on my “wanted” list.
And before you think we get to go backstage and hang out with the stars, we don’t. That’s because we give all the tickets and passes away to listeners — honest.
Now we often do get to emcee or “intro” a show where you get up on stage, and say “howdy” to the fans in as short a time as possible, because they didn’t pay good money to see us, after all. You might get to give a head nod to the artist as they make their way to the stage or even get a high five if you’re lucky. They are working, you know.
But for some strange reason, all the planets aligned last week and I got to escort listeners backstage and meet Brad. What to wear? I seem to have this crisis a lot. What do I say? How do I act? Do I take pictures? Or is that too creepy?
These superstars meet thousands of people every day, so I had no delusions I would make any impact. So, what did I do? Stood and stared mainly. Mumbled something about how much I like his music and I own all his albums, which is the truth. He gave me a hug, said thank you for the kind words and smiled for a picture, then probably forgot all about me. Who can blame him? One thing’s for sure, this fan won’t forget about him.
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