Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Networking for Nerds: Meeting "Buck Rogers"

Gil Gerard as Buck RogersLisa and I just got back from the DragonCon Science Fiction Convention. While there, I had an interesting networking experience.

I was sitting with my sister, Rebecca, in the Concierge Lounge of the Marriott Marquis in downtown Atlanta. I happened to glance across the room and who was sitting there, but Gil Gerard, the actor who portrayed one of my childhood heroes, Buck Rogers. I really wanted to just walk up and say hello, but the whole concept of his celebrity was stopping me. What if he's sick of talking to people? What if I bother him? What if he tells me to get lost?

Finally my sister pointed out that if he really didn't want people to talk with him, it wasn't very likely that he would come to a public area like this. So, I mustered up my courage and walked up and said "Hello."

And he was totally cool about it. He and I shook hands and chatted for a few moments, then I let him get back to his snack. He even remembered me (in a good way, I think) the next day when I attended his panel.

If I had let my fear get the best of me, I would never have had such a great experience. It was a small thing, but for the rest of the weekend, when I saw someone famous just walking through the halls or waiting for an elevator, I didn't hesitate to say hello.

And not one of them spit in my face or even laughed at me. Could it be the celebrities are people too?

I'll remember this weekend the next time I'm feeling nervous about talking to someone at a Chamber mixer. Whether a movie star or a business mogul. They're all just people and they all have an interesting story to tell, if you are willing to take that first step.

So, who was the most famous person you've ever met? How did you meet?


Anonymous said...

I've never met any famous people but I always wave at limousines with tinted windows....Just in case!

Anonymous said...

The story most related to your post was the time I met Kurt Vonnegut. He stood up and scolded people for being too timid at the meet-and-greet, calling them over to talk with him.