Friday, August 11, 2006

So there I am, volunteering at an AIDS Conference-affiliated event at MaRS last night.

I'm volunteering as the photographer's assistant and writing down the names of everyone in the photos he's taking.

"Can I take down your name for the photo credit?"
"Can you please spell your last name?"

And so on.

Valerie Pringle's there, Olivia Chow and Barbara Hall. There's the speaker of the evening, Dr. James Orbinski. And the man with the million-dollar cheque. And all I can do is wait because I know She is here.

Sarah McLachlan. I was there for her soundcheck and took some blurry photos from the mezzanine. It hardly seemed real.

And now I'm being asked to join the photographer as he waits for Sarah to exit from her dressing room or the bathroom. So I'm fiddling with my camera. I look up and She is there, looking me right in the face.

Dear God.
I smile.
This is so unreal.

But she's walking past me before I remember the camera in my hand. I join the entourage, tailing my photographer. I step into the elevator with everyone.

I cannot stare. And I can't start snapping photos in her face. How rude. I am not rude. So I try to be normal.

Except I am not normal. My heart is hammering in my chest. It's like that feeling I used to get around that boy I had a crush on.

And do you think I can say ANYTHING? Not a peep.

I can't think of anything intelligent.

"I love you" is not right. "I love your music" seems silly. And really, there is no opportunity. I have no reason to speak to her. Except to gush and make a fool of myself.

But she is pretty and she laughs and is normal as we walk backstage.

As she greets James Fraser, the CEO of Dignitas, the medical humanitarian organization that is the reason for this event, I start snapping. It seems somehow less intrusive, as I am supposed to document the evening, along with the professional beside me.

It is all happening so fast. The show will be starting. I am ushered to the front of the stage. She comes out and I snap more photos. Mostly blurry. And I sing along to the four songs she chooses.

I wish she would notice.

God, I am a silly teenager.

Finally, it is over and we clap and she goes back to her room. The photographer is invited to the VIP party and of course I must go with him. This is where Sarah will greet all of the important people.

I have another chance!
To do what, I'm not sure.

But she arrives and smiles and hugs people and shakes hands and talks to various people and poses for photos. The professional takes all the photos now. I dutifully write down names.

And I do not speak to her.
Or get my photo taken with her.

And she leaves and it is done. My job over. I will never get another chance like this. But really, what does it matter? What good would it do to tell her that I, like so many, like her music? That I have all of her CDs (but one)?

She would smile and inwardly roll her eyes and think, "oh god, another one" and maybe say "thank you" and that's about it.

So really, it's probably best that I have said nothing.

I wish I really felt that. But I head to the open bar to forget. Normal life resumes.

I would post my photos of her but I have signed an agreement that I will not do so unless it is approved by her management. And so I have nothing but a silly uncomfortable memory.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Famous people are first
& foremost people & deserve to be treated with respect. You did that . You are amazing. Lesser people might have bugged her to have a photo with her or tried to impress her with themselves