Everyone dreams of one day meeting their idol, be it Jay-Z on a subway or Lauren Conrad on Rodeo Drive, but few people actually get the chance to. Here’s the story of someone who did.
It all started during one of our weekly Sunday night meetings in The Ram office. News was talking about news, sports was talking about sports and I was on Pinterest looking at pictures of puppies in footie pajamas. However, when it came time for my section, A & E, to speak about their current week’s story budget I immediately perked up. “There’s a press conference on Thursday with” — wait for it — “ Tina Fey and Paul Rudd for their new movie Admission.” I immediately screamed that I would take the story, causing the whole room of Ram personnel to giggle at me, but I was too excited to notice.
Tina Fey has always been one of my personal role models. I have always admired how she is completely self-made and wildly intelligent (Mean Girls and 30 Rock, the woman is a god), not to mention the fact that she is one of the classiest celebrities out there. When her book Bossypants came out, I was waiting outside Barnes and Nobles to read it the very next day. So, needless to say I was freaking out.
However, this wasn’t just a simple meet and greet; it was a college press conference where we had to ask questions and actually talk to them (gasp). I feverishly wrote down all the questions I could think of, some being silly, some serious and some just downright ridiculous. I spent probably two hours picking out a classy outfit to wear to the interview, obviously wearing Tina’s favorite color ().
Before the journalists were allowed to attend the press conference, we naturally had to see a pre-screening of the movie Admission so we would be able to ask better questions. Obviously, I was pretty annoyed to see a movie before the rest of the American public, for free and miss school. Just kidding, I was peeing my pants. I showed up to the fancy one-room theatre on Park Avenue two hours early (my dad used to tell me that early is on time) and literally had to pinch myself. After I signed in, I sat down and took it all in. All around me were established journalists from The LA Times, Wired and a ton of online sites who all knew each other. It was crazy. I felt like I was in a movie, but of course I was not. Although I’m not allowed to speak about the actual film, that would ruin it for all of you, it was a must-see for college students and the acting was phenomenal. [pagebreak]
The next day, was the press conference. Of course, Nemo was in full swing, and it looked like the world was ending outside, but I was determined to make this conference. After wandering to the Waldorf Astoria (I know, so Gossip Girl) I made my way up to the 28th floor of Waldorf Towers. I stepped out of the elevator and into one of the most beautiful rooms I had ever scene. It was swarming with journalists. In the next room there was a massive breakfast buffet. Yup, those actually exist. I must have stood there looking overwhelmed for three minutes before one of the staff came up to me to check me in. Eventually, though, I gained my bearings and mingled with other reporters and PR staff.
As the time of the college press conference neared, 11:50 a.m., more college journalists arrived. There were kids from Princeton, University of Texas, Northwestern and of course, Fordham in attendance. It was super neat to be able to speak to other young journalists.
All of us were freaking out; some because they were excited to meet Paul Rudd or Nat Wolff, but most were pumped to see Tina. We were lead into a room with a huge table at the head, with their nameplates on it, and that was when it hit me. Tina Fey was actually going to be three feet in front of me. Ten minutes later, Tina Fey, Paul Rudd, Nat Wolff and the director, Paul Weitz glided into the room. Yes, they were more beautiful than I imagined. Yes, Tina Fey was wearing her Liz Lemon glasses. The mediator got the conversation going by asking them if the film, which is about a college admissions officer (Fey) who’s life is shooken up by a change-the-world type of guy (Rudd) when he asks if she can help him get a gifted kid into Princeton (Wolff). The four goofed around and answered all their questions with silly comments. All of them were honesty the four funniest people I have ever come in contact with, but of course, Tina was the best. It all seemed so fast and before I knew it, it was time to go and the stars walked out of the room with a simple handshake (still haven’t washed this hand) and all was back to normal again.
As I walked back to Grand Central with my swag bag in tow, I just felt different. There’s something about meeting your role model that makes you feel inspired. After meeting Tina, who was truly as amazing, smart and beautiful as she seems on the screen, I had an urge to make my life as great as hers. I went home and did everything I had been putting off, like getting a Twitter, writing my best friends from home and making my boyfriend a Valentine’s Day present. Even as I am writing this, I want to go out into the world and make it better than how it was when I came into it. If you ever get a chance to meet your idol, take it. You will honestly never be the same; I know I won’t.
As college kids, we don’t know what we want to do with our lives yet, but meeting that one person who you have admired since you were in Middle School, might just help you figure it out. So, next time you think you see Obama in the supermarket or Alicia Keys in central park, go say hi. You might be changed forever.