Friday, March 07, 2008
The Life Of A Celebrity
Ok, yes, I will finally admit it.
I AM a celebrity,....of sorts.
Just a few weekend's ago, I got the opportunity to go to Oklahoma City to sing at a HUGE benefit for The American Heart Association. It was first class all the way, baby, with the band staying at the Marriott and chauffeured around in a custom Mercedes from the biggest Mercedes dealership in Ok. City. It was all expenses paid; food, plane fare, and a nice chunk of change for the gig.
But first, before you really start to get jealous, let me tell you of my first class visit to this grand city, and the ball of the year...
We arrived at the Boston airport at about noon for our 2:30 flight. The torrential snow storm or blizzard of the year was going on, so we weren't surprised to find out that our flight was canceled. No worries----we are celebrities, after all, and only the best for the Rod Stewart tribute act and his entourage. So, they found us a flight on another airline going out at 8:00 that night.
Great! A nice leisurely stay at the airport is a treat indeed----I'm sure that is what you are thinking also, as we sat around, ate from the finest airport food----yes, they even had a Panda Express! It was grand! Of course it was rough trying to keep people from recognizing us and bothering us with autographs and such, but I solved the problem with turning on my computer, hooking up my headphones and watching several DVD's that I had brought. Whew, it was close, as I tried not to catch anyone's eye. I was trying to be incognito...
At about 8:00, after we were told that the airport was officially closed down and there wouldn't be any flights out until about 10:00, I was able to dine at the exclusive restaurant, Wendy's, having an amazing wilted lettuce salad and chili with hardly any beans. (that way one doesn't get a "gaseous" experience for one's flight) Ahhhh, how nice to sit with no interruptions, listening to the great sounds of the airport music and then, after eating, once again, listening to the great sounds of the top forty airport music as I leisurely read my book.
Well, they finally opened the airport and we got on our plane to Cleveland, Ohio. It was a great flight, of course, because being a celebrity, we got two pillows and a small blue square that they called a blanket. It was soft, though, and we got a bit of a rest.
When we were arriving into Cleveland, they announced that the motels and hotels in the area were pretty much booked up, and there was a worrisome moment there for a minute. (You see, our flight to Oklahoma wasn't going out until Sat. morning at 10:30 a.m., so we needed a place to sleep) But of course, as we got off the plane and they saw what celebrities we were, they ran quickly and got a cot for each one of us, and...get this....as MANY PILLOWS AS WE WANTED! I knew that we had arrived, also, when we were able to pick out our own blanket, from a neatly stacked pile----and yes, you guessed it,---it was those soft, small blue squares! Heaven!
We were told to pick any area at a certain Gate. I'm sure that they were concerned with fans interrupting us in the early hours of the morning and disturbing our sleep. I was lucky enough to find a space to tuck my cot away behind a tall giraffe, that was advertising some park in Cleveland. I laid down and realized that we were also going to get to listen to that lovely, piped-in top 40 airport music again, with those ever important public service announcements----ALL night! How thoughtful of them... And then, to keep us safe and just in case we were afraid of the dark, they left ALL the overhead flourescent lights on, ALL NIGHT LONG!
I know what you are thinking...such luxury you have never known, right? I know...and I am ashamed to say that I couldn't sleep very well----its hard sleeping in such grandeur, in such a large room, when one is used to a small dark room. So, I read for a while, listened to the music, chatted with a one of my band mates, and took a few cat naps.
After a great breakfast at one of the high end restaurants in the airport, we settled in and waited for our flight. It was truly amazing how the accommodations were so comfortable, that several of my band mates slept on, even as people were coming to get on their flights. Oh....and the paparazzi would have had a field day with those big guys sleeping on their cots, with their oh, so, smallish comfy blankets barely covering them. But, the airport did their job and kept the paparazzi away.
Our celebrity time wasn't up just yet. We got on our flight, had some tremendous pretzels, and tomato juice, then were able to take a quick nap in our luxurious coach seats before landing in Cleveland. We were met by Jimmy, our driver, got our luggage and away we went to the Marriot!
Sound check was next, but was done pretty quickly and we were able to relax in our sumptuous rooms bef0re the performance, which was held in a ballroom at the Convention Center adjacent to the Marriot. The room was filled with about 600 people----all dressed in black tie and formal gowns and so happy that we were able to be there and made it out of the Boston blizzard---they even had a special dressing room put up behind the stage using curtains, so we could have extra privacy.
After the show at 12:30 a.m., I went to my room, exhausted, but excited that I was going to get two hours of sleep in my luxurious Marriot bed before I had to get up at 3:00, get ready and be taken to the airport at 4:00 a.m.
Well, I must admit that the rest of the trip was a blur. I believe that we visited two more cities...or...rather...two more airports---you know how it is on these celebrity tours,----before we returned home to Boston. I know that I was able to sleep immediately on each and every flight home. I was an exhausted celebrity. I also think that all that star treatment left me a little tired, and it took me most of the week to recuperate.
Well......now.....all I can say about the weekend is....I now understand why those big celebrities have such a hard time getting rest.
It's hard work being a celebrity.