As I get ready to go to Disney World, I’ve been thinking about my path to becoming a professional fangirl. I’ve gone to the most meet and greets in Disney theme parks, so I have no doubt that’s where my interest in posing with famous characters and people came from. It goes back for so many years that my first meet and greets were not captured on a digital camera. After all, it was the early 90s!
I’ve also spent more than a year talking to super fans of Kim Kardashian and more recently, Taylor Swift, daily. This made me want to reflect on my personal history of relationships with pop culture icons. Let’s go back, shall we?
Before I built a personal brand as the girl in the red jeans, I loved all things purple. Between the clothes, videos and stuffed animals, I basically collected Barney products.
In middle school, I took on a new Barney project: re-selling new VHS tapes. I bought them at a phenomenal bargain price and sold them on sites likes Amazon and eBay. It was a challenging time to do this because VHS tapes were being phased out. I’m not sure how much $$$ I made, but it was a good way to learn about e-commerce.
Looking back on the past year, I’m reminded of the events that educated, entertained and inspired me. YouTube star Miranda Sings’ show at Just For Laughs wasn’t exactly educational, at least not for anyone older than a preteen, but I was in awe of her personal branding talent, so that inspired me.
2015 was a good year in Hollywood. Between Inside Out, Iris, Suffragette and The Danish Girl, there were a number of new releases that I enjoyed. As far as celebrities are concerned, I was also intrigued by Caitlyn Jenner’s transition. I like how Google used her speech to narrate their Year In Search video because her choices and words defined the year in pop culture. Sometimes I wonder if the whole purpose of the Kardashian franchise was to give Caitlyn a bigger platform to become a transgender advocate.
Shania came back to Toronto for her third visit on the Rock This Country tour and she’s clearly on a mission to reconnect with fans that have noticed her absence from the concert circuit.
Gavin DeGraw, who rose to fame thanks to the beloved show One Tree Hill, was the opening act and he started the evening on a powerful note. He began behind the piano to perform Soldier and then continued to play hits like Sweeter and Chariot. His cover of Bryan Adams’ Heaven was a notable highlight.
He really got the crowd riled up when he stepped off the stage to sing I Don’t Wanna Be with fans on the floor. He shook fans’ hands as he walked around with security and I watched with envy from the nosebleed section. At the time, I didn’t know that he was prepared to get so personal with fans that he would surprise a lucky bride and groom’s guests at a local wedding the same night! Gavin and Shania were both sentimental about their last night on tour together and I was delighted to see Gavin come back on stage to sing Party for Two as a duet with her.
Like everyone else born in the 90s, I can’t wait to hear the upcoming new releases from the recently reunited Destiny’s Child, but I was unimpressed by Beyonce’s halftime show at tonight’s Super Bowl overall. Was it fun to see “Single Ladies” performed live? Sure, but I’d much rather see Shania or Madonna perform at the annual event again.
Watching the Super Bowl ads and reading my friends’ live tweets sure made me crave a cold drink – specifically a Budweiser beer or Pepsi. I settled for a cold bottled Starbucks’ Frappuccino and browsed YouTube to narrow down my top picks from the 2013 Super Bowl TV spts. Sit back and enjoy!
Oreo – “Whisper Fight”
Only indoor voices are used for a fierce argument about cookies. After the cops come, an Instagram campaign is announced.
Elizabeth Bromstein, who earns a living commenting on celebrities, work and love, yet refrains from gossiping over dinner at the Spoke Club. Elizabeth’s published work reflects her wit and intelligence that earned her a spot on this list, but my favourite memories with @missbromstein involved meeting in person to discuss Twitter, food and life.
Hilary Duff, Hollywood’s eternal good girl whose [extended] team coined the term ‘momager’ and eventually married a Canadian hockey player.
Kelly Cutrone, a PR pro known for succinctly spreading the message Normal Gets You Nowhere. Both her books gave me a lot to think about – enough material for a term paper about The Culture of Celebrity. I’ll never forget when she pegged me as a journalist, or her knack for bringing people together.
Kelly Cutrone (May 2011)
Lauren O’Neil, a professional internetter and online creep with FIMS training at Western as well. She’s made the rounds helping brands improve their social media, running around Toronto to share insights, and then wound up at CBC, true to her roots in journalism. On a side note, it’d incredible to get us, Julie Geller, Matthew Stradiotto and Jerry Seinfeld in the same room and determine Ms. O’Nizzle’s ultimate job title. Patrick Thoburn can moderate.
Shania Twain, whose motivational life story and lyrics taught me the word ‘prerogative’ once upon a time when I played ‘Man! I Feel Like a Woman’ over and over again on my desktop karaoke software. Many thanks to the Toronto Star for organizing a contest to meet her in 2005, which marked the beginning of my winning streak, and to my pals at Indigo for reuniting us in 2011. I still don’t have a photo with her, but 3rd time’s the charm.
Tomorrow I’ll be of legal drinking age in the U.S. & Canada, so message me when you’re free for a champagne-inspired tweet up.