I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been places I don’t belong. Usually it’s not so much that I truly don’t belong, as much I don’t appear to belong. I am sort of an old soul chameleon. I enjoy having different hobbies and interests that don’t necessarily mix amongst themselves.
When I moved to California and became involved in a few different scenes, whether it was music, surfing, desert camping or antiquing, I found that as long as you play the part and believe that you belong, you can generally avoid standing out.
The first time I met the Red Hot Chili Peppers, I was at a charity event with a friend/date; I’m not sure what he was, honestly. I bought my way into a small show, but there was a clear segregation between invited celebrities and ticket holders. My “date” was clearly more interested in mingling with the bartenders while I was interested in making my very first attempt to score a couple minutes with the Peppers; any of them would do. So while my “date” and I went separate ways, I found myself locking eyes with another fan who did not dress the part. I mean, I had clearly been prepared in a sparkly pink sequin shirt, leather pants and spiked heels. He was in a Chili Pepper t-shirt and Dickies. Still, as I stood alone, as did he, at least we knew we had something in common; Chili Peppers.
After the usual introductions, he quickly asked if I’d been into the forbidden area of the evening; the main house. I likely replied with something goofy like, “but we aren’t allowed in there”. Fan Boy had a hint of trouble in his eyes, said “come on” and grabbed my hand. As we approached a kitchen area, which had a wide open door to the back of the mansion, he stopped me and looked me dead in the eyes and said “if you act like you belong here, no one will question you. Act like you own the place”.
So in the door we went, amongst buzzing kitchen workers, up the back stairs in stilettos I could barely function in and there we were. We were in. This was my first concert rule that I’d keep branded in my mind for all time; act like you belong and no one will question you. It works because we clearly did not look the part, but we acted like we did…until we approached the band and my lips fumbled like a pile of rubber bands. This is beside the point; mission accomplished.
This was the beginning of backstage parties, smoke pits with celebrities (stay tuned for concert rule #2), award shows, secret shows, celebrity run-ins and getting into numerous events we didn’t have tickets for. The Chili Pepper scene became a land of endless opportunity and heart pounding “what if we get caught” moments. The further along we went, the more little tricks we learned and since I’m likely not to use them with Fan Boy on a different coast, I’ll start sharing them with you.
I’m also pretty sure that not enough people read this to inhibit my abilities if I chose to exercise my skills.
Final note that I wish I could back in time and pronounce: This rule works everywhere but dressing rooms. No “Fan Boy”, you cannot act like you’re going to fit in, in a room meant for a four piece band and their girlfriends. That cranky Manager will see us and will keep us on her radar for years to come. Be smart.
Stay tuned for more rules to come, to make all your rockstar dreams come true.
**(These do require some skill, no guarantees)