I’m In

“That was amazing!” I said to Elizabeth as Rick and the band left the stage.  I looked up at the Studio 54 logo, still unable to believe that I was here, in Las Vegas.  I could still hear the strains of “Jessie’s Girl” ringing throughout the club.

I looked around, still trying to process the evening.  Vivian, Elizabeth and I had met up and noticed the huge line snaking around the casino; the show was a General Admission show. Rick’s fans were willing to put in hours and hours of waiting to gain a good spot.  I spied a few of the fans that had been vocally critical of me and my work on the site in the line.

The three of us had been whisked into the club early, promoters of the new record wanting to speak to us about the upcoming release the following week.  I felt smug as we passed the crew in line, walking around like VIPs.  My head swelled as we talked about the upcoming record and site statistics, until I felt like I was drowning.  I could feel my pride fall as I realized how little I knew about the industry and marketing; I was just a fan who knew what the fans would like.  I had no idea how to push our well oiled machine out to mass market.  Still, I felt like my ignorance wasn’t too much on display as I took notes and promised to call the record executive next week to go over details about the record and how to promote it through the website.

The show had been incredible; a small, intimate show in the Studio 54 club.  Rick had attacked each song as if he wanted to prove something.  He looked fantastic, having clearly started a workout regimen to keep up with the much younger dancers and singers in the show.

I felt hands on my shoulders as I began to pack up my camera and equipment. I started; Elizabeth was surrounded by a small knot of people; Vivian was no where in sight.  I could hear voices in my ears asking me what I was doing now, after the show.   Suddenly everyone was friendly, and complimenting me on my hair, and my outfit, and wanting to dish on Rick’s new leather jacket.  Was I going to see Rick now?  Could maybe I give him this photobook?  Or a note?  Where was I going for drinks after, could you meet me there?  I was dizzy with the noise and the touching and the pressing of the people.

I spotted Vivian with a desperate look on her face, encountering the same level of curiosity and sudden friendliness.  I quickly finished gathering my things together and reached out both arms.  With one, I grabbed Elizabeth’s and rudely dragged her away from the group she’d been talking to.  “Sorry, but we have to get going now, take care!” I shouted over the din.  A grateful look passed between her and I as we both marched towards Vivian, and each took an arm to lead her away.  Apologies rained from her mouth as we physically pulled her away from the fans that were crowding her in.

“Whew,” she said when we’d finally managed to get out of the crowd and into the backstage hallway.  “It’s so hard to get away when they surround you like that.”

“That’s why it works better to have the three of us,” I said, opening my bag to make sure I hadn’t dropped anything.  I could still feel the hands, hear the noise.  I tried to shake it off, my bravado wearing thin now that we were all alone.

“Alright, who’s ready for dinner?” asked Rick, meeting us in the hallway, clapping his hands together.  “They have really fantastic caviar here.   Who’s in?”

I really couldn’t believe this was my life.

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