When a fan becomes a friend. Part 3

Fast forward year later, we were ending a recording of our podcast (#EPBPodcast check us out on Stitcher, iTunes, and Podbean. Shameless plug) and then we debriefed about what we will talk about on the next show.

J: Aye, since we are all +FE fans and their album (Tales From The Land of Milk and Honey) is coming out next week, why don’t we ask Phonte to come on our show?

Others: That would be dope!

Me: *silence*

T: Well, we all know who needs to ask Phonte to be on the show.

*even more awkward silence*

A: If we don’t get him, I have some other ideas.

Me: It’s cool. I’ll ask him and report back.

-End of conversation

When I get off the phone, I freaked out. WHAT THE HELL DID I JUST AGREE TO DO?!?! I can’t back down now. I’m the one who talks to him more frequently on Twitter so it makes more sense for me to ask.  However, this doesn’t mean I was any less nervous about it. How in the hell was I going to ask him? I don’t have any contact information outside of Twitter. Do I just ask him on the very public twitter time line? That’s not very professional.

The only way to carry this out is in the Twitter DM’s (direct messages).

It goes down in the DM’s ©

Mercy. This is going to be awkward as hell. When I think (and you too) of DMs, I think of unsolicited n00dz and unwanted attention. But I don’t know any other way to do this. Sigh.

I went ahead and hit him via direct message. I must have typed and retyped that 20-word message about 30 times. Then I put my phone down. I didn’t want to be waiting for a response so I prepared myself for bed. 20 minutes after the initial response, I received DM back 10 minutes later.

Oh shit.

The message read:

“Hit me up anytime, cuz.”

*insert contact information*

Me: FJAOFUDOAIUFOISDUFIOASDUFIAUDFIUDIFUA

*passes out on the floor*

Bruh.

I typed a brief email and sent it quickly for fear of sounding like a damn fool.
Several weeks later, I got received an email from Phonte.

“I can do the show this Sunday.”

Me: JAFOUFDOAIUFDIUFAIUFIDUFIDUF

I quickly go to the podcast group chat at 7am on Saturday morning and in all caps to say:

PHONTE AGREED TO DO THE SHOW THIS SUNDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

But guess what? Earlier in the week, we didn’t think we would be able to record that Sunday because, we all had schedule conflicts. So I asked the rest of my cohosts, “Should we reschedule?” I got hit with the resounding NO. Even if our Sundays had to get rearranged we had to make this work. We had to get clarity on whether he wanted to do the whole show or just a segment. So we decided on the topics for the show, I typed the outline and sent him the time we would record the podcast by email. He hit me up a few hours later and agreed to do the whole show.

The.whole.show. 

MY GOD. HELP ME.

To limit technical difficulty we agreed we would do a Google Hangout with Tay and J and then the rest of us would record together in the same area. Despite being prepared, I was still nervous as a hooker in church. This was the FIRST conversation I would have with Phonte not involving typed words, using gifs, and pictures. This was the first time he would hear my speaking voice. We get to TALK to one of our favorite artist and ask anything we want.

Universe help me not to fuck this up. T poured A and myself glasses of wine. 

Thank God for wine. I take several sips.

Here goes nothing.

We sent him a Google invite. 10 minutes later, he comes on the screen.

FATHER HELP ME. I’M SWEATING.

A starts talking and explaining to him the flow of the show. He nods and agrees. Then he asks, “Are you Bridgette?”

ME: *SCREAMS INTERNALLY*

I’m here. *waves at the screen*

A: She’s right here beside me.

*she pulls my chair closer to the computer screen*

I introduce T and J and we start the show.

Now if we didn’t record that show, I would  barely remember anything about what happened. That 2 hours came and went so fast. I do remember becoming more relaxed after that glass of wine and how easy it was to interview him. He had an ease about him. He was witty and he was so intelligent. He mentioned some famous, troubled philosopher I had to use my Googles to get the context. It was fun and I’m glad we all had the pleasure to do it.

After the it was over, T and myself ran around the house like kids in a candy store.

WHAT A TIME.

And I really thought that was enough to satisfy my little ego.

But the story gets better.

 

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How a fan becomes a friend: Part 2

I was nervous as hell to tweet after I found out Phonte followed me on Twitter.

I didn’t want to say anything stupid to fuck that up.

But quickly those feelings dissipated and we corresponded on Twitter more. We talked about tv shows, music, family, relationships, women who wore wedges (LOL), amongst other random conversations. Other band members would follow me on Twitter. Nicolay. Then Zo. Then they would follow me on other social media sites (Instagram and FB) and I would chat with them. That was enough to satisfy my little ego.

BUT LITTLE DID I KNOW……

In 2014 +FE is back  in my hometown for another concert. We were running late that night. I tried to make up time by speeding. Then I got a damn speeding ticket. We ended up getting to the show  ten minutes before it was supposed to start and it was PACKED. There was only room by the left side of the stage and we were blocking the steps. I wanted to move but my husband refused.

Hubbs: If the ask us to move, we will. But as for right now, let’s sit tight.

Me: Okay.

The show started late, thank goodness. We went to get drinks to calm our nerves and prepared for the show. The steps after the introduction was made but we didn’t have to lose our spot. 

Upfront, stage left. 

The show starts and despite things starting off rough, I was relaxed and ready to have a good time. 

About 5 songs into the set, the band goes into “The Moment” from their album Love in Flying Colors. I notice that Phonte pulls out his phone and starts looking left of the stage. I can’t tell exactly where he is looking because he has on sunglasses. I start to notice him walking left of the stage. No big deal, right?

He walks past the other 2 singers (Tamisha Waden and Carmen Rodgers) who are VERY left of the stage.

Okay, this is a big deal.

“Where is he going?”

Phonte gets close enough to me, reaches down, and grabs me for a selfie from the stage. Then proceeds to go right back to singing as if nothing happened.

Me: AODIUFOAIUFASKJFKLSAUFDOIADUFIUF

Bruh.

He would later send that picture to me via Twitter.

(I was prepared this time for the photo than the last. I was proud enough to put it on the ‘gram)

As the show ends, he walks off the stage gives me a big hug. Then proceeds to dap and hug my husband.

Man, LOOK.

I needed time to gather myself after that. So I sat down on the stage to catch a breather.  I went to buy a t-shirt form the merchandise table and I gave Nicolay a hug as I was leaving. I went home with a full spirit floating on the way home.

My favorite artist knows who I am *check*

Talks to me via social media *check*

And acknowledges me at concerts *check*

That’s enough excitement to satisfy my little ego for a lifetime.

Right?

WRONG.

 

How a fan becomes a friend: Part 1

I joined twitter in 2009 to follow one of my favorite artists, Phonte Coleman. At the time he was in a rap group called Little Brother and is now in group called the Foreign Exchange. He also hosted a podcast called Gordon Gartrell Radio. It was a great way for me to find out when new podcast would drop, when there was a new single coming out, or just hear news about both groups in general. Who knew that this would evolve into a something bigger than I could ever imagine.

Every now and again I would tweet Phonte on Twitter with a question here (“When does the podcast drop?”) or a comment there, (“I really enjoyed the podcast today.”) Every now and again he would respond and that would satisfy my meager ego.

IF ONLY I KNEW THEY HALF OF IT….

In 2011, The Foreign Exchange came to perform in my hometown. This was their first time here and I was excited as hell to get the chance to see them. The show started on time and I was amazed at how this 20-dollar show was worth much more. Phonte is a real showman. He is going to give a rap, R&B, comedy, and a sermon all in 2 hours. My soul was full because I got to see them perform. I was more than satisfied with that. As my husband and I went to close out our tab at the bar, we noticed Nicolay (the other half of the Foreign Exchange) walking around taking pics with fans. Then I noticed Zo (Lorenzo Ferguson), the musical director and keyboard player for the touring band in the far right of the venue doing the same. So my husband and I decided that I should go speak to Zo while he was closing out the tab. We would talk to Nicolay on the way out, then head home.

As I made my way to Zo, I saw into Chris Boerner, the guitar player for +FE touring band. We exchanged pleasantries and went our separate ways. Suddenly I see Phonte in front of me talking to another couple. I immediately froze. This is much different than corresponding with him via computer screen or a twitter app. This was my favorite artist in the flesh less than 10 feet in front of me. My husband then walks up and wonders why I look like I’ve seen a ghost. I quickly explained to him that Phonte is front of me. We both freak out silently and our eyes looking like 9 inch plates. Mr. Coleman then wraps up his conversation with the couple and he standing there alone. It was as if NO ONE else noticed him but us. This is my chance to introduce myself but my legs are stuck.  I want to say hello but I have a lump in my throat and I can’t speak. Luckily, my husband decides to be brave. He introduces himself, says how much he enjoys his music, and introduces me.  Phonte gives me a hug and it felt like he had known me for years. My husband asked to take a picture. Phonte happily obliges. My husband then goes to find someone to take the photo.

Then Phonte looks at me and then ask…

”Yo, don’t I follow you on Twitter?”

Me: DJFOAUGFOADUFKJDFLASUFODUFAFJDIFUSAOFIAIFDFJIA

 

Yo. How in the HELL did he remember that without me prompting him?!

Girl comes back to take the picture.

*camera flashes*

It’s seriously one of the worst pictures I’ve taken.

(Tay and my husband look great).

But it doesn’t matter because one of my favorite artist ever remembered who #EYE was and I floated on the way home.

Can’t get any better, right?!

WRONG.