Last night was the second New Jersey Hall of Fame induction ceremony at NJPAC. It was great “rubbing shoulders” with some of the most famous people of the state. (I was there as the announcer of the event, also known, I am told, in stage parlance as V.O.G. or “Voice of God”, but I’ll save that for another blog.)
The event got me thinking about the common thread of successful, famous people. What do they all have in common? It was interesting seeing them all interact back stage.
What does Senator Bill Bradley have in common with say Jon Bon Jovi? What does Gov. Jon Corzine (who was a presenter and was hanging out back stage too) have in common with Paul Robeson?
They all really like other people and I’m not talking about other famous people either. They all seem to genuinely like their fans/constituents.
Jon Bon Jovi waited patiently as fan after fan came up to him and asked for a picture and an autograph. He stood and smiled with adult after adult and smiling kid after kid as parents and spouses fumbled with their point and shoot cameras.
The Governor was the same story. He was a presenter of several awards and had plenty of down-time during the two and a half hour program. Did he surround himself with his security detail? Or bury his head in his Blackberry after being shuttled off to a private waiting room? Nope. He hung out with the rest of us and happily chatted with everyone and anyone who walked up to say “hi”.
Posed for as many pictures as people wanted. (Yes, he’s running for re-election. Yes, you say, he’s just looking for votes. But I’ve seen this the Gov. do this before. He’s not faking it.)
Now, sure you hear horror stories of famous people refusing autographs of orphaned kids in wheelchairs whose lost puppy just got run over by a bus, but for the most part famous folks are pretty decent human beings who genuinely enjoy interacting with their fellow human beings.
So for all the bad press celebs get from, well, us folks in the press, I’m here to tell you that it’s not always that way. Perhaps that’s the real reason these men and women are in the Hall of Fame in the first place. They do what they do because they love it and are thrilled that they can make the world a better place.