W.W.G.D. (What Would Garth Do)
I've been in the radio business for a long time and have met quite a few celebrities. Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and John Bon Jovi certainly top the list in terms of "wow" factor, but for the most part, meeting celebrities can be a bit of a bummer. Meet and greets tend to be rushed, there's very little eye contact, and typically, after a few moments, when my anxiety kicks in, I realize that I'm about as important as the bottle of water I'm nervously clutching.
And then I met Garth Brooks.
People always told me that country artists were different, but I was skeptical and I needed proof. Garth and his wife Trisha Yearwood walked into a room of about 6 of us and made us feel as welcome as your friendliest neighbor. And so much eye contact. Garth and Trisha's brain never wandered, they never looked uneasy or made us feel like they were in a hurry. They asked US questions about OUR lives and really took an interest. Chrissy and I informed Garth that Monday was going to be our first day changing over from a pop station to a country station. "Oh wow! So Y'all made the switch" he said with a sly grin. He wished us good luck. I felt like he meant it. It was an amazing introduction to country.
Garth and Trisha are arguably the biggest and most accomplished artists I have ever met. And they were every bit as kind as they are successful. There is no arguing that!
As I was leaving the meet and greet, Garth looked me in the eye and said one more thing. He was calm and chill, not the least bit intimidating but his words resonated; "Just don't disrespect the music, and ya'll will be ok." Anxious and nervous for our first show on Monday morning, I really needed to hear that.
There's a lot to be learned here. For me it's pretty simple. How well do you treat the person that can do absolutely nothing for you? Or in other words: W.W.G.D.