Sting at the Disney premiere...
I'm back in NY after a whirlwind Stingfest that began last Friday, with the ceremony for Sting receiving his star on Hollywood Blvd which was totally awesome. Sting was very humble and gracious in his thank yous and after the press was done with him, he came over to his fans including me who had a front and center spot along the barricade to sign autographs and shake hands (In my case I even got a peck on the cheek!)
He recognized me from RAH where I both volunteered for the Rainforest and hounded (not really) him each day for photos/autographs. Then on Sunday, the day of the premiere, me and my other Outlandos pals were 1st on line, hours in advance to secure great spots along the cheering section. Sting and Trudie arrived, both looking stunning, and again Sting came over to his fans to show his humble appreciation to us for supporting him by again signing autographs and shaking hands. If that wasn't exciting enough, we all then got to go into the El Capitain theatre to see the film in the front row and to hear Sting perform 2 songs live! ('Perfect World' and 'My Funny Friend And Me'). He was sensational and me and my guest Shelley Smyers, Outlandos fan from Northern CA. were thrilled beyond belief.
Little Giacomo had strolled to the bottom of the stage to watch "Daddy" perform. When Sting finished, Trudie came up to collect him and allowed us so graciously to photograph herself with Giacomo. He was darling. As if this wasn't enough, Nikki from Disney had given me special tickets for myself and 4 guests (all Outlandos buddies) to go to the after show party which the celebrities attended.
We were able to talk to Sting briefly and have our photos taken with him It was the most sensational time I've ever had! You guys at Outlandos made it all happen and I want to give you my sincerest thanks! I will never forget that day, and of course I followed this all with watching Sting perform again on Monday, by going to the taping of the Jay Leno show. Again I have you all at Outlandos to thank for one incredible, awesome time.
I just got back yesterday, from my one week vacation in Los Angeles... where I attended the Hollywood premiere for the Emperor's New Groove. I just wanted to thank you the Outlandos fan club, for giving me the opportunity to attend the premiere, that day turned out to be so much more than I expected. First of all, while standing in line for the VIP section, I was able to meet a fellow club member who had come all the way from New Jersey and once we found out we both were club members we both couldn't stop talking about Sting and how excited we both were to be here at the premiere.
Once we were allowed to go into the VIP section, we were given special wrist bands for club members only, which really did make us feel special and much to our surprise we were also told that after the stars walk down the red carpet, instead of us walking a couple blocks down the street to another movie theatre, where we were due to see the Emperor's New Groove movie, that we will instead be going to see the movie here at the El Capitan theatre along with Sting and the rest of the stars... oh my god, we could not believe it!
But that was just the beginning... before we went in to see the movie, we were enjoying watching all the stars walking down the red carpet, but we were anxiously awaiting to see Sting... then the moment finally came, we saw Sting and Trudie both walking together, constantly being stopped by television cameras and photographers trying to get their attention, but us fans wanted their attention too, we were wondering if Sting would notice us or just pass us by...
We did notice that some other club members that were farther down the line from us had caught Sting's eye and he walked to greet them, which was great, so we thought maybe we might have a chance too so as he started walking toward our direction, he was facing the other side to the photographers section and we just started screaming his name, jumping up and down trying to get his attention and all of a sudden he turned around and looked at us, and he started walking towards us and I felt like I was just going to die. I asked him to sign the 1993 Rolling Stone magazine that I had brought, in which he was on the cover of, which he did and he shook my hand, and I could not believe what had just happened, I was in shock!
But wait there's more a local radio station was giving away prizes to anyone who can correctly answer any questions regarding Sting, so every time they asked a Sting question, I automatically knew the answer and had my hand up, but they always chose someone else, until someone noticed that I kept raising my hand, so they came toward my direction and asked the question, what did Sting name his bass guitar? So I quickly raised my hand, they picked me and I said the correct answer which was "Brian" and they gave me two tickets to the "after party" of the premiere, and I couldn't believe it, I felt like crying, I was so happy! But there's still more... now it was time for everyone to go into the theatre to see the movie, I still could not believe that I was actually going to be sitting in the same theatre as Sting to watch the movie.
Inside, me and my husband started walking up onto the balcony section trying to find our assigned seats, but the theatre usher noticed that our tickets were for the orchestra section, so we followed him down stairs to the orchestra and I could not believe it, our seats were in the front row center! Could this day get any better? Yes! I turned around and there sitting 3 rows behind me was Sting, Trudie & little Giacomo... what a thrill! So we watched the movie, and I really liked it a lot, it was very funny and as soon as the movie ended, the curtain went up and there's Sting on stage with this big band of people behind him and he began to sing 'My Funny Friend And Me' and 'Perfect World' from the movie - what a treat. I had such a great time, Sting was great!
So then, we were off to the after party, it was incredible, we saw the Disney characters from the movie, there were games, a ferris wheel, food, drinks, stars and, of course, Sting. I desperately wanted to meet Sting and take a picture with him, but I was to scared to ask him, I just didn't know what to say. He was surrounded by all these people and I didn't want to bother him but my husband, knowing how much of a devoted Sting fan that I am, didn't want this opportunity to pass me by, takes my hand and walks up to Sting and says, 'Excuse me Sting, but would you mind taking a picture with my wife, she happens to be one of your biggest fans and she absolutely loves you, it would really mean a lot to her', and Sting turned around and says, 'Is this your wife?', and I said, 'Yes, I'm your biggest fan and I'm a member of the Outlandos fan club and he said 'Sure, I'll take a picture', and he did and it was over just like that.
For 20 years, since I was 13 years old I've loved the Police & Sting and have been such a devoted and loyal fan for all these years, always dreaming and wishing that someday maybe I might get an opportunity to meet Sting. I never believed that it would actually come true, but thanks to the Outlandos fan club, my dream finally did come true!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you so much!!! I will never forget that day for the rest of my life!
(c) Gina Puga for Sting.com
Sting performs at the Emperor's New Groove premiere...
It's tough to describe in few words the events that took place on December 10 at the premiere of 'Emperor's New Groove'. When I first returned home to NJ, exhausted, I tried to put some thoughts together while still fresh in my mind. These are now safely tucked away in my heart. For a fan, having the opportunity to attend an event like this is the kind of thing that probably happens once, if we're lucky. It was the perfect ending to a wonderful year of concerts, meeting so many Outlandos at Central Park and now some new friends in LA. This was a day full of surprises, excitement and, a bit of anxiety. Reflecting on this now, I wonder whether there is such a thing as too much Sting - especially the way the day unfolded! Ah! - probably not, more like too much excitement - but at the end of the trip, I was completely overwhelmed and had a hard time putting it all together. So, I'll try to describe some of my experiences
Saturday - December 9
My best friend Joni and I left NJ and arrived in LA mid-day. In the early evening, we drove to the El Capitan Theater to try to get an idea of what we might expect the following day. While there, a crew was setting up tents at the back of the theater for
the after show party and we learned from one of the team how the red carpet area would be constructed. We were able to visualize just where we might be when Sting arrived the next day. We saw Sting's new star on the Walk of Fame, just a few steps down from the entrance to the El Capitan Theater. Dusting off the smudges, we took a few photos and returned to our hotel to plan our strategy for Sunday.
Sunday - December 10
Disney advised us beforehand that we really didn't need to arrive at the theater until about 10:30 a.m. That meant dawn, but we arrived at the El Capitan at about 8:15 a.m. The crew was setting up and they graciously allowed us to watch them work. It was actually quite interesting to see how this thing all came together. Joni and I put the finishing touches on our banner and poster, which we hoped we would be able to display in the cheering area. Within a short time a few other Outlandos arrived. We all had our signs and paraphernalia in tow and had a good time discussing memories of concerts, and even sang of few of Sting's songs while waiting on line. I had a banner made - "Hi Sting - Outlandos In Your Corner - Your Funny Friends from NY and NJ", and also had a poster made at Wendy & Dave's suggestion, greeting Sting in his colloquial "Geordie" that read, "Ho'way Bonny Lad!!" We hoped that this would catch his eye when he began his walk down the red carpet.
About noon, Disney let us into the cheering are and provided us with tee shirts, buttons and wristbands to identify the Outlandos members. I immediately stuck my "Geordie" sign in the hedges that lined the red carpet, positioning it in the direction where I thought Sting might catch a glimpse as he walked down the row. Banners and posters were draped from the hedges right in front of us.
At about 2pm some of the celebrities started to arrive. Wendy Malick, on crutches was probably the first of the guests to make way down the carpet. Sting and Trudie followed very shortly thereafter. As they got closer to the Outlandos group, Sting saw my little sign and I read his lips as he mouthed "Ho'way Bonny Lad", nodding and seemingly amused by all of our goodies and they both stopped to shake our hands and give a quick autograph. There were so many people milling about at this time it was so very difficult to take a picture of them, and just being part of the group, each of us complaining of missed photos - was hysterical. Sting and Trudie were pretty busy with the media, but every now and then he would look our way and we were able to take a picture. A little while later, Sting approached our area again reciting "Ho'Way Bonnie Lad" (Thank You Wendy and Dave - it worked!). Passing him my "ENG" cd for an autograph, Sting kindly asked me to open the closed pen I handed him (not the least bit nervous!) and then he signed my Geordie poster.
Continuing down the line, Sting graciously signed autographs for all of us, chatted a bit and reviewed some of the pictures the group had displayed. I think that considering all of the folks in attendance at this event, Sting spent a lot of time with Outlandos and was quite accommodating. It's hard to piece together how and when things occurred but a number of other celebrities passed by and some stopped to say hello to us and give an autograph. Those I recall seeing and photographing in addition to Wendy Malick, were Patrick Warburton, Eartha Kitt, Teri Garr, Bruce Jenner, Alan Thicke, Joni's Ingo, George's Mom from Seinfeld and David Spade. David stopped by the Outlandos area to sign autographs for us and he was quite funny addressing us as the "normal people".
Surprises - as if what had already occurred were not enough - meeting Sting and Trudie; obtaining Sting's autograph; a handshake; pictures; realizing he may have been amused by my little Geordie sign - Nicole from Disney stopped by to tell us that we would be joining Sting to view the film in the El Capitan Theater. We thought we would be brought over to another theater to see the film - so we were absolutely elated. There's more - she advised us that Sting would be performing at the end of the film. More still - she came by again to announce that we'd been invited to attend the after show reception. Visualize our reaction - because I cannot describe it.
3pm -off we go to the show - dressed to the nines in overalls and sneakers - loaded down with posters, banners and cameras - we were escorted to our seats in the front row - unbelievable! The film was very funny and David Spade was so funny in the role of Emperor/Llama. The film ended and where we expected to hear Sting's 'My Funny Friend and Me' during the credits, the curtains closed - opened and then - oh yes - out comes Sting to sing this beautiful song to his audience- live - onstage! I'm up out of my seat and see the others also on their feet cheering him on. Was that Vinnie we saw? Yes! Sting then sang the tune Tom Jones performs, 'Perfect World', and he came right over to where Joni and I were up and dancing along - as he encouraged the rest of the audience to get up on their feet. Well, I don't know howmany folks got up to share in this with him - but we Outlandos were up and loving every second. Amazing!
Off to the party - I could have gone home a very happy woman right after the film, but we were now going to join the other guests at the reception. Sting seemed to be surrounded by folks taking pictures, etc. He was quite busy. My Outlandos buddies began encouraging me to ask Sting to take a photo with me. Too nervous - never done this guys! Then, with considerable coaxing - I mustered enough courage to approach him with my photo request. What took place over the next few minutes told me all that I would ever need to know about Sting. I know I did not properly thank you - but, You were kind to me, Sting - Thank You! I will never forget it! Photo taken, and totally overwhelmed, a few of us left the party shortly thereafter. Back at our hotel, though we had to get up at 4 a.m. for an early flight back to NJ, Joni and I sat up awhile reflecting on the events of the day. We just kind of shook our heads - an amazing event. It was a day we'll always remember and we both just want to say "Thank You!" to all responsible - Sting, Disney, Tina, Outlandos, Wendy and Dave - for one of the most memorable and exciting days we've ever experienced. Simply Wonderful!
(c) Doreen Miller for Sting.com