Star Struck -- DJ & J* Rockin it in Chi town!

Today as I recapped my day-trip to Chicago to my bff Jennifer, I had a fleeting moment when I realized I sounded JUST like a 13-year old girl who just seen Hannah Montana live in concert. Jennifer's laughter coming through my phone really helped bring that moment home. But I really didn't care. It was my time, my moment. I was never like that at 13. I've never been like that EVER. Never have I thought so much of a public figure that I would do silly or ridiculous things to get their attention or follow their career or attend live performances. In fact, I really REALLY found it irritating when other people did. Celebrity-schmebrity...THEY'RE JUST PEOPLE, right?

Well, all that changed when I discovered J*. And yesterday J* and David Jay were in Chicago on their Free to Succeed tour. My friends Erin, Leah and I decided that if we were going to go all that way and pay all that money, we wanted the GOOD seats. If Jasmine spit when she talked, we wanted to feel the spray. And we thought if WE were this crazy, SURELY there must be other crazed fans who would be too, so we should get there PLENTY early! It started at 6pm, we arrived at the Sheridan parking lot at 2:30. We saw the F2S tour bus, gawked like giddy fans, talked about getting our picture in front of it...and then we saw them. No, not DJ and J*. We saw our nemesis, the OTHER early photographers. There were about 12 of them and they had been oogling the bus too. They were already out of their cars and headed for the front doors...THIS WAS NOT COOL!!! I grabbed my purse and my shootsac, yelling back for the other girls to bring my camera from the back seat (yes, I parted with my camera...this should tell you something about my mental capacity at that moment) and I nonchalantly SPEED WALKED into the front lobby. I didn't know where I was headed, so I stopped to ask the receptionist where F2S was meeting. I knew she was going to try to have this conversation with me about why I was looking for it so early, so I said, "Where is the photography seminar that starts at 6pm...I know, I know, I'm WAY early." The herd of photographers was closing in on me. She pulled out a list in slow motion, but I caught the room number and I bolted. I arrived at the end of the hallway only to find two men already sitting in chairs by the door, with their laptops out. They didn't acknowledge me, so I pulled out my spyglass...NO cameras! hmmm. Looking a little sheepish, I said, "Are you here for the photography seminar?" They said "Uh, no?" I looked behind me. The mob of photographers was nowhere to be seen. Hmmm. I pulled up a chair close to the door thinking they'd be around the corner any minute. Hmmm. No mob. They must have lost all hope when they perceived my speediness. ;) A few more minutes passed. Hmmm. Right door? Yep. Looked other doors from the other side? Nope. I suppose it was about then that I realized I was 13 going on 30. But like I said, I didn't really care. :)

Erin and Leah arrived. We staked out our chairs in the front row and worried about whether our little notebook reservation signs would be honored or tossed aside in the J* mayhem that we KNEW would ensue. While we stood laughing at ourselves, realizing how ridiculously silly we would look to anyone who witnessed what we'd just been through, a couple of guys walked in. I thought, FINALLY HERE come the 2nd place consolation prize winners for their SECOND rate seats. We asked them if they were here for the F2S tour and they said, "Actually, we're WITH the F2S tour." We're all thinking, OOOoooooooh, AWESOME...ROADIES!!!! But WAIT, it gets even BETTER! While we're complimenting their tour t-shirts, grilling them about life on the road, and trying to convince them that early birds deserve free worms, one of these guys, Todd, confesses (and he really was humble about it) that he was David Jay's business partner and childhood best friend. And he offered to show us the bus and meet DJ and give us free t-shirts (can we say that now? We were told to hide them, but I think we're in the clear now). No one else got t-shirts...they aren't even selling them. We were uber cool chics right about then. We felt a little bad when we met DJ on the bus in his pajamas. But it was SOOOO cool, cuz he's just a really down to earth guy. We asked for pictures in front of the tour bus and ran off giggling like school girls. That was SO worth being 3 1/2 hours early! Meeting J* beforehand would have been the ultimate payoff, but that's alright. I got pictures with her later.

The information they gave out was really inspirational. While I HAVE to admit, there is just a little tiny part of me that gets indignant when people CHARGE me a sizable chunk of money to have me sit and listen to 30-40 minutes about a product they're selling...I also have to admit, I REALLY wanted to hear about it. And I wasn't disappointed. Show-it is pretty cool. I'm tempted. It looked easy, well thought out, and efficient. The biggest thing I took away though was, appropriately for me, Jasmine's part of the presentation. She talked about branding and figuring out who you are. I came home with all these ideas! The thing that I love about J* is she doesn't hand out ideas, she inspires you to see them. Seeing what she does just by being herself makes me realize my potential and dream big.

So, I'm home, and I'm tired (we got in SUPER late after getting a flat tire on the freeway in Chicago, a whole nother story in and of itself), but I'm inspired and above all, DETERMINED!

And I should mention, we didn't get a picture with DJ cuz he was just swarmed afterwards, but we DID get our picture with Todd, cuz he's our own personal celebrity. We love you Todd!

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