Perception is Everything

This is a sort of “sequel” to my Fame post. It stems from my realization that a person’s perception has a direct influence over how they handle everything, especially when dealing with people in social situations.

Now that does not seem like such an earth shattering realization but bear with me here.

You have heard the saying “First Impressions are the most important ones” right? Well its true to an extent, but your second impression can be just as important.

Lets use the commentators on my last post as an example. Danimal Cannon, and an anonymous person. Now, the instant I saw that Danimal had responded my brain started trying to figure out how to react appropriately. Again, it was that sudden realization that “someone remotely famous” is talking to me. After thinking about it however I managed to get that thought out of my head and responded.

Did I respond properly however? I have no idea. In fact I am fairly certain that he will never appear again on this blog as I have no earthly clue how he found it in the first place!

So why did my brain kick on into that..mode? I have met Danimal outside of the concert, in a hotel room point of fact. I know a bit about him as a person instead of just an artist. However I still cant SEE him as that yet. I am sure with some hard thinking I can shake that perception in my head.

The second commentator, the Anonymous gent. When I saw that post my first thought was NOT “Oh god it’s one of those performers” but rather “Huh, I wonder which one this is” and was, to be honest, completely unafraid. I had no preconceived notions as to WHO I was speaking to or who had spoken to me. The wonders of the internet huh!

Well I ended up emailing that gent, and discovered exactly who he was. And again, the instant I KNEW who it was.I got nervous. Even though he, per the comments AND email, felt very similar to me in regards to dealing with famous people, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had to be careful with what I said to him otherwise I would make a total ass of myself. And as anyone on the NeskiForums can tell ya? I am pretty good at making an ass of myself.

Yay me!

Interestingly enough however, after I emailed that gent a second time (and no I am not going to name him haha) he responded again, and it looks like I might have someone new to talk to every so often. Furthermore, I am not really feeling that nervous now that I can see that he is just a guy like me who is doing something he loves. Helps that he is a fellow Neskimo Fan too.

Glad I avoided looking like a tard. Wait..this means that Failhoof fails at failing….that’s like Failception.

Now lets look at the other side of the Perception coin. In both cases above, once I found out that the persons were of the “Celebrity” variety, no matter how large or small, I started to get nervous. My brain started yelling “CELEBRITY!” repeatedly. I am going to guess that this subconscious programming is from the way we are raised, being taught to put those people on pedestals and to treat them with some sort of reverence as they are above us mere mortals. Despite the fact that they are really similar to us, just with different talents.

Like their ability to play instruments and whatnot vs. my ability to NOT play instruments haha.

So, what happens when you get to know someone before realizing their famous? Well, I happen to have a story about that! And it shows just what kind of effect perception can have on your ability to deal in a social situation.

I met a guy about 2 years ago at my job. I helped actually train him to do said job (it was a call center) for several days. Turns out that we had a few things in common and ended up becoming friends. I still chat with him on occasion to this day although we haven’t hung out or seen each other in about 6 months.

At the time, and to this day, I think of him as just my buddy Ed. However, turns out the dude was and is a musician in a variety of indie bands. One band he was a part of, The Vanity Plan, actually managed to have a single of theirs end up in Madden NFL 10, called Before I Die. I now know a few members of that band now (mainly Ed, Manny, and Brett) and chat with them when I go to see Ed’s other projects. Turns out he was also in Dear Ephesus, which was some sort of Christian Emo Rock band that released 2 albums, 1 EP, and in that scene was pretty well known. Even now Ed works with a band called The Sweetkisses and another one (his pet project) called OXEN. If ya like Mellow Indie Rock check out OXEN by the way.

However, to me, he is just Ed. I dig his music, I talk to him about it, and let him know how I feel and he takes my actual opinion into consideration towards it. He has a decent number of fans for his projects and shows but I have no issues just chatting with him.

Lets take this a step EVEN FURTHER by quoting a blog post written by Careless, the Accordianist / Vocalist of Random Encounter. He puts several things into perspective from the side of the artist.

Today I had an idea to write a blog as myself (as opposed to my musical alter ego) so here goes…

Being a musician in this day and age is a unique experience where one person has the opportunity to wear as many hats as you please. You can be a song-writer, arranger, performer, manager, stage manager, sound designer, sound engineer, home-studio designer, album producer, angel investor, brand manager, artist, web designer, marketer, salesman and more if you so choose to be. I perform all of the above duties to some extent (though I’m lucky enough to have friends I can trust to do these things far better than myself) all the while maintaining an 8 to 5 job & a part time job (and some freelance work). But I’m not the only one who does this. Far from unique, the experience is one many people have…

Recently I’ve found out that a lot of the musicians and artists I respect have such jobs where no one is vaguely aware of their alter-ego music lives.

I’m fascinated by the individuals I know (and many don’t) who do these things and was amazed to find out who might show up at my door if I were to only order pizza from the right pizza chain, visit the correct bookstore, get music lessons from the right school, or visit the right hospital in a semi-conscious state. I’m in wonder that the people we take for granted: the waiters, the ice cream scoopers, the bill collectors, sometimes have very ambitious lives ahead of them, or are already well on the path in art or other remarkable fields. There are times I try to make an effort to get to know these people a little bit better and find myself meeting someone truly remarkable. It’s always a lot of fun.

I guess that’s what’s been on my mind today.
I talk to a lot of people each day at work and for the last 8 years none of them ever seems to strike up the casual conversations I’d enjoy if on their end.
Such is life. :p

Such is life indeed. I will point out that I have been using that phrase forever! Its totally my phrase, not his!

This is from – http://randomencounterband.com/node/53

And even further: One of the guys from Metroid Metal apparently is a Pharmacy Tech working in a local pharmacy. Another was a hotel worker (who had some messed up stories let me tell ya). Every one of these guys has a day job it seems. I know Wily at one point (not sure if he still does) worked at the orlando EA office.

As we can see, perception really is everything.

So I guess in the end, the trick to dealing with these famous people may be in realizing that most of em are just like us. Once you realize that and can accept it, I think we can all be on equal footing, on both sides of the divide as it were.

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