Wednesday, June 27, 2007

How I Made $150 At A Michael W. Smith Concert: A Tutorial.

Boy, the time slips away. If anyone read this, they would be clamoring--clamoring, I say!--for updates. But, as this blog is read, apparently, only by me, my agent, and that crazy cat over at Miscellaneous Creativity, the Clamor Klaxon has not sounded at Dregs HQ.

Nevertheless, I promised a story long ago, so a story I shall deliver!

So Michelle and I got free tickets to see one Mr. Michael W. Smith at a megachurch here in Tulsa, where I happen to lurk. He supposedly wanted to meet with some of the area worship leaders, a title which we can claim, for some purposes of his own design, and, since the tickets were free, we decided to take him up on it.

We did this for two reasons and two reasons only:
Reason #1: to say we met Michael W. Smith because, hey, we could.
Reason #2: to give him a copy of my book Knuckle Sandwich in the hopes that he would say something nice about it.

We did not do this in order to make $150. I cannot stress this enough.

Okay, so we get to the concert, and it turns out that the "Meet 'n' Greet," as they like to call it (yes, the concert organizers swallow the "and" so that it misses the "a" and "d" entirely, leaving only those apostrophes as residuals), is to take place a half-hour before the concert. Good thing we got there early. The whole procedure involves a pair of actual tickets and a pair of fibrous stickers that you attach to your person as proof that you belong backstage.

We slapped on the stickers and headed toward the unmarked door where we were to be ushered backstage along with other worship leaders from our area. When we got to the door, however, we were told the proceedings would be delayed fifteen minutes or so. Having no intention of attending the concert (we had, oddly enough, a worship meeting at church that night to attend), Michelle leaned over to me and said, "Bro, we gotta get rid of these tickets."

First things first: I had to autograph the book for Michael. I wrote: "Michael--Thanks for reading! And thanks for all you do. Love, [random circly thing I draw that indicates my signature]"

Then, it was off to the Will-Call window in the hopes of getting rid of our tickets. As we approached the line, we ran into a friend standing in it and had the following exchange:

Me: What are you doing here?
Friend: Hoping to go to the concert.
Me: You need tickets?
Friend: Yeah.
Me: How many?
Friend: Two.
Me: [Taking tickets out of my pocket] Here you go. We got these free 'cause we're supposedly VIPs and aren't going to use them. You can have them. They're probably good seats.
Friend: [Fishing money out of his wallet] Here. Let me pay you for them.
Me: [Looking at Michelle, wondering if we should take the money]: Nah.
Friend: [Forcing money into my hand]: I already budgeted. Here. Fifty dollars. They're twenty-five apiece.
Me: [Taking money awkwardly]: Okay. Thanks!
Friend: [Walking away happily]: Thank you!

So, that's 33.33% of our earnings for the night, boom, just like that.

As I pocket our fast cash, a dude with semi-slicked-back hair and one of those shiny shirts with a fiery design that people wear at the World Series of Poker walked up to us. He pointed at the fibrous sticker affixed to my chest.

Dude: You guys have those Meet 'n' Greet passes? (Yes, he swallowed the "and," too.)
Me: [Wondering what he's getting at] Yeah. (I turned it up at the very end to make it question-ish, but not enough to merit a complete question mark in print.)
Dude: You're gonna meet Michael?
Me: Yeah.
Dude: [Producing a manilla folder with writing on it and a small Sharpie marker attached to it with string] Would you mind getting something signed for me? I'll give you a hundred bucks.
Me: [Looking at Michelle and communicating wordlessly with her]. Sure thing.

So there you go. We took the guy's item (it was a photo of him and Michael W. Smith, blown up to 8x10 size) backstage, got Michael to sign it, and brought it back out to him for a pocket-sized portrait of Benjamin Franklin.

Not bad for a night's work, eh?

Oh, and we got to meet Michael W. Smith and get a copy of his new worship song on CD. He really would like for us to perform it at our church. No word yet on how much it's worth to him.


Mark said...

That's a great story.

Seriously, how many people (other than ticket scalpers) can say they went to a concert and made money?

(that question warranted a real question-mark)

Adam said...

Isn't that nuts? Coincidental, but not mentioned in the story: two days prior to the event, I'd made the decision to quit my corporate job and go back to full-time freelance writin'.

I still haven't heard from Michael...