I've been extremely, extremely lucky thus far; as a 22-year-old who's interviewed people from John Waters to John Travolta and covered such events as the MTV Video Music Awards and VH1 Vogue Fashion Awards, I've gotten over the nerves of the celebrity thing. I don't mean to be arrogant or stuck-up about that, I really don't - no one is as amazed as I am at the lucky interviews I've been able to get, or how certain things have changed. In the beginning, with my first "celeb" interview (Idina Menzel from Rent), I was a mess, an absolute mess, babbled on more on my end than she did on hers. But now, I don't get flushed and nervous and stuttery anymore, I don't bumble around the initial minutes while I worry about how bad I sound, I don't ask for autographs or pictures or for them to touch my hair. I've been cool and collected for a few years now, on a good streak of suave, acting (at least ostensibly) as if I've been an entertainment journalist for sixty instead of six years. It's all very blazé, you see.
And then I met Harry Potter, and he destroyed all of it.
It says in my about section that I love Harry Potter. I do, with a fierce passion that I know is not alien to those of you reading this, particularly those who came here from Melissa's site. You could say I have an obsessive personality - or you could say I am passionate about the things I love. You could say I absolutely refuse to become jaded - and you'd be right.
Whatever it is, I love Harry Potter, for the mystery and love with which the books are written, and how absolutely adorable the kids from the movie are. I've managed to fuse my love for the series with my love for digging for news by working on The Leaky Cauldron (the site from which I know a lot of you are coming). When I joined up at TLC, I just posted news bits we got in email, the occasional link I found on my own. Things started rolling into motion; the rest of the team started kicking major butt on scoops, and we got a tremendous boost when a reader sent us a link to the HP1 trailer a day early. Then rumors about the second movie started flying out of control, and I contacted a few people at Warner Bros to clear some things up - six months later, our site had rocketed to the top of the HP news Web heap and I found myself at the New York City press junket.
Again, I've done the junket thing - I'm just a regular, cool, professional, right? And these interviews are with kids who are about half my age.
Well, you would think I had never done an interview. I didn't stutter, or get embarrassed or any of that - I didn't do any of the obvious nervous things, except screw up my recording equipment. But the things I cannot control crept in anyhow - my neck and chest got hot, bright, splotchy red, and whenever I looked down my fingers were shaking. And I didn't feel nervous, but my body reacted that way anyway. It was just exciting, and for reasons I cannot fully explain - mostly because these little dudes who make my favorite books come so vibrantly alive were sitting right in front of us, normal as all-get-out. Kelsey Grammer, Calvin Klein, Judith Light, Michelle Branch, David Lee Roth - and I'm bested by a trio of 12-year-olds.
I love it.
And then, just to prove what a complete and utter fangirl I really am at heart, and how glad I am to be such, I also covered the event for my real job, at MTV Networks writing for The Pages Online - which meant I needed a picture of Daniel Radcliffe in the MTV building for his TRL appearance.
So, what this boils down to is, after this amazing day, talking to these amazing people about this amazing series, I found myself amazed, standing in the middle of the MTV studio - once again flushed and splotchy, and feeling twelve years old - as Harry Potter marched in with his entourage. I discovered that Daniel Radcliffe truly is the sweetheart he looks like he is on television, and I discovered you could be as cool and professional as you want to be and still let yourself be a kid.
And now I have this picture, and it makes me immeasurably happy. And maybe that's a childish thing to say - but thanks to Harry Potter I just don't care.
(Those of you who run fansites - please do not take this pic for your archives. I'm rather sentimental about it. There is plenty of other art out there, without me in it. And before you say it, yes, I really am that short. I'm crouching about an inch. And wearing three-inch boots. Daniel Radcliffe is either my height or taller than I am, and that is the one thing about all of this that is somewhat upsetting.)