Every girl is a groupie at heart, and don’t tell me you’re not because no one believes you. That’s what people like Harry Styles are made for – just to have girls running after them.
Everyone has their own personal way of being a groupie. As for me, I recognise that celebrities are just people like us, but I still think it’s good to do something really cool to meet them, not just bloody paying for a stupid meet & greet.
It was in 2006; the four remaining Take That had just got back together and found themselves in Rome to promote Beautiful World, their first album after the reunion.
A huge music store was organising one of those events where you buy the new album on the day before and you are given a plastic bracelet to be shown the following afternoon so you can meet the band for about 10 seconds and get your copy signed. What prevented me from embarking on the plastic bracelet journey was that I both disliked the reunion and didn’t have any money.
Anyway, if Mark Owen was in town, I’d meet him, no matter what.
Eleven years had passed since Take That had split, but I was still quite in love with him – and dozens of pictures of him still stared at me from my bedroom walls.
So what I actually did was testing a strategy I would use later to find jobs – and, generally speaking, to achieve my life goals.
The 5-Step Meet-Mark-Owen Strategy to help you with your Job Search
1) Set your goal
2) Do a SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)
3) Set a plan based on that (and write a killer CV if it’s for a job)
4) Don’t be afraid to take action
5) Get what you want
My goal was meeting Mark Owen, and the SWOT Analysis sounded like that:
Strengths: a shameless attitude and a press card
Weaknesses: no plastic bracelet, no contacts and no copy of the current album
Opportunities: the good bodyguards
Threats: the bad bodyguards
So I presented myself on the day, equipped with my shameless attitude, no plastic bracelet and this very old copy of Everything Changes. I got straight to the security and brandished my press card (I was training as a journalist at the time – that’s why I didn’t have any money). I acted like if I didn’t care at all about the band and if I was very pissed off with all those screaming girls out there. I asked whether the press officer was already upstairs with the “guys”.
The guard looked at me suspiciously and said he wouldn’t let me in because I didn’t have the bracelet, so I lifted my eyes to the sky and yelled: “Oh My God, who do you think those four are? The Beatles? The Rolling Stones? Let me do my job as I’m letting you doing yours or I’ll call the press officer down and she’ll let me in anyway!”.
The gorilla eventually let me in, but the event was still heavily supervised. They let you in for less than a minute and then they physically forced you out. Seriously. I am not joking. Look at this video I found out on YouTube if you don’t believe it – I was there!!!
Anyway, I’ve been lucky enough to have my copy signed by the four of them. I was the only girl carrying around an album of 1993 and they looked at it weirdly – I don’t know if they were thinking that I must have been in primary school in 1993, if Robbie Williams pissed them off from the cover, or if they simply didn’t expect to see that album – in any case, it was all damn fun.
When it came to Mark Owen’s turn, I babbled a thing like this in my horrible English: “❤❤❤❤Oh Marky, I used to love you when I was young ❤❤❤❤!!!”.
He smiled and mumbled something in return, but I’ve never quite understood if it was “Oh, I am alone now” or “Oh, I am old now”.
Try to repeat these two sentences and you’ll get a bit confused.
Repeat them with both his Oldham accent and guttural voice and you’ll be lost.
My heart was pounding out of my chest, but my 5-Step Meet-Mark-Owen Strategy had eventually worked out!
Things like that gave me loads of confidence and have been a great training for later, you know, for all the times I would have to skip an HR pro or a receptionist to speak to whom I wanted to speak.
So my piece of advice for you is: