Here’s a fun story about the day I met Ira Glass and then how I ran into him again the very next day.
First, I should say, there are not very many people in the world I’d rather meet than Ira Glass, so for me, this was a mighty encounter. And it happened twice. Now, I should also say that I didn’t have anything to say to him and both times I mostly just stood there in awe. Like a dork.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning. This happened on the same night when I found a cheese bar in New York City. Now, that’s not really part of this story (although a funny, lesser story for another time, perhaps), except to say, I had just eaten at a cheese bar (a cheese bar for crying out loud!) and then I ran into Ira Glass, so really, it’s like I’d died and gone to heaven.
It was around midnight on a hot summer night in New York City. I was wandering and free. I had, earlier that evening, finished photographing what I was in town to photograph, so I could stay out late or go back to the hotel or whatever I felt like doing and I didn’t have to worry about getting up early. I felt like walking around just to see what I could see. I don’t get those opportunities that often and I don’t mind hanging out alone. So, it’s midnight in New York and I saw this sign.
Now, about two or three days before that I had heard an interview on the radio with Mike Birbiglia, so I knew a little bit about his new movie and it seemed interesting. I looked up at that sign and read that Mike and Ira were going to be there in person, but it was midnight, so I figured that ship had already sailed, and I kept walking down the sidewalk. But there was a big line down the sidewalk, so I thought, what the hey, why don’t I just hang around here for just a minute and maybe something wonderful will happen. Then, I saw Mike and Ira standing around in the front of the line, chatting with some folks. I had probably walked right past them the first time but hadn’t noticed, or maybe they had just arrived. Who knows. The point is, holy crap, that’s Ira Glass and Mike Birbiglia.
So that was cool and if that was the end of the story, I’d still think it was worth posting on Facebook, you know, like you do when such things happen. But then…
He came right over and stood next to me so I asked if I could take a picture with him and handed some guy my camera phone. So that was very exciting and quite a thrill and if that’s all that happened, I’d still put in on Facebook (you know, like you do) and I’d still write a blog post about it. But it gets better.
Right then, a girl called out, “Does anyone need a ticket to the movie?” No one answered and so I told her, sure, I did. She gave me a free ticket that got me into the sold out screening of the movie Sleepwalk With Me, which was the whole reason Mike and Ira were there in the first place, of course. So I took the ticket and thought I’d be real clever and take this picture of me, handing my ticket, to Mike Birbiglia as I was walking into his very own movie. (He was taking tickets anyway–the clever part was me taking this picture, not getting him to take my ticket.)
Once everyone filed into the theater, Mike and Ira went up onstage and introduced the movie and I, in the mean time, texted Amy and said, something like “I just met Ira Glass and Mike Birbiglia. And my phone is about to die, so I’ll tell you all about it in the morning.”
The movie was great. I recommend it. And I like how that whole night played out.
So then, I was happy in the glow of meeting people I admire. I had put that picture of me and Ira on Instagram and I was enjoying the comments people left. My favorite was from Carina, who said, “You got to see Sleepwalk With Me AND meet Ira Glass? I’m never speaking to you again. We are in a fight.” To which I replied, “I hope we don’t stay in a fight long, because I can’t wait to tell you about the time I met Ira Glass”.
It was a Friday and I was still in New York. I was out photographing some beautiful people, Mara and Danny, (the lovebirds on the right in the picture below) and I was quite shocked to see Ira coming down the sidewalk.
I mean, honestly, what are the chances. Again, I asked if I could take a picture with him and handed Danny the camera. Danny took this great shot. Thanks, Danny. And to Mara and Danny, I feel selfish. I should have taken a picture of you two with Ira. I cringe thinking about it. Clearly, I wasn’t thinking straight.
We could be brothers, wouldn’t you say? I think the universe is telling us we should be friends. And get this, in the movie, Sleepwalk With Me, Ira plays a wedding photographer. Oh, come on. That’s a sign.
So, that’s the story of how I met Ira Glass two days in a row.