Monday, January 25, 2016

Meeting Charlie Puth

So for those of you who are like me and don't know a whole lot about Charlie Puth, that's okay I didn't either. He's a three time Grammy nominated artist for his song "See You Again" which was in remembrance of Paul Walker and not only is it a beautiful song, it was written by Charlie himself. He is a super talented musician. He had a full ride from Berklee, and he's also from New Jersey (like myself... kind of). Anyways, so Jingle Ball in Atlanta had come around and my friend and I were excited for artists such as Shawn Mendes, Nick Jonas, DNCE, or Justin Bieber. Never did we think we would ACTUALLY meet Charlie Puth. We did look at his Instagram a couple weeks before the concert and he did spark some curiosity in us but just like most of you, we only really knew one or two songs.

Luckily for us, we had fifth row seats. As we walk in we can't help but marvel at our closeness to the stage (which consisted of taking super embarrassing selfies). Anyways, so Charlie was the opening act before everyone else. Our row happened to empty and these girls encouraged us to move down to be closer to the center since we were at the side. So we did this, only to find a spotlight right in our face. Charlie was literally singing to us. I couldn't even handle the situation. I was in awe of how attractive he was in person and how super talented he was. I have to be honest and say he has an amazing voice and he is worth seeing live if you're into pop music. I'll recommend some songs later.

As he went off stage, we saw other acts like Shawn Mendes. I know this blog is about Charlie and I promise THIS totally correlates. When I saw Shawn, I went insane. I have honestly been a fan since his days in MAGCON and when he didn't have a record deal. ALL of my energy was spent on Shawn. I don't still understand how I had a voice after that performance. He also did a duet with Camila from Fifth Harmony. So after Shawn gets off stage, everyone literally is staring at our side of the stage. We didn't know why, that wasn't until we saw the top of his head and everyone pointing and the nice girl next to us told us it was him. One problem and only one was present and that was: security. The security lady in front of row told us we couldn't pass. We were totally and beyond frustrated that we couldn't surpass security when literally a Grammy nominated artist was there right in front of us and the fact the girl behind us managed to take a photo.  My friend Kim who kept urging me to go when the security lady was preoccupied also shared my distress at the situation. All we had to do was surpass this lady and go through. As she became preoccupied again, my friend Kim pushed me past her and basically yelled "GO". This was all in the break between Nick Jonas and next up was no other than Justin Bieber. The adrenaline in my body kicked in and I still don't know how I weaved through the crowd barefoot due to the uncomfortable boots I was wearing.

So now this is where it happens.
I tap him on his shoulder, he was wearing a gray shirt. He turns around and I ask "Can I have a picture?". We take 2 photos and the lighting from the stage made the photos look very weird. As I turn around I see my friend Kim, who also snuck past the security woman. She looks at me stunned that she made it with this glimmer of excitement in her eyes. This was indeed her second concert and at her second concert she managed to meet a person who has not only 1 hit song on the radio but 2 hit songs. She froze up in excitement and I asked Charlie once, "Can she have a picture with you?". I had a slight moment of freaking out and I couldn't even maneuver her iPhone camera (I have had an iPhone for over 3 years). I managed to take the photo and I was unhappy with the photo I had taken previously. I ask Charlie " I'm sorry, but can I just have one more photo". He says "I don't mean to sound rude or anything but-" and he cuts himself off and takes a photo with me. The lighting was more favorable and it looked like a much better photo than before. I had 2 selfies with him and a photo taken by my friend and in all honesty I could not have been more thrilled. As far as his response went, I understood completely. A lot of fans had previously asked for photos before us and he was just trying to enjoy the show. I felt as if I was interuppting his experience.

Reader I am lucky and blessed to say that it wasn't my last encounter with Charlie Puth. A week ago, my friend Kimberly who loves The Bert Show informed that Charlie Puth was doing a promotion for the radio station where we would get free lunch and a performance with him. I was thrilled. Not only had I met him previously but he was going to be performing for us again. It would be insane to see him again. Unlike last time, I did proper research on Charlie. I had found out he had a full ride to Berklee but also that he had an accident with a dog when he was 2 ;causing the scar on his eyebrow. He had basically loved music from a young age. I couldn't help but stumble into his EP and listen to several songs only to find myself even more excited that the next day I would actually get to see him again. I couldn't help but become an actual fan. Charlie is the next best thing. I managed to listen to "We Don't Talk Anymore" because it was leaked.

So literally my friend drove 1 hour to pick me up and another hour to get us both to the event. We were listening to his songs and commenting on them to see how we felt. His album doesn't come out for another 4 days. We had very limited songs to listen to. As we were getting there I mentioned how Charlie's autograph is worth a lot of money (later he comments about how paparazzi ask him for his autograph to sell it and how it bothers him which was funny because I literally was looking up how much it went for). My friend thought it would be brilliant if we went to the UPS store and printed our photos. We first went to the event to see less than 100 people there (that was the cut off). Then later we printed the photos, bought metallic markers and waited outside at 10 am when the event started at 11:30 am. We sat outside our anxiety levels to a high as we were scared he would recall the unfortunate and fortunate encounter the previous month at Jingle Ball. We honestly knew his reaction could go either way. I waited in the patio of the event and sure enough I was first to get in line and actually reserve a table very close to the keyboard (Charlie was literally singing to me). We all got food first which was me getting 2 chicken fingers and rice and racing over to get the perfect seats.

Charlie Puth was literally 5 feet away from me, he walked in a little late. Bert informed us we could ask anything except about Meghan. I said "Wow" only to be called out by Bert and he said "We know where your mind is"(very funny).  We all couldn't help but stare. He is literally gorgeous in person. At first Bert made some comments with Charlie and sure enough he had to do a song. "Uhh I don't know what song to play for you guys". My friend Kim chimed in and said "One Call Away" and he pointed at her and smiled saying "Alright One Call Away". His live performances are actually 10 times better than the stuff you hear on the radio. He did a small Q&A where fans asked questions (Favorite gummy beat flavor? he likes sour patch kids btw, or favorite song to sing live? See you again which he partially wrote for his own friend). He soon sang WDTA and it's his actual first time singing the song and he glanced at me because I was ahead of the game. He discussed how he began working with Selena, he approached her with an idea about a song at an after party and he wrote it and soon enough hit her up about doing the duet. Soon enough he sang Marvin Gaye and he looked at me as he sang "I'd love to be in trouble with you" and my heart couldn't handle it. He spoke about how he wanted to learn the guitar like his friend Shawn Mendes (;. I was thrilled. He did some  of Hello by Adele, Love Yourself by Justin (in which he looked at me for the words as he forgot them) and a small snippet of a John Meyer song in which he mentioned if he could work with composers dead or alive it would be Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Bruno Mars and of course John Meyer and a small Q&A. I asked him a question how his experience at Berklee and of course I mentioned New Jersey. He answered my question very thoroughly so I felt that perhaps he had forgotten our past encounter. He also seemed happy that as a fan I took an interest in his career. (one fan actually came all the way from South Carolina and saw him in Dallas and Atlanta). Soon enough the small concert was over, because he had more promotional work to do. I soon got out of my seat because we really needed those photos signed.

Charlie saw a lot of girls coming towards him and he put up his index finger to indicate he would be back but soon enough he went to the back. I clutched the photo and pen in my hand leaving my purse behind (just like Jingle Ball). We approached him in the back where he took some quick photos with fans but not very many since Q100 security and I believe one of the person on his camp indicated this wasn't a meet and greet. They were very upset by the influx of fans going towards the restroom in the back. The man would simply not let me through, Kim went in through the side and I handed her the photos. Soon she asked Charlie if he could sign our photos for us and he said "Sure, If you have a marker", Kim swiftly turned around and looked at me as I handed her the silver marker. The encounter seemed to be going well until Kim said "Jackie, I told you" she said "I told you he was rude". I was in total shock, I saw his smile as she came up to him and I figured it went well.

Kim said to him "We met you at Jingle Ball" and he said "You (did/didn't, she's not actually sure which one he said) meet me. It was during the Bieber thing". At first I was in absolute shock and joy that he remembered our faces and he knew where we had met us, however the realization that he wasn't excited to see us after everything we had been through that morning shocked me. I never expected him to say those words. Kim described his demeanor as "fake" stating that he was forced to. However weighing it both ways, we did have to surpass security twice to meet him and both times our encounters with Charlie weren't under the right circumstances. I do however, wish that Charlie did acknowledge our efforts to reconnect with him. I do wish him the best in his career as a singer and I am absolutely thankful to have seen him and been able to ask him a question once more. As far his upcoming tour and album goes. I am currently on the fence about wanting to meet him again. In a way he made us both feel embarrassed of how we met him.

In conclusion, I encourage you to listen to his music. He certainly has a passion for it and his album was written and produced by himself. I encourage you to see him live if you feel called to, and as far my support goes he certainly did bring my friend and I closer with our concert experience, but I am reluctant to purchase an album or concert ticket as well as meet and greet due to the story I have just shared.

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