I could barley contain myself! The YouTube gods rained down hard on me the other day! It was my day off and I was headed to Central Park by way of Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. This time of year, there are always tons of tourists clogging the streets. Mostly Europeans who think they are getting a good deal by shopping in America. As I was up the block from Henri Bendel, I saw a crowd of people all gawking towards the store's windows.
This just wasn't any crowd of tourists - something was going on. The media was actually there. I'm not talking about freelance photographers or hobbyists, but the NEWS. As in the local TV stations and newspapers. "OK, this has potential," I thought. Good thing I had my trusty camera, since I'm trying to build a YouTube audience.
I made my way to the front of the crowd and I got a good look at the target of all this attention. A tall blond woman was there posing for photos and signing autographs. I'm not really a celebrity watcher, but I can tell Sarah Jessica Parker from Angelina Jolie. This woman just didn't ring a bell.
Then somebody passed me a bag of candy called "Sugarpova." OK, that was enough to jog my memory. Indeed it was Maria Sharapova, in the flesh mere feet away from me. Of all things, she chose to launch a candy line at Henri Bendel on Fifth Avenue. I was shocked at the whole thing. It seemed like an unwise choice for an athlete to put her name behind junk food. And Henri Bendel certainly wasn't known for selling tacky $5 bags of candy.
But who was I to judge. If I could get some decent footage, then I could have a viral video on my hands. Although I was utterly unfamiliar with everything about her, a blond Russian tennis player could only help my YouTube stats.
I broke out the camera and attempted to hold it over the crowd. There was quite a bit of pushing and shoving. Everyone was clamoring for a photo or an autograph. I seemed to be the only "amateur" who was recording the entire thing. Most people were only flashing photos. I knew I had to do something. In a preemptive move, I decided to head to the back of the store. It seemed like they had small table setup upstairs, and I figured she would probably make her way there eventually.
Usually, I don't get these things right. But this time I did! With two huge bodyguards at her side, she trudged a mere foot away from me. I tried to ask her a question, but was shut down by one of the bodyguards. It will be interesting to see how many die hard Maria Sharapova fans bother to watch the video I post on YouTube.
It's actually quite interesting. I got some good shots of her face and body, and she looked much different than on the court. Her face was a bit more weathered than I would have thought. Possibly because of all that sun exposure! She wore white jeans that seemed to be slim cut. Her jacket was fashionable and hugged her body, although I didn't get to see the designer. She looked taller in person. Overall, I'm glad I got the chance to see Maria Sharapova in person. I won't be eating her candy or watching her tennis matches, but it's clear that she's a good businesswoman. She sure sold lots of candy to her fans!