The history with my Joshua Bell fascination kind of goes like this: baby blogger is entering her first season as a newbie concert-goer at the PSO. One of the very first concerts that I experience features the world-renowned (then unknown to me) violin superstar, the amazing Joshua Bell. I attend the concert and immediately become smitten with his boyish charm and gargantuan talent. I really, really wanted to meet him during that first season; alas, the stars did not align (and the autograph line didn’t MOVE quickly enough), and I was left with heart breaking disappointment and no autograph.
Fast forward to 2013 and my fifth season as a PSO blogger. Joshua Bell returns to Heinz Hall and this time, there’s no stopping me. I’m getting his autograph. My friend, Michelle, kindly offers to take a picture as evidence of the event. I buy a CD and slather on the hand sanitizer—it’s spring cold season and I will not be responsible for exposing Joshua Bell to cold germs. I bounce into the line and, to my surprise and delight, it’s moving at an unbelievably rapid pace. I barely have enough time to decide what I’m going to say and I’m a hot mess by the time it’s my turn.
And there he is. As I approach the table, I’m fervently praying that I can conjure a beguiling remark to enchant him; instead, THIS is all I can utter: “I’m Jen and you’re…amazing.” Even as I’m typing this, I’m cringing. I have a BA in English, yet all I could muster was a really kitschy-sounding pick up line that would have been better suited to Jack’s Bar in the South Side. Joshua Bell laughed indulgently and shook my hand. He signed my CD as Michelle captured the moment in a picture and I was ushered out of the line in a dreamlike whirlwind. I’d accomplished my goal to obtain the autograph and it would have been perfect, had I not been so gushy teenager about it. But I’m over it.
At last, the blogger adventure completes the circle. My JB autograph has been stored safely in an undisclosed, but highly secure, location. When I meet him again (and I WILL), I plan to have a speech written, memorized and well-rehearsed. Until then, I’ll pray that our first encounter fades from his memory.