#Operation: Friel finds Feldman
How far would you go for a friend?
Would you go ...
to a speak easy ...
in a strip mall ...
IN AN ANGEL COSTUME ...
all to meet ...
Me too ...
so I learned.
Friel Finds Feldman.
On Sunday, I had two options:
1) Go to the big VidCon decompression party
2) Hang out with my girlfriend and play with her adorably awesome bundle of wonderfulness
One fed my soul, the other fed my ego.
Guess which option I took ...
I got a text around 1pm from my girlfriend confirming our meet up at 4pm.
Absolutely, I texted without thought, due to being balls deep into writing with the latest post #WTF: To orgy or not to orgy.
Somewhere wayyyyyyyyyyyy past when I was supposed to leave, I wrapped up the post and dassshhhhheeeeeddddd to my car.
It's Sunday I told myself ...
There won't be traffic ...
Moments later, I became Ron Livingston in Office Space brutally bobbing and weaving through the lanes.
My attitude (much like the gear) didn't change as the car crawled to Pasadena.
I arrived 45 minutes late to my friend's house, which is awesome because single mothers (which she is) totally have a TON of flexibility and free time.
My impulse was to break out into an acoustic set of Brenda Lee's hit "I'm sorry" ...
... but fortunately, she picked up on my absolutely mortified face, and was able to brush it off.
We proceeded to shoot the shit, as I hung out with her insanely cute daughter. Sometime after several verses of "heads shoulders knees and toes," the little peanut went to bed and we popped open a bottle of wine in the living room and caught up on "things adults should care about."
"I had the most suburban moment of my life last night."
Oh yeah, I asked?
I spent the evening watering my lawn while wearing J. Crew shorts, and a collared shirt.
(Because of the water restrictions in California, she can only water on specific days & at specific times.)
I get it, I said while thinking of this line from Old School:
I haven't figured out how to use the timer on the sprinkler system so it's what I have to do for now.
Where do your travels take you next? she asked.
All over for work, I said. Personally, though I've always wanted to go to Savannah.
You'll love it, she said, it's historical and very haunted.
I watched a show on my last flight of some old jail there. It's a school now, but I'd definitely be down to do some exploring.
I then turned to the left (looking out her front window), and noticed that her sprinkler system turned on.
Unlike the prank call of our childhood asking, "is your refrigerator running," your sprinklers are actually running, FYI.
Wait, they're running!? she asked opening up the curtain further. I never have these open at night, so I've never noticed.
She thought about her options for a moment before responding, "come here. You're fearless and this part of the house scares me."
Done, I said walking outside not even batting an eye.
We then began prying open this wooden screen board, revealing a creepy looking crawl space.
There's the control panel, she said flashing her iPhone light, as I simultaneously reached into the crawl space.
I stared at the archaic programming interface, which would have been easier to dissect had it been written in hieroglyphics.
This is not intuitive at all. Let's google the instruction manual, I said beginning to read the model of the system.
Already on it, she said showing me her screen.
It took us about five minutes to then figure out the programming, and after we strong-armed closed the wooden screen board, we felt very satisfied with our accomplishment.
As we sat back down on the couch, I (yet again) saw something out of the corner of my eye - only this time it was less compound & more compost.
WOAH, I said.
Again, she said getting up?? What is it?
A skunk, I said confidently.
ARE YOU SURE? she asked getting closer to the window.
Notice the waddle, I said. He or she is huge, but definitely a skunk.
Wow, that's definitely the biggest skunk I've ever seen.
See, everyone thinks all this crazy "weird shit" only happens to me, when all I do is just pay attention to my surroundings. "Weird shit" is everywhere!!
That's true, she said admitting that she never sits with the curtains open at night.
As she continued to speak, her shirtless neighbor walked down the driveway - dad bod and all.
Dammmmmmmmnnnnnn, I said (staring at him like a hungry hippo in heat).
He's a lifeguard that doesn't work out, and is in his 30s still living at home with his parents. It's really weird.
Then, on Monday, I got a Facebook message from my dear friend Dee (creator of Tremendous News), who actually started off as my blog idol.
<tangent> I first got wind of Tremendous News somewhere on the twitter. His writing is unfuckingbelievable and I immediately became a huge fan.
Back in the day, to get noticed by people on twitter, I used the "listing" option and creating one called "hot nerds." (Who doesn't like to be called hot?!)
Once added, they received a notification and would always tweet back saying "thank you for the compliment" yada yada.
I would then tweet back, and my "attention getting end goal" was executed.
We met over at Barneys Beanery in WeHo, and sat down at the bar.
Wow, I said, it's been a long time.
How long has it been? he asked.
I was living on an island for 2.5 years, so best educated guess is at least three years?
Can't believe it's been that long.
Tell me everything, I asked. How.the.fuck.are.you?!
I'm good, he said. I have the next two months to write my pilot script (he now works on the television).
That's amazing, I said taking a sip of my allagash.
Congrats btw on your show. That's so huge that you sold a pilot with a penalty to CBS.
Dramatic cliches exist in life, I said. I walked away from everything. Ghosted LA ... ghosted the internet ... totally fell in love, and followed my heart all the way to an island. Randomly, I got an email asking if Talk Nerdy was for sale, and it was Jerry Bruckheimer asking.
Wow, he said. You've always known what you're doing though. I remember you on Ustream back in the day livestreaming Truth or Dare from bars. All of these "influencers" now are trying to do what you were doing years ago.
I just did what I knew, and what made sense.
Why didn't you ever get more active on YouTube? he asked.
Credibility, I said. It was super hard in the beginning for people to take me seriously as a nerd. Instead of caring, I just started wearing glasses (creating an unconscious visual cue) and focused on the written word. I don't think my career would be where it is if I was a "YouTuber" - I guess I'll never know, but I did get very lucky.
You're not lucky, you've always worked really hard and know what you're doing. "Look at me, paying you all these compliments, he said."
We then shot the shit about reddit, snapchat, and general growth hacking.
"Do you have any idea how rare it is that I can talk to a girl to such extent about the internet?"
I laughed finishing up my drink.
Once we bid our adieus, I got home and received this text:
Having someone believe in you when you don't know what you're doing exactly was EVERYTHING to surviving the Talk Nerdy adventure. I was one little person that believed in this space, and wanted to carve out a place for myself in it (but had zero clue how to do it). People like Dee fed my soul on nights I couldn't feed my belly; I'm forever grateful - truly.
Then, on Wednesday, I left work early to head over to Hollywood to get an angel costume.
See, a week ago, I was on Facebook and in one of the groups (that I did not add myself to), a girl posted that Corey Feldman was having an album release party, and she really wanted to go.
COREY FELDMAN, I thought really excited. I'M TOTALLY GOING TO GO!! I HAVE TO FRIEND FELDMAN FOR KERRY!!
<tangent> Back in '07, I worked for a company called LiveVideo. One of the regulars who watched my show, (and came into the chat) was named Kerry Yeast. For (almost) a DECADE, I have heard over and over how her #1 goal in life is to hang out with Corey Feldman and myself.
NUMBER ONE GOAL.
This is the ADD generation, I'm shocked at anyone that has 10 seconds worth of attention let alone a fucking decade.
Saying "thanks for the years of support" is one thing, actually getting off your ass to do something about it is another. </tangent>
I immediately messaged the PR person asking to be added to the list.
Not a problem, she said.
I go to the event around 8:30 (angel costume and all), and walked over to the bar to grab a drink.
I'll have a dirty sanchez, I said laughing to myself (hehehehe dirty sanchez ... hehehee), as I struck up a conversation with the couple next to me.
<tangent> That's why I love going to events alone, because it forces me to talk to people. Everyone assumes I'm an extrovert, when I'm actually very introverted and only "turn it on" when I need to. In this moment, I was in game mode, and this motherfucker was ON. </tangent>
Are you guys fans of Corey? I asked.
I played in his last band, said my new friend.
No shit, I said. That's awesome.
I then explained why I was there, and that it was my mission to find Corey, and talk to him about arranging a meet up with Kerry.
Moments later Corey arrived with a flock of angels.
Now I get the angel thing, I said to myself.
Corey then walked right over to the bar (physically touching my arm), asking them to change the apple TV.
Not a problem, said the bartender.
You had your chance, said my new friends! He was RIGHT NEXT TO YOU!!
I laughed saying no way, he's in game mode. I respect that, and will wait for the right time. I'm a very patient person.
We'll help you, they said. There's going to be a ton of his friends here tonight. We'll make sure to introduce you.
A handful of songs later, and true to their word, one of his good friends approached.
Jen, this is Scott.
Hi Scott, I said excited and also thinking he looked familiar.
He's the saxophonist for Pink Flloyd, whispered my new friend quietly in my ear.
AHH, I thought, cool.
I'll be talking to my developers all night, he said while texting.
What's your startup? I asked JUMMMPPIINNNGG at the opportunity.
We help musicians monetize their content.
Wow, I said, that's great. It's the wild wild west as far as the music industry's business model is concerned.
What do you do, he asked?
I work in tech, I said. Technically tech and TV as a hybrid, but tech is my passion.
I then went on to explain my new startup, and gave a brief resume rundown.
That's incredible, he said.
I'm here for someone who's supported my career for a decade, I admitted. She's a HUGE Corey Feldman fan so I wanted to talk to him about arranging a meet up.
I'll definitely introduce you, he said. That's also really cool what you're doing. Those hardcore hardcore supporters are the ones that move mountains.
I know, I said, and I could never in a million years forget that. I don't take for granted the fact that so many people have welcomed me into their social feeds. I take what I do very seriously.
I can tell, he said.
A friend of his then approached, and Scott turned to introduce me.
Jen, he said, this is Trevor. Trevor's dad was my bandmate when I played in Toto.
TOTO!!?!?!?!?! I thought, legitimately having to take a deep breath to not freak the fuck out.
Toto's Africa is one of my HARDCORE ALLLLLLLL TIMMMEEEEE favorite songs.
It's just ... magical. (And so is this video Kristen and Dax made.)
Keep your composure, Friel. Keep it together.
Moments later, the man of the hour walked by, and Scott (true to his word) tapped him on his shoulder.
"Corey, you have to talk to this woman. She has an incredible story, and a favor to ask."
I laughed as I shook Corey's hand ... never in a million years, did I think a member of Toto would be introducing me to Corey Feldman.
I told Corey about Kerry, and he immediately knew who she was.
I love her, he said. She's such a sweet person.
Do you mind if I film a quick video of you saying hello?
Not a problem he said, as I began shooting this:
There's Scott, that's the dude from Lost Boys, and the other dude is from DON'T TELL MOM THE BABYSITTER'S DEAD (and SO MANY OTHER FANTASTICALLY AWESOME 80s MOVIES!!).
I thank Corey for the video, as he was whisked away to the next party attendee.
Scott then pulled aside his manager and told him my plan for Kerry.
Give me your number, he said, and we'll arrange something.
The group started to expand as more people started approaching.
Perfect time to ghost, I thought noticing everyone was in conversation.
As I made it past the last booth about to exit I hear Corey yell, "JENNNNNNNNNNNN!!! You need to stay for the burlesque dancers!!!"
For the first time in my life I was caught ghosting, and never in a million years did I think it would be by Corey Feldman.
Scott then walked back over, as we continued to stand by the last booth.
I then squinted slightly and recognized a familiar face ...
Holy shit, I said approaching. I haven't seen you in forever.
OMMGGG, she said standing up to hug.
Here, come meet my new friend, I said introducing her to Scott.
"Let me tell you about Jen, she said."
Oh no, I thought. Where is this going?
"The last time I saw her we were on a stripper pole together in Vegas ..."
"... and she saved my life. I was filming this show during CES, and she happened to be there with this huge penthouse suite. She posted a tweet saying come one come all, if anyone didn't have a place to stay (they could crash on one of the hundred couches). Total lifesaver, and I still remember that to this day."
Wow, I said genuinely forgetting that's where I saw her last.
We need a photo together, she said stretching her arm out ready to take a selfie.
Sure, I said smiling.
Leah then went back to her friends as Scott and I snuck out the back.
"You're a magnet," he said. I've been watching the way people respond to you all night - it's great.
Thank you, I said. It took me 31 years to not get overwhelmed by it, but so far so good.
Keep following your joy, and you're going to go really far.
Thanks so very much, I said hugging goodbye.
Hugging goodbye ...
a member of Toto ...
after leaving Corey Feldman's album release party.
DEFINITELY never thought I would type that.
Alrite, so mission accomplished - Friel found Feldman. Now, it's time to fly Kerry out and arrange a meeting with Corey.