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Oscars and MY Meeting with One of the "Stars"

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If you want to see the picture of the guy I’m talking about go to my Facebook page and you’ll see Dev Patel.

I got a chance to do an informal HALF HOUR interview with the star of the Oscar nominated Best Picture, Slumdog Millionaire.

Right after I saw it a few weeks back I made the BOLD prediction that it would win Best Picture. (This was BEFORE the Golden Globes) After the Golden Globes, I’m now even more certain. If you haven’t seen it yet, go see it. It’s a great picture with a GREAT message.

The fact that I saw and hung out for a while with a movie star is NOT important to you. It was pretty darn cool! BUT, some of the lessons I learned from this encounter are VERY relevant to you.

3 Things I Learned

1. Don’t be afraid to go after something that you want. When I saw Dev sitting and waiting to take the same flight as me on my recent trip from L.A. to London, I went right up to him and said Hello.

I introduced myself and made it clear that I was not just a casual fan but a true movie buff. I did not make up any B.S. about how great his acting was. The job he did was good, but the “kid” is only 18. In the future, a GREAT acting job is highly likely. He was very good. Heck, it was his first feature film.

I DID say how much I liked the film, the story and the amazing script.

I think he got the message that I was a REAL person and wasn’t just kissing his butt. I must have come off real enough because he soon handed me his personal email address. I did promise to NEVER share it with anyone.

So, when you meet someone, don’t make crap up to make them feel like you like them. Be real and be yourself.

Within the first minute of our meeting I let him know that I was starting a website devoted to things related to film and Hollywood. It’s not up yet, but TalkinHollywood is going to be one of the first sites hosted using he is a “newcomer” to acting. I made my appeal for a future interview (even though I got a pretty decent length one before I got on as well as ON the plane itself) from someone who was ALSO a newcomer. I let him know that I was yet to launch the new site.

I appealed to him based on where HE himself was as an actor. A newbie. It worked. I would encourage you to look for areas when you interview people that you have in common.

I learned this same thing earlier today here in Bogen, Germany. It’s a small town about 2 hours by train from Munich. I got to meet the TOP disc replacement surgery in the WORLD. His name is Dr. Bertagnoli.

I’m here with my fiance who is having disc replacement surgery on her neck tomorrow. When I met him earlier today at his office, I was waiting to see him when a guy walked out of his office. It was his brother. Very nice guy who is a tax guru. I learned from him that they are five siblings and his  sister is a Diplomat. My Dad was as well.

(Just for the record, diplomats have a lot of status but do NOT make a lot of money. All of my buddies growing up were swimming in it compared to my family!)

When Dr. Bertagnoli walked out of his office I introduced myself and told him about my Dad’s profession. Again, a connection was established. I REALLY want to get an interview with him as well. I’ll keep you posted.

Talk about micro-niching! This guy is the #1 surgeon in the world in the field of disc replacement surgery in the neck.

But, I digress. Back to Dev Patel.

When you’re meeting someone you want to create a relationship with, first, be real. Second, find some common ground between you and the other party. Lastly, ask GOOD questions.

I know the movie business and I know film pretty well. IMHO I asked him better quality questions than most people I saw interview him on TV.

So I guess, I’m saying, KNOW YOUR STUFF before you try and play with the “big dogs” in your field.

A last one, never betray a trust. No one but me will ever know his email address.

PS – we were both sitting in Business Class. It was an overnight flight and at one point when I got up we continued our “interview” for another 10-15 minutes. I was trying to be respectful of his time and his sleep.

PPS – the one piece of advice I gave him was to make sure and say NO. He’s such a nice guy that it’s hard for him to NOT say YES to everyone.

More good stuff later!



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