My day job is at a radio station and because of that I get to meet people in the business. I recently got a pretty cool client: The Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp (Toronto). For those who enrol in the camp, you get to work with “camp counsellors” made up of rock greats. This particular camp would be headed by Joe Perry from Aerosmith along with Sass Jordan and Gowan. Working with the organizers was a treat, but getting to be there to see a little of what it is all about was amazing!

There was a last minute decision to have a free music session with some of the counsellors at Steve’s Music store in Toronto, and we were lucky enough to get a live remote booked, so DJ LoriAnn and  I headed down for a day of promoting the camp. What we discovered was how this event changed people’s lives. Hearing stories of how some of these exceptional young campers were taken under the wing of some of the counsellors who now help with their careers.

One particular rock star spent the most time chatting away with us, on-air and off was Nick Catanese (former member of the Black Label Society). After the remote, the other guitarist (Bumblefoot and Joey Hoey) had to get back on a flight but Nick was in town for one more night and he was hungry. I looked out the window and suggested, “Let’s go to the Rivoli, they have great pad thai.”

Next thing I know we were wolfing down noodles and hearing fantastic stories of Madonna tours (from Carl, the sales manager of the Fantasy Camp) and Nick, who played the guitarist in the Mark Wahlberg movie “Rockstar”. He became good friends with Mark and with his co-star Jennifer Aniston. “Then I got to meet Brad Pitt,” Nick told us, Mark had invited him to a cast party and asked Nick to mess with Brad. “What am I going to say?” Nick asked “Say anything,” Mark reassured him, “He’ll be as high as a kite!”

The night came and in walked Brad and Jennifer, Nick was nervous but decided to give it a shot, extending his hand he walked up to Brad and said, “Hi I’m Nick, what’s your name?” Brad just froze then replied, “Brad”. “Hi Brad,” Nick continued, “Are you an actor too?” Brad again stood wide eyed for a moment and then answered, “Yes.” “Is this your first movie too?” Nick asked excitedly. “No” Brad stumbled. Meanwhile Jennifer and Mark were dying laughing behind him. “Really? Were you in anything I might have seen?” Nick inquired. “Um…I…” Brad couldn’t function then Nick broke the tension, “Man, I’m just messing with you, I know who you are” and Brad just was in a flurry of, “Dude! I am so high right now! I thought you crawled out of a pod or something, you had me freaking out!”

Nick showed us more pictures and told other stories of his past, other moments were he got to play on stage with some of his idols. Nick was the picture of graciousness, humour, humility, and genuine love for people with a passion. It made me really take a moment to reflect on how important it is for people to stay grounded; how they effect people at every turn. He mentioned that some of his rock heroes told him to treat fans as if the situation was reversed. Make sure when you meet someone that you impact their lives; the littlest thing you can do might mean the world to them. Take the time, it will come back to you. …Words we can all live by.

Oh, and he thought the pad Thai was amazing too!

**Disclaimer: Any “quotes” and opinions mentioned in this blog are that of the Blogger and not of The Local Biz Magazine.

About the Author

Stephanie Herrera is a comedian, writer, producer, teacher, singer, actor, mother of 4, and shallow philosopher. She runs the Durham Improv & Acting Studio in Oshawa, Canada, is a professor at Durham and Fleming Colleges, and is an award winning performer.  www.durhamimprov.com / www.stephanieherrera.com / info@durhamimprov.com / (647) 899-3342  Durham Improv Group and Business pages can be found on Facebook and follow @durhamimprov & @antimommy