Monday, September 14, 2009

New York New York! A Day promoting Keith Urban in the city.

Deb and I had a blast yesterday. We went down to New York to promote Keith Urban's concert at Madison Square Garden on October 8.

The day started for me REALLY early at 3:30 am with a sleepy shower. We were out the door by 4:30 and headed to the train station in Stamford, CT which is only 40 miles outside New York. That's where the promoting began. We had the early morning train riders laughing on the platform as I stuck flyers everywhere I could. We handed some out to interested people and then headed into the Grand Central Station.

As soon as we arrived we went straight to Rockefeller Plaza for the taping of The Today Show. We handed out more flyers in line and met some really nice ladies from Atlanta who were in town for business. One of them said she came to New York often and was going to look into tickets for the MSG show! We also met a really nice lady from Columbus, Ohio who had seen Keith in Cincinatti. It seems Keith is popular all over.

We got a pretty good spot (or so we thought) by the Today Show barricade and waited for the show to start. We were a but worried when the crew put a table of supplies right in front of us knowing there was no way we would get on TV with that in front of us, so we decided to look for a better spot. We saw the crew setting up lights for the outside shot and positioned ourselves behind a few other people at the railing. As we held up our signs the camera man (Dave) pointed at us and motioned for us to move over a bit so he could be sure to get us on camera, and HE DID!! Deb could see on the monitor that we made it onto the show. After our 3 minutes of fame (LOL) we called Dave over to say thank you! He was very nice and we found out that his wife is a huge Keith fan. We talked a bit and he said they were definitely going to the MSG show and he even took a picture of us to show to his wife when he got home.

Next it was over to Times Square. We thought that would be a great place to maximize the flyer efforts and boy were we right. Once we got there we found out that this was the day for Broadway on Broadway, which is a huge event where a lot of the Broadway performers perform live and free for the public. It's a very popular event especially with the locals. So, after a quick breakfast to refuel we were off handing out flyers. I have a lot more respect for the people who do that every day for a living in Times Square. Its not as easy as it looks. Luckily we got a really good response from the people who would accept the flyers. Quite a few people seemed excited to see Keith was performing locally and a lot more commented on him and Nicole being at the US Open last week. LOL New Yorkers really seem to have their fingers on the pulse of what's going on.

After a while handing out flyers we decided to take another little break and we headed over to the Hershey store. Having visited the city many times in the past the store is a favorite desination and we knew that they had a live running banner that goes across over the store. Patrons can put their message on the banner and I thought that would be a fun way to get the message out there about Keith at MSG! So in the store we went. The nice clerk told me that my message "See Keith Urban at Madison Square Garden - October 8th" could be shown for 15 minutes and I could buy as many 15 minutes as I wanted. :) She also said that I could chose what times the message would show as long as the banner was on. So, I bought 60 minutes worth and picked out four different times for the message to show on the banner, the first one starting immediately. Just before I left her the clerk said she wasn't really a country music fan but she thought Keith is cute. :) We had a nice little conversation about Keith's music and his talents (other than his looks) and then it was time to go.

We headed outside to take some pictures and video of the banner and then headed off to hand out more flyers. By now the Broadway on Broadway audience was getting really big. We waded in and I was able to give out almost all of the rest of flyers to people as they waited for the next performance. Again it was fun to stop and talk to people about Keith. Most who knew who Keith is were very complimentary and it was fun to talk to others who said "who?" as I gave them a flyer.

By now it was about 1 pm and we were exhausted and hungry again so we went into the Hard Rock Cafe for a bite to eat. The waiter (JR) who brought us our food noticed the flyer and asked about Keith. He talked to us a bit and took a picture with me too.

All in all I handed out 400 flyers during the day.

Finally it was time to head home. The train was pretty packed on the way back to Stamford and so we had to share our seats with two ladies who were going home from a girl's weekend in the city. One was from South Norwalk, CT and the other from Mass. They joked with me a bit over the KU t-shirt and then seemed pretty impressed that we had spent the day promoting Keith's show.

The day ended in front of the TV where we had taped the Today Show. It was fun to see ourselves on camera and the signs looked really good!

Friday, March 20, 2009

When will it end?

Yesterday a friend and I were discussing the "Octo-mom" and the subject of privacy and the stalkerazzi came up. It steams me to no end that the stalkerazzi get away with hounding, chasing, and basically stalking everyone they want, and all for the sake of "news".

Several questions came to mind. Is it really news that woman took two children home from the hospital? Should we care? Does someone cross the line from private citizen to public figure by having a litter of children? Is there a line any longer?

So I did a little research and this is what I found...

The right of privacy is restricted to individuals who are in a place that a person would reasonably expect to be private (e.g., home, hotel room, telephone booth). There is no protection for information that either is a matter of public record or the victim voluntarily disclosed in a public place. People should be protected by privacy when they "believe that the conversation is private and can not be heard by others who are acting in an lawful manner." Am.Jur.2d Telecommunications § 209 (1974).

and then there's this. ....

  • unreasonable intrusion upon the seclusion of another, for example, physical invasion of a person's home (e.g., unwanted entry, looking into windows with binoculars or camera, tapping telephone), searching wallet or purse, repeated and persistent telephone calls, obtaining financial data (e.g., bank balance) without person's consent, etc.
  • appropriation of a person's name or likeness; successful assertions of this right commonly involve defendant's use of a person's name or likeness on a product label or in advertising a product or service. A similar concept is the "right of publicity" in Restatement (Third) Unfair Competition §§46-47 (1995). The distinction is that privacy protects against "injury to personal feelings", while the right of publicity protects against unauthorized commercial exploitation of a person's name or face. As a practical matter, celebrities generally sue under the right of publicity, while ordinary citizens sue under privacy.
  • publication of private facts, for example, income tax data, sexual relations, personal letters, family quarrels, medical treatment, photographs of person in his/her home.
  • publication that places a person in a false light, which is similar to defamation. A successful defamation action requires that the information be false. In a privacy action the information is generally true, but the information created a false impression about the plaintiff.

So if I'm reading that correctly, how DOES the stalkerazzi get away with all that they do?? Why don't people sue more often?

Yes, I understand that there are differences between how “public figures” and private citizens are treated, or there are supposed to be. Is the Octo-Mom public because she went on tv to talk about her life and children? She was being vilified in the press by even her own mother, so wasn’t it really in her best interests to tell the world her side? Plus, well since she was broke, the money she’s making from interviews and her website can really come in handy raising those poor children.

That said, did Octo-Mom give up her right to privacy by going on TV? I’m not so sure. And even if she did, does that excuse the behavior of the stalkerazzi when they followed her home and INTO HER GARAGE when she brought those children home ???? Shouldn’t those people have been arrested for at the very least trespassing? I don’t understand why no one seems to feel this is a problem. If it happened to you, wouldn’t you want those people arrested?

Everything I’ve read leads me to conclude that even though Ms. Octo-Mom has been thrust into the public eye, and even placed herself there, she has not given up her right to privacy.
I just pray that someday people start taking all of this type of behavior seriously.

Sooner or later someone is going to be killed again, just like Princess Diana, by the stalkerazzi. I wonder how many bodies its going to take for people to wake up and protect the right we all have to be left alone.