Ever since I first watched "Rocky," I've always wanted to meet Sylvester Stallone. I'm a huge fan of his work but it was this iconic role of his that really got me to follow him. When I was still based in the Mid-west, meeting him was just a farfetched dream. But having moved to LA years ago, I knew it became more possible.
Many times I almost caught him. It was always just me seeing him from a distance. One time, it was at the Academy Awards. He was there to present an award and I went to the sidelines as one of the screaming fans. And even from afar, I already felt that he was someone really special. That he had a lot of grit and character to him that simply comes naturally on screen. The next time I saw him was at a nearby mall. He was strolling around with his then young daughters. Still, I just looked from afar, not wanting to disturb his private family time.
Almost losing patience, I made one last effort to try and meet him. My friend got us tickets to a talk show that taped in the studios near my area. And on that particular day, Sylvester Stallone was one of the main guests. This time, I brought along a few copies of the "Rocky" movie poster. As an excuse to meet him, I was going to ask him to sign my copies.
The show was a huge hit. He went on, showed his wonderful personality, and got the audience—especially me—so starstruck. We even roared with laughter every time he made a joke. Afterward, it was time to (try to) meet him at the stage door of the studio. My friend and I were one of the first ones there. After waiting for almost an hour, finally, he emerged from backstage. He looked more domineering up close than I thought. So much so that I was completely intimidated.
My friend had to ask for his autograph on my behalf. I know I spoke a little, but I mostly remember that I could barely get my words out when I finally met the man. I was so in awe of him that, quite literally, words failed me. Finally, the man I longed so hard to meet was in my reach. And when he was, I couldn't even speak. I'm just glad my friend was there to ask for his autograph. At least I got these to remember that moment!
Eventually, that same friend of mine met him again during a special anniversary event for "Rocky." I gave him my posters and he got the rest of the iconic film's cast to sign them all. I was so amazed. He really knows how to interact with celebrities! the next time I'm up close with Sylvester Stallone, I'll make sure that my friend will be there with me!