Friday, June 13, 2008

The Depp Effect...

Edited below for Rachel...

I've thought about this 'thing' a lot...

This thing some call 'The Depp Effect'. This thing, this feeling, this experience, this apparently universal ambiance, if you will, of simply being in the presence of Mr. John Christopher Depp II. I don't believe that I can explain it any better than anyone else, so I won't even begin to try. I guess all I can do is what anyone can, relate my experience with the man and leave it at that...

I consider myself extremely blessed to have been in the presence of Johnny Depp four times in the past couple of months. A year ago, I would never even have imagined it possible. I'm not the sort of person who needs to meet a celebrity, nor have I ever been to a Meet-and-Greet of any kind nor sought out an autograph of any living being before Public Enemies came to Wisconsin. [Disclaimer: I did send a celebrity MY autograph once as kind of a joke! I had my picture taken with Bryan Duncan, but it was in the line of duty, so I signed it and sent it to him. Yeah, I'm a little weird...]

My first experience brought me the realization that not only was Johnny Depp a great artist but also, simply, a great man. I was humbled and awed. I didn't meet him or touch him. I saw him from a distance of perhaps 7 or 8 feet and was a little stunned by the rush of emotion. The subsequent interaction with the blogger community known as Public Enemies - Columbus (aka PEC), helped restore in me a sense of greatfulness that had been missing for a while. Another side-effect of the Depp Effect, Johnny brings people together...

My second and third expriences happened in my beloved Columbus, WI. ;) The pics are here, but for some reason, I was reluctant at the time to write anything about it. I was invited to share in the hospitality of my new friend Suz, a relative stranger who let me stay in her HOME so I could be in town for both days of filming! Amazing!

That first night I stood next to my good friend dj as Johnny came out LATE to greet his fans. It was so cold that night. We huddled together under blankets and stood there till midnight. When Johnny greeted dj, he asked her if he could hug her! WOW! I didn't remember much of my own experience immediately afterwards, I think I was in shock a little. Surreal... I put out my hand to shake his as he approached and he simply hugged me instead. I said nothing, I was dumbfounded! I remember thinking how soft his leather jacket was against my cheek... I didn't care at all that he wasn't signing autographs and that I had carried that machette around with me ALL DAY LONG!

Earlier in the day I had had a wonderful experience with John Michael Bolger (thanks to Jenny!) JMB pulled my machette out of it's sheath and picked his teeth with it! Hilarious!! He tested the blade with his thumb and then re-sheathed it. Suddenly he turned to me with a stunned expression on his face and said, "I probably shouldn't have left my DNA all over your BIG KNIFE!" We all had a good laugh as he handed it back to me. He signed his autograph to me like this: "Betty - I didn't do it! JMB." That put a huge smile on my face and made a place for him in my heart all at the same time. (If anyone reading this has pics of JMB playing with my machette, I sure would like to get copies!)

The next evening I stood at the barricades with Suz and three new friends I'd met that day (Maegan, toadlessgirl and Robbi) I'll never forget all the jokes and laughter and the rain and the chill and then FINALLY around 4 am, Johnny himself! There were no autographs again that night. Again, I found myself speechless and self-conscious. I shook Johnny's hand, dropped my sharpie lid on the ground and stupidly spent the next precious seconds scrambling for it (who cares about a sharpie lid!) After he left town, I remember feeling great disappointment. Not because I didn't get the autograph, though I thought so at the time, but because I had failed to share something of myself in return. Johnny had left town for good and I hadn't shared anything of real value with him ;(

Last night seemed like a chance to redeem myself ;) It turned out to be exactly that! (and so much more...) Again, I got to connect with some new friends from PEC, Vicky and Tiffany and again, a wonderful experience in community. (also Zak and Jenny! Nice meeting you!)

Zak, Jenny, Vicky and Tiffany.

Taking refuge from the storm in a little Irish pub!

Vicky is excited to find her favorite potato 'crisps'!
We are refreshed by drinks and snacks and head back out to wait the rest of the night in a steady downpour. At least the storm had subsided... Despite the rain we managed to have a ton of fun which Vicky describes so well on her blog... The sun comes up, finally and jsut as Johnny walks out, THE RAIN STOPS!!! Yes, The Depp Effect even impacts the weather apparently...
Yes, Johnny is finally signing autographs on a day I am present! Woo Hoo! I hardly notice though as I finally find my tongue and actually have a real conversation with him and Jerry. I asked Johnny if he wouldn't mind signing my sheath to which he relpied, "Of course!" Jerry then jumps in and says to me, "I've seen this before, and said no to this before." and to Johnny, "You know what goes in here don't you? A scabbard!" Johnny starts signing, laughs, says, "Yes!" Then looks up and into my eyes and says, "It's a machette!" To which I reply, "Yes!" and give him a big smile. He starts to turn away and FINALLY I say to him what I've wanted to say all along, "Thank you, I want you to know that you have been a great inspiration to me during a very dark time in my life." Simple! He then thanks ME, shakes my hand and bows his head... Now that was real, and what I had been looking for the entire time, an opportunity to exchange something of value with someone important to me. Something small to be sure, but infinitely valuable to me...

This pic and the one above I pirated from Vicky's blog! It shows the reason why I failed to snap the pic of Johnny hugging Tiffany. Apparently, I was still flirting with Jerry! The shame... ;) Sorry, Tiffany! Lucky thing Vicky had her wits about her!

I did manage to get Johnny signing Tiffany's autograph for her Make-A-Wish child Felix!

Though I couldn't hear the conversation, I see that Vicky thoroughly enjoys her moments with Johnny!!! I feel lucky to have gotten my wits back... Zak, in the background, faithfully records the moment as well.

Afterwards, I asked him if he had gotten the video message for his mother he had intended to ask Johnny for. I took this pic as he was explaining to me how "The Depp Effect" had prevented him from finding his tongue. I just smiled the smile of understanding that all of us do who have experienced it... Yes, even men are susceptible to the Depp effect. ;)

The long awaited autograph... it's final resting place!

Well, it wouldn't be a Betty Blog without kitty pics!
Yes, Osh and Evan, she does exist!

Finally, Baby comes out of hiding, tentatively...

She finds the long lost BIG cockroach and remembers how to PLAY!

Then decides she needs rescuing after all...

Thanks for stopping by!

The Menu:

Alsatian Onion and Apple soup
w/ Munster Cheese on Toasted Rye Crouton
Freshly baked breads:
(Vermont Maple Walnut & Cheese)
BBQ Ribs
Tempura Chicken
Backed Yukon Gold Potato
stuffed w/ Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese Sauce

for dessert:
Old Fashioned Southern
Lemon Chess Pie

My Cocktail:
(Schmirnoff's Citrus Vodka, Cointreau, Cranberry juice and Rose's Lime)

My Dinner Plate!

The food was absolutely delicious. Would have cleared table a little and taken a more pleasing picture but the ladies I was with (surprise! thought I was going alone with my auntie not the Clinton Women's Club!) thought I was a little nuts already just for getting my camera out... Oh well, I thoroughly enjoyed my meal anyhow! I didn't bother photographing the dessert, it wan't a good plating, but tasted superb... ;)

We saw:

Neil Simon's 'Barefoot in the Park'

Very Funny! The second act moved a little faster than the first which was good considering the meal I had! I would have fallen asleep had it not been for the quick pace and the AIR CONDITIONING!!! Brrrrrr....


Suz said...

Yep. The Depp Effect. Amazing in its ability to heal and bring friends together. JD is beyond words. He's brings such a joyful peace when you interact with him. I can't fathom how he does that. I think it's part of the bewilderment when you meet him, but I'm so glad you got your moment. (And you REMEMBERED it, which is a lot harder than most folks might think it would be)!! :p

Such a sweet moment for you. I'm very glad it happened.


shakenbsis said...

Suz! Yes, I can't believe I remembered!!! unbelievable...
thanks hon ;)

Rachel said...


This experience has changed a lot of lives and for the better. A lot of the qualities that JD has, kindness, compassion, and just being a decent person are contagious.

I think a lot of this came into this experience with a lot of darkness and sadness looming over us. But, we have made it through the storm, so to speak, and come out the other end, stronger and bettier (a little Betty reference in there) than ever. The friendships I have made mean the world to me and have given me an outlet to be.... me.

I MIGHT have a pic of your JMB moment... I will have to look. I have so many JD/JMB/PE photos it is hard to keep track of all of them:)

Congrats on your evening. Now we just have to schedule our duel :)

Lawgirl said...

Great write up of our experience. I feel bad that I didn't get pictures of you guys, but I was out in space somewhere. The Depp effect I guess.

shakenbsis said...

That is so True Rachel =) I can't imagine my life now without all the new friends I've made through this experience... Contagious!

Lawgirl! I get it!!! LOL
*smiles and nods with understanding*

Blaznfire911 said...

Great blog Betty, and I am sooooo glad you got your moment!

I remember hwo sad I was last time when the depp effect got me in c-bus!! I was like "he wanted me to talk to him, and I just stood there!"

This time I made sure I said something, even though I was talking like a fool!! THE DEPP EFFECT!!!

It was great to meet so many people last night, and go to that bar! That was great! I only wished that the rain hadn't gotten me....I WAS having a good hair day LOL

Sorry I kept asking "how's my hair" so many times....I truly was worried about it, and for what??? LOL

Look at thsoe pics of me with JD! I look like a bumbling fool LMAO


Osh said...

the depp effect is so real, and only us lucky enough to have had it will truly know how special it is.
look at us, how blessed we now are with each other in our lives!

Lotus said...

Shakes, you have really done it this time! Again! You have me on the verge of tears and, as I told you a while back, that is hard to do. Love it (blog) and you!

shakenbsis said...

Hey girlies! I'm really feeling the warm fuzzies = )

I went to take a nap and instead watched the exras on Disc 1 of Sweeney Todd... Wonderful! That man can do anything, and still stay humble. I learn a lot from him and from all of you!

I feel like you guys are showing me about acceptance and about being a less judgemental person. Thank You!

shakenbsis said...

and yes Suz, healing... = )

cranky anonymous said...

You have to experience the Depp Effect to know what it is. If you try and explain it to someone who hasn't experienced it, they look at you like you're on crack.

Well, I guess we sort of are, because JD is like crack. :)

I'm so glad you had your moment! I remember JMB with your sheath in Columbus and Jerry telling you no too.

I volunteer to referee the Rachel-Shakes Duel For Jerry.

shakenbsis said...

Rach! we have a referee, what's the next step! = )

Cranky! Do I know you on the 'outside' and don't know it? Or am I just sloooow????? Oh, I'm sooo curious now = )

Rachel Judge :) said...

You were closer to Cranky than you knew :)

I am so glad that we have a ref for this thing... it is going to be wild when we throw down.

Should we bring a Jerry on a stick???

M said...

I looooooooooved reading this story! How incredibly special this all was-- and how wonderful that you took the time to find just the right words to share it! Thank you!


Osh said...

I keep coming back to read this.
I love you all so much. I have sisters again.

~Minxie~ said...

Shakes~ I am with Lotus.... I am on the verge tears as well. You have written from your heart and soul... and it SHOWS!!!
I thank you all for sharing your stories to those of us who have not personally had the Depp-Effect.
However, the way people have come together from all over the place is just another example of the affects of the Depp-Effect! =)

cranky anonymous said...

Oooh, Shakes, at one point in Columbus, we were standing right next to each other.


And to amend my post, Depp fans can understand the Depp effect, even if they haven't experienced it. Regular folk can't/don't understand.

wlkingbluepirate said...

Yay Betty!!!! You got it signed! Lucky!!

I'm so glad for the Depp Effect. I've met a lot of awesome people over the last couple months because of it. He really does bring people together.

And you were so not a bad momma to the kittehs. He's the most loving cuddly little thing ever. He's just got to learn to not try to climb me when I have shorts on. Too warm for multiple layers down here. ;)

Anyway...congrats on finally getting the Johnny moment you wanted, and thanks for sharing it with us.

shakenbsis said...

Good Morning! Finally got some real SLEEP!

Mary - Thank YOU! = )

Cranky - I'm soo curious now, we MUST meet in real life = )

Minx - you are always so kind to me. ;)

Tessa! You had me rolling on the floor already this morning and I haven't even had my coffee yet (still brewing... must need de-liming) In my room, it is hot so I don't wear much, but when I go in the kitty's room, or let them out in the rest of the place I must remember to put on layers! Yes, I've had that full body flying leap to mid-calf while wearing shorts! OWWWW!!!!! Still have some scars!

I'm out for the day to the Fireside. I'm so thankful for all my sistahs!! Have a great day!

Rachel Judge :) said...

I love the Fireside! What are you going to see? Details please!

I can't wait to see if you unravel the Cranky mystery :) This is fun. It keeps the PE experience alive.

Your Depp Effect has inspired me to do some writing of my own on the subject (with credit to you of course). I don't think anyone realizes how you amazing women have changed my life and made it more rich and fullfilled. People who think that it is just people standing behind a barricade stalking, don't get it. It is more than that. Anyway, check out my blog at some point today. It is me versus the clutter today.

Hugs ladies,

Rachel Judge (everytime I write that I bust out laughing :)

Blaznfire911 said...

I am so tired still from yesterday, so much so that I commentated on the wrong post LOL

So I left you a message on your post about the kitties....I am such a dork!!


Suz said...

Hey Blazn,

You're so tired you spelled kitteh's wrong! :p

shakenbsis said...

Rachel! I'm on my way ;)

Vicky, if you are a dirk (and that is debatable) you ar a very lovable dork! You make me smile, I saw all your sleep deprived posts! LOL

Suz!!!! you crack me up!!! LMAO

shakenbsis said...

OK - Update on blog coming at end about The Fireside...

Blaznfire911 said...

I cannot believe how tired I still am LOL

I went out for a bit today, but now it is raining and storming again. I think I have had enough of standing out in the rain! LOL

Great add on about your fireside experience. it is a nice place to go. I am taking my grandparents there while they are visiting from england....I hope.


shakenbsis said...

OMG, me too Vicky! wiped...

Blaznfire911 said...

I have gotten so many emails this week, so sorry if I missed some that you may have sent.

I even got some HATE MAIL!!!! Can you believe that! I had to write up my feelings on the subject since I cannot believe some people! I had like 40 emails asking me to "get them inside to see jd", and some more asking me why I can't give other people a chance to see him!!! Then I got one from a newspaper asking me to send them pics!! I don't think it was a real newspaper, so i did not reply.

I was on my soap box when I made my post, so I might go back and delete it LOL....I don't think I am a bad person, but it may have come out wrong. :(


shakenbsis said...

Vicky ;(
I'm sooo bummed! I cannot imagine inmy wildest dreams someone sending you HATE mail... Who are the HATERS? Don't tell me, I'd be tempted to get out my machette for real...
I love you Chica, no hate here!!!

Blaznfire911 said...

LOL Thanks shakes!

I was shocked to see how many people were angry bc I got to see JD!!!! I was like....well you could have gone don't be mad at me bc your an idiot!

I just don't get some people!

Some of them that I read actually were very nice, and tahnksed me for posting pics. After the first 100 I stopped reading.


Rachel Judge :) said...

Like Cranky said, people that don't experience it don't get it!! And they never will. We don't have time for the haters, we are all about love here.

I'm so glad to hear about your Fireside experience! I LOVE that place. I want to go see a play there again sometime soon. It has been far too long.

PE the Musical anyone??? hahahaha

Osh said...

I have never been to The Fireside, now I want to go! And Betty, I am guilty of taking pictures of my food when I go out!

I have had some weird emails too about JD...

shakenbsis said...

I love dinner theatre! They have one jsut up the road in Janesville too called The Armory. They had Sweeney Todd there recently, but it was too soon after JD's ST for me to see a different one...

Osh, I find out we have more in common all the time! ;)

I'm so glad I'm not getting any weird e-mails (other than those form youguys , of course! LOL)

Suz said...

Yummy Fireside day you had. Me very jealous. However, I'm making pancakes and bacon this morning. :)

Sandsitive said...

Hi Betty!

All of you guys have had such great Depp Effect experiences! I have loved reading each and every one of them!
My own was more like your first one when I went to Crown Point to see the filming. I was so surprised to be that close to him that I think I blocked out the rest of the world. All I remember was standing on a side street and hearing people a block away screaming and then he was coming toward me. The window was down on his side of the SUV. Then we made eye contact and this incredible peace came over me. By the time I got myself together and aimed the camera I only got the back of his black SUV LOL! But, you know, it doesn't matter. He looked at 'me' said 'hi' and gave me a salute and I will always remember that. I was so hoping they would come back to Indiana but alas, it isn't to be.
Thanks for stopping by my blog! Have a great day and give the kittehs and extra hug :)

Anonymous said...

Getting to the part where you get to talk to Johnny... you made me cry. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful moment of your life with the rest of us. Love you, S

shakenbsis said...

Suz - I had bacon when Osh and Evan were here for the first time since I had your pancakes and Bacon! Something sooo decadent about bacon = ) mmmm...

Hi Sands! I know what you mean about that look... that peace... How amazing that you were at Crown Point. Have you seen inside the jail? We tried to the other day to no avail...

Q-mon! (aka S) - I know you understand just what it meant too. You who's had to come around that corner and face those EYES how many times and wonder if you have enough clothes on! (the Stones poster is now on the side of the refrig) I love you, chica!

dj said...

Hooray Betty!! I heard a few days ago that JD signed your machete, but never got a chance to post until now! I'm so happy for you AND that you got to talk to him..I'm sure he appreciates hearing things like that from people.

I know how much you wanted your machete signed...AND Jerry remembered you! How cool is that!! He sure is SMILING at you--hehe.

I also like the Fireside! Rod's mom lives a block away. My parents used to love going there and invited us to with a couple of times. And I agree the food is really good.

shakenbsis said...

Hi DJ! I hope you and Rod are having sooo much fun!

I know, I get a little goosebumpy everytime I look at it (he's smiling at ME!) ;)

I'm such a dork!

I'd be a broke dork if I live a block from the Fireside! (Oh wait, I am a broke dork!)


Movie Star Wife said...

I really enjoyed reading your blog. It is like being there--for those of us that weren't. Thanks!

Blaznfire911 said...


I am putting a thank you up on my blog to the first website that actually credited the photos!

wlkingbluepirate said...

The greatest purpose for Cincinnati Style Chili is chili dogs. If that's not feasible, though. Then I think nachos would work out just fine. Enjoy!

wlkingbluepirate said...

OMG! *headdesk* How could I forget the very thing that brought me to love Cincinnati chili?

Check it out.

wlkingbluepirate said...

Just to clarify, it's the first recipe on the page that was my first love.

Anonymous said...

Generally I do not post on blogs, but I would like to say that this post really forced me to do so! really nice post.