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!
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. ;)
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....