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Anything Can Happen If You Let It (Reprise): Meeting Julie Andrews

July 12th, 2010 (10:55 pm)

current mood: ecstatic
current song: "I Could Have Danced All Night" -- Julie Andrews

July 08, 2010
Barnes and Noble – Alpharetta, Georgia

"I say you can be whatever you want to be. You just have to let your sparkle out."
--The Very Fairy Princess by Julie Andrews & Emma Walton Hamilton

This story could easily be one filled with clichés, the first being: “Third time’s the charm.” I’ve tried to meet Julie Andrews twice before and was bitterly disappointed both times when the opportunity fell through. Now that it has finally happened, I find myself at a loss for words. I scribbled down my memories of my moment with her just minutes after it happened, but I’m still having trouble adequately expressing the emotion that accompanied the meeting. So, I’ll give the run-down of events and do my best with the mushy stuff.


I actually will spare you the details of waiting in line because it was an excruciatingly long wait, and I was pretty ridiculous (pounding heart, dry mouth, fidgeting, the works). It was, however, immensely entertaining to listen to some of the people in line around me spout off ridiculous comments (e.g. one lady was convinced Julie was in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang). Once the announcement came that Julie had arrived and the line finally started moving, I was honestly ready to pee my pants, or throw up, or both. Sorry. Just being honest. My mom and I slowly moved to the curtained off space where Julie was signing books and as I got to the front of the line, I was pleased to run into three delightful gentlemen who decided to have a little good-natured fun at my expense.

Steve, John, and Rick are Julie’s manager, hairdresser, and make-up artist, respectively. (Don’t ask me how I know these things; I just do, okay?) Well, I started chatting with Steve for a couple of minutes. His first reaction when he saw me was, "Woah. You look like you need to take a deep breath." (Clue #1 that I was completely transparent.) And then Rick walked over and Steve said, "Are you that excited to see Rick?" I actually thought it was really funny, but at this point I could SEE Julie, so I was too distracted to do much more than giggle. They both chatted with my mom and me for a second, but Steve kept looking at me and finally said, "On a scale of 1 to 10, what is your excitement level right now," to which I blurted (with an alarming and embarrassing lack of inhibition), "25!!!!" (Okay, upon reflection my reaction should have been mortifying, but they seemed amused and were incredibly kind about it.) Then he asked my favorite movie, to which I replied The Sound of Music. I know, I know....it's the most clichéd answer I could have possibly given, BUT it has the benefit of being the absolute truth (although, you'd obviously be hard-pressed to find ANY Julie project I don't adore).

And then, heaven help me, JULIE ANDREWS was beckoning me over and I was standing in front of her. Oh my Lord, y'all, I can't even...GAH....

She greeted us with a mega-watt smile and I could not take my eyes off of her. She's just...the most beautiful, luminous, warm, gracious, graceful person God ever put on this earth. I was blown away. Her hair looked amazing, she had her reading glasses perched on her nose, and she was wearing this thick white sweater (which I really only noticed because, really, it's Georgia in JULY! Why did she need a sweater? But she's Julie Andrews, and I do not judge). From the moment we stepped in front of her, I was grinning from ear to ear and giggling deliriously (but not obnoxiously, I take it, because she honestly seemed to enjoy me standing there. I was shocked). She did the routine "Hello" and "How are you" and thanked us for coming out and waiting in line for so long. Then she looked at me, I mean she really took a good look at ME she glanced at John (who was standing next to her), and said, "I think she needs to cheer down." And then she smiled. Again. At me. It was amazing and I fell even more in love. (I know, how is that even possible, right?) She then signed my book and the book my mom was getting for my 2-year-old cousin. I was bouncing around and smiling and most likely mumbling something incoherent. Y'all, I must have been GLOWING, because she looked up again and watched me for a second and said, "She's already let her sparkle out."


That was the moment that I will certainly remember forever. Now, of course it was a reference to the book she was signing (quote at the top), but she had to look at me for those few moments, take those few moments to learn something about me, however small, in order to make that observation. It was not a random comment. She obviously noticed something special, something different in my happiness as I met her. JULIE ANDREWS SAID I SPARKLE. I know I’m overreacting to something small, but it was such a humbling and overwhelming moment because although it was simple comment, I don't think it was made glibly.

Unfortunately, my moment with Julie was over all too soon and I had to move on. As I walked away, I was tearing up with happiness. I thought I would be both elated and devastated when it was over, but as it turns out, I'm only mildly disappointed that the meeting has come and gone. I'm mostly filled with intense gratitude to have finally had my chance with Julie and to have experienced such a personal interaction with her, considering the setting and the amount of time I actually got to talk with her. My only disappointment is that she did not allow photos to be taken, but the memories of that night will carry me for a lifetime.

Julie Andrews has been a part of my heart and has influenced my life for a long time; meeting her was truly special. I don’t react strictly to fame, and I’m wholly uninterested in racking up a list of celebrity encounters. The few encounters I have had with my favorite actresses were sought out because I connected with their talent, their authenticity, and their graciousness. That has little to do with fame and a lot to do with the inspiration and beauty that moves me daily. Corny? Maybe. True? Absolutely.

I feel blessed.

Stretch your mind beyond fantastic
Dreams are made of strong elastic
Take some sound advice and don’t forget it
Anything can happen if you let it.

-Mary Poppins


Posted by: You're that little girl with her wings unfurled. (labellefolie)
Posted at: July 13th, 2010 04:35 pm (UTC)
hepburn; perch | © lolaboxx

Laura, this is beautiful and I'm so glad you had your moment with Julie after all these years. You have no idea how much this has made me smile. (And just for the record, I'm quite sure you do sparkle. ♥)

Posted by: Laura (lauraonbway)
Posted at: July 19th, 2010 01:26 am (UTC)
sound of music > laendler

See, you go and say things like that and I just have to beam. You are just so sweet -- beautiful on the inside and out. I'm glad you enjoyed my thoughts and that you took the time to share in my excitement. It means a lot.

Posted by: saviour ღ of ღ storybrooke (aintshesweet_x)
Posted at: July 13th, 2010 07:36 pm (UTC)
[Actress] -- Evan Rachel Wood; glam

AHH! This sounds fabulous!

Posted by: Laura (lauraonbway)
Posted at: July 19th, 2010 01:26 am (UTC)
sound of music > laendler

Thank you, sweet girl! <3

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