In honor of it being fellow ChicagoNow blogger Count Gregula’s birthday today. I thought I would share a little story of how we met.
As a photojournalist, I receive access to some really cool events and C2E2 is no exception. The promoters of C2E2 have great respect for the media and offer a Press room for you to just chill in, eat lunch, decompress, leave your gear or computers for you to even upload your pictures.
Anyway, all that said to say last April I was covering the C2E2 event in Chicago and it was nearing the lunch hour and I was getting a pit hungry. I was bored and trying to decide if I should call it a day and leave. I opted to first eat my lunch, so back to the press room I go, I found my gear bag and began to seat my smuggled in Subway sandwich. Across the table from me is a person I would later get to know as Count Gregula. I was eating and eyeballing this character as he completed his touch ups to hide is moral disguise.
As I watched, I wondered, how does a cos player get a media pass, weird, is he really a working professional media person. Then I had a moment of weakness and out of my mouth it came before I could stop it. I said something like, “You know you look a lot like Bela Lugosi” to which he replied “Vell, Thank you, that is very much what I am going for…” more time passed as I ate and we made small talk. Again, my unguarded mouth got away from me and I said, “You know I have no plans this afternoon, mind if I tag along with you and see what kind of things we can get into?” He of course was very happy to let me ride his coat tails; mind you he really did have a dress coat on with tails.
As we wondered the event floor, people would stop us and want photos of the Count. We tried to interview different celebrities who were there making an appearance. At some point Count Gregula gets a phone call and off we go to a celebrity panel with some of the actors from Game of Thrones.
As we got closer to the hall that the panel would be in the line was long, I mean hundreds of people outside the Apple store on new iPhone release day long. Thinking to myself, were not going to get in, O well. And then I was pleasantly surprised. We (Count Gregula’s crew) were escorted in and given a front row seat with the VIPs. Wow baby, Count Gregula has some pull.
The panel got started and my camera was firing away, trying to get those candid celeb shots that most people dream of getting. After the panel discussion, we got to meet the panel and get a few posed photos.
I have to say, the whole star struck feeling when meeting celebrity passed me by many years ago, or did I ever have it, yes I guess I did, but that was way back in the early 80’s when I met Richard Simmons. So after that it was just not an issue for me. But getting to photo the folks from Game of Thrones was really cool.
Having no idea, what I was getting myself into that day with Gregula, I went along. Over these few short months, Count Gregula has gotten me into some really interesting events. More on that in future posts.
In hind sight I must say it was a bizarre meeting that has turned into a great friendship. Happy Birthday Count Gregula!
I would rate this event as 5 tickets!
Stay connected with us and get our latest post when they come out.