When I was a kid, my mum (not a typo, she’s British) bought my brother and I tickets to go see Penn & Teller for my birthday. I was (am) a huge fan of the “bad boys of magic”. To see their live Refrigerator Tour in the prestigious Royal Alex Theatre in Toronto was a thrill.
The show was as entertaining as I had expected, but what I didn’t expect was to meet Penn and Teller after the show. The meeting wasn’t a chance encounter as they scurried into a car to whisk them away. It wasn’t a lucky moment as they were departing the theater for the night. No, the bad boys were a class act with their fans. They stuck around to meet each person after their performance!
Penn and Teller stood in the lobby, by the grand entrance doors and posed for photos, shook hands and exchanged brief words with the hundreds of exiting theatergoers. I was flabbergasted! Like a crazed teenage girl at a boy-band concert, I ripped my brother’s arm out of its socket as I dragged him closer in to meet my idols.
There I stood, looking up at Penn Jillette’s smiling face and down at Teller’s trademark smirk. I think I told them that I was their number one fan. They autographed our programs, thanked us, and the moment was over as quickly as it had begun.
Years later, I was working in Las Vegas at CES. We had a night to ourselves, so a couple of colleagues and I bought tickets to see Penn and Teller’s show at the Rio Hotel. I felt just as excited as I was as a kid. They didn’t disappoint, their performance was just as entertaining as it was years before.
As we were exiting the theater back into the hotel lobby, there stood Penn and Teller! They were posing for photos, shaking hands and chatting with their exiting audience once again. As it turns out, they have always done this — after each and every show. Always.
Penn and Teller are gracious with their fans. Their heads aren’t inflated, and they have kept their egos in check through their careers. We all start somewhere. Most of us have humble beginnings. They serve as good reminders that no matter how big our britches get, we’re still naked underneath. We should also never forget where we have come from.
Before I sent this email to you (it was originally sent to my newsletter friends), I decided to reach out to Penn for a comment on Twitter. Like that boy-band buzzing teenage girl, I was ecstatic to hear back from him! I’m his number one fan after all. ☺
Penn’s reply didn’t totally surprise me. Penn and Teller are proof that you can be a huge success and still remain humble and thankful. What a class act!
Take a moment now to remember where you have come from…
Got it pictured in your head?
Don’t forget it.