The Day I Shot The Dream King

This all started with a snarky comment on a friend’s FB status message. She said she was interviewing Neil Gaiman in person. I jokingly remarked “If you need a photographer, I’ll shoot for free.”

Last Monday, I was really surprised to get an SMS from Ida saying “Are you serious about shooting for free?” Thought about it for a bit thinking of SMS-ing, “I meant FREElance.” Sandman and Death-Fanboyism took over and texted back, “Hell Yeah!” (WUSS!)

And that was it. Borrowed a 50mm f/1.8 lens just to make sure I do justice to the King Of Dreams’ pictures. Unsuccessfully attempted to get all those Gaiman books of mine floating about back home for autographs. Ended up wayy to busy to go to the bookstore and get new ones. But still, was ready as I could be for the morning with the Dream King.

The morning came. Happily lugged my camera/s, phones and laptop and crawled to Rockwell. Thought I was late but wasn’t. Had a conversation with the Adobo peeps about the pictures and the interview started.

When it was my turn to be introduced, I told him what he wrote about Michael Moorcock. “I’m mostly your fault.” Weird/eclectic, geek/nerd meets high priest. Was too busy snapping away to actually listen to the interview. Couldn’t help but think that he does sound like Alan Rickman. Towards the end, there were a couple of minutes where we all chilled out.

“I thought this was for Adobo, not for Playboy.” As Morpheus chilled out on the couch and proceeded to pose. Dang light got in the way. Adobo Editor said something about all hell breaking lose when fanboys meet their idol. I proceeded to sputter something about “You have to be O-C when you meet your high priest.” which got an amused nod of approval from the interviewee. I said something about never being starstruck (and this was a rare thing for me to be starstruck). Mr. Gaiman immediately said that it was okay to be starstruck and he was the same when he did his first interview with another sci-fi writer. I didn’t get the name ‘coz I was busy packing up my gear. Did the obligatory pics. Had him autograph the only book I could find on my shelf. Snapped a couple more pics…. and that was it.

I later learned that Neil Gaiman sponsors the prize money for The Philippine Graphic/Fiction Awards. Amazing guy. He’s really an evangelist/high priest of alternative literature making sure that the message spreads as far as our little corner of the globe. Truly someone who’s passionate about something.

And so as I was looking over the pictures over mediocre pasta, I just thought that there ARE things like this where the task itself is its own great reward. There are so many things I spend time, blood, sweat, gas (as in fuel… oh wait a minute) and money on to feed a a starved soul. Sadly, there are some that are slowly becoming obligations and duty rather passion and pride. Musts and have-tos rather then wants and “hell-yeah-let’s-do-it”s. Still, could be helluva lot worse. At least, I can still count myself among the lucky ones that when opportunities like these to quench the spirit come up, I can simply stumble into ’em and hope for the best. Nooo pressure.

That’s one thing I can check off the bucket list  (Have a conversation with Neil Gaiman.) And that’s worth helluva lot more than any photographer’s fees I’d be able to charge (at this stage anyway. :D)

Moral of the story is: Don’t be afraid to post snarky comments on friends FB status-es. Who knows where you’ll end up.