“You are a legend. Your self-invention matters. You are the artist of your own life.”
The story of how my friends and I ended up on Lady Gaga’s instagram for most of us starts back a few shows before Tahoe. Specifically starting at both shows in LA and the one in Vegas, we spent our time doing everything we could to try to find her and get some quick time with her whether it was following paths to hotels till the sun was coming up or waiting down the streets outside the arena for hours on end with the result usually being a quick drive by wave from the car or nothing at all as the crowds around us at those shows gave her no room to stop by jumping in front of or actually on top of her vehicle or chasing her down. After being so close so many times and having her drive by us 4 times at this tour, we packed up our stuff and made our way to Tahoe just hoping that it would be a more calm setting in which people respected her space so she could have time with us. Most of us didn’t even have tickets but we got together after hours and hours of driving and stayed outside the arena, waiting patiently for hours for her to leave to the venue after finding a promising spot where she’d come through. As 7 o clock came around and a few of our group had to leave and go into the show, there was 4 of us remaining patiently on a rock wall of the sidewalk as venue security became tighter and tighter. She finally walked out and entered her car in the most perfect setting for a quick chat with us. Her guard Kevin waved at us and my friend’s father whom he had gotten close with, and gave us a signal to stay where we are. We calmed our nerves and put on our game faces as the four of us remaining stood on the curb patiently knowing that any wrong/rude move would send her speeding away as she looked and waved at us from the vehicle. It was perfect and we thought we had it down as we watched her sit and talk to her driver for a minute…. Something seemed off as she wasn’t smiling and put her feed up on the hood and looked back at us as we waved and made heart signs. The car started and she rolled up past us, stopping for a minute right next to us, but she neither nor rolled down her window or looked at us and drove off to the arena.
We shook it off knowing that she had a valid reason to do so and knowing that we displayed to her that we weren’t going to mob her or cause any safety issues as all we did was stay on the sidewalk and wave calmly, waiting for her to initiate if she wanted since as at every other show before, she had bad time attempting to do anything with mobs of frantic kids. We did a bit of stalking and found her bus and watched her enter the back of the stage, got food, and then hung around again. Time passed along and we watched the show from the curb (I ended up getting a free ticket and talked my way through some problems for my final Artrave) and when the show ended, the 6 of us again waited for the place to clear out and made our way to where we were before. After it was basically empty, we waited for another hour or so until we saw some one her guards come check out the area which immediately told us we were on to something good. Some time passed before she snuck past us in one SUV and hotel security went crazy on us saying we couldn’t be on that sidewalk, even physically pushing my friend off, and we just calmly told them that we weren’t any danger and we respect her and we were not leaving until her either Peter or Kevin told us too. The car pulled about 20 ft away from us and she got out as we started to lightly call for her. With my piggy hand puppet on, I yelled that I had a present for her and we all just tried depserately to get her to come over while showing that we were as collected and respectful as possible. She turned, wearing all black leather, stopped for a moment and waved before entering the door and the rent a cop that assaulted us stupidly ran after her like he knew what he was doing. Not giving up, we saw that her car was not leaving from the area and her driver that watched us all day in the same area was looking back at us again through the window as we returned calmly to the sidewalk we were pushed off to sit on the wall again. We did our best to look as casual as possible and played with our phones or just sat down to prove ourselves that we were safe and trustworthy when all the sudden a little black dog came walking around the corner. Gaga’s dog Asia was on her leash coming towards the car after making her way back from a walk and we all internally freaked the hell out and reminded ourselves that if anyone stepped off that damn curb to go see her, it would ruin everything for all of us. Asia sat on the drivers lap waiting for Gaga restlessly to the point that the driver had to bring her out of the car and walk her around as she searched and sniffed for her mom. After watching her for a few moments, taking pics, and lightly calling to her and seeing her check us out from a distance, part of the group who were in street clothes walked casually around the place and came down to go look at Asia as if they were just random tourists, even being allowed to touch her. They chatted with her driver and reminded them that we are all good kids and we only just want a quick hi from Gaga if possible.
As soon as they left the driver, we watched him on his phone talk for a few minutes and we knew that it was time to prepare again. Peter then walked out the door and took Asia, putting her in the backseat of the car. As my heart was pounding I knew that this was the last chance I had of this year for something to happen and we all waited anxiously for another minute until the door opened again and Gaga walked out in her less leather and italian curls. We waved and called to her as she opened the car door, hoping that she’d pull up to us and roll down the window for a quick chat, but what happened next shocked all of us.
Gaga put her bag on the seat and shut the door and her and her security started to walk over to us. I turned around in disbelief, tried to find my phone, and then thought “FUCK IT, JUST GO” as we all made a unanimous whimper/omg/FUCK noise and stared tearing up. We all walked off the curb over to her a little frantically and Peter told us to calm down. We all just said “OKAY!’ and I didn’t think it was possible to stop crying in the length of a mili-second while being in a state of such emotional instability but turns out it is. We all took a deep breath and she walked over to us with a smile. She said hi and we all greeted her and she shoved her leather pants in our face that she’d had taken off while being inside. She was, as usual, the sweetest and most kind persona and said something along the lines of “So do you all want to take one on one pictures” and none of us said YAAAAAAS but we were thinking it as I tried to open my mouth and make a human noise of agreement. She asked if we had a camera and my friend had is professional ready to go.
I was standing behind her security over to the side, not wanting to crowd her, and she walked around him and came up to me first saying “ok, we will start over here” pointing to me with a familiar smirk. The only words that could come out of my mouth were “Gaga, do you remember me?” and she replied “Of course I do!” and threw her arm over my shoulder in a hug. I then gave her my piggy toy that I had bought before the LA show and had thrown on stage 3 times up until that point only to luckily get it back each time by some miracle and asked her “can I give you this? its a piggy hand puppet for you and Asia and I’ve tried to get it to you for three shows” and she grabbed it out of my hand with excitement and it put it on, waving it up into my face and making random Lady Gaga noises that only made sense to her. I stood back and simultaneously thought “is this really happening omg don’t start crying too hard” and “Oh Gaga that’s not the noise a pig makes but you cute.” After the fact, part of me is certain that my soul passed on at that moment to another place as that was the most adorable thing I had ever seen in my life as she just waved its little arms and played with it making an “eek eek eeek!” sound in her baby voice she uses on Asia. We then walked out to the street a little more and she put her arm around me again and by some miracle I asked what I was too afraid to ask when we first met in San Jose. Not even thinking about it, I said “Gaga, can I kiss you? on the cheek? If not I totally unders-.” and she pulled me in closer and said “Of course you can.” and leaned her face towards mine as I had a heart attack and finally found my lord and savior while my mouth was on the back of her jawline. Her italian curl wig got in my mouth and I was far too into that than I should have been as I just lived in that moment knowing my entire existence had built up to that exact moment.
I pulled away in complete shock but to make my life even more unreal, my friend didn’t turn the flash on the picture so it turned out blurry so Gaga totally let us another one. She leaned herself back in with her arm still around me and moved some hair out of her face so I had a better spot and her cheek was on my mouth before I even was ready cause I was too busy metaphorically peeing myself. The picture was shot and her security rushed us on and I thanked her and immediately started hugging my friends. We didn’t get much time to talk to her one on one but instead just enjoyed her presence, taking pictures for each other and hugging, Each person got a photo and we thought that was the end of the amazing moment until Gaga asked “Can we take a group shot?” and pulled out her phone. Now collectively we metaphorically peed ourselves as a group and all huddled in as slight drunky Gaga could not figure out how to work her own phone or take a selfie. She cutely asked Peter to take it and I got close to her, looking down at her huge wig and we put our paws up. We posed, I grasped my hand down on her shoulder instinctively, holding on for dear life, and there were probably around 5 pictures taken before we stopped and she got up, giving us a sweet smile. She said had to leave then but thanked us and we all said goodbye and that we loved her so much as she walked back to her car.
As soon as she turned around, we all cried and hugged everyone in the area and I fell to the cement in pure happiness that we finally pulled it off after all the missteps and knowing that we had just experienced something too crazy to imagine. The most we were hoping for was the window to be rolled down but instead she herself approached us and asked us for solo pictures and asked us for a group shot. We knew that we had showed her that we respected her and gave her a moment of mutual love and the ability to interact with her fans without them throwing her around like a rag doll or acting like she wasn’t even a person.
She watched us from her car as we all jumped up and down and hugged each other and we waved and thanked her again as she drove away one last time. In disbelief, we pulled ourselves together after a few moments of celebration decided that were gonna go print up the pictures from the camera right then at a CVS down the street. We walked down the Tahoe streets as group, passing drunk people yelling “LADY GAGA” to us in our outfits while we were checking her instagram every second just hoping that maybe she’d post it but kinda knowing in our hearts that it could be lost in drunky gaga selfie land forever. When we finally reached the store, we talked about how amazing that was and lost track of time waiting for the prints. After 30 minutes go by and we are busy looking at the pictures, Maddy yells “SHE UPLOADED IT!” and in the middle of a CVS filled with drunk people, we all start screaming and jumping around and hugging and yelling in celebration with only causes the crowds drunk people outside to start celebrating with us yelling “SHE UPLOADED IT! Who is she?” and we just yelled “LADY GAGA PUT US ON HER INSTAGRAM” back and they celebrated with us. Some of us fell down in emotional overwhelmingness while others just cried.. I did both of course as we were in disbelief that it actually happened and the CVS workers looked horrified at us but kindly didn’t kick us out. We hugged and cried and hung out for a few more hours until finally our monster family went our separate ways home or onto other ArtRaves, knowing that our moment would have meant far less if we weren’t together to make it happen.
In the end, the shows it took catching her attention from the crowd, the hours spent waiting for her, energy used to find her/hotels, and the time we each separately spent gaining the trust of her team and drivers in our past adventures meeting Gaga mixed with a lot of respect and treating Gaga like a human, all payed off entirely like no other show we had been too. I’m truly blessed and grateful for the time I had with her and my friends as this will be a memory forever.
Monsters 4 Life.