Mystic Pizza Box

Mystic Pizza Box
A slice of heaven

Friday, July 22, 2011

Happy Anniversary, Vincent!

It's been awhile since I posted here, but I wanted to remininsce about last year's GGG benefit concert at Joe's Pub, where I met Vincent D'Onofrio for the first time at the post-show meet and greet. A year ago, we were sweltering in 90 degree temps in New York and I was attending my first concert at Joe's Pub on Lafayette Street on the Lower East Side, just blocks from Tompkins Square Park and my old elementary school and church. To say I was both excited and nervous about the concert and the meet and greet would be an understatement. Nevertheless, I was going to have an experience that would change my life and inspire me to create this blog.

Just before attending the meet and greet on July 22, 2010, we enjoyed the show featuring an opening set by Sam Bisbee and his band, including his rendition of "Five More Minutes" plus an hour-long concert by none other than George Geronimo Gerkie himself with Sam Bisbee and guest vocalist Laura Cantrell. Some of the tunes that I enjoyed the most from George's set include "Middle of the Road," "What's So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding," "Kaleidescope Hero," and his hysterical rendition of "It's Raining Men." I have a video of the entire GGG concert plus Vincent's appearance before the show onstage and his speech about the Meth Cops program, which was truly touching and made me realize what a good heart he really has. I had read many things about Vincent D'Onofrio in the press and online, both positive and negative, but here he was standing before us, proving the naysayers wrong. Here was a man of intelligence, talent and energy galore, generous and devoted to a worthy cause he has supported for years. Not to mention funny, entertaining and gorgeous, even in the silly white haired wig he wore onstage...and I was about to meet him!

At 9 PM we gathered in the lobby after the show and went up to the third floor in groups of ten to a theater where we would meet Vincent. Only those of us who had paid for the VIP tickets were to be included, although I later found out there was a gatecrasher among us, but that's a whole other story I won't go into here. I had prepared to give Vincent several items as belated birthday gifts, including several of my brother Alberto's hand-drawn coloring books and other items packed inside a pizza box I had saved from my recent visit to the original Mystic Pizza restaurant in Mystic, CT. I also brought three DVDs for him to sign, including "Happy Accidents" "The Narrows" and "Good Luck."

A young couple I met earlier in the VIP section, Michelle and Steve, were kind enough to take my photos with Vincent and the now-famous video of our first meeting that you've seen on Youtube. There almost wasn't a video at all, but I decided at the last minute to ask Steve to film me and Vincent after he and Michelle met Vincent and I am grateful for this. Vincent was happy to see all of us when he arrived at about 9:10 PM and he remained for the next half-hour meeting fans, posing for photos, signing autographs and accepting gifts, including mine. I remember Vincent saying that he was a little sweaty and he looked it, poor guy, but he was happy to see us and vice versa.

I was beyond nervous when it was my turn to speak to Vincent, but when we shook hands and said hello, I just had to hug him and he was cool with it. He signed my DVDs and posed for some photos with me before I presented him with the pizza box. Vincent's sister Toni was standing nearby and came over to observe while Vincent helped me open the box and take out the items I had packed inside. He especially loved the coloring books and the guitar pins from the Hard Rock Cafe store, and he smiled when I told him to give one to George. I remember asking about the movie "Johnny and Me" and he said that it was true that he's making this film, but I didn't have time to ask him more questions, since the moderator was limiting us to three minutes with him. One more hug and kiss on his stubbled cheek before We said goodbye. I was sad that it was over but also happy. What a great guy!

I recently chatted with Toni and she sent a tweet saying that Vincent kept the pizza box, which I signed, btw, and has it in his home in New York. How cool is that?

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations, Blanca! Thanks for all of your updates, videos and photos! We appreciate you sharing with all of us.