Friday, July 6, 2012

Hypothetical Skype Call with Howie D

As I drove home from work yesterday, I let my mind wander as it normally does. And I found myself thinking back to the contest Howie held a while back where us fans came up with 100 reasons why we love him. I wasn't focused on that aspect of the contest, but rather I was focused on the prize. A 15 minute Skype call with Howie D.

So while the traffic continued to move at around 10 miles an hour, I had a lot of time to ponder over what I would do on a 15 minute skype call with Howie.

I started to think a bit more practically on how I'd spend my 15 minutes with Howie, I was amazed at how torn I was. I realized I had so many different ways to spend this time. I assume most of you probably didn't even realize there were different ways to approach a convo with Howie, but as you read on, hopefully you'll realize that is not the case!

Option 1: The Regular Conversation

My first thought was that I'd just want to do nothing fancy and have a regular conversation. That's always been a dream of mine, just to chat with any of the boys as if they were friend. Nothing fancy. No talk of BSB stuff. Just regular every day things. I can't even elaborate here because it would be whatever flowed naturally at the time.

My fear if I went with this approach is that I'd definitely be afraid it would mostly consist of nervous laughter and bad jokes. I don't like to be super unprepared and I fear we'd end up talking about the weather or something else lame. Now generally speaking I don't have trouble filling 15 minutes of conversation, but my normal go-to icebreakers like "what do you do for a living?" or "do you have any kids?" would sound rather odd considering I already know all of that.

And the real reason this blog post doesn't end here is because I thought to myself, "Wow, its such an incredibly rare opportunity to have one of the Backstreet Boy's uninterrupted attention for an entire 15 minutes." I literally couldn't think of any other circumstance where that would happen. You'd always be competing with other fans for his attention and are generally lucky to get more than 10 seconds of his time. I feel a sense of obligation to be 'productive' with that time rather than 'waste' it on just a regular conversation. Thus I came up with a few other potential directions....

Option 2: Suggestions for the Future

I thought back to the townhall post I did and how there are a ton of things I would kill to tell Howie, or any of the other guys. If I had 15 minutes to present some really great ideas for the cruise, or just Backstreet events in general- I would consider that a really good use of time because even if I suggested 10 things and 1 happened, I would be thrilled! Even for them to entertain one of my ideas would super neat. I know they have Rose Tours to help plan the cruise and whatnot, but I still think hearing directly from the fans is invaluable. I could try to collect suggestions from all you readers and just start reciting them to him. I really have no idea how many of our suggestions actually make it back to them and how many are filtered out.

My only hesitation with this approach is that I wouldn't want him judging me if my ideas sucked. I wouldn't want Howie just humoring me and saying "Oh that's a great idea" and in the back of his head he's thinking how lame I am. Oh gosh, I'd die! Not that I would ever know, but I'd be worried the whole time. That's just who I am.

Option 3: Areas of Improvement

Aside from new fun things I'd like to see them do, I think there are some things that need to be improved in terms of VIP processes, Ground Ctrl, etc. I have no concept if the boys are aware that these are broad concerns across the fan base and they choose to ignore them. Or perhaps they don't realize how big a problem some things have become. Or they truly don't know. And if it's that last point, I feel like it would be incredibly beneficial to all us fans for me to take one for the team and raise these types of concern to his attention so that something can be done. 

But my only fear with this is that I don't want to "complain" my entire time with Howie and come across as so negative. I don't want to be forever known as the debbie-downer fan. Especially because that's so not me. Thus I move swiftly along to option 4...

Option 4: I do the Talking

One other way I could spend this time is just opening up and telling Howie how much he and the rest of the Backstreet Boys as a whole mean to me. I don't think I'd want to get too sappy, but they've done a lot for me so it would mean a lot if Howie knew that. Granted, my story isn't as grandiose as other fans' stories out there. Their music didn't pull me out of a coma or anything. But I still don't think that diminishes how big of an impact they've had on my life. The upside with this option is that I doubt I'd need 15 minutes for it so I could try to sneak in another approach as well.

Why I don't think I'd bring this up is because my story isn't as exciting as a ton of other stories I'm sure they've heard. So I don't know if its worth even mentioning. I think they get it all the time.

Option 5: Let Howie do the Talking

Another way entirely I could spend this 15 minutes is to let Howie do most of the talking. I have about a bajillion questions I'd like to ask the guys that go beyond the basics. I could see myself going into the skype session with an entire printout of questions to have him answer. Since it would be a 1-on-1 Q&A, I might get brave enough to ask some of those more tough questions and hope to get a more honest response.

But what I really want to know more about is behind the scenes of BSB, specifically about the business of the Backstreet Boys. And Howie would be the perfect one to chat about that with. I come from a marketing background, so I would probably start there and find out what they do to maintain the BSB brand and what their marketing efforts consist of. Really dive into the nitty gritty of their PR, social media, etc. Then I'd probably get into finances at a high level. I'm obviously not going to ask him how much he makes....but things like, "how do the expenses work on a tour" "Where does most of your revenue come from (VIPs, merch, ticket sales, music sales, royalties, etc)" 15 minutes would not nearly be enough time for all the business questions I have.

Downside of this is that I could probably find these answers out by doing some research on the music industry in general. Or I'm sure they've been asked a lot of this stuff already (if anyone out there has a video of the guys talking about this, I'd love you forever if you sent it to me!) Even if it hasn't been talked about too much, anyone could always ask this during a VIP or something. Thus my point is that there are other ways to get these questions answered outside of these precious 15 minutes.

Option 6: Put Howie on the Spot

My last idea is to make the biggest puppy dog eye's I've ever made and kindly ask him to sing to me for 15 minutes for my own private concert. Seeing as how I never got to be an I'll Never Break Your Heart girl, this would sufficiently make up for it. Downsides: None. Except for making him very uncomfortable for 15 minutes.

Final Decision

After outlining all my options and weighing the pros and cons of each, I think I'd go with option 5- talking about the business of the Backstreet Boys. I think it would be the most natural conversation I'd be able to have with him, and I'd be truly interested in what he has to say. I could actually contribute intelligent points without it sounding so forced. And I'd learn a lot I could report back here in my blog.


  1. I think I'd be a mixture of all of your options... but when actually given the chance who knows what'd I say!! I'd probably have to try extra hard to form words from my mouth! lol loved the post though!

  2. hmm...i wonder where the inspiration for this post came from!...haha!!!

    those are all great points laura!...15 minutes is a lot longer than you think when its happening...i mean think about it, our normal interaction with them is about 10 seconds so its about 900 times more interaction timehaha...thats a lot!...yeah it does fast but you can def fit more than one option in!

    i would go with a combo of everything...thats what i did with btr and it worked out great!...the only problem is i forgot to ask them to sing for me...ugh!!...and that was just btr...if howie was on the other end of that call im not really sure what i would would def require a lot more effort to for sentences...haha!!!