My younger self used to always believe that things that happened in her life were meant to be. I truly thought that I was meant to be in the film industry because the universe kept pointing me in that direction in odd ways. When I look back, I feel silly but who knows right?
I was a huge Pirates of the Caribbean fan. I repeatedly rewatched the series. I even dragged my whole family to watch Pirates of the Caribbean 3 for my birthday. My dad fell asleep at the theater but I was in awe. I know Pirates isn’t Citizen Kane or Good Will Hunting. I know it is a simple pirate movie. To me, it was more than that. I spent so many Summer nights rewatching the films with my sister and sometimes my brothers. I found it deeply meaningful and amusing. I feel emotional even writing about it. During my time at ICF, I found out that some alumni from the school had worked on some of the pirates’ films and it thrilled me that maybe someday I can work on one of the films.
In 2012, I was working at the toy store in the Topanga mall. It was a busy Saturday. All my coworkers were staring out the display windows to the play area. I asked what they were looking at and they pointed to a man they called Johnny Depp. No one was brave enough to go say hi. They didn’t want to bother him either since he was with his child.
I couldn’t help it. I wanted to meet Mr. Depp. When else in my life was I going to get this chance again? I was thinking about ICF and how Steph always pushed us to network and take chances. So I did it. I grabbed a post-it, a pen, and my cell phone. All my coworkers stood by the display window staring at me. They didn’t think I had the guts. I tapped on his shoulder. I said, ” I am really sorry for bothering you but I am a really big fan. May I get your autograph and a photo?” He smiled and said of course. I told Mr. Depp how I wanted to be a director and I hope someday we can work together. He said, ” I look forward to it.” I can’t remember what the autograph said exactly. I do remember he signed Johnny Depp with a smiley face. I think he wrote something like Good luck with your dream of becoming a filmmaker. I use to carry his autograph with me in my wallet as good luck until my car got broken into and my purse and wallet were stolen. So that is why I don’t have the exact words of the autograph. I also took a photo with him. Here it is.
He took two photos because in one of them his hand was blurry and he wanted to take one more. He was so nice. I had NEVER before been so star-struck. We use to get a lot of celebrities at the Topanga mall and it was a normal thing but meeting Johnny Depp was a sign that I was on the right path. I walked back to the toy store shaking from shock. I remember kneeling down behind the register and crying my eyes out.
Looking back, of course, I thought it was a sign. I met the leading actor from my favorite movie! I have always thought Mr. Depp was talented. He was such a versatile actor. It wasn’t that I thought he was attractive. I admired how talented he was and then I admired how kind he was to me.
A couple weeks later, one of Mr. Depp’s stunt doubles came into the toy store. My coworkers teased me and said that I never met Johnny and I met his double. I asked his double if it was him and he said ” I am not legally allowed to sign my name as Johnny Depp. So if the autograph says Mr. Depp then it was him.” The autograph did say, Johnny Depp. My coworkers were just being haters. No really. They were being haters.
Walking up to Johnny Depp took so many balls. With every step I took toward him, I started freaking out even more but I thought it was fate that I met him. Wasn’t it fate? Or was it just a coincidence? It is a popular mall.
This wasn’t the last connection with Pirates of the Caribbean that I had. I will explain more in next week’s Bla Bla Land post.