Meeting Your Heroes – Rick Mercer visits campus

They say don’t meet your heroes. Well, forget that, because I got to meet mine yesterday, and it was awesome!

I’ve been a huge fan of Rick Mercer since I was little. Starting with This Hour Has 22 Minutes (Talking To Americans is my favourite thing in the world!), and moving through The Mercer Report, I ADORE everything he does, from the rants to dates with Jann Arden. When I’m having a rough day, I pull up his videos on YouTube and giggle my way into turning that day into a good one.

You’re watching the Mercer Report on CBC – UVIC!

So when I woke up on Halloween morning to see a post on the UVic Facebook page that announced my hero Rick Mercer would be on campus, and wanted to meet with students, I jumped out of bed and booked it to campus as fast as I could.

By the time I arrived, my face was flushed with excitement, and I had to talk myself down from the feelings of awe. I ran to the Petch Fountain, and anxiously awaited his arrival, along with tons of other students, staff, and faculty. When he finally arrived, it was a mad dash to get to meet him.

Somehow (and I still can’t quite figure out how this happened), I ended up standing right beside him for the “bumper shot” – where we all announced with pride “you’re watching the Mercer Report on CBC – UVIC!”

Now, there’s another part to this story that I haven’t mentioned yet – I hate crowds. When I’m in a huge crowd of people, I get shaky and anxious. I don’t like the feeling of being pressed forward, like I’m sharing the air with dozens of others, like I can’t escape. So at the end of the “bumper shot” when everyone pressed forward to get their chance to be interviewed, or to snag a selfie, I tried my best to participate, but eventually had to step away. I accepted that I missed my chance, that I wouldn’t get a selfie, but at least I got to stand beside him. That, for me, was going to have to be enough.

But it’s funny how things turn out sometimes. See, I happen to work at the Welcome Centre as a tour guide – and I knew that Rick and his crew would be returning to the Welcome Centre for lunch. I thought maybe I would head over, and maybe I would get one more quick peek at him before he left. And as it happened, that’s how I ended up getting my picture with him after all.

I had the amazing honour of meeting him, and presenting him with a little thank-you gift from all of us at UVic. I got to shake his hand, and let him know how much I appreciated the laughs, and thank him for coming to UVic and hi-lighting some of the amazing things this university has to offer. I got to meet my hero, I got a picture, and it was amazing. And for the rest of the day, I couldn’t stop smiling.

It’s amazing how we attach these feelings of awe to celebrities or people we admire – it’s almost like we worship them. Throughout the whole day, I had to keep reminding myself that he’s just a person, that he is just like everyone else. But really, that’s only partly true.

Yes, he’s a person, but he brings such joy to all of us. He makes us laugh, and makes us happy. When someone can turn your day around, it doesn’t matter if they’re someone you’re close to or someone you’ve never met – they are a type of hero to you. So if you ever get to spend any amount of time with that person, take advantage. Let that person know just how much they mean to you, and thank them.

So, once again, thanks Rick. Thanks for the laughs, the kindness, and for visiting us here in Victoria. We sure are going to miss you!

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