Friday, December 29, 2006

Teenager Steamrolls Entertainment Industry

A month ago, the Teenager mentioned that he wanted to hold a fundraiser for his high school’s theatre department. “A rock concert,” he said. “With a name band and a big sponsor, like maybe Coca-Cola!”

Precious, I thought.

I might have worried when he told me he was invited to a meeting with the school district’s attorney, the superintendent of schools and his high school principal. But I thought the whole concept would blow over right then and there.

Who knew a 17-year-old could navigate the muddied waters of politics and regulations at a large public school district?

The concert is happening, and the Teenager's desk has turned into a flurry of e-mails and paperwork. There are budgets and contracts, and there are security guards to hire and sound systems to arrange. In between sponsorship negotiations with, yes, Coca-Cola, and a host of local businesses, radio stations and guitar shops, the Teenager debates whether to fly a name alternative rock band in from New Jersey, or hire an up-and-coming Phoenix band with a huge local following.

A momentary roadblock arose. Construction on the school’s auditorium was scheduled for completion after the concert date, which meant the lobby would be boarded up. How gauche. And where would the Teenager locate the sponsor’s booths?

The Teenager suggested to his school’s principal that the school’s construction schedule be rearranged to complete the auditorium lobby in time for the fundraiser. The principal agreed wholeheartedly. At a private tour yesterday of the half-completed lobby, the construction director explained to the Teenager how he had moved an entire crew off of the gymnasium construction onto the auditorium project so that the lobby could be completed a month ahead of schedule, just in time for the concert.

My mother holds a special place in her heart for the Teenager. For his fifth birthday (he was still called Pumpkin back then), she gave him cash and noted, "Pumpkin thinks a lot about money, and I think that's a fine thing."

I knew Mom would be pleased by Pumpkin's fundraising plans, so I called to tell her all about it. "Well, I think that's just wonderful," she said. "You know Alice Cooper has been very involved with the local schools here in the past. The Teenager should call him!"

"Omigosh, what a grand idea," I said. "And I might even be able to track down people who know his people!" Thrilled that I could make an adult contribution to the Teenager’s dreams, I called the young man right away. His reply?

“Oh, yeah, we already talked to him.”

“You… Alice Cooper?”

“Yeah. He’s got a charity for teenagers and he’s not going to play at the concert, but he's agreed to make an appearance.”

“Did you just say Alice Cooper agreed to make an appearance at your concert?”

“Oh, yeah. He’s pretty cool ya know.”

Yeah, kid. I know.


Adam Hurtubise said...

Holy shit, Elizabeth.

That kid is fantastic! You should be very proud.

If he can get Alice Cooper to come to his high school, do you think he could get a certain rocker from Jersey to call me?


mai wen said...

Holy holy crap, girl, I'm so impressed with your son. I'm also extremely jealous. I wish I had that much gusto and guts. Whenever I'm organizing fundraisers I get all nervous just calling companies for sponsorship, I'm a big wimp when it comes to asking people for things. You definitely did a lot right to raise such an independent and resourceful young man! I can see him going places!!!

P.S. When he's rich and famous, could you hook me up with an appearance from him at one of my fundraisers? Thought I'd ask now before it got awkward! :)

Elizabeth Krecker said...

Geez, I love you guys!! I'll work on all your requests. I'll get in touch with the Teenager's people. Oh yeah, I AM his people!

Mindy Tarquini said...

Your son really is amazing.

Elizabeth Krecker said...

M.G. If you want to know the truth, it's kind of scary. I'm afraid he'll grow up too fast. Not finish college because of early success. I hope he enjoys his youth, too.

And, Mai Wen, I can't take any credit. He came this way.

Buffy said...


I thought the Coca Cola thing was big.

Then I got to Alice.

Cooper rocks.

So does Pumpkin.

Jennifer said...

I had to link this on my blog. ( jippyjabber) I told a friends daughter that "Alice Cooper is not a joke" or I said something like that and apparently it's become a thing at her school..... Now I have back up.....Thanks! Sounds like your teenager is awesome!

Stephen Blackmoore said...

The greatest thing about Alice Cooper is the fact that he golfs. I hate golf. Seriously, I think it could be improved if every third ball exploded.

But here's Alice Freakin' Cooper out there on the links in full golf regalia. And somehow, he still manages to look like the devil. He doesn't care what we think. He likes golf and the rest of us can all go piss off.

So happy to hear you're son is doing great things. It says a lot, not just about him, but also about the supportive environment he's in that he can dare to do things because nobody's told him he can't.

Kudos to both of you.

Bill Williams said...

Hello! Hurrah!! Let the show begin...

Brett Battles said...

I can only add what others have already said....holy crap!

Anonymous said...

Wow!!!! What a kid! That is so amazing. Wow, I'm proud, and I don't even know him! You must be just bursting with it! You should be!

What does he want to be when he grows up? Ten dollars says he makes a huge success of it!

Elizabeth Krecker said...

Well, Spy Scribbler, the Teenager decided he wanted to be a film producer when he was 10 years old, and has not once since wavered. Who decides what they want to be when they are 10?

It's a crazy dream, but I haven't discouraged him. For some reason, I think he'll do just fine.

Now, if I could only get him to clean up his room!