Monday, 12 April 2010
Stevie's report on Flyering Day
Image: How cute are these little MJ fans?
The day started off well, because the sun was shining and it was lovely and warm. This was a big relief to Jen & I, because we knew we were going to be spending 8 hours outside (on and off). Maria met us at St.Pancras and we went to her flat to drop off our gear, put our t.shirts on, chill n chat for a bit before going to a Moroccan restaurant in Covent Garden for some lunch.
We left the restaurant at 3.15 to make the short walk to the Lyric Theatre. We both expressed a certain amount of nervousness at this point, having never done anything like this before. We’d already planned our ‘speech’ but we were unsure if we’d be any good at it, would people want to listen to us? Would we get any negative comments? Would we be taken seriously? We arrived outside the front of the theatre and a lady came up to us, asking if we were Michael Jackson fans (the t.shirts being a bit of a clue I guess) and then she introduced herself as Mai1 from the forum! This was a lovely surprise and we all hugged and kissed our greetings.
Having handed Mai some flyers and badges we then stood there a little unsure. There was a group of people gathered, just chatting and I though “right, this is it, take the bull by the horns and just go for it!” so I approached them and asked if they were gonna see the show. When they said “yes” I asked if they would like to help get Michael Jackson to no.1 on the anniversary of his death. When they smiled and said “yes” I then went into a brief explanation of our campaign and they all seemed keen and interested. I gave them badges (something for free always goes down well!) and they went into the theatre looking at the flyers.
From then on it was easy. We got a good response largely; some people ignored us of course, some politely shook their heads, but a LOT of people were very interested. And some were absolutely dead keen and promised to download. At one point, the staff approached Mai1 to ask what we were about. After she explained to them, they took a bunch of flyers to display in the foyer!! RESULT!!
When the doors closed for the start of the performance we went off to get a drink (our mouths were so dry from all the talking) and then went back to get them coming out. Again, a largely positive response. We felt encouraged and very very pleased.
Surprise No. 1:
As we stood there for the start of the evening performance, we noticed a group of girls coming towards the theatre. All dressed in Michaelesque outfits, looking stunning. Of course we targeted them and shoved flyers at them. They said “we know about this campaign!, it’s been on our forum!” It transpires that they’re from PositivelyMichael and we all know each other (by username of course!). They introduce themselves – Dangerous, AnotherPartofMe, mjsPYT77, Aine, Julie and Clovermoss!! They have traveled from USA, Sweden, Belgium, Newcastle and Liverpool to all meet up for a few days in London, with a trip to Thriller Live during their meet-up. The squeals of delight coming from us all must’ve made bystanders wonder what the hell was going on!!
Surprise No. 2:
After our initial shock at this unexpected happy coincidence, Jen announces “That’s not the only surprise Squiff. I’ve got you a ticket for your birthday – we’re gonna see the show!”. OMG!! I was totally overwhelmed and actually became a little emotional for a minute. This day was just getting better and better!
We continued flyering until we really had to get inside, and watched an absolutely amazing, thrilling, emotional and uplifting show. At one point I was told to sit down by the people behind me. I reluctantly obliged for a couple more songs, but then when Billie Jean started, I thought f..k em!! And I stood up and danced with everybody else for the rest of show!
We had to make a VERY sharp exit at the end in order to catch the people coming out and continue our work. Surprisingly enough, the response in the evening wasn’t as good as the matinee but we decided people were probably eager to get home. We still got good vibes, just not as many as in the afternoon.
Jen & I made our way back to Maria’s armed with a celebratory bottle of White Zinfandel, reflecting on a good day and a job well done.