Like any young person who has pretensions of being an artist, I had always wanted to move to New York City. The city was the epitome of cool, a gathering place for the creative and talented (it’s also a gathering place for the broke and manic depressive but you don’t find that out until you move there). New York had loomed large in my adolescent imagination; it was where I would meet Annie Leibovitz, I would be “discovered”, have a photography show in a gallery and shoot the cover of Vogue magazine.
The dream of moving to the Big Apple was put on hold for a while but it was always in the back of my mind. Over the years I would visit New York and, each time I went, it reinforced my desire to be there. On one particular trip, I had stepped out of a store when I saw a woman across the street that looked oddly familiar. I couldn’t be sure who she was so I started following her down the street. I followed her for over 3 blocks. She was walking along with some guy and when she turned to talk to him, I caught a glimpse of her face. At that moment, I ran across the street, grabbed that guy’s arm and asked him, “Is that ANNIE LEIBOVITZ?!!” Yes, it was her! She looked wary but kindly shook my hand as I babbled on about how much I admired her work.
Later on, I would refine my New York-tough-and-jaded attitude but that day I was a raving fan, a photography groupie.
As ridiculous as it sounds, I thought that meeting and talking to such an iconic person was a sign I should move to New York. It showed me the possibilities of what could happen and who I could meet.
A year later, I moved there.