When I was a dorky teenager, I was sort of thrust into the spotlight by Stand By Me and Star Trek.
I've written before about how weird the whole thing was, and how uncomfortable a lot of the attention made me, but it wasn't all bad; I got to do some cool things, and meet some cool people as a result.
Being a cable TV subscriber in the 80s meant that I watched a lot of Nickelodeon, so I was a fan of You Can't Do That On Television, Double Dare, Mister Wizard's World, The Third Eye, Dangermouse, and getting slimed. Because I was a kid, and because I was on TV, I was invited to lots of Nickelodeon events over the years, where I got to meet a lot of the people I'd seen on Nick (never got to meet Moose from YCDTOT, though, which was a bummer).
Once, I even got to host the Kids Choice Awards, where I met Bobby "The Brain" Heenan (Weasel! Weasel! Weasel!) and Debbie Gibson (I still get lost in her eyes, though it was painfully easy for her to shake my love.)
I really liked the people who worked at Nickelodeon, and I guess they liked me, too, because I was always getting invited to participate in things like this, which appears to have been filmed when I was 14, or right after I turned 15:
That's even more embarrassing than my Complete Dork Who Loves Batman picture (which was probably taken 6 to 12 months after this video was shot), because I am such a dork, bordering on obnoxiousness. 30 year-old me would have wanted to kick 14 or 15 year-old me in the nuts if he had seen that, but almost 38 year-old me is willing to give that kid a break; he was so excited just to be there, and he was such an awkward nerd, he really was doing the best he could.
Doing these things was so much fun, and I genuinely loved it at the time, though I really took for granted that I'd always be asked to do them. Over the years, as I faded from view and struggled, I regretted that I didn't appreciate them more (though I don't think I was capable of fully appreciating them at the time, being fourteen and fifteen and all) … so when things happen to me now, like getting to watch a private concert by the Barenaked Ladies from about 10 feet away – where Ed Robertson fucking namechecks me in a song – you can bet your Vorpal Sword I take a moment to be grateful, and take nothing for granted.
(Thanks to Joshua C who e-mailed the link)