What if you could interview the celebrity of your choice for two minutes? Which celebrity would you choose? What would you ask? Recently I had just that opportunity.
First I had to decide who would I interview. Michael Douglas? No. Charlie Sheen? No. Dr. Phil? No. I wanted a celebrity with a connection to my world—motorcycles. Mel Gibson? Yes! He’s the one. He rode a motorcycle as Max Rocketansky in the Mad Max series and more recently as John Link in Blood Father. And I’d read that he owned a motorcycle himself.
Then I had to choose a few questions to ask him. One of my concerns as a motorcycle enthusiast and as a retailer of motorcycle gear has always been safety. That’s why I stock high-quality motorcycle gear and accessories. I’ve been even more concerned about safety since a customer told me that a Safety Tip in an Eagle Leather newsletter saved his life when he was caught in the rain. I wondered what Mel Gibson might bring to a conversation about motorcycle safety.
Okay, now I was about as prepared as I could be. Yes, I was nervous. Not only would I be meeting one of the most famous movie stars in the world, I’d be interviewing him in front of over a thousand people.
When I met Mel Gibson on the stage that day, he was wearing a dark suit and a pink tie. His hair and beard were shot through with gray. He shook my hand and looked right into my eyes. He was very, very genuine. I felt as though I knew him. So, it was easier to talk with him than I had expected, and I became less and less nervous as we talked.
Mr. Gibson told me he used to have a Screaming Eagle. He gave it to his son on his thirtieth birthday. I asked him what advice would he give to his kids or loved ones before riding a motorcycle. He said you gotta put a hat (helmet) on and wear some leather and stuff. Mr. Gibson said that he’s crashed and walked away but pointed out that picking gravel out of your backside is painful. He added that his son is a really good rider because he’s been on motorbikes since he was four. “He’s got all the protection,” Mr. Gibson said.
I wanted to ask Mr. Gibson what safety precautions were taken on movie sets. After all, they can’t have the star get hurt or scarred in an accident. Maybe I could get a tip to benefit my customers, but my time was up.
As I walked off the stage, I wished I had been more calm at the beginning and had time to ask about motorcycle safety tips from his Hollywood experience. But nothing could dim the exhilaration I felt. I’d met Mel Gibson. I’d shaken his hand. And he’d had a conversation with me, one motorcycle enthusiast to another.