Almost Famous With Anne - Montclair, NJ

"You have one new message," my voicemail informed me as I left work on February 2. Absentmindedly, I began to listen to the message. Suddenly, I heard something that sparked my interest quite a bit!

"...Jewel...winner...New Jersey...TOMORROW!

I hate to admit it, but it's true: I had completely forgotten that I had entered the Almost Famous contest. I never thought I'd have a chance at winning, so it had drifted from my mind. My first response to learning that I'd won was slight disbelief and then laughter! How was I fortunate enough to win a chance to meet Jewel?!

After returning the call and confirming that I would most definitely be there, it started to sink in that this was the opportunity of a lifetime!

My husband, Dan, and I left our home near Hershey, Pennsylvania around 3:00 p.m. on the day of the concert. As we drove, I tried to think about what I'd say to Jewel. I had written down a few ideas, but I didn't want to plan too much because I knew that would make me more nervous. About three hours later, we arrived at the theater (fortunately in one piece after driving through some beautiful but slightly scary winter weather).

We had plenty of time to check out our great seats and try to relax for a bit before we got to meet Jewel. I kept watching the clock to make sure we wouldn't be late to the meet-and-greet.

At the designated time, we waited in an RV with the other meet-and-greet fans. Apparently, the small theater didn't have a backstage area, so we'd all be meeting Jewel in this tiny RV! After everyone else got his or her photo taken with Jewel, my husband Dan and I got to meet her. Dan video recorded my conversation with Jewel. Before we got there, I was slightly terrified that I'd be incredibly nervous once I actually sat down and started talking to her. ...But I was pleased to discover that I was wrong! Like everyone else has said about meeting Jewel, she is so laid back and down-to-earth, that it's hard to not feel at ease ( least slightly at ease!). She was very polite, and she made me feel like she was generally happy to answer my questions.

Even though Jewel did not make me feel rushed during the interview, the time I spent talking with her is sort of a blur. It happened so quickly! I sort of made a little bit of small talk about recently getting married (she and Ty and Dan and I); I told her that Dan and I went to Alaska on our honeymoon. I asked her how she relieves stress while touring because she has such a crazy schedule. She said it's busy, but she finds time to write songs and exercise. She told me about yodeling - learning at a young age and watching her dad yodel. When I asked about her favorite book, she gave me quite a few! Some of them include: Pablo Neruda's Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair; The Queen's Conjuror by Benjamin Woolley; and books by David Sedaris. I asked her about the Project Clean Water organization that she founded, and I mentioned that I support an organization called LIFE Outreach International that does something similar. I told her that I admire how she does her own thing rather than fitting into just one genre. She said it's like having different only makes sense to make different kinds of music because we change so often; why should our music stay the same?

Meeting Jewel made me really appreciate who she is and her music a great deal more than I already had. At the end of my little interview, Amy, who works for Jewel, stopped us by suggesting one more photograph. I said, "Whew! I just ran out of questions!" (Meaning that she ended it just in time because I was nervous about what to ask next.) Jewel must have thought I said, "I'm not out of questions," because she said with a smile, "Oh, you can ask me more questions then!" That comment showed how laid back and friendly she is.

My only regret is that I forgot to have her sign my CD that I had brought with me. I forgot to have her sign anything at all! Oh well, it doesn't really matter...I'm just thrilled that I not only got to see her in concert, but I also met her in person!

The concert was great; she sang for about 2 and a half hours nonstop. Dan and I really gained a new appreciation for her amazing voice and songwriting ability. Seeing her live was awesome. She told stories and gave the audience a chance to ask her questions and request songs. We're actually about to go see her again in just a few hours. (We bought tickets to the Lancaster, PA show, so we get to see Jewel two days in a row...How fortunate are we?!).

I would like to thank Jewel and everyone who works for her who helped make it possible for me to meet her. I really felt spoiled...thank you so much! :o) Click here if the video above didn't work for you.