Anyone you ever wanted to meet was alive and well at the iconic tech arts culture show

Martine Paris
Aug 14, 2018 · 4 min read

1. A man walks onto the elevator

I just thought he was indie. He smiled. I smiled back. We were alone. “How’s your SXSW?” I asked making polite conversation. “Playing Stubbs tomorrow night with Dr. Pepper’s Jaded Hearts Club Band,” he said with excitement. “Fun! What is that? A Beatles cover band?” I said. “Yeah, not Muse,” he said as he followed me off the elevator. Not Muse? What is he saying? “Muse covers?” I asked. He laughed, “Muse the band,” he said staring at me like how do you not know who I am. “You mean like the guy engaged to Kate Hudson?” I asked, clueless. “Yeah, we broke up” …

2. Someone feed this man

There he was, one of the great pioneers of modern communication, the founder of Twitter, Medium and Square, Ev Williams, tucked away in a tiny conference room blocks away from the convention center, speaking to a handful of attendees on the narrow topic of advertising. He had been booked at the same time as Dakota Fanning and other industry luminaries, and few even knew he was at the show. There were so many things I wanted to ask him. He agreed to a quick video interview, then took my phone, looked into the camera and said, “Two words, FISH TACOS!”

3. Andy Roddick tweeting Me, literally

4. Tracy Morgan cheering me up

Actually all he said was, “Where’s the bathroom?” I was upset I had missed the red carpet for “The Director and The Jedi” but with infinite options on the hour, SXSW is one of those shows where sometimes you must choose sleep just to stay alive. “You’ll catch Mark Hamill next time,” friends said, “Join us for drinks!” and as serendipity would have it, upon arriving at the Four Seasons, Boom! Tracy Morgan.

5. Gotta catch ’em all

At the CNN party, legendary war correspondent, Christiane Amanpour was on hand promoting her new series, “Sex and Love Around The World” and W. Kamau Bell was there for “United Shades of America,” but the rarest of Pokemon turned out to be Jake Tapper, who had given a selfie in a white Westworld hat to a drunk girl in the bathroom. She urged me to find him to complete my set but I was lame and tired, and just couldn’t do anymore. I went back to the JW and my friends went on to Antone’s. Of course, minutes later they sent a text with a pic of the news anchor, or his doppleganger, getting a shot of the band…

6. When director and star cuddle right behind you

What do you do when the director and star of a movie you are watching are sitting right behind you, coupling, giggling, and their movie is just awful? Do you sit through 73 minutes of cringeworthy bathroom humor while missing out on Bishop Briggs, or do you join the hoards of attendees walking out. I couldn’t do it and wound up watching the plotless stoner film until the end. Digging deep to find something nice to say about Paradox, I turned around to Neil Young and said, “It was great!”

7. Winning SXSW

“FOMO is so severe here that even taking a minute to eat this muffin means I could be missing Jeff Goldblum by the elevator.” I told the lady in the lounge. “I’m so ready to go home. I can’t do another celebrity, I can’t party anymore. I’ve never been this fatigued in my entire life.” Sympathetically, she nodded her head. Then I said goodbye, opened the door and ran right into…

“Jeff Goldblum!” I exclaimed as he gasped, ducked, and gripped his chest, “If I selfie with you, I win SXSW!”

“Haha, sure” he said, then hummed a song as we took this, my final pic of SXSW 2018.

Originally posted in BuzzFeed Community, April 16, 2018, by me!

Future Times

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Martine Paris

Written by

Freelance tech reporter covering AI, consumer tech, crypto and blockchain for Fast Company, The FinTech Times, Pocket Gamer and more

Future Times

From your epic ride in a flying Uber, to defending hacks from your coffee maker, to the coolest robots in town, FutureTimes brings you the founders, funders and innovation making sci fi a reality.

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