May 7, 2014

In Which Kate Attempts To Be Businesslike...

So, I'm minding my own business watching a Kings game on TV when Patrick O'Neal announces that the LA Kings are putting on two seminars called "The Business of Hockey." I'm like, that sounds interesting. After the game, I check out the website and it sounds really interesting. For $80, they were offering two hours with panels of experts to talk about the business of hockey, two tickets to a game in a VIP box and an LA Kings pad folio and pen. 

All that for eighty bucks? HELLO. I signed up for both days.


But I was askeered when the big day arrived. I expected the event to be populated with a bunch of fresh, young college kids, mostly guys, armed with resumes and confidence. I was certain I'd be the only attendee over 50 and probably one of very few women.

When I arrived at the Regal Cinemas at LA Live where the seminars were to take place, I saw a ton of guys and a few women in full-on business suits. I felt like a fish, not only out of water, but like ten miles from the fish bowl.



I sat in front, because I'm short and even though the theater had stadium seating, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to see. The man I sat next to was very serious. He was in law school. He was about thirty years old and very pretentious. He was proud of the fact that he was the only one in class who ever answered the professor's questions. Yeah. That guy. I bet his classmates love him. Not a big conversationalist.

Anyway, while waiting for it to start, I realized the lock screen picture on my phone was set to display the cover of On the Surface, where Spectacular Bare-Chested Six-Pac Ab Man is drinking his water with his Adam's apple prominently displayed along with his erect nipples. (See sidebar.) Surreptitiously, I changed it to a picture of my Dustin Brown jersey.


Yeah, I know. I probably should have been proud...like, "That's right, Mr. Law School. This is the cover of my contemporary hockey romance novel. Smirk all you want." But I wasn't. I just wanted to fit in and absorb.

It was a great seminar. The opening video made me want to stand up and cheer. (Of course, I didn't, posing as the staid, unflappable "business woman." I think I was the only one who walked in holding a jersey I wanted Luc Robitaille to sign.) I learned a lot and was thrilled when Alex Curry actually asked the panel a couple of the questions I had submitted via the link emailed to the attendees. (Mr. Law School seemed unimpressed when I whispered, "That was my question!" to him.)

Both seminars were great, in fact. I took 9 pages of notes. Luc signed my jersey. I saw the inside of a VIP box. (It was dingier than I expected. Staples Center needs to spruce them up a little.) I learned a bit about agents and that whole side of the business. I learned that social media are playing a huge role in professional hockey right now. I learned that connecting with the fans is almost Job One, because fans buy tickets and drive TV ratings. I found it so interesting and worth every penny, even the $20 bucks I paid for parking.

So, a week or so later, I'm again minding my own business, watching the Kings Live pre-game broadcast and see a segment on the Business of Hockey seminar that I went to! And check it out. I'm in the video! Click here, then click on FS West Feature: The Business of Hockey (Part 1)

About 20 seconds in you'll see a row of heads in the front, then no head, then a bunch of heads. The no-head chair is me! I'm short, remember?

At minute 1:58, you'll see a woman with her head down, scribbling madly. That's me again! My little straw purse is at my feet.

Yeah, that's my claim to LA Kings fame. I was about eight feet away from Luc Robitaille. We breathed the same popcorn-scented air.

What a thrill. It was all worth those few scary moments at the beginning.

When was the last time you were scared and/or intimidated? How did it work out?

21 comments :

  1. Kate, that sounds like a very cool experience. Were most people there to make connections for employment with the Kings? Not a hockey fan, but I would totally do something like that for the L.A. Galaxy!

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    1. I think there was a lot of information that could be applied to a career in any sport, but they did focus on hockey.

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  2. Hi Kate,
    Fun blog! Can't really say I know a thing about hockey, but the experience sounded like a blast. Getting up close and personal with the sports team you admire is the BEST! I was once at a private dinner for my nephew and 4 other honorees, who won a rookie/scout of the year award for his bout in the minor leagues. Tommy LaSorda sat at the next table. There were less than fifty people in an exclusive restaurant at Angel Stadium and I was one of them! Oh, that VIP feeling... Congrats on getting in the video too! Yay to that!

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    1. Tommy is a pill, isn't he? He has dropped the ceremonial puck at the Staples Center and it's tradition for the person to shake hands with both captains, but Tommy always snubs the other team captain as a show of solidarity for Los Angeles. It's hilarious now that people expect it. I'm pretty sure someone gives the opposing captain a heads up.

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  3. Fun. What a fabulous opportunity for you to add to your research. And yes, I saw you on the video. Where you taking notes for the next book? ; )

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    1. I was taking notes for every book. LOL I have no plans for an agent or front office heroine since I feel that's been done so many times, but all the information helps me add verisimilitude. :)

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  4. You are so funny! As a former law student, I'm sorry you got stuck next to a lawyer-in-training, but it sounds like you had a great time anyway. Hmm...when was the last time I was scared or intimidated? I got my hair done this week at a fancy salon instead of my normal neighborhood place. I was very scared and extremely intimidated! But the hair turned out great. :)

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    1. I did have a great time. Any place dominated by women can be intimidating. Women can be more one-upsmen than men sometimes. I always feel judged in salons. I'm so glad you like your haircut. When I have a great cut, I always walk with a spring in my step. :)

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  5. Great blog, Kate! I don't know anything about hockey, but I have a couple of friends that live and breathe the game, so I can imagine how awesome it must have been for you. Honestly, everything you described is how I felt about my first national RWA conference. I hope to some day meet one of my idol authors. I haven't yet, but I'm sure when I do, I'll only manage to make a few incoherent noises that were meant to be real words.

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    1. Oh, I was definitely tongue-tied. I think I only said, "Um, Luc...?" to Luc as I held out my jersey. Two words. If you count "um" as a word. LOL

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  6. What a great blog, Kate! I am a Boston Bruins Fanatic, so I'd jump at the chance to go to a seminar like you did. Must have been fantastic. Tonight is game 4 against Montreal. The Bruins are down 1 game. I hope they tie it up tonight so they'll have home ice advantage on Saturday.

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    1. Ooh, Debbie, I am actually rooting against your Bruins because I don't want the Kings to have to face them in the third round. LOL However, the Kings are really playing strongly. I feel a second Cup win coming. I really do.

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  7. I tried three times to comment last night while on my phone. Here's hoping my PC does better.
    I am so impressed with your going way out of your comfort zone to do research. I think I felt super nervous like that the first time I dared to call myself a writer and show up at a RWA chapter meeting.
    Be sure to write off that fee!

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    1. Oh, you can bet it'll be a write-off! It's been really wonderful to be able to write off hockey stuff as a business expense.

      Good things happen when you put yourself out there. Look at YOU now! So many books published!

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  8. What a great experience, Kate! You can write off the $80 fee + $20 parking as "research" right? :)

    Leigh

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    1. And it was actually $188 altogether for both days and parking.

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  9. You so rock, Kate! I love that you didn't let your fear stop you from having this awesome experience.I'm so glad you had such a good time. I've been trying to push myself to do more things out of my comfort zone and you've inspired me to keep doing it.

    p.s. Go Kings!
    p.s.s. Did you know there's an old fashioned candy store in Carpinteria named Robitailles? I believe the owners are somehow related to Luke.

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    1. No, I didn't know that. I'll have to go there sometime!

      And pfffft. I admire the zeal of your fans. Hope I get fans with as much enthusiasm and creativity.

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  10. Glad you enjoyed the experience, Kate!

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    1. Thanks, Heather! They're doing it again next year if you live in the LA area!

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