Someone asked me why I was part of the drive to get Alyssa Milano a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
It's really simple.
I was just like a lot of the fans Alyssa has. I liked her, I enjoyed her acting. I loved her on "Who's the Boss?", enjoyed the movies she worked on. I was a fan.
Then came Twitter. I was kind of a newbie to Twitter at the time, and I was browsing a website that listed "Twitter verified celebs". When I saw Alyssa's name, I clicked the link to her Twitter page. I noticed the caveat, "I tweet a lot..." She was actually one of the only people on my list of follows who actually Tweeted, so I got to read nearly everything she posted.
I quickly learned that following her was a great move, because I got to see a lot more of what Alyssa Milano was about. Here was a celebrity, a real, bona fide star, talking to fans. Interacting with every day people. And I would read the genuine happiness she brought to those she mentioned. Believe me, I have a couple of Tweets saved to my "favorites", and I'm not alone on that one.
But there was more. There were Tweets about Unicef, about Neglected Tropical Diseases. Then came the Birthday Drive to raise money for wells in underdeveloped nations.
I was hooked. I was having a lousy life at the time. A lot of the time, our misery is a result of dwelling on our own problems and just being plain selfish. So much can change in our lives when we learn to lend a hand where needed, to put the focus on others. You learn that there are countless people out there who are a lot worse off than we are. I got on board.
I had a blast during the time we all got involved in promoting "Romantically Challenged". I really started to feel like I was part of a great community. There were nights I honestly couldn't wait to get a chance to hit Twitter and get busy. It was a lot of fun, and I connected with a lot of really great people. But the most fun for me was realizing that Alyssa Milano never neglected to say "thank you" to everyone on her team.
But the biggest boost I got was from being involved in the philanthropy that Alyssa is involved with. I really saw her as a great team leader. Sure, it helped a little that she was ALYSSA MILANO, but when I shut off the light at night and walked away from the computer, I was regularly reminded of the adage about "one life breathing easier because you exist" and I really started turning my own life around in the process.
I can say a couple of things because I have actually been in her company for a short time. Alyssa is a Lady, she is gracious and gentle. Here I was, a grown, gimpy man, hobbling into the room with a cane in my hand, nervous, hoping not to make an idiot of myself, and this Lady greeted me with all the grace and elegance of royalty while at the same time presenting herself as a truly down to earth person. Believe me, I held on tight to my camera, and my autographed photo, but I held on more tightly to what will be a life-long memory of being treated ever so kindly.
Kind. It's what she is. That word can sometimes be very vanilla and commonplace until you've been on the receiving end of it.
I want us to get a Star for Alyssa because it is an honor she would never seek out for herself. I think it's an honor she richly deserves because she isn't just a face on the screen. In a world where some people use fame as a means to selfish ends, Alyssa is someone who has put it to work as a powerful tool to better the lives of people much less fortunate than herself. Yes, her professional accomplishments deem her worthy of that Star, and the humanitarian in her sure helps too. But for me, it's the fact that she inspires so many others to get involved, to do some good, that cinches the deal.
We're lucky, us folks in "Alyssa's Army" because we are on the team of someone who leads by great example. I think this Star campaign is the perfect tribute we can give to the BossLady.
I hope you agree. Let's get 'er done.