CCMag: Nelly Exceeded My Expectations- Telaine Cardea

As we grow into wise and caring adults, (uh humm, no snickering), we develop all sorts of expectations of people.  Expectations of our parents, spouses, children, family, friends, co-wokers, even fluffy the dog.  What I have found to be true over the years  is that when we have expectations of people, we are really missing out on the true beauty and true essence of who that person really is....and not the fake existence of who we expect them to be. 

I have had the opportunity to cover and be in the "private space" of a variety of celebrities and I am happy to say that more often than not, the celebrity persona that I have expected to see was replaced by the real person who went above my expectations.  

For example, when interviewing Nelly, famed rapper and philanthropist with the charity, "JustUs for Jackie" (His sister died from Lukemia complications) he was not taking off his clothes cuz he was "Hot In Here" or Using a lot of Country Grammar", he was the most polite and actually attentive young man I had come across as a journalist and my expectations of him were clearly transformed into something even more positive than I had already "expected."  

The same goes with my opportunity to interview NFL's Mr. Baltimore Ravens himself, Ray Lewis.  A week prior to my interviewing him.... I saw him on the cover of a sports magazine looking TOTALLY FIERCE and DESTRUCTIVE but upon meeting him in person at a charity event for Bo Jackson's Give Me  A Change Foundation, my expectations of him were vastly improved from the previous cover of the magazine I saw early in the week.  He clearly had a lot of respect and admiration for Mr. Bo Jackson and helping children is something that I learned is very important to him.  

Again, expectations that we develop about a person can truly block us for learning about or getting to know the real person, celebrity or non-celebrity.  Each encounter differs from one person to the next, but I have found over my years of covering celebrity charity events and just living life, that the less "expectations" you place on a person in the sense of being judgmental, the more pleasantly surprised you will be to have an opportunity to see the real person, not the person you expected to see.