A few weeks ago, I sat around a fire at the Arizona Biltmore and talked with a New York Times best selling author. This particular author, Maddox, I’ve been keeping track of since my high school years. My friends and I would send his hilarious rants about children’s artwork or hippies back and forth monthly- we hero worshiped him for daring to say what guys REALLY thought on the internet. I even have a Maddox t-shirt somewhere in my closet. Glancing back at my early writing, I was clearly trying to imitate his style and voice.

In person Maddox is friendly, down to earth and intelligent. I’ve been lucky enough to work for another famous blogger (and pioneer of fratire, coincidentally), Tucker Max. That opportunity opened up doors for me to engage with various other “personalities.” Based on those experiences, I’ll forever be wary of meeting anyone “famous.” You never know what you’re going to get.

My meeting with Maddox started because of an email. My relationship with Tucker Max started with an email. Both men are acutely aware of how easily their fans can get a hold of them. I’m always amused when people breathlessly ask me how I managed to track Tucker down. Well, clicking around his website was a start.

Just last week I started a dialog on Twitter with Dan Harmon, creator of one of my favorite shows, Community. Chances are, I’ll never meet Dan and he certainly could never pick me out of a crowd (much less want to meet me, I’m sure) but the access we (as a generation) have to interesting people is mind boggling. While Dan and I were just talking about issues of the day- I was still talking to Dan Harmon about issues of the day. Think about that. Want the viewpoint of someone you respect? ASK THEM.

Whatever your interest in ANY subject, person, place- track that person/expert down. Tell them you admire their work. Strike up a conversation. For me, it’s TV & film. I’m interested in how Dan Harmon views the world/Hollywood etc. Reach out- take the risk that someone will say No to you, because that’s the worst that will happen.

Sitting around that fire, not only was I learning from Maddox- I was able to have a real conversation with the George the person as opposed to Maddox the author. His was willing to talk about his successes and failures and some of the roadblocks I might encounter going forward. The conversation was one I won’t soon forget.

Last night I clicked Export on what I hope is the final draft of my reality show sizzle reel. It wasn’t a special moment. At the time I was second guessing many of my editorial decisions and playing out how conversations would go with the many people that needed to see my cut. This project is my first real foray into reality TV, but I’m the sort of person who cannot stand the thought of fucking up my own project. I’m entirely unforgiving of my own mistakes. And those mistakes (whatever they may be, I’m sure I’ll find out down the road) were weighing heavily on me last night.

Today though- it’s a good day to give myself the briefest of pats on the back. Your life and opportunities are what you make of them. Always say yes to that risk- whether it’s moving to Louisiana straight out of college to make a movie, a fireside chat with a blogger or just a random tweet.

You never know.