Not long ago, a colleague texted me to let me know they’d given my info to the assistant of a celebrity who was playing a show in town. Almost immediately after, I got a text from the assistant wanting an appointment for said celebrity that same afternoon. I got a little excited because I actually had an opening.
OMG, right??!!?? I could get a chance to massage a celebrity!!! Squee!!
The thing is, I was in the middle of giving a 90 minute massage when those texts came in. It was 55 minutes after receiving the texts, while waiting for my client to get off the table, that I even saw that I had these texts. By the time I could read and respond to them, another 10 minutes had passed. Usually I require 3 hours advance notice when booking an appointment, because of timing issues like this. But, if I can work someone in, I’m happy to fill an opening in my schedule; especially if it’s a established client or a vetted referral.
Anyway, the timing made it such that there was only 15 minutes between my initial response and the open appointment time. That’s not much time to get here, but most of the performance venues in my city are within a few blocks of my office, so there was a slight possibility that it might work.
Turns out they were at a venue a little farther away and wanted a 90 minute appointment. We went back and forth a few times. I was adamant about only having 60 minutes available but was willing to push the start time back 15 minutes as that would still give me 15 minutes between this one and the massage that would be following it. A massage, btw, that was scheduled 3 weeks ago by a long-time client.
Given their location, even that extra 15 minutes wasn’t going to be enough time to get here. The assistant tried flattery, “I hear you’re the best at…” When that didn’t work, they changed tack to a see-how-great-of-a-client-they’d-be… they-really-get-it kind style. Then, “I really want you two to connect. I have good intuition.” They indicated that they’d love to see me if I could re-arrange my schedule. I deferred each and every attempt.
I don’t blame the assistant for trying whatever they could think of. That’s literally what assistants get paid to do. I also get that planning for these things can be difficult when you’re a celebrity and on the road. But I’m at a place in my life and career where I maintain firm boundaries. Even still, I always feel a bit bad when someone wants a massage and I can’t accommodate them. But only a bit. As that old saying goes, “Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.”
Now, I’ve heard massage therapists tell of cancelling on an existing client in cases like this. Because… celebrity. I’ve never understood that mindset. Why cancel a local client to see an out-of-towner that will literally only see you once?
I understand the excitement of meeting a celebrity, I’ve met several myself. I’ve even massaged a few. But here’s the thing… at the end of the day, they’re just a normal person like you or me. They have a higher profile job to be sure. They probably also have more money. But someone’s net worth is a shitty reason to court them as a client. So is someone’s fame. So is the miniscule possibility that they’ll love your massage so much that they’ll recommend you to all their celebrity friends who will then flood you with appointment requests whenever they come into town.
When it comes down to it, it’s the people who live and work in my city that pay my bills. I’m happy to see a celebrity in my practice so long as I have an opening at a time that works for them. I will never cancel on my bread and butter for the promise of some temporary glitter. I don’t work that way.