There are several types of crazy people. And in this business, you get to deal with all of them.
There are intense crazies. People who insist their story is super important, even though it’s not. People who call you repeatedly, begging you to cover their event.
There are angry crazies, who scream and yell until they get their way. Sometimes these people are also intense crazies.
And then there are just crazy crazies. I encounter these people alarmingly often.
Yesterday, I was walking to a shoot, holding my camera and tripod. A man walked by me, looked at me, and growled like a dog.
This isn’t the first time this has happened.
In one of my earliest assignments, I was sent to a really bad neighborhood right around dusk. Half the cars I drove by had flat or slashed tires and broken windows. It was so bad that I had to make the uncomfortable decision of whether to take my valuables with me, because I thought if I left them in the car, the car might be stolen or broken into. If I took them with me, I might get mugged. I decided to lock them in the trunk but take my cell phone to call for help if needed.
As I was walking to my shoot, a man walked past me. Suddenly, he turned and started barking at me. I wasn’t sure if it was some type of mating call or possibly a warning that he was about to attack. In case of the latter, I held my tripod out as if it were a weapon. That’s really one of the few upsides to having to carry it around everywhere–it serves well as a defense mechanism.
He finally continued down the street, deciding not to pursue me. I dashed off to my shoot, feeling grateful that I had not been attacked by a crazy person.
Besides menacing crazies, there are also friendly crazies. One time I was getting interviews and this woman who I asked for an interview spent 20 minutes talking to me (while holding my hand in a death grip) about how she was homeless, but god had a plan for her. Also she had started an Indiegogo campaign to get herself out of poverty, and she wanted me to put it on the news. She also went on a rant for about 10 minutes about how even though we had different skin colors, we were all of one blood, and that I was her sister.
After a while, it got pretty old. But at least she didn’t growl or bark at me, so I appreciated that.