Note: In one of my “First Look At Convention” posts I introduced you to Matt Wall and let you know he would be bringing us a very special blog post. Here it is. Thank you Matt for sharing you unique Convention experience with us. — Lisa
When I think of this year’s 2010 USANA International Convention theme, I think excitement, energy, enthusiasm. But most of all, I think about literally breaking through the masses of people surrounding USANA Founder Dr. Wentz!
This is a photo of me during a Dr. Wentz book signing. If you could see what’s going on around me, you’d see that we’re being mobbed by lovely Associates all wanting signatures and photos. Oh, the life of a celebrity!
Hi everyone, my name is Matt and I’m Dr. Wentz’s assistant. In 2010 I experienced my first USANA Convention … and whoa, what an experience! Here’s how I heard Convention described in the weeks leading up to it: Craziness, sleeplessness, insanity, and hell week. So, needless to say, I was a little nervous.
In March, I attended the Las Vegas Regional Celebration, so I did get a tiny feel of what it’s like to be around Dr. Wentz and Prudence when Associates are dying to meet him. But I had NO idea what I was really in for.
First, keeping that man on a schedule is tough. He’s in such high demand. I schedule meetings, book signings, speaking engagements and more, all down to the minute. Then we squeeze in time to work on speech revisions, time to eat, brush teeth, sit down (if we can) and one of his favorite things — talking to and taking photos with Associates.
Sometimes we stopped for a Rev3. The sign on the table says “Rev3 $1.” I guess this one was on the house.
I’ve never seen such chaos! People literally pushing and shoving and even shedding tears just to see … my boss?!! I really don’t know how Dr. Wentz does it.
We would meet at EnergySolutions Arena in the morning for a quick hello and to make any last-minute changes to speeches he had for that day. As you know, he and Prudence sit on the front row during the general sessions. I stand in the wings and take care of any issues that might arise.
I also might take a photo or two with a passing celebrity, i.e. Ashlan Gorse!
Here’s Ashlan and me. She’s pretty much my new BFF. She thinks I’m funny. We talked about the upcoming Emmy Awards and how we’re better than Ryan Seacrest. We want to start our own show!
After the general session we try to make it backstage in a timely manner to grab a quick bite. Pete Van Duser, Dr. Wentz’s head writer, eats with us. There are always last-minute changes to various scripts and talks Dr. Wentz will be giving throughout Convention.
Pete works with Dr. Wentz on all his speeches. We even worked through our lunches. We couldn’t do it without Pete Van Duser!
If there is time, Dr. Wentz likes to greet the public. This is when I start to sweat. I don’t know if you can tell by the photos or if you happened to see me during Convention but I’m not a big guy (and I’m definitely no body guard!) But I can put people in a line and am able to take a photo with any type of camera and any type of cell phone, no matter what country it’s from.
When Dr. Wentz is out and about Jason Priestley could have walked by and people wouldn’t have even cared. Hello, it’s Dr. Wentz!! I don’t think you could go to another location in the world and see a man as adored and beloved. I have no words … well, I have a few more.
Before rehearsal, Dr. Wentz and Prudence caught up with David Osmond, who was so kind. He let me hold his keys, phone, and wallet while he performed during Convention. Wonder if he noticed his Yogurt Stop punch card is missing? Kidding! He really is a cool guy.
So the day goes on like this — engagement after engagement, fitting in signings and photo ops where he can before I put him in the car, shut the door, wave good-bye and let out a big sigh … only to get up and do it again the next day.
I must say, it WAS a crazy week! Was I tired? Yes! Was it insane? Yes! But it wasn’t hell; it was kind of fun. That said, I am glad it’s only once a year!