Is that?.... Could it be?... Oh, my God, Jean-Paul, it is...that's Michael Tilson Thomas!
If you're anything like us, and you're not, then you too have found yourself in the unenviable position of spotting Michael Tilson Thomas, the devilishly handsome artistic director of the New World Symphony, in public without being quite Howard Shore to approach a man of such class, charm, and erudite sophistication in order to ask for a selfie or some other bullshit.
Well, readers, it's time to stop Haydn behind a plant hoping MTT doesn't see you fanboying over seeing him in public. The Plantain offers this Howard Shore-fire (it's not lame if we use that joke twice, shut up) Listz of suggestions on how to best Handel meeting your musical and sexual idol with respect and grace.
Step 1: Congratulate yourself for knowing who Michael Tilson Thomas is and recognizing him by his ageless face. You are a member of Miami's intellectual elite, which is probably saying something, albeit less than it would in other cities Michael Tilson Thomas frequents.
Step 2: Don't be nervous! Michael Tilson Thomas is more afraid of you than you are of him. The classical music enthusiast community in Miami is very small, so being approached by someone who recognizes him that he does not already know may put Michael Tilson Thomas on edge. Accordingly, approach Michael Tilson Thomas slowly with open palms to assure him that you mean no harm and aren't a process server or something.
Step 3: Assess the situation. There is literally no situation in which it is inappropriate to approach Michael Tilson Thomas. Whether he is sitting alone at a table working on a composition, at the airport Karajan a complete set of Bottegga Veneta luggage, chatting with a group of well-dressed Europeans, or sneaking off for a Shake Shack hoping no one recognizes him or, if they do, mistakes him for Jeff Goldblum, you should feel free to approach him.
A common question people like you often ask is whether it is appropriate to approach Michael Tilson Thomas if he is in the bathroom. The answer is it would be perfectly acceptable, however, Michael Tilson Thomas has not "used" a bathroom in a conventional sense since the early 1980's and, even now, the only time he has been seen inside a bathroom is while on a private architectural tour by his good friend Frank Gehry.
Step 4: Dress appropriately. While there is no exact style guide to approaching Michael Tilson Thomas, experience dictates that the color blue calms his nerves and the color orange sends him into a sexual rage.
Step 5: Know what to say: Michael Tilson Thomas is a renowned conversationalist who can speak masterfully on nearly any topic. But he isn't going to want to waste all of his wit and charm on any old schmuck. Show him you are worthy of his attention by name-dropping a classical composer or two, but make sure it's not someone basic like Beethoven or Mozart. Pick someone a little more obscure and less Austrohungarian like Alexander Scriabin or Maurice Ravel to let Michael Tilson Thomas know you are one of him.
Step 6: Let him know you are a fan. From its days in the backroom of an H&M to its present location at Soundscape Park, the New World Symphony has entertained thousands of underdressed patrons over the years. Let MTT know you were one of them by complimenting a performance you've enjoyed. If you can't remember any specific performance, that's okay, since they sort of run together for him too. Just make sure you don't bring up those "PULSE EDM" nights because he doesn't much care for them and only begrudgingly allows them at the insistence of the NWS Board.
Step 7: When in doubt compliment his poodles. Michael Tilson Thomas can nearly always be seen towing around a few dogs. When approaching the star while he is accompanied by his dogs bend down and say "Who's the pretty boy? Who's the pretty boy? You are! Yes, you are! Yes, you are!" a few times before turning your attention to the poodles. Doing this will put MTT at ease because he will know that you think he is a very pretty boy, yes he is, yes he is.
Step 8: Don't take up too much of his time. Michael Tilson Thomas appreciates his fans, but also has a call with Tokyo in about 3-minutes and really has to go. He hopes you understand.