I was standing in line at the rental counter in San Jose this weekend, waiting to pick up my car and begin my trip to Santa Cruz. Standing directly behind me were fans of my work, a husband and wife, who later explained that they didn’t say hello because they were in a debate over whether I was Matthew Dicks, the writer, or a member of Crystal Method, the electronic duo whose music has appeared in numerous TV shows, films, video games, and advertisements.
The wife argued that I was Matthew Dicks. The husband argued that I was a member of Crystal Method.
Naturally, as soon as I returned to my hotel, I searched for images of Crystal Method to see if I should be offended.
I’m not sure if I actually look like either of these guys, but at least they both look fairly ordinary and are slightly younger than me. Not a definitive victory, but at least they weren’t debating if I was Weird Al or a member of Flock of Seagulls.
I think it’s more tragic that my first chance to get recognized in public as an author didn’t happen because someone confused me for a pair of musicians who I had never heard of until this weekend.
My wife recently had a much better experience in terms of being recognized. As she was chatting with strangers in a coffee shop, she happened to mention that she was a teacher at our school. One of the women said, “Oh, you work at the school where that famous author teaches.”
“I’m married to that famous author,” Elysha said.
Elysha later told me that this was her favorite part of her day, despite the stranger’s inaccurate estimation of my level of fame (or lack thereof).
Much better than being mistaken for someone else.