Drew Seeley is a singer, a songwriter and an actor. And this multi-hyphenate is great at all three. Being such a creative talent meant that proposing to his girlfriend, Amy Paffrath (Mayday Amy from the Kindle commercial) couldn't be anything less than spectacular.
With Valentine's Day fast approaching many guys are sweating with anticipation because they'll be popping the question this Feb. 14th. While countless viral videos (all of which my girlfriend has seen... twice) showcase marriage proposals of epic proportions, some of those videos are infamous for their cringe-worthy fails.
On my podcast, Man School with Caleb Bacon,I recently sat down with the Emmy-nominated Drew Seeley to talk about everything from his proposal preparation to the big night. Though Seeley is best known for his musical contributions to the High School Musical franchise, his five tips aren't for teenagers -- they're for men who want to make the moment count (and make sure that moment doesn't find a home on a blooper reel gone viral.) And you can trust Drew because she said yes.
#1: Make It All About Her
"If you are both ready... it will be beautiful."
Let's be honest: Those 100-person flash mobs do a better job at highlighting the propose-er than the propose-ee (if those are, in fact, real terms). That's why Drew knew that his proposal had to be all about Amy.
"I didn't want the moment to just reflect me proposing," he said. "I wanted it to be more about her getting proposed to."
His plan was to be a surprise guest at the end of a comedy show that Amy was doing at a small theater in Hollywood. His pressed suit, bouquet of flowers and beautiful speech were well received by his smiling girlfriend.
"The proposal is the only thing that the guy has control over in the entire wedding deal. It is your one chance to make this moment stand out, not only for you but for her."
#2: Nailing The Speech
"I wanted the speech to be short and sweet, basically just tell her how I felt about her and promise her what I would do if she said yes."
Whether you perfectly recall your script of each loving word, or stage fright blanks your mind, according to Drew, the speech should be heartfelt and to the point. Ironically, this trained actor's prepared speech left his head as soon as he locked eyes with Amy. "It was harder than any acting job," he confessed.
#3: Recruit Your Friends
"I had the help of many people to make it perfect."
Drew couldn't have pulled off his proposal without the help of Amy's crew. These backstagers made his plan work flawlessly while keeping it a secret. He also strategized with their friends in the audience so that they were placed at different angles to take a variety of pictures and videos.
Don't go at it alone. Use others to your advantage. They'd love to help.
#4: Extra Credit
Champagne and flowers are a definites when it comes to proposing (at least, for couples who aren't allergic to either). In addition, Drew was able to call in a favor for some kind words from Amy's favorite band. So, now afiancéd, Drew and Amy turned their attention to the stage's video screen where they enjoyed a video greeting from Hanson (yes, that Hanson).
You don't always need friends in high places to help with a special bonus, but you should be able to come up with something that perfectly caters to the interests of your spouse-to-be.
#5 Know That You Are Ready
"Plan it out, sleep on it, make sure it is the right time for both of you."
The main piece of advice that Seeley offered was not rush to proposing. If you're ready, you're ready. And if you're not ready, you're not ready. At the time of this podcast interview, the couple was three months into marriage and going strong. This wasn't necessarily because of his awesome proposal, but because they were both ready to take their relationship to the next step.
Adam Carolla is a controversial guy. But I'd guess those people who think they know him haven't spent much time listening to The Aceman, whose fans know him as someone who has helped countless teenagers and adults through their troubles. That's thanks to his amazing ability to turn information into wisdom and make it entertaining.
On a recent episode of my podcast, Man School with Caleb Bacon, I asked Carolla to offer up some of that wisdom. However, instead of using callers to The Adam Carolla Show as a reference, I wanted to hear some advice based upon his own life. During that chat, he detailed two significant insights he's drawn from his fortysomething years. These two pieces of advice will help you towards a better life. Who doesn't want that? I know I do.
#1: Try New Things
Being the best at something shouldn't be your only goal. Just try something.
"Don't just be attracted to things you are good at," Carolla told me from his Los Angeles warehouse. "Turn your brain on and see how efficient you can be at something new."
He is also a big proponent of using fear as a guide: "That moment of fear means, 'I should probably do this,'" he said, before throwing in some levity. "Unless it involves a bear."
Instead of letting fear talk you out of something, let fear make you do something. "Maybe you are a dumb guy and someone says 'we are playing Scrabble.' The important part is that you tried it."
He was filled with fear when was asked to be on Dancing with The Stars. This handyman-by-trade has never been a dancer. However, he recognized his feelings toward this new world of dance steps and sequined outfits and he used that reluctance as a barometer for knowing that this was a good idea. The result was the positive feeling of walking through that fear and gaining many new fans (even though he finished in 8th place.)
Ultimately, opening up your mind to fear will lead to a richer life, full of experiences that you never would have even attempted. It sure beats standing on the sidelines and waiting for life to come to you.
#2: Learn That It's Not Them... It's Always You
Adam Carolla's next piece of advice was to internalize your life instead of externalizing it. That means swallowing your pride and admitting when you have messed up. He gave an example of getting your wallet, purse -- or, in Carolla's case, a fanny pack -- stolen out of your parked car outside of a movie theater.
His options to deal with this situation were:
"Say, 'this one is on me, maybe I shouldn't have left my wallet or purse in the passenger seat of the car, I will learn next time,'" he said. Because, "if you have nothing to do with it, then there is no wisdom to gain from it at all."
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