April 4, 2024 at 1:21 p.m.

‘Blue’s’ fan was left without a clue

On the Line

So, I met Steve.

Steve Burns to be exact — the same Steve that starred as the original host with the same name on “Blues Clues,” the show that dominated a chunk of my childhood in the early 2000s. He spent a few days giving autographs and taking selfies with folks at Indiana Comic Convention at the Indianapolis Convention Center.

Although I’m normally a talkative, tell-you-my-life-story kind of person, I found myself at a loss for words. It’s ironic, considering he comes across as the kind of guy you can tell anything. Videos he has posted to social media in the last few years have become an open space for folks to talk about whatever.

I haven’t watched much “Blue’s Clues” in years. I’m not the target demographic anymore, and I don’t have children of my own yet. But some small part of me feels like Steve helped me come out of my shell.

I’m not alone in that thought process. Look online and you’ll see countless people sharing similar sentiments. Steve really connected with the audience — that’s why he was chosen for the role.

I watched him interact with several children at the comic convention, giving them his full attention as they shared their drawings and took pictures. He drew doodles in adult fans’ copies of his “handy dandy notebook,” making sure to carve out a few minutes for each interaction. None of the meet and greets were rushed in the slightest.

It’s my own fault I wasn’t prepared Saturday.

I noticed his line wasn’t as long as I anticipated, and I decided, why not meet Steve?

At Indiana Comic Convention, you select what type of interaction you’d like with the celebrity before approaching them. I chose a selfie with Steve.

As I approached Steve, I handed him my slip with the word “selfie” on it. He smiled, looked at the slip, and looked back at me. He waited a moment, as if to give me a second to speak. 

Nothing came out.

I handed him my phone, he took a few pictures of us together with different expressions, and he returned my phone.

I started searching for words. Something. Anything. I had no clue what to say.

Thinking back to our conversation, I had a few topics I could’ve mentioned.

His character, Steve, has made recent appearances in the “Blues Clues” franchise, returning from work as a “reporter.” Being a journalist myself, that would’ve been a spectacular ice breaker.

He’s also often caught on camera nowadays wearing a hat and large glasses. That’s kind of my go-to look … too bad I wasn’t wearing either at the convention.

Nothing noteworthy came to mind. Instead, I stood there awkwardly. At some point, something along the lines of “I loved your show as a kid” tumbled out from my mouth. I think he thanked me. I don’t really remember.

What impressed me — he understood. Steve turned to Justin, my boyfriend, who was watching all of this from the sidelines. He had noticed Justin’s t-shirt with a variety of Marvel comic characters on it.

We learned Steve really enjoys the “down-to-earth” superheroes. He mentioned some of his favorites are Daredevil, Ghost Rider, Vision and Giant. (To be honest, I only knew two of those, and I like to think I know more about Marvel than the average person. At least two of those characters weren’t on Justin’s shirt, either.) This was a three-minute conversation or so. The whole time my mind raced for something to say, but nothing came to me. I think in total, I may have said 10 words or fewer.

Despite being a wallflower myself, I’m glad he grabbed for the conversation starter. Who knew Steve had an interest in the lesser-known characters? Moreover, I was reminded Steve is a real person. He didn’t come across as some “holier-than-thou” or “more important than you” figure. He was just … Steve, a normal guy, talking to us about normal things. That’s all we ever needed him to be.

Looking back, it’s also no wonder our interaction played out the way it did.

I had years with Steve, but Justin never did — he didn’t start watching TV until he was older. Justin didn’t have the same “Blues Clues” experience as many folks our age did. Yet, in that moment, Steve connected with Justin.

It was very “Steve” of him, to put it simply.

“Now, get out of here,” Steve teased at the end of our interaction, ushering us out of the line with a heartfelt smile.

PORTLAND WEATHER

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