Sunday, 11 October 2015 16:57

Saved by a (not so) simple hero

Hollywood photographer Peter Tangen outside the TEDx Limassol venue Hollywood photographer Peter Tangen outside the TEDx Limassol venue

Actually it was not all that dramatic, but mentioning it was jokingly suggested to me by no one less than the man who has photographed most of Hollywood’s superheroes.

In my preparation for my articles about the TEDxLimassol conference entitled ‘True Heroes’, I had been thinking a lot about what makes a hero. As a passionate hobby photographer, I was intrigued by that fact that Hollywood photographer Peter Tangen was coming all the way from LA to talk about just that. I had asked the organisers for an interview, which was granted for the day of the event, making me feel like a teenager about to meet her idol.

The evening before the ‘big day’, I had arranged to meet a friend at a café just outside the Rialto Theatre and by chance found out that there was a TEDx rehearsal going on. So I kept an eye on the main entrance, just in case… And suddenly there he was! Hollywood superhero photographer Peter Tangen, whose TEDx poster I’d been sharing on social media.

Never having been shy about talking to strangers, I literally pounced upon him – and we immediately got on.

As I attempted to take a picture of him in front of the TEDx poster, I only just managed to notice a car I was stepping in front of. Still, my gracious interviewee warned me and with his outstretched arm stopped me from stepping further into the street, laughing, “See? I already saved your life!”

Having thus already briefly met him, I continued my musings about heroes – the ones in the movies Peter Tangen gets to meet, and the ones we all get to meet in real life. “Surely this guy simply loves people…” I decided in the end. Because, after all, that’s what life is all about: interacting with people in a positive way.

Not having grown up with the very American ideal of superheroes like Batman, Superman and Spiderman, I’ve always considered the term ‘hero’ to be a quite everyday term. As a generally enthusiastic person, I like to use the word ‘awesome’ for people and saying things like ‘What a hero you are!’ just because most people really are impressive in one way or another.

On Saturday, having listened to the TEdx talks and interviewed Peter Tangen, I – and surely the entire audience – was reminded, that it really is not the big things, but the small ones, the acts of kindness and compassion, that turn us all into everyday heroes.

In addition to lots of inspiring presentations, I got to walk away with lots of inspiring personal stories shared during our interview by this man who so fantastically represents what being a ‘hero’ is really about.

As he hugged me goodbye – he’s the kind of person who instantly feels like a good friend – he said, “Continue smiling and continue doing good things!” which actually is all we need to do to be everyday heroes. It is that easy!

Article as published in The Cyprus Weekly of October 9th 2015 


Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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