I do not get star struck by celebrity. Strike that. Rephrase. I have yet to get star struck by celebrity. There is, perhaps, a famous or well-known individual on this planet that could render me speechless should we come face-to-face. I can’t think of anyone at the moment worthy of eliciting such a reaction, but it could happen. Not likely, mind you. I simply don’t put that much stock in fame.
There was no defining moment in my life where I decided not to act like a total loon when confronted by celebrity. I mean, they shower naked too … just like me. They just have much cooler jobs. Why in the world would I want to make a total ass out of myself by jumping up and down and squealing, “Oh my God!! You are so-and-so! I absolutely LOVE you!” First of all: I don’t jump up and down for anyone. Secondly: I don’t squeal. Ever. Thirdly: Celebrities already know who they are. The endless “you are so-and-so” reminder from rabid fans has got to get exhausting.
There is also the humbling reminder, should I meet a celebrity and even interact with said individual, that he/she will likely have no memory of me the next day.
“What is fame? The advantage of being known by people of whom you yourself know nothing, and for whom you care as little.” ~Lord Byron
I like me, but I am just not that memorable. Why is it we remember them?
Stephanie Powers was my first celebrity sighting. No surprise. She waltzed into a well-known Nairobi dining spot while I was having dinner with my family. My reaction was something akin to, “Oh, well, look at that. It’s about time.” Stephanie spends a large portion of her time living in Kenya as she is highly involved with The William Holden Wildlife Foundation. The odds were quite favorable that I would see her one day. Now that I think about it, I would enjoy having tea with her.
I was hanging out at the British Airways Executive Club in Heathrow Airport once … I wasn’t supposed to be there but I have a knack for talking my way into places I don’t necessarily belong. I even managed to con British Airways into adding a complimentary hotel stay to my ticket (on a separate excursion) when my layover was excessively long. It’s a gift, but I digress. There I was in the airport lounge, drinking my coffee and perusing my reading material when Telly Savalas walked in. My reaction (said in my brain to myself), “You really are one bald dude!” At some point we topped off our coffee simultaneously. He said, “Hello!” I said, “Hello!” Strangely enough, we actually boarded the same flight … in very different classes. Him? First. Me? Coach.
It would seem that airports are a fine place for meeting people. I spotted Bill Nye the Science Guy in the Richmond, Virginia airport. He was alone with no one else about which is probably a testament to my total geekiness in being able to identify the man. But, in my defense, Big K was in Kindergarten at the time and absolutely loved Bill’s television show. SO … being the good parent, I approached and asked for an autograph for my child (which he still has eight years later). He obliged. We stood and chatted while waiting for our luggage. Mine arrived first and off I went.
I saw Sandra Bullock once while she was filming a scene for the don’t-bother-to-ever-see-it-movie Premonition. I was on a business trip and we (my coworker and me) had heard via the talkative front desk personnel at the hotel that she was in town. I actually got to see her filming the same seen at least three times because, at the mercy of my Sandra Bullock obsessed “I’ve never seen a celebrity” coworker, we circled the block thrice … just to get another look. She was driving and I was trapped in the vehicle. That’s ten minutes of my life full of, “Oooh! There she is again!” comments that are lost forever.
And then, in one fell swoop, I met Paul Rudd, Dash Mihok, this guy, and several other “I know I’ve seen you in a lot of random movie bit parts but I have no idea what your name is” pseudo celebrities. They were staying in my hotel or simply hanging out in the lobby. Whatever. It was 2008 and we bonded over the fantastic (into overtime) NFC Championship game between the New York Giants (23) and the Green Bay Packers (20). I was the only person in the hotel bar hoping for a Green Bay win (as the Giants had stomped on my Cowboys the week before and I was still bitter) and I took a lot of abuse from those celebrity boys. A lot, but it was all in good fun. Throughout the night girls came and went requesting autographs and pictures. I have none of that stuff. I was content to not buy my own drinks and shoot the breeze during commercials.
Impressions? Paul Rudd is a nice guy. Short, but nice. Dash Mihok is a bona fide arrogant a-hole, but I do remember his name now as opposed to referring to him as “Benvolio” forevermore. The real riot of the evening was “this guy” whose name is Glenn Plummer. He is a genuinely awesome person and I am glad I no longer have to refer to him as “the jaguar dude from ‘Speed’” or “the homeless dude with the dog from ‘The Day After Tomorrow.’” Do you think any of them remember me? Probably not. You know what? I’m okay with that. I have other nights from other places with other no-name people that are just as fresh in my memory. The celebrities did not make the night memorable. The events did.
There are a few more, but none of them a good story make. What about you? Anyone on this planet you would go absolutely gaga to meet? Or, more interestingly, have you already made a fool of yourself when faced with the famous? Do tell!