I am not a star chaser. I don’t watch tabloid TV or read the magazines at the check out.I do not get celebrity crushes. I mean, I will if I have to. If I am pressured by friends to pick a celeb I LOVE I can. But it isn’t going to be your average Brad or Leo. But that doesn’t mean I don’t LOVE to play 6 Degrees….ya know, where you know someone who knows someone who knows someone famous. I LOVE doing that. I also LOVE to spot “celebrities” on the street.
ESPECIALLY when I visit New York City. That is my favorite all time game. I find people who could pass for celebrities and I get all excited and tell who ever is with me “LOOK!!! There’s Richard Dreyfuss!!!” or “Aretha Franklin on your left!!!” or “Captain Hook coming through!!!!”. When I first started doing this I was with a group of my students who I had convinced that we were sitting next to Leonardo DiCaprio in costume for his next big role as a homeless guy. As we exited the subway I turned around and yelled to my kids “It’s the guy from American Idol!!!” “WHERE” they yelled excitedly….”OVER THERE NEXT TO TINA TURNER!!!!” “WHO’S TINA TURNER????” they yelled back which about killed me!! I HAD to think of some new references if I was going to be traveling with these young kids…
That trip with my students I spotted Johnny Depp, L.L. Cool J (who I do seem to spot alot when I am in NY), Eminem, Harry Belafonte and Geena Davis. Now, did I really see these stars or did I just see people who kind of resembled these stars I will never know. I never approach famous people. I don’t want their autograph, I don’t really care at all to break the illusion that these famous people are more than human. They live on the movie screen or tv and so I will keep them at arms length. I don’t want to know that they smell funny, have blisters or runny noses. I like my celebrities pristine and at a distance. That is why I don’t read or watch their life story on A&E. None of my business. But if they are going to put themselves on the same street as me I am going to make sure who ever is with me knows.
My students eventually caught on to my silly game. And they started pointing out celebrities. That was funny!! They were pointing out characters from movies like “There’s Forrest Gump!!” or “There’s Leighton Meester!!!” I had no idea who that was… some girl who likes gossiping or something…but the kids seemed excited.
But the following summer, I was in the city with my BFF. We were lost in Brooklyn after me playing my “I see famous people” game all day and her not playing along. We were having a good time being lost at almost midnight looking for a club where a friend was having a record release party, when all of the sudden, these two incredibly handsome guys on bikes were in our path. We decided to ask these beautiful men if they know where this club is. And as we approach, I realize that one of the men is Murrary Bartlett who played Cyrus Foley on my soap Guiding Light!!!! I grab my BFF and whisper “he’s on my soap!!!” Ofcourse she doesn’t believe me. And these guys were so incredibly attractive that she couldn’t even look directly at them. Me, I was flirting shamelessly with Cyrus, I mean Murrary. They gave us better directions and we went on our way. But I did turn around and look him deep in the eye (as the music swelled and the camera came in for a tight shot) and said “I LOVED you on the show….” To which he replied “Aw, thanks!!!” and I turned back around and ran right into a street lamp. I walked it off though, it was all ok.
I didn’t take a picture with him or get his autograph because I am not one of THOSE people. My BFF did NOT believe me because all the way from the Bronx to Brooklyn I had seen every single star I could think of to name (and a few I couldn’t…I would just point and say “FAMOUS PERSON!!!!”) She refused to believe me. And after we got home and I googled him and showed her…she still didn’t believe me because she never looked at them because she was terrified if she did she would be overcome with carnal desire and embarrass herself. HOW FRUSTRATING!!! I finally have a meaningful conversation with an actual famous person (shut up…soap operas totally count) and no one was going to believe me!!!
I told my students and they were less than impressed. Sometimes it is so hard to be me.
I just went to the city with my other BFF and my 16 year old and her BFF. We all played the game together. I saw Mia Farrow and Janet Jackson and Soupy Sails and Bruce Willis. It was AWESOME!!!!! Kenny G played Happy Birthday for my 16 year old and Enrique Iglesias was our waiter (he was kind of an ass though, but nice eye candy) I kept referring to him as Ricky Martin.
There is no reason why NY can’t be filled with famous people. There is no reason why I can’t point them out. You should too. It makes waiting in line for hours to get lunch or tickets or a subway much more tolerable. They are there, just waiting for you to spot them. Just don’t get all weird about it. Point and whisper, do NOT approach and ruin the illusion. And if one of the celebrities gives you directions when you are lost, watch out for lamp posts.