Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Meeting Celebrities

My Dear Reader,

Am I the only one who shies away from meeting famous people? Like, I prefer to avoid it, if possible?

I'm probably weird for being this way, but I think that celebrities, famous people, should just stay on the computer screen. Even if I really, really like them. Even if I'm a rabid fan and I've watched every episode twenty times. I'd just prefer it if there was still a piece of glass in-between us, if you don't mind.

There is this awesome community theater that I liked to go to when I used to live in Utah. The shows were, for amateurs, fantastic. At the end of every show, they have this tradition where all of the actors stand, in costume, by the door so they can talk to you as you leave. Most people love it. I, however, find it horribly, horribly awkward.

I don't really know why I feel this way. I guess part of it is the fact that I honestly believe that anything any famous person does while they're off-camera/stage is absolutely none of my business. Do I absolutely love Captain Kathryn Janeway? Yes. Do I need to know what Kate Mulgrew ate for breakfast? No. I mean, if she really wants to tell me, I'll listen. But, you know, that's her thing.

Part of it is probably that I want to protect the idea in my head of who they really are.

Another part is that I tend to be extremely awkward in those kind of situations. I always tell myself that they're human and that they occasionally throw up,* like the rest of us, but then I meet them and I'm like, "I saw them! They do exist!" I've been star struck by people in a student play, so I'm pretty sure I'd be hopeless in front of someone big. I'd just come off as some kind of idiot.

The only exception I made to this was when I met Orson Scott Card. I hadn't read any of his books at the time (I have since, and so should you), but I had this idea that he was a writer, and I wanted to be a writer, so maybe being in his presence for a short time would open up a psychic portal in which everything I would ever need to know about authorship would be transported directly into my brain. That didn't exactly happen, but it ended up being an okay experience. I wasn't a fan yet, so I didn't have a mental image to shatter, and I think I handled myself pretty well. I don't think it was the greatest experience of my life, but I respect the man.

So, you know, I'm a big fan of a lot of people. They don't need to meet me, though. I'm perfectly happy being a drop in the bucket of fans, faceless and indistinguishable. I don't need to write fan letters, or put my hand out for them to touch. Getting an autograph might be cool, but you know, not necessary. I guess I just prefer to meet people when I'm on an equal basis.

So, all I'm really trying to say is that I'm just waiting until I'm just as famous. Watch out, Kate!

(Just kidding.)

Regards, best wishes, and fandom,

-Cecily Jane

*I use this example because it's impossible to be intimidated by someone who is throwing up. Just imagine what you would do if you ran into Abraham Lincoln throwing up, for example:

Running into Abraham Lincoln normally: awe inspiring!

Running into Abe throwing up: ummmmm, can I get you a napkin, buddy? You've got just a little chunk right there on your beard . . . uh, yeah. I think I just heard my friends call me; I'll go see if they need me. Way over there. Yeah, see ya. Good luck with . . . that.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, I don't really like meeting celebrities either, mostly because I have no idea what to say to them. I'm afraid of looking like an idiot because I either love them too much or I don't like them enough to say anything that's both intelligent AND positive.

When I met David Sedaris, I was fortunate because he basically carried the entire conversation, even if the stuff he said was wierd. "You're a Virgo, aren't you?" "OMG Have you seen the movie UP?" "Are you gonna breastfeed your kids?" "I wanna give you my hotel shampoos as a wedding gift!"

The thing is, no matter what you've seen or read about these people, they are essentially still strangers that I have no real business talking to. Like, I randomly saw Justin Timberlake when I was in Paris, and i found myself staring because I was trying to remember where I knew his face from. He noticed me looking at him, and he stopped for a second because he thought I was going to say something to him. But really, what was I going to say? "Hi! You don't know me, but I had a huge crush on you when I was in fifth grade." Not likely.

lawlesseyes said...

I had to chuckle reading this. I have met Kate Mulgrew and she is as down to earth as you can get. I was all nervous and hoping not to sutter or make a jack-a$$ of myself. Well, she walked right up to me and shook my hand and introduced herself! Like I had no clue who she was. LOLL. Then asked for my name and said it was a pleasure to meet me. Took the time to chat with me. I have met a few other actors and singers and I have to say, if you have the chance to meet Kate, do it. She is 'Kate' when you meet her. Hard to explain, she's not putting on a performance.

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