Monday, March 13, 2006
The Celebrity Factor
I must admit; I'm often envious of Randi of Cruisin' Mom and Danny of Jew Eat Yet? These people drop names in their posts the way I drop soup mandlen into a hot bowl of chicken soup...they float around a while, then expand.
These two folks can sit in an eatery, lean over to the next table where some A-list or B-list celebrity is seated and say, "Can I please borrow your ketchup?" or "What kind of omelette is that you're having?" or " Excuse me, but aren't you _________? I love that movie_________ you starred in during the post-war years, the one in which you played a __________. And your current stage work...."
I was born with stars in my eyes... No, I don't want to be an actress or live the high life that some celebrities do; I just want to get a chance to meet some and talk to them about some of their work, but mostly about their take on life.
Toronto is known as Hollywood North -- movies and TV series are continually filmed here; we have a fabulous annual film festival that draws lots of headliner-type names; we don't lack for big names who visit and spend extended amounts of time in Toronto.
It's almost springtime. Soon, I will see orange pylons on many suburban and city streets with little markers. These indicate there is filming going on in the vicinity -- trucks and trailers, cables and dressing rooms, sets and extras abound. If I had endless hours in the day, I'd be out on the streets, seeking out those orange pylons, looking for some celebrity who might be around. But I only have time to read about local celebrity spottings in the pages of the daily newspaper...no time to spot the celebrities myself.
But look out if I do...I generally lose my inhibitions, ie. shyness, and just speak up in a real friendly way.
That is the way that I've met:
1. Donny Osmond. He was back in Toronto a number of years ago, doing a second run of "Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat". I was walking in a huge downtown mall, through the food court, and who's sitting there on a stool eating, but Donny dearest. I was probably in my late twenties or early thirties at the time, but let me tell you that the 14-year-old within me was envious as I passed him by, saying, "Hi...welcome back to Toronto. Hope you have a great run with the show."
2. Bruno Kirby and Matthew Broderick. They were in Toronto filming "The Freshman" and I was with my friends at a downtown juice bar, sitting at the counter on swivel seats like in an old diner. Someone was sitting beside me, got up and there, two people away from me was Matthew. I didn't want to infringe on his privacy right then and asked the counter guy if he'd ask Matthew if it would be okay to ask for his autograph. I got the green light and moved over beside him; in walks Bruno Kirby (yes, I knew of him wayyyyyyyy before When Harry Met Sally; I remember him from the 1960's Disney movies) and Matthew introduces me to him. Mr. Broderick introduced TorontoPearl to Bruno Kirby. I wasn't so gracious; I didn't turn the other way and introduce Matthew and Bruno to MY friends.
My greatest faux pas of that evening was asking Matthew, "What's it like working with the big guy?" ie. Marlon Brando. Yes, by that time, he was a BIG man, nothing of the hearththrob he'd once been. But I hadn't meant in stature, I'd meant in status, when I'd asked that.
3. Petula Clark. My girlfriend and I were in Montreal and walking on one of the nicer streets. We saw a commotion in front of a hotel, ie. news trucks with solar dishes on the roof, etc, and I said we should go in and see what's doing. There in the lobby was Petula Clark. She was being interviewed for some station and like Woody Allen in "Zelig", we popped up behind her for all the camera ops, ie. I took pics of my friend and Petula; she took pics of me. Then we chatted with her a bit. (I have similar "Zelig" pics with that same friend but in NYC, where we attended a couple of tapings of the Sally Jesse Raphael Show)
Okay, so it's not an impressive list -- there have been other celeb spottings and interfaces, but my mind is drawing a blank right now. Just know that it wouldn't be prudent to take me anywhere where you know there will be celebrities. I am likely to drop you, amble over to the celebrity and make conversation...before my shyness factor realizes what it is I'm doing and kicks into overdrive.
But Randi, and Danny, you give me your daily routine, tell me where you hang out, and next time I'm in L.A., I'll be sure to sit in YOUR seat, at YOUR favorite table, at YOUR favorite eatery or coffee shop, and I'll make conversation with YOUR favorite celebs. Don't worry...I'll have a picture of me taken with them to show you...and I'll get you their autograph as a bonus!