I’ve met a surprisingly high number of famous people in the last couple of years, and my small town (nothing-ever-happens-here) sensibilities Keely mentioned earlier this week truly don’t know how to handle it.
The thing is, I get REALLY inspired by people, and I just REALLY want to articulate that to them. And what better time than in moments of random happenstance when I accidentally bump into them on the street?
The other thing is, I get REALLY inspired by people. Yes, I said this already. But in addition to desperately wishing to convey that to them in an eloquent, calm manner, I have an astonishing amount of crazy that inadvertently seeps out of me. This means I end up drowning in such over-the-top but entirely true phrases like I love you… NO, I REALLY, REALLY LOVE YOU…You’re the greatest thing that’s happen EVER…
So there are the things I want to say, the things I hope to sweet Jesus I won’t say, and then… well, then there are the things I actually say…
Case in point: “Well, as far as cheeses go, I’d say you picked a good one.”
Let’s start in January of 2012. Keely and I were embarking upon a whirlwind, sixty-hour adventure to NYC and we had twelfth row rush tickets to see Seminar, a non-musical starring Alan Rickman. Jealous?
Sitting in our aisle seats, Keely was engrossed in her program. I, on the other hand, was people watching. And a good thing too, because Keely proved too dedicated to her reading to notice other, perhaps, more important things.
“OH!” The woman directly behind me said in a voice not meant to carry to the person in question, “Oh Hugh Jackman, come sit next to me!”
Yup. Hugh Jackman was standing in the aisle chatting with his wife…directly beside Keely. Who…obliviously kept reading. She even gave me a ‘one moment’ gesture when I tried to point out the utter madness that was occurring inches from her elbow.
When I finally got her attention, she inhaled, held it, and just stared. She couldn’t manage speech for a few minutes, so I made friends with the lovely couple behind us who kindly indulged me as I freaked out.
I should back up a few months.
When Keely and I decided to go to New York, it was initially to see Daniel Radcliffe in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. And we’re just musical theatre junkies in general…in case you didn’t know.
The morning following this awesome decision, Keely comes into my apartment, laughing, and says:
“Last night I had a daydream (yes, daydream, not uncommon for us), and we met Daniel Radcliffe at a coffee shop so we sat down with him (this is a no-judging zone guys!) and I (meaning Keely) managed to make small talk with him and tell him we were huge fans, but then I looked at you (meaning me) sitting beside me, and you were just SOBBING….”
We laughed for far too long, probably putting off a necessary essay-writing trip to the library to do so. The reason? This was an ENTIRELY plausible situation. Neither of us doubted that Keely would be cool as a cucumber and I would be a blubbering mess.
Fast-forward to Hugh Jackman. Turns out, I don’t turn into a blubbering mess. I turn into a smiley lunatic. And Keely is not a cucumber’s level of cool. She just… shuts down.
Needless to say, I should have taken the reins when Keely finally spoke again and said, “Let’s go.”
Nope. I just followed.
HUGH JACKMAN: *looks at us warily*
ASHLEY: *smiles too widely*
KEELY: Um. Hi. Could we…potentially get your autograph?
HUGH JACKMAN: *smirks* Potentially? *signs our programs*
ASHLEY’S BRAIN: Tell him you loved his opening on Broadway. WAIT! Don’t! Not Broadway… The OSCARS, why are you saying Broadway?!?!?! Tell him you loved his opening on Broadway. Wait—WHAT? Ashley you weren’t ALIVE then. The OSCARS. Oh god. SAY NOTHING. Just say NOTHING.
ASHLEY: *continues smiling*
KEELY: Ha..ha… Thank you!
BOTH: *scamper off*
Fast forward again—this time to June 2012. Keely and I were in Ann Arbor, Michigan because our Starkid obsession is unhealthy. Also though, we treated ourselves to Apocalyptour tickets for graduation.
I believe I mentioned this in a previous post, but we spent the entire drive jokingly inventing situations in which we would run into a couple of Starkids on the street. To be clear, we are obsessed, yes, but we had no plans to TRY and find them. We were just exploring downtown, finding the theatre, and grabbing a bite to eat.
And then this happened:
Keely is telling Ashley a story as they turn the corner on a semi-busy sidewalk.
KEELY: And then… Oh my god. Joe Walker. Brian Rosenthal.
ASHLEY: *smiles stupidly*
I should explain. Keely stated their (full) names as though talking to me…not as though acknowledging them. It sounded kind of like, “See? I told you we would run into them.”
And the beautiful and totally welcomed awkwardness ensued as I smiled and Keely engaged in small talk. We told them we were from Canada (not crazy at all that we are here to see your concert, right?), and they told us a couple places to check out while we were downtown. We snapped a picture and at the last minute Joey Richter ran in to join the pose. (I said that causally… but it was the BIGGEST DEAL ever).
When it was over, we managed to make it around the next corner and away from them before I started freaking out. Keely, as mentioned before, said very little except for the occasional dumbfounded, whispered phrase of “As if…”
We drove back to the hotel without remembering doing so, and then told every person we knew who would care. (Which basically means we called Mom).
Now, this was an incredibly long (but fun, yeah?) introduction to tell this story:
Last night, I met Nia Vardolos, writer and star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. But this time, it was because I was a part of her publicity team. This time I knew weeks ahead of time that it was coming. This time… I didn’t have Keely to be quietly crazy for me. So basically… very little happened.
In case you’re wondering. Yes, the aforementioned cheese comment occurred here.
ASHLEY: Hi! I’m Ashley. It’s so nice to meet you! *aaaand more smiling*
PUBLICIST: Ashley is one of our interns and she’ll be helping us out tonight.
NIA: *jokes* Oh. Well…get ready for my demands! I want a whole tray of… cheese. And I want it all to be goat cheese!
ASHLEY: *answers with the unfortunate comment from above*
I had an awesome time, no question. It was basically the coolest thing I’ve ever gotten to do. (I even met her real Greek family from afar… and her Dad admitted to actually using Windex to cure everything!) It was too busy for any more of my crazy to slip out, but that just means nothing noteworthy occurred afterwards.
I guess the whole point of this is that I need Keely for these things. Sure, she looses a bit (or all) of her bravado—something that we both have incessantly teased her for since the Hugh Jackman incident—but she’s still the one who speaks.
I apparently smile. Which is what I did last night. A lot.
So folks. That’s that.
How not to be cool when meeting famous people:
- Smile like an idiot and become incapable of saying a single thing.
- That’s it. That’s all you have to do.
- Oh. And go without your We who, while not exactly cool, will probably make it a much better story.
At this point I would like to apologize to Keely for revealing far more of our secret *secret* crazy then I intended to.
Oh well. We artsies are all a tad obsessive, right?
Have a great rest-of-the-week!
And if you have any celebrities encounter stories you can fit into 140 characters, tweet us @WeArtsy. Or just tell us below!