Thursday, July 12, 2007

Meeting celebrities

One really good thing about being in the United States is the chance to meet celebrities. Of course, I probably wouldn't know what most of them look like, but it's cool to know that I have to option to run into someone really famous.

Most recently, I met 'Jungle' Jack Hanna, who appears frequently on David Letterman and other TV shows with his animals. He used to work at a zoo but now travels most of the year to host lectures or make documentaries. This is me and Jack when he came to Torrington in February:

I had him auograph the front cover of the weekend section of our newspaper that I had designed. I had his picture on it!

I've also gotten the chance to talk to author Frank McCourt. He lives in the Northwest Corner of Connecticut - our coverage area at the newspaper - and he frequently makes appearances to talk about his books. I have three of his books. My boyfriend gave me "Teacher Man" for my birthday, which I am very eager to read.

Of course, I hadn't read any of his books - still haven't! - when I met McCourt in 2006, and I didn't know what to ask him. I had waited in line for quite some time to get my books autographed, and I just said "How do you like the food?" when I finally got up to him. A bit taken back, he looked up from signing my book and said "Oh, I don't have time for such trivialities."

Leonardo DiCaprio was recently filming in Thomaston, Connecticut, which is right in between where I live and where I work. Security was very tight, though, and I wasn't even going to attempt a glimpse. Harrison Ford was in New Haven, I read in the paper, to shoot the fourth installment of "Indiana Jones." Now that would have been something to see. Several hundred people lined up to apply as extras in the film. Perhaps I would have too if I had had the day off.

When I lived in New York, I sometimes tried to sneak into places in the city where they were filming movies. Sometimes the security was tight, sometimes you could walk right by the set.

I was rushing to my train once and ran right by Adam Sandler as he was filming "Little Nicky" at Grand Central Station. And once I stood in line for an hour at a music store to see Alice Cooper. I've also seen Philip Seymour Hoffman and Natalie Portman live in a play in Central Park, but it's not really the same thing as meeting celebrities on the street.

While it seems really exciting at first, it really isn't that big of a deal. I mean, what do you do if you do meet a celebrity? You just say something stupid and walk away, and that's that. They will never remember you - you were just one in the crowd. But you get to remember that embarrassing moment forever.

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