“Fan girl.” “Groupie.” “Star struck.”
The moment when you come across someone recognizable, (athlete, actor, infomercial spokesman), you morph into a sub-human and revert to primal instincts.
I’ve been fortunate to have met a few “famous” people in my short career and my goal always is to speak as little as possible & play it cool. After a show in Chicago one evening a few years ago, Gary Sinise came backstage and shook hands with all of the actors. “Hi, I’m Gary Sinise. Hi, I’m Gary Sinise.” While he was talking, I wondered how Lieutenant Dan got his legs back and if so, did he require oil to lubricate the leg joints to keep them from squeaking? On the outside, I was totes chill. Hanging with the cool cats. Dignity in tact.
I’m sure many people classify themselves as “above” the kind of groveling typical of star struck fans. We’d all like to believe we are in control of our self-respect at all times, but I’m here to tell you, everyone has their Prince. Err ‘price.’
Here are a few notables who, if seen on the street, would cause me to spontaneously combust: Javier Bardem, any Spice Girl, the Geico Gecko, Jimmy Stewart, Loki, Dr. Cox from “SCRUBS”, Ted Danson in Sam Malone form, Audra McDonald, the cast of “Sherlock”, the cast of “Boy Meets World,” Captain Hook in cartoon form and Phil from the Disney Channel Original Series, “Phil of the Future.” Many are impossible, which helps me sleep at night, but you can bet your boots you’ll need to grab a fire extinguisher if Tom Hiddleston hops into my Uber Pool.
One of the jokes in this episode is that Erin is under the impression that seeing a celebrity in public is like catching a leprechaun. In reality, millions of people live in New York City and lots of those people are well known. The odds of you running into one of them are in your favor.
I was in Times Square waiting to meet a friend before a matinee and Norm Lewis brushed past me. A triple-take followed which led me to actually follow him for a stretch. He was on the phone making his way to “Porgy & Bess” which was on Broadway at the time. Something took over my body and wouldn’t let him out of my sight. It was terribly disconcerting to realize I had morphed into a cavewoman stalking her prey. Suddenly, my phone was in my hand snapping secret pictures of him from fifteen feet away. My arm then decided it needed to subtly include my eyeball in the picture of the beautiful man minding his own business. After what felt like a lifetime, my friend arrived and startled me back to reality.
It’s not logical. And it certainly doesn’t discriminate.
Filming this episode of “NewB” was a lot of fun. Originally, it was intended to be on a subway platform and then move to the inside of a train car. The morning of the shoot, we set up shop in a station near City College and Hamilton’s House. The sounds were earsplitting (not as “quiet uptown” as Lin Manuel led us all to believe). The trains roared past as we rehearsed. My hope was waning. Five minutes later, two grumpy MTA officials kicked us out, making the decision for us. Thinking quickly, we turned the characters’ meeting place into a bus stop and improvised some lines to get us into the scene. In retrospect, I’m really happy with how the bench worked out. We had great light, no rain and no deafening sounds to fight with.
We did, however, have pigeon poop. Nathan, our celebrity for the day, was pooped on mid-line, (which you can see in the credits) and then a pigeon missed him ‘by that much’ when he stood up to walk to the bus, splattering all over his seat. Our director, Jared, was pooped upon when he switched the shot ten minutes later. Lots of poops. Compared to the other obstacles we faced during filming, rain delays, howling wind, the bitter cold- I’ll take bird sh*t with a side of bird sh*t.
“Celebrity Sighting” contained a short phone call, a simple setup, a twist, (emphasized spectacularly by Jonathon Lynch’s creepy music) and a hilarious little button executed marvelously by my two dear friends, Christopher and Justin Swader. It only took two days and two locations to complete. Very happy with the way it turned out and I hope you are too!
The next episode, “New Tenant” will premiere tomorrow, 3.31.17! Can’t wait for you to experience the sassy vocal genius of David Guiden in his portrayal of an unexpected guest in Erin’s new apartment.