Sunday, December 09, 2007

How to deal with mildly famous people

I've got this friend from back home who has yet to visit LA and is terribly curious about what the rules are about celebrities out here. I've been explaining that you have to pretend you don't know who they are even if you're the biggest fan ever.

Also, do not stalk them. And hey, all you people who buy those star maps just to stand outside and munch on cheesy popcorn while you watch Johnny Depp's LA house not move? What is wrong with you?

Go hang out with that Jack Sparrow impersonator on Hollywood Boulevard. It will be far more entertaining and less draining on your soul.

But if you do happen to meet a celebrity you have to play it cool.

For example...

Last night I once again attended the Thrilling Supernatural Suspense Action Comedy Hour of Awesome or some complicated title at M Bar in Hollywood followed by a bluegrass performance. Once again, funny. Performing in this fine piece of entertainment bliss were the following people: Amber Benson, Adam Busch, John Di Maggio, Tom Kenny, Samm Levine and a bunch of other people you've never heard of but have been steadily working in LA for years.

Actors attending the show but not performing were Danny Strong, Ed Helms, Julia Duffy and Rider Strong.

The Friend who brought me to this show introduced me to Amber (who I met before but it was so long ago I know she doesn't remember) and we had a conversation where we discussed the pitfalls of being a young teacher in a ghetto school. That girl is an absolute doll and now she might actually remember me.

Then later on I was also introduced to Danny Strong and had a brief interaction with him where he told a story about how some woman thought he was in Jurassic Park. Oh yeah, because he is the spitting image of Wayne Knight. I met Adam Busch once before, so as Friend put it I've now met two-thirds of the evil trio. Now I just have to go to karaoke and sing with Tom Lenk. I wonder if knows any My Chemical Romance?

So as I was talking to Amber and then Danny, both of whom were really nice, I followed the rule about fandom in LA. I mention to neither of them that I own every episode of Buffy on DVD, have a couple of scholarly books about Buffy and a collection of Buffy teleplays and I've memorized every line and note in the musical episode and have dressed up as Buffy three times for Halloween.

So the conversation went like this:

ME: Oh, that's interesting.
AMBER or DANNY: Yes, well it's interesting stuff I'm talking about right now.

And here's what was going on in my brain:

ME: Holy crap! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep! This is so awesome!

I'm a dork. But they don't know that. And that's how you avoid embarrassing yourself in front of your favorite celebrities; pretend you are completely unfazed.

I also learned that Sponge Bob (Tom Kenny) is kind of hot in an Adrian Brody sort of way. Bender (John Di Maggio) smokes looooooots of pot. And Ed Helms makes the same concerned, jaw clenching facial expression when he's watching a comedic bluegrass music performance as he does when he's punching his fist through a wall on The Office.

And Adam Busch, frontman for his folk band Common Rotation, has a really easy and natural way in front of the audience. I mean, he's an actor so he kind of should, but it felt like I was watching a long-time friend on the stage instead of Warren the evil guy who got his skin ripped off. Hey, actors aren't their characters. Who knew?

The biggest hit of the night was the bluegrass performance of the Nellie Furtado/Timberland/Justin Timberlake collaboration "Give it to Me". That was good stuff. Minor celebrities are lots of fun when they get together.


  1. Missed you at Mutant Enemy day at Fox on Friday. Saw many of your faves, and even chatted with a few of them. Fun stuff!

  2. Well, you know, I have a job and all.

    But I am thinking of taking off next Thursday for the indie picket at Paramount.

  3. Wow. I had a similar experience on the picket line in NYC. On one of the first cold days, I took a 5 gallon jug of coffee out and actually got to talk momentarily to Tim Robbins, actors from The Wire, Patti D'Arbanville, Holly Hunter and several other smaller names including writers from most of the network shows. I really just offered them coffee, but I did get to hold Patti's picket sign while she prepared her cup.

    It was pretty cool not having to act like a fan even though I guess I am. But I guess I more so love thinking how cool it would be to write for someone like Tim Robbins.

    I wish I could be out more but the day job beckons. Daily.

  4. Did you ask Danny about "Recount?"

    I would have.

    Even if it was thought too geeky.

    Screenwriter/politcal junkie geeky.

  5. The script came up in the context of that "hottest unproduced scripts" list. He talked about it for a minute but didn't go into much detail.

  6. I've been a fan of Amber's since her days in "King of the Hill" (the Soderbergh film) and "The Crush".

    So good thing I wasn't there, because I may have vocalized the "eeeeeeeeeeeeep".


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