Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Brushes with the (semi) Famous

Some people I know have legitimately met famous people. They've had actual conversations with these people. My own encounters have been few, and though you probably don't even know who I refer to, they are celebrities to me. They aren't even real encounters, unless you count an autograph signing, a MySpace page, and an email. But I do. Oh, I really do.

The first has to do with the Lord of the Rings trilogy. And yes, I am a fan. Though let me clarify: I am not a fan of the mythology, creatures, languages, and races. I am a fan of the movies themselves: the actors, the crew, the behind-the-scenes stories, and the adventure of spending years on 12 hours worth of films. Granted, that doesn't make me much less of a dork, but it's an important difference.

Anyway, it was the spring of 2004, just after the release of the movie, and I was in Oxford, England. And soon I learned that Andy Serkis, voice and movement behind the character of Gollum/Smeagol would also be in Oxford, for a book signing. Long story short, we arrived there hours early, stood in line in the rain, and finally made it in for our autographs. I babbled about being a fan, we took pictures, and that was that. Andy has gone on to be in 13 Going on 30, King Kong, and The Prestige, but his name still elicites blank stares when I mention my encounter.

I only mention my experience with Jenna Fischer of The Office because I am that crazy about the celebrities that I am a fan of. This one isn't even that much of an experience, but I'm including it regardless. Jenna keeps up a really interesting MySpace page, and last Halloween she invited anyone who had dressed up as something Office-related to send her a picture. Since I had dressed up as 3 hole punch Jim (you'd have to watch the show), I uploaded a picture and sent it off to her. And I'll be gosh darned if she didn't make a slide show of all those crazy Office folk and include me in it! Few people understood how exciting this was, but one friend understood completely, saying this was thrilling because it meant Jenna had actually seen my face! Looking back, I realize how weird that sounds, but that's just what it means to be a fan!

My last celebrity encounter was actually just yesterday. Let me first explain who I'm talking about. His name is Jason Marsden, and if you were to enter his name into imdb, there would undoubtedly be a lot of things you recognized, most notably various TGIF shows. You know who he is-- that one guy! He played a rich guy vying for DJ's affections on Full House, Eric's best friend on Boy Meets World, and JT's best friend slash Dana's boyfriend on Step By Step. He has also done a ton of voiceover work, including Tino from the criminally clever cartoon series "The Weekenders." But most importantly, he is the voice of Max Goof, from A Goofy Movie. He played Goofy's son. I know- it's big.

A few weekends ago I was surfing the net and found an email address for him, one that people swore was really him, and I wrote him a fan letter, trying not to sound to dorky or in awe. Not sure I was actually able to do that, but the point is that he actually wrote me back! I was shocked, and might have started shaking a little bit as I read it. It was pretty short, but he shared some very interesting information. For instance, like me, he is a fan of Heroes, and loves Harry Potter. Two peas in a pod, me and Jason!

So there you have it. All my weird celebrity fandom moments, the few that there are. I'm proud of my handful of "encounters" with famous people (at least in my mind). And I think that meeting, or hearing from, a celebrity that you are a genuine fan of is way more exciting than meeting a person that everyone knows, but who you have no special connection with. I would much rather have a glimpse of an Office or Lord of the Rings castmember than have a celebrity sighting of a Jessica Simpson-type any day.

1 comment:

Whitney said...

It made my day when Jenna accepted me as her myspace friend. (p.s. I totally stole her off of your page. Sorry to steal your myspace friends and adopt them as my own.)