Lessons in 'Celebrity'

Whilst I was home sick last night (long story) James was out conversing with celebrities after a performance of David Mamet's play, 'Speed-the-Plow'. He got a chance to meet Kevin Spacey and Jeff Goldblum yesterday (very nice people actually), in the usual autograph signing/quick chat sessions that happen after most shows that have big names in the West End. I'm not really that jealous of James particularly as I've met Kevin briefly before (K-Pax premiere) and I've got my own list of people I've met too over the years. I think I'm just bummed cause I love my theater stops, had been looking forward to going to this play for a while and James was out doing something fun whilst I was left hugging a water bottle and downing herbal teas to try to settle my stomach. Anyway, I'll get over it and I'm sure they'll be other opportunities like this arise.

London as you expect can be a bit of a celebrity magnet. A lot of people in the public eye particularly actors come here to either relax, live, or perform on the stage in the West End (London's version of Broadway) or work on their upcoming film (this and most European premieres for films are in Leicester Square ). With all this going on statistics are generally in your favor for the occasional opportunity that arises to meet and/or see someone of at least some notoriety. It used to be uber cool when I first moved here to meet people like that, but after I had met a handful I started to become less and less starstruck because I started to see the bigger picture.

I realized:

- A lot of celebrities are actually incredibly shy & down to earth. They get quite bemused with why fans drool over them like they do. The shyness may actually be a defense mechanism as well--- who do you trust when you are in the public eye?

-They are just people with really weird/public jobs. They still get old and have to eat their cereal in the morning like the rest of us.

-The character they play is not who they really are. Some actors are not the 'lovable' people you know on screen in real life. Yes, they can be mean!! Some don't look anything like what they do on screen!

- Its not right to treat them as commodities -- taking pictures like they are objects not people, putting them up on pedestals and writing things that aren't true for the sake of a newspaper headline or a quick 'buck'.

-They actually are real people.

So out of my experiences these last few years meeting celebrities I guess you can say I've learned a few things. Not that I was some horrible crazed fan or stalker or anything beforehand, but I just have a new perspective on it after living here. I'm no expert though--heck who can be on such a superficial and fickle business. Some would be disappointed after humanizing your favorite screen heroes/idols---all they want is the dream. For me though, I'm grateful for these lessons as it makes me appreciate them so much more and that they are not so different from the rest of us after all.

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