Friday, December 5, 2008

Famous Encounters of the Schmoe Kind

Tonight's post was inspired by my friend Kate's story about how she almost met Tom Cruise!

Growing up, I watched a lot of TV and LOVED going to the movies so to meet (or almost meet) any famous person was a giant thrill (and to be honest, probably still is today). So I love stories about how regular schmoes like me or any friend of mine meet movie stars.

So, in honor of Kate's story, I thought I'd share a few stories of my own about how I met or almost met a few famous people.

1. Clint Eastwood - When I was about 14 I volunteered at a charity fashion show that his daughter was in. I was leaning against the back wall watching the show when I realized that Clint was standing right next me. He was so tall! I just froze. I didn't say anything and didn't move until about 10 minutes later when he walked away. Don't worry, it gets better.

2. Richard Gere - I was about 17 and waiting in line at the San Francisco airport to get on a flight to DC and Richard Gere was standing right in front of me. He was pretty handsome in person and not as short as I had heard he was. As we slowly walked into the cabin, Gere (I can't call him Richard...yikes) stopped to put his stuff away in first class (of course) and I was standing right in front of him as he was taking his sweet time. I was so excited on the inside but determined to look nonchalant on the outside. In fact, I went a step further by looking at my watch and huffed with annoyance at how much time he was taking to put his stuff away. Yes, I wanted him to know that I had more important places to be than standing in front of him watching him put his crap away (ya, right!).

3. Dweezil Zappa - OK, this is one of my favorites! I was about 22 and waiting in line at a United counter in LAX waiting to get on a flight to Chicago. This curly haired guy was standing in front of me with a guitar. At the time, I had no idea who he was. I was seriously late for my flight and agitated at how slow the line was going to I started complaining out loud about the airline. He turned around and asked me where I was going and we ended up talking the whole way through the line. I'm not sure but I think he was flirting with me with his big smile and his cute laugh. Anyway, we finally got through the line and went to our separate ticket counters. After I finished checking in I looked to see where he was and saw him with a girl. Since he was with someone, I decided to just go to the gate. I waved goodbye to him as I left. He waved back with a big smile but as I walked away I saw the girl give me a seriously dirty look. A few weeks later, I was watching TV and I saw him and her together on some entertainment show. I was shocked. The girl at the airport was his longtime girlfriend, Lisa Loeb.

4. Richard Grieco - This one makes me cringe, even after 22 years. I was 15 and flying from Palm Springs to my hometown. I was already sitting down in coach when I saw him getting on the plane. At the time, he was on a show called 21 Jump Street with Johnny Depp. I had a GIANT crush on him and was beyond myself at seeing him on my flight. The whole flight I rehearsed what I would say to him. I had my napkin and pen ready for his autograph. I mustered up all my courage and got up in the middle of the flight and walked to the front row to ask for his autograph but when I got there I saw that he was fast asleep. I went back to my seat feeling incredibly foolish. I told myself that when we landed I would get that autograph come hell or high water. But by the time I got off the plane he was long gone. I searched the baggage claim and he was nowhere in sight.

But the story does not end here my friends. Oh no, it gets much more mortifying. It was late at night when we landed and my dad had come to get me. We went outside with my luggage and he told me wait for him while he got the car. A minute after he left, I noticed Richard Grieco sitting on bench by himself. My heart jumped a beat! I was SO excited. This was my chance and I wasn't going to let it slip away again!

I pulled out the napkin and pen from my pocket, walked right up to him (Oh yes I did!) and said "Hi, I think you're the sexiest man on TV, can I have your autograph?" The second after it came out of my mouth, I regretted it (and have ever since). He just took the napkin and pen and said casually "thanks, what's your name?" I told him and he signed my napkin. He then proceeded to ask me (15 year old girl) where were the good places to go out at night in the city. I had no idea. I suggested a few places that I'd hear about. He then asked me what I was doing THAT NIGHT!!! I froze for a second not knowing what to say. Then I snapped back to reality, told him that my dad was bringing the car around and that I had to go home. I then quickly scurried back to my spot and waited for my dad who came a minute later to take me home.

I replayed that night in my head for weeks (maybe months). It was both exciting and mortifying. I wish I knew where that napkin was today!

OK, that was it's your turn! Any famous encounters? You have got to share! :)


  1. Wow! You've had a lot of close encounters. The only "celebrity" encounters I've had were a local news anchor coming into the insurance office where I used to work and seeing the hot lead singer of my favorite local band at Target. They're not a big name band although they do tour in clubs all around the country. lol. Does that count?

  2. I have a few more from a brunch place I worked at on the upper west side. I'll post those next week. But seriously - nothing rivals being hit on by Richard Greico. I've seen pictures of you from when you were young and I'm pretty sure he had no idea that you were 15!

  3. I think I need to fly more! I only have one sighting (other than local Canadian celebrities)which was Rod Stewart in New Orleans about five years ago. I was in a hotel lobby waiting for my girlfriends to use the bathroom. As I was sitting there, I heard a voice that made me stop. I looked over and saw him from behind, but once you hear his voice you can't mistake it. Later when he turned to leave the building I caught a glimpse of his face, and it was him. I pointed him out to my girlfriends and they tried to tell me that there was no way it was him because he would travel with a huge 'entourage'.
    That made me think that we probably watch way too much tv.

    Anyway, when we left the building, the doorman winked at me and said 'Yep, that was him'.

  4. i LOVED these stories. Loved. That was so fun to read. And the Richard Greico story was amazing and hilarious. And... what a creep he was! Hitting on a 15 year old girl? Eep! He's the one that should have been mortified, not you.

    I've met a few people who are sort of semi famous:
    Wolfgang Puck - he was in St. Barts where I was for my honeymoon. We swam together. It was awesome.

    Phil Lesh - was at the Philadelphia airport but I couldn't work up the nerve to say hi. Also, he had a bluetooth and that made me angry at him.

    John Prine - met him, talked to him, shook his hand. He's probably my all time favorite musician and I almost died.

    Dar Williams - she was kind of a be-otch.

    There are a number of other musicians I've met, too, but no one has probably heard of them.

    I saw James Carville (aka the Raging Cajun) in my hotel lobby in Istanbul of all places.

    I saw in Nicole Ritchie in person eating at a sushi restaurant that I was at in LA with Annie of Relish Small Pleasures.

    I saw Spike Lee in the Apple store in Manhatten.

    I think that's about it!

  5. LOVED those stories! I'm a bit too much of a homebody to have any encounter stories of my own, but man would I love to meet Clint (I mean, Mr. Eastwood)!! Holy cow! I've tried for a long time to come up with a good There are two kinds of people in this world... quote (a reference to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly) just in case I ever came across him! hah!

  6. These made me howl with laughter. Kudos to your 15-year-old self for knowing that RG was being creepy.

    My greatest celebrity encountere? Robert Goulet. Oh, yes.