I've been pretty lucky to have found myself around famous folk from time to time. I guess that happens more than an "average" citizen when you grow up in California and spend some time living in NYC. (And, I have some uncles that have some super-powers in the sports and political worlds.)
Most of the time I don't talk about it, because I definitely don't want to be seen as a braggart. But, as I reminisce on some of the experiences I've had in my life, of course I'm going to cherish my various brushes with celebrities.
When I was 25, thanks to my hockey team, my fiance and I were invited to the premiere of Mystery Alaska. When we arrived on the red carpet, the paparazzi of course passed us up, but they were mighty interested in some dude named "Russell Crowe." I didn't know who he was. And on the way to our seats, we walked behind Scott Grimes as he was giving an interview. But it would be a few years before I saw him in E.R. We sat in back of Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman in the cinema, just a few rows from Janeane Garofalo, who of course came up to say "hi" to Danny and Rhea.
(My fiance commented to me about how tiny Janeane is, and what a shame it is that everyone was calling her huge. Indeed, every time I see stars in person, I'm shocked at how super-skinny they are in order to look simply "thin" on camera; and how those who are considered obese on film are actually quite small.)
I didn't know it at the time, but my Mystery Alaska experience wouldn't be the last time I saw celebrities in New York (which isn't a surprise!) Of course we saw various familiar folks walking down the street from time to time, but there was one particular day when I went to lunch during a conference and found myself in the same room as several major world leaders. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't just a little nervous about the whole security situation.
Truth be told, although I fantasized about being famous when I was young (don't we all?) I am pretty glad that I'm invisible. I can walk around my neighborhood without too much fear (unless one of those crazy white vans starts going super-slow) and I'm pretty sure that none of my mail will explode. I can get my newspaper in my sweats, and I'm not expecting that my kids will be held for ransom.
Would I like people to look up to me? Sure. But that also comes with plenty of people looking down on you. I don't have the thick skin that it takes to be a celebrity. I know that. But, I definitely get a kick out of getting a tiny taste of the more positive side of their lives from time to time.