Tenuous links with fame.


You know how there’s an epidemic of ‘famous for being famous’ types from reality television? Everyone wants to be a star, it seems, sometimes. I kind of do too, but in a behind-the-scenes or Radio 4 panelist kind of way as I don’t normally like to draw attention to myself (dreams about hosting HIGNFY or appearing on QI notwithstanding).

I do have a remarkable number of connections with famous (and famous-ish) people who are friends (writers, comedians, actors, singers – the two most famous, despite living in London and Los Angeles leave fairly quiet lives, from what I gather, but hang out with producers and television stars rather than projectionists and public servants), but this entry isn’t about them and their showbiz existences.

Despite my humble beginnings and customer service industry-based job (for now), I have connections. Tenuous connections. Some so hilariously thin that they are practically transparent, but I claim them anyway because I am nerdy like that.

3 – Celebrities I have made an arse of myself in front of. (Patrick Watson (veteran Canadian broadcaster), Evan Solomon (CBC Journalist and founder of the very missed Shift), and Paul Merton.)

The first two occurred within weeks of each other, during the few months in early 2004 when I lived in Toronto and interned at the CBC.

  • Mr Watson (who had just presented a lecture at U of T) was the victim of my babbling of the links between History and Journalism and a bunch of stuff that didn’t make sense; he smiled and nodded politely.
  • Mr Solomon, a longtime crush was talking about the Oscars (in the office) with a producer I vaguely knew, and I clumsily, and ineffectually tried to get involved in the discussion. He looked at me awkwardly, then went back to his office. I don’t remember what I said, but I suspect that it wasn’t brilliant.
  • Mr Merton (and Mike McShane) were approached by the very daft me who decided to thank him for a very good show. I mumbled “Thank you very much, it was a great show”, paused, and then ran away after he said “Thank you”. Well, I didn’t run, more shuffled away awkwardly.

3 – Degrees of Kevin Bacon. I went to school with someone who had a small role in Martian Child, which also starred Oliver Platt, who was in Flatliners with Kevin Bacon.

1 – Meeting with David Sedaris (at a book signing). He drew me an owl.

2 – People I went to school with who starred on “You Can’t Do That On Television“.

2 – Famous people spotted at the Ottawa airport. (Mark McKinney of “Kids in the Hall” fame and former Prime Minister Joe Clark – he also used to rent movies at the video store where I worked during university.)

2 – Prime Ministers to whom I have sold movie tickets. (Paul Martin and Stephen Harper – I have also sold tickets to former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul.)

1 – Member of Rush I’ve been introduced to (at a work event). (Alex Lifeson)

approx. 900 – Local CBC personalities I have dealt with through work, either by selling stuff, hosting press screenings, or holding fundraisers.

2 – Confirmed celebrity sightings on the streets of Los Angeles. (Zach Galifinakis and Tori Spelling (with husband))

3 – Confirmed celebrity sightings at a George Carlin tribute attended in Culver City. (Roseanne, Gary Shandling, and Tim Robbins, who was hosting, and TALKED AT ME (to ask me to join a mailing list – I said yes, and forced myself not to mention that his was the first cinematic penis I ever saw)).

1 – Confirmed celebrity sighting in London. (Sir Trevor McDonald)

1 – Party attended that Tom Green et entourage were turned away from. (It was the work Christmas party and the whole joint had been rented out (one corner by us, the rest by all the HMVs in town.)

I also, per a old woman working as a pizza delivery person once told me, live in a house once occupied by Maude Barlow. I have been part of a short-lived women’s group with former mayor Marion Dewar (a wonderful woman, may she rest in peace). I have met Ed Broadbent a few times (I *did* volunteer on his campaign, mind). I was introduced to porn star Sasha Grey (she is very small) and held by John Newmark, Maureen Forrester’s accompanist, when I was a baby (he claimed that the ‘OC’ on his Order of Canada badge stood for ‘Old Cocksucker’, BTW. My de facto godfather trained with Mme Forrester.)

My best friend’s family is friends with people featured in A Year in Provence (who are no great fans of Peter Mayle, since their real names were used in the book). Many friends and coworkers have partied with Drew Barrymore (from her (few) days of marriage to the aforementioned Mr Green).

If this isn’t proof that the universe revolves around me, then I don’t know what’s true anymore. Wait, what?  No, actually, this is more a reflection that the world, at least my world, is both very small and epically large and interconnected. Charlemagne has more heirs than there have ever been people in Europe. So I am related to him. Which means Ewan McGregor is probably somehow my cousin. As is Silvio Berlusconi. And Catherine Deneuve.

Okay, to be honest, I’m not entirely sure what my point was here. Perhaps that celebrity is ridiculous? And everyone has a link to something more interesting/famous/useless than themselves? Who can say? I’m still on cold medication and in no state to be teaching lessons to anyone. Happy Boxing Day-in-lieu everybody!

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