A New Year and a new beginning. I don’t make New Year Resolutions because I end up breaking them and I begin to feel guilty. I am usually a very quiet person and kinda of shy.
Most performers are! I think we give so much of ourselves professionally that we end up wanting to hibernate! Like Garbo: “I want to be left alone”!
And then there are some performers that love the spotlight and are on all the time. Which quite frankly, can be annoying. You don’t have a chance to recoup or re-group. Much to the contrary, most actors live very boring lives we end up living in cycles of a lot of money or no money. All the celebrity stories most are over exaggerated. I have met some really nice famous people and some very sad unhappy souls too. I feel that they would have been unhappy no matter what they were involved in.
What famous people go through on a daily existence. I have experienced a little of bit what it must be like. I remember I did a play in New York. It got good reviews and I was very excited to be mentioned in some papers with my photo at the time.
After the show I decided to go and eat at a local dinner in New York. Nothing special I was lucky to have $10 dollars in my wallet back then. I was really hungry. Most performers don’t eat heavy before going on so you eat late very “European” or you go out for a cocktail after a performance to continue the good cheer if it was a good night.
There I was alone eating a cheeseburger and sure enough a family was staring at me watching me eat the cheeseburger and whispering to each other. I felt like a caged animal or a zoo animal! Of course they did not mean it and had no idea that I was real they just thought that I was the character in the show and yet I looked a little different to them. As they watched me eat I got up to change my seat so I could have some peace. Sure enough one of them comes up to my table my mouth is full and asks for an autograph and goes on about the show.
Before you know it I was taking photos with them and then everyone else in the dinner begins to stare at me too. I quickly paid for my cheeseburger and left like I was a criminal running away from the cops.
So, It is not all that.
Another time I am walking down West 44th Street. I just auditioned for a Broadway show as I am walking out I start walking down 44th street pass Sardi’s.
Years ago, groupies or fans would hang out outside and wait for the famous to walk in. I guess it was a slow day a man with an autograph book who was hanging outside the door of Sardi’s started following me! As I looked behind me I saw his stare and started running down the street the more I ran the more he ran towards me.
Finally being the New Yorker I am I yelled out… “What do you want? Please don’t rob me”! He replied. Can I have an autograph please? Why would you want an autograph from me?
I am nobody Sir.
Aren’t you Stockard Channing? he said out of breath.
No I am not. I replied.
Oh well. You sure look like her. You’re an actress right? I nodded.
I saw you coming out of the Theater. He said
Well… can I have your autograph anyway. It might be worth something one day. So, I signed his book. As I am signing it people are beginning to stare at us walking down the street.
I gotta go. I said.
Thank you (he looked at his book) ugh Catherine. Famous one day. I am sure. You are very pretty. he said.
Right. Thank you.. I felt like I was in a Woody Allen Movie.
I can think of one time, when it was a benefit to me and a short film my husband wrote and directed called “Big Man on Mulberry Street”. I play a “Mol” of sorts called Angela and we got a Bobby De Niro lookalike to play my boyfriend. We started filming by the Long Island Pier outside but it did not work so the crew turned around and saw a dinner up the road. We decided to call it a day. But we thought it would be a good place to film. We ask if we could film a small scene with one camera at a booth. Not thinking we would get a chance to actually filmed it in this dinner we would settle for a cup of coffee and food. We were all tried and cold just going in any place warm worked.
The owner looked at us and saw the lookalike our Bobby DeNiro thought that it was him and introduce himself to the actor that was playing it in our short film. Pleasure to meet you Mr.DeNiro. The actor going along with it said “likewise” and gave that Bobby grin. Of course you can film! Order what you want it is on the house. We looked at each other in amazement like we just won a prize. My husband mentioned that he would credit the restaurant in the film credits.
Great! said the Owner. But I want to take a picture of my idol with me in it. That would make me a happy man and framed it on that wall. Bobby was here. We all nodded our heads we didn’t want to destroy his moment. We better film this scene quick before he finds out.
Being famous must be a strange existence.