Thursday, May 13, 2010

Getting To Know You Thursday...Celebrity Meetings

On a previous post, I mentioned that I always wanted to be an actress.  I also mentioned that I had been to several open casting calls for extras on movies filming around Arkansas.  I never had the chance to actually be "in" a movie, but I have visited a movie set while they were filming. 

When I was about thirteen, the mini-series The North and South came to Arkansas for several weeks of filming on and around the railroad in south Arkansas where I grew up.  In a small town, news travels fast.  Everyone knew about the film and the stars that were expected to grace our town with their presence weeks before they arrived.  There was only one nice hotel in town so everyone knew where the stars would be staying.  The entire town of busy bodies descended on the hotel on the day the stars were expected to arrive.  There were people pushing and screaming to catch a glimpse of the stars.  There were people sneaking in to the hotel, cameras were flashing non-stop.  It was a wild scene.  Was I one of those idiots?  You betcha!  Wanna know who I saw????  Nobody.  My mom met Genie Francis (Laura, from general Hospital) in the elevator though.  I signed up to be an extra and waited very impatiently, but the call never came.  UGH!  How was I ever gonna meet the stars????

Well, as luck would have it, I had a couple of friends whose father was a local historian and was "in the know" about the railroad and got an invitation to the filming on the railroad so they invited me to tag along.  We went to the set in the middle of nowhere, after dark, mosquitos everywhere in the humid heat of a south Arkansas summer night and stepped back in time.  There were women in hoop skirts and bonnets, men on horses carrying guns,  a working coach car, men in civil war era soldier uniforms, and George Sanford Brown, and Kirstie Alley and.....Patrick Swayze.  It was as if I had stepped into my dream.  I was on a real movie set with real movie stars.  We met several extras who were hired to play soldiers.  We talked to them for a long while and they introducted us to George Sanford Brown.  He was very nice.  A few minutes later, we were watching the action as the horses raced up to the train.  They did the take several times before we heard the director call for Patrick (Swayze) to come to the set.  He was coming right towards me.  My friends and I begged him for an autograph as he tried to rush by us.  He stopped and signed autographs for each of us and he kissed me on the ...nose.  He was kissing me on the cheek and I moved and he got the side of my nose.  I'm such a dork!  He smelled of cologne and whiskey.  He was very, very nice to three giggling little girls while the director was yelling for him.  I will never forget that night.  I swore I wouldn't wash my face, ever.  So, here I sit 26 years later with a very dirty face!  HA!  Just kidding! 

A few days later, I was patiently waiting in line at McDonalds.  It was summer and lunch time so there were kids everywhere.  There was a lady in front of me in a blue swimsuit and flip flops with a towel wrapped around her.  She was waiting for her order.  She turned around and it was....Kirstie Alley.  Oh my gracious!   She was lovely.  She was giggling and talkative and just very, very nice.  She even signed my McDonalds napkin.  I still have it and my Patrick Swayze and George Sanford Brown autographs. 

Now, tell my your famous celeb stories.  What famous person have you met?  Did you act like a big ole giggling dork like me or were you calm, cool and collected?  I can't wait to hear your stories!


  1. I never met anyone famous, or even came close, but that sounds exciting. I love love loved North and South though. I'd heard Swayze was stuck up, so I'm glad to hear that rumor debunked! What a great memory!

  2. HOW COOL!!! I met Glenn Beck once at a book signing. Some authors are rude and stuck-up, but he addressed the whole crowd, shook my hand, and told me my kids were cute (I had a photo of them holding his book). He signed the photo for me and my book as well. :)

  3. OMGoodness I LOVE her and her new shoe is one of my favorites! I just did the instant download for Fat Actress. I'm so jealous my closest to her is I follow her on twitter ... lol

    Jeez when I was like 5 we were at the Mall and I literally ran into Larry Bird. Not once but 3 times, poor guy was trying so hard to get around my little 5 y/o self :). He probably would have better luck just putting his leg right over me ... lol

  4. love your garage sale find. i hope i find something lovely like that soon!! i need an entry way table soo bad!

  5. First, I like the way you tell the story! I can imagine the scene unfolding as you wait for the stars to come out. Amazing about Kirstie Alley just standing in front of you in the fast food line. How fun!

    But second, I have never met a true celebrity. I have known people BEFORE they became celebrities, but that doesn't count. Oh well...

  6. Oh my goodness, I remember when North and South was on TV (I'm surprised my mom let me watch it). It was the first I'd ever heard of Patrick Swayze, and oh my gosh, he was, like, so cute! I tore the front page off the TV Guide, which had his picture on it, and put it in my journal.
    When I was in college in Texas, my friend and I met Garth Brooks. We even got on his tour bus. I had no idea who he was, not being a fan of country music, but my friend was an honest-to-goodness Texan and was over the moon giddy. We took pictures of him hugging each of us, and got his autograph.

  7. I grew up near Los Angeles so I've met quite a few celebrities. So I've never really gotten "star struck." It was more like "oh..there is so and so."

    Heather Locklear, Tommy Lee, Kelsey Grammer, Rick James to name a few used to come into my work all the time when I was in college. Heather is SO SO nice and super tiny. She actually went to my high school years before me, same with Belinda Carlisle. Rick James was scary and always had 2-3 women with him. Weird.

    I ran into Jay Leno once at Disneyland when I was 14 and he was very nice to me and my gigglie friends.

    My favorite though was Princess Diana. I did a study abroad in London for a semester and lived across the street from Kensington Palace - a few of us girls used to run over when we'd see her helicopter coming in and watch. I guess it was so frequent that she would start waving to us and we watched her on the lawn. She was the only one I was ever really in awe of!