Celebrities In Real Life
My regular blog and website visitors will know by now that I have a LOT of celebrity relatives in my family tree. So far all of these famous people seem to be concentrated on my paternal side of the family, much to the chagrin of some of my maternal cousins (sorry Tammy!).
Most of my famous cousins have long since passed from this life, so my only contact with them will remain through historic movies and television shows, but I do still have a significant number of famous distant cousins who are still active in Hollywood. However, unless fate lets us cross paths, I am resolved to the fact that I most likely will never meet them as the odds of a celebrity wanting to know a non-celebrity distant relative is remote.
I would, of course, like to meet my famous cousins, but not to gush about their celebrity status and lives in Hollywood. I am much more interested in knowing more about their direct family's past and seeing what, if anything, we may have in common. As a history buff, and someone who yearns for more knowledge about my greater family, this would be of much more interest to me than their careers. Besides, meeting a celebrity who happens to be a distant cousin would probably result in me becoming a little awe struck and tongue tied!
I have had the fortune of seeing, and even meeting, some celebrities in the past. As of today, my total celebrity contact count is around 5, with 3 of them being what could best be described as "A" listers. With the exception of 1 celebrity, all the rest have been chance encounters. Most recently, on a return flight from Panama (the country), I sat behind Michelle Yeoh of "Crazy Rich Asians", "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and the James Bond movie "Tomorrow Never Dies" fame. I have to admit that I had no idea who she was, and it was my friend who I was traveling with that recognized her. I spoke to her briefly as we waited to exit the plane (she asked a question, and I answered) and I then encouraged my friend to speak to her, which he did. She was a very pleasant lady and very gracious to my friend when he said that he was a fan.
The other celebrities that I have been in contact with have all been the same - very pleasant even if out interaction was brief, as it was with Antonio Banderas who I bumped into in London a few years ago (he was at my hotel along with the rest of the cast of The Expendables, including Sylvester Stallone and his family, whom I did not have the courage to speak to!
John Stamos is another celebrity who I put in the "great person" column as back in the early 1980's, he took the time not only to sign a couple of autographs for my cousins (who had been severely injured in an accident which also claimed their mother's life), but also took the time to phone the girls and speak with them. He's a great guy and I'll always be thankful for what he did as it brought some much-needed sunshine at a time of great darkness in my family.
My celebrity interaction doesn't end there, and it seems that, for whatever reason, I am destined to have brushes with Hollywood celebrities. My latest audiobook is even being narrated by a long-time Hollywood veteran actor, Steve Carlson. Steve may not be a household name like Sylvester Stallone, but he has been around in movies and on television for decades. He is one of those actors that you instantly recognize when you see him, but his name will elude you. I am quite chuffed that I managed to hire him to narrate my novel, and with his voice talent, and the dark subject matter of Brenda's Revenge, I think it will be an excellent launch just in time for Halloween.
My latest brush with celebrity is one that I have found to be an even more eye-opening and pleasant interaction that I ever would have thought. For the past couple of months I have been following posts made by Katey Sagal (Married With Children, Sons of Anarchy, Futurama and many more) on both Twitter and Facebook. I normally don't follow celebrities on social media, but when I came across Katey's posts, I was pleasantly surprised to find that she was actually interacting with her fans rather than ranting about politics or some other inane topic. I liked what she wrote, and I liked how she asked her followers to post their opinions, so I joined in the discussion. I soon started receiving some "likes" by Katey herself, as well as some comments from her on my responses to her posts. I was surprised, and I have to admit that I liked the fact that she took the time to either like or comment back.
Yesterday I had the most pleasant surprise yet when I received a message directly from Katey on Facebook Messenger. It was a short, but very nice message, and it turned what had been a really cruddy week into a great one. Katey's message was very sincere and thoughtful, and it proved to me that she is not only a woman with many talents, she is a very real person.
If I ever do meet or communicate with any of my famous distant cousins, I can only hope that they are as nice and as down to earth as those with whom I have already interacted. They may not be, and if they aren't, then I hope that our paths will not cross. However, if they are as nice to communicate with as Michelle Yeah, John Stamos or Katey Sagal, I just know that I will be that much prouder to call them family.