I’m not obsessed with celebrities.
I can’t understand how people get hyped up over someone who is essentially the same species as them. Sure, some of them have an extraordinary talent to do something—something we have inevitably built up to be more worthy than it really is—but they are just people.
The other discouraging factor is the idolization aspect of celebrity appreciation. To us, celebrities are what we choose to view them as. No doubt you can get a feel for one’s personality through interviews, articles and the roles/songs/shows they partake in—but what if you met them and they weren’t what you had envisioned? There goes your idol. And it is this reason that I actually never want to meet Madonna; I have no doubt that my oldest longest obsession would be nothing less than disappointing as she would likely curse and make fun of me.
For the few of you who read this, you know this is not the first blog entry I have started with this declaration. And just like the others I am obviously using this to pre-empt a celebrity interest.
Here it goes:
I just met my favorite author. And celebrity authors are by far more intriguing to me than any other sort.
I just met Augusten Burroughs.
Thanks to Twitter and Facebook fanpages (ELH [thumbs up] this), I was in the loop regarding the tour for his new book and had Google calendared his reading at the Union Square B&N months earlier.
So one and a half hours before he was due to hit the stage I was seated in the second row, continuing to work on day one of NaNoWriMo, wiggling around in my seat in anticipation. While the guy next to me seemed to think it was odd I was writing while waiting for a book signing, being that AB’s writing is the inspiration for my book, it seemed like the PERFECT place to be kick-starting the sucker. (He was from Cali, what did he know… ha!)
AB popped up on stage promptly and read an excerpt from his new book: You Better Not Cry. The excerpt was about waking up in bed next to a naked senior-aged French Santa Claus—and not remembering a thing from the night before. (Seriously, get the book, I couldn’t do it justice if I plagiarized the damn thing.)
I took advantage of having the writer who has inspired the style of my book available for questions and raised my hand as soon as I had the chance. Unlike most of the other questions that discussed the content of his books—his life—and his reaction to his success and media coverage, I just wanted to know how many rounds of editing each piece of work goes through and therefore how similar the final version is to the initial draft. Turns out, it’s only edited a couple times… this guy is good!
After finishing up the Q&A with a long-winded response to “if you could go back and change anything in your life, would you?,” to which he answered a definite no explaining how selecting a window seat on a plane eventually led to how he met his book editor—god knows how it panned out, the guy talks faster than me—he sat down to personalize everyone’s collections.
I waited in line while the girl in front of me attempted to casually give AB her business card because she wanted to ‘interview him for the school paper,’ (so lame), trying to figure out how I could portray the importance his work has had on me and my career (I hope!) without sounding desperate like Ms. Business Card.
It was then my turn.
I didn’t say a thing.
He asked me if I was a student to which I replied, ‘no, I am a magazine editor.’ And then he asked how old I was, to which I said ‘28’—for some reason, I keep forgetting I’m still 27 for a couple more months. And to my flattering surprise he told me I was ‘one of those shape-shifters that could pass for all ages.’ So I laughed and told him that I had recently been told I looked 17.
He agreed—making him the second gay man in less than a week to mistaken me for being close to under-age! But hey, how many people can say Augusten Burroughs thought they were ten years younger than they are? Eh? (Just let me have the moment…)
Anyways, he repeated my moms name as he signed and I told him it was my mother and that she was the one who turned me onto his writing. I then told him that ‘although I couldn’t relate to his life experiences, his style of writing inspired my novel—so thank you.’
And he replied, somewhat more genuinely than I expected, with a “Thank YOU and congratulations!” (No need to tell him were only on day one of writing…)
And that is the reason I am sitting on the LIRR with a post-sex like smile on my face.
Siiigh. I guess I do have a thing for celebrities…
I’m just picky!