“Hi Michael Jackson” is what I would have said if I’d seen him on the street. That’s one celebrity I sadly won’t be able to glam. Glam is the positive way of describing how one uses a special ability to charm a famous person. Celebrity Tourette Syndrome is the other way to describe it, especially by those people who are embarrassed by my actions. It is an uncontrollable urge to connect and blurt, “Hi, (celebrity first name) + (celebrity last name)”.
Sorry to name drop but I have made some involuntary "Hi's" to really big names. It first started with George Clooney at a bar in LA called Jones. “Hi George Clooney.” The next thing I knew I was having a cocktail with him and his posse. (Those were the early ER days, before he was a superstar.) “Hi Robert Redford,” I said as he was getting out of his town car outside the Sundance building in NY. He looked at me stunned. Was he thinking, “Does she know me?” or “Should I call security?”
In most instances, the tics are a positive social grace. In my favorite restaurant, Il Buco, a man was blocking the entrance. I gently touched his back to try to get a little movement so that we could get to the hostess area. He turned around and looked a bit miffed, which is when I realized who I had pushed. “Oh, Hi, Dustin Hoffman.” He wasn’t mad anymore. (By the by, my tic kicked in at that restaurant on various occasions when I brushed up beside Matt Damon, Harrison Ford and Liev Schreiber.) I had a “Hi Diana Ross” outburst in the gift store at Canyon Ranch. We actually had a conversation but she was trapped because she was paying for her merchandise. Jon Bon Jovi was my latest “Hi” last December - I was at a very crowded club and the only way to the restroom was to walk by me. I gave him enough room, patted his shoulder and said, “Hi Jon Bon Jovi.” He smiled. Ooh la la!
My favorite celebrity tic was to Esther Williams because many moons ago, I produced the show packaging and promos for an all day movie marathon, The Esther Williams Splash Bash on TNT. She is amazing in her films - she dives, does tricks, and glides through the water wearing a smile with perfect lipstick. If you know me for five minutes, you know that I don’t go anywhere without my lippy. When I lived in London, my friends knew that if I got ran over by a double-decker bus, before calling an ambulance they were to apply a fresh coat. The same love for lipstick has been passed on to my daughter. See picture at right.
Is Celebrity Tourette Syndrome inherited? My children may have it. For two and half years, they seemed pretty excited to see the mailman EVERY day. The mailman is a big deal in a child's life. The scene : Mailman Willie slides the mail through the slot on the front door. The kids open the door when he is barely off of the front porch. They blurt, “Hi Willie.” My son tells Mailman Willie he is eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Willie asks, “Again?!” There is a picture of Mailman Willie with the kids at right. The same impulse happens when we see the Mayor of Kensington. “Hi Mayor Pete.”
I’ve decided while writing this entry that the outbursts are not a disorder but should be considered the gift of glam. The sexy vampires in True Blood glam people all the time. I don’t want to suck anyone’s blood but merely want the person of influence to feel the adoration. Tonight we are having a King-of-Pop-family-dance and I’ll say to the sky, “Hi Michael Jackson,” wherever you are.