Many people claim that “it is all who you know” in the entertainment industry. After living out here for a number of years I can say, with the utmost confidence, this is 99 % UNTRUE. I, in fact, know more than a few celebrities and have for some time and it hasn’t brought me one step closer to achieving my dreams. What it has brought me closer to is meeting SHARON STONE!
Now, it is nothing in Los Angeles to pop into any random Starbucks and run into one of the leads on NCIS or the chick from Full House or the principal on Save By the Bell. I even ran into Mr. Belvedere once! So, I have come a long way since the early days of losing my shit over the likes of Jack Wagner! I am able to order my non-fat Caramel Macchiato, give a quick nod and be on my way.
Cut to last Friday: Not so much.
Enter a text message from my famous friend asking me to a Pre-Emmy party. Ummm…let me check.. It’s either a marathon of The Wonder Years with my cats and a bottle of wine or… “Yes. I think I can make it!”
Everything is going pretty smoothly. A car comes to pick me up. This always trips me out. A call from George the Hungarian Driver to tell me he is out front whenever I am ready. I am not. He is fifteen minutes early which may as well be an hour in my time. I finally settle on an outfit and head out the door to meet George.
George is spectacular. A lot can be learned in a thirty minute drive into Beverly Hills. I learned that George had a son who was going to be a Dentist and a wife who was obsessed with I Love Lucy. I learned that he cooked every single meal for his wife and packed her a healthy lunch every day. I learned that he believed he was too old to have dreams anymore. This made me sad. George is one of those guys who speaks with a smile. I learned that he was a man who enjoyed The History Channel, CNN and Old time Westerns. This reminded me of my father. I smiled to myself, comforted by his thick accent and his little nuggets of wisdom. “If this is something you love, you dream of, then do it! Because when you live to see those dreams..it’s a very nice feeling. Very nice.”
“Thanks, George. I appreciate that, George.” He smiled at me through the rearview mirror.
I like George very much.
I be sure to program George’s number into my famous friend’s phone. “He’s the best!” I assure him.
Cut to the Pre Emmy party.
First off, TMZ is waiting with flashes of the brightest lights your eyes can handle, shouting for pictures. While necessary, this part of the business seems insane!
The moment we head inside we are informed that GLENN CLOSE is a big fan and wants to meet my friend. I die. I quickly calm myself by thinking there is no way that this meeting will take place tonight. There are a million people here. I remind myself to breathe. I need a cocktail. We are bombarded with tons of fans wanting to grab a picture, a word, an-anything with my friend. He is great. He talks to everyone and signs every autograph that is asked of him. While he continues to entertain, I head for the bar. A few minutes later, my friend finds me and we begin our hunt for some Shrimp Cocktail. In the midst of our hunt I regretfully pop an interesting little kabob into my mouth that tastes like monkey brain and I want to puke. Like now. I cannot get the taste of something that died a horrific death out of my mouth, not even by chugging my vodka soda. It is very hard to try to maintain any sort of sophisticated facade while thinking you may hurl at any given moment! I turn my head to use a paper napkin to wipe away any brain remnants from my tongue and who is standing right beside me??
Are you kidding me? Now, I am really going to hurl.
My friend politely introduces me to my favorite actress of all time as I unsuccessfully try to form some semblance of a greeting. Is anyone else here noticing how insane this is or is it just me? This is a far cry from meeting Skeet Ulrich at Lalapalooza! Breathe. Just breathe.
The two of them rattle off the possibility of working together..
Dear god, what is that noise? No. Please don’t tell me it’s..yup. Yes. It is the sound of my knees. Knocking together!
Pull it together, Jessica! She is a woman just like yourself.
Only if your talking Super Woman. This Super Woman could not utter a word in a scene and still be worthy of an Academy Award. This is too much for me.
Enjoy the moment!
“Hahahhaaaa…” I fake laugh to act as if I am included in this conversation. I am not. I would be if I could stop freaking myself the F out! I can’t.
I excuse myself to go to the bathroom.
I continue to talk myself through remembering to breathe. I think I am ok. I walk out of the bathroom ready to give myself a nice little pep talk in the mirror and whose reflection do I catch beside me?
As if this night could get any more surreal. I take a breath. I ramble off, to myself, some positive affirmation that I read somewhere in some self help book some time ago and I turn to her. I turn to Sharon Stone and I tell her that I am a huge fan and that I watched her audition scenes for Basic Instinct a thousand times and that she was gorgeous. Oh yes. I did. And it felt good. I was honest and I was happy that I was talking to Sharon Stone, in the bathroom of a fancy hotel in Beverly Hills, to celebrate the Emmys with my wonderful famous friend, that I was driven there by the Sweet George and that I at least shook hands with Glenn Close.
Sharon Stone told me that I too was gorgeous. She was being polite. I thanked her and walked out of the bathroom. Very cool, calm and collected..
..and then I peed my pants.
Moral of the story?
While it is definitely not about who you know in this business, sometimes it is about who you can meet, and I am okay with this: )