I saw Lili Taylor at Ruta Maya Coffee shop last week. I knew it was her. Man, she looked just the same. She’s just about my height, just a little shorter, and just as pretty as I thought she’d be. How appropriate that she was in Say Anything…, because I did anything but that. I just started at her. She was complaining that her Latte didn’t taste right and I wanted to say something witty and profound so that she’d go, “You must be a comedian or an actor or at least have a little playwrighting and/or directing training. Do you, perchance, have a BFA from the University of Texas at Austin? And I could go “YES!” and she would go, “let’s hang out all day and be soul sisters.” And I could talk about how much I love her films and I wouldn’t sound like a stalker and she would think I was the funniest person she knew.
What really happened was I stared at her and she looked at me like, “Oh, this girl probably recognizes me…what’s with her hair?” And I was thinking, “Hey, that’s Lili Taylor. Wow. She’s the coolest. I can’t believe I have my hair in pigtails. Maybe I should explain I’m on my way to rehearsals where it’s hot. Maybe I should invite her to the show. Would Lili Taylor like comedy troupes? Should I invite her to the rehearsal? Should I tell her that my cats’ names are Lillith and Taylor but that was by pure coincedence?” At which point she was looking at me like, “Oh my God, she’s still staring at me. I wonder if she’s offended that I think the coffee tastes funny. Maybe her boyfriend works the counter here. Maybe I should shutup.” At which point I noticed I was staring and I had already gotten my coffee and it was time for me to move on in line…
But then…YES! I needed a straw! And the straws were just next to her elbow! And the rest of the story would be better told in a short play form.
(darting in, trying to look urgent and humble at the same time)
(darting out of Staring Girl’s way quickly, backing way up so there’s no touching involved)
Oh, sorry! I’m sorry.
(reaching out to touch her shoulder so she knows she really means it)
Oh, it’s no problem.
Sometimes life is too perfect. This was not one of those times. This was rather pathetic of me. But my parents have always told me to leave celebrites alone when I see them, like how we handle tiny birds that fell from the nest. If I touch the celebrity or bother it, then it’s mother might gore them to death to protect the others. Makes sense, I guess. Want to keep their identities secret, but here in Austin, there’s little or no anonymity.
Then I was thinking, I really like it when people tell me I did a good job in a play or a scene or an improv show. I like being told I’m funny. It reassures why I spend 20 hours a week doing this… so then I’m thinking: maybe I should have told her I’m a big fan. Maybe I shouldn’t have touched her elbow.
Maybe I should have just calmed down and acted like a human.
Maybe I’ll always be a dork.
Does fame mean you want people to notice you, or you wish they’d only notice you when you are in the mood to be noticed? Or is it the right of the fan to be able to gush whenever the incredible opportunity arises? These people are our heros and idols, and there’s nothing wrong with hero worship if it is only to compliment and strenghten, right? If you don’t like fame, don’t go to the audition. Oh, look at me all high and mighty, but I’ve always liked the recognition I got from my work, and you need to look at it as “This is someone who was affected by what I did.” Not, “Is this girl going to kill me?” I guess the scary side of fame just kills all the fun part of it. And what happens when they stop stalking you?
Oh, God. What if no one else is stalking Lili Taylor either and now she thinks no one knows who she is in this town? Jeez. A fan’s work is never done.
Oh, God. I stalked, too.