I’ve had a lovely day today, I went to my friend’s house and we watched two films together. First up, Across the Universe, which she loves and has always told me to watch. I really, really enjoyed it. It’s a great story, with a great backdrop and lots of Beatles songs. Then we watched A Few Good Men, which I haven’t seen. Jenny, my friend, always tells me to watch it, because she loves it, and the fact that Aaron Sorkin wrote it is a good enough reason for me to potentially love it, but for some reason I have never been able to summon up the enthusiasm to actually sit and watch it. But I’m glad I did, because it’s very enjoyable! I’ve added both to my Films page, for which you can find the link at the top of the page.
Now, it’s time for my weekly post, number 110 on the WordPress list:
Describe your first encounter with a celebrity
The ‘encounter’ that I am going to describe is not necessarily my first with a celebrity, though I am sure that I can’t really remember anything prior to this. I saw Billie Piper at a Bodyworlds exhibition once (I’m not entirely sure why I paid money to go to one of these, I’m not sure that I would now), but it wasn’t really an encounter. Anna, Rob and I just kept looking at her, and I think Anna and I tried to brush against her at one point, just for the fun of being able to say we’ve touched a celebrity. Also, this was pre-Doctor Who but post-terrible music career, so all she was in the papers for was being married to Chris Evans. I also saw Matthew Perry, Minnie Driver and Hank Azaria once, when we’d seen a play and then went to the stage door to see if we could see them. See them we did, get anywhere near them through the crowds of people that were there, we did not.
Anyway, so the first proper encounter with a famous person (he’s not a celebrity, and frankly, he’s not that famous either), was when I met Richard Schiff.
For those of you who don’t know who Richard Schiff is, he’s Toby in The West Wing. Sure, he’s been in other things – The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Ray, Made in Dagenham, for example – but I think most people will know him as Toby Ziegler, Communications Director in The West Wing, if they know him at all.
I’m not going to go into my love for The West Wing again. Most of you are regular readers, therefore most of you are aware of said love. Suffice to say that it’s my favourite programme in the whole world ever. So when I learnt that Richard Schiff was going to be starring in a play in the West End, in 2006 (I think), I knew that I had to see it, regardless of the quality of the play, just so I could say that I had seen Richard Schiff in person. Anna, Jenny and I went (I can’t remember why Vicky didn’t come, though I’m sure there was a good reason), along with Rob to see Underneath the Lintel. It was, as I remember, an entertaining enough play, it was a one-man play with Schiff playing a man who was returning a library book after many years. That’s all I can remember about it, though there was definitely more to the plot than that. Jenny had a coughing fit about ten minutes from the end, so she sat doing that thing you do when you desperately need to cough, but don’t want to because you know you are just going to be ruining something for everyone else.
Afterwards, we decided to wait at the stage door again, in much the same way as we did when we saw Matthew Perry in Sexual Perversity in Chicago. However, Richard Schiff and The West Wing are in no way as famous or popular as Matthew Perry and Friends, and there was just us and another group of people there, waiting for him. He came out, with a cap on and a cigarette in his mouth, and proceeded to sign our programmes and tickets. I was so incredibly star-struck that my legs actually started shaking. I was waiting for him to finish signing something for one of the other people there, and I realised that my pen wasn’t working. When Mr Schiff asked if anyone had anything he could lean on to sign this other person’s ticket, I said he could lean on my program, but if possible, afterwards, could he use that guy’s pen to sign my thing because mine had stopped working? I obviously sounded a little desperate and ridiculous, because he looked at me and said “Quite the little speech there!” Which would be hideously embarrassing were it not for the fact that it’s Toby Ziegler talking to me about a ‘speech’ that I had made. As it is, it’s amazing.
So, when I tell people that I have met Richard Schiff, I’m generally met with “Who?” These people, of course, are treated with the disdain they deserve as non-believers. I am now collecting encounters with West Wing people, as I have another (tenuous) one.
I sent Rob Lowe a message on Twitter telling him that I very much enjoyed this photograph of him (who wouldn’t?), and he replied! I know that in this age of Twitter, famous people are much more accessible, but that didn’t diminish my joy of this moment whatsoever. Rob Lowe, in that moment, knew that I existed, and that I appreciated his semi-naked form. All is well with the world. Now, how to meet Martin Sheen….?
Until next time