Friday, September 26, 2014

52 Author Dates ~ Week 37

Her Majesty's Theatre,  Melbourne
Attend A Celebrity Appearance, commanded my author challenge. 

Go to a gathering of those keen to catch a glimpse of the charmed ones who attract the beacon of public attention. Observe those feted individuals and ask the question... Does my story have a character worth writing about? Will my readers’ interest span from curiosity to devotion, the way some do for those blanketed in fame? 

I hope so. I hope my characters wrestle with the same issues of injustice, love and compassion the way Victor Hugo’s characters do in the stage version of Les Miserables.

That’s where my honey-girl and I caught a glimpse last week of actors dedicated to showcasing Melbourne’s version of Jean Valjean, Eponine, Fantine, Cosette and Marius. 

But what about real life celebrities? The ones devoted fans wait for outside stage doors? 

While we didn’t hang around to snag autographs or take selfies with the cast, we watched those who’d positioned themselves for whatever came after the final curtain.

A brush with fame. A small taste of the limelight, even from it’s very edge, when freshly scrubbed actors no longer in character but very much an attraction in their own right, exited the theatre to thank their fans.

I’ve had occasion to talk with a few ‘celebs’ in my time. When Guy Sebastian won the first season of Australian Idol my family bumped into him at Sydney airport and we chatted for a while. We took the ubiquitous photo and congratulated him on his win. And he rewarded our fan moment with warmth and friendliness we haven’t forgotten.

When I flew to the US in 2010, I bumped into all manner of famous ones on my flights from Melbourne to LA. Delta Goodrum dropped her phone on my foot but she rewarded me with a beaming smile when I returned it to her. The flight crew didn’t even know I was there. All attention was reserved for the music industry's girl hidden behind sunglasses, working on sheet music in seat 1A. 

But it was Sir Richard Branson who won that trip's prize for most attention catching celebrity. When you’re flying across the Pacific with the owner of the airline occupying the pointy end of the plane, there’s a special kind of happy on board, and I was no exception. 

Perhaps it was Sir Richard’s willingness to walk the length of the plane and high five excited passengers before take off which endeared him to all of us. A quick ‘have a good flight’ greeting from someone who didn’t have to, but chose to share a friendly wave.  

Like the actors who stall their dash for a midnight dinner to sign their names on a playbill. 

Melbourne cast ~ Les Miserables

Celebrities who most endear themselves to the public are the ones who stop to acknowledge the fans who wait for them. 

And so with fictional characters. The ones who grab our attention and allegiance are the ones who come off the page and enter our hearts. The ones who elicit a visceral response along with our admiration. The Jean Valjeans and the Eponines. 

Have you bumped into a celebrity? Are you a devoted fan of someone you’ve waited in line to meet? 

Blessings for a wonderful weekend,