Celebrities: They’re just like us! OK, not really. But meeting them can be just awkward as with any stranger. The staff here at LD have had their fair share of strange encounters of the celebrity kind and naturally we decided to be so kind as to share.
Senators Thanked Me for My Work in Politics.
I’ve ran into my two idols, Senators Gillibrand and McCaskill and I proceeded to fangirl over them and repeatedly thank them for their work. After this experience where I almost choked up on tears, they asked me what I was interested and what kind of internships I had and how I get myself involved in politics. They then both thanked me for all that I do. It was great.
Who You Gonna Call?
I once went to Billy Murray’s house for a Halloween party. ‘Nuff said.
The Time Grouplove Stole My Sweater
When Grouplove came to my college campus, I got to interview them before their show. And one of the band members (I think it was the bassist) got a really large charge out of my fox sweater, and asked to borrow it, and kept making comments about wearing it onstage. But then this other bitch showed up and was rocking like, a velvet paisley jacket and he liked her clothes way better, so he wore her jacket on stage instead. I’m still a little bitter.
The Time I Verbally Assaulted John Green
When I was young and had far less chill, I was working at a Robeks across the street from the local Borders (what a sad, outdated sentence). When I say that I was a John Green fan, I mean, like superfan. So when this guy who looks exactly like my favorite author walks into Robeks and orders one of those nasty health smoothies, I am beyond losing my cool. “What’s your name?” I ask slyly. “Joe.” He tells me. I stare at him. We lock eyes. “Are you sure?” I ask. The man nods slowly. I go in the back and make this guy’s smoothie, giving him the shifty eye the whole time. I don’t know why he lied, but TRUST ME guys, this was John Green. I’m texting my friend on the DL and trying to tell her about this, and she responds back “OMG, HE’S DOING A SIGNING AT BORDERS.” By this point I know that I am in fact looking at John Green. There’s like no way this isn’t him. So I finish the smoothie, go to hand it to him, and I’m trying to play it chill but instead I end up forcefully thrusting his smoothie at him and yell “I KNOW WHO YOU ARE.” He just kind of stared at me and left. There’s a possibility this wasn’t John Green. But I’m very positive, even to this day.
Taylor Swift and the Lost Snickers
Once upon a time before the Bad Blood singer was a household name, she had an album simply called “Taylor Swift.” And that album was the anthem of my junior year of high school.
After a fun-filled dance competition in New York City, the rest of my high school drill team and I were settling into our seats at the airport waiting for our flight back to Texas. I had Seventeen and a Snickers in hand, and was listening to “The Outside” on my iPod. And that’s when I heard a scream.
I turned around and there she was. The next ten minutes were a complete blur. Taylor had met one of my teammates in the bathroom who had then convinced her to come meet her “friends.” Little did Taylor know that there were more than 50 of us. She sang “Picture to Burn” for us way before it became one of her top hits, signed autographs and took pictures.
When it was finally my turn to take a picture with Taylor (with my purple Nikon COOLPIX digital camera…2007 chic), I of course knocked over multiple airport souvenirs on the side on a magazine stand while getting into position. “Don’t worry about it,” she said with a flick of her hand. “Just look forward and act like it didn’t happen!” To this day, whenever I knock over random junk in stores, I always think of Taylor.
It wasn’t until she left and the commotion settled that I realized I’d dropped my half-eaten Snickers on the floor. Totally worth it.
The Time I Walked On By Past Robert Pattinson
I was in London for a school tour of the BBC, and we had some time after to wander around with friends. A guy who looked familiar walked by us, so I think I said, “Hey” or smiled at him even though I couldn’t quite place who he was. Once he was further away I said, “Isn’t that guy in the year above us at school?” My friend corrected me that it was in fact Robert Pattinson. In my defense, this was pre-Twilight, so at the time he was only known for Cedric Diggory.
I Got Drunk and Interviewed Royalty
When I was but a wee cub (i.e. senior in college) I had an internship at a Modern Luxury magazine. They sent me to a luncheon to interview Jemma Kidd, who, in addition to being a former model with her own makeup line, is a distant member of the royal family. I read up on her entire life story pre-interview and was very nervous. Her first interview went over (I could see her laughing and having fun with that reporter), so they asked if I could do the interview after the lunch. No problem. Then they served lunch. With wine. Remember, I was in college so free alcohol was not something to be wasted. Problem. The interview was a disaster because I was terrified (it was my first, ever!) and trying SO hard to keep it together and not be awkward and use the clever questions my editor gave me, but she was clearly like, “Who the fuck sent you here.” I didn’t do another interview for 12 years.
The lead singer of Geographer, Mike Deni, is the closest I get to a celebrity crush. He has the voice of a sexy hipster angel and I’ve been to probably four of their shows. For one tour, they opened for Tokyo Police Club, so after their set they retired to the merch table at the back of the venue. They weren’t very busy, but I hung back because I didn’t know what to say, until my friend jostled us to the front of the table and said, “This is my friend Erin, she’s your biggest fan.” I stuttered something like, “I’ve seen you guys three times, I love your music.” (GOOD ONE, BRAIN). Then we took the world’s most awkward picture together and I left. Later I tried to interview him for an article but he never got back to me, probably because he remembered how weird I am :*(
I Argued With My Favorite Author About a Song In Her Book
I recently met Mary Gaitskill, who is an idol of mine, when she gave a reading for her new book The Mare. Given that she’s a 60-year-old white lady and the protagonist is a 12-year-old Dominican girl, I tried to ask her during the Q&A how she had learned about that culture. Since I was super nervous my question didn’t come out right and she was like, “What do you mean?” I tried to explain, referencing a song in the book by Aventura, and she was like, “Oh, I know what you’re talking about, but that song is by Missy Elliott.” I turned bright red and sunk down in my chair, frantically paging through the book, because I knew the song was not Missy Elliott. During signing, because I can’t just let things be if someone thinks I’m wrong, I showed her the passage I was talking about and she was like, “Oh, that’s Frankie J. But Aventura did the song too.” (Still not true, the passage is in Spanish so it had to have been Aventura). I don’t know if I should be more embarrassed for arguing with her or if she should be for not knowing where a song in her book came from (the lyrics are a little off too), but either way we took an extremely awkward picture and she’s still on my shortlist for people to have dinner with because I feel like she might be trolling me.
That Time I Forgot How to Talk When I Met Sarah Jessica Parker
In early 2014, SJP was launching her new shoe line (The SJP Collection) at Nordstrom, and to promote it she was going to be stopping at major Nordstrom departments across the country. When she came to Chicago (hometown whaddup), she was going to be making an appearance by having a meet/greet and signing autographs, shoes, shoe boxes, etc. You had to buy a pair of shoes to be eligible to meet her obviously. My mom and I bought a pair and I’m super excited the entire almost three hours we waited in line to meet her. By the time we got to the table I completely froze and was so starstruck that I didn’t know what to say. When she reached out her hand to shake mine the first thing I blurted out was “I love you” and immediately starting a conversation about the best Chicago pizza she should try. It wasn’t really that awkward at first because I’m sure SJP just thought I was just another typical fan but it was really cool meeting her (she’s so short!! like 5’2 I kid you not she’s tiny!!!)
I also saw Jimmy Fallon riding his bike near the Rockefeller Center in NYC. I think it was for some skit for his show because there were cameras filming and bunch of people around watching. And that same day I casually saw Alec Baldwin walking down the street.
– Nikki Rodriguez
The Time I Saw the Flight of the Conchords Guys Wearing Nothing But Speedos
Back in 2007, I camped out at Bonnaroo Music Festival in Tennessee with my sister. Tennessee happened to be in one of their worst droughts in years, and that June was hot and dry. My sister and I were nearly comatose, leaning against a deserted stretch of fencing, silently fighting over the nonexistent shade.
There weren’t many people around as we were rubbing suntan lotion onto our faces, when we saw two pale and black-headed guys jauntily walk by, proudly holding a video camera. They were wearing nothing but bright red speedos (not all that unusual, considering the nude-friendly music fest). They passed within a few feet of us, swung the camera towards our just lathered up faces, gave us a cheery wave and a hello, then walked on by. We didn’t think much of it, until we went to the next performance we were interested in, which was of a comedic music group duo hailing from New Zealand (this was before the Flight of the Conchords TV show on HBO). That duo group turned out to be the speedo guys that we saw just a few hours before. It was because of this encounter that I ended up watching the HBO show, and I fell in love with Bret and Jemaine a little bit harder because of that speedo memory.
– Kristin D. Urban-Watson
That Time My Mom Couldn’t Try on a Blouse Because Britney Spears Was Blocking the Mirror
Two years ago, during my first year of college, my mom brought my grandparents to visit me at school for the first time. Being the respectful and attentive granddaughter I am, I decided to leave my phone in the car since I wouldn’t be needing it at lunch anyway, right? SO WRONG.
We got brunch at a popular restaurant in Charlottesville then decided to do some window-shopping before I headed to my next class. In walking down University Avenue I did a double-take as I saw someone I swore looked just like Britney Spears brush past me (physical contact was made!), but wouldn’t let myself believe it was true. Two minutes later I was in a boutique with an armful of clothing to try on and before I entered the dressing room I asked my mom if she’d found anything. She rolled her eyes and said, “I wanted to hold up this blouse in that mirror over there, but that lady is blocking it.” I glanced in the direction of the mirror and couldn’t believe the words as they came out of my mouth: “Mom, that’s BRITNEY SPEARS.”
My mom quickly forgave Britney for preventing her from trying on the now-forgotten blouse, but I have yet to forgive 2013 Julia for not having her phone at that life-changing moment. And of course my friends still don’t believe it happened. While I don’t have any pictures myself, this article is proof enough of our encounter. Told you so.