I wish that being famous helped prevent me from being constipated."
~ Marvin Gaye
Breakfast: Oatmeal with
One Corpse Too Many
TODAY on TV
Frasier (x3 tonight)
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WHAT DO YOU SAY TO A LIVING LEGEND?
5 May 2004
Wednesday I will have the experience that many people never even experience once in a lifetime, and this will be my second--or maybe third--time.
Wednesday I will meet a living legend.
The first time I met a living legend, it was Judy Garland, whom I sat in the hotel of the Fairmont for 2 days waiting to meet. We didnt exactly "bond." I managed to stammer out a request for a photo and ask if I could take her picture and then I felt like I was going to faint, so that was pretty much the extent of my first interaction with a living legend.
I'm sure that Carol Channing also qualifies as a living legend. I don't know that Ive ever seen her officially labeled that, but who else could be Carol Channing? If she isnt officially a living legend, she should be.
I met Carol Channing at a reception prior to an awards show in Los Angeles. My one chance to do the red carpet and the searchlights and all that traditional Hollywood glitz and glamour. I wasnt glitzy or glamorous. I was huddled in the balcony with a group of The Last Session fans, hoping that Steve and Jimmy would win the award for which they had been nominated (they didnt).
But prior to the ceremony itself, there was a reception and I got to go. Jimmy and Steve came with Carol (Jim does a great Carol Channing impression) and when they saw me standing uncomfortably all by myself, not knowing a soul and not knowing what to do and not wanting to crash their little table, where all the Hollywood types were stopping to pay homage to Ms. Channing, Jimmy called me over and introduced me, took a picture of Steve, Carol and me and plunked me down in his seat while he went off hobnobbing. I managed to stumble through a tongue-tied conversation (and believe me its difficult to converse when your tongue is tied) and was thrilled when people came to greet Carol and I was relieved of trying to make small talk. She was lovely, though, and nothing like what youd imagine a living legend to be like.
So tomorrow I have an appointment to meet the director of another show at the University. These special articles I'm doing for The Davis Enterprise were kind of thrust on me by the retirement of the woman who usually does them, so I was kind of out of the loop about background information. Somehow I got it in my head that I was interviewing a student choreographer about a dance rendition of A Streetcar Named Desire. I couldnt quite see it as a dance, but then I sorta could. Its been an opera, so why not a dance?
I only realized two days ago that I needed to do this spotlight piece--and that it was due right after I return from Boise (Im flying up on Friday morning). I wrote to the publicity person at the university to get contact information for this "student choreographer." She sent me the e-mail address, I wrote a note and received a response setting up a meeting time. I wrote back and confirmed the time and asked where we should meet.
"If you follow the signs to the Theatre and Dance Department, up the stairs, the guys on reception will show you where I hibernate."
The guys on reception?
What student has "reception"?
I decided I should get some background on this woman and maybe see if there was a press release on the dance and what did I find? Holy shit. She is Yvonne Brewster, the Granada Artist in Residence this year, a Very Big Name in Jamaica and the UK. She founded the UKs largest Black theatre company. Shes directed all the big plays, has won tons of awards, including the "Living Legend Award" from the National Black Theatre Festival in North Carolina. She has an OBE (Order of the British Empire) and is a panelist for the Olivier Theatre Awards.
I repeat. Holy shit.
So now I know Im going to interview a living legend. I also know that Streetcar is the play, not a dance version of the play.
I have one day to learn how to sound like I know what Im talking about so I
dont sound like the uninformed dolt that I feel like. I wonder how long its
going to take before I start getting little confidence going into meetings like this!