Giving celebs their privacy

madbrian
Broadway Legend
joined:6/1/06
Giving celebs their privacy
Posted: 4/19/14 at 08:48pm
I'm a big believer of not bothering folks, but it took all my restraint today. We were attending the matinee of The Cripple of Inishmaan, sitting in one of the boxes, when Baayork Lee, along with a friend, sat down in the box with us. Now, the first show I ever saw was the original cast of A Chorus Line back in the 70s, and that cast is largely responsible for my love of theater. It was difficult to sit there before the show, during intermission, and as we exited without disturbing Ms. Lee and her friend.



"It does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are 20 gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg." -- Thomas Jefferson
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
Giving celebs their privacy
Posted: 4/19/14 at 08:51pm
I'm pretty sure you could have said hello to her and been ok. She ain't exactly The Queen.
DAME
Broadway Legend
joined:4/15/04
Giving celebs their privacy
Posted: 4/19/14 at 08:54pm
She is a nice lady and would have loved you for it.
HUSSY POWER! ------ HUSSY POWER!
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
Giving celebs their privacy
Posted: 4/19/14 at 09:00pm
I would have guessed similarly. A quick recognition to her would, likely, have been greatly appreciated.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Giving celebs their privacy
Posted: 4/19/14 at 09:03pm
Yeah, I don't think that would be so intrusive. After all, you and she were in a public place.

I sat behind Conchata Ferrell at FOLLIES last year. I've been a big fan of hers since HOT L BALTIMORE in the 1970s. (She and Holland Taylor are the only reason I ever watched TWO AND A HALF MEN.)

Before the show started, I leaned over and told her how much I had enjoyed her work over the decades. She thanked me quite graciously and I left her alone. But later she asked me some questions about Sondheim's work and when the show ended, she stood up and asked me whether I had enjoyed it.

In such encounters, I try to phrase my remark so that the celeb only has to say "Thank you". That way it's clear I'm not trying to engage them in a long discussion.

In short: keep it brief, keep it positive and don't interrupt a celeb who is eating or having a conversation with someone else.





Updated On: 4/20/14 at 09:03 PM
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
Giving celebs their privacy
Posted: 4/19/14 at 09:53pm
I think if you have something interesting to say, people generally like to chat. "Ohmygodyou'reAMAZING" probably doesn't give them much to work with.

I had something perfect to say to Angela Lansbury when she walked into Twelfe Night directly behind me ("You were my role model in Manchurian Candidate!") but she controlled me by very adeptly *never* making eye contact with me. That was a master class in communication or the lack thereof that made it very clear that she was not interested in being accosted. It made me love her even more.
"I hate dead people!" -- Joan Rivers. A Piece of Work
perfectlymarvelous
Broadway Legend
joined:5/21/07
Giving celebs their privacy
Posted: 4/19/14 at 10:01pm
In that particular circumstance, saying something would have been okay. It's probably safe to say she doesn't get recognized all that often; she probably would have appreciated it.
Rainbowhigh23
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/12
Giving celebs their privacy
Posted: 4/19/14 at 10:07pm
I saw Dame Helen Mirren at Antony & Cleopatra at the Public. She was sitting across the theater from me but she did acknowledge that she noticed I noticed her. She kind of nodded with a sly smile for a moment and I thought, "Wow, so that WAS Helen Mirren!" She left at intermission.

I agree that if they're not in a conversation it's harmless to say hi. I've never had a bad experience saying hello to a celebrity in a Broadway theater; I always try to keep it quick.
ClydeBarrow
Broadway Legend
joined:6/20/12
Giving celebs their privacy
Posted: 4/19/14 at 10:10pm
Did Helen Mirren leave because you noticed her?
"Pardon my prior Mcfee slip. I know how to spell her name. I just don't know how to type it." -Talulah
Rainbowhigh23
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/12
Giving celebs their privacy
Posted: 4/19/14 at 10:15pm
I was just thinking someone here would think that! I think it was the guy next to me who exclaimed, "Oh my gawd, it's Helen Mirren over there!" She was sitting far enough away that I wasn't going to go near her. She looked pretty bored throughout the first act, so I wasn't surprised she grabbed her fur and left.



Updated On: 4/19/14 at 10:15 PM
haterobics
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/14
Giving celebs their privacy
Posted: 4/19/14 at 10:20pm
Baayork wouldn't have minded being acknowledged at all. I saw Camryn Manheim at Stage Kiss, and have always loved her work, so I timed it to say hi to her afterward, and she couldn't have been sweeter. I didn't try and extend the moment or start grilling her about future projects or anything, so that little exchange was the end of it, really.
formerly oasisjeff on here.
ARTc3
Broadway Star
joined:8/5/13
Giving celebs their privacy
Posted: 4/19/14 at 10:21pm
I have run into many "celebs", and almost as often acknowledged them and thanked them for their body of work. On most occasions the exchange was appreciated as I was respectful and approached with the utmost of respect for the person's privacy. In many occasions the person in question continued the exchange by asking me questions and opening up a conversation. In a few, I have actually gone on to walk together with the person if we were heading in the same direction, share a tea, etc. In two occasions, this has led to friendships that have lasted years.

"Celebs" are people. If they are with other people, its best to keep it short and simply express your appreciation for their work. If they are alone and respond with a genuine desire to engage - usually they'll ask your name and what you do - then get over the awkwardness of the situation and treat them like you'd treat anyone else and enjoy the opportunity.

ARTc3 formerly ARTc. Actually been a poster since 2004. My name isn't Art. Drop the "3" and say the signature and you'll understand.
Updated On: 4/20/14 at 10:21 PM
Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
Giving celebs their privacy
Posted: 4/19/14 at 10:30pm
You failed in your duty as a non-celeb. Celebs have it written into their contracts that they must be gracious to fans. The unions send out celebrity monitors and if a celebrity isn't gracious, their salary decreases on their next project. So in reality, you caused Ms. Lee to lose money. Both Patti LuPone and Lauren Bacall have been brought up before the Federation of Ungracious Celebrity (FUC).
If anyone ever tells you that you put too much Parmesan cheese on your pasta, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
darreyl102
Broadway Legend
joined:8/23/08
Giving celebs their privacy
Posted: 4/19/14 at 10:45pm

I heard if it happens one more time, she's done- it's the big doll house for her.

But seriously, I am sure she would be very flattered. since she isn't the biggest star, she probably doesn't get that noticed often so it probably would have been very flattering to her.

Darreyl with an L!
haterobics
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/14
Giving celebs their privacy
Posted: 4/19/14 at 10:48pm
It's not like she's spend the last nearly 40 years disassociating from A Chorus Line, unless I'm misreading her work on the book, the documentary, helping recreate the choreography for the revival, etc., etc.
formerly oasisjeff on here.
CurtainPullDowner
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/04
Giving celebs their privacy
Posted: 4/20/14 at 01:31am
You should have told her you loved her in THE KING AND I, she probably doesn't hear that much anymore.
SweetLips
Broadway Star
joined:1/23/13
Giving celebs their privacy
Posted: 4/20/14 at 03:27am
I don't know the theatre but boxes usually seat 4, so there was really no way that you could not avoid just saying Hello-which is the polite thing you would do to anyone sitting in such close proximity.
Pasdechat
Swing
joined:4/17/14
Giving celebs their privacy
Posted: 4/20/14 at 04:41am
If you genuienly have someting nice to say because you appreciate somebody's work, I think you should say it and the person should feel appreciated and flattered. Part of being an actor involves being liked and recognized by the public, after all. If you recognize someone without knowing or liking his/ her work and just go "OMG you're Heidi Klum!" I would propably keep it to myself My friend once ran into Julie Andrews and started with "OMG...!" But then gabbled about how she was her biggest hero and Andrews was amused, but very kind. I was had a workshop with Baayork on ACL and she was very sweet.
ArtMan
Broadway Legend
joined:9/10/08
Giving celebs their privacy
Posted: 4/20/14 at 06:23am
My most recent encounter with a celebrity in a public place was in the line awaiting to get into Equus. Behind me was Bill Irwin. I had just seen Rachel Getting Married. Thought the movie was terrific and all the leads excellent.. I turned around and just started the conversation. He couldn't have been nicer. He engaged in the conversation and asked me questions on where I saw it and in what part of the country. (This was before the nominations). Another time at Cuba & His Teddy Bear, Gina Lollabrigada and Altovise Davis(Sammy's widow) sat next to me. This was the time when she was on Falcon Crest. At intermission, I leaned over and stated I have enjoyed your work and love you on Falcon Crest. She responded in her Italian accent "Thank you very much". That was it, but it made my day.
theatregeek6
Leading Actor
joined:6/19/13
Giving celebs their privacy
Posted: 4/20/14 at 08:57pm
I sat behind Andy Karl and Orfeh at Big Fish the night they announced him for Rocky. Great opportunity to simply say I was a big fan, congratulations and shook his hand. He and Orfeh actually kept me talking for a minute or so.

So. No real interruption and something of value to say (and someone you genuinely think highly of - like Baayork Lee in your case). And that would have been it. It was two really generous professionals who kept it going another minute.
theatregeek6
Leading Actor
joined:6/19/13
Giving celebs their privacy
Posted: 4/20/14 at 08:57pm
I sat behind Andy Karl and Orfeh at Big Fish the night they announced him for Rocky. Great opportunity to simply say I was a big fan, congratulations and shook his hand. He and Orfeh actually kept me talking for a minute or so.

So. No real interruption and something of value to say (and someone you genuinely think highly of - like Baayork Lee in your case). And that would have been it. It was two really generous professionals who kept it going another minute.
muscle23ftl
Broadway Legend
joined:12/19/04
Giving celebs their privacy
Posted: 4/20/14 at 09:07pm
Lady Gaga, Madonna or Miley Cyrus are celebrities, she is far from a celebrity. She is a successful woman who makes a good living in the theatre world.
"People have their opinions and that doesn't mean that their opinions are wrong or right. I just take it with a grain of salt because opinions are like as*holes, everyone has one". -Felicia Finley-
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Giving celebs their privacy
Posted: 4/20/14 at 09:46pm
Continuing what Namo said, I think most celebrities (even minor ones) have "the look" that says "Please do not interrupt me." I've gotten that look from Meg Foster, Jack Klugman and Wendie Malick (none of whom I actually planned to speak to, but never mind that). To be clear, I'm not criticizing these people; they were under no obligation to stop and chat with me.

It seems to be part of the celebrity skill set and my point is that if a celebrity really doesn't want to be bothered, you'll probably know. (The exceptions, again, are if the star is eating or in conversation with someone else.)
lovepuppy
Broadway Star
joined:12/7/05
Giving celebs their privacy
Posted: 4/21/14 at 12:33am
A few years ago, I saw Tracie Thoms in the audience on opening night of a show in Chicago...I can't remember which show it was. I don't think it was a tour of "RENT." Maybe "In the Heights" or "Jersey Boys" or something, but it was some timely...something...where she would have had Broadway friends in the production.

I saw her in the audience and happened to be coming out into the lobby near her after the show on the way to the exit. I brushed next to her and simply said, "'RENT' is one of my favorite shows, you did wonderfully in it." She smiled and nicely said "thank you." That was it. We were all leaving in this big crowd toward the door. No reason, nor any way possible, to have an extended conversation if either of us had tried, so we both moved on. But she had false eyelashes on out-to-here,and was dressed to the 9's, and had a handsome man on her arm (didn't recognize him), looking fab. So she was kinda dressed to be noticed...
"There is no use trying," said Alice; "one can't believe impossible things." "I dare say you haven't had the practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." --Alice in Wonderland
BwayLover
Broadway Legend
joined:9/12/03
Giving celebs their privacy
Posted: 4/21/14 at 07:41am
A couple of months ago I was walking on 8th avenue and saw Tony Sheldon walking towards me. I honestly don't know how and why I did it (I have never really done this before) but as he passed me, I turned to him and blurted out - "I love you, Mr. Sheldon." He stopped and looked a bit surprised, but thanked me nonetheless and even started a conversation with me, in which I was able to redeem myself and appear somewhat coherent. After a few minutes, we said our goodbyes, and he said "you've just made my day!" and proceeded to give me a big hug! I replied that he had made mine, and we both joyfully walked away. He was seriously the kindest, sweetest man.

I am so glad I approached him (even if at first I came across as a little nutty) - my take from this is that yes, if they are not in the middle of a conversation or eating, sometimes they even appreciate meeting someone who genuinely admires them.

"Years from now, when you talk about this - And you will - Be kind. "
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
Giving celebs their privacy
Posted: 4/21/14 at 08:32am
I'm a big believer in respecting everyone's privacy, including celebrities.

However, there's such a thing as overcompensation. People sitting next to each other at shows often enjoy polite pre-show and intermission conversation. Initiating these conversations usually isn't considered an intrusion.

I recently sat between two very nice women at Sweeney Todd at the Philharmonic. The fact that the lady to my right was completely unknown to me before the show didn't stop me from having a very enjoyable conversation with her. The fact that the lady to my left happened to be Barbara Cook didn't stop me from having a very enjoyable conversation with her.

By the way in each case, it was the ladies who started talking to me. The lady to my right about how excited she was to be there before the show; the lady to my left about how fantastic she thought the performance was. But it could have easily been me who initiated these chats. Just as it wasn't impolite for Barbara Cook to engage me in friendly conversation, it wouldn't have been impolite for me to do the same to her. Nor did I feel under any compunction to speak to her as if I had no idea who she was or how much she meant to me as an artist.

We who have the privilege of relative anonymity don't pay for it with a speak-only-when-spoken to yoke In the presence of the famous.

In this respect at least, we still live in a democracy.







Updated On: 4/21/14 at 08:32 AM

1
Page: