Tenspeed & Brownshoe

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Is that a rat, a gerbil, or a hamster? I have no idea but I just really liked the picture.

Last Night I just had my first brush with fame. No, it wasn't seeing my mug on America's Most Wanted; I was actually recognized.

My directing and producing partner Larry Strong and I went out to play pool on Long Island because well...that's where we live. When we walked up to the counter to get our balls (please, too easy), this young kid does a double take and actually says, "Hey! I know you!"

Things that immediately entered my mind:
  • He had me confused with another black guy. It's amazing how often that happens.
  • Somewhere out here on the Internet, there's a place where the government posts pictures of people who download a ridiculous amount of porn.
  • I had sex with his girlfriend.
  • I had sex with his sister.
  • I had sex with his mother (happened).
  • I had sex with his grandmother (never happened but considering how young some mothers have been...)

So I kind of made a face and responded, "Oh yeah?" He then shakes my hand at the same time the counter girl gives us our rack--which was great because I desperately wanted to get the fuck outta there. When we get to the table Larry looks at me and says, "I bet you had sex with his grandmother".

He was wrong.

Because then the kid walks up to us and says, "Aren't you guys Directors?" How the hell did he know that? Then he says,"I saw your pictures in Newsday" which means a lot more in Long Island then it does in New York City. People in the city only read 3 things. The Post. The Daily News. Or The New York Times. Some people read Am New York but only on the 2 train from 23rd St. to 72nd St.

This could have been great story about being recognized but it isn't. Because that kid, who turned out to be an aspiring actor, talked our ears off for 20 minutes before I got the balls to say something like, Great. It was nice meeting you but we're gonna play now. When I got home I couldn't stop thinking how weird that was. But then I came to a frightening realization.

This happens to celebrities all the time. All day. Every day.

So do I now feel sorry for what celebrities go through with the pictures and the "who are you fucking" and the "are you gonna get a divorce" and "are you really gay" questions?

Hell no.

Why? Because if you believe for a second that these celebrities don't ask for it--no, don't want it, you're sadly mistaken. For celebrities (mostly actors but we have a few Paris Hiltons and Reality Stars too), FAME is the ultimate goal. Why do you think they even go to Robertson Blvd.? If you're unfamiliar with Robertson Blvd, it's a long street in Los Angeles that is probably the biggest paparazzi hangout in the world. It has the Ivy, New Line Cinema, and a bunch of expensive clothing places. And if celebrities are hounded by the paparazzi on this street then you must believe this: They want to be hounded. They need to be hounded. Why else would you go there? John Cusack has been a celebrity for 3 decades now. But he doesn't go the Ivy, or Wolfgang Puck's, or Fred Segal's. He exists just like the rest of us.

I personally hated being recognized. Not because I'm some weird hermit. I just didn't like the attention considering he doesn't even know what kind of shit that I produce or direct. The fact that I was on the cover of a newspaper was good enough for him. And that's just...weird. And unsettling. But if I want a larger career, I have to do more press and take more pictures. And if I complain, tell me to shut the fuck up. Because that's the business. And we're compensated very well for the public intrusion.

So to all those celebrities that complain about the big bad paparazzi:

Shut The Fuck Up.