Here’s a stupid picture of me with Quincy Jones circa 2012. It was some film music gathering, I remember where it was (on the Sunset strip) and the various people I encountered, but not the reason for it. Maybe having to do with WME?
I don’t remember why I thought it would be funny or memorable to do a “Stephen Colbert” type of silly thumbs up with the great (and I mean great) Quincy Jones.
Well, I’m not proud. But in the end, who really cares? I guarantee, Q doesn’t.
This morning I noticed somebody made a comment on one of my blog posts (don’t bother looking it up) feeling bad that he had upset somebody he admired—and concluding, “Don’t meet your heroes.”
I say don’t bother looking up his comment, because I don’t want to draw any attention to him. He seemed bummed out to begin with. But my friend—cheer up!
I have had lots of “celebrity encounters.” Some of them were pretty cool. Some of them were embarrassing. I’ve written about them here now and again.
Billy Campbell (The Rocketeer) once offered me half a valium at a party. That’s all I remember! (I did not take it.) He seemed cool. Which would make sense, if he was on valium.
I think, overall, I am way more happy that I have had these experiences than not. The embarrassing ones—well, I would never recommend being obnoxious to somebody.
You just can’t control how people will behave, or who they really are inside. Or who might be having a bad day.
I’ve been on the other side of it, sometimes, meeting longtime fans of FSM. I really enjoy it and always try to be respectful. (I truly do appreciate it.)
But sometimes I’m distracted or crabby or just don’t live up to how I would like to behave, and I’m sorry about that.
If you meet Spielberg in an elevator and say, “Nice weather today,” and he says, “Yep”—he must know, by now, you’ll be telling that story the rest of your life.
Psychologists have determined that we regret the things we don’t do in life. We tend not to regret the things we actually do.
So I say, sure—meet your heroes!
Don’t ask William Shatner for an autograph—he’s famously crabby about that. (He has a good point: if he does one, suddenly there will be a crowd, and he’ll have to disappoint people no matter what.)
But why not meet them? If you have an opportunity, and you’re using your best judgment not to be intrusive—and you’re not a dick—I say, go for it.
FYI I would never approach or chastise a politician from “the other side” in public, especially if he or she is with family.
A good rule of thumb: if somebody is with his or her kids, leave them be.
But if you’re nice and thank somebody for their work, which you truly enjoy, and they’re mean about it—well, that’s their problem.
In the end, I’ve had a good time meeting various celebrities and people who I admire, and I enjoy those memories and telling the stories.
If you have a bad experience, don’t feel bad.
In a hundred years, we’ll all be dead!