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Your Brush with Greatness.


HelenBaby2
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Tiki, great story, I love the theremin. I once presented a program with a theremin player named Rob Schwimmer.

 

Lafitte, you've reminded me of a wonderful performance of L'elisir d'amore which I saw at the Met, with Luciano.

 

Your backstage stories remind me of another one -- a very sad one. One of my early theater-going experiences was to see Pearl Bailey and Cab Calloway in Hello Dolly, in the Spring of 1968. It was later in the original run of the production, and they were having various high-profile cast changes, in this case an all-black cast.

 

Pearl Bailey made a very strange and non-specific speech at the curtain call. Something about the fact that something happened, and after some discussion the cast felt they should go on. But we didn't know what she was referring to. My friend and I went back to get her autograph after the show. Ms. Bailey told us that during the show, the cast had learned that Martin Luther King, Jr. had been assassinated.

 

Wow, that was rather couragous, I think more often than not a troop would just call it off after a shock like that. Not only do you have these brushes with greatness, these greats seem to say something interesting to you.

 

Was the L'Elisir also with, Battle, Pons, and Dara? I have a DVD of that from the Met. In the very first scene Battle has a book in her hand which she eventually tosses it in the air so it lands somewhere behind her. It happens to fall into the hands of Luciano. From the look on his face, I don't think it was planned that way, he was utterly delighted.

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Was the L'Elisir also with, Battle, Pons, and Dara? I have a DVD of that from the Met. In the very first scene Battle has a book in her hand which she eventually tosses it in the air so it lands somewhere behind her. It happens to fall into the hands of Luciano. From the look on his face, I don't think it was planned that way, he was utterly delighted.

I'm not sure who the lady was, I think probably Judith Blegen. 

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Hey, I met Ben Mankiewicz ! Does that count?

 

He was in Toronto with that TCM travelling film feature event (forget what exactly it was called.)

I'd gone to Toronto specifically to attend this event, and to meet him. They were showing "The Last Picture Show" at the Bell Lightbox Theatre.

 

I really wanted to meet Ben. At the time, there was some Ben-bashing thread on the boards here (how unusual !), and, not that he needed it, I wanted to tell him I was a big fan.

 

There didn't seem to be much opportunity to meet him, though. Wasn't any "meet and greet" time before the scheduled event, or anything like that.

I took a seat next to the outside aisle in case Ben came walking that way. And then - he did ! It was just minutes before he was to take the stage along with the other speaker, to introduce the film. He was standing in a sort of alcove, away from the aisle seats. I can't even remember how I knew exactly he was there, but I think I was sort of lying in wait for him.

The ushers or security staff, or whoever they were (young girls by the look of it) kept trying to lead me away. I remember saying, "I just want to meet Ben Mankiewicz, dont' worry, I'm not some nutter or anything." 

Anyway, all of a sudden, there was the Mankman, along with a few assistants or something. I remember he was extremely gracious, we shook hands, he took a minute or two to talk to me, I even told him I was a regular poster on these boards ! He signed a "Now Playing" TCM guide for me.

 

Ben was very gracious and friendly, and I'm glad I went out of my way to meet him. My friend I attended the screening with was a little embarrassed, she thought I'd "made a fuss"  to meet him.

And I did ! But it was totally worth it. No one else there had made an effort to meet him, and no one else did. ( so far as I could tell.)

 

Oh, and the screening was really good. I'd forgotten what a good movie "The Last Picture Show " is.

 

ps: I realize I'm making a big deal out of meeting someone not nearly as famous and "Old Hollywood" as many stars mentioned here. But, hey, I'm afraid I haven't met any movie stars, so my encounter with Ben Mankiewicz was as good as it gets for my "brush with greatness".

 

I think that's a great story. 

 

Was this a summer or two ago?   I remember you and I standing up for Mank on these threads at the time.  My attempt to meet Mank wasn't as successful, but it was a great TCM Screening Event (I don't remember the exact title either) experience to travel to Miami for the evening, enjoy the discussion he had with Shirley Jones before the screening, and see Elmer Gantry on the big screen.  Good times. 

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This is turning into a name-dropping competition.

 

This is quite funny. A Classic quip for a thread like this. It's funny because name-dropping is not what's happening here. If someone comes up to you at a cocktail party and says, I met Joan Crawford 35 years ago and she said to me, "I never really wanted to be an actress, all that fan mail bored me to tears. I would have rather been a school teacher because I love children so much." If someone else said; well I can top that, I happened to be conversing with Bette Davis before she died and she whispered in my ear, "Don't tell anyone, but I love Joan Crawford movies." There's competition for ya, because name-dropping, getting out of hand, can become quite tacky in a setting like this.

 

But here, the idea of 'greatness' necessarily entails "name dropping" in order to maintain the integrity of the thread. So it's not really name dropping at all, at least not in the negative sense. It is of a higher order. It's nice to be able to drop names with impunity, without actually being accused of name dropping. What freedom!

 

Thank you for allowing me to be disgustingly serious in the wake of the fine quip like the one above, especially in view that what I have said is so painfully obvious as to actually hurt. But I wanted to stick up those here who find levity decidedly unfunny and who at the same time find name-dropping or simulated name-dropping a dangerous activity lest some nasty gossip should suddenly arise, heaven forbid. I am suing for equal time solely in the interest of fairness since I don't share those views myself.

 

I am still grappling with the utter failure of having only two contributions to this thread. Surely I have some more names to drop, er ... to mention. I lived in NYC from 1984-86, you mean I can't think of a single famous person I bumped into in that city fraught with the rich and famous. Still thinking.

 

==

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This is quite funny. A Classic quip for a thread like this. It's funny because name-dropping is not what's happening here. If someone comes up to you at a cocktail party and says, I met Joan Crawford 35 years ago and she said to me, "I never really wanted to be an actress, all that fan mail bored me to tears. I would have rather been a school teacher because I love children so much." If someone else said; well I can top that, I happened to be conversing with Bette Davis before she died and she whispered in my ear, "Don't tell anyone, but I love Joan Crawford movies." There's competition for ya, because name-dropping, getting out of hand, can become quite tacky in a setting like this.

 

But here, the idea of 'greatness' necessarily entails "name dropping" in order to maintain the integrity of the thread. So it's not really name dropping at all, at least not in the negative sense. It is of a higher order. It's nice to be able to drop names with impunity, without actually being accused of name dropping. What freedom!

 

Thank you for allowing me to be disgustingly serious in the wake of the fine quip like the one above, especially in view that what I have said is so painfully obvious as to actually hurt. But I wanted to stick up those here who find levity decidedly unfunny and who at the same time find name-dropping or simulated name-dropping a dangerous activity lest some nasty gossip should suddenly arise, heaven forbid. I am suing for equal time solely in the interest of fairness since I don't share those views myself.

 

I am still grappling with the utter failure of having only two contributions to this thread. Surely I have some more names to drop, er ... to mention. I lived in NYC from 1984-86, you mean I can't think of a single famous person I bumped into in that city fraught with the rich and famous. Still thinking.

 

==

The last time I spoke with Warren Beatty, he expressed a similar thought.

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The last time I spoke with Warren Beatty, he expressed a similar thought.

 

LOL

 

Was that when you two were in Nova Scotia to see the total eclipse of the sun?

 

(...well, you two ARE where you should be all the time, aren't ya?!) ;)

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The last time I spoke with Warren Beatty, he expressed a similar thought.

 

Which thought exactly? I'm so confused I don't even know what I was saying. If the explanation requires more than two and a half sentences, please refrain. I know we all have to conserve our energies and to maintain our faculties (f-a-c-u-l-t-i-e-s) intact.

 

I had a crazy dream. I dreamt that Brian Williams told me he was really John the Baptist. Not in a former life, mind you, but in this life. Up until then, I believed him.

 

Extra credit: Who can identify the literary allusion contained in this post? You have to be at least a) an older person who has a minor inclination to read books, or 2) a young person who spends at least 18 hours a day reading books and who has an excellent memory. But before you despair, I can say, famous book, famous author.

 

Back to brushes ...

 

--

==

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Which thought exactly? I'm so confused I don't even know what I was saying. If the explanation requires more than two and a half sentences, please refrain. I know we all have to conserve our energies and to maintain our faculties (f-a-c-u-l-t-i-e-s) intact.

 

I had a crazy dream. I dreamt that Brian Williams told me he was really John the Baptist. Not in a former life, mind you, but in this life. Up until then, I believed him.

 

Extra credit: Who can identify the literary allusion contained in this post? You have to be at least a) an older person who has a minor inclination to read books, or 2) a young person who spends at least 18 hours a day reading books and who has an excellent memory. But before you despair, I can say, famous book, famous author.

 

Back to brushes ...

 

--

==

 

Well I guess I qualify as the former (an older person who has a minor inclination to read books), so I'll take a stab at it...

 

“You take a really sleepy man, Esmé, and he always stands a chance of again becoming a man with all his fac—with all his f-a-c-u-l-t-i-e-s intact.”

 J.D. Salinger, Nine Stories

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Well I guess I qualify as the former (an older person who has a minor inclination to read books), so I'll take a stab at it...

 

“You take a really sleepy man, Esmé, and he always stands a chance of again becoming a man with all his fac—with all his f-a-c-u-l-t-i-e-s intact.”

 J.D. Salinger, Nine Stories

 

Nay, nay, not a stab at it. You put nail right through it.

 

...

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Some 25 years ago, I once saw Mexican singer/actor/heartthrob Emanuel in a hotel restaurant in Tijuana, partaking of the same Sunday Chanpagne brunch buffet as I was. The girls with me were not too impressed, although he turned heads generally.

 

Around that time, when I had long wavy hair, and wore it loose, I would often get mistaked for (the much older) Spanish singer/actor/heartthrob Camilo Sesto, here, in Mexico, even in Spain.

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  • 2 weeks later...

WARNING: This is a Brush of a secondary kind. I dreamt about a star. I don't think I've done that much. I think it's a cute story but I wouldn't start a thread about it. So I'm opting for here ...

 

I fell in love with Miranda Richardson. Nothing salacious, quite innocuous really, only she was married already. This didn't seem to bother me because it was only a dream but in my real life experience I have only carried on with just one woman who was married to someone else and I found it acutely uncomfortable. Funny really, because it's in the movies so often, it's a situation taken for granted. Same with juggling two girl friends at the same time, only once has that happened and again I didn't like it. Too stressful. I'm not rich and I'm not a ladies man, pity in a way, but I can at least be happy that these situations didn't occur but once each. I'm not cut out for it.

 

Miranda was afflicted in some way, a little vague as dreams tend to be, and so there was this sense of rescuing but from what I don't know. One thing is sure though, the woman in my dream was palpably no other than Miranda. I have never had that proverbial "crush" on Miss Richardson, so nothing there ... but she came to me in dreams due to a recent viewing of Parade's End, a 5-part minseries from the BBC but was distributed here, surprisingly, via HBO (As it is a British costumer a la Masterpiece Theater). It's available on Netflix. I found it rather murky in spots and was disappointed that I had sent the first disc back because that first episode would have been fun and revealing to see how it all began.

 

Miranda is aging but very well, she sure looks good (in PE) with her little round face and the sweetness of her persona. Luckily the inner corridors of that part of the mind in which dreams occur kept her husband (whoever that might have been) at bay, I think he was present briefly but out there in the periphery. He didn't cause me the slightest bit of trouble.

 

Too bad there is nothing more interesting going on with all that. The most intimate thing that occurred was holding hands (Awwwwwwwwwwwww....) ... This was decidedly more a 50s kind of setting, I could see us going to the Pete's Fountain and having a malted milk and maybe a cookie or two (Awwwwwwwwww....)  but nothing more than that. It comes across (like many dreams) something that might end up on the cutting-room floor, boring as hell.

 

Does that count as a brush? I know the answer to that but at least I didn't launch/create/start a thread over it. Come to think of it, I might be recalling an actual thread of an earlier time along these lines, dreaming of the stars. If anyone chooses to oblige with a new one you have my blessing.

 

laffite   

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