Celebrity in Los Angeles is about as ubiquitous as palm trees and stop-and-go traffic. If you aren’t a celebrity yourself (and there are many who are delusioned and believe that they are), you know someone who knows someone who’s son goes to school with Reese Witherspoon’s daughter. Or maybe your doctor delivered Jessica Simpson’s baby. Or, more often than anything else, you’ve had a sighting.
What’s a sighting? It’s an experience somewhat unique to our little corner of paradise here in Southern California, something that rarely occurs anyplace else nearly as often, except possibly New York City. A sighting is when you see a celebrity in an ordinary place – the grocery store, a restaurant, a department store – going about their lives and, more often than not, hoping to be left alone.
First rule of a celebrity sighting: DO NOT BOTHER THE CELEBRITY. If he or she avoids eye contact you should take that to mean “go away.”
I know what you may be thinking – “But he/she is a celebrity! Don’t celebrities want to be noticed?”
I don’t think so. Maybe they like the flicker of recognition they see in your eye. But I think they just want to go about their days, eating their kale and chicken salad or buying a new pair of jeans without having to interact with anyone.
This is what celebrities do for their jobs – they get a lot of pictures taken and sign many autographs. Do you really think they want to do this while at a day spa? I don’t.
I’ve had many celebrity sightings during my 35 years of living in Los Angeles. Here are some of my favorites. A few are sightings in other locations, but they were pretty great so I included them anyway.
-While in high school, I smoked pot with Shaun Cassidy at a party.
-Also during high school, I frequently saw Danny Bonaduce at a place lots of kids hung out in Beverly Hills called Dr. Munchies (don’t you love that name?). He was pretty obnoxious.
-At a filming of “Battle of the Network Stars,” Scott Baio kissed me on the cheek for a commercial for the show.
-I saw Bob Dylan walking out of a store in Brentwood. I thought he was a homeless person.
-I sold Jeff Goldblum a tie while working at Robinson’s department store. He was very nice.
-I saw Geena Davis (Goldblum’s then wife) trying on clothes at a very upscale boutique. I think she’s 7 feet tall.
-I saw Kate Beckinsale at “West Side Story” at the Pantages theater. She was wearing a white mink coat and was stunning.
-I saw Robin Williams at a casino in Lake Tahoe.
-While on vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, Dennis Quaid and his wife were staying at the same resort as my husband and me. There were hardly any people there so it was kind of hard to avoid contact with them. She was very nice and friendly. He was not. They’re both amazingly beautiful. I tried to surreptitiously take their pictures, but it’s hard to tell that it’s them.
-Just a few weeks ago, as I was getting off a plane from New York to LA, Joey Fatone and Tom Selleck were getting off, too. Can I just say that Tom Selleck is a god? Whatever he had on “Magnum P.I,” he’s still got it.
The totally LA moment was waiting at baggage claim and seeing the TMZ guys interviewing Joey Fatone.
Those are just a few of my encounters with celebrities in Los Angeles. And I’m proud to say that other than the Quaids, I never spoke to or bothered any of them. Sadly, we tried to send the Quaids a bottle of wine, but they refused it. We were pretty tipsy or we never would have attempted something so embarassingly fan-like. We totally broke both rules that weekend. Never again!
Third rule of celebrity sighting: FOLLOW RULES NUMBER 1 AND 2. YOU WILL SAVE YOURSELF A LOT OF EMBARASSMENT.
Have you ever had an encounter with a celebrity? Tell me about it in a comment!