Friday, January 18, 2013

The Time I Accidentally Stalked Joseph Gordon-Levitt and then Saw Paris Hilton Almost Fall in a Garbage Can

sundance.org

One of the cool things about living in Utah is the annual Sundance Film Festival.

I'd lived there three years before I finally wised up and decided to go check it out.

On the first Saturday morning of the festival, my friend Ashley and I bundled up in our warmest clothes and drove to Park City armed with cameras, extra gloves, and a lot of giddy excitement as we imagined the celebrities we were about to see.

Arriving as early as we did was both very smart and very stupid.

Parking was great. We found a spot at the top of Main Street and ventured out into the blustery morning. By the time we'd gotten halfway down the road, though, we realized the error of our ways. It was far too early and much too cold. There wasn't a celebrity to be seen.

We spent a couple of hours ducking into adorable shops and pretending to be interested in more than just their heating systems.

Gradually, the streets began to fill with name badge-bearing people and cars and activity. Then we saw our first celebrity. Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite. Sundance was officially awesome.

We made our way down to the end of one side of the street, then crossed over and I stopped short.

Ashley: What?
Me: That's Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Ashley: Who?
Me: Tommy from Third Rock from the Sun.
Ashley: Oh yeah. Should we talk to him?
Me: I dunno. What do we say?
Ashley: I don't know...

So we didn't talk to him. And he and the guy he was with turned and started up the street. In the direction we'd already been going. So now we were walking behind them, trying our best to keep a little bit of distance so that it wouldn't look like we were following them.

I wanted to talk to him. SO BAD. He wasn't even quite the star then that he is now, but I wanted to say hello. But I was too shy. I don't know why. I just couldn't do it. We followed him for four blocks before I finally decided this was bordering on creepy and persuaded Ashley to turn around and head back the other direction.

If I had known then what I know now...

We wandered down to the gifting suite at the bottom of Main and hung out there for a long time watching celebs come and go with bags of swag. I can't even remember all the stars we saw in those two hours or so that we sat there.

But the best was when Paris Hilton came waltzing out the door in her pink Uggs, heading toward the car that waited for her at the curb. She hit a patch of ice, slid forward, and would have toppled head first into a garbage can if her body guard hadn't grabbed her in time.

Two disappointments in one day.

But still, Sundance was awesome. I miss it.


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16 comments:

  1. I can't believe you missed out on that, though it was a while until I realized JGL was one of my celebrity crushes :) I had a similar moment with Keith Urban but I did actually talk to him, maintained eye contact and shook my head and said yup. Then...my huge crush that I had on him for years disappeared.

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    1. I have met a bunch of celebrities, and I am always amazed at the way their mystique seems to vanish with one conversation.

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  2. I love it! :D

    I imagine JGL would have been down to earth and easy to chat with, though I applaud you for considering the creep factor. And I think maybe I need a bodyguard of my own now, to keep me away from ice patches and trash cans. Thanks!

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    1. Yeah, I imagine he would be really down to earth, too. Especially back then.

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  3. I have never wanted to meet anyone famous it would be my luck to speak to them while they are having a day from hell and they would be rude and then I wouldn't like them anymore so I think it is better to not talk to them............but to see Paris Hilton fall into a carbage can I would pay to see that...........ok I would pay with Monoply money but still I would pay....

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    1. That's what happened when I sort of met Nathan Lane. He was rude and I haven't liked him since.

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  4. Hahah! Oh, Paris. I always feel so stupid talking to celebrities and have just opted not to talk to some (I mean, what could I possibly say to Janice Dickinson?), but for the ones I have talked to, I'm always glad I did, whether I was a dork or not. I wish we were in Park City for Sundance. I bet it's a madhouse though. Where is the swag anyway? I was trying to figure that out. The Marriott?

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    1. I usually avoid talking to the ones that I only know who they are, but am not really a fan. I've gotten to talk to a few that I love and it has almost always gone well. Except the time I blurted out to Ian Ziering that I've loved him since high school. But even he took that well.

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  5. I've only gone once. And I didn't see anyone famous. I did see The Fonz at a restaurant, and he said hello. I was sort of disappointed it wasn't "Heey."

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    1. You have to hang out at the gifting suite. That's where the real action is.

      And yeah, the Fonz shouldn't be allowed to say hello like a normal person.

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  6. I would LOVE to go to Sundance! What a blast... even if Paris didn't land herself in the garbage! ;)

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  7. For your sake and the world's, it would've been so much better had the bodyguard not been quick to react. I'm glad you enjoyed Sundance anyway.

    Growing up in LA, I saw stars all the time but was always too shy to say anything. In the moment, we freeze up. Drats.

    xoRobyn

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  8. We all tend to forget celebs are people too, even if they live much more lavish lifestyles. But I would love to see PH in a trash can! :)

    I need to come hang out with you next festival!

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~Clairee Belcher, Steel Magnolias



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