Posts Tagged ‘celebrity’

ImageDespite how down in the dumps it is right now, I have to admit I’ve had a pretty amazing career.  I have been flown all over North America, to Asia, to Europe, been handed business class Acela tickets to D.C. and back, been to the West Wing and the South Lawn of the White House and been backstage at Radio City, The Apollo, Carnegie Hall, The Felt Forum, Madison Square Garden, Orchestra Hall in Detroit, the band shell where they celebrate July 4th by playing the 1812 Overture in Boston and other amazing places that I’m sure I’ve forgotten.  I’ve met and/or worked with almost every celebrity there is.  Some, like Sarah Jessica Parker and George Clooney, remember me and ask me how I am or tell me my haircut looks nice or my Achilles tendon will eventually heal or they just have that sweet movie star smile for me, every time we meet.  Some, like Ehud Barak, tell me jokes and ask me questions about modern American pop culture.  Some, like Andrea Bocelli and Roberto Benigni love it when I speak to them in Italian and tell me my accent is “very very good.”  And some, like Maya Angelou, inspire me and hug me when my awe and appreciation become difficult to disguise.

People who know what I do, or did, since I am currently a stage manager without a show to call my own, ask me all the time what I can reveal about the stars; who are my favorites, who are the real jerks.  That’s easy.  I absolutely adore Susan Sarandon, Liza Minnelli and Al Green.  They are all famous, yes, but also humble and real.  P!nk is a total peach.  Alicia Keys is a sweetie pie.  Celine Dion, even though I’m not a big fan of her music, is one of the funniest women I have ever met.  She came in to a show I was working for a Christmas post-tape and had the entire crew in stitches for hours.  Beyonce Knowles and Sarah McLachlan are pleasures to stage manage.

Barry Bonds is an egotistical jerk.  Curt Schilling is an asshole.  He pushed through a group of kids who were all hoping for an autograph or a high-five and he gave them nothing, not even a smile.  Bill Cosby can go either way, depending on what day you happen to catch him.  Rod Stewart is a high-maintenance pain in the butt.

The biggest freakazoid famous person I have ever met, though, is Mariah Carey.  She has the largest posse in creation.  Her “handlers” are obnoxious idiots.  They actually had me seat her in the interview chair and then asked me to back off, which I did.  They then proceeded to perfectly fine tune her hair, adjust her wardrobe, argue about which way she should cross her ankles and put finishing touches on her makeup.  And then they placed her hands, one on her lap and one on the arm of the chair, exactly how they wanted them and told her not to move any muscle that wasn’t needed to work her mouth while she answered the interviewers questions.  And she actually LET them do all of this to her.  I was thinking, are you kidding me?  Holy smokes, the whole crew breathed a sigh of relief when she and her people were gone.

Maybe once I retire I’ll write a tell-all about my decades in the biz:  Blow jobs in the men’s room, drugs in the green room, celebrities who had to be kept apart because if they saw each other they might try to rip each other’s heads off, musicians with no patience who have walked off stage during rehearsals because the audio department couldn’t quite get their act together, super-models who love M&M’s but would only eat them out of a bowl after all the blue ones had been plucked out, superstars who can’t perform without access to their favorite strawberry soda and young, famous actors who treat their little yip yip dogs better than they treat their managers.  Oh, yes, I could write a book, as the saying goes.  Stage managers know all.