Monday, July 14, 2008

A Visit from Hollywood

A working actor of screen and television, and his wife, a producer, came into the shop on Sunday to purchase a bike for their niece. It was an ordinary transaction. If someone had not recognized the actor and informed us, we might not have known at all.

I had no direct involvement, and plenty to do in the repair shop, so I could stay back and observe the subtle stiffening of the others who were now in the presence of Fame. We're not talking A-list here, but the producer is friends with A-list folk, and the actor may be poised to make a move up the television food chain, which could place his star higher. All I know is what I overheard from the gaggle Googling him after he had left the building. I'm surprised they managed to wait.

I've often wondered what it must be like to have a famous face. I don't want it. I wouldn't mind the money, but I don't think I would like the attention. The producer would be known only by the knowing, but the actor has to put up not just with the unwanted approaches of strangers, but with the constant squinting. You know, how you look at someone you think you might know, but you're not sure why.

A lot of squinting goes on in Wolfeboro, particularly in the summer. But even in the off season people squint at you to see if you're worth anything to them. Do they know you? Can you advance their fortunes? Are you one of the "right" people? But the celebrity squint is subtly different. You want to look but you don't want to be caught looking.

I only see what falls into my rut in front of me. It is weird when someone who has only existed inside the electronic box in the living room suddenly manifests in the flesh, but unless they're asking me for services I can't imagine what I would say that would interest them. They're just someone else to step around on the sidewalk, with all due courtesy and no particular fanfare. Just don't get between me and the coffee pots at the cafe.

No comments: