Thursday, December 13, 2012

Matthew Morrison and the Question of Being Important

More of my videos here.

My brother who lives in Los Angeles has dozens of stories of interactions with celebrities, but I do not. Come to think of it, I only have two.

The first happened late at night in the mid 1990s as I was leaving a nearly deserted train station in New Haven, Connecticut. I don't remember why I was there, or why I had my mother's car, but I do remember driving it past the station doors on my way out. And I remember recognizing the lone young woman with the long brown curls standing outside with a backpack slung over her shoulder. It was Sara Gilbert, the actress better known as Darlene Connor on the then popular sitcom "Roseanne." I was actually a fan of hers. I related to the sarcastic misfit, athletic, strong-minded, unsexy character she played, and I was grateful to see that such a character could be celebrated on TV. My jaw dropped and my eyebrows shot up. In other words, I made the silent human face equivalent of a great big loud exclamation point. She saw me, rolled her eyes, and looked away.

Her reaction made me realize that I was seeing "celebrity" rather than "human being." It was embarrassing.

My second celebrity encounter, documented in the video above, comes many years later with a personal introduction and no eye-rolling, but I still felt it, that chasm between celebrity and human. It was a thrill to meet Matt Morrison, and that felt somehow wrong.

Why should it matter so much to us common folk to have met a celebrity? Why do these superficial interactions hold our attention?

My guess is we all need to feel important and mostly don't feel that way. These brushes with fame, or the famous, give us a glimmer of an inkling of what it might feel like if we actually believed we matter. I mean really REALLY matter.

So now I'm wondering, what would life be like if we flipped this dynamic on it's head? If we decided to act as if we KNEW we were important, as if anyone, celebrities included, would be THRILLED to be with US. If every morning we got out of bed as an important person about to have an important day.

Because the truth is, you ARE important. And this day is one of the precious unrepeatable days of YOUR important life, worthy of your full attention, worthy of savor.

I plan to savor myself, MY day.

But first, can I have your autograph?