Living in Los Angeles, people figure I should be running into celebrities on a regular basis. That couldn't be farther from the truth. It's like saying our city is a walking wasteland for homeless people (yes, I've been asked, "Isn't LA littered with bums?" What US city isn't?). I suppose if I went to Hollywood more often or ate at restaurants with a four-star rating or higher, the chances would be greater, but I don't. Truthfully, I don't really care about spotting celebrities at all.
But recently, and I'd have to say within a one week time frame, I ran into two celebrities-one almost-meeting and one actual meet-and-greet. Purely coincidental; no pre-planning or any preconceived notion that I'd be finding myself in these situations. While on assignment to shoot a concept car at an undisclosed location, I found myself arriving early (shocking, I know) and was advised by the staff on hand that the meeting before mine was just about to finish. Waiting on the side, a suburban pulled up and a very large individual, the kind you shouldn't go picking fights with, stepped out and opened the back doors. Must've been someone important. But from 100 feet away, I couldn't tell who it was; I just recognized the BAPE hoody. After driving off, the PR agent who met with me asked, "Do you know Pharrell? Pharrell Williams?" Uh, yeah! "That was him." And you didn't introduce me? I should've fired off paparazzi shots. Turns out he may be signed on to promote the concept car. But at least I was 100 feet away from him.
Rare celebrity sighting number dos: I was leaving Ikea, about to turn out of the parking complex when a man motioned for me to stop and asked for a jump. I couldn't help but think how much this guy looked like Wayne Brady, but my friend just didn't believe it. "That's Wayne Brady," I said, "I'm going to jump Wayne Brady's car! Choke a bitch!" After getting his car started, sure enough, he introduced himself to me, saying "Thanks, I'm Wayne." All I could say was, "I knew it!" then got back into my car and drove off. After realizing what potential that gesture of goodwill could've provided, my friend ripped on me for not getting an autograph or tickets to his improv show. I would've been stoked if I were being used for a hidden camera show or remembered to whip my cellphone camera out. Oh well, next time. And Wayne, if you're reading this, which I doubt, I hope you remember the fat Asian dude with the bright orange shirt who helped you out that day.
On second thought, why didn't I just take a picture with my cheap camera phone? Argh! Idiot!
- Jonathan Wong