CCEE day three, sort of … well, mostly a tangent

Well, fifty-six days in a row of daily journal entries. Not bad, honestly. I finally caved in to brain fatigue yesterday and just didn’t bother. I could have written about the last day of CCEE, and I probably will, but last night I just need to stare at a screen and not think.

And phone Dianne. I definitely needed to do that too. We ended up talking for an hour and a half, me about the con and her about their ongoing renovations. I definitely had the better weekend.

I don’t have any personal stories to tell about the convention. I think maybe next year I’d like to go as an attendee, if I can afford it. The problem with that thought is that I fear disappointing the friends who look forward to my volunteering each year.

I struggle with both sides of the equation, really. Mentally I scoff at the idea of paying someone for their autograph and feel terribly awkward at expressing any excitement at getting to spend a fleeting few seconds with a celebrity because I paid for the time. Feels an awful lot like friend-level prostitution. That being said, I’m also envious of my friends and their photos.

And on the third hand I have some photos of my own from last year, back when I still had the money to afford such things, and I haven’t even looked at them since. It’s nice to know that I got to within a few feet of some people I admire, but… it also feels rather plastic and forced.

I like to meet people as themselves, not as their professional selves.

It also felt very, very awkward to see and meet some actors who don’t have thousands of fans lining up to breathe their air. Last year, while waiting in line to get autographs from The Guild I briefly left my place in line to get an autograph from Matt Frewer. I chatted with him briefly about a show he had done way back in the very late eighties called “Doctor Doctor”. Back then it cracked me up like nothing I had ever seen before. Unfortunately it was decades ahead of it’s time for prime time and it didn’t last long.

I chatted with him about it and he explained how the network executives couldn’t find a mate to pair the show with and how they have always relied on the formula of two shows back to back that keep an audience watching. I’m guessing they try really hard to get people to stick around for the whirlwind of commercials between shows.

It was tough to talk to him, though. I’m sure a lot of the awkwardness was just my own mind making assumptions about how someone in his position isn’t actually interested in talking with me but is, instead, only putting up with talking with me because of where he is and what he’s required to do. I think if I could have let that insecurity go I might have had a better conversation with him.

Because I really do admire him. Matt Frewer, in my opinion, has a good grasp of comedic timing. In Doctor Doctor he was fantastic and had my mother almost peeing with every show. His comedy was a brilliant combination of physical and cerebral. His character wasn’t in any way stupid and used his wit constantly, but he also used slapstick and character voices to delivery the wit with additional impact. I looked forward to every show.

I’ve held onto the theory for years that good comedic actors (and I’m stressing “good” here) are so adept at dropping into their role that other, serious roles come remarkably easy to them. Robin Williams and Jim Carrey and prime examples of this. As much as I enjoy their comedy their dramatic roles have always been much more impressive. Even bad comedic actors can do good work in dramatic roles, like Will Ferrel in “Stranger than Fiction”, the only live action role I’ve ever enjoyed him in. His comedy is almost always incredibly stupid, almost to the point of being insulting, often to the sinful extreme of being boring. But his one serious role produced a movie that I’d sit down and re-watch any day.

Matt Frewer, I suspect, is equally capable. His brief role in “50/50” as an aged cancer patient going through chemo-therapy was touching and painful.

These are the topics I want to discuss with these stars, but in a situation where I’m not paying them to be nice to me. If I were to meet one and happen into a casual conversation, that would be great. But I feel all kinds of awkward about imposing my presence on them after the agreed upon price for the few seconds.

It gets ten times as awkward when I hear other people complaining about poor experiences with these people, when they paid money and the star was aloof or even hostile. At that point I know the situation was awkward all around as the fan is the only person who actually wanted to be there at all, and the only thing keep the celebrity in their presence was an agreed upon amount of money.

With this tangent swirling about my mind I now realize I should definitely have lined up for one of the autographs that a certain entertainer and writer whom I admire was offering to volunteers for free. At least then I would have known he was offering his time on his own terms, simply because he wanted to.

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