I’m going to have a chat with Big Mike! Missing out on Carrie Fisher! When she was signing Star Wars for free! AHAHAHAHAHAH! What am I going to do with him! Man.. Brother! Come on! We need to get Big Mike some luck man!
Ah… Check out his report from Carrie Fisher’s book signing for her new tome Shockaholic at Book Soup on the Sunset Strip.
What am I going to do with him! Brother Man oh Man…
Well, folks tonight I tried for Carrie Fisher. You all know who she is. She plays Peter Griffin’s boss on “Family Guy”. She looks much better in real life than the animated character she voices though. She also played the badass almost-assassin of John Belushi’s character in “The Blues Brothers”. She was also Princess Leia in three “Star Wars” movies too, but lets face it, anyone under the age of twenty-nine knows her from “Family Guy”. Young punks.
Tonight she is doing a signing for her book, “Shockaholic” at a store on Sunset. This was postponed from a month ago when I almost faked being sick to leave work early. Luckily, a buddy who was also going to that double-checked before going out and informed me in time. Disaster averted! Unfortunately, I can’t get away from work early this time and have to battle traffic from Santa Monica to the Sunset Strip. I go through the usual hurdles and make it in a really acceptable amount of time. I’m shocked. I’ll take it. Upon approaching the store (I got to use “upon” in a sentence!) I see that the line is quite manageable. There are maybe sixty people outside and in my experience that will take under an hour to get through. The signing is at 7:00pm and I’ve got fifteen minutes to decide to wait in the actual book line, or try and get her on her way in.
My buddy is there and also a pap and a dude in a leather trench coat. I’ll call him “Trenchy”. My buddy and I go over the usual anxiety before a celebrity arrives. It’s a little more dramatic with “Star Wars” people, especially when they normally charge at shows for their signatures. I never bring high hopes to these kinds of things with good reason. I’m usually the one whom the celebrity stops signing at once they get to the guy/girl next to me. Whether I point out that they missed me or not, I usually get the “I gotta go” bullcrap line. Not tonight. I haven’t been out much this year and I’m trying to cap off the five or six straight fails I ended last year with and the three or four I’ve started this year with. I have a few Princess Leia figures with me and I set up two to try to get signed. I also have a couple pictures from “The Blues Brothers” that were never released and will try to get Carrie’s attention with those. I’ll see if she’ll trade an autograph or two for a couple of these gems. That’s what the smart folk call a strategy. I sure wish I had some of that when I stopped going to college. (Lesson there: stay in school. Otherwise you’re contributing to the stupid I’m surrounded by on a daily basis in LA.)
It’s aboot 6:58pm and an employee or handler has come out to greet Ms. Fisher. We know this because she comes over to the four of us to tell us “She’s not going to sign that.” Thanks, bee-yotch, but we’re going to ask respectively anyway. Definitely a handler. Handlers suck. If you’re a celebrity handler, you wasted your parents’ money on your education, society hates you, your friends are ashamed of you, and I don’t feel so bad for not finishing school yet. Folks, the lesson here is Never let someone prohibit you from asking someone else a question. Even though our society treats celebrities like royalty, they are not. They are someone you are giving power to by allowing your fear of their reaction affect your behavior. It’s only a signature you’re asking for, not a stool sample.
Carrie’s car has pulled in and we get our items ready. Trenchy mentions to her that he’s been waiting since 3pm to get her but she says she’s late and just goes in. She’s only one minute late, which in LA is 30-45 minutes early. I’m impressed. I decide to not walk away empty handed and get in the book line and buy a book just in case she doesn’t feel like signing anything additional. Lord knows people can get pretty grumpy when folks are saying nice things about you and hoping you’ll sign an item of an iconic character you were lucky to play. Not that it didn’t bring a burden with it, but I wouldn’t know the adored side of that equation because I’ve always been on the adoring side.
The line looks like it’s moving fairly fast. I can’t believe there aren’t three times as many people here. I would later find out it was because of a “Mad Men” event being held elsewhere. Thank you, “Mad Men”. You guys rock! And Jon Hamm, you were absolutely right about what you said about reality stars in today’s society. (Google it. Okay, he said they’re all idiots.) Oh, and the “21 Jump St” premiere is going on. That helped a lot.
There are spots in the line where my line of sight to her is nice and visible but I can’t see if she’s signing extra items or not. Most likely not, but it never hurts to ask. I’m not going to ask, I know better tonight, but I will if other people are. No such luck by the time I get to her. When I’m allowed to approach her she’s still talking with the nervous twenty something year old chicks ahead of me. I was going to ask them how they could possibly know who Carrie Fisher is, but it turns out the book is a gift for a couple they know. Well, the book is for one person and the extra page she signed is going to be for the other person. I should’ve thought of that. I’m glad she’s talking to us and making eye contact, which is a rarity for these things.
I ask her a question about an upcoming Star Wars convention appearance and she informs me she’s going to the convention in Tokyo, not Orlando, this upcoming summer and I slyly tell her I’m putting in a good word for me to get a figure signed by her on the way out. She does not grab the bait and I move on wondering if she knows I do not have the time or means to go to Tokyo to get anything signed whatsoever. I’m going to have to get back in line with a couple of the other regular graphers and see if she’ll sign when the line is officially over. Her handler comes over to give the ol’ “She’s not signing any memorabilia” line and I know what that means so it’s off to my original spot outside. Hopefully, it won’t be packed. It’s only 7:45pm, not bad, and it’s still the original trio there from when I arrived.
We’re greeted shortly by the graphers from inside, DVD Dave and Mr. Burns, as he’s so affectionately called, because Ms. Fisher didn’t sign anything else after the books. No surprise there, but maybe we can appeal to her generous side. The group has gone from three people to six, to eight. One person just wants a picture with Carrie and her friend is only there to take said picture. Okay, cool. I’ll take a one in six chance anytime. The hour has now hit 8pm and out comes the staff and Ms. Fisher. A store employee comes to us and informs us that Carrie won’t be signing anything else and someone respectfully tells him that we’d like to ask anyway.
“But, she asked me to tell you” he says as if that will make a difference to us. Trenchy appeals to her once more and eventually she relents. Yes! I decide which figure I will try to have her sign and make my way to the small group near her. She then announces that she’s only signing for the people that were in line inside. Sweet! I was one of them. I prep the bag with the store’s name on it so I have physical proof that I bought her book and get a spot next to the tower we all call DVD Dave and the couple with a baby carriage that just got there and are wedging between me and Dave. Not very cool, but neither would pushing the cart away. Babies are so overrated anyway.
We’re told to line up and whenever I hear that I always obey despite the outcome that almost always happens when I comply with anything. But I’m getting close to accomplishing a very cool goal for me. Now, for some reason, whenever someone says “Line up”, they always start at the damn middle and work their way opposite my direction. I don’t know who taught celebrities what lines were, but the way I learned was you start at one end and make your way to the other. It’s just like cocaine and every celebrity knows how to do that. Hell, they write books about it. I’m probably holding one in my hand at that very moment. Before I can make my way to the other side of the line, someone has tried to slip her a second item to be signed and is called out on it. He admits it, but she decides its time to leave and has made her way to her car. The girl who came for the picture just barely gets it near the car door and Carrie is off.
She signed about five items and I have to add another “F” to the fail column. Damn. I was really hoping to avoid that. I’m glad my colleagues got their stuff signed but I’m starting to earn a poor reputation for my bad luck. I’m even getting it at home from the honey and am contemplating telling her I’m going out with other women when I’m really out “graphing”. Oh well, it’s not the first time its happened and its not the last.
Does anyone want a signed book I’ll never get around to reading?
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