Now, I have yet to get my thoughts on this in print yet, but I received a phone call last night, and I knew what it was going to be about. LOL… You know it’s hard when you like a show or series so much and the star of that show isn’t very fan friendly. I can only be talking about Sarah Michelle Gellar, and I might be flamed fort his but you know… I have heard horror stories first hand even starting from Buffy season 1!
Last night, Sarah was taping a television talk show and totally dissed everyone waiting for her. Not a wave, not a smile, not even an acknowledgement of our existence. That’s hard. Personally, Buffy The Vampire Slayer is my favorite show. And I’ve had to separate Sarah from Buffy so her attitude doesn’t color my love of the show. It’s Joss Whedon’s creation anyway.
But you will hear my thoughts on this later, for now.. Big Mike has written a wonderful essay on his feelings about Fandom, Buffy, and Sarah Michelle Gellar below.
Take a look after the jump!
Well, the day finally arrived. It was a day three years in the making and I had been dreading it for quite some time. Sarah Michelle Gellar was making a talk show appearance. While she may not be an A-lister, but her status among the cult world is beyond any first letter of any alphabet. She, of course, was Buffy Summers of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. The show ran for seven seasons from the mid-nineties to the early 2000’s. I wasn’t a fan of the show during its first run. My mind was poisoned by the crappy movie which you’d think Gellar was a part of the way she reacts whenever she see’s anything that even reminds her of Buffy. She went all vegetarian so she wouldn’t even have to look at a steak. (Buffy and vampire fans will get that.) I remember reading articles in TV Guide about how someone on the Buffy set made life hell for everyone with a not very positive or friendly attitude. (Shhh, it was SMG. Shh.) But today might be different.
She’s on a new show now that I have yet to watch, but I have seen previews and that’s why I have yet to watch. The show was originally intended for CBS, but they failed to pick it up and it went to whatever they call the WB now. That show would be “Ringer”. The show could definitely use her promoting it. The Buffy fans I’ve spoken with don’t have favorable reviews of it so far, but its only nine eps in. She also barely did the least amount of promoting for it at this past summer’s Comic-Con. Arrive at San Diego where I’m treated like a Goddess. Check. Get hurried into building with and do panel for “Ringer” with hundreds of Buffy fans waiting for a quick little glimpse of me. Check. Hurry out of panel while Nestor Carbonell signs “Ringer” posters without me at the autograph booth. Check. Leave 100 pre-signed posters so I don’t seem ungrateful. Check. Count all my Buffy money on way back to Los Angeles and then have my assistant count all the cash I didn’t have time to count because L.A. isn’t far enough away from San Diego to count seven seasons worth of Buffy money. Check.
Okay, I’ll be honest, Sarah Michelle Gellar does not have a very good reputation for being kind to her fans…or a lot of folks. I’m sure she’s great to friends and family, but I wouldn’t know about that. I don’t have high hopes. It’s quite a shame, too. Being an actor or actress in Hollywood is a true blessing. Not very many people succeed that deserve to, and many reap the fortunes who don’t even belong here. (Ahem, Kardashian, Reality TV people, JLo, Bieber, etc. Kim K deserved to be mentioned by name.)
(Editor’s Note: Dude, you can’t knock down the J-Lo! She’s Jenny From The Block, J to the Lo… 🙁 M-)
What stars don’t always realize is that their work goes beyond their “work.” Here is what I mean. People go through their days, a lot of the times begrudgingly, they get home, back to the dorm, barracks, etc and spend time chilling out with themselves, friends, family, you name it. They bond over this time. They may not have much to talk about with each other sometimes, but they have their shows. It brings strangers together. It creates friends. Sometimes those friends become lovers. Those lovers have children. All because of a show, or a movie. My big brother used to beat the crap out of me when I was a little kid. But when we were watching TV we were somewhere special. Somewhere peaceful. Enjoying not beating on our little brother, or stealing money from our big brother when he would go to the bathroom at commercial breaks. Most of the things I love today entertainment-wise are because of my big brother. I owe him a lot for introducing me to what is still cool to this day. He’s very lucky to have me and I’m very lucky for him to be lucky to have me.
They have conventions for movies and TV shows all over the world and people meet and compare favorite episodes, scenes, characters and become friends. That is a lot of power and impact for a show or movie to have. It does exist, believe me, it does. There is a phrase I heard not too long ago, “Never meet your idols.” Unfortunately, I know what this means. Now don’t get me wrong, celebrities deserve their private time too. I would never bother them when they’re with family, eating at a restaurant, watching a performance, and you shouldn’t either. But when they’re at a scheduled public event, they could at least take a moment for their fans.
That’s what I was hoping for tonight. I got off work early using an excuse that wasn’t quite accurate and I headed to meet my honey at the show taping. I got there just before three. There was already about six people there, including my honey. Mike the Fanboy had his place staked out along with a couple of the other regulars. The guy next to me came in from Vegas for this. Wow. I had a small glimmer of hope that everyone would be at the latest “Twilight” premiere downtown cause those fool’s had been there waiting for a week straight. I don’t think I could even understand that if those movies were even good on accident. But, no. The crowd kept growing and the line kept getting longer and longer. It was even starting to get a little chilly out. Okay, I was cold. Something that hasn’t happened out here too much. At around 5:45pm a black Town Car rolled past us and we all knew it couldn’t have been the other guest of the evening, Miss Piggy, because she always goes in the front so more people can see her. This was a bad sign. When stars don’t want to be bothered with fans, or they’re “running late”, they have the car drop them off at the back door so they don’t have to walk the twenty steps from the parking lot. That turned out to be the case. There she was. Buffy herself. The woman who had one of the most loyal and supportive fan bases in the world was just yards away and she got out, walked around the front of the car, and entered the building without even making an attempt to look over at us. Not a good sign. There aren’t many people who will take a gaggle or a plethora of fans and go out of their way to show how unappreciative they are of them. Even Ed Norton will sign one or two autographs a month, but that’s a whole other column.
Well, at least we can go to the bathroom now or go grab something to eat. We’ve got at least two hours before we have to go through this again. I took the time to go grab some nice frames an employee from a marketing firm placed in a bin. Not something I would ordinarily do, especially in front of fifty or sixty people, but these were the kind of frames you put your autographed items in! There were also a number of mounted movie posters, which seemed to bring a small number of people over. Kewl, got a “J. Edgar” and “Harold & Kumar 3-D Christmas, or Something” poster. Quite a few folks walked away with the posters I left behind. I can’t help being such a nice guy. I had a feeling that would be a consolation prize for the evening. Until then, I had to listen to horror stories of people that weren’t us got her to take a picture with SMG, or got her to sign something non-Buffy related. Congrats to them. They went through hell to get those. I hope we get our stuff signed. My honey narrowed down the number of items that she wanted signed to just under infinity. We also grabbed a couple of friends to help out. We were lucky to be planted at the front of the line because you’re pretty much wasting your time if you’re past the twentieth person or past where the barricade ends. There is no excuse for us to miss SMG this slightly chilly night in Hollywood. (Chilly for L.A.)
For a while there a two trucks blocking the alley and the only way Sarah would have out would be to, gasp, walk across the alley to the parking lot! No. They move in time for her car to pull up at 7:55pm. Okay, this could either go two ways. One, she gets in her car with the tires already peeling so she doesn’t have to waste another second in this alley, or two, she can get the car and have it take her to us, since she would never approach her fans. (Except once, at Paley Fest-three years ago, but that is freakin’ it. Check around.) About five minutes go by and all the fans have their sharpies ready, the paps have their cameras ready, and my honey has her tears ready. (Not really.) Her car door is opened for her and a tall brunette exits the building and heads for the lot amid the chants for “Sarah!” Another woman exits and also gets the star treatment. Still not SMG, but there she is! “Saaaaaaaaaaaaraaaaaaaahhhh!” Even I yell, and I rarely raise my voice, but this is one time it matters. The cars pulls away and is headed toward us. “Slow down” I say inside my head. “This car is going kind of fast to be slowing down.” “Aaaaaannnd, there it goes.”
Many well deserved expletives and boos are released, as even I yell “You suck!” which is something I never say unless I’m in a sports arena, little league game, or church. Can’t say I was surprised. My honey has taken it pretty well because she knew better than to expect otherwise. This was her last night doing this. In a way I’m jealous. She says she no longer wants feel demoralized and empower other people with the ability to sustain her attention, make her spend hours at a time without eating or going to the washroom, just for a chance at twenty seconds of their time for a mere picture or signature. I’m sure I will get to that point soon, but I’m not there yet. I wonder if this bad karma will ever come back to haunt SMG. Some stars hate signing because they automatically think everyone will sell them on Ebay. Not everyone does that, but if they do, the autograph will always get in the hands of someone who will want it. And if you don’t want people selling your autograph you have the power to make it worthless by signing as many as you can.
I made the promise to some of the others in line tonight that if I ever make it big out here that I will sign autographs whenever I do tapings for at least the first twenty people in line, but no pics. Pictures make me look fat. And if I really do become a celebrity, never hesitate to approach my assistant who I will order to be happy to hand out a preprinted signature of mine on an index card…for a nominal fee. Maybe I should watch less TV and movies. Nah, see ya back in line…
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