If you see freelancer Cathy Salustri, who frequently haunts Thursday Central, and she looks a little taller, it’s because her recent review of Tampa’s Jobsite Theatre’s production of ‘Meteor Shower’ in Creative Loafing was retweeted by Steve Martin. You read that right. THEEE Steve Martin. So it wasn’t a completely random endorsement. The wild and crazy guy is the writer behind ‘Meteor Shower.’ But it’s still pretty damned cool to know a comedy legend is reading your name on the byline of the review.
Cathy’s random brush with celebrity reminded me of the time that Twitter informed me that Chris Barron had followed me. Yes, THEEE Chris Barron, the illustrious front man of ’90s happy-rock juggernaut The Spin Doctors. (Seriously underrated band.) I don’t know why he followed me. Maybe he saw a blog post or maybe he read my book. Or maybe his PR company followed 30,000 people born in 1973. But I like to think that the man behind “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong” saw something in my work.
This week, Thursday Central devolved into a discussion of our little encounters with celebrity that had me in tears.
Denzel Johnson-Green once found himself almost toe to toe with Dennis Rodman at O’Hare Airport. No word on whether The Worm was en route to see Kim Jong Numero Un. Maureen recounts Uma Thurman passing her on the sidewalk in New York. “She just looks famous, even if she wasn’t,” Maureen says.
Shelly Wilson found herself behind actress Kristen Wiig (who, like Steve Martin, made her name on SNL) in the customs line at Reykjavik Airport in Iceland. One through security, she was still awkwardly within a few paces of Ms. Wiig as they made their way to the gate. It was awkward, of course, because Kristin Wiig is famous and, like most of us, shelly couldn’t focus on anything else in the presence of fame.
Tara Lynn was in a nightclub in Miami when brilliant actor Jonah Hill passed by. Courageously, she asked if he’d take a selfie with her. “Maybe later,” he said as he cooly strode by. If you think fame doesn’t change people or the people around them, recognize that in any other universe, a guy like Jonah Hill does not say, “Maybe later,” to a woman who wants to meet him in a nightclub.
I’m disappointed that Lisa Kirchner left the coffee shop today before I could get a good story out of her, since she spends so much time in New York AND is a personality at Home Shopping Network (which is St. Pete’s greatest celebrity draw), I’m sure she’s got a treasure trove of great encounters. We’ll get a story out of her in the future. I’ll close this post with a blurry pic I snapped of Woody Allen and Soon Yi crossing the street in New York during the flip-phone era. My wife and I have seen a lot of famous people on our visits to New York, but according to the TV show, “How I Met Your Mother” this is the quintessential sighting. You’re not a New Yorker until you’ve seen Woody and Soon Yi.
‘Thursday Central’ is the online home of a group of writers in St. Pete, Florida. You’ll find anything here from poetry, to short stories, humor, and links to our work out in the world. We meet at 10am every Thursday, typically in a coffee shop somewhere on Central Avenue. The group is open to all, completely informal. We write, we socialize, we drink caffeine, and we share our latest triumphs and setbacks. To find out where we’re meeting next week, contact email@example.com.