I loved Terry Teachout’s blog which is actually more of Laura Lippmann’s blog (for April, in case you are reading this late in the game). They are talking about being a fan. For one thing, Lippmann write this:
So when I saw Stephen Sondheim a few months ago in a midtown restaurant, what did I do? Absolutely nothing. Oh, I looked. I agree with Nora Ephron’s definition of celebrity — someone you would stand up in a restaurant to see — but I was already standing. I looked and I beamed and I thought: Hey, I just saw Pacific Overtures! But it never occurred to me to try and approach him. Not because I was embarrassed to be a fan, but because I was content to be one, if that makes sense.
I’ve worked with “folks” — they are, after all, still people, even if they are worshipped by those of us who are “just folks” — that are pretty darn famous. (I won’t name them here because then I’d feel as if I’m name dropping and I really don’t like name dropping at all!) I’m not famous. I never will be. That’s fine by me. I’m happy where I am. I’d be very bad at being famous. I know that for sure! And I’m also happy with where a famous person I admire is, because if I’m a fan it means I truly do admire the individual a lot and think he or she deserves the fame. So I admire the person. From a distance. (Sometimes only a distance of a few feet, but there you go.) The person brings me great joy in one way or another, or in a lot of ways in some cases. I’m happy enough with that. If I did say something to the person I’d have nothing special to offer him or her … nothing that hasn’t been heard before.
(Besides, I’d do what I always do after meeting someone: I’d rehash everything I said and find a way to berate myself for saying something stupid. I’m good at that.)
But yes I, like Ms. Lippmann, have sent an email or letter on very rare occasions. That seem harmless (I’m not stalker!) and maybe even means something to the person.
Anyway, enough of me! This was actually to encourage you to read Mr. Teachout’s blog! What he and Lippmann write is much better than what I am writing here. This isn’t my attempt to be humble; it’s opening night tonight, and both my brain and my stomach are in a bit of a bizarre place right now. How silly of me to get nervous about opera … but while most people think opera is primarily about the singers, I happen to know it’s all about the oboe! ;-)