Monday, March 23, 2015

A Brush with Fame...and Hypothermia - Boston, MA

Famous actor lady. Credit: Boston Herald

On Saturday I was wasting the usual amount of time on facebook and noted a friend in Texas posting that she was heading off for some dim sum. And I was consumed with envy and a will to do something about it. Off I went to find an appropriate place to eat some dim sum the very next day--I polled my friends on facebook, checked Trip Advisor and then I sent a note to my brother: he was only last gasp because I knew he was on winter break someplace warm and unlikely to answer.

Answer he did, though, and quickly...he responded with an "is that an invitation?" as they were back in town later that night. Of course it was!! We don't see enough of my brother, sister-in-law and their 6-year old daughter in spite of them living about 15 miles away in Boston. I admit there is a suburbs/urban invisible wall--or rather a large snowy one at the moment. We in the suburbs were under the impression that snow was up to the top of the Pru Center there in town, and I'm guessing that the townfolk were thinking the same about Weston (up to the top of our trees at least). We haven't see the family since January. 

Sunday was a wicked cold day, even for Bostonians. Windchill was about 15 degrees, and I swear I heard Mother Nature giggling about it being two days after the start of spring. BH was on a mission to walk around Chinatown and head to the shoreline to look at shivering birds with their heads in their tail feathers which we did until the twins had a short and memorable meltdown. I admit I bought Pringles for one right before lunch because I simply could not handle the crab factor. 

I think I'd better jump ahead. We met up with my brother's family at the restaurant which is upstairs in an old beautiful theatre. We got heavily dim-summed. We came, we ate, we rubbed our tummies. The suburbanites had about an hour before having to get back for skating lessons and we tried to come up with what we could do with the kids in the less-than-balmy temperatures. We discarded the Children's Museum for too short a visit, the Aquarium for distance away (it really wasn't that far) and finally decided to coffee up and head over to the large park. I am not going to name the park. I will tell you why later.  The kids needed to run.

After running up and down the hill then belly-flopping on the snow (Lalo), then gathering garbage to make "art" (Nico) and dipping sneakered feet into freezey water (my niece), we decided that we would try out the playground. Nico calls this particular playground "Danger Playground" as he slipped and fell once while trying to hang onto the metal bars. Oh okay, he fell on his head and another mother ran and found me where I was talking to Lalo and implied that I was a bad mom for not watching my kid. I have two kids. They are seldom endangering themselves at the same time in the same place.

Anyway, a blonde woman held open the gate for us as she walked in with her daughter. I noted her Harvard baseball cap for being completely weather-inappropriate, and her daughter's extremely warm and fun winter hat that had a horse on it. The blonde went one direction, her kid went to the jungle gym and my sister in law (henceforward "SIL") and I went to try to find a wind-blocked area. It was cold. It was really really cold. We eventually just hid behind my brother and BH, one of whom was a good windblocker (huge backpack) and one who was not. Just not made for success here in winter, that BH.

The kids started playing hide and seek and after a few minutes, the blonde woman came over, introduced herself (she shook our hands! she had no gloves on! Criminally insane! And extremely polite! How do I stop with the exclamation points?!?) and asked if her daughter could play with our kids. I have never been asked that in my entire life. Ever. Kids just play together. Or not. I was impressed. And I suspected she was not from here. 

So the five of us start to chat about the kids' ages and the weather, and it turns out that the blonde is from LA but in Boston for a short-term project. And SIL asks "what's your line of work?" and the blonde says "I'm an actor." And it turns out she is here for a movie project. And this is where I would like to point out, no, preface the next part by saying that I am very cool. I am extremely cool, and I didn't even know it. But first I have to preface the preface.

Preface Preface: I can identify no actors. Okay, I know a few more than BH who once stood next to Ana Hickman (she is massively tall, oh and a Brazilian actor/model/whatever so don't worry, gringos, if you don't know who I am talking about) and had no clue who she was. Ditto with many more Brazilian stars.  He did identify Gisele Bundchen while standing behind her in a customs line in New York, but that was more because he was amused by her forgetting that she had to show her passport -- in spite of being famous, you still do have to show your passport.

I admit that if Johnny Depp or Hugh Jackman stood next to me, I could identify them right before losing my power of speech.  But I watch no TV series, could not tell one Kardashian from another (though I do know the name so I'm not completely without taint) and have seen one movie in a theatre in the last year and that was Spongebob Squarepants. Haven't run into him yet.  So there, this is the part where it seems I am not cool. 

Preface: getting cooler. When I first got Coal (subject of last blog), my friebor (friend-neighbor) who loves being an extra in movies suggested I sign up for Boston Casting which was looking for a family who had recently adopted a dog. For a commercial. So I did, because I didn't have anything better to do. So they called me and asked me a few questions and I failed. I failed because I admitted I did not clean my own house on a daily basis. True story. 

But I still get the Boston Casting weekly calls for extras or commercials or whatever. I never respond but I have looked at some of the projects. The one that comes up most often looking for extras is "Kay's Baptism". All this extra work means long days in far-away places (okay farther than 15 miles; if I can't get to Boston to meet my bro, I am hardly driving to Rhode Island for $15/day as an extra. Hello.) Also I can't act. Not even as background. Also, I don't care. 

So anyway, the point of the preface is that I had heard of Kay's Baptism. This is the only movie thing I know about so when the nice blonde woman said she was here on a movie project, I said "oh, Kay's Baptism?" and my brother and SIL looked at me like "hunh?" and BH looked at me like "I really have to be in town more often; she has cracked." And the nice blonde woman said yes, that's it. Apparently that is only the working title as my friebor pointed out later but what the heck? I'm cool.

Then my awesome SIL starts asking more questions. I am too shy for such things. I would not know what to ask. So nice blonde woman who introduced herself at the beginning as "Elisabeth" turns out to be a rather well-known tv actress by the name of Elisabeth Rohm with those little umlautie things over the "o" and was in the cast of Law & Order for five years as the Assistant District Attorney and also starred in the movie American Hustle (sorry, don't know it, never heard of it) as well as some other work. And then it occurs to me that I know exactly who she is from watching three straight days of Law & Order re-runs while my husband was in the hospital three years ago. What can I say? Brazilian game shows and soap operas were not my cup of tea.

Assistant District Attorney someone or other.

And here is what I have to say about famous blonde actor lady. She is really nice. She asked as many questions of us as we did of her. My SIL told her about her work. One of the actor's best friends went to my alma mater maaaaaannnny years after I did (oh, all right, 7 years younger than me) and we talked about women's schools and kids and life. And in twenty minutes, she did more for my respect for people who act as a full time job than any other person ever except perhaps my elementary school friend Henny (name changed now) who is a theatre actor in New York. 

And then it was time to go to skating classes (the twins). And swimming at the Intercontinental (bro and SIL and niece). And to get coffee and head back to her temporary apartment (famous actor). And that is my Boston brush with fame. And hypothermia. No selfie.

* park unnamed in case famous actor lady goes a lot with her daughter and doesn't want anyone to know.


  1. I laughed out loud at the "They are seldom endangering themselves at the same time in the same place" comment. Cool story. - A. Varela

    1. Yep, I'm guessing you can also identify with that comment, and you even have a third one to be endangered! :)

  2. My son has a classmate/teammate whose stepmother is an actress who has two Oscar nominations. Plus she's statuesque and British, so totally intimidating. But I finally met her throng another mom and was super impressed by how normal she is, despite all that.

    1. That was my major lesson in this--she had the same concerns as any mom--entertaining a kid on another cold winter day, traveling away from home, etc. I discovered later that she even has a blog about motherhood. Seems like an interesting person, though only briefly met.