Being in New York City and working in the entertainment industry, one has to learn to be able to just pass a celebrity with nothing more than a casual glance.
(Actually, I also learned this lesson living in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen live in the area, and they would both frequently come into my bookstore to shop.)
I have gotten pretty good at doing that.
Besides, there aren't many "celebrities" that I would get truly starstruck or nervous around...and the ones that I would are either no longer living (I can't help it...my parents brainwashed me with black-and-white movies when I was a child) or are living, but a bit on the random side.
(Like Tom Brokaw. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to make eye contact with Tom Brokaw.)
However, I had a moment at the Gavin Creel and Shayna Steel concert last week and was able to go up to somebody and ramble incessantly about what a huge fan I was of their work. I can't remember the last time I did that.
(Sidenote...that Gavin Creel is amazing. I first took notice of him, of course, when he played Jimmy in Thoroughly Modern Millie six years ago. One of the most glorious voices I have ever heard, and he couldn't be cuter if he was an orphan with a limp. Seriously. And the movie Eloise at Christmas has been my guilty pleasure holiday favorite...whatever, I have about 90 guilty pleasure holiday favorites...since it first premiered. Gavin plays Eloise's best friend Bill, and he dances around on the piano and then dances around the snow and he is positively enchanting. Love Gavin Creel. Love love love.)
I almost didn't go to this concert, because sometimes pajamas and Ugly Betty seem really really appealing on a Thursday evening.
But...oh, am I glad I ended-up going.
It would obviously take a lot to distract me while Gavin Creel was onstage performing.
One of those very few things that would be able to distract me while Gavin Creel was onstage performing (sorry, Gavin) would be...
Knowing that Peter Cincotti was sitting directly behind me.
I have been a fan of this kid since I was a freshman in college. He is a year younger than me, and released his first album when he was just eighteen. I definitely regard him as one of the most talented musicians that our generation has produced.
A velvet voice, magical piano hands (a close second to watching Harry Connick, Jr. bang that piano. And for those who know me know that "close second to Harry Connick, Jr." is not a term I throw around lightly), and the music...oh, the music. Every so often, I find songs that I enjoy reading the lyrics almost as much as I enjoy listening to. (Duncan Sheik was number 1 on that list for a while, but got bumped to number 2 by the young Mr. Cincotti.)
Honestly, honestly, honestly, just GREAT. So much talent in one young guy.
Now, I threw aside my "just give a celebrity a casual nod" rule for Mr. Cincotti...because I realized that he, crazily enough, isn't considered a celebrity by a lot of people. In fact, it didn't seem like anybody else at that concert recognized him besides me.
Most normal people would just go up to their favorite singer and tell them, "I really enjoy your work"...but when did I ever claim to be normal?
Anybody can tell somebody that there stuff is great...but I think it takes a special kind of (delightful!) weirdo to tell an entertainer:
"I really wish you had a Christmas album. If you came-out with a Christmas album, I would probably listen to nothing but you all year! And now it's November, so I really can't listen to you until after New Year's...and that just makes me SAD!"
(I am a total Christmas FREAK. I am one of those really annoying people that have to watch every single Christmas movie...classics and cheesy Lifetime holiday films alike...and I will never understand people who are not able to get swept away in the season...so...for me to tell somebody that it's a total calamity that they do not have a Christmas album is the most ultimate compliment.)
"I can't believe you are not selling-out Radio City Music Hall yet. No, really, I mean that!"
(Radio City Music Hall is huge! Radio City Music Hall sits 6,000 people! Another ultimate compliment, Mr. Cincotti!)
"Anybody who has ever been in my car with me has been forced to listen to you!" (That kinda sounds like a backhanded compliment, doesn't it?)
Peter Cincotti kept hitting me on the shoulder and laughing. He was either very uncomfortable or very amused (or perhaps both!)
He asked me if I was there checking out the concert...which made me worry that he thought I saw him go inside and followed him off the street..."No, really, I have been a big fan of Gavin's for years! Quiz me! Ask me who was his understudy in Thoroughly Modern Millie!" (which was, of course, one of my very favorite guys, Cheyenne Jackson!)
Seriously...though...what an incredibly talented kid (and I can call him a kid because he's a year younger than me.)
(And when he finally DOES release a holiday album, I expect to be thanked in the linear notes.)