I’m a celebrity gawker. Actually, I’m a recovering celebrity gawker. I used to subscribe to and/or religiously read Us Weekly, The Star, People, and even The Enquirer. My favorite issues were always the “stars without make-up” stories or the top secret pictures of celebrity cellulite. It’s wrong. I know.
I finally realized that celebrities are generally presented in a glamorous light. Their hair, their skin, their bodies… all so close to perfect. So when these magazines expose their flaws, it grounds me and makes me realize we all have flaws. Celebrities have break-outs and cellulite and bad hair days. And that makes me feel just a little bit better about myself.
It comes down to knowing that celebrities are real people too (mostly). There’s no place where that is more obvious than through the channels of social media. And oh, the places social media has taken me in 2010. For a celebrity gawker like me, being able to actual encounters celebrities, either virtually or in person, make social media all the more appealing.
Here are my top 10 social media celebrity encounters:
1. Ingrid Michaelson via Twitter
Ingrid Michaelson has no idea who I am. But I follow her on Twitter. When I mention her name, I get a lot of blank stares so I feel compelled to tell you she is a singer-songwriter. She’s quirky and fabulous. One of my favorite songs is The Way I Am, where she sings about all the things she would do for her man because he loves her the way she is. One line says “I’d buy you Rogaine, when you start losing all your hair.” One day, I was playing the song in the car because my son just loved it. He was listening intently to the words, as usual, and asked, “Mommy, will I lose all my hair?”
Totally adorable and certainly tweetworthy. I tweeted Ingrid and she tweeted back. Something about being sorry for scarring my preschooler with her lyrics. It was my first brush with twilebrity fame and it was exciting.
2. Sharon Delaney in person
Who the heck is Sharon Delaney? She’s a former news anchor in the Raleigh-Durham area. She had her share of personal tragedy and left the news world. Four years later, she was back co-hosting My Carolina Today, a local show that airs during the 4th hour of the Today show.
I was asked to appear on one of the segments as a “lifestyle blogger” to talk about some of the newest products for the upcoming beach season. It was my first real foray into television and surprisingly I wasn’t horrible. I credit Sharon for hanging out on the set with me, having a natural conversation, and before I knew it, we were taping. After the segment, we spent some time chatting and she is a fascinating woman that is actually just like you and me.
3. Gavin DeGraw in person
If one more person asks me who Gavin DeGraw is, I might have to print out his Wikipedia page and tape it to my forehead. He’s a singer. And when I’m excited to tell you about my celebrity encounter and you don’t know who the celebrity is, well, that just kind of deflates the story.
Although to be honest, when I made this list originally, I accidentally typed in Gavin McCleod, also know as Captain Steubing on “The Love Boat.” That’s not who I’m talking about.
My buddy Gavin was invited to perform (and by invited, I mean paid handsomely) at a private BlogHer party hosted by Schick Intuition. I scored an invite and I was not disappointed. I got to hear him sing some of his well known songs: Chariot, I Don’t Want to Be, and In Love With A Girl.
After he sang, I hovered very closely until he could no longer avoid shaking my hand and taking a picture with me. I’m sure he’ll always remember me.
4. Bruce Jenner in person
This was another BlogHer encounter. I don’t mean to put Bruce down but he wasn’t there performing at any private party. He was greeting us at the breakfast sponsored by Tropicana. He was there to talk about orange juice.
I wanted to say, “Bruce, dude, you won Olympic gold for the decathlon. You were on a Wheaties box. And this is how you end up?” But he is a celebrity so I graciously posed for a picture with him while he insisted he was having a lovely time meeting all these blogging women.
5. Chris Cleave via Twitter
I love to read yet I rarely do it. At the insistence of my friend Daune, I hunkered down and read “Little Bee” by Chris Cleave. It was my first ebook and I could not put the iPad down. It was beautiful and haunting at the same time. I felt compelled to write a review about it.
On a whim, I found that Chris Cleave has a Twitter account and on a whim, I tweeted him a link to my review. He wrote back the next day saying he loved it and it really made his day (thank God it was a positive review). It was exciting to get the tweet but even more exciting knowing that he read my words.
6. Andie McDowell via Twitter
This one completely threw me for a loop. A few months ago I was tweeting about planning to visit the Biltmore Estate. Being as it’s in my home state, I’ve visited several times and I love it. It’s absolutely gorgeous, as is the surrounding city of Asheville. Biltmore Estate is totally on top of Twitter and frequently retweets any comments that people make about it.
They did exactly that for my tweet and Andie MacDowell, who follows them, responded to the retweet saying something like “Lucky girl.” I looked at the tweet. It came from someone named Andie MacDowell. The account had an avatar that looked exactly like Andie MacDowell. And I was pretty sure that she lived somewhere near Asheville.
It was her and she tweeted again to assure me it was. Then she invited me to come stay at her mountain chalet and guest star in an upcoming movie. And it’s all true. Except for that last part.
7. Ray Williams in person
Ray is more of a behind-the-scenes celebrity. I was invited to watch and review a music technology show about the life and music of Art Tatum. I was also lucky enough to be seated at one of the bar tables and become part of the performance. I was seated next to Ray Williams who immediately gave off the air of British music royalty.
Turns out he is the man who discovered Elton John and introduced him to Bernie Taupin. They went on to become one of the most famous songwriting teams in modern history. He also casually mentioned that he produced Elton John’s first 5 albums. And he generously poured my beer throughout the performance. A good man.
So that’s where my list ends. I’m 3 people short of a top 10 list. Not too shabby for a little old blogger like me but I hope to do better next year.