Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Gone Fishin'...(for The Presence of Greatness)

...it was camping actually - three days in the woods with the kids. Tents. Air mattresses. Sleeping bags. Food coolers. Firepits. A hatchet. Marshmellows. A beach. Sunny weather....

Now I know this is the part when I'm supposed to say how wonderfully blissful it was, but I can't. Mosquitoes. Seagulls (the squawking at 5:30 am type). More mosquitoes. Drunk neighbours partying with lameass mix tapes blasting until all hours. Did I mention the mosquitoes?

I haven't camped since May long weekend over twenty years ago. Hated it. Camped a lot with my family growing up. Can't remember loving it. Not really much of an outdoors person. But time (and kids who really want to camp) has a way of making you forget things you did and hated...things that made you say 'I'll never do that again'.

Sort of like working on a bad tv series.

I firmly believe nobody sets out to make a bad tv series, or a bad movie for that matter...they just sort of happen. Kind of like ending up at site 23 in the south end of the campground...the one that has a path behind it to the lake where everyone likes to tromp through with their canoe. And their fishin' poles...

Okay - I don't really have a 'bad tv series' tale to tell, at least not right now. I was just doing a poor imitation of a Jane Espenson blog intro...a very poor imitation.

Though I did meet Jane once. Or was it Marti Noxon? I can't remember now. And the fact I can't remember which woman I met tells you they absolutely positively would have no recollection of meeting me.

It was at the Buffy studio's in Santa Monica. A quick "hi how are you nice to meet you" whilst walking through the production offices all facilitated by a lovely writer I'd once hired on a series up in Toronto. Who then managed to get hired onto the staff of Buffy the Vampire Slayer the following year. Wow. That was so cool for her. And speaking of cool...

...Joss Whedon was with either Ms. Espenson or Ms. Noxon during my little tour through the Buffy stages. And he also shook my hand. And that moment ended up on what I like to call my 'being in the presence of greatness' list. It's a short list. And Whedon probably shouldn't really count because its not like I saw him break stories or run a writers room (where he was apparently 'a genius'). But I was in his presence. And I thought Buffy was brilliant televsion...so it counts in my books.

The others on my 'POG' list...?

Tiger Woods: watching him spend an hour on the driving range spanking out shot after shot as he prepared for the final round of a tournament, and seeing the balls he's striking land within a few feet of the target flags over and over and over again. And then he went out and came from 5 strokes back to win the tourney. Amazing.

Prince: or the artist formerly known as His Purpleness, a couple years ago - ten rows back from center stage in a smallish venue - with a small tight backup band, he put on a seriously kickass brilliant show - didn't play a lot of hits, but I didn't care...fantastic showmanship, incredible musical talent...and that voice - he blew me away for over two hours. Amazing.

And though there's been a lot of almost presence of greatness moments (once shared a smoke way back when with actor Eric Roberts - I was such a big fan of 'Star 80' and 'Pope of Greenwich Village' - what happened?; another standing in a circle listening to some motormouth named Quentin Tarantino ramble on about 'the movies' with an enthusiasm like I'd never seen - he was at the Toronto Film Festival with a little film called 'Reservoir Dogs'; or putting on my shoes beside The Hedgehog - porn star Ron Jeremy - at the wrap of a seriously hopping Hollywood party), but I've set the bar pretty high...and kept it to three - Whedon, Woods, & Prince - for now.

Okay, enough prattle...anybody else out there have some inspiring 'being in the presence of greatness' stories?


Jutratest said...

Hmm... My friend was Anthony Zuiker's (Creator of CSI) body guard for three days, and he got a signed photo for me.

Zuiker now tells me personally to "write from the heart" every time I look up from my computer.

The Film Diva said...

I find it difficult to believe that you don't have tons of war stories to share Mr. Dixon.

Greatness: I bumped Brad Pitt into a wall at a screening, and Denzel Washington said my name once. To me. While looking me dead in the eye. Sort of wiped out anyone else I may have ever met... :-)

wcdixon said...

I guess my notion of presence of greatness was a little different...as opposed to brushes or bumps...lthough Denzel face to face counts for a lot. Nevertheless, thanks for commenting.

I was walking into the proshop to get some range balls at a golf course in Thousand Oaks one evening, and see a tall familiar looking man in shorts and t-shirt turn from the counter with a bucket of balls...and he looks so familiar I involuntarily say, "Hey, how's it going?" and he says "Good, how about you?" - at which time I realize its Will Smith and almost crash into a rack of hats... so much for staying cool, but there are some 'stars' that can do that to just about anybody.

Jutratest said...

Hey, that's the best I could do :) I'm still young.

Ahh, I do see Ving Rhames in my gym often.

wcdixon said...

Perhaps I inadvertently placed too much emphasis on 'celebrity' --- a parent, a teacher, a friend, a doctor --- greatness is all relative...

Heart Of Darkness said...

Hope you have fun camping - or at least get some fun stories to tell us all afterwards!
I hate camping. Could have something to do with the time I was as scout leader and HAD to sleep in a tent with two other leaders. First, Elle fell alseep while me and Annie told one another stupid new versions of old fairy tales. then, suddenly, we hear something. It sounds like a tractor coming our way... both of us freak out, off course, the tent is dark, the night is dark, we don't want to end up tractor-roadkill...! We both calmed down relatively fast when we realized there was no tractor - there was only Elle...
Then Annie fell asleep, and the sound level wasn't much quieter on that one... and me, laying in between them (because there was no way in hell I could actually fall asleep), had to endure. I would have, had it not start to rain. The tent had a small tear. Right above me. So, between tractor A and tractor B, I was enduring Chinese water torture when the rain kept dripping straight on my forehead... well, that's tentint for you. For me...? NEVER AGAIN!

The closest I get to tenting nowadays is a three star hotel. Anything under that is primitive enough! :)

Divan's aren't born - they are bred!

Mystery Man said...

I was once near Princess Diana in Epcot Center. Oh my God... I'll never forget it. It was by the jumping water fountains in front of the Journey into the Imagination pavilion. She was being escorted toward the side of the building. She was getting back-doored into Captain EO. The boys were with her too. Disney kept the crowds back so they could have some space. She was stunning and had that whole Diana demure going, ya know, looking shy and uncomfortable because everyone was watching her, a look I'm sure she had mastered for any public appearance. This was after the divorce and before she went to Africa on that famous campaign against landmines. It was so jaw-dropping to see her, I forgot to take a damn picture.