Monday, 17 August 2009

An Eventful Day - Part 3: Some people think they're famous

One thing I find fascinating and perverse about the Edinburgh Festival is all of those people who think they are famous.
I'm largely oblivious to UK celebrities, or actually to most celebrities in any of the countries I've lived in. This is partly to do with the fact that I don't watch TV, and partly with the fact that I worked in opera for 6 years and have had my fair share of diva's.

Whenever I'm having drinks in Edinburgh, I play a quiet game with myself: spot the wannabe celebrities. As I wouldn't know whether they are famous or how famous they are, it's more challenging for me than for most others. But it's still quite easy to tell. The people who think they're famous constantly scan the bar to see if anyone is recognising them. They'll be having conversations with people, but never stop looking around. (I wouldn't like to have a conversation with someone who doesn't look at me).
Whenever I walk into the bar, I scan the bar to see if I can spot my friends. And when I've found them, I settle down.

Last night something happened that reminded me a lot of some of the 'good times' I've had at the opera. What I've learnt in those days is this: people who are really good at what they do and are happy with what they've achieved, are generally lovely. People who are just not good enough or are envious of those who are better, are diva's and generally display the most ridiculous behaviour which makes any normal human being lose all respect for them.

So this is what happened: I was sitting in Brooke's Bar with Nikki, Tom, Bob and David from Hoipolloi. Some woman walked past and Nikki said to her: 'You are Gillian McKeith!'.
The woman turned to Nikki and shouted: 'Fuck off!' Twice.
(I have no idea who Gillian McKeith is, so I didn't understand the woman's reaction. I also had no idea who the woman was - clearly NOT Gillian McKeith - so the whole thing went way over my head.
I found out afterwards that Gillian McKeith has some sort of dieting programme on TV and that the woman in Brooke's Bar was Nicola McAuliffe - who I've never heard of either).

We all laughed at her reaction, and so did she. She walked over to her friends saying Nikki thought she was Gillian McSomething, and they had a good laugh about it. So we all thought that was that.

Nikki, Tom and I went outside for a cigarette. We only just got there and Nicola McSomething stuck her head outside and screamed at Nikki: 'You stupid fucking bitch!'
Tom and I burst out laughing.
She disappeared and immediately reappeared shouting: 'Sorry, I meant you talentless stupid fucking bitch!'.

The man who was also sitting outside smoking asked: 'Who is she and what just happened there?'
(Clearly I'm not the only one who didn't know who she was).
But I do now, and whenever I see something that has Nicola McWhatever in the credits, I will stay far away from it. No level of celebrity justifies that kind of childish ridiculous behaviour. It was a mistake. It wasn't even a malicious or dangerous or enormous mistake.

I once met Desmond Tutu. With my low level knowledge of celebrities, even I knew who he was before I met him. His microphone didn't work. He didn't scream at anyone. And I even think that if someone went up to him and mistook him for someone else, he wouldn't call them a stupid fucking bitch. He'd probably just laugh.

DISCLAIMER: This post is written by Elke Laleman, NIE's production manager. It doesn't necessarily reflect the opinions of every single member of NIE. We are a very tight company, but we do each have our own thoughts. If anyone feels offended by this or any other post, come and find me. I'm at Pleasance Two every day at 5.30. I'm the one in the yellow jacket sitting in the corner behind a piano. I will not take back any of what I've written, but I'm happy to discuss it.

1 comment:

Alex said...

I think that you strike a nice note of rightious anger. I so feel close knit. And I did not take Daf's bike