“Because there’s no such thing as rock stars,
There’s just people who play music,
And some of them are just like us,
And some of them are dicks.”
(Try This At Home ~ Frank Turner, 2009)
[It’s amazing how often I find a fitting Frank Turner quote, even though if I’m using “rockstar” in a wide sense in the context of this post … ]
I believe a lot of us TV/movie viewers and CD buyers / concert visitors tend to think those actors / singers / artists are far from being “just like us”. I’m sure fans unconsciously fall into this trap even more than non-fans. The trap of thinking that our “stars” lead such a different life from our ordinary lives and that they don’t have a lot in common with us (“common” people *g*). And that if you ever had a chance to sit down and chat and overcame your nervousness you’d soon be running out of things to talk about because what topics do you have in common with a “rock star”? The term star-struck exists for a reason, right?
I’ve been gushing over Sam Heughan and even more over Frank Turner here on this blog for some time now. I can’t help it, I just love what they are doing in their respective jobs and how they are doing it and more importantly I love that even with their growing sucess and rising star status they still are down-to-earth, kind, intelligent and all in all just lovely people At least judging from what I’ve seen/read about Sam and what I have experienced with Frank so far.
I don’t know if I’d ever get a chance to calmly sit down and chat with either one of them, but after Friday night I’m once again rather confident that I might be able to keep my star-struckness in check and strike up some decent conversation. So, what happened on Friday night? Oh, I just sat down and had a chat with this down-to-earth, kind, intelligent, funny, considerate, just downright lovely actor, I’ve been a huge fan of for the last almost 20 years :-)
Yes, I know I have to elaborate on this…
For the last 16+ years I’ve been running a fan website for a German actor, Walter Sittler (and his female costar and good friend Mariele Millowitsch). It’s been wonderful, exciting, interesting, worthwile 16+ years even though a lot of things have changed over the years. The website is mostly just an archive now and only a place to keep track of current projects/appearances. I’m not the rabid fan who’s taping every TV appearance, collecting every article, putting photos and memorabilia in scrapbooks, I’ve been a decade ago.
More imporantly I’ve grown from gushing over and being star-struck, tongue-tied and oh so very very nervous in his presence to being rather calm and relaxed and just excited to meet again, like I’m excited to meet anyone who I haven’t seen in a while. And I just want to believe that I would take this inner calmness with me to a potential “let’s just chat for a while” moment with Sam or Frank or anyone else I might become a fan of in the future. Because I’m sure by now my gut won’t let my fall for any artist who isn’t down-to-earth and downright lovely and worth sitting down and chatting with :-)
Walter was performing on stage in a town nearby and two friends and I had bought tickets for the evening. Just like I did on a similar occasion three years ago I asked him, if he’d like to meet us for coffee or a bite to eat before the show. And once again he readily said yes and my friend and I spent a nice, relaxing, interesting hour chatting with him about anything. Literally anything and we never once run out of things to say or things to talk about.
Maybe because we’ve know each other for over 15 years now and we’ve run into each other quite a few times on various occassions in all these years. But I think the relaxing and animated atmosphere was even more due to him just being a very down-to-earth, interesting and interested, funny, considerate and just downright lovely guy. We didn’t even talk much about his work (future projects, roles etc.) but instead jumped right in talking about anything from (local) politics, theatre, the rising islamophobia in Germany/Europe, German health care system, our jobs, local economy, LGBT issues… really anything that came to mind. And it was all very easy going and relaxing and interesting, because he is one of those people who are good at putting you at ease and who are interested in what you have to say and who listen to what you say. He really, really is one of the good ones.
But in the spirit of full disclosure I have to admit that there was an (internal) “OMG? Really?!?!” fangirling freakout moment after all, when he hugged us goodbye and off-handedly mentioned that he originally had planned to arrive later in the day, but then took an earlier train to be able to meet us. Totally warrants a tiny fangirl freakout, right? Because… Oh. My. God! ;-)