March 9, 2016
by Marci White
In March, the theme of “My Brush with Fame,” yielded a surprising variety of takes on the concept of fame. Some storytellers were seeking fame, while others unexpectedly met someone famous. There was a tale of small town fame, another of hob-nobbing with celebrities in the big city, and one story of unwanted internet fame.
Our lovely and lively emcee for the evening was Tara Stuart.
When high school English teacher Laurie Allen was in college, she challenged herself to audition for a big part in a play. It was a difficult role with a demanding director, but she was determined to make her mark and be forever immortalized as, “an American bitch and Irish whore.” There would be dignitaries attending, and press write-ups. They would be famous!
As a teen living in Atlanta, David Finkel loved playing basketball, and he modeled his game after one of the most famous pro players of the time. He never dreamed that a series of coincidences would bring him into close contact with his idol.
After Emily Eisenman moved from West Palm Beach to the small town of Winterville, Georgia, she made the decision to run for mayor of Winterville, and won! As mayor and sudden local celebrity, she found herself the recipient of surprising perks, even beyond getting to be the judge of the middle-school spelling bee.
When Naji Lyon was an active duty combat Marine stationed near Hollywood, California, his unit got a call from a reality TV show producer looking for a Marine to be on the show. Lyon saw his big chance at stardom and jumped at it. Would the limo-ride to Universal Studios be his ticket to a walk down the red carpet…or maybe a different kind of walk?
At the end of intermission Tara pulled a name out of the Crackerjack Box and the winner was Landon Bubb. As the manager of the local Ben & Jerry’s ice cream store, Landon posted some pictures on the store’s Facebook page and was shocked to see that one photo went viral, and not in a good way. An ice cream icon had to be called in for a peace-keeping mission.
As a teen, Russell Cutts, an aircraft enthusiast, volunteered to help out with security at an aircraft convention in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. He was given a brown security shirt, a hat, and keys to a golf cart. He loved it, but things got really interesting when he was standing in line at the concession stand and the person in front of him turned around.
When Wyler Hecht was invited to accompany her friend to the island of Dominica for her friend’s 60th birthday, she was psyched to go. They would be on a rugged island near gorgeous beaches; they would see Sperm whales off-shore and pythons in the jungle. But the creature she saw walking through the fruit orchards of the estate they were staying on was the most shocking and memorable part of their trip.
When Katie McDermott traveled with her comedy improv troupe to the Del Close Marathon improv festival in New York City, they had high hopes of being recognized as brilliant and hilarious performers. And then there was the after party…
Aaron Strand moved from Athens to attend NYU and study acting in New York City, where, to his dismay, he met a lot of cocky fame-seekers just like himself. He scored a job at a high-end night club, where he and his colleagues thought of themselves as the elite “ambassadors of fun to the rich and famous.” There he saw the dark side of what it can mean to be rich and famous and entered a “dark energy vortex” that was nearly his undoing.