Posts Tagged ‘almost famous’

I Could Have Been A Star

Monday, October 17th, 2011

I’ve told this story approximately a zillion times, not because it is a super awesome story but because it is one of only 3 celebrity-meeting stories I have and definitely the most interesting.*

A zillion years ago, I met my husband at a country line dancing bar. Wait, let’s call it a club instead. Cool people go to clubs. Huge rednecks go to country line dancing bars, and even though I played one for a while in my early 20’s I am not really a redneck – although I can do a mean Boot Scoot Boogie. I noticed E because he was the best dancer. Seriously. He is a REALLY GOOD DANCER (back me up, real life friends) even though he is a skinny white guy from Ohio who played soccer while his brother and sisters took tap and jazz and ballet. He told me once that when he first started going to clubs/bars he recognized very quickly that he was a terrible dancer so he would practice in front of the mirror – but he might die of embarrassment if I wrote that on the internet so pretend I didn’t.

(Truthfully, I am NOT a very good dancer, but if I let E lead I can fake it enough to pass for someone who knows what they’re doing.)(Also, we’ve tried taking actual dance lessons before and get super bored and quit because who wants to spend all their time one-two-cha-cha-cha-ing when you can just TWIRL?)

Anyways, we spent a lot of time at that country line dancing bar club. We were friends with the bouncers and the bartenders, we knew which dances you were supposed to do to which songs, we knew the HARD VERSIONS of all the HARD DANCES*. One of the guys who also came and danced a lot was named Chad, but because he wore suspenders and button down shirts like a chorus orphan from a local production of Oliver we called him Suspenders. It turned out Suspenders was a choreographer, quite a good one, and was contacted to work as the choreographer for a movie that was being filmed in town. He had already invited all his fancy dancer friends to audition as back-up dancers for the movie but he needed a couple more people. He told E and I to show up on a Saturday and proved to the movie people we could fake-swing dance and smile pretty we could have parts in his movie too.

And that’s how I ended up as a back-up dancer in The Notebook. I had two costume fittings and one rehearsal and then I showed up one day to hair and make-up and BAM! I was on the set with James Marsden and Rachel McAdams.

Yep, that's me.

There wasn’t actually too much dancing involved – we were just background to the main character’s fancy choreography – but E and I were Couple Number 1 and it was our job to spin back and forth in front of the camera because my skirt looked cool when I did that.

After being on set for a few minutes and rehearsing with the director’s guidance and gawking nervously at the movie stars who deigned themselves TOO GOOD to come say hi to us (except for James Marsden, who watched us dance and said “Hey, when do we learn to do that? You guys are great!”) one of the wardrobe ladies came over to me.

“I’m sorry,” she said, “I need your earrings.” And then she removed them from my ears, walked over to Rachel McAdams, and put them on her. Apparently they were TOO SPARKLY for an extra. Or maybe just too sparkly for an extra with SUPER AWESOME HAIR.

Wearing my replacement, less-sparkly earrings. Also, my own mother looked at this photo on my mantle and said "Oh, is that E's grandparents?"

In the movie, the entire scene has been cut down to five seconds of slow-motion dancing during a montage of Rachel dating/falling in not-good-enough-love with James. I am not even a tiny bit visible.

They told us not to bring cameras (and cell phone cameras weren’t a thing) so to prove this really happened I only have these two pictures in the parking lot, plus a pay stub for $125 worth of work as a “dancer”.

It was still really really cool.

*Here are the other two stories:  #1 I won backstage passes to the TRL Concert Tour in 2001 and met Jessica Simpson who was incredibly sweet and got me a Diet Coke from her dressing room and also Destiny’s Child who were bitches and wouldn’t let anyone touch them or take photos. #2 I was an extra in the movie Radio, where I Cuba Gooding Jr called me cute and Ed Harris swore a lot and was very short. I told you they were boring.

**Because I am a dork, I YouTubed one of the fancy line dances to see if it was there (it is) (but they’re not doing it very well, I’m way better) and got lost in a YouTube hole of ALL the line dances we used to do. It’s kind of ridiculous HOW MUCH I miss line dancing. DORK OF THE YEAR.***

***ALSO, I would like to point out that YouTube wasn’t really such a thing in 2000, so to learn the dances you had to watch people in real life do them at full speed and then just JUMP IN with the choreography. You didn’t get to learn it at home in your living room. This is why they are mostly done at bars – you need a couple beers before you’re brave enough to try it.