On Being Famous
By Sandra Martin
As a literary agent and television producer based in Manhattan, I often traveled to Los Angeles. On this trip,LA had been full of meetings and prickly personalities, and we were finally landing at Dulles Airport outside of Washington, D.C., thank goodness— always good to be back on the East Coast, for my connection to LaGuardia. Dulles has trams that take you from the plane to the terminal for your baggage. The plane was full so we were all standing around and then piling into the next empty tram that drove up. I was tired and paying no attention to things around me. All the seats were filled, so I sat in the only available space and we chugged off. I pushed back in my seat with my suitcase between my legs and looked around. Everyone was looking at me; that entire tram was full of people just looking at me.
Oh, I said to myself, I've been here before. I turned to my seatmate and said conspiratorially, "I had this happen to me once before when I worked at the University of Georgia." My seatmate focused her attention on me, so I continued. "I was taking the bus across campus. I sat in front and glanced to the back of the bus and it seemed that everyone was looking at me. I made sure my blouse was buttoned, and I looked around me, and nothing seemed amiss, but they kept staring. A friend got on the next stop and sat across from me and we talked a bit. Still when I glanced towards the back of the bus everyone seemed to have their eyes glued on me. It was spooky.
"My friend and I got off at the Ecology building and I asked her, 'Did you notice that everyone was staring at me?' She laughed: 'Sandra, you were sitting next to the most famous guy in Georgia: Herschel Walker, running back for the UGA football team. They were looking at him.'"
I told that story to the beautiful actress sitting next to me who was paying cautious attention to me and whom everyone was looking at. She laughed at the story. It was Glenn Close, star of Fatal Attraction and the TBS series Damages.
But there's more to this tale.
Lately, people I know and love have felt that everyone was looking at them, literally and symbolically. They see themselves reflected back in everyone's eyes. One had made a call to ask someone to do her a favor the week before and then couldn't understand why she didn't hop right on it and get it done. She thought the world revolved around her and whatever she thought was important superseded everything else. "Couldn't she see how important this was?," she kept asking me. Another was focused on thinking that a group of NYC businessmen were anxiously awaiting her decision, while she was dithering on about trying to decide the exact right thing to say. When she finally returned their call, they asked what her call was about. It is funny how we operate in our own tiny little worlds and how our minds can build on the nearest nothing to make something big of it or conversely take a big event and ignore it.
Now we need to come back together, to bond as a tribe, understanding that the largest good is for everyone to gain, not just those in power. All of the connecting technology that we are engaged in these days—from instant emails, to magic phones, to Twitter, to Facebook—are for the most part light-weight encounters. No time for in-depth conversation within a message limited to 140 characters. But they are definitely connecting us. They have power: Remember what happened a few months ago when Twitter and Facebook changed the Middle East? There are no boundaries to information now.
Once I met author and medical intuitive Caroline Myss, we became great friends. She is straightforward, smart, and savvy. I like those qualities in my friends. We happened to both be in LA. She was giving a lecture and staying at the Bel-Air Hotel, a swanky and gorgeous setting. I was there for meetings with producers, and studios, and staying with friends. I drove over to Beverly Hills to have lunch at the Bel-Air with Caroline. After hellos, ordering, and eating, we were immersed in an intense, multi-dimensional conversation. We were sitting by a big window looking out on a small pond with the Bel-Air's famous swans floating by like beauty queens.
Our hostess, a pretty young woman, kept walking by. Each time she asked if we needed anything—no thanks, we were fine—and she'd linger for an extra second or so. After the fourth time Caroline said, "She must recognize me from the PBS pledge drive that just aired. Happens all the time." Then we dove back into our conversation about mysticism, time travel, and the state of the world, i.e., who was doing what to whom. As our hostess cruised by again, Caroline looked up and said, "What is it?" The hostess looked right at me, and said, "Do you live in Virginia Beach? I'm pretty sure I recognize you." Yep, I did live in Virginia Beach at one time but now I lived in NYC. She remembered me from the first TV series I ever did on the Norfolk PBS station, a weekly show where I interviewed local experts on meditation, dreams, Edgar Cayce, and Native American spirituality. Caroline laughed and laughed. "Well, that'll show me," she said.
From Edgar Cayce reading 707-1:
. . . if thou art centered in Him, then be not afraid! Yea, He has walked the streets with the rabble and has seen the flowing of the blessings that may come through making self humble! Yea, in the face and in the power of those that might save the body, He gave: "There is no power save that Creative Force we call God may give," that the soul may be raised, may be washed, may be white, may be cleansed that it may be in the presence of the Maker Himself! Art thou choosing this way?
Sandra Martin is owner and producer of Paraview TV, which is going live on FIOS in November 2011. You can check out their Web site www.paraviewtv.com.