Celebrity Obsessed

© 2012 Grecel Nepomuceno

Reading today’s free newspaper, 24 hrs (Toronto), there is an article called What’s the Price of Fame? by Joanne Richard. It talks about how celebrity obsessed the world has become. Even in an economic downturn, sales of celebrity memorabilia is skyrocketing. Sales for West Coast Authentic in Kelowna, B.C. has increased 300% in the past decade and includes items such as sports memorabilia. Some of the more popular items would be autographed photographs and document but are not limited to just that. With the death of famous people like Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Elizabeth Taylor, items can include anything from jewelry, clothing and rare items such as a custom painted autographed guitar for Michael Jackson ($60,000, westcoastauthentic.com). Even more unusual items are not out of the question. John Lennon’s tooth last sold for £19,000 (approx. $31,000) in England on Nov. 2011 as reported by Rolling Sone. Though, in today’s article, it is quoted at $16,000.

I must admit that sometimes I get caught up in celebrity stardom. It was exciting to go out to the red carpets last year during TIFF. And given the opportunity, I may do it again this year. It was even nice to see Hugh Jackman in person during the Real Steel red carpet event. If someone gave me the opportunity to go to an exclusive party where celebrities would be present, would I say no to that? Certainly not. However, I am not crazy enough to buy such items at exuberant amounts of money. It won’t give me the same amount of high as going out and experiencing things that are fun.

I once got a pass to see Russell Peters at HMV in Mississauga. I live no more that 23 minutes (slow) walking distance from there. I couldn’t believe it. While Toronto is known to be the first choice for any celebrity event, I would have to travel by transit to get there and experience these events with a whole lot of other people. I live in the suburbs and having Russell Peters come out to my end of town is nice. Yes, he’s from Brampton and he openly admits to growing up there and seems to have an appreciation for where he comes from. On the day of the autograph signing, at least 200 people with this pass are already lined up by 5pm. I should have known better and gotten there earlier with a sandwich and drink. I was near the end of the line. Russell Peters shows up with his family. He’s there to promote his DVD Green Card. He patiently signs autographs for every one of his fans holding a pass. He made sure that everyone got an autograph and stays beyond the 2 hour contract that is required of him. The mall is now closed past 9pm, and I finally get my copy of Green Card signed. It was only a few minutes. I gave him a photo of himself from my graduation where he was the recipient of an honourary degree at Humber College just months earlier. He gave it to his mom who couldn’t help but smile over it. That was a kodak moment for me. However, after waiting in line for more than two hours, I have to re-think about the importance of celebrities and the importance of my life. Prior to this event, my cousin said he met Russell Peters prior to Russell becoming famous. According to my cousin, he’s just a regular dude. I really got that at the autograph signing. Not that it’s a bad thing. I actually like celebrities who appreciate their families and not forget where they come from. According to someone in line at this event, Russell Peters tries to spend as much time with his family when in Canada, even if it means taking them to these events. Back to me and what I can do for myself. Well…while Russell Peters was giving a speech at my graduation, he said to follow your passions and everything will fall into place. He may have it easier because he is famous. In this economic times, I have to think how I will implement my passions into making a living out of it. But it is true. I am currently exploring choices at an employment centre and the employment advisor sees me as someone that can go the creative route instead of a regular office job. I have finally come to the conclusion that it is better to dream and achieve my own success instead of fantasizing being close to an already successful famous person.

Every year in Toronto, there is an event called Open Door where certain places open their doors to give tours to the public for free. I went and actually enjoyed some of the venues. The Flat Iron building was somewhat of a bust. While the history itself was interesting, the tour wasn’t that great. Other places I visited was the St. James Cathedral and The Design Exchange. Here, fourteen of Princess Diana’s dresses were on display prior to an auction. The collection was owned by Maureen Rorech Dunkel and she hoped to sell the collection for upwards of $6 million. The auction was held at Waddington’s June 23. Sadly, it is to help Dunkel pay off her debts. It was later reported in the Toronto Star that only four of the fourteen dresses sold. For more on this link to:

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/royalfamily/article/1052782–diana-s-dresses-didn-t-sell-after-all

While celebrities will continue to capture fans’ imaginations, this is one case where I feel like saying it was an epic fail for one person. Is collecting memorabilia worth the price?

© 2012 Grecel Nepomuceno


© 2012 Grecel Nepomuceno

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TIFF: On the Red Carpet for Trespass

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

Day seven of TIFF, I happen to be in the Yorkville area with my family when I come across Lainey and Traci of eTalk. These ladies are tall and I have a picture taken with them. Yes Traci, I think you did CP24 before (you can correct me if I’m wrong) and I messaged you about your beautiful hair. As I called it, eTalk names Olivia Wilde best dressed of the day on the red carpet for Butter with her beautiful flowing dress…

Now, what I realize hanging out at these red carpet events, you start to hear stories of other people’s experiences. So I may not know everything about Hollywood and famous people. I even made a mistake naming someone in an earlier post. It seems by now I am not the only one who can name people wrong. Waiting around at the Butter event, I get to talking with someone and we show each other photos of who we’ve captured and what we’ve heard about famous people.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

I decide to go see Nicolas Cage for Trespass. It seems hopeless consider- ing his popularity, however, I do find a “good spot.” It has already been announced that Nicole Kidman will not be in attendance. I find out later that she had not checked in and is likely with her husband, Keith Urban, who is touring.

At Trespass, I hear of a guy who already went to a gala or two. I think he says he works or volunteers for TIFF. He tells us about the night before for Butter and how the ladies walked passed the fans. Someone must have said something because later Jennifer Garner walks out to sign autographs. The same guy then talks about how he meets Viggo Mortensen at the hotel and seems to be checking out. “Leaving already?” he says. Viggo apparently has “friends” and wants to hang out. It’s unbelievable. Viggo later gets dropped off – maybe at the hotel where this guy seems to be around all the time – in an unlikely normal car. This guy points out Viggo to a photographer who doesn’t believe him until Viggo turns around to give a peace sign. He then talks of Nicolas Cage and how Nicolas Cage is the nicest actor ever. He’s even surprised at the small crowd and hopes more come out. (This at 7pm. More come out by 9pm). Later, someone else talks to a security guard and we hear more about how nice Nicolas Cage is and how he tried to sign autographs for everyone one time.

Joel Schumacher, Director © Grecel Nepomuceno

People are now excited as the first car pulls up and it’s the director, Joel Schumacher. The crowd need a little prompting, but once they get into it, Joel can’t get enough of it. He’s so much fun. He keeps going back to the fans to sign autographs and take pictures. If you can’t point him out in the photo, he’s seemingly glowing in the center under the umbrella.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

The second car pulls up and in it is Nicolas Cage and the crowd goes wild. He really works the crowd and walks up and down the length of the barrier. He finally comes my way. By now, it’s hard to gauge what settings I should use. People’s flashes are going off. As quickly as he comes, he goes past me. I barely have a chance and my camera does not cooperate the moment I really want it to – when Nicolas Cage is right in front of me. I did get a couple of shots. As he passes, he thanks everyone for coming out. During this whole time, quite a few cars pass through to drop off other cast members. I’m glad the director made a big deal of himself knowing who he is up against. He had fun.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011


Vintage effect: Nicolas Cage © Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

On the Red Carpet for Butter….

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

I decide to stop by the red carpet event for Butter just so I can catch a glimpse of Hugh Jackman, but apparently, he couldn’t make it because he’s promoting Reel Steel on the other side of the world. (Popsugar) Nevertheless, I manage to catch other famous people who are in this movie – Jennifer Garner, Olivia Wilde, and Ashley Greene. I suppose Alicia Silverstone was there but I can’t tell. I’m so far away. A crowd already started to form before 5pm.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

Olivia Wilde, you look stunning tonight with your long flowing dress. It captures all the light as the flashes go off and you look like an angel. It suits you. I can’t believe you walked in my direction when I called out to you to walk my way. Maybe I should have called out again because you didn’t make it all the way to where I am standing. So many people leaning forward with their cameras and I am almost crushed by a big fat man who thinks he can see better over my short stature. I didn’t get to see. Thank you anyway. I should try harder next time.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

I’m sorry I couldn’t get a better shot of Jennifer Garner (or any of them really.) I need a telephoto lens like the professionals. I also jacked up the ISO to HO3 which I think someone said is ISO 12,000 and something. For those of you who want to zoom in, the quality is not great because there is more noise with high ISO. Better luck next time, I say to myself. I’m not so sure I’d be patient enough to wait for hours just to get those great shots.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011


Yara Shahidi – a ten year old who plays Destiny in this movie