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

TIFF: On the Red Carpet for the movie……

GOON

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

In the past, I’ve been trying to photograph famous people during these TIFF events. I don’t normally put much thought into it and hang out at Yorkville. Yes, I’ve seen pictures where people have been successful at photographing said famous people coming out of the Four Seasons or the Hazelton Hotel. In my case, it’s never during the time I’m there. I’m not the patient type. When I get there, I feel like I need to be somewhere else. Then I don’t leave for a while thinking the moment I leave, someone famous will come out and I miss the opportunity.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

This year, I’ve changed my approach and decide to pick and choose red carpet events that feature the stars I want to see. Okay, I fumble up by missing the red carpet for George Clooney & Ryan Gosling’s movie The Ides of March and U2’s movie From the Sky Down.

I head out to the center of Toronto’s universe – Yonge and Dundas Square – and hang out for the afternoon. Then I take a walk around to Ryerson University where it’s one of the locations for TIFF movies. I turn the corner from Church Street to Gerrard Street and see a lot of people lined up for the movie Goon. At this point, I have a decision to make – keep walking and head to Yorkville, or stick around and find out who shows up for the red carpet. Seeing my failure to photograph anyone famous at Yorkville, I decide to stay. Besides, I’m already here. There is not a large crowd thankfully. If you have seen my previous post, you know my issues with crowds and not being able to see anything.

I find myself a little spot at the end of the red carpet. Little did I know this is where the stars would pass by to get to the theatre. It turns out to be a great spot. And so, with very little knowledge of this movie except that the ad looks funny and it’s about hockey, I wait.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

Slowly but surely they come, and here is the first one. I hear the crowd yell for George, though I don’t think it is. I hear that he’s a boxer and they’re right. I later ask my brother if he knows who this guy is and he says Lennox Lewis. I Google search his image and sure enough they match! Lennox Lewis!?! I should have asked for his autograph. He still signed autographs even though people are calling him George.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

Next, Kim Coates from Entourage walks the red carpet. I’ve heard of the show and never watched it before. Like the X Files, Desperate Housewives, Glee, or Heroes, I’ll eventually come around to watching Entourage and liking it. It doesn’t matter if I miss the first season or whatever. I’ll figure out what’s happening.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

David Paetkau is next on the red carpet after a bunch of people we all don’t know pass through. He is a Canadian actor who has been on shows like Flashpoint, Dexter, Supernatural and Smallville. I only know of his name because someone asked for his autograph and called out his name. Like many of the others I see on the red carpet, he seems like a humble guy.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

Allison Pill, however, doesn’t stop for any autographs and just walks on through. I look through her profile on IMDb and don’t know much of her work except CSI (one episode), Pillars of the Earth mini series and Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

I didn’t know Jay Baruchel either and relied on others to call his name out. According to IMDb, he’s a Canadian and has done shows like Are You Afraid of the Dark? He also signs plenty of autographs.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

And finally…..
wait for it….
wait for it…..
wait for it….
the most recognizable on this red carpet……

Seann William Scott!

Most famous as Stifler on American Pie. He signed a lot of autographs and didn’t have any attitude about it. He’s smiling while he does it. Then kindly tells people he needs to get to the theatre. I’m glad to have seen him and all the others. I never would have thought I’d get this opportunity much less even have good photos to post. After I leave, I talk to a girl promoting the Movie network at a shuttle bus station at Yonge and Dundas for TIFF ticket holders. I tell her who I saw and show her all the pictures. She is like me. We don’t put much importance on famous people. However, when I show her Seann William Scott, she starts going on about how funny he is and he’s a nice guy. I made her day and I’m glad.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011