I Now Pronounce You

About That Autograph You Got in J Paul’s -or- My Night Being Almost Famous

Posted in Uncategorized by inowpronounceyou on May 9, 2007


The picture above is Cameron Crowe, famous director who I referenced briefly in my last post. That reference actually reminded me of one my first “This is Life In DC” Lessons…classic, classic moment in my tenure here in the Nation’s Capital.

See, one of my best friends at the time was English Chris. He’s an LA guy through and through who one day packed his shit and left for England, never to return. He called me from the airport…really…he had a flair for the dramatic. At any rate we were out and about one night at J Paul’s discussing why he could never, ever live in New England and I could never, ever live in LA. My at the time GF Carlita, the bombshell boutique bartender from Spain (crazy as the day is long, but you knew that…different story for another time) was telling us both that Spain is the most real, grounded place she’d ever been…and that DC was superficial and vain…

And that’s when I said it…the spark that lit the powder keg….

DC is great. People here are smart and driven and have aspirations; It’s not like LA, all superficial and hollow!

Carlita and English Chris heard this and both (having lived here for years and years) doubled over laughing. I mean, hanging on to the bar, tears down their faces belly laughing.

“Oh baby you just do not know what you’re talking about”

NO WAY! Come on, look, this town is full of power players and…

“If you were in a bar in Boston and someone famous came in, what would happen?” English Chris asked.

I said, well…define famous? Like, if it was a Sox player the place would go fucking crazy…

“No no…I mean someone kinda famous…just famous enough?”

Well, like who?

We fired off some names and then Carlita said, “Kinda famous? How about Almost Famous…Cameron Crowe”

“Perfect. If Cameron Crowe came in to a bar in Boston or Burlington, what would happen?”

Well, first of all no one would know who he was, and if they did he’d probably get asked for his autograph…it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. I mean, he’s Cameron Crowe, not Larry Bird.

“Right. I will now show you why you are way off base about DC”

Carlita and English Chris then started referring to me as “Cam”…just loud enough so as to attract a little attention. Not much…and Carlita after a few minutes turned to a patron and said “The guy directs a few movies and thinks he’s so fucking perfect”

BOOOOOOOOM. That was it.

“He directs movies?” the patron asked.

“He’s a glorified casting director”


“Anything I’ve seen?”

Did you see Almost Famous?

“NO FUCKING WAY…you’re that guy…ummm….what’s his name? Hey, what’s the guy’s name that directed…”

“Cameron Crowe.”

“Cameron Fucking Crowe. Hey I love your stuff…”

“Yeah, but hey, keep it on the hush, we just want to have a drink and a quiet night.”

“Oh yeah, totally. No worries.” Nice guy, totally random. No big deal, he walked away.

Dude, that proves NOTHING.

“You’re right…but that’s not my point…just watch…”

Holy. CRAP.

Within MAYBE 20 minutes, there was an odd shift in the room. The crowd was coming towards us. Not overtly mind you, but suddenly there were a lot more people just around us being completely “nonchalant” about it…and then…

“Hey, I know you”

You…you sure about that?

“Yeah, I LOVE you! You’re CAMERON CROWE!!! Fast times at Ridgemont High!!! Hey, can I get your picture?”

“Hey, Cameron, cool to meet you…let me buy you a drink”

“Hey, I loved Jerry Maguire, what’s Tom Cruise like?”

It was NON. STOP. People were trying to be matter of fact, but there was hysteria in the air. Someone famous is here! And no one…and I mean NO ONE questioned it. I would guess that I had my picture taken 70-100 times that night. I didn’t pay for a drink. I got tons of phone numbers just handed to me. I signed autographs. I was offered sex. I was invited to parties after hours. In short, I was Cameron Fucking Crowe. One woman making a flirty off the cuff comment is all it took to turn the entire bar into a sycophantic frenzy.

I was told that I looked just like my pictures by several people. The bartender at one point called his GF to tell her to “get the FUCK TO J PAUL’S CUZ CAMERON CROWE IS HERE”…and I just had to meet her. Because why? You guessed it, she’s an actress. (At which point English Chris almost fell off his barstool…not like LA indeed.)

I called it off after a bit. I had to. It was creepin’ me out and the point was proven. We made our escape in to a waiting cab and I didn’t go back to J Pauls for, oh…wait…I don’t think that I’ve been back there since.

Readers, if you’ve ever been to New England you know damned well that would never happen where I’m from. Not unless it was Larry Bird or Carl Yazstremski…and even THEN, people would back off. I’ve seen it myself. It wouldn’t happen in LA b/c celebrities are a dime a dozen. And it damn sure wouldn’t happen in most of Spain. It happens here. I don’t mean that as some sort of indictment or a knock on our town. I don’t. I love it here. But when people talk about how unaffected and over it they are here, I feel like they are wearing their dad’s suit. It’s something we SAY b/c, well, we live in DC. We’re supposed to be somewhat over it and unaffected.

Oh, and just for the record, I did NOT accept any of the offers for parties or sex, I did not audition the bartender’s girlfriend, and I have no idea how the rumors started that Almost Famous II; the Solo Projects was in the works.


19 Responses to 'About That Autograph You Got in J Paul’s -or- My Night Being Almost Famous'

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  1. freckledk said,

    Simple explanation for this: Tourists. Locals don’t act that way, and don’t often hang out in Georgetown either 🙂

    I worked at an Irish Pub for 10 years, and we had quite a few celebs -Kiefer Sutherland, most recently. Not one person bothered him. I saw Billy Bragg at Velvet Lounge years ago, on a night where he was playing the 930 Club. We couldn’t bring ourselves to bother him, although we certainly wanted to.

    There was a Blogger who recently accosted Ryan Gosling at Wonderland one night….but is was Bridge-and-Tunnel night, and they didn’t realize who he was at the time, so I don’t know if that helps prove my point or not.

  2. That’s a very fair point, FreckledK. Personally,I don’t hang out in GTown much after that myself!

  3. shadowsofourselves said,

    Yeah.. Us tourists..

    Last time I was in DC I got all excited because I saw David Gregory from NBC news sitting near me at a Nats game. And it WAS David Gregory. BUT, I have SOME decency. And it’s not like he’s a CELEBRITY. It’s not like I tried to talk to him or anything. I didn’t care THAT much. I was in the company of someone who was much more interesting.

    Then again, I wasn’t a tourist. I was a “guest.”

    And by the way, that post was very random.

    And I don’t see the resemblence all THAT much.. Maybe a little 🙂

  4. Jo said,

    Wow. That is so typical. We’re used to politicians though. I was in Miami when Bush was making an appearance, the whole city stopped for a motorcade to pass by. Ridiculous.

  5. carrie m said,

    Ryan Gosling was at Wonderland?!?! Holy crap. You have to CALL ME when that happens.

    See? I just proved your point. 😉

    You look nothing like Cameron Crowe. Who by the way is my one of my heroes as a writer and a director. Although I think I’m the only person on the face of the earth who didn’t like Jerry Maguire.

  6. Shadows; guests do rate higher than tourists, that’s for damn sure.

    Jo, I don’t know that I would stop eating to look up if the Pres was going by….

    Carriel; I look NOTHING like him…which was what made the whole thing even better. Especially being told “you look just like your pictures”…umm…whazzat?

  7. shadowsofourselves said,

    carrie m – I didn’t think Jerry Maguire was all THAT great either. And Renee Zellwegger has funny eyes. And Tom Cruise is, well, yeah. Tom Cruise. No thanks.

  8. sunchaser said,

    So, out of curiosity, is your friend still living in England or did he tire of that? Being as picky as he sounds, I’d imagine that he found problems with it and moved on?

    I don’t know if I could live in L.A. or not. I went up there for work (from San Diego) fairly often and it’s really hard to imagine being able to tolerate the traffic/lack of public transport. And L.A. just topped the list of US cities w/most smog again this year (big surprise).

    Boston’s not so bad, but too much snow/too cold for me.

    I’ve never been to Spain (yet).

  9. freckledk said,

    I had a boyfriend who, though otherwise cold and bitter, would sob crying every time he watched Jerry Maguire. And he had it on video, so this happened often. I got to see the waterworks show once, and it was surreal. I’ll be forever grateful to Cameron Crowe for giving me that.

    And you look nothing like him.

    Off topic, but it makes me think of this: some old guy once told me that I was a ringer for Angela Lansbury. The horror.

  10. Sunchaser; he is indeed still on the other side of the pond, and is now married. I think it mellowed him…although I do wonder if he tried the same “experiment” over there.

    FreckledK; I don’t know whether that is funny or tragic…and…Angela Lansbury!? WTF? I look nothing like him and you look NOTHING like her.

  11. Mandy said,

    I sat next to Arch Cambell at the movies last night.

    I’ve had a few celeb encounters in DC just bc of my job. I find them to be much shorter in real life than they seem on the TV or big screen. And much older and wrinkly.

    *sigh* I don’t really get star struck though. At least not to the point of asking for an autograph or a photo.

    I would have recognized Cameron Crowe though. Mos def.

  12. roissy said,

    i caught david arquette at pharmacy bar a few weeks back. he was in town promoting a flic he directed.

    i intro’d with “hi, aren’t you the guy married to courtney cox?”

    also saw george stephanopoulis walking his two basset hounds in gtown recently.
    intro: “wow, you’re shorter than i imagined.”

    i have a way with b list celebrities.

  13. Mandy; if it was BRUCE Campbell, I would dig it. 🙂

    Roissy; That’s bad ass! I wanna heckle…errrr…meet celebs with you.

  14. katinka said,

    i saw tim russert at chef geoffs the other night. im telling you the place went f-ing crazy. he had to run out of there dragging some blond hooker behind him.

  15. sunchaser said,

    I think that this post demonstrates really well the reason that alot of celebs live in NYC. It’s much easier to go under the radar there. Like current NYC resident Edward Norton said: “If I ever have to stop taking the subway, I’m gonna have a heart attack.”

    (I also think that reading someone’s post without commenting is kind of rude – is that crazy?)

  16. Katinka; Blond hooker + Tim Russert sighting = hillarious. I lvoe that this is on my blog…AWESOME!!! THANK YOU!!!

    Sunchaser; ZACTLY. Did I read your post and not comment? I’ll rectify, yo! It’s not crazy…well, maybe…kinda…OK, yeah. ; )

  17. shadowsofourselves said,

    INPY – Isn’t BRUCE Campbell the guy from the Evil Dead Movies and Army of Darkness? And some lame tornado movie in the 90’s? Or 80? That was a ripoff of twister?

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