Post by flossieskid on Aug 11, 2021 9:27:58 GMT -5
When I was 5 or 6, I realized my parents were different from all the parents of my friends, Their Mom and Dad were never asked for their signature or asked to take their photo. Once, I did ask my parents if it bothered them when fans would come up and ask for an autograph or want to just talk to a “movie star” or take their picture?
My folks, of course, never considered themselves “stars” of any kind. They would tell my brother and me that if any actor felt “bothered” or “annoyed” by fans coming up to talk to them or ask for an autograph, they were in the wrong profession!! My parents said they always felt very grateful that people recognized them or asked for their autograph or a photo.
The only time they felt conflicted was when they were with us - their children. They felt we might feel the fans were impinging on my parents’ time with their kids. I have a story about just that situation happening, but that is for another time. My parents emphasized to us that as long as we were polite, didn’t interrupt the actor’s time with their own family or if the actors were eating - most actors are thrilled someone wishes to meet them or would like to tell them how much they appreciated their work or enjoyed a specific role they did. Sometimes, fans might ask for an autograph or a photo with them, but the photo request did not happen often since no one had cell phones back in the day and what person (unless they were on vacation,) would carry around a camera?
So, I always remembered my parents’ words of wisdom whenever I saw an actor whose work I admired and was trying to decide if I should approach them. Throughout my entire life (and we’re talking many decades here, just not quite as old as Methuselah!) I have ALWAYS encountered very kind, lovely actors who seemed very thankful that I had the courage to go up to them to tell them how much I thoroughly admired their talent. I often highlighted the role I had recently seen them in.
Again, let me reiterate that EVERY SINGLE ACTOR or ACTRESS that I recognized and spoke to, was utterly delightful and beyond gracious. That was until I had the misfortune of deciding to approach character actor, Mr. Michael Learner!! Thank goodness, Miss Michael LEARNED (as she was credited on The Waltons) was a totally different sex and had that one different letter at the end of her last name which separates her and Mr. Learner. I’m not sure they were confused for each other while acting in different projects, but it is so odd that their names are so similar!
About 2 years ago, I happen to see Michael Learner in the aisle of a large supermarket chain. He was alone, was not fervently checking out a grocery list and he was slowly meandering down the cereal aisle. He did not appear to be in a hypnotic stupor devoid of his faculties. I guess I could give him the benefit of the doubt and accept that the incredible array of cereal choices that lay before him overtook any manners he was taught. Yes, I GUESS I could do that - Yeah - no - ain’t doing that!!
I think he might have been glancing up to see if the “Coco Coco Puffs” or “Fruit Loops” were on sale! Then, he grabbed one large box of his final choice of cereal and turned his head as he tossed one in his cart.
I saw my opportunity and approached with a smile and an outstretched hand and went into my memorized spiel, saying, “Hello, Mr. Lerner, my name is Tracey McCallion Campbell. I hope you don’t mind the brief interruption. Both my parents were actors and I know they always enjoyed it when someone would introduce themselves and tell them how much they have admired their work. So, I just wanted you to know I have thoroughly enjoyed all your performances throughout the years, especially your appearance on “Glee”.
I introduced myself, put out my hand as a matter of respect, apologized for the short interruption and then heaped praise upon him. Who wouldn’t like that, I ask you?!?!? Although, I think if I were he, I may have been so overcome with gratitude for whoever distracted me from having to decide between two unappetizing boxes of cereal - I may have paid THEM!
Nice, short speech, right? Well, Mr Learner ‘s eyes NEVER left his perusal of the available cereals in the four long shelves in front of him. He NEVER looked me in the eyes, he NEVER said “Thank you” and while still gazing at the boxes of cereal, he NEVER spoke directly to me. He put his hand out into space (while still looking at all the cereal choices) and just assumed I would find it (which I did) then he utterly one syllable and said, “Fine!” Just “Fine” - absolutely nothing else!! He simply let his hand drop from mine and then he slowly walked away and turned the corner.
I was shocked, upset, horribly surprised and utterly disappointed that an actor of his caliber would respond that way to someone trying to let him know how much they appreciated his talent and enjoyed his performances. Of course, I thought perhaps he got some horrible news about his health, or perhaps a family member died or he lost all his retirement money in a get-rich-quick Ponzi scheme.
But, I reviewed those scenarios over and over and over, I would think what better way to get out of a bad mood than to hear something positive or meeting an actual fan who is telling you great things about you. If you’re still stuck in a funk - try acting!! Act happy, Act content - DANG! Just act polite!! Make this encounter a 2 minute acting challenge and, hopefully, you can achieve a nice experience for the both of you.
For the most part, I am a very positive person and look at the world as a glass half- full situation, so I thought long and hard about posting this experience. But, it is great to have a live-in psychiatrist ready to help in any way he can. He agreed that I should post this story because as we are seeing with Andrew Cuomo’s report, people must be held accountable for bad behavior. No one is above being called out for inappropriate, rude or unkind and insensitive remarks. Fair is fair!
I would absolutely NEVER put my experience with Michael Learner in the same category as sexual assault or inappropriate harassment. They should never really be in the same sentence! However, I was just trying to point out (perhaps I did it in a bit of a hazy way) that no one, including actors should ever be given a “free pass” when it comes to civility and common courtesy.
Kindness, courtesy, thoughtfulness, respect and understanding are all qualities I think every Walton family member surely had. The guidance of loving parents, as well as, learning from their mistakes and celebrating their successes helped each and every Walton child thrive!
"Common courtesy" is the key. It is very-much lacking in today's society.
But your story reminds me of this:
(No video available on YouTube)
Can you believe that I can't find a decent video of the 'L.A. scene in 'I Love Lucy' where Lucy meets William Holden. The ones I found were horribly mutilated with stupid commentary and annoying self-promotion. But it's this scene:
I wonder if anyone invented spaghetti snippers after this episode?
I had to Google Michael Lerner, but I remember him from his younger performances. I wouldn't have recognised him now.
Still, one would think he could take a moment to acknowledge a fan's appreciation. It makes me think of Justin Bieber spitting on his fans from his hotel balcony.
"As long as there's one person on earth who remembers you, it isn't over." - Oscar Hammerstein
Post by patriciaanne on Aug 11, 2021 10:51:46 GMT -5
You are so right, of course, Tracey. We should all hold ourselves to a higher standard of civility. I think we have a terrible problem in our society in general where we no longer have an expectation of individual accountability. Either you're very powerful and think you can get away with ANYTHING you want, or you're a member of a group that society has convinced is powerless over your own fate. So it doesn't matter what you do -- or don't do -- because your lot in life is the fault of everyone else.
Let's pray that more and more people wake up and realize 1) the individual power they really DO have to improve their own lives and the lives of those around them and 2) the responsibility we all have to be respectful and empathetic of others while holding each other accountable for better behavior.
I for one would have been delighted if you had recognized me at the supermarket. Perhaps one day I'll be fortunate to have you recognize me at a Waltons reunion. I promise to divert my glance from the cereal boxes. 🥰
When I first read the thread title, I thought this was going to be about Michael Learned haha 🤣
Anyways, I am sorry about your encounter with Mr. Michael Lerner. I am too young so I don't know enough about him and his work. I never had the opportunity to meet anyone famous but when I do, I would like to be courteous of them but also let them how much I admire them. It's natural to be starstruck in meeting your idol or an actor, actress you respect.
I can kind of understand if you were an A-list actor/actress in Hollywood who has been in countless movies and a whole paparazzi crew came in and started taking pictures and videos of you. However, you can still have privacy but also be humble to your fans the way I see it. It's weird, there are people who have said -insert name- was not nice in person but then other people have had more pleasant experiences with that same person. So, you never know what that person is gonna be like.
"I think I like wildflowers best. They just grow wherever they want. No one has to plant them. And then their seeds blow in the wind and they find a new place to grow."
Post by patriciaanne on Aug 12, 2021 13:23:10 GMT -5
I have spent the most amount of time with the Waltons cast and they are all wonderful. I don't know how they deal with all the crowds for two or three days straight and stay that nice.
I met Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane outside the stage door when I went to see The Producers and got their autographs. They were very gracious. I met someone from one of my soap operas when I waited on him. I was a cashier at a record store and he was lovely.
I have probably met others I'm just not thinking of now, and I've definitely seen others from afar.
I’m a bit of an introvert. So I could never be famous (not that I’m in any danger of that) because I would stress out about being recognized/approached. That said, if I were famous, I think I could manage to be gracious enough to thank anyone who complimented me on my work. Sheesh.
I haven't met Walton cast members in person But did talk to one on the Phone. David Harper was extremely open and nice and he's a well-known introvert.
That brings me to The rudest ever fan encounter. One of my brothers was a musician and we met quite a few "stars" Elvis Presley among them, he was just as humble and sweet as you would expect. But We ( my sister and I) were taken to a concert in the 80's, Glen Campbell and Kenny Rogers. My sister was a HUGE Kenny Rogers fan at the time. And even though our brother Bobby had drilled it in our heads from practically Babies that Famous people are just like us. They eat like us, get dressed like us etc. She was Fan Girling really bad. and I guess Kenny took offense, Because he refused to sign an autograph or take a picture with her, and told Bobby "can't you control your sister". Well, I am the outspoken witch of my family and I don't care who you are, Talk badly about my family or a friend and I'll pull my 5 foot 4 inch self up to your face and tell you EXACTLY what I think. and I stepped over to him and quietly said " I am sooo sorry, she can't help it. After all, she likes your music. We are working on getting her help for that soon." and smiled. Mr. Rogers whirled on his heels and left. We were back stage so not many people heard me. But the ones that did found it extremely amusing. But my brother never forgave me. I have pictures back stage in Glen Campbells dressing room and by his limo. He was a gracious gentleman. And my sister became a fan of his, due to him trying to make up for Kenny's rudeness. So at least there was a happy ending. I am outgoing and crazy but I don't know if I could handle the famous thing. I know I got annoyed as a pre teen and a teenager when Girls would approach Bobby and fan girl over him when we out doing stuff, he wasn't famous. just well known in our hometown. I want to think I am more mature acting now, but who knows lol.
I need a Reunion, Anybody with me? It's time for an in person David Harper Fix, Pronto!