A Famous Person Knows Me

  • Mar. 20th, 2008 at 10:13 PM

Everybody has met at least one famous person in their lives. Because I went to Carnegie Mellon University, I got to meet a few famous people before they were famous and a few famous people afterwards. From the latter category, I’ve met and spoken with Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Pippin, Wicked), Jack Klugman, and Bill Gates. From the former, I’ve met Zach Quinto.
Who?, you ask.
Sylar, from Heroes.
I was watching Heroes one night when I asked Max, “What’s that guy’s name?” And he said, “Sylar.” And I said, “No, his real name.” So he uses the wireless network and comes up with “Zachary” and  I finished, “Quinto. Yeah, he was in my CSW class.”
From at least 1993 to 1997, every CMU freshman had to pass Computing Skills Workshop. Didn’t matter if your major was Drama, you still had to take it and pass it. The class was actually taught by students. I became a CSW instructor in my sophomore year. (And I loved it, and became a tech writer because of it. But that’s another story.) Because I had a foot in the Drama Dept., being a BHA candidate (also another story, very boring), I had the same schedule as a lot of the Dramats. So, I ended up teaching the three sections of CSW that had all of the Dramats in them. One year, that included Zach Quinto.
Zach was a conscientious guy, but a computer whiz he was not. He squeaked by and passed.
Oddly, we were also in some classes together as students, because I was BHA. I liked Zach. Really, I liked a lot of the Dramats from his year. Dramats tended to be oh-so-pretentious, but the kids in his year were more down to earth.
Note, I’m using the word “kids”. Zach graduated 2 years after I did, which means he’s about 30 now. Ack, I’m old!
What is the point Robyn?
Well, my father- and mother-in-law were on a flight to Vegas the other day. FIL saw Zach on the plane. FIL approached Zach and asked, “Did you go to CMU?” Apparently, Zach did a double-take because that’s not what he’s used to being asked, and then said, “Yes.” FIL said, “OK” or whatever and went back to his seat.
A little later, Zach went up to FIL, and asked, “Do you work at CMU?” FIL said, “Yes, but what’s even stranger is that my daughter-in-law was your computing instructor.”
( And Zach said… )

“Oh my God! Robyn is your daughter-in-law!?!”
Sylar knows me.
I’m not sure why this makes me so happy. Maybe it’s because, as someone who teaches, I want to have at least made enough impact on a student’s life that they remember my name. I guess that’s all any of us wants, really – someone who will remember.
Of course, it could also make me happy because in some six-degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon kind of way, it gives me just a the littlest, teeniest, tiniest claim to fame.
Oh, and I feel compelled to add that I also noticed Zach in the Charmed episode, “Cat House” without needing any prompting at the time. Finally, Zach is slated to play Spock in a Star Trek prequel. I’m pretty sure we all commented on his resemblance to the character while in a class at CMU.

Current Mood: happy happy



Mar. 21st, 2008 10:52 am (UTC)That’s a cool story. The only famous person that knows me, most people haven’t heard of (Paul Lamb)

Mar. 21st, 2008 10:55 am (UTC)Cool story. Thanks for sharing it.

Mar. 25th, 2008 06:01 am (UTC)Thank you for reading. I’m so glad you’re back at LJ-land!

Mar. 21st, 2008 04:01 pm (UTC)That’s pretty cool!! 🙂

Heh, the only famous person I’ve ever met (that I can recall, that is) is Rachel Coleman.

Mar. 25th, 2008 06:01 am (UTC)Not bad. What’s she like IRL?

Mar. 25th, 2008 06:05 am (UTC)She seemed pretty genuine, very down to earth… of course, we didn’t have much time to chat it up or anything. She was pretty impressed with Sophie’s signing ability, which I thought was cool. 🙂

Mar. 21st, 2008 05:11 pm (UTC)That’s a pretty cool story. Through my work (Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation) I get to meet famous people when we do our charity concerts in January, but only briefly…Rob Schneider and Kevin Nealon stand out as being the very nicest celebs I’ve met, and of course Tony is awesome too.

Mar. 25th, 2008 06:00 am (UTC)I met Tony LaRussa once. I have a picture. I was in A Christmas Carol at the Regional Center. I’m so glad you’re still working for ARF.

Mar. 21st, 2008 08:25 pm (UTC)Isn’t it weird when that happens? Matt was watching “The Office” a couple of seasons ago when I hadn’t seen it, and I looked up and was like “Hey, I know that guy!” He thought I meant I had seen him on some other show, but in fact we went to Harvard together and he dated one of my roommates. It was really surreal to see his giant mug on TV. (It was B.J. Novak.)

Mar. 25th, 2008 05:59 am (UTC)Nifty! Are you in another state now? Did I miss you?

Mar. 24th, 2008 01:17 am (UTC)Tracie Thoms (gal from the movie Rent who played the gay lawyer) and I were good buddies in middle school. Makes me happy she’s doing so well.

Mar. 25th, 2008 06:00 am (UTC)Neat! I liked her. I like the Rent movie, actually.

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