Category Archives: A-List / B-List / No-List

“The Greatest Of All Time…”

“In 2004, while living in NYC, my friend Gerald Bunsen called me up one weekend and asked if I was available to work security for a photoshoot (I had moved to NYC to pursue acting, but because of my size and character I often found secondary work as a bouncer and private guard). He wasn’t available to make it and needed someone he could depend on to replace him. ‘Of course,’ I said, ‘for who?’…’Muhammad Ali‘, he replied.”
“The photoshoot was for an adidas ad campaign. The team I was on had one job: to escort Mr. Ali from his hotel room down to the street where he would shoot in a car with a few children, then back up to his hotel room. During a meeting that was held before all of this happened, we were given details on how things would progress. Mr. Ali never spoke aloud to us, there was a gentleman with him (whose name I didn’t catch) who spoke with him directly, listened to his replies as they were whispered to him and then relayed the information to us. The photographer asked how long he’d have to shoot, Mr. Right-Hand-Man told him he’d probably have 5 minutes at the MOST to squeeze off a few shots. The photographer wanted more, Mr. Right-Hand-Man said that’d be impossible. When we walked outside I immediately saw why.”
“The second (and I mean literally the SECOND) we opened the front door and set foot on the sidewalk, Mr. Ali was recognized and surrounded. People smiled, laughed, cried, reached out to him, touched him, chanted his name, held out things to be autographed, held their children out to him to be kissed. The security team and I spent the next few minutes (Mr. Right-Hand-Man was right, we had less than 5) holding people back, keeping people calm and witnessing the madness. Although I had met a lot of celebrities while living in NYC, I had never met one as traffic-stopping as him. His presence alone captured the awe and attention of those around him. His smile was addicting…his silence was deafening.”
120327040752-mohamad-ali-famous-hoodie-horizontal-large-gallery

(photographer: Unknown)

“When we arrived back at the hotel room, everyone shook hands and began their goodbye’s. Mr. Ali was seated at a giant desk, signing autographs and photos for some of the assistants, staff and security team. As I was still a fairly timid newcomer to the whole ‘NYC scene’ and my job was done, I thought it best to simply leave. As I made for the door, my eyes caught Mr. Right-Hand-Man’s eyes. ‘Would you like an autograph before you go?’, he asked. I was never one to ask for autographs, I always felt that having someone’s name on a piece of paper or memorabilia could never fully describe the experience of meeting that person. And although I had a cell phone on me, technology had not yet caught up to where we are today, with our selfie skills and multi-megapixel phone cameras…so taking a photo would’ve required entirely too much time to set up. I couldn’t just let this moment slip by however, it was Muhammad Ali. ‘No thank you,’ I answered, ‘but is it possible for me to just meet him?'”
“Thirty seconds later I was sitting in a chair next to the Greatest Of All Time, introducing myself, shaking his hand and smiling like a 10 yr old. I never once heard his voice, I didn’t need to. Sometimes you don’t need to hear someone tell you about the years they’ve lived, the accomplishments they’ve achieved, the struggles they’ve overcome and the world they’ve changed…sometimes you can just tell.”
“Rest in peace Mr. Ali.”
– F
PS. This is a photo from that weekend…I found it online after some pretty heavy Google searching.
Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under A-List / B-List / No-List, New York City

“37 Years Of Robin Williams…” (An Homage)

I can’t really explain in words why the passing of Robin Williams has affected me so…

10487339_10152596249314723_8564208611125275677_n

Yes, there is a touch of ‘celebrity fascination’ there. Yes, it’s always sad when another human being’s flame goes out. And yes, the hint of suicide makes it even more shocking, true or not. But for me personally, he’s kinda ‘been there with me’ in one form or another throughout my entire life. He has portrayed characters that for me were relevant, believable and timeless. Crazy ones, funny ones, vicious ones, bad ones, good ones and even futuristic robotic ones. I can safely say that I’ve been influenced by him at various times in various different ways as far back as I can remember.

Sure, I didn’t know him. Sure, there’s probably another billion people on the planet that will say the same thing. But the truth is, the more we see and hear someone, the more they’re in our everyday lives, the more we remember and are guided by the things they say…even if we only know them through media. I remember the lines from his movies, including all the songs from the animated ones. I know the jokes from his standup routines and the one-liners from his videos and cassette tapes. I ‘know’ who he was, or at least who he wanted us to think he was. So I’m ‘sad’ that he’s gone, or whatever you’d like to call that feeling you feel when you know you’re going to ‘miss’ someone, even if you didn’t ‘know’ them.

After hearing of his death, I began to read up on him and his past. I realized his career happened to extend the span of my life…37 years to be exact. So just for him (and for you if you’d care to join me) I’m going to pay homage to his life in my own little way with this: ’37 Years Of Robin Williams.”

_________________________________________

(Click the photos to view video clips)
_________________________________________

1977: HBO

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 12.48.40 PM

_________________________________________

199: THE RICHARD PRYOR SHOW

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 12.55.12 PM

_________________________________________

1978: HAPPY DAYS (AS MORK)

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 12.57.48 PM

_________________________________________

1978: POPEYE

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 12.59.50 PM

_________________________________________

1978: MORK & MINDY

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 1.01.46 PM

_________________________________________

1982: THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 1.03.42 PM

_________________________________________

1984: MOSCOW ON THE HUDSON

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 1.07.21 PM

_________________________________________

1987: GOOD MORNING VIETNAM

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 1.09.13 PM

_________________________________________

1988: ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 1.10.46 PM

_________________________________________

1989: DEAD POETS SOCIETY

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 1.12.29 PM

_________________________________________

1990: AWAKENINGS

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 1.14.14 PM

_________________________________________

1991: HOOK

Hook 10

_________________________________________

1992: ALADDIN

aladdin-genie

_________________________________________

1993: MRS. DOUBTFIRE

Mrs-Doubtfire-mrs-doubtfire-30612688-853-480

_________________________________________

1995: JUMANJI

0022

_________________________________________

1995: NINE MONTHS

500full

_________________________________________

1996: JACK

directors-go-different-jack-590x350

_________________________________________

1996: THE BIRDCAGE

robin_williams_28229

_________________________________________

1997: GOOD WILL HUNTING

GWH

_________________________________________

1998: PATCH ADAMS

patch-adams-1998-650-75

_________________________________________

1999: BICENTENNIAL MAN

bicenennial-man-andrew_480_poster

_________________________________________

2002: ONE HOUR PHOTO

robin-williams-one-hour-photo-2002-105

_________________________________________

2005: ROBOTS

Robots

_________________________________________

2006: HAPPY FEET

Sneak-peek-Happy-Feet-Two-in-3D-N49N2QB-x-large

_________________________________________

2006: NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM

Night-at-the-Museum-robin-williams-23589979-852-480

_________________________________________

2009: OLD DOGS

olddogs111009

_________________________________________

2009: WORLD’S GREATEST DAD

World-s-Greatest-Dad-robin-williams-11602754-852-480

_________________________________________

– F


PS. Bangarang, Peter.

Leave a comment

Filed under A-List / B-List / No-List, The Good In Mankind

“Tom Cruise? Scientologist. Me? Christian. We still had a chat.”

I met Tom Cruise recently.
I mean, I meet a LOT of people everyday, and I meet a LOT of celebrities every day too…but I met Tom Cruise.

Maverick. Ethan Hunt. Les Grossman. Frank TJ Mackey. Jerry Maguire. Cole Trickle.

TOM CRUISE.

A few things that came to mind upon meeting Tom Cruise:

He really is a short guy.

He’s really got a huge smile.
He’s a Scientologist.
Maybe if I stand too close to him, I’LL turn into a Scientologist too.
Wow…he really IS a short guy.

But you know what? I know a LOT of Scentologists. And I know a LOT of short guys. And hell, I’VE got a huge smile too.

All I saw was a guy who shook my hand when he met me.

He grinned that ‘Cocktail’ grin. He stood there in a pool of $20 mil-a-movie confidence and said:
“Fidel, huh? Hi, I’m Tom.”

I know your name Maverick.

“It’s nice to meet you.”

Nice meeting you too.

(Pointing at my co-worker and I) “Are you guys leaving..?”

Actually yeah, we’re just getting off work, so I’m outta here..! I figured if you and Katie were leaving, the party’s GOTTA be over, no..?

“Ha! Guess so! Well it was nice meeting you again Fidel, thanks again for all your help tonight. You guys were fantastic, and everything was great. Goodnight.”

I know a liar (I’ve lied), and I know an actor (I’ve acted)…and this guy wasn’t doing either. There were no cameras, no tape recorders, no Boy Scout with a No 2 pencil and a pad trying to earn his Journalism merit badge. He didn’t dance on any furniture. He didn’t save any babies. He didn’t preach Scientology (if he did, I would have Last Samurai’d him).

He simply took his wife Katie by her waist, he said “Ok” to his security of 4 armed men (who I’m sure are, were, or are gonna be officers of the law) and he made his way…well…to wherever he was making his way to.

Goodnight Maverick.

– F

PS. Talk to me Goose.

2 Comments

Filed under A-List / B-List / No-List, New York City, Religion