Sheila E. but a Clooney tangent
At Hollywood Show I spoke to a couple of younger celebrities. One was drummer and singer Sheila E. who I planned to meet anyway. I try to prep before I meet and speak with a celebrity. I will only reach out if I genuinely am a fan or have interest in their career or some aspect of their life. Sometimes meetings are unplanned though……
At the 2006 Berlinale film festival, I saw a crowd in front of a theatre. I asked “What is this all about?” A Bulgarian woman answered “George Clooney is coming.” I was up front so I decided to stay put. I liked Out of Sight and used to watch The Facts of Life as a kid but I’m not really a Clooney fan. Yet it would be exciting to see the nephew of the talented Rosemary Clooney. Plus I’d also get a Jose Ferrer connection, Rosemary’s ex-husband and father of her children.
Charismatic George waltzed in smiling for all his fans and quickly signed his initials for everyone in the front. Remember I was in front so he initialed “GC” on my booklet with Charlotte Rampling on the cover and asked right in front of me “Are you cold?, ” the “you” addressed to us as a group of fans. It wasn’t that cold. Maybe 29F degrees which I assume is good for a February in Berlin. Then Sigourney Weaver and Gael Garcia Bernal walked the red carpet but they didn’t mingle with the fans like mega-schmoozer George Clooney.
Unlike George, Sheila E. was a planned meeting. I had planned to ask her if she spoke Spanish (she is of part Mexican heritage and Tito Puente was her godfather) and if she had ever met or played with Xavier Cugat. I’m trying to have that classic movie connection and maybe I’m being stereotypical thinking all Hispanic musicians know one another but one never knows. Anyway star-struck me forgot all my questions. Sheila E was on her cell phone. I looked through her glossies. Her autobiography was too pricey for me. It doesn’t mean I admire her work less but I have to be pragmatic with my money. My passion is old movies. I love 80s music. I support female drummers. It’s tough being poor–picking and choosing. Sheila E is still young. She will likely be around for decades to come. I have a chance to meet her again.
I asked her assistant if I should return later. She replied “She’ll get off soon. She has a show tonight.” Sheila E immediately got off her cell. Remembering my mother’s The Glamorous Life record album, I blurted “When I was little I thought you were one of the most beautiful women I’d ever seen.” To me she was up there with Gene Tierney, Capucine, Jayne Kennedy and Charlotte Lewis.
She thanked me with a smile telling me I was sweet. I’m not a spring chicken so I wish I hadn’t said “when I was little” Hopefully I’m overanalyzing. I just hope I made her feel beautiful. We had a photo taken together but she left on her sunglasses. I wish I could have seen her face. She still looks stunning. I also wish I hadn’t forgotten to mention her drumming. Like I said she’s young so there may be a next time.