Tuesday, March 29, 2011

FTT Off-Topic: Nerding With Confidence

As always with FTT Off-Topic, please feel free to go look at the rest of the Internet if you want sports, and we'll get back to those shortly.

One of my earliest personal obsessions was Julie Newmar, the original Catwoman on the '60s Adam West "Batman" show. There's really no need to get into the reasons why, seeing how I shared this inclination with seemingly tens of millions of other guys. And while I'm not so old as to have seen the shows on their initial run, I did catch them all, over and over again, in syndication as a child. Back then, I just remembered suddenly not wanting Batman to win, and disliking Robin nearly to the same level that Newmar's Catwoman did; more than that, we don't need to discuss.

So that image and memory went into my memory banks, but it's not as if I'm the kind of guy to go to conventions or send away for autographs. I'm generally too shy in crowds, anyway.

There is also this: I've met more than a few celebs in my life, mostly back in my musician days. I've also felt that, on the whole, it's generally not a good idea. For the most part, your view of the celeb can only go down, and if you really enjoy someone's work, you don't really want to put that appreciation in jeopardy with a less than optimal interaction.

There's also, of course, the very real possibility that you're going to make an ass out of yourself with nerves from any contact with the person. Playing it cool isn't easy for me; I tend to overthink things. But once you hit your '40s, making an ass out of yourself tends to happen less, and it also just holds less terror.

So today, on a whim, I went to Ms. Newmar's web site and emailed her a few questions about her experience doing the show. I sent the email and then tried to forget about it. I didn't really expect her to respond. Lord knows, the woman has spent the last 40 years answering questions about a recurring guest star role, she must have amazing patience. I couldn't blame her for not dealing with such things.

But she did, with grace and good humor, and I gotta say, having her name pop up in my email was all kinds of great. Fifteen year old me is *wildly* impressed by 41-year-old me right now, really.

And no, it's not as if Ms. Newmar went into extraordinary detail, or that the email is going to lead to some amazing correspondence, or a greater understanding of life. But having a little more confidence in my ability to craft a few questions, and maybe changing my story about how I need to steer clear from people just because they've achieved fame or prominence or wealth or whatever?

Well, that can change. And that's pretty great, really.

Not as great as Ms. Newmar, but still pretty great.

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