When I first moved to Los Angeles I expected to see movie stars all over the place… and I did, it's just that when they're doing their everyday stuff, they look just like you and me. Hair all messy and pulled back in a pony-tail, no make-up, no soft lighting, no hair extensions, no entourage. And they sweat in the gym just like you and me. So sometimes it can be really hard to spot them.
After I had been here for a few months I was invited to a party up in Topanga. For those who don't live in LA, Topanga is where all the old hippies live… at least when it was still what is considered affordable here. But those days are now long gone. The old hippies living in Topanga these days are the rich hippies with record deals.
So we're at this outdoor party in an absolutely gorgeous location, up on a hill with the Santa Monica Mountains State Park all around us and a small horse stable just below. The horses were lazing about and provided a perfect snuffle soundtrack for the party. It was a late afternoon and dusk created this magical moisture in the air that crystallized everything it touched. The evening air actually glowed.
I'm enjoying myself when I spot someone who looked familiar to me. And since I came here to LA knowing no one I was definitely into hooking up with someone I had known from my life before. So I stared at him for a while, not a stalker-kind of stare, but a friendly party-kind of stare. Since I had only just arrived in LA I really didn't' know a lot of people so I was curious as to how I knew this guy I was stalking - woops... I mean staring at.
I finally worked up enough courage to approach the guy and I introduced myself and told him that he looked so familiar to me that I thought we new each other. Then I go through the old "how-do-we-know-each-other?" game. What city are you from, what school did you go to, what gym do you work out at, etc. He was very polite and very nice and he answered all my questions with complete seriousness and without any hesitation. He also got me a drink, a real gentleman. But we could not figure out how we knew each other.
Finally he told me who he was, and boy, did my face turn red. It was James Keach, in the long ago past before he married Jane Seymour and began his career-in-full, and he looked familiar to me because I had seen him on the big screen before. Boy was I embarrassed! He was a complete gentleman about it and tried to relieve my obvious discomfort, but to me it felt like everyone at the party had stopped talking and were all witnessing my idiocy.
We left the party soon after and I never again asked anyone at a party if I knew them from somewhere else. I learn from my mistakes... at least I try to.
(and BTW, he looked a lot younger at the party than he does in the photo with this article)