Friday, March 5, 2010
All of my favorite things...the Apple Store gave me.
The Apple Store has blessed with me some of my favorite things in the last five years: my first iPod, my second iPod, my Macbook, and my iTouch. But this past week, the Apple Store treated me to two nights of experiences that I couldn’t use my fingers to control: Questions and Answers with some of my favorite television stars. Finally, my run-ins with celebrities were more than just fan encounters, but events instead.
The SoHo store, and other Apple stores around the country have been inviting guest celebrities to speak at their stores for the last couple of years, but these were my first two Apple events, and they were well worth it.
Wednesday night, I found myself listening to Lisa Kudrow, Brooke Shields, and executive producer Dan Bucatinsky discuss their new show “Who do you think you are?” It was really quite the experience to sit in front of these well-known actors and producers in the film and television industry and get a real taste of who they are. Had I not gone to this event, I may never have known that Brooke Shields was one of the most sincere speakers that I have ever listened to, or that Lisa Kudrow is as funny in real life as she was on Friends, years ago.
I also wouldn’t have been as enticed to watch their new series which premieres on NBC tonight at 8:00PM. The show follows seven celebrities, as they dig deep through their roots to find out their true origins. Some of what they learn is extremely shocking, and some of what they learn makes complete sense.
For instance, on Wednesday, Brooke shared that she learned she was French by going through this show. For her entire life, she would go around saying she was 100% Italian, but here she was, totally French. So why wasn’t Brooke surprised? She told the audience that she had always been drawn to the French culture—that she had taken French all through high school and that she have a love for the background. It was really interesting to hear her story, as well as some of the stories that Lisa, Dan, and she shared about other people who will appear on the show including Emmitt Smith and Sarah Jessica Parker.
I had the opportunity to ask a question as well, so I thought very carefully before I spoke into the mic. When I finally figured out exactly what I wanted to say, I raised my hand, cleared my throat and asked, “Have you found that since the show has finished shooting, that you are now trying to dig even deeper for more information, like you have become almost obsessed with it.”
Lisa and Brooke both responded by saying that they totally went and dug a bit deeper following the end of their episode’s shoots. Brooke's answer was a bit longer, and more detailed than Lisa’s as she answered the question by looking directly at me—it almost made it seem as though I was having a one-on-one conversation with her. Of course Dan answered the question as well by joking that he has been trying to figure out a way that he and Brooke could somehow be related. The audience got a good laugh out of that, and I found great satisfaction in getting to ask a question and hear a completely sincere answer.
So what could live up to a night like Wednesday night? One answer. Thursday night, in which I spent over an hour listening to Jimmy Fallon and Questlove talk about the Late Night show that they put on each night. They discussed for the audience how the Roots became the houseband, how Jimmy Fallon’s writing team, production team, and directing team came together, and how each got to be where they are tonight. Questlove discussed his love for music by describing how he would turn household furniture into a makeshift drumset as a youngin’. I wonder how many couches and wooden chairs his family went through before they actually bought him a drumset!
Jimmy discussed how his family had wanted him to go into computer science and told him never to major in comedy. But that it was his mom who would soon cave and sign him up for an impression contest which sparked the entire career that he has had. Who knew that looking in the mirror and practicing Bill Cosby would get you a Late Night show one day?
Of course, I had to ask the guys a question, when it was time for the audience Q and A. Both men had performed at my school, on two separate occasions. Questlove made a trip with the Roots to URI last spring, while Jimmy did a stand-up show at our Parent’s Weekend this past Halloween. Both were outstanding shows. So I decided to ask how they prepare different for a live concert or stand-up show vs the Late Night Show. Questlove gave a full winded answer about preparing in different venues and testing out new stuff with unfamiliar crowds. Jimmy tagged on with a joke that cracked a laugh from the audience.
Following the event, Jimmy and Questlove took photos with a few of the audience members, and I was lucky enough to get a picture. I also gave Jimmy a shoutout from my parents saying that they enjoyed his show, and told Questlove that their show has been considered one of the best at URI. It was the perfect event to follow Wednesday night’s event.
Oh, and in case you're wondering, Jimmy Fallon is Team CoCo all the way.