moments of and brushes with Fame

In 1968, Andy Warhol famously said “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” It’s where we got the phrase “15-minutes of fame.”

We’ve all had them – brief moments of “fame” when we’re suddenly in the spotlight. When I was in 4th grade, for example, my class was filmed by the local news channel. For the following year, the clip played before the evening broadcasts, and there I was, dancing around the playground in my multi-colored, crochet poncho at 6 and 11.

In later years, there were articles in the local newspaper, a book that mentioned my zine, a few professional awards, and an essay that placed in the top 10 of a contest. All brief and fun moments of fame.

I’ve also had brushes with fame — I once served coffee to Gary Bughoff, a.k.a. Radar O’Reilly from MASH. He left a tip and a napkin with his autograph. I met Vic Damone in a nightclub when I was 13, and saw Paula Abdul arm-in-arm with John Stamos one summer night in Boston.

And that’s about as close as I’ve come to West Coast fame (unless you count the guy I dated once whose CB handle was “Hollywood”).

Until last night.

Last night, I had the pure delight of watching Meryl Streep yet again make magic on the screen. This time with Tommy Lee Jones and Steve Carell in Hope Springs, a heartfelt story of a couple who try to find their way back to love after 31 years of marriage. The cool thing about Hope Springs is that it was filmed here in Connecticut, with many scenes in the town right next door.

It’s always fun to see places you know up there on the big screen — and I excitedly pointed them out to my friend Tara throughout the movie. There was a lighthouse from Stonington, a familiar row of shops, a downtown grocery store on the Guilford Green.

“That’s the Guilford Food Center!” I nudged her elbow.

In one scene, Meryl Streep purchases a book from a great local bookstore.

“That’s Breakwater Books!” I whispered.


Sure enough, right there next to Meryl Streep was a poster I designed for a local organization sometime last fall.

In the blink of an eye, and a moment of dialogue, it was gone. But it will be there — in perpetuity. And that, I’m sure, is a lot longer than 15 minutes.

• • •

©2012, Jen Payne.

Hollywood sign image by

10 thoughts on “moments of and brushes with Fame

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  1. Loved the movie but didn’t know enough to look for your posster. Will have to see it again so I can watch for it! That’s really cool! :)

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