Friday, January 14, 2011

Fifteen Minutes of Fame

Weekend Assignment # 353: My Fifteen Minutes

Andy Warhol famously said that in the future, everyone would be famous for fifteen minutes. Have you had yours? For purposes of this assignment, "fame" includes public speaking, amateur plays, any tv or radio appearance, being a face in the crowd as a movie extra, being mentioned in someone's autobiography, etc.

Extra Credit: Given the opportunity, would you want to be famous for more than fifteen minutes? 

I haven’t told this story in awhile and it is bound to make Kris smile, so:

When I was a kid, my mother was friends with an aspiring director named Sue. The summer I was nine, Sue landed a job directing a short film on school bus safety. To help her out, my mother rounded up kids in my neighborhood to be extras. We spent a few hours on it and were paid 75 bucks. It was fun.

One piece of the film was the little girl that drops a book in front of the bus as she crosses in front of it – then runs back to pick it up. The lesson, of course, was Don’t Do That (followed by If You Can See the Driver, the Driver Can Probably See You).

I, of course, played this little girl. And my school district purchased the film.

I had to watch my 9-year old self in this thing every. single. year. Even into high school. And because there were other kids that we knew, my classmates knew all about it and spent the time shouting “There’s Anne! There’s Justin!” and not remotely paying attention to the message. I slid further and further down into my chair every year.

This was my once a year reminder that I don’t really want to be famous. Rich, yes. But not famous.

Side Note:  My father showed up in a National Geographic special that was also played in my school. He was fishing in Alaska with his brothers when NG was filming a documentary on grizzly bears. The teachers would kindly pause the screen and make me point out my dad and my Uncle Jeff and my Uncle Mike and my Uncle Fred. That was way funnier than the bus safety movie.


Anonymous said...

Oh! This is too much nostalgia for me today on your site!! The bus video! Yes! And, yet, the casting was perfect, because you (and I) would be likely to risk our own safety for a book.

I do not recall the National Geographic video....


Anne said...


That's because we were never in the same science class. You'd know that National Geographic thing if you saw it.

I remember it particularly from Mr. Yordy's class.

Karen Funk Blocher said...

I can see how that would be embarrassing, but it's still a cool thing to have done! And I bet you were aware of the bus safety message, even if it went largely ignored in class.