Fun question for today: have you ever worked with any famous people — and did they live up to their reputations? Share some fun stories with us in the comments…
For my $.02, I have worked with a fair number of famous people, I suppose, but I have only good stories to share…
- in my early 20s when I worked for Family Circle magazine, we published a special yearly edition of The Mary Higgins Clark Mystery Magazine. I worked closely with the book editor, so I got to call all of the people who were publishing stories with us (I don’t think I ever spoke with Stephen King, although we published one of his short stories, but I definitely spoke on the phone to Elmore Leonard and Sara Paretsky on the phone, mostly for the kinds of logistical/practical/harassing questions all junior editors ask). Some of the stories were nominated for awards and so for several years my editor and I were invited to The Edgars, the big mystery awards ceremony, and we were often seated at Mary’s table. I don’t remember if I interviewed Mary or just remember various conversations with her — at the time I had this dreamy view of what it might be like to be a novelist and Mary had a very pragmatic view of it. I remember one conversation (it must have been an interview) where she was talking about writing her first novel — her husband had died, leaving her with six kids, and she just went into writing her first book with a “do or die” kind of approach of “let’s just get it done.”
- In my law firm days I worked pretty closely with Floyd Abrams, who probably counts more as “famous for a lawyer” — having gone to journalism school I was well acquainted with his name and his part in developing the First Amendment landscape as we know it. We’re not in touch now, but I was always very impressed with how “up” he was on everything — there was no resting on his laurels, he knew all aspects of every case and project we worked together on, as well as every recent case of general interest, having read amicus briefs and magazines and books. He was constantly processing and thinking.
- It doesn’t quite count as working together, but in law school at Georgetown our legal research and writing program used 2Ls as TAs to teach the 1Ls in very small classes (10-15 people) and to review our work. Savannah Guthrie was my 2L — she had come from a journalism background into law school, just as I had, so we had a lot to talk about, and she really impressed me as being incredibly smart, approachable, and hard working — she gave smart and important critical feedback in a graceful way, if that makes sense. Years later, I met someone who had worked with her at CourtTV and shared my memory of Savannah, who by that point was on The Today Show, and the other woman said YES, YES that’s her exactly. (At Georgetown at the time Savannah was somewhat famous for scoring onto law review and then turning it down because it was too involved — I remember hearing after that that she had scored the highest test score in the state the year she took the bar review.)
How about you guys — have you worked with any famous people? Did they live up to what you thought they’d be? Do you have any fun stories to share with us?
Stock photo via Deposit Photos / elena_larina.