BANV’s brush with fame and more fame


We just got back from Washington where my husband (an actual member of the mainstream media) and I attended the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. We had tickets at table 182 and figured we’d be so far away from the head table that we’d be lucky to see any celebrities at all. Boy were we wrong. We were tripping over celebrities — including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, moments before he was to learn of the bombing attempt in New York’s Times Square. My iPhone wasn’t fast enough to catch all the stars as they passed us on their way from the parties in the reception rooms to the main ballroom. But since we all had to shimmy through security together, we were literally rubbing shoulders with them. The Washington Hilton’s Ballroom is the size of a football field and our table was at the complete opposite end. Our journey there had us squeezing past tables so star studded that I became an amateur paparazzi. I was still keeping it kind of cool, though, because my iPhone camera doesn’t have a flash. There’s a chance Queen Latifa and Al Roker might have thought I was simply checking my e-mail when I held it up in front of them. But all the stars were perfectly gracious. If you were in formalwear they probably figured you were someone important, too. When I got to the center of the room, I hit the jackpot. Sitting at a table right smack in front of me was my 7-year-old’s favorite Disney Star, Demi Lovato and Joe, Nick and Kevin Jonas. Since Demi is on TV in my family room practically 24 hours a day, I felt perfectly comfortable tapping her on the shoulder, telling her she’s my daughter’s absolute favorite and asking for her autograph. She politely complied. By the time we made it to our proper place in the back of the room, I’d grown almost bored of photographing famous faces. That was, until we found our table. Here amidst a sea of anonymous faces, two stars were sitting. And they were sitting at our table. What are the chances that you go to one of these things and by pure luck end up sitting with not one but two stars of your favorite TV show that was filmed in your hometown? We had the pleasure of dining with The Wire’s Dominic West (Jimmy McNulty) and Sonja Sohn (Kima Greggs). I made a slideshow of the pictures we shot. They’re not all in good focus. Playing paparazzi is hard. And I couldn’t remember every celebrity’s name. So, if you can help me identify some of them, let me know.