I recently tweeted comedian Casey Wilson saying that her new show on Hulu, Hot Wives of Las Vegas, “made my day! #HotWives #Vegas.”
I have not received a reply or favorite but I’m optimistic. Just as Twitter, Vine, Instagram, and podcasts give me a false sense of proximity celebrities today, eight years ago I believed that I was going to meet Chad Michael Murray.
In 2007 The CW channel posted an online video contest that focused on small town pride and the winner would have their hometown featured on an episode of One Tree Hill, a popular teen soap opera starring my #2 celebrity crush, Chad Michael Murray (second only to Adam Brody). I decided this was an opportunity I could not ignore. I summoned my best friend, Ana, and we set out to make Helena, Montana look like the flashiest small town since Tree Hill.
After a few days of deliberating and planning, we got to work filming with my new FlipCam We opted out of our original idea to do a shot of the two of us walking backwards at our local mall motioning toward the Claire’s, Dillards, and Taco John’s as fun hang-out spots since most of the stores had closed, giving the Prospect Mall a haunted and echo-y feel. Additionally, the popular kids from middle school would probably be skateboarding inside the vacant mall. We were also going to do a segment of our fan video outside of our favorite local candy shop downtown, but it was too cold to film without a jacket and we couldn’t have Chad MM seeing us with our embarrassing winter coats on.
The final cut of our video consisted of us “casually” leaning against my dining room window, both wearing silver, ruffly blouses with camisoles underneath, flared jeans, and Adidas shoes, mine with light blue stripes, Ana’s with baby pink. Ana and I had found my mom’s Lancome samples and covered our faces with foundation, blush, sparkly eye shadow, layers of mascara on the top and bottom lashes, and a smattering of various types of lip-plumping balms and lip stick.
I sucked in my stomach with one deep breath as Ana explained to me that the camera adds 10 lbs. We decided to personalize the video by playing the role of the two female leads of One Tree Hill, Peyton and Brook. I remember stiffly saying something along the lines of “I’m Charlotte, but you can call me Brook!” while my arms hung limply at my sides.
Ana, with a far more relaxed pose – arms leaning against the window frame, hip out- introduced herself as the Peyton to my Brook, then we both said in unison: “a brunette and a blonde with an inseparable bond.” Cut to a shot of us cross country skiing while playing Gavin Degraw with the headphones of my lime green iPod Mini pressed to the FlipCam for optimal sound quality, saying, “Hi Tree Hill High School! Hope to see you in Helena soon!”
After a final shot of Ana and me on my porch gesturing toward the mountains surrounding the Helena valley, my mom drove us to CVS so that we could get our video transferred onto a DVD. We bought turquoise and purple cases for the DVD, we would decide which one looked best when we got home. I hadn’t felt this close to stardom since I [unsuccessfully] auditioned for Zoom! on PBS Kids by reading an original poem.
While we had the option to upload our fan video on the CW website, Ana and I decided to personalize our submission by FedEx-ing it to The CW headquarters. We included a note that listed our home and email addresses. We signed the note by each kissing it with our heavily lip gloss/lipsticked lips. Since neither of us had any kissing experience, we decided that these kiss-signatures looked better when we held our mouths slightly open and pressed them against the paper. We proceeded to cover the envelope in “kisses” and sprinkled glitter on the envelope while the gloss was still sticky. The result was stunning.
As a TV super-fan, I’ve always fantasized about meeting a celebrity and having them notice that I’m not like all the other fans, I’m distinct! I’m casual! I get them! Ana and I were convinced that Chad Michael Murray would see our video and that he would notice our unique beauty and insist that One Tree Hill shoot an episode in our town. We didn’t win, nor did we receive a rejection letter, just as Casey Wilson probably won’t see my tweet, but the potential of communicating with a celebrity will always be a thrill for me.