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Monday, February 23, 2015

The Oscars and me

In honor of the Oscars, here’s the story of my connection to the Academy Awards.
Yep, I have a connection.  It’s a bit of a stretch….but it’s true.
I’ve never been in a movie….I’ve never been to the Oscars….I’ve never even seen one in person.
But I have a connection to one of the best movies of the last 25 years….and one of the most memorable  movie characters of all time.
And forget six degrees of separation.  There are only two degrees separating us.
It’s all because I was a tour guide in Niagara Falls.
That was my summer job when I was in college.
I was pretty good at it, if I do say so myself.
After all, I like to talk.  I like to tell stories.  So it was the perfect job for me.
And I did it for four summers, so I told lots of stories to lots of people.
Including an actor.  Who was playing a tour guide in a movie being filmed in the Falls.
One day when I showed up for work, they told me they had chosen me to conduct a special tour.  It seems this actor wanted to observe a real tour guide….so they gave him me.
The movie was called  “Last Embrace”.  Roy Scheider was in it.  So was Christopher Walken.  And it was directed by Jonathan Demme.

Despite those names, it wasn’t very good.
The part of the tour guide was played by a young actor named Gary Goetzman.
Who didn’t have much of an acting career.  Just some small parts in a handful of movies and TV shows.
But he became a producer.  A very successful one.
He produced “Mamma Mia” and “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”.  He was the co-executive producer of “Band of Brothers”.
And he worked with Demme a few more times.
He produced “Stop Making Sense”.
He was the executive producer of “Philadelphia”.
And….the one I’m talking about….he was the executive producer of “The Silence of the Lambs”.
Featuring this guy:
 Yep, the executive producer of the movie featuring the most famous movie cannibal of all time, studied me for a role in a movie!

So I will forever (at least in my mind) be connected to Hannibal Lecter.
Hmmm….suddenly I’m in the mood for some fava beans and a nice chianti.

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