Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Big Doris, Big Apple Dreaming (celebrity spotting New York style)

Man I love travelling. A trait my parents have always referred to as if they were donning me with a traditional name: aka "The one who runs away". I get excited about all the facets of travel. From the initial thought of it, to the actual experience of being where ever I end up. I love planning, packing, flying (the most), changing currency and time zones, experiencing different cultures and languages, exploring and discovering ;). When hitting a new destination I always want to experience all it has to offer and what it’s most famous for. So when landing in New York I wanted to experience the usual; pizza, good coffee (haven’t found any yet), bagels, snow, shoes, riding the subway, visiting art galleries and museums, seeing theatre shows, going out dancing and seeing good music (OMG), laugh out loud at funny comedians (Deadly), AND…running into famous people.

Celebrity Spot No 1 – Ricky James the bus driver?

Not New York I know, but a 96.9ºF (36.1ºC) day in Austin, Texas. Hot enough for some much needed margaritas and a swim in the local pool. After totally indulging in both, I was still a bit dazed as I jumped on the bus to head home. I rummaged my pockets for quarters for the fare. I was searching for the last one needed when a deep voice said “Just one more sugar”. I looked up and was greeted by a brother with a big white smile, and an immaculately braided and beaded head of hair. Feeling a bit like Hunter S Thompson I smiled broadly back. Is that Rick James? What happened to him after his singing career stopped? Did he end up driving buses in Austin, Texas? I don’t know. I’m from Australia. I got home and Googled him. Brother Rick passed away in 2004. Dawwwnt RIP Rick. Nah, it wasn’t him.

RIP Rick

Celebrity Spot No 2 – Rachel and Tim

It was pissing down rain in New York City as I set off to go to class at NYU. I stood on the corner of Broadway and 8th waiting for the lights to change. Everyone on the street was hidden under ‘Matrix’ style attire. Dark suits, dresses, pants, jeans, boots, coats etc. A really skinny chick beside me stepped off the sidewalk. Looked like she was trying to hide under her umbrella while hailing a taxi. Maybe she was just trying not to get wet? Big doris murrie looked sideways at her as she jumps into the cab. I caught her profile as she closed her umbrella. Rachael? I look at the guy next to me. Womba murrie ends up talking out loud (shame job). “Rachael!”. The guy next to me, “Rachael who?” “Griffiths. The Aussie umm, Australian actress, Rachael Griffiths”. He shakes his head at me with the look of stupid tourist on his face. Nah, it wasn’t her.

I reached NYU, dripping water everywhere as I wandered a hallway looking for my classroom. The floor I was on was empty and silent. I was on the wrong floor. At the far end of the hall a tall man appeared. As he walked towards me his face was hidden inside an oversized hoody. His pace fastened. The spirit of Neo (Keanu Reeves) took over me. Get out of there Neo. Quick! It felt like everything was happening in slow motion. I turned around and headed towards the lift. The man was walking faster. Murrie is bashing the down button at the elevator. The man turns the corner into the foyer. The elevator doors opened. I jumped in. The man walked straight passed the lift and flicked the hood off his head. Tim? Is that Tim Robbins? I blocked the elevator door with my hand and stick my head back out. Before the man hit the stairwell he looked back at me. I turtle necked it back inside the elevator. Damn, I should have taken the blue pill. Nah, it wasn’t him.

Ok, so now you’re thinking that Murrie is just too bustin’ to see a celebrity. Well just you wait.

Celebrity Spot No 3 – Chrissy

Not so long after arriving in New York last year, I got a lovely invitation to go see an Aboriginal art exhibition. Solid! I head out into a hot night and ride the subway with a mob of New Yorkers to Brooklyn. We arrive at a rather happening event. There is deadly art, deadly people and deadly conversation galore. It was really hot in the gallery and just as murrie started looking for a drink, a door in the back of the gallery opened. A woman holding a small glass of wine came in. Hmmm where did she get that I wondered? Then, just before I could stop her I realised - OMG! It’s Chrissy Amphlett! I froze. I went back to my friends, “Hey it’s Chrissy”. My US friends didn’t know who she was. “Chrissy Amphlett, she’s a famous Australian singer. She was one of my idols during high school” (and still is, see Boys in Town - The Divinyls 1981). Being the product of parents who were teenagers during the golden age of 60s rock ‘n’ roll I have always loved it. I love all rock chicks. My parents telling me that I wanted to be “Turner Turner” when I grew up i.e., Tina Turner (I didn’t pronounce it correctly at the age of two or three). Anyhow here I was chatting away to Chrissy. I was too embarrassed to tell her that my friends and I used to constantly get put in detention for turning up to class dressed like her. Where was my Delorean? So I could travel back to the 80s and shove it up the nose of the bullying girl who hated me in high school. Suck on this Shazza…ya scrag! Yep, it was she.

Chrissy and Ange

Celebrity Spot No 4 – Hugh, Deb and Mariska

Sometimes in your life you get the chance to hob nob, bignote, and be a flash black. Not that that’s what I was doing, or ever do actually, but on this occasion I was lucky. On invitation to another deadly do I was enjoying a very delicious breakfast ie pancakes, French toast, fruit and coffee when whom walks in but Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness.  Everyone at my table including myself were trying so hard not to dorie hey. You know, you look at each other and even the migloos start playing that eye/face game. Chinese whispers of “It’s Hugh and Deb” travelled the table. Just when I wanted to turn around the fulla across from me says “Oh my god it’s her too. Jane Mansfield’s daughter.” I turned around to watch Mariska Hargitay float past me, and float she did. What a beautiful woman. Far out. Anyhow I hung around long enough to meet the very lovely Deb and have a quick chat. Also to be congratulated with a kiss on my cheek, on the upper left hand side of my face towards my Fulbright achievement by the gorgeous Wolverine. Exhale. I tried not to wash it for days. Yep, it was they.

Celebrity Spot No 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,11 – Famous people galore

New York is filled with opportunities to see celebrities. There are so many deadly shows and events going on. I’ve seen people like Ricky Gervais, Michael Moore, Annie Leibovitz, Angela Bassett, Harry Belafonte and more. ‘ere this big doris has had her eyes peeled for her favourite celebs since she landed. It’s no secret amongst my family and friends that my obsession for Ben Harper and Lenny Kravitz has existed since they have. Of course I am going to look for them. So if you think that I am going to stop referring to them in my writings, so that I can live in the hope of meeting them one day, you are sadly mistaken. Lol. As my friend in the UK said “Oh for God’s sake Ange hasn’t that fetish been going on for 20 years?”. Answer, ”Yes, and so?” Anyhow I have reached one of these goals and seen Lenny at Radio City Music Hall. Even from a distance it was worth it. Now only Ben evades me. Only once have I chanced across the possibility. While walking through the East Village a brother the spitting image of Ben strolled passed me. Murrie freezes like a frilly lizard. Only one second shy of someone performing CPR and me flatlining, my heart continues beating.

Argh its Ben!

He had the same face, same hair, same body, same style, same smile. He disappeared into the subway station. Was it Ben Harper? Would Ben be riding the New York subway? I don’t know. I’m from Australia. Nah, it wasn’t him. :(

This story is dedicated to Australia’s deadliest rock chick Chrissy Amphlett. Wishing her all the strength, love, happiness and good health in the world. See it published in the latest edition of the Koori Mail, 4 April 2012. 

Angelina's interview ABC Radio Australia on the "Speaking Out" program with Rhianna Partick.

Click on Comments to add or view them


  1. You really are effing funny :)

  2. Thank you for the Deadly story XO

  3. Love it, love your writing. It's like you're talking just to me!

  4. Love it. Nice photo of you and Chrissy. Love the frill neck lizard!

  5. I love it.. what a great read... love the pic of you and chrissy too!

  6. Loving ya work Ange!! You always put a smile on my dial... thanks sista x

  7. That is very very funny – and SO JEALOUS about Chrissy Amphlett!!

  8. Love it! Hilarious. Thanks for sharing. It was nice to reminisce about our time with Chrissie. We too deadly.

  9. You always send good stuff. I think I better get your autograph soon before you get too famous to remember me.

  10. Great to hear about all your work. Read some of Womba World and laughed and smiled and laughed!

  11. I read your piece on Spotting Celebrities and it was so funny, I loved it.

  12. Spot on AGAIN, sistergirl! Pissed myself over the elevator bit. Could just picture u with those Matrix moves hey. Bahaha! Loved it, Ange xo

  13. Colleen Johnson (Gooreng Gooreng Mob)April 4, 2012 at 9:40 PM

    I just watched XMen the other week and Hugh Jackman is a lovely creature; I felt all warm and fuzzie to even imagine a little kiss from him. I know I would have mentally replayed that moment and walked around with a permanent smile on my dial. Just too exciting!! And, I was a huge Divine's fan - got their LP hidden around somewhere amongst my collection. Great storytelling!!

  14. Love reading this ya make me laugh and smile..

  15. Hey ther Ange..just read your story in the Koori Mail...LMAO!
    So good to read something so light and refreshing.
    Loved it.

  16. Hey there Ange, i just read your story..and had a good laugh too, really enjoyed read murri style content., we need more of it!!