For the past two weekends I have been lucky to be a part of the Expressing Motherhood Fall cast. It was a great show filled with amazing women, laughter, tears and wine! But my favorite part of the entire experience was my conversation with Ellie Kemper. If you do not know Ellie Kemper, you should. She is the wonderfully funny actress who plays Erin Hannon on The Office. Erin Hannon is the character who replaced Pam (the receptionist) when she left Dunder Mifflin to join Michael Scott’s company. She also played Becca in Bridesmaids. Hilarious. And did I mention she’s a very talented writer too? (McSweeney, The Onion…) Anyway, she’s my current, comedic girl crush.
After Friday night’s sold out Expressing Motherhood ( I like to use italics) show I went to the front of the theater to greet some friends. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Ellie Kemper! I immediately blushed and straightened my underwear. I was star struck. She came to the show?! That is awesome. Star struckedness only afflicts me when I see comedians. Last month, on a date night with my husband, I almost body slammed Maria Bamford while trying to enter The York bar in Eagle Rock. I blushed then too and my husband had no idea what was happening. He doesn’t know her. YET! You may not either. But you should. Back to my point, I have been backstage during two Academy Award shows and besides having a full on erotic fantasy while helping Uma Thurman change gowns (meaning that at some point all six feet of her stood completely naked in front of me) in my boss’ private dressing room, the only stars that made me drop my walkie talkie were Jon Stewart, Ellen Degeneres, Marketa Irglova and Glen Hansard. Ok the last two are not comics but their music made me weep and I got their autograph – because I’m a dork – oh and also because they’re awesome and Irish (and Czech) ( and red-headed) .
OK, back to my conversation with Ellie Kemper this past Friday night. So there she was mingling about and I was beside myself. It looked like maybe she was friends with Susan, one of the other performers, which then made sense. Of course. That’s why she came to the show, to see Susan perform, how cool is that!? Then it happened! She came up to me and congratulated me on my performance. She said she loved it and that I was soooo funny. All I could say was, “You’re funny!” And I could not have over emphasized the “you’re” in that statement any more than I did. From that point on I have no idea what Ellie Kemper was saying because I was simply out of my mind. But I kept talking anyway and I said the following in some order: “Seriously, I love your work.” “You have a face like sunshine.” (verbatim line from Bridesmaids) “Is this awkward?” “I hope not, I just think you’re soooo good” She laughed and talked and made hand motions. It was great! I was hanging out with Ellie Kemper who had just seen me perform and then told me that I was funny. At some point though I got nervous, giggled and said, “Well, I’m going to see if they’ll give me a glass of wine.” Ellie laughed and just like her character in Bridesmaids waved her hand, pointed her finger and said, “They should, you deserve it!” I giggled nervously and then slowly and awkwardly walked away from my new girlfriend. I quickly poured myself a glass of wine and went backstage to gather my belongings. As I was sitting in the dressing room packing my bag I thought, “Wow! I can’t wait to ask Susan about her friend, and my new girlfriend, Ellie Kemper.” By the time I was done packing up though everyone was gone and the only way I could get in touch with Susan was through Facebook. So I messaged her. I wrote, “Hey Susan, great job tonight. I can’t believe Ellie Kemper was at the show. She must be such a cool friend and so nice of her to come to see you perform. She was very sweet to me and I just adore her. I’m a big fan. That was Ellie Kemper right? LOL!” (SEND) I checked my Facebook page about 25 times Friday night and then all Saturday morning. No word from Susan. Hmmmm? We had a show Saturday night and I arrived to the dressing room pretty early and waited for Susan. I couldn’t wait to talk to her about her funny (and famous) friend. When Susan arrived I basically jumped on top of her. “Did you get my Facebook message?” Susan looked confused and said, “Yeah, I did. Who is Ellie Kemper?”
WHAT? WHAT? NOOOOO! Oh my God.
So there it is folks, not only was it not Ellie Kemper but now Susan’s very sweet friend thinks I’m fu**ing crazy.
She may be right. Uggggg.
To top things off, last night our producer, Jessica, told me that Nicole Parker was in the audience. “What? Nicole Parker? MADtv Nicole Parker? WICKED Nicole Parker? Holy cow. Where is she?” Jessica said that Nicole had left the theater pretty quickly after curtain call, yelling something about being in theater all her life and hating the post show awkwardness of saying hi and congrats, etc… But I think Nicole Parker was fibbing. I think Ellie Kemper must have warned her and she knew to get out of there as quickly as possible.
Oh wait a minute, it wasn’t really Ellie! Sh**!
I obviously need a nap.