Dear Amy, I hope you are still checking in. I just finished answering the tag you
inspired me to do..here 'tis:
Here Amy, is my recollection as you requested of one of my encounters with a celebrity.
This took place in 1999. I was nearing the end of my employment with an organization
I had worked at for 18+ years. I was soon to go on full disability due to the fact that
my illness, Transverse Myelitis, was preventing me from doing the work I loved
in a satisfactory manner.
There was a big fund raising dinner coming up in NYC. The guest speaker was
going to be Bill Cosby. I was given the option of working at the dinner or not
going. I have been a fan of Bill Cosby since I was a kid. I knew this would be
my only chance to photograph him and possibly meet him, so I decided to go.
I was still able to hobble about then, using a folded tripod for support and balance
as I walked, (a tripod to help mask the severity of my condition, which worked
for awhile). I also asked a cousin of mine to go with me to help carry equipment.
We got to the dinner and sat down to eat, while waiting for the call to the green
room where Mr. Cosby would be waiting with the big-wigs for photo-ops. The
call came and off we went, adrenaline pumping as it always did, though I
was more relaxed than when I started in the business. We enter the green room,
and there's Bill Cosby, the President of the company I worked for, and a variety
of assorted mainly rich elite folks, many of whom I'd photographed many times
before. I positioned myself with another photographer we hired to help cover
the event. We started the line-ups with Mr. Cosby, who told jokes from
the moment shooting began. Suddenly, in the middle of the shoot, Bill Cosby
steps out of the line-up and walks straight towards me and the other photographer.
He stood in front of me, facing us, literally about a foot or less away. He is a very
tall imposing man and didn't say a word for a few seconds. Then he whispered
so nobody else could hear: "Who knows about computers?" I said: "I do.", being
fairly proficient in Photoshop and having taught a course in digital photography.
His next question made me want to burst out laughing: "Can you put my head on
__ _____'s shoulders, and his on mine." The background on this is that he was
referring to the President of the organization I worked for who was standing next
to Mr. Cosby in almost all the photos. This President was on the short side and
felt that standing next to tall Bill Cosby made him appear even smaller. He
apparently had been making comments during the photo shoot to Mr. Cosby
about his height issues. Mr. Cosby added: "When you have the photograph
ready, send it to me and I will write something on it and send it back to the
President.". I said I can do that, and we went back to taking photos.
After the photo session, we went back to the dinner and Mr. Cosby did a
hilarious monologue on stage. I took some more photos of him during his
stand-up, and then the event was over.
The next few weeks I spent having the photos digitized and manipulating
the heads. I discovered the hands had to be adjusted too, just didn't look
right otherwise. It was a labor intensive Photoshop job.
I have to add that the President of my company was
a Priest, so Bill Cosby ended up a short man with a Priest's collar, and the President
became a tall man in a suit, standing next to each other. The photo was sent
off to Mr. Cosby, who wrote something, (I never got to find out what), and
the photo was returned to our President, who I was told got a big kick out
I may have a copy of the finished photo somewhere. If I do I'll post it.
It was the last major project of my career, and tremendous fun!
There ya go Amy, thx for the tag! ;-))
PS: I didn't know about the situation with your transplant until I opened
The Ark just now and read your latest blog. I know you're probably not
in the mood for reading my drivel, but if you do, I hope you get at least
a smile inside..I wrote it for you. Hugs my dear friend.