Over the past few weeks I took part in a two different ice breakers where I was asked if I had met any celebrities. Everyone’s definition of a celebrity is different: from local TV news personalities, to regional chefs to A-List actors. But everyone has a story. Here’s mine.
I Met Jake Gyllenhaal
In Fall 2004 I was attending Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. A few days before Election Day, rumors began to circulate that celebrities may be visiting campus. This visit was tied to a rally for one of the campus political groups. My friends and I heard the rumors and then spotted chalk paintings on campus sidewalks confirming the visit. This was all pre-social media!
The paintings indicated one of the celebrities rumored to be attending was Jake Gyllenhaal. At the time Donnie Darko was part of a study in one of my classes and the film was also being shown at The Cla-Zel, which was once a movie theater in downtown Bowling Green. We were dropping any and all plans to attend that rally.
We waited several hours for the rally to begin. The celebrities were late, of course, in true celebrity fashion. There was a small stage set up and they took turns talking and urging students to vote. When the speeches were over, as we were hoping, they offered to stay a bit longer and greet students. I was determined to meet Jake Gyllenhaal no matter what!
One of my friends wasn’t sure if she wanted to get her photo taken. She quickly became the designated photographer. This was using film so we had little room for error. After pushing my way to the front of the crowd I met Jake Gyllenhaal, received an autograph and had my photo taken. Our conversation was brief, but I remember one thing.
He told me to vote.