PARK CITY My assignment Friday at the Sundance Film Festival was pretty simple: Go up. Find famous people. Come back with a juicy "Guess who I saw?" story.
Long story short: I didn't even see a person famous enough to be included on a celebrity reality show. The highlights of my hours of gazing and gawking for glamour were receiving a high-five from a guy who acted in a movie with Pauly Shore and meeting a young, blond, spotlight-hungry Brittany no, not the recent newlywed who swears she's gonna make it big.
Contain your jealousy, please.
Short story long: It all started at . . .
12:38 p.m. Leave Smog Lake City to star glance in Sundance.
1:25 p.m. See strange sight: blue sky. Scour Main Street Park City for stars.
1:45 p.m. Only see other people scouring street for stars.
1:55 p.m. Make a new New Year's resolution to spend more quality time with my important People magazine. Maybe I'm the only non-famous person on Main Street and don't even know it.
2:00 p.m. Watch "The Butterfly Effect," a mind-boggling mystery movie/unintentional comedy starring Ashton Kutcher, VH1's No. 1 hot celebrity and Demi Moore's midlife crisis cure. Sigh. Kutcher is only on the screen.
3:51 p.m. Leave theater thinking movie should be renamed: "Dude, where's my memory?" or "Audience, you've been 'Punk'd.' "
4:37 p.m. More meandering along Main Street. No sign of stardom. Not even an Osmond.
5:13 p.m. Wonder if I put on celebrity repellent instead of deodorant.
5:55 p.m. Call co-worker Jason Olson, my photog/paparazzi pal for the day. Having also been star skunked, he wonders aloud if editors would run a photo of the sidewalk where Danny DeVito supposedly walked earlier in the day. Tell him to look down maybe DeVito's still there.
6:03 p.m. Run into group of Florida high school students on a lengthy field trip. Ask if they've seen anyone famous. Aspiring actress Brittany Sellers perks up. "I'm going to be famous. I'm trying out for (MTV's) 'The Real World' next Saturday. Just to let you know I'll probably get it. I have one of those contagious personalities."
6:03:37 p.m. Her not-convinced classmate interrupts. "We probably have a better chance editing one of George Lucas' films."
6:04 p.m. Unfazed, Britt autographs a glossy portfolio photo for me. I wish her friends good luck working on the next "Star Wars" movie.
6:55 p.m. Pal with "Lord of the Rings" connections gives me directions to a top-secret party in the Middle-Earth section of Deer Valley. Rumored party attendees: Mordor villain Sauron, former Republican villain Bill Clinton, Naomi Watts, Heath Ledger, me.
6:56 p.m. Inform friend I'll name my first child "Frodo" if he can get me in.
7-9 p.m. Still nada. Stars must be conspiring against me because I voted for Pres. Bush. Do see crowd around an owl. Convince myself it's Harry Potter's Hedwig. Good enough.
9:15-45 p.m. Leave for celeb soiree at mansion. Get lost. Listen to wife. Read directions. Find party shuttle. Chauffeur informs me I'm not on the invitation list. Ask if he spelled Sean Astin correctly. Depart dejected.
10:07 p.m. On Main again. Hope to get comforted by a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory caramel apple.
10:17 p.m. Store's closed.
10:37 p.m. Wife looks for comfort at ROOTS store. It's open. Go figure. Employee stunned she hasn't seen any stars or anybody in black garb.
10:56 p.m. Ask magazine photographer from California if she's shot any stars with a camera, of course. She responds: "Does Kato Kaelin count?"
10:47 p.m. Politely tell her "NO!"
11:01 p.m. Wander by Harry O's nightclub spot where I sighted the back of Britney Spears' head last year. Notice large crowd is mostly boys. A dozen recent Brighton High grads claim Paris Hilton and Lionel Ritchie's daughter are inside.
11:15 p.m. Braylen Olsen, 19, says they saw William H. Macy and "the guy from 'Panic Room' with a lazy eye" at Sundance last year. But nobody this time. Yet. Matt Tillotson, 18, swears he spotted "someone who looked like Fabio."
11:30 p.m. Wait. More testosterone arrives. No Paris.
11:31 p.m. Kid from Everwood, minor character from "The Matrix" sequels and Shore's cohort in "In the Army Now" exit. Brighton boys holler. Perhaps shocked that someone recognizes him, Shore's friend rushes through crowd. Gives high-fives to anyone nearby even those with their hands down.
11:32 p.m. Somebody in crowd asks what his name is. Silence. Shrugs.
11:55 p.m. Man in black with a phone to his ear asks, "Seen any celebrities?" Don't dare ask if the guy from "In the Army Now" counts. Depart dejected.
12:55 a.m. Arrive home. Hope for my story's sake that Brittany Sellers makes it big someday.
Later the next day . . .
1:59 a.m. Still writing story at home. And wouldn't ya know it? Contributing photographer Kevin Lee snaps a great shot of everybody's favorite friend, Jennifer Aniston, at Egyptian Theatre on Main Street. Editors thrilled they don't have to run sidewalk photo.
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