I had the good fortune of spending eight days at this year’s SXSW Interactive, Film & Music Festivals on behalf of both my employer (who handles the Interactive festival’s PR) and my website (which really likes music and movies).
Balancing the life of a corporate hack and music blogger is no easy task, but on top of all that I also made time to stalk B-list celebrities.
The criteria? I had to be close enough for them to touch me. (Sadly, I didn’t get near enough to Simon, Nick, John or Roger from Duran Duran for them to qualify.)
Here’s my top 6.
6) Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks Owner
I ran in to Mark on the trade show floor at the Austin Convention Center, the hub for all three festivals. Sadly, I was on a conference call so I couldn’t ask for a picture. Instead, I walked up near him (there was no crowd assembled) and waved as if I knew him. He looked at me as if to say “who the fuck are you,” smiled, waved, and carried on.
5) Rick Fox, Former LA Laker Turned TV Actor
Overdressed and flanked by an attractive woman in attire that somehow looked professional and slutty at the same time, Rick passed by me Monday en route to the Interactive key note panel from Zach Priebatsch, the boy wonder founder and CEO of SCVNGR. Rick looked surprised to see someone as tall as him, so I gave him the ghetto head nod and mouthed the word “sup.” He responded in like fashion.
4) Morgan Spurlock, Director, Super Size Me
Morgan was walking too fast for me to stop him, and, given I’ve never even seen Super Size Me, I didn’t make much of an effort. But he looked super tough in person, like he should be in Queens of the Stone Age. So there’s that.
3) Justine Bateman, Actress
The former Ms. Mallory Keaton facilitated a panel on the groundbreaking broadcast/online advertising campaign for Old Spice, which consisted largely of the responsible agency (Wieden + Kennedy) talking about how awesome they are. Justine was funny and smart and still very attractive, but it was hard to focus with all of self-aggrandizing rhetoric and technical difficulties. (Speaking of technical difficulties, can someone at SXSW hire an event planning company with good A/V staff to help with the presentations next year? At least 10 of the 15 sessions I attended suffered from basic basic PowerPoint and audio problems, which is distracting and deteriorates a speaker’s credibility. Unacceptable for a tech conference.)
2) Terry Cahill, Actor Dave Lawrence from the cult move Fubar
If you haven’t seen Fubar, a hilarious mockumentary about two Canadian metal heads, rent it now, then go watch the sequel Fubar 2: Balls the Wall when it’s released in a few weeks. Lawrence spent a full afternoon at the convention center, in character, promoting the film’s premiere on Monday night. I made it to the second screening the following day and it’s as fun, original and entertaining as it’s predecessor.
1) Thomas Lennon, Actor & Comedian from The State & Reno 911
Thomas Lennon is one of the funniest living human beings, as evidenced from his work on The State and Reno 911. On Tuesday he hosted the Funny or Die panel on the trade show floor alongside Robert Ben Garant and Doug Benson. He was quick witted and hilarious throughout, asking fans to “treat each other as they’d treat Dame Judy Dench” and assuring us that the Will Ferrel-owned video sharing site was not a Ponzi scheme, just an “up funnel where we all make money. Especially the people at the top, like us.”
At the panel, the FOD team also debuted their video birthday present to event sponsor Twitter. Check it out.
More on SXSW 2011…