Monday, February 14, 2011

Been There, Done That: Kevin Bacon

From 2002 to 2006, my husband was the set medic on the WB television series Everwood, which was filmed in Utah. Although I have stories to tell about my encounters with the cast of that show, this blog is about the final wrap party at the end of the series.

Over the years I’ve been to a variety of wrap parties, and when it came to Everwood I’d also been to several other parties held throughout the years, including Christmas events and times that Treat Williams decided to host a private concert or two.

But this party opened from the start with a different tone. This was going to be the final party, the one that would wrap the entire series, not just the end of a season. So, the entertainment committee decided to go all out. In addition to great food and a fun outdoor setting decorated for atmosphere, the committee had also hired a variety of locals to stop at each table and visit with the members of the cast and crew.

Mike and I were visited by several of these people, allowing them to demonstrate their specialty. We saw card tricks, Mike had his Tarot cards read, and I had my fortune told by a palm reader. Now, I’d never had my fortune told before so it was kind of a fun thing to participate in, even though I knew nothing I heard from her would ever be remotely true.

“Would you like to hear your fortune?” the woman said as she neared our table.

“Why not?” I said as she took a seat between the two of us and took my right hand into hers.

She studied my palm for several minutes, then started to tell me a variety of things about myself, none of which I actually remember.

But then she made a declaration I have never forgotten. “You are Kevin Bacon.”

Some of you might remember the trivia game that was popular at the time, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, based on the idea that, due to Kevin Bacon’s prolific screen career, any Hollywood actor can be linked to another in a handful of steps based on their associations with him. The game as a whole used the small world phenomenon idea that any person can be linked to another person by chaining together a person each knows with someone that person knows, tying us all together in six links of the chain.

At first Mike and I started to laugh, but the woman insisted. “No, you are Kevin Bacon. People come to you because of the people you know. You are the center and important people rotate around you. You are someone because of the people you now, and other people want to know you to make themselves closer to your friends and acquaintances.”

After we had thanked her for the reading, and she had moved on to another table, we started to talk about what she had said. Within a few minutes, we began to realize she might be right.

“President George W. Bush,” Mike said.

“My niece, Connie, met George W. Bush when he campaigned in Iowa,” I said. “That makes me one person away from meeting him.”

“Michael Jackson,” he said.

“That one’s easy, and I have it a couple of different ways,” I said. “My friend Jinafer once met Michael and got his autograph, but I have an even closer connection. I’m friends with Alan Osmond, and we all know the history between the Jacksons and the Osmonds.”

“So, another one-step,” he said.

We tried authors, actors, politicians, and every time I was able to link to them in less than six degrees, sometimes actually knowing the person he asked about myself, making it zero steps to fill the game.

Now, years later, I still sometime contemplate the palm reader’s comment that I was Kevin Bacon, and I’ve found that it’s come even more true because in many occasions I’ve been the one to stand in the center and introduce two people who end up being important contacts for each other in the world of business, writing, education, or public speaking. I’ve had friends comment, “You know everybody!”

And I do. I guess I am Kevin Bacon.

So, how close am I personally to Kevin Bacon? My husband met and worked with him just last week on X-Men: First Class, making me only one step away from the point man himself.

1 comment:

Annette Lyon said...

There's some truth to that--you are connected in rather insane ways to nearly everyone!