The past two or three Econ lectures I’ve been to, I’ve sat on the left side of the lecture hall, in the left-most seat. And the past two?three? times I’ve seen this crazy little (okay, maybe more medium-sized) spider frantically crawling along the edge of the wall where it meets the floor. He keeps trying to climb up the wall but ends up flailing and falling down. Then he just follows along the wall. Thing is, there are stairs alongside the wall. The spider has to climb up the stairs. I’ve seen him do it. Takes him a while, but he does it.
The crazy thing is that I saw him today again. Is it the same spider? Did he survive in that room this whole time? Did he leave and come back? Is it a relative of the other spider? No one knows.
I saw him today and wondered about whether he was a metaphor for something. For what, I don’t know.
All I know is he appeared again. He kept struggling because that was all he could do to get out of his situation.
I also noticed that no one else noticed or cared. I did, but I did nothing to help him.
Maybe people don’t like noticing struggles of others. They’re too caught up in their own lives.
Maybe the people who do notice don’t like getting involved.
They’re too caught up in their own lives.
I met Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort last night on the set of The Fault in our Stars. (Side note: I believe the setting is Van Houten’s home, because the filming location was a mansion).
It was literally only for a few minutes, yet I can’t stop thinking about it.
It went like this: my friend Sankalp had told me earlier that night that he saw film crews near the Mansion on Fifth, past where he lives. I did some online sleuthing and found out they’d be filming 7 PM - 1 AM that night only. This was the only opportunity!
Sankalp picked me up and we went on an adventure around 11 to scope out the filming location, hoping to run into Shailene or any other actors. Sankalp had to go drop off a friend downtown so he said he’d come back and pick me up later. We went back to the set around 1 and walked around a bit, looking at the mansion where they were filming. People were inside (probably being filmed). Well, yes, they were being filmed, because we heard a guy say “Rolling, quiet on the set” or something similar. Then after a bit of filming, “That’s a wrap”.
That was our cue to head off to the side of the building near where the actors’ trailers were. We waited patiently at a lit streetcorner area. After a bit, some people in a group were walking down. I didn’t want to be creepy and stare at them, so I glanced as they got closer. It turned out to be Shailene, Ansel, and some others (actors? I glanced at them really quickly so I don’t even remember who it was). I also noticed Shailene first and on-impulse called her name, walked up to her and Sankalp asked for a picture, not noticing Ansel until a few seconds after I’d asked. He stood off to the side as I had approached Shailene. When we asked Shailene, she mentioned something about being tired… I can’t remember exactly what she said. She and Ansel seemed really tired though. (It was 1:30 AM, to be fair.) Argh. I wonder if that was her way of saying she didn’t really want a picture to be taken of her.
I looked over at Ansel and then it registered in my head that it was him, so I said “…you too?”(as in, “can you be in the picture too?”). Derp.
He came over and Shailene said “This is the lovely Ansel” (can’t actually remember if she said “lovely” or just “This is Ansel”, but I know she definitely said it in a way that showed how close they are) and put her arm around him for the picture. He put his arm around Shailene and me.
Here is our lovely iPhone-quality flash-in-the-dark picture. I look creepy (ahaha), but the picture was more just for the sake of having the picture as evidence that I met them.
Anyway… the whole encounter only took a few minutes and was over before I could even process what had happened. I told them to get some rest/sleep well as they were walking away. I can’t really remember what else I said. I didn’t mention Nerdfighters or the movie or John Green or anything. I guess I wasn’t really prepared with any questions or comments.
I kind of wish we had gotten to chat a bit, actually. It was just bad timing, though. I didn’t want to keep them because they had just finished for the night and were heading back. Still, I wish I would have said/asked more.
I wonder if they talked about it afterwards, or if it’s common enough that it was just another everyday thing to them, like going grocery shopping.
I guess it’s all about perspective.
In a way, though, I’m somewhat glad we didn’t chat more. I felt like it would have been very artificial conversation. They have probably gotten approached with the same comments and questions enough times to have a go-to response: “I can’t wait to see the movie/I love your work!” “Thanks, I hope everyone will like it/It’s so great working with ______” etc.
The encounter was somewhat more real. Shailene and Ansel weren’t all dolled up with makeup and fancy outfits. They just looked like normal people. And they didn’t act snooty or proud or anything either. They were polite (though tired).
Thinking back on the encounter, I know I’ll remember it when I go to watch the movie. And I think it’ll make it more worthwhile, because I’ll appreciate the hard work the actors have put into filming. It must be tough traveling from set to set (and country to country, in a month or so when they’re off to Amsterdam!). But in the moment that I met them, I recognized the connection Shailene and Ansel had that gave me the impression that they’re a couple. (I wonder if they actually are? If so, I look oddly like a third wheel in that picture. Haha.) I can’t wait to see that connection in the movie. It’s REAL, and that’s what makes it better than just good acting.