THE TORONTO FILM FESTIVAL. The A-list and the NN-list.
With TIFF happening in town, Toronto is full of A-LISTERS with stellar careers like Ellen Page`s: Cute little girl one day, Juno star the next, Oscar nominee soon after. But what about NN-LISTERS, like my friend What’s-her-name? Let’s me check my address book. Okay, here it is, under NN: Christine. Cute little girl one day, game over the next.
- So, tell us, what happened, Christine.
- I blame my parents. With an ordinary name like Christine, I couldn’t compete with the Krystins and Kristans in Kindergarten, not to speak of Fifi Trixibelle and Sage Moonblood, the daughters of Bob Geldof and Sly Stallone. Those celebs know how to get attention for their kids from Day One.
- So, Christine, why didn’t you ask your friends to give you another name, something that suits your personality?
- I did. They suggested calling me Jane Doe.
- You should have strangled them. You know that’s one way of getting attention: committing serial murder. Especially if you can organize a dramatic hunt, speeding cop cars with sirens howling, bloodhounds charging through the underbrush, that sort of thing.
- Can’t do. Apparently my body is so generic, bloodhounds don’t pick up my scent and scientists can’t get a DNA reading.
- But your image is still being picked up by surveillance cameras, Christine. You could do a bank robbery.
- No luck. You know they have High Occupancy Vehicle lanes in L.A. – lanes reserved for cars with two or more people?
- So this guy was fined because he drove in a HOV lane with a mannequin in the passenger seat.
- He appealed and was acquitted because it wasn’t a mannequin. It was me.
- I feel your pain, Christine, but actually it isn’t always fun to be a celebrity. Those autograph seekers can be pesky.
- I don’t know. I’m kind of nostalgic for the times when I was asked for my autograph, even if it was only on a credit card slip. Now, with chip-imbedded cards, that’s a thing of the past.
- Don’t despair, Christine. Luckily for you, the Globe & Mail (8 Sept) published a list of ingredients for becoming famous. First requirement: like Tatiana Maslany, you need to appear in a sleeper film.
- Done. I’ve got a dozen home-made YouTube features to choose from. They’ll put you to sleep in no time.
- Second, you need classic tag lines, like Renee Zellweger’s You complete me.
- How about You sum me up? Or: You do my arithmetic? Or: Zero plus zero is zero.
- I don’t know, Christine. Doesn’t have the same ring. Let’s go on down the list. Next, you need a generous handful of hype. You have to become a household name.
- And how would I go about that?
Well, what do you know -- LOBLAWS came to Christine's aid. Go to any of their stores, and there it is in yellow and black: THE NO-NAME brand.
Thank you, Loblaws! My friend Christine is now # 1 on the NN-list.