Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fifteen Minutes of Fame

RHYS: Since it's the US Open as I post this, my thoughts have been exclusively on tennis for two weeks. My bottom has been glued to a chair and I have cooked with the background thwunk of tennis balls making me turn around every time there is a good shot. So naturally I had to blog once about tennis.

About a year ago I did a long radio interview. Usually interviewers ask the same questions and answering them merely requires me to push the correct button in my head. So when I find an interviewer who throws me off balance, I find I am sitting on the edge of my seat and I give much fresher answers. Anyway this particular interviewer suddenly said, "If you could be anyone else in the world for fifteen minutes, who would you be?"

I really didn't have time for much thought but a clear picture came into my mind. I said, "I'd like to be the world's number one tennis player, coming out onto Center Court to play the final at Wimbledon." I didn't choose the moment when I had won and was holding up the trophy. I chose the moment of supreme anticipation, feeling the cheers of the crowd echoing around me and knowing that all I had to do to win was to play my game. Delicious.

So who would you be?

ROBERTA: If we're sticking with tennis, how about Melanie Oudin, the 17 year old American in her first open who's just slain three major dragons? She's the absolute darling of the US Open crowd because she has not one visible iota of attitude or baggage. She's just so happy to be where she is and so happy to dig in and take every point. And she's so damn young:) That all might be fun for fifteen minutes!

RO: Who knew I had so much in common with my blog sisters? I am practically useless during the grand slams..I've been known to get up early for the Australian and stay up way too late for the US Open. I knew Flavia Pennetta when other people thought she was a sauce. Someone asked me this question eight years ago and I didn't hesitate before answering - Venus Williams. She had just won the Open and I thought - "what must it be like to be the best in the world?"
(Now I'm reminded of the homicidal beauty in The Natural..."are you the best there ever was?" BANG!) On the court I'd have to say Roger Federer. See above.

Off the's really not so hard to be me, but maybe for a day..don't laugh..Oprah. Think of the power.

HALLIE: Not Oprah, but on about the same level I would mind 15 minutes as Heidi Klum. To be that gorgeous, that slim, and wear all those great clothes...sigh. Then I tell myself to get a grip...because the person I'd really like to be is Sonya Sotomayor. Fifteen minutes would probably be plenty.


  1. Heidi Klum...I may have to kid you about that at some moment when you least expect it. I thought about Angelina Jolie for a second, but then...all those kids...forget it.

  2. Hi guys!

    I'd have to say--Linda Ronstadt. In her heyday in the sixties. Up on stage--and singing one of those terrific songs? Yikes. To be able to sing...

    And look like Heidi Klum, yeah, I could deal with that.

  3. This might seem really strange, but my first reaction to the question (not being a tennis fan, particularly), was Michelle Obama. She's got style, she's got daughters, she's got brains, but most of all she has that fantastic gorgeous man with the 1000-watt smile who adores her. I have such a crush on him.

    In lieu of that, I'd take being any one of the JR bloggers - you have books out there, books in the works, agents and editors who support you, days free to write in (ok, except for Hank) - that's my real goal, but for more than 15 minutes!


  4. Like Rhys and Ro, I've been glued to the television watching the US Open. And I play tennis at least four times a week,and compete in the USTA.

    BUT I'D never want to be a professional tennis player. I think that's because its such a true love and outlet now, I wouldn't want to wreck it with all that pressure. Once in a while I fantasize about how much better my game would be if I'd gotten into tennis earlier and played high school or college tennis. But that's as far as it goes.

    If I was going to fantasize, I'd fantasize about being Sheryl Crow.

  5. Edith,

    That's so incredibly sweet. And a reminder to me, at least, to be happy instead of always looking toward the next goal. (the occupational hazard of writers.)

    Your day will come!!

  6. Speaking of Heidi Klum (we were, weren't we?) I would want for 10 seconds to be any of those poor contestants on Project Runway. I hate that kind of pressure and competition. Which probably puts me out of the running as a tennis pro, too. Phew.

  7. Oops - make that would NOT want to be a contestant...

  8. It's ironic--I played both highschool and college tennis and I would have been a much better player if I could have handled my nerves better. More recently I have learned to stay cool on the court, enjoy the moment and realize that I have an equal chance of winning every game, even if I'm a set down. Superb mentally, but a wreck physically with two damaged disks in my neck which means I can't play properly any more.