My friend Michelle Carman likes Steve Martin.
Sure, you're probably thinking, so does everyone. And while that may be true, I submit that she is more into Steve Martin than you are. I'm a pretty good Steve fan myself -- I can quote "A Wild and Crazy Guy" with the best of them and even got to meet him recently -- but Michelle leaves us behind.
She not only has his complete movie collection on her shelf, she has twenty Steve Martin books too, not just Born Standing Up but everything he's written, plus everything that's been written about him. She's got out-of-print Steve paperbacks from his 1970s standup days and rare titles from obscure publishers, including a memoir by his high school comedy partner. (Who knew he had one, much less that the guy had written a book?) She even has the thoughtful program guide Steve wrote when his art collection went on display at a Las Vegas museum.
But stuff is just stuff. It's the purity of Michelle's appreciation that I in turn appreciate. To hear her talk about Steve is touching: she evinces a type of deep affection that can only be called love.
Although they've met a few times around New York City, where they both live, Steve might not even remember it. I'm sure he enjoyed speaking with Michelle because she's a charming person, but she keeps a respectful distance and doesn't want anything from him that he's not already giving us via his career. She's simply a true fan in the best sense.
So when Steve recently announced a contest to make a video for "Wally on the Run," an instrumental song about his dog from his new bluegrass record:
...Michelle took notice. She's a top NYC advertising creative and knows her way around a video shoot. In fact, she and I were recently walking through Times Square when she nodded upward at a commercial playing from a huge billboard and mentioned that she'd worked on that spot.
Michelle is also a gifted artist and animator who directs short films in her free time. So naturally she applied her talents to the contest, and guess what happened?
Here's Steve to tell you more:
Way to go, Michelle! You have plenty of fans too, and we're proud of you.
Here's Michelle's prizewinning video:
And here's the other video that won a prize: