Fan report: Rich meets Kate Flannery
On Memorial Day, I was flying from Baltimore to the city I currently call home (Portland, OR), and I was excited that my flight was through Philly because it had been a very long time since I had eaten an authentic cheese steak. After killing half of my four hour layover reading, I was finally hungry enough for the cheese steak that I figured would be the highlight of my day of traveling.
While I was waiting for my order number to be called at the cheese steak place, I noticed a familiar looking red head standing next to me in line. I did double and triple takes, and then when I was 99% sure who the person I was standing next to was, I called my dad and whispered, “Dad, I’m standing next to Kate Flannery — the actress that plays Meredith on THE OFFICE” into the phone.
Since my dad isn’t as big of an office nerd as I am, he had to ask which character Meredith was, and once I said “she’s the office drunk,” he immediately knew the person I was talking about. He encouraged me to go up to her and say something, so about a minute after hanging up the phone, I approached the person next to me in line and said, “Are you Kate Flannery from THE OFFICE?” Her reply was, of course, “Yes.” I told her I was a fan and that I read her blog on tvguide.com to which she responded, “Okay, now I’m impressed.”
She asked my name and we chatted for a bit about airports, pointless 30 minute flights from Baltimore to Philly, and her hometown of Philly. I also asked her if most fans she runs into address her as Meredith or as Kate (the answer is the former which made me feel special for actually knowing her real name) and then she told me about some award show that she just finished doing (the Genesis Awards maybe?). I’m a little fuzzy on the details of that last one because at the time when she told me about it, I was still not over the fact that I was talking to a television star. I’m not sure if I ever was ‘over it’ the entire time that we talked.
Eventually, she said that I could take a picture with her if that was what I wanted. I didn’t want to be the one to ask, but that was obviously what I wanted to do. The guy she was traveling with — who I’m assuming was her boyfriend, the NBC staff photographer Chris Haston — took the photo of us.
They both told me to Photoshop a beer into Kate’s hand for a more realistic representation of Meredith. While I’m at it, I may as well give her cast on her pelvis and a football sized bruise on her face!
After the photo, both of our orders numbers were called — I decided not to be an annoying fan, so I didn’t ask if I could eat with her and her boyfriend. Instead, I said goodbye (she remembered my name when she said goodbye!) and told her to tell the rest of the cast that I said hi even though they have no idea who I am. I then proceeded to eat my cheese steak alone while I text messaged and/or called every fan of THE OFFICE that I know!
The whole encounter probably took less time that it will take someone to read this blurb, but even in that short amount of time I was able to tell that Kate was very down-to-earth, very cool, and extremely nice. I felt comfortable talking to her the whole time. This encounter made my five-and-a-half hour flight from Philly to Portland seem to go by much quicker.
It turned out that the cheese steak that I had planned on being the highlight of my day was a catalyst for something much more exciting! So, Kate, if you read this, thanks for making my day, and thanks for being part of the great work of art that is THE OFFICE.