JJ Abrams spent the past year in a galaxy far, far away directing the new “Star Wars” film, and it appears he might no longer be recognized in his hometown of Los Angeles.
The moviemaker was ignored earlier this month when he tried to get a drink at an award show where he was the guest of honor.
Clutching the “one free drink” ticket that all attendees were given on their arrival at the Visual Effects Society Awards show at the Beverly Hilton, Abrams patiently waited in a long line at the bar. When he finally got to the front and asked for a sparkling water, he was firmly told the bar was closed because the ceremony was soon to start.
Instead of playing the “Don’t you know who I am?” card with the barman, humble Abrams, 48, calmly turned and went back to his table.
He was greeted there by an event official who asked why he didn’t have a drink. When she got her answer, she marched him back to the bar, remonstrated with the barman and the force must have been with her as she got him his water – with a lime in it.
Shortly afterwards, Abrams also had in his hand the VES Visionary Award, presented for his work on the likes of “Lost,” “Star Trek” and many other film and TV hits produced by his Santa Monica production company, Bad Robot.
Turn Your Head and Rock
The doctor will see you now. And when he’s done, he’s got a show to play at the Roxy.
Dr. Jason Roostaeian, 35, a plastic surgeon at UCLA, moonlights occasionally as a bass player with two other plastic surgeons and an oral surgeon in indie rock band Help the Doctor.
It all started in 2011 when the future bandmates were training as residents or fellows at UCLA’s medical school. Lead singer Phuong Nguyen was waiting at Roostaeian’s home for a ride to the USC-UCLA football game when he spotted a guitar and started jamming.
The two skipped the infamous game, which was a 50-0 disaster for UCLA anyway, and decided to start a band. They added Roostaeian’s then-intern Solomon Poyourow as the drummer and fellow surgeon Robert Kang on guitar and vocals.
The four started writing rock music and inviting people in the hospital to shows. Their audience kept returning, and pretty soon Help the Doctor was selling out the Troubadour, Roxy and House of Blues while raising money for charity, said Roostaeian.
And it hasn’t gotten in the way of his day job.
“My patients, if they find out they’re kind of, like, ‘It’s cool, it makes sense,’” he said. “It hasn’t really decreased my credibility. … There’s been only positive feedback so far. One patient called me a ‘rocktor.’ ”
Staff reporters Sandro Monetti and Marni Usheroff contributed to this column. Page 3 is compiled by Editor Charles Crumpley. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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