Are you familiar with a new self-help trend on a website called MasterClass? It’s where you can learn from “the best teachers in the world” by signing up for lessons with famed individuals. Online. By video.
Now Dear Readers, THIS is exactly what I’ve been waiting years for! After taking a few of these $90 classes, I can now officially put down on my resume that I studied writing under Judy Blume AND James Patterson. I’ve also been schooled in the art of comedy by the inimitable Steve Martin! Additionally for good measure, Serena Williams trained me to play tennis, without my ever needing to set foot on a court. Yep, these are just some of the website’s many famous superstar instructors!
But then the MasterClass company made the fatal mistake of inventing an “ALL ACCESS PASS.” This is exactly what it sounds like — for one price you can take every single class they offer. Really?? Hello Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, Helen Mirren, Diane Von Furstenberg, Wolfgang Puck, and so many more! Indeed, why not add directing, producing, acting, fashion design, and cooking to my already amazing skill-set?
Next I read the fine print. Seriously? These big-time celebrities will even hold “office hours” and MIGHT personally critique some of my submissions. That’s just dandy! I always knew that given half the chance to become acquainted with me, (and my charm and talent!) famous personalities would want me in their lives in a very intimate way.
But how to convince them they’ve been missing out on knowing me? Simple….
“ALL ACCESS” (at least to me) means I have complete admittance into their world via email, telephone, or even in-person. And there you have it! I will simply contact all these celebs before the start of their courses and introduce myself, just like any ambitious pupil in college does. I will cozy up to them so I’ll be a stand-out on the first day of class.
Here are the instructors I set my sights on befriending, and the oh so clever tactics I employed to demonstrate that I’m their biggest fan, and that we have much in common!
DUSTIN HOFFMAN: Sent email with “Hey Tootsie!” in the subject line and signed the email, “Meet me in my hotel room ~ Mrs. Robinson.” In the body of the email I stated that I would be “The Graduate” of his course whom he would be the most proud of. I also mentioned I admired him so much that I actually named one of my twin boys, “Dustin” (Actually true!) and the other one “Hoffman.” (Not so true?) I searched and found his cellphone number and left voice messages exclaiming, “Kmart Sucks!” and “Uh oh . . . ten minutes till Wapner.” Lastly, I taped a note on his front door with the class roster and my name highlighted in yellow so he could know exactly whom to make his Teacher’s Pet.
STEVE MARTIN: Sent email with witty salutation, “To The Jerk!” and mentioned he was a better Inspector Clouseau than Peter Sellers in the body of the email. Promised I’d be phoning him soon so we could discuss his course syllabus, piquing his interest by mentioning I might have two brains. I then signed off with, “From a Wild and Crazy Girl.” Zero response, so I called and sung my version of “King Tut” on his answering machine. I currently await a coffee invitation.
JUDY BLUME: Sent an email with, “Are you there Judy? It’s me, Stephanie D. Lewis!” in the subject line. I told her that she writes puberty novels about getting your period and I write menopausal blogs about losing your period, and that I just know we’ll become BFF’s AND collaborate on a book together since writers use periods so often in sentences. I think she’ll appreciate knowing that. But just in case, I added that I was also a Fourth-Grade Nothing. I’m presently making a reservation at Outback Steakhouse for the both of us to have lunch.
WOLFGANG PUCK: I was aware that this instructor needed to be approached through smells, textures and tastes, but no boring teacher’s apple would do. Instead I shipped my famous Jewish brisket to his home, but the gravy obscured my return address so I’m sure he didn’t know whom to thank. Next, I emailed him with, “What’s cooking?” in the subject line. And ended it by declaring I would be the most
skilled skillet chef in his whole entire cooking class. Can’t wait to trade recipes with Wolfie very soon!
DIANE VON FURSTENBERG: I texted her and said, “Here’s what you and Gloria Venderbilt taught me in 8th grade–‘You’re only as good as the designer’s name on your jean’s pocket.’ So thanks for that! Ps. Can I get a vintage dress if I sit in the virtual front row of your fashion classroom?”
UPDATE: As of this blog posting, there hasn’t really been any replies or acknowledgments to all my enthusiastic student overtures. After thinking it over (and I’m sure you’ll realize this isn’t just sour grapes) I’ve decided that I can do better than these people. Far better. After all somebody very wise once said, “Those that can, do. Those that can’t, teach!” NO TRUER WORDS.
Now excuse me while I stalk the individual who said that, and have him give me lessons from his new class, “Thinking Up Profound Quotes!”
READERS: Would you sign up for one of these online classes with a celebrity? Or do you find this to be a gimmick? All comments welcome!