Keanu & Me
Lisa Smith, a regular girl from Woodville, Texas, had the extraordinary experience of meeting Keanu Reeves during his run as Hamlet in a Canadian production this winter. Read on as she shares her magical story with Teen Machine!
by Lisa Smith, as told to her mom, Barbara Williford
Thursday, January 26, 1995
I've never done anything so outrageous in all my life - imagine me, Lisa Smith, a groupie! But my adventure was taking me all the way from Woodville, Texas, to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada to see Keanu Reeves starring in a live theater production of Hamlet. Of course, he's Hamlet!
Today, my plane landed in Winnipeg in -14 degree, icy cold weather. There was snow everywhere but it was beautiful!
Friday, January 27, 1995
I took a cab to the theater to pick up my tickets for the play. There was a sign on the shoe store across the street that said, "Keanu, we have your size."
Funny, there were more people from the States than I thought there would be. I talked to everyone I come in contact with about where he was staying or how I might get an autograph. The cob drivers were no help. They said, "who?"
The play was at 8:00, but I got there early. After standing outside for what seemed like forever, they finally let us in. There was a definite air of excitement, I was going to see Keanu!
I was seated just as the lights went down and the music began. My seat was great, I was in the third row, center stage. When the stage lights came on - there was Keanu standing over the body of his dead father. I couldn't believe it - he was right in front of me. Over the course of the play, many things occurred on stage, but my eyes were glued to Keanu dressed in his velvet maroon tights. I really had to remind myself to watch the rest of the play,
Originally, I felt kind of odd being a groupie, but I wasn't alone. At intermission, I overheard a 40-something-year-old woman talking about his butt!
The play was over at 11:30 and I was breathless by the end. It was incredible and Keanu is so talented. I was high on excitement and floated home to my hotel room to call my mom and tell her about the play.
Saturday, January 28, 1995
Today, I went to the theater in hopes of seeing Keanu. I didn't see the play again, but I thought I would try to get his autograph.
The matinee was scheduled to begin at 4:00, so I got there at 1:15. There were ten people waiting already and it was snowing. As we waited, we all began talking, exchanging information about Keanu and telling each other where we were from and how we got there. The group ranged in age from 16 to 48.
At 3:20, Keanu finally arrived. Two girls in the front got autographs, but I was in the back so I left there very cold and disappointed, I hoped I'd have better luck at the evening's performance.
I arrived back of the theater by 10:30 knowing I'd have to wait until the play was over around 12:30. Although it was freezing cold and still snowing, I braved the weather knowing it was my last chance. I was leaving tomorrow.
By 11:30, the crowd had grown really large and was starting to get ugly. People were trying to cut in line. Everyone was impatient and cold. At one point, the stage managers came outside and told us Keanu had already left, but we knew he hadn't. Still, it was so cold!
Keanu finally came out around 2:00 a.m., but only a few people were lucky enough to get autographs. We waited a little longer to see if he would come back out. By 2:30 I was so cold that I had to go. I couldn't feel my toes and my whole body was numb!
Sunday, January 29, 1995
Feeling gloomy that I had to go home, I packed my things and went downstairs. The hotel porter who brought down my luggage and I started talking, Before long I was telling him about my weekend adventure.
Then he said something that almost made me faint. Keanu, he explained, ate breakfast at this hotel almost every weekend. "He ate here yesterday," he told me.
No way! Keanu was downstairs calmly eating breakfast yesterday when I was in my room preparing to go out and freeze to death trying to meet him!
So I went down to the restaurant to kill time before I had to leave for the airport. I was terribly depressed for missing him. I didn't want to leave. In my haze of sadness, I looked up and saw my friend the porter coming toward my table accompanied by Keanu.
My mouth fell open. Keanu was dressed in black jeans, white shirt and a black leather jacket, He had a great big smile on his face. I was trying to think of something to say as my friend told him all about my crazy ventures and how desperately I had wanted to meet him. Now, here he was right across the table from me. We shook hands and I tried hard not to faint.
Keanu was very sweet, telling me I was crazy to come all this way to see him. He was absolutely beautiful.
I told him how great he was in Hamlet. I also told him about all the interesting people I had met on my trip, girls and women from all over. One girl I met named Gina and I talked about planning a trip to California together. I told Keanu that we would love to come and see his band play. He smiled and gave me a number to call to find out when he would be playing. He also said that if we got to go we could get backstage passes. Keanu and I talked for about 20 minutes. By then, of course, I had to catch my plane.
Leaving was difficult to do. It was a depressing ride to the airport and a really long flight home. I passed the time by planning my trip to California.