Do I know you know who I am…

As the world knows now, at a comic-con in Chicago, Tom and Harry took to the floor disguised behind Thanos masks to avoid the obvious commotion if he appeared au natural.  A little boy stopped them and asked if he could be photographed with the two Thanos’s (I am unsure of the plural) after which Tom pulled off his mask and gave it to the little lad to his obvious delight.

There are many upsides of fame but getting recognised is a definite cost.

An odd thing in my life is being recognised by people – without knowing why – as in, not knowing who I actually am.

I have come to recognise a certain look on people’s faces when they encounter me; a mixture of excitement but mostly confusion.

…that little guy, I recognise him. I know that guy, where do I know that guy from?

Nowadays, if people actually approach me then I just come straight out with it – you’ve seen me on telly – or more likely, you’ve seen me doing a gig (as its been so long since I have been on the box)…

But the other day – going up an escalator in the underground, (subway, metro, tube…) ahead of me on an adjacent escalator and also ascending is a man who is looking down at me with a look that says I’ve been rumbled.

This is a little awkward because what do I do, wave? But as we ascend, things get even more awkward.

“Hello Dominic,” he calls down to me.

As you can imagine, this changes things. This guy genuinely knows who I am.

“Haven’t seen you since we were at school…”

And so the steaks rise again – but I am slightly irked now because I can’t be expected to recall everyone who was at my school and especially since I have this guy as at least 5 years older than me. Maybe even more.

Maybe sensing my confusion (panic), he calls down to me…

“We sat next to each other in class…”

And with this, I am now indeed panicking and thinking hard. Studying his face and searching through my dusty memory bank for any recollections of this guy before I reach street level and no doubt, he is waiting for me.

My memory is not good. Generally speaking, it serves me very badly and rarely does it ever come through and particularly so in a crisis. Names are my weakness and so too are faces it seems.

But I am delighted to say that on this occasion my hard drive did come through and by the time I reached the summit at Bank Station – I had a name – which I will not reveal, since I have been so rude about how cruel the years have been to him.

Perhaps he just has a more stressful job than mine – although as a stand-up comedian, this would mean that he must be a bomb disposal expert.

But I was pleased to see him. This was a guy I liked and admired. In fact, at school he had achieved legendary status by snaring himself a girlfriend when the odds were so stacked against us.

Ours was an all-boys school with girls being admitted in to the sixth form for the first time when we were 16/17 – and this guy trumped all the horny wannabes in the year above  – by coupling up with a girl a year older than us and who had the whole school transfixed.

What a result.

And maybe this rich vein of form with the ladies continued for him – which might explain much better why he looks so much older than me.

The lucky sod!




13 thoughts on “Do I know you know who I am…

  1. Charlotte R says:

    Does it ever get tiresome for you? I can only imagine how awful it is for your sons who have to don disguises just to go out…

  2. Michelle says:

    Funny, it’s as if you read my mind. I happened to be at said Comic Con with my youngest last week. We were close by for a family wedding and decided to make the trek as my daughter is an aspiring artist and here were many different artists there. We had the opportunity to meet your son, a 13th birthday gift she won’t soon forget. The experience made me very uneasy however. The amount of people lined up was incredible, and I can’t imagine trying to smile after so many hours. Then some girls were watching footage of your sons being mobbed at the airport. I honestly almost left the line. But my daughter had her moment which she won’t soon forget. I left with an even greater respect for celebrities (well most). I think I’m happy to be the face people struggle to remember. Thank you for sharing a piece of yourself through this blog, it suddenly has new meaning for me.

    • Maria J says:

      Michelle and Dom
      I too was at the same said ComicCon with my husband and daughter (also and aspiring artist) and we too met your awesome son and had a photo with him which will be unforgettable to her and me (big SpiderMan fan). I, also, was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of people there waiting in line for photo, autograph, and panel with Tom. How incredibly proud you must be of him. He has accomplished so much at such a young age and still remains grounded and humble. Well done, mom and dad. Someday, I’ll visit London and hope to see you and give you the look of “I know who you are!”.

  3. Carolina says:

    Seriously your stories make me laugh everytime. I think we all can relate to not remembering someone’s face or name, but the way you express it is hilarious. Keep the good work, I’ll keep reading these for sure!

  4. Milena says:

    I have similar tough as Michelle. When I saw recent stories and pictures I literally felt sorry for the lads. They’re expected to be with their best smile, with a lot of hugs for fans, ready for taking pictures no matter on situation. Rihanna once said she feels like caged animal in the zoo. That’s the price famous people are paying.

  5. Melody Jane Pino says:

    I love this piece!! Though I’m not a celebrity I am in an industry that meets a whole lot of people, and would probably meet them again at some point somewhere..I can feel the panic that you were referring as I read this and can imagine what’s going on in your head, neurons firing as you try to remember the name, the face, where and who…I have the unfortunate moment of having to save face by admitting that I unfortunately can’t remember their name and give my sincerest (plus puppy dog-face I can muster) apology. Thank you for sharing this.
    P.s. I’m 35y/o sooo…there’s that. Haha!

  6. Patty says:

    Ahhh my memories shorts out with names when I run into people I went to school with and when I meet up with former students! The brain freezes up and I know I look bewildered as I try to match the face with a name!! As always your writing makes me smile !!’

  7. Alana J says:

    I met your boys at comic con on Sunday! I’ve never met celebrities before, so I didn’t know how quickly it would go, but I wanted to thank them and the rest of your family for all of the incredible things that you are doing for the world. I love keeping up with all of the projects you’re working on! As for name/face remembering, it might make you feel a little better when I tell you that my entire college acting class started sweating when our professor told us that remembering names is essential in the business. During the first session, we went on to play a rather disappointing memory game. It doesn’t help that this is an art school and almost every student has an equally creative signature (There’s the occasional Kyle). If you ever make your way to Chicago yourself, I would recognize you! I’d love to see one of your shows someday! Hope you and the rest of the family are having a wonderful day, and thank you for another story to make the early morning commute a little more fun!

  8. Becky Z. says:

    Such a relatable post for me. I have a terrible memory and have a hard time remembering names. It’s always stressful when someone recognizes you from a past job or school and you can’t remember their name. I’m glad your memory came through and I hope you had a nice chat.

    As for Tom and Harry, some will argue that when you become a celebrity you open yourself up to being mobbed anywhere you go. I would argue they are still human beings and deserve some space. I realize Tom has a lot of young fans and young people can’t quite control themselves, but I do feel bad for him. However he always handles himself with such grace. I’m sure there are moments when he is exhausted and just wants to be left alone, but he always has a smile on his face and is always so genuinely kind. A true testament to his character and to his parents for raising such kind and generous boys.

    Have a fabulous Wednesday Mr. Holland. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and humor with us.

    • Erin Hayward says:

      Names are always a tough spot for me. I’ve been at my current job nearly 2 years now and I still get the names of many of my colleagues mixed up!
      I do feel really sorry for Tom and Harry. I saw the video of them at the airport and they both looked so exhausted, but they’re always so polite to everyone around. It’s a shame they can’t really go anywhere without a swarm following them around, I can’t imagine how draining it must be for them!

  9. Shaina D says:

    This is quite a funny story. Remembering names is certainly not a strong suit of mine, I seem to forget them as soon as I learn them.
    If I ever met you in public (which seems unlikely as I live in New York) I’d hope that I would recognize you. I’ve seen enough of your face through youtube that I am confident I would.
    As always, another great blog. I really enjoy your writing style, it feels as though we are just sitting and chatting. Great way to brighten up my day. Thanks again for everything.
    Shaina D

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