Random Claims to Fame

I happen to have some friends and acquaintances from years gone by who ended up doing cool "famousy" things in the entertainment industry. It's reached a rather annoying level for family members when I watch LDS movies, because I yell out, "I was in a play with her!" or, "I went to high school with him!" or I start telling a story about so-and-so.

Just for the total gee whiz of it, here's a list of some of people I have connections with--my random claims to fame.

Tayva Patch
She pulled my hair on stage. Rather, she pulled my wig. I was Rapunzel and she was the Baker's Wife in Into the Woods. 

We had a separate wig piece clothes-pinned to the wig that she'd pull off in one scene. Each night before I climbed my tower, I clipped it on. Before one show as we got dressed, she said, "Thanks so much for having the hair piece there. I keep wondering what I'd do if it wasn't."

Of course, Murphy's Law kicked in. That very night, the piece FELL OFF the clothespin as I climbed the tower. I had no idea. I dropped the long wig. She searched for the piece, looked up at me in a panic and whispered, "It's not here!" I whispered back, "Yes, it is!" She ended up ripping a wad of actual wig strands and using that for the rest of the play. Cute.

Every performance after that, I held onto the extra wig piece until I dropped the whole wig. That way, if it fell off the clothespin, it would land on stage. Of course, we never did have another malfunction.

Tayva has appeared in several LDS films, including Brigham City as the FBI agent and The Hometeachers as Sissy, the trashy RV lady (I almost didn't recognize her in that one). But most people probably know her best as Lucy Mack Smith from the new Joseph Smith movie. You can see her in costume from that film. The picture came out tiny. I hope you can click on it to enlarge. If not, go here.

Mindy B. Young
I knew her as Mindy Berry when we were in a youth theater production of Joseph and, the following summer, in Fiddler together. In the former, she played Potiphar's wife. She was good at that role.

So good that when the director found out that a Seventy (one of our church's upper leaders) would be in the audience, she swore the rest of the cast to secrecy. Mindy wouldn't be seductive enough if she knew he was watching!

You might recognize Mindy from her role as Sister North, the funny, loud lady in Baptists at Our Barbecue. She's very calm-looking in this picture. Very unlike her character in the movie. 

David Nibley
I graduated a year behind him from the same high school. Then his best friend married my little sister. (I know! We're practically related!) You'd probably know him from his starring role in The Best Two Years and as Alvin in the Joseph Smith movie. Thanks to my connections, I was able to snag him as the entertainment for the 2008 LDStorymakers conference, where he did a great stand-up routine.

He's also in a scene from High School Musical 2 (when the scouts take Zac's character to dinner). I went up a few coolness points in my daughters' eyes when I pointed out Dave and said I knew him. Check out his website. He's got some awesome stuff on it.

Emmelyn Thayer
Yet another person from the Joseph Smith movie. I've known Emmie for more years than I'll admit to. Our fathers have been friends as professors and fishing buddies even longer. I wrote about her before on this post where I described some of her early theatrics. She's one talented actress, let me tell you.

Some readers will recognize her as Mary Fielding (Hyrum's wife) from the Joseph Smith movie. Em is absolutely gorgeous (visit her website to see her in her glory), but I'm putting an image here where she's in that more recognizable role even though this picture  doesn't do her justice. Apparently, some of the footage of her as Mary Fielding was used in the movie Emma. Oh, and Em's blog is awesome.

Maureen . . . 
Dang. I think that was her name, but I'm forgetting. She appears in The Hometeachers as the home teachee lady with the dog, and she has an English accent. I can't find her on IMDB. She played Jack's Mother in our production of Into the Woods until she had to pull out halfway through due to some reason I don't recall and another lady replaced her.

Kurk Davidson
He was "my" (Rapunzel's) prince, from Into the Woods. He's very talented, but I have to say that it was odd playing opposite someone who could have almost been my father. I was 18, while he was in his thirties somewhere. Hwent on to become an understudy for Jean Valjean in Les Miserables.

Christopher Holmes
Until I decided to do this post, I didn't know for sure whether our Pharaoh from Joseph had gone on to big things, although I was pretty darn sure he had, because at 17 he already had an amazing voice and had been involved with the Utah Opera Company. 

Once at a cast hangout, I heard him sing "Stars" from Les Mis when someone just asked him to do it on a lark. I about fell over. A Google search later turned up that yes, indeed, Chris has made a name for himself in the opera world.

Heather Brown
She's a little sister to one of my many thespian high school buddies, and plays Mary in the most current Church movie about the birth of Christ. A lot of footage from that is also used in the film Testaments: One Fold, One Shepherd and images of it are on pass-along cards showing the holy family. I didn't realize it was her when I first saw the film (I hadn't seen Heather since she was in junior high, probably), but when her sister mentioned Heather as having the role, I had a V-8 moment. Duh. Yes, it most definitely is her. 

Couldn't find a picture--sorry. (But you might have the DVD at home. Check it out!)

Backstage secret: After the initial filming, they had her come back for a few more shots. By then, she'd gotten braces, so for all those parts, her mouth is closed and covering her teeth. She does a lot of closed-lipped smiling, and that's why; of course Mary didn't have braces!

Derryl Yeager
I took jazz classes from him and even performed at a recital a few feet away from him while he danced with our class. No pressure . . . actually, lots of pressure. I fell out of a turn, I was so freaked.

He's performed on Broadway and in film (most notably the "My, you are big," guy in Girls Just Want to Have Fun), but LDS people will most likely recognize him from another film. It took me years to see him in that role and take him seriously, because I couldn't get the Derryl I knew out of my head. (Watch his movements. You can totally tell he's a dancer.)

I'm probably missing someone, but that's the basic list of some of the people I've crossed paths with. It's kinda fun to have even small connections to them.


Erin said…
Wow, what a list! How fun to know all of these people (even if just in passing).
Kristina P. said…
The only one I recognize is the last guy!
Luisa Perkins said…
Hee hee, that last photo cracks me up. I know the starring couple from one of *those* movies.

I just recently saw "Return with Honor" (I'm out of the LDS film loop way out here) and realized in the first scene that the star is my first cousin, Javen Tanner. No one in the family had bothered to tell me about the movie. Hello!
Heidi Ashworth said…
I've seen some of these films so I am sure I have seen some of them but I don't recognize a single name. I guess I am way out of teh loop.
Becky said…
Now we can all claim we know them because we know you. Cool.
Summer said…
Okay, so is the one on the left Yeager? Because I know both of those dudes from a certain film.
Cherie said…
I recognize a couple of them, especially the last guy!

I bet you are on their blogs too!!
Heffalump said…
Gee, my biggest claim to fame was that I got to "meet" the guy that played Jack Devereaux in Days of our lives and he autographed a picture for me (I was in high school at the time and it was one of those publicity events).
Kimberly said…
My goodness. You are just replete with famous connections there, Annette!
Carolyn V. said…
Hey! I've seen some of those people! How cool is that? Makes me wonder what happened to all those people in high school. I'll have to check it out! =)
Can I touch you? Or better yet... does that make ME practically famous for knowing YOU??? I hope so!
Mina said…
It appears as if Darryl Yeager is standing nest to someone who, uh, shares the same role in the unspecified film. I'd only been married a few months when we went to my old roomie's missionary farewell. In the foyer of her chapel was a huge poster with this other guy's face on it, advertising a musical fireside he was having. It totally startled me. I'd never thought about the fact that these actors were all probably church members in the area acting and performing in other venues. It was like the kindergartener seeing his teacher at the store, out of context. Silly, I know.
Josi said…
of course you know all these people, you're ANNETTE LYON and birds of a feather (i.e. talented) flock together, right. Very cool, though. I went to high-school with Paul Cardall, that's about all I've got, oh, and you of course :-)
Janelle said…
Yeah I may or may not recognize some people from your list. But I bloggy know you and you're famous enough for me.
Sher said…
Wow, I had no idea you had such a theater background. I'm kind of a little bit, okay, a lot, jealous.
And definitely the most recognizable people on your list are Darryl Yeager and Michael Ballam, from the temple videos.
wonder woman said…
You ready for this? The guy on the far right in Tayva's picture (the only one NOT in the movie) is from Kansas. I know him. He was engaged to a friend of mine. His name is Tom Laughlin. I about had a stroke when I clicked on the link and saw his face.

It's a small, small world. I can't believe you know all these people.
Heatherlyn said…
Hmmm, the woman who plays Emma in the Emma movie was originally Katherine Nelson (I don't even know her married name). She is 2 years younger than I am but her sister is my age. She was in my stake and went to my high school. It's really kind of strange to see her in the movie. I think she's prettier without those ringlets on the side!
Lara said…
Not surprisingly, I know several of these people, too! Mindy Berry I knew in HS because she dated a friend of mine, then she directed a version of Joseph that my mom was actually involved with. I was in several operas and classes with Chris Holmes at BYU (and I had wondered whatever he was up to, so thanks for that!), My dad knows Derryl (and yes, funny that he's standing next to Michael Ballam!) and anyway....some of the others I've met before, but don't really know.

Such a fun post!
Terresa said…
I'm clueless, although impressed. I don't recognize any of these peeps, but then again, some of the famousy people I've known/met, I doubt many people know. Louis Plummer is one (was my English Creative Writing Prof @ BYU). Hmmm, can't think of any others @ the moment. Like the post, though. ;)
Barbaloot said…
You did realize as you wrote this that you yourself are famous. Right? And that they probly point out to their friends/family when they see your books that they knew you?

And also, I wish that instead of David Nibley you knew the other guy in Best Two Years (the "bad" missionary) cuz I think I'm supposed to marry him but I haven't met him yet.
LexiconLuvr said…
And you know what they're all saying, right? "Dude! Annette Lyon? That famous author? I totally know her! I was in a play with her! No! I'm serious! I know her!"

You know, because you're a rock star and all that...erm, I mean...a bestseller and all that!
Julie Wright said…
And you do realize they are all saying, "I know that famous author Annette Lyon."
Annette Lyon said…
*Snort.* Yeah, right, Jules.
And YOU! :)

I just ordered the new grammar book! I've been looking forward to it :)
Tristi Pinkston said…
Cool list - and I love the picture of Darryl and Michael!
I totally freaked when I saw the last picture.

I'm gonna hafta see that movie soonish just to check out his dance moves ...
Chas Hathaway said…
Crazy! I think the only claim to fame is that my uncle in law's brother wrote the play "The Best Two Years," though I've never met him...

I guess David Nibley could appreciate that!

- Chas
That's super cool! My only claim to fame is that I'm related to Fay Wray (ya know, from the original King Kong.) She's on my paternal grandfather's side; either an aunt or second cousin of his. My little drama/music girls were thrilled when they heard about this, of course.
LisAway said…
Look at YOU! But, of course you'd expect a famous person to have all sorts of famous connections. . .

I love that last picture. I've seen it before with some extremely clever postscript which completely escapes me.
Tink said…
What an amazing list! I've seen many of those films and it was fun listening to you describe how you know each one of them. Pretty amazing connections.

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