Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Brush with Greatness

This morning I went to the Westin for my Pilates class, getting there a bit early so I could stretch and warm up a bit beforehand. Usually the gym is empty but today there were three people in there: a muscular African-American man, a very small but muscular African-American woman, and a little African-American kid. They all appeared to be guests of the hotel, rather than residents of Beijing, and the man seemed to be giving advice to the woman on how to do her exercises. He also was speaking at the top of his lungs, which seemed unnecessary, given the emptiness of the room and the absence of any ambient noise. I was tempted to ask him to keep it down, but figured there was no graceful way to do that, so I just decided to stretch in peace and try to ignore them. However, as I did that I could not help but overhear the conversation, which appeared to center on the ins and outs of making a film in Beijing, and it was then that I realized that the woman was none other than Jada Pinkett Smith, the wife of Will Smith, who I knew was staying at the Westin for the summer while their son films a remake of the Karate Kid. I decided to keep my cool and not say anything, though I did finish my stretching and move over to warm up over in the side of the gym where they were, acting as nonchalant as possible. It would have been cooler to have seen Will, who one of my Pilates classmates once saw in the elevator (also without realizing who it was until after they had got off the elevator), but I still have another month before they leave town, so maybe I'll get lucky.