I almost shagged Russell Brand once.
It was one of the best nights of my life. I said it then, 5 years ago, and I’ll say it again now; it’s still one of the best nights of my life. I’d like to apologise in advance for the quality of the photos in these posts; it was 5 years ago and technology had no yet reached the standard we are accustomed to today…
You know when you have those wild dreams, those fantasies about bumping into a cheating ex and throwing a strawberry milkshake in their face? It was kind of like that… a dream you conjure in every minuscule detail, that then manifests into reality. And even as it happens, even as you are staring into those dark caramel eyes… even as that happens you can’t quite believe that this is real life…
I’ll start at the beginning
I can’t quite recall how I first fell in love with Russ. It was somewhere between Arthur and My Bookywook and Ponderland… and it was instant. Those who know my type of man know that he’s just my kind of poison – scruffy, dark, borderline homeless looking… slightly kooky but insanely intelligent… and ultimately… English… Absolute heaven.
On the day I found out he was coming to do a stand up show in Melbourne I could liken my excitement to that of 17-year-old on their first time in a nightclub…
Our tickets were good. About 30 rows from the front. But over the following months, as I binged on Russell Brand Youtube clips and stand-up comedy shows in an insatiable frenzy similar to some cheap hooker cramming free bread rolls into her pleather handbag… I realised that row 30 was simply not close enough. And so I went on the hunt. I scoured Gumtree and Ebay and because this was a fated meeting, fate saw to it that 2 tickets were available for private sale on eBay; 10 rows from the front.
I talked my cousin Cynthia into coming with me – she had extensive experience in the celebrity stalking game, and in the weeks leading up to the show I researched Brand like a secret stalker. I was like Mike Ross studying for the bar exam; I was a sponge – soaking up all the data and statistics, making a short list of the hotels he could be staying at and summarising all the vegan hot spots in town, being sure to circle the yoga studios on a scaled map of the Melbourne CBD.
The evenings before the show I invested all my spare minutes into making a sign. It took me so long to come up with an appropriate slogan – but I think I nailed it.
It took blood, sweat, tears, and a glitter trail throughout mum’s entire house before my masterpiece was finished. I needed it to be eye catching… from my research I had learned that in every show, Brand – in all his bejewelled beauty – demanded the house lights be turned up around 10-17 minutes in so he could scour the crowd looking for potential lovers…
The date finally arrived and I dressed as if I was going out for a night on the town; which, in my vivid imagination, I was. We sat with the peasants in row 30 for a little while, then made our way up to the front. I hauled my sign along with me and pretended not to notice when it blocked the entire row for anyone coming in or out.
Suddenly, coinciding with the roar of the arena, the lights went down, and a montage of Russell Brand moments flashed around on various screens… My cousin Cynthia and I lost our fucking minds.
In a puff of dry ice Brand appears mid stage and I am done – he is a presence, a vision, he is even more beautiful in the flesh than the depths of my imagination or the light of my laptop screen. The audio of him singing The Beatles I am Walrus pounds around the arena and vibrates my inner skeletal system as if some spiritual binding ceremony is taking place.
Of course his opener is hilarious. He is Brand. Approximately 14 minutes into the show, he asks to turn all the house lights on because, well, I told you so, it’s just what he does – how dare you doubt me.
Boom – Lights up… “you beautiful bastard,” he says, pointing right at me as our eyes lock and he proceeds to read out my sign…
I nearly faint.
Genuinely nearly pass out. He noticed me. He pointed at me… HE CALLED ME A BEAUTIFUL BASTARD…
The best invitation of my life
The show goes on. Of course he is hilarious. He is Brand. He wraps up and announces that he will be up the front for a while, signing autographs. The crowd stands around like stunned mullets, waiting for him to walk off the stage and reappear for said autograph signing… It is in that paused moment I realise he’s not going anywhere – I can feel my heart racing, even now as I relive the moment. I abandon poster, I abandon cousin, I am scrambling over chairs, literally climbing over chairs in my gold mini, I am pushing bitches out of my way, I am bee-lining to my beautiful idol as he begins signing autographs for his people.
In a puff of dry ice Brand appears mid stage and I am done – he is a presence, a vision, he is even more beautiful in the flesh than the depths of my imagination or the light of my laptop screen.
He is signing shit left right and centre. Closely behind him is his body guard; a brick shithouse of a unit, solid, massive, very English lad looking… As Russell is mingling with the crowd, he occasionally nods to his security guard, who follows in Brand’s wake, addressing the chosen ones his boss has identified. They are all women.
Desperate in my attempt to get him to notice me, and frantic at the realisation that I have no texta nor paper now that I have ditched my sign, I do the only rational thing I can think of, and call out over the heads of the people in front of me while simultaneously ripping my shirt open… “Russell, sign my chest!”
It is a moment I will never forget. Ever. For as long as I live I will never forget his eyes locking onto mine. He walks 5 long spider legged strides and reaches for my outstretched arm, gliding me through the crowd in one fluid pull, “you’re fucking gorgeous” he says, as he stares into my soul. For the second time that evening, I nearly faint. Russell Brand is signing my sequined cleavage, whilst calling me fucking gorgeous….
Ummmmmm… is this real life?!
There is a moment where he has finished signing my bosom, but he is sat there on the stage, still in a squat position, staring right into my eyes. I am dumbfounded… My brain is begging my mouth to say something witty, flirty… anything… but the two just can’t seem to collaborate in unison to spit out anything of significance, so instead, I just stare back. I am frozen in time… it felt like an eternity – in reality, it could have been no more than 5 seconds… but it was obviously enough… Russell looks back at his security guard and nods in my direction, before standing up and walking away… I stand there, looking after him, until I am shaken back to reality by the security guard tapping my shoulder and holding out his hand to me. I reach up and take from him a crumpled piece of paper.
“you’re fucking gorgeous” he says, as he stares into my soul. For the second time that evening, I nearly faint. Russell Brand is signing my sequined cleavage, whilst calling me fucking gorgeous….
I am nervous to open it in the midst of hundreds of people. I claw my way out to where the crowd has grown sparse… My hands are shaking. I find my cousin who I have abandoned in my selfish obsession to brush with fame, and by her side, hands trembling, I open my golden ticket…
It was a ticket to the after party… I actually lose my fucking mind… I am jumping up and down, I am screaming, I am a bedazzled bundle of sequined bra, gold mini and red hair… I am screaming to my family who are looking bored way back in row 30… I wave them off and shout at them to go home, there ain’t no point waiting for me… I’m invited to the after party bitchezzzzz….
After the show it’s the after party
We get our shit together and, acting like we get invited to backstage VIP parties all the time, strut up to the side of the stage where we meet with Mick, Russell’s driver… (I have been privy to this info during the show where Brand shows a picture of his driver, Mick – I’m not a complete creeper). I smile sweetly and explain that while I am flattered to be invited backstage to the after party, I simply can’t leave my cousin alone, and so will have to give it a miss if she can’t come too… Half expecting to be turned away on the spot, I need to clench my butt cheeks extremely tight when Mick looks Cyn up and down and says, “of course she can come, just this way girls…”
And just like that, we’re in.
We head down the darkened corridors of back stage Rod Laver Arena and follow the signs to this beautifully candle lit room draped with fabrics and spotted with people. Somewhat resembling a harem, there are beautiful women everywhere.
Suddenly, the tension in the room heightens, and before Cynthia even announces it, I know Brand is in the room. He is everything. I immediately turn my back to him. As he is being swarmed by ladies, my tactic is to play it cool… It’s a risk of course, there’s no guarantee he will even come over to us, but as I glance back over my shoulder, I catch his eye once again, and know that the night is not yet over…