The most famous person I know is Julie. She stars in the infamous Grape Stomp video, which is a classic viral video featured/parodied on (among others) The Howard Stern Show, Family Guy, and more recently, Glee.
She's the one on the right who DOESN'T fall down and bark like a seal. I remember when Julie first told us about her stardom. We were all in a bar in San Francisco, and Julie exclaimed, "Y'all, I'm more famous than the Paris Hilton sex video!!"
Julie and my husband have known each other since they were toddlers in Topeka, KS, and Julie's brother was the best man in our wedding. I have pulled some strings with her agent (AKA her 4-month old baby girl) and have managed to wrangle an interview out of her.
For the record, she lives in Atlanta and so there's only a modicum of Austin related info here, but watch as I expertly weave her into the fabric of this fair city. Behold:
First off, let's get your Austin connection out of the way. When did you live here? In 1974 and 1975 when I was a baby, so don't recall anything from those years. My Dad was a reporter at the Austin-American Statesman, and my parents passed down their love for Tex-Mex....and margs :)
We got to visit with you last year when you came out to Austin for a wedding. What do you think of the town? Love it. Attended a wedding in Austin two years in a row; one was at the historic Driskoll Hotel, which was fascinating. I also attended my girlfriend's law school graduation from UT around 2000 and went to a UT/TCU football game with my Dad in the late 90s. My most fabulous cousin Monica also resides nearby. Austin is a great town and I always enjoy myself when I am there visiting.
Ok - now how did you come to be part of the Grape Stomp video? My first post-college job was working in marketing and event management for Chateau Elan, a winery and resort outside Atlanta, Georgia. We were promoting a wine festival on the local news. The reporter was a real jerk, actually, and after the shock wore off, I sort of felt like she had it coming to her. Unfortunately she broke a rib though, and that was a little much! The day after the incident, the cameraman called to ask me out on a date (notice how long he keeps the shot on my leg!) I declined, thinking it best to put the incident behind me. Little did I know this would be my legacy...
When did this happen? In 1998. I was about 23 years old.
Do people ever recognize you? How often does a reference to the video come up in your life? From the video, no. But my friends and family who know about it will mention references to me on average about once every three weeks. Invariably, when I meet new people socially, I am introduced as the "grape stomp" lady.
Are you tired of hearing about it, or do you love it? A little of both. I suppose if I had figured out how to monetize my fame, I would enjoy it a bit more. But at least I wasn't the one who fell, and I could be famous for worse!
Will you I come back to Austin with your new baby girl and visit us sometime soon? YES definitely!!!