At this point, I was oblivious to the actress' fame. She seemed vaguely familiar, but I just figured it was from the park. Someone came over and asked her if she was working on the new season of a Showtime series that's not Homeland or Shameless (and maybe rhymes with Shmay Shmonovan.) While I haven't watched this show, I recognized the name. When she asked me if I wanted to come to her house for a "chanting meeting," I. WAS. SO. IN. I had no idea what she was talking about but this is the kind of weird, voyeuristic, literally only-in-LA run-ins I live for.
The meeting was being held at her Hollywood Hills house on Friday night at 7pm. Having no idea what one wears to chant, I just put on jeans and a T-shirt and grabbed the horchata iced latte I'd been nursing from earlier in the day because it's always good to have a prop in awkward situations. From where I parked a block away, I could see people walking up the hill toward where my iPhone confidently said the house was located. No one was wearing robes or turbans or matching track suits (RIP Heaven's Gate cult) so I took a deep breath, cleared my throat, and headed toward chanting central.
As I walked into the home, a man standing in the doorway introduced himself as Chantz. Seriously. That’s what he said his name was.
"I had a boyfriend in college named Chance!" I said in a fit of nervousness. "My parents were like, 'Maybe you should consider dating a guy with a tinge more definiteness to his name.'"
"With a CE?" he asked.
"Yes?" I said confused. How the hell else would you spell it?
"Well, I'm with a TZ."
I had to type it out on my brain's computer screen before I got it. Of course. I was at a chanting ceremony. And he renamed himself because he chants with an edge. Sweet Jesus, what did I get myself into?