We all wish we knew someone famous. Someone to sling an arm around in a VIP booth while facing a magnum of Belvedere and posing for the gram. Celebrities make us mere mortal, non-famous people seem cooler by association. They make our stories more interesting. And they also make gossiping better, which makes life better.
Really, though, it’s not that hard to find someone who knows someone famous. According to the six degrees of separation, every sixth person should know someone famous, right? Well we wanted to test that theory—and also just get closer to some celebrities—so we spent a day walking around Melbourne asking random people: who’s the most famous person on your contacts list, who you could call right now?
Here's what we discovered.
Dan, 25, Retail Associate
VICE: Hey Dan, who’s the most famous person you have in your phone?
Dan: G-Eazy’s manager, actually!
Nice. How did you get his number?
I used to work back in New Zealand at a store called Mr. Simple. I was just casually playing his songs in the store, and this guy came in. He was like, “Yo, are you a fan of G-Eazy?” And I said, “yeah, I actually really like his songs”. And he goes, “well look, I’m actually his manager. I actually handle Kehlani as well.” It was crazy, because at the time Kehlani was performing in New Zealand. So he gives me his number and a free ticket to Kehlani’s show as well.
Yeah, and he even said to give him a text after the show and he’d invite me to Kehlani’s private party as well. I ended up going to the concert, but I didn’t go to her VIP party.
Because I didn’t wanna go alone! Sadly, I didn’t have any friends who were free at the time. But I just kept thinking to myself, ‘this is unreal’.
Are you guys still in contact?
Not anymore, but we still follow each other on Instagram. The guy is super chill and really nice. Obviously he has to be a bit serious and can’t be a goofy guy because he’s a manager, but yeah, he’s sick.
Dani, 30, Store Manager
Hi Dani. Who’s the most famous person you can call?
Teon Catalano. He’s a good friend of mine who also works here in the store part-time. He’s in a band called Big Words, and they’re based in Melbourne. They’ve been around for about nine years or so, and he’s recently joined them. They just did an Australian tour supporting Hobo Johnson, which they jumped on at the last minute.
Neat. What’s Teon like in real life?
He is actually one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. He’s one of those people that kind of becomes your best friend very quickly. Very down to earth, very humble, just like the rest of the band as well.
Sounds like you guys are pretty good mates. What would be the first thing you guys say over the phone?
Well, we generally greet each other by going uurrraaaaaaaarrgghhh! [Dani pulls a face and does a little wiggle.] That would probably be the first thing we would say. But yeah, we’re really really good friends, so he’d just say “Dani, what’s up? What can I do?” That sorta thing.
Bromley, 21, Student
Hey Bromley. Who’s the most famous person in your contacts?
Definitely Zaachariaha Fielding. He’s the lead singer of Electric Fields alongside Michael [Ross]. They’re a local first nation group based in Adelaide but they perform across Australia. One of the biggest concerts they recently did was the Red Bull Music Festival, where they were performing alongside names like Baker Boy and others. Another show they did was alongside Tones and I at the Spotify Front Left Concert, which was really cool as well.
What kind of music do they play?
Sorta like techno-pop, or techno-alternative, which is super interesting. They also incorporate a lot of indigenous language into it, so that’s really awesome.
Are you really good mates with Zaachariaha?
I’d say so! When they performed at the Red Bull Music Festival, Zaachariaha let me get on stage and dance with them for their last song, which was crazy. Well, maybe not like close-close, but whenever he’s in Melbourne he always asks to catch up with me.
What would you talk about if you called him up out of the blue?
Oh, he wouldn’t say much I guess. He’d probably want to make sure I was okay, he’s a big softie who always wants to make sure all his friends are okay—he likes to check up on all his friends. But yeah, he’ll probably tell me to keep shaking my ass, which is really funny.
Claudia, 21, Student (photo from Claudia's Instagram)
Hi Claudia. So who have you got?
I’ve actually got Mario’s number!
How did you guys meet?
So I was working at Neverland in Melbourne Central, and we randomly shut down the store for him. He came in, bought some stuff, and he was really nice. He actually invited me and my coworkers to his performance at a club later on that night. We were even in his booth with him just chilling, and yeah, it was really nice.
How did you end up swapping numbers?
So he got out his phone and asked me to take a photo that night, then he added me on Snapchat. Then he just asked me for my number after that. He was really nice about it, he wasn’t creepy at all. He did another performance at Fashion Fridays at La Di Da, and got us into his booth again, and gave us heaps of drinks. It was really chill.
Do you reckon he’d still remember you guys if you called him up?
I don’t even know if he’d answer, to be honest. I bet he’s really busy. But yeah, he should. We actually spoke a few months after that. It might take him a bit, but yeah, I reckon he would.
Would you ring him for me right now?
Henry, 20, Actor
Hey Henry. Who’s the most famous person you can call up right now?
Hmm. That would definitely be someone I was in Neighbours with: Jodi Anasta.
Wait, you’re in Neighbours?
Yeah! I’m a recurring guest. I play a student named Dean Mahoney. Jodi’s the one whom I was doing most of my scenes with.
For the readers who aren’t familiar with the show, could you tell us what Neighbours is?
So Neighbours is a popular Australian soap opera, and it’s about the lives of these people in this Melbourne suburb and the drama that happens. It’s pretty big in England, and obviously pretty big in Australia, too.
And what’s Jodi like outside of the spotlight?
She’s very genuine. She’s a mother, so she’s very caring. She doesn’t have a big ego or anything, and is honestly such a genuine person. She’s always willing to learn or develop her acting craft too. It was really interesting to work with her. She’s just such a nice person, and hopefully we’ll work together again soon!
Karen, 24, Student
Hey Karen. Who’s the most famous person you know that you can ring up?
I would probably say Phil Wang. He’s a British-Malaysian standup comedian. He does a bunch of British panel TV shows like Mock The Week, Would I Lie to You, Taskmaster, etc. He also did a handful of shows at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and a show at the Sydney Opera House too.
Cool. How did you get his number?
Honestly, I was a bit tipsy at the time and slid into his DMs on Instagram after I watched his show in Melbourne. He actually got back to me, and we just hit it off. We organised a date to meet up, and that was it.
How did the date go?
It was pretty good, although it was pretty short-lived. One morning when we were having breakfast, he seemed really anxious and on edge. He said he had some writing to do, and he had to “go to the aquarium” for the rest of the day. That took me by surprise—it was such a weird thing to say, and I hadn’t even finished my breakfast or coffee yet. So he left, but I found out a couple of days later on his podcast (Budpod) why he left so abruptly.
This actually turned into one of Phil’s most popular episodes. So it turns out, he actually needed to rush home to take a shit in his hotel room. Not just like a regular shit, but a shit sample that he needed to take to the doctor’s for some tests or something. This was on a weekend, so the clinic was closing early. Now that I remember it, he did smash out two coffees that morning...
How did you feel when you found out?
I found it pretty hilarious! I texted him about it out of a mix of concern and disgust. I guess it was just too awkward to bring up on the day itself. But yeah, even after that, he’s still one of my favourite comedians.