Yesterday at Kapi'olani Park, 16 former celebrities and more than twice that number of friends, assorted family members and hangers-on proved it's best to be a has-been before you recall being famous in the first place.
If nothing else, fame in moderation makes for an impressive scrapbook when you're old enough to know what all the fuss was about. Meanwhile, the picnics can be a riot.
Thus, 13 girls and three boys who all played the role of Aaron on Season 4 of the popular series "Lost" ate, laughed, cried, frolicked, and did all the things babies are known to do. In this case, they each fit a remarkably similar bill — round-headed, blond-haired cuties clad in black "Baby Aaron" T-shirts.
On the "Lost" series, Aaron is the mysterious child of the character Claire, who was pregnant when she survived a plane crash on an island where the series takes place.
But although Aaron is a boy, most of those who have portrayed him have been of the gentle persuasion.
"Females tend to have the rounder face and they don't age as quickly," said Julie Carlson, the "Lost" extras casting director who has rounded up a total of 76 different babies to play Aaron on the series since the show's second season. "Plus, the boys squirm more."
Some bundles of joy arrived at the picnic bearing gloating rights. Sabrina Baker
, at 11 months and 14 days, had cover girl credits.
"She has been on the cover of TV Guide," said Sabrina's mom, Ann Baker, who suggested to Carlson that a Season 4 "Baby Aaron" picnic would be a delightful idea.
"Actually, she was inside TV Guide, too, and Entertainment Weekly, and she had tiny pictures in People and US magazine."
Then there was birthday baby, Lily Loose
, who turned 1 yesterday and was all smiles and funny noises as she gleefully munched a cracker to a messy pulp. Her folks, Lori and Jay Loose, were among several military sets of parents at the picnic.
"How'd we get into show business?" said Lori with a laugh. "We saw the article that Julie put in the paper looking for blond-haired, blue-eyed babies. Lily was only 4 weeks old at the time, and my husband called me and said we ought to check this out. And we did, and she had her audition."
Carlson, whose search for 10- to 17-pound babies with the right look never ends, said the audition basically consists of seeing how well the babies react to the hubbub of the film set. Some infants, such as Loose, are laughers. Others, such as Josie Weinert
, 12 months and 12 days, are cryers.
"She's been in some stressful scenes," said Weinert's mom, Nino Fiorentino. "And she cried in every one. She doesn't usually cry. See, that was acting."
Sure enough, during the pandemonium of a group shot of all the babies, there was much angst, confusion and fussing. Several babies attempted to flee in apparent horror. But Josie was cool and composed throughout, apparently preferring to weep on cue.
"Everybody switch," quipped Patrice Scott, a "Lost" nurse, during the group shot. "Pick the baby you really want!"
Most offspring wound up with their original parents.
Meanwhile, Carlson was still recruiting. Emerson Reifsteck
, the eldest babe at the bash at 16 months, nearly staged a comeback.
"I might be able to use Emerson again," said Carlson, sizing up the child. "How much does she weigh?"
But Emerson weighed in at a almost 20 pounds.
"Right now we're not ready to go over 17 pounds," explained Carlson.
Moments later, Carlson lifted Julia Mueller
, a 9-month-old 17-pounder who was in the fourth season finale. Carlson said she'd like to use Julia in Season 5.
Gina Mueller, Julia's mom, was ecstatic.
"She's kind of a peanut," said Mueller. "I have a cat that weighs a half-pound more than she does."
The trick would be to make sure Julia stays leaner than the cat.
"No more Froot Loops for you," Mueller told Julia, who merely cooed and giggled at the prospect.