There is a 16-year-old girl living in the L.A. area who is famous amongst famous people. She's met everyone — everyone — from Miley to Oprah to Skrillex, and is on a first-name basis with teen heartthrobs like Justin Bieber, the Jonas Brothers, Chord Overstreet, the guys from the Wanted, and the guys from One Direction. She's not an actress, she's not in the industry, nor is she the daughter of a celebrity. She's just a regular girl named Sarah, who has somehow managed to amass an enormous collection of photos — over 4,600 — in which she's posing cheek-to-cheek with Hollywood stars. Her improbable adroitness for daily celebrity sightings has earned her the nickname Stalker Sarah on the internet. But jealous haters aside, one thing is clear: If you haven't appeared on Sarah's Flickr stream, you're a nobody.
At this point, Sarah is a machine. She knows exactly where to go every single night in L.A. for the most primo celebrity encounters. There's an art to her portraits; she uniformly frames each one and stands to the right of the celebrity, and her expression is always the same: a calm smile. But it wasn't always like that. When Sarah first started her hobby (obsession?) four years ago, at a taping of The Wizards of Waverly Place, she stood much farther away from her subjects, her images were blurrier and, at probably only 12 years old, she hadn't yet cultivated her rocker chick look of heavy eyeliner, concert shirt, and black leather jacket.
Starting on the oldest page of her Flickr stream and working toward the most recent photos, it's evident that Sarah used to just be a fan girl that attended television show tapings and stood outside movie premieres hoping to get a glimpse of star or two. Over time, she began to operate like a paparazzo, waiting around at airport terminals or outside of nightclubs. But unlike those professional stalkers earning a living from their photos, Sarah has developed a chummy rapport with many stars, who've grown used to seeing her over the years. (She's known Ashley Tisdale since her old nose. She's basically photo-documented Justin Bieber's puberty. She's met Demi Lovato and Miley Cyrus so many times that they stop to talk to her if they run into her at convenience stores.) She's something of a celebrity advocate. Instead of annoying her targets, she sticks up for them. She served as an eyewitness to one of Lindsay Lohan's recent scandals, clearing Lindsay's name.
As she became a fixture of the L.A. nightlife scene, she went from one side of the red velvet rope to the other. In the past month alone, she attended such celebrity-heavy events as a Nylon party, Perez Hilton's birthday, and a Family Guy event. She's gone bowling with Nick Jonas, pals around behind the scenes of Two and a Half Men with Angus Jones, and hangs with Jedward. Naturally the kids online are jealous, and she has amassed her own network of haters, fans, and a sizable Twitter following.
But despite her increasing ubiquity at Hollywood events, not much is known about Sarah. What's her last name? Why is she allowed to stay out so late every school night? What do her parents do? There are rumors that her father is a paparazzo, but Sarah denies this. In a caption under a 2008 photograph of herself and Ricky Schroeder, she says that her father worked on his pool. Still, she must have help recognizing her subjects. What 16-year-old girl knows who Tommy Chong, Nicholas Sparks, or James Caan is? She gave one rare interview—in the video to the left—on YouTube a year ago, but she didn't reveal much. She ignored our multiple requests for an interview, so for now we're just going to have to watch from the glow of our computer screens as she rubs elbows with greatness, not-so-greatness, and a few more levels below that.
Sarahmonline's Photostream [Flickr]