Last night we were at a film festival with some dear friends and just as the lights went down, a tall man with a crazy, big, curly mop of hair, who seemed strikingly familiar, sat down right next to my husband, who also usually has crazy, big, curly hair. But not right now thanks. Gigs are good...I digress. I was transfixed on the wonderful film that we watched and the time flew by. It was fabulous. And I don't think I took my eyes off the screen the entire film. As the lights came up, I was busy drying my eyes and trying to look as if I had not been crying for the last 1/3 of the film. The man was gone and frankly I was busy thinking about finding a hanky in my handbag.
Flash forward to an after-party. We pushed our way through the crowd to get our signature drink and found a happy spot beyond the fray talking with some fascinating documentary film makers wearing Converse sneakers. Loved those guys. I looked up and there is the guy with the hair. How do I know you? Our friends remind me -- he is the star and director of a striking short film I LOVE that just so happened to win an Oscar a couple of years ago. He walks up to us, begins to chat and I loose my mind. I am no longer an actor or professional, I am a stupid fan. Before I can muster an intelligent conversation, he takes his cube of cheese and smiles politely, finishes talking to our friends and moves through the crowd, chatting it up with the sponsors, other fans & potential investors. I have no clear recollection of what exactly I said. I do know that I didn't mention that I was an actor or that my husband is an actor or anything remotely like that... Funny. Sidebar: Do you know the play Anton in Show Business? "Never ask an out of work actor what's next." I do think I asked him what was next. He luckily had future projects to talk about....On the to the next project, the "Hunt" continues. This morning Bren pulled up the Youtube of him receiving the Oscar. Surreal. At the end of the day, just another industry guy looking for support for his work. Albeit an Oscar- winning industry guy. Something is strangely reassuring about that. We are all in the same boat - well maybe not the same boats -- different sizes and models but all boats...
I often think about that quote about artists...Supposedly Queen Victoria is responsible for --
"Beware of artists. They mix with all classes of society and are therefore the most dangerous."
Today it has been swirling around and around in my mind. I can't imagine a group of people who have access in quite the same way as artists do. I think about my life in just the last couple of weeks and the truth of this statement is staggering. We know so many influential movers and shakers in a variety of fields (law, city, county, finance, real estate and business) and they know us by name-- I have been in conversations with many of them in just the last few weeks. I have had conversations with the fellows on the street and on their bikes who I see regularly downtown asking how their days are going. I started my acting class for kids on the autism spectrum where we open pretend presents and climb around in imaginary jungles. I was at a party last night where we people watched botox, high heels and evening gowns while I stood in my second-hand shoes talking to an Oscar-winner. We are surely lucky to be on this wild ride. Life is indeed strange and mysterious.
I'm a southern gal with liberal politics who has worked my ass off and sacrificed a lot in order to be a working regional theatre actor. There are lots of working actors who are out here grinding without begin famous. And we consider that we have already MADE it. I really like to tell stories and solve the puzzle of the text. I LOVE untangling scripts and unlocking characters. I really give a damn about the planet and am an avid gardener. I love to get my hands dirty. I am completely fascinated by fellow journey(man) actors and how we survive and thrive. Ballin' on a budget, Baby. http://www.rachelburttram.com/