Negative Ned on the 1 Train.
When I lived in Brooklyn, there was a crazy, but kind homeless man who I would see on the subway from time to time. He often took a break from asking for donations to pick me out of the people riding and say something like, "Look at you! You should be an actress or somethin' Why don't you move to hollywood? Yer so pretty! Go! Yeah, go move to Hollywood and be an actress!!" I would smile and exchange "what a wierdo" glances with my fellow Brooklynites and look down and laugh nervously. But secretly, I thought to myself, "That homeless guy is on to something!....This is a sign something really big is going to happen for me!"
Now I'm in Manhattan and unfortunately, the homeless crazies that ride the 1 train aren't quite as nice. Yesterday I was headed to an audition and a talkative man came up to me and said, "What are you, like an actress or something...?" Maybe he had noticed the audition sides in my hand, but since he had been bugging people all up and down in the car, I figured he was just trying to find someone who would pay attention to him and have a conversation. Lesson number one in dealing with strange men on the subway is to ignore and look down, and so I don't know why I ever thought it was a good idea to respond. I answered "Yes."
"What, you like, want to be on TV, or something...?!" He sounded a little annoyed.
I instantly regretted answering yes and just kind of shrugged my shoulders and mumbled, "I, uh...I don't know." Then I looked down at my papers, pretending to read.
But if you give an inch....."Oh you think you want to be on TV, huh?" He asked again. I just ignored him.
"Hellooooohh?? Hello? You think you gonna be on TV?" Now he was taunting me and getting louder. I gave some awkward glances to the other riders on the train and then continued to look down.
There was a tiny part of me that wanted to yell back, "I've BEEN on TV! ....And Broadway!!!" But I knew better. Nothing productive could come from starting a discussion of my career with this crazy person on the train, so I just continued to ignore and "read."
"Helllooooh?? Helllooo?? What? You got some auditions for TeeeVeee??"
Finally, I answerd back, "I'm sorry, but I'm trying to read." I looked down at my papers. Then the man started wandering up and down the car, trying to talk to some of the other passengers. I was happy to get rid of him.
But just as we arrived at 14th street the man came back to me. "Buh bye!!" Helloh?? Buh-Bye you ACT-tress...And then for good measure, he shouted out to me, "It's never gonna happen....HEY! It's NEVER gonna happen!" he laughed at himself as he sauntered off the train. First I laughed, then I thought, "Hey, that's really kinda mean!!" Thanks a lot Mr. Negative Ned! There's nothing I hate more than a negative attitude when it comes to someone's big dreams!!
"I miss the hipsters and encouraging homeless people on the L train." I thought to myself. Does moving to Manhattan make even the homeless people more jaded??
My lesson for the BackStage Blogosphere today is simple: There are alot of Negative Ned-type attitudes out there no matter where you commute from. Never let someone tell you you can't do something!! ....Especially not some random crazy guy on the 1 train.
I took the incident as a sign from the universe that something good, something really big in my career is going to happen!!!
-- Emily Kinney