A Lesson in Humility

Who says all actors have big egos? And who says that actors, engaged in conversation, can only talk about themselves and their bloomin’ careers? Well certainly not your friendly bartender after what he was privileged to witness last night in Bar-land.

I was just beginning my shift when the day man… the bartender I was relieving… asked if I recognized some guy who was sitting at the bar. “He’s an actor,” he said, “but I just can’t seem to place where I know him from.” And this was rare for our man with the question who usually knows all this stuff, he’s a movie buff and keen on the arts in general.

The guy in question was a handsome young bloke with a shock of unruly blond hair, accompanied by an absolutely stunning young redhead. They both appeared somewhere in their mid to late twenties.

“Yeah, he does look familiar,” I  said, “but I can’t place him either,” then I busied myself with the job of getting up to speed. You know, bartender stuff… counting my bank, putting it in (Big Bertha), going over the checks on the bar to see who belonged to what tab, then making sure everything was in it’s place.  There’s nothing worse than taking over a bar, attempting a seamless transition, when things aren’t where they should be (or are and are empty). And though never the case when I follow this guy I check things just the same strictly out of habit.

Then a few minutes later, after all was seemingly set and ready for action (and to sate the curiosity of me and the day man), I went over to the mystery customer and ask him the following. “Excuse me, pal, and I really feel silly asking you this but the bartender who just left was curious about something, and I am too… and that is, are you an actor?  And if you are an actor, especially one of some note, please forgive me for not knowing who you are.”

The guy brightened, smiled at the lady sitting next to him and replied in the finest British accent you ever heard, “Well, yes, I am an actor, but please don’t worry about not knowing who I am. I haven’t done a lot over here you would know me from.”

Sweet, I thought, and completely ego-free, and now that the case indeed had been cracked… this man really was an actor… we went over some of the things he’d done here in the states. (All of which, I should add, he downplayed in doing so.) There were a couple of movies in the mix, one brief television series, but sadly none of which I’d seen on which I could comment. In fact I hadn’t seen any of it. And I really wish I had because, given his politeness and humility, I truly wanted to say, “Saw it, you were great in it.” But no such luck.

And on it went from there, dear  reader, an interesting three-way conversation, which eventually led to me bringing up this blog. “You’re kidding,” they both said. “How do we find it?” they both added. “Good for you, we’ll be sure to give it a look!” And they really seemed to mean it because they took my card without any hint of a yawn. They actually seemed eager.

Then later we talked about the bar where I work… the grand history of the place… and stuff about Bar-land in general here in America. Which in turn led the actor to offer, “We both have remarked how pleasant it’s been to find that most New York bartenders are really quite cordial. We weren’t expecting that.”

(Hmmm!) “Well, thank you,” I said,  “I guess a false reputation clearly precedes us.” (Or something like that.) But here’s where it gets embarrassing, and what I regret.

See, never once during this whole conversation did I ask the woman of this twosome what she did. Or anything else, for that matter, about who she was. It was all about him and me and all my doing. For outside of the fact she wasn’t British but born right here in the states, I knew (or asked) nothing about this person. And it wasn’t on purpose, I assure you… just just a mindless and gross oversight… as Show Biz and Scribbler’s Blog seemed the more ready topics.  And if you don’t think that oversight is not just a brain lapse but even what some might call a lean toward the rude (yet amazing in that it didn’t bother her in the least), you will when you hear the end of this pretty cool story.

So after two more drinks and a lot more talk and a burger at the bar which they shared and truly enjoyed (our burgers are awesome!), they decided to wind things down and call for the check. The actor paid the tab, he left me a most healthy tip, and as they headed for the door I noticed some camera lights flashing… obviously SOME-body knew who the guy was. And I who hadn’t known who he was, I decided right there on the spot, would certainly know him in the future because the two were not only perfectly delightful but the man had dispelled that charge of “actor as ego”. End of story.

Or so I thought…

“I am so glad I got that picture,” said the woman with the camera. “This is great!”

“Did he mind?” I asked. “Because some celebrities don’t like people doing that.”

“What do you mean he?” she shrieked, “I took a picture of her, she’s one of my favorites!

“Oh no, she’s an actress too?” I gulped, now having managed both roles from Dumb and Dumber. “Good grief, miss, what the hell has she been in?”

Well it turns out, dear reader, after Googling her name this morning (Yes I do know how to do that!) she’s not only rather famous but very accomplished. And one of the stars of a highly acclaimed series right now. But I bring all this up not to point out my obvious Dumb and Dumber… that’s easy… but to point out (like her companion) her utter humility. Which in this case was astounding!

For how many actresses can anyone name who would sit through that hour-long encounter… an actress currently starring in a hit TV show, no less… never once breaking in and saying, “I act too.“? This blows me away. Yes, this woman was beautiful, she was sweet, she cared indeed what everyone said about everyone else but herself, and here she is this big, big deal on her own. Again, astounding!

And (oh) how I do hope she reads my blog as she promised last night she would do, and reads this post in particular showing my respect. Because I respect her not for her “credits” so much as I do for her not taking credit for all those credits. A lesson in humility! In fact both of these actors gave acting a damn good name last night. True end of story!

Over and out from Bar-land, see ya’ next week-end!

Update: As of 9:23 this evening (Monday) I lost all the comments under this post. Don’t know what happened. I had gone back and edited a couple small mistakes I found in the text (something I’ve done in the past with other posts) and when I returned to the main page all comments were gone. (Anyone ever hear of this?) So needless to say, to those of you who took the time to check in, I sincerely apologize.

7 Responses to “A Lesson in Humility”

  1. 1 Scicurious March 30, 2010 at 9:00 am

    Testing? Testing? Excellent post, Scribbler, as always. Sci would like to think she’d be humble if she were famous, but she knows better. 🙂

  2. 2 scribbler50 March 30, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Houston we have lift-off!
    Thanks, Sci, as you can see your comment went through. And as far as your projection is concerned, to me you’re already famous… and humble! 🙂

  3. 3 Chris March 30, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Wasn’t by chance Christina Hendricks was it? As soon as you said gorgeous red head thats the first person I thought of.

  4. 4 scribbler50 March 30, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Sorry, Chris, that’s not her. But as I said in one of the comments that got lost, I don’t feel right giving up their names anyway so I won’t. (Bartender / patron confidentiality and all.)

  5. 5 Petro March 30, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    Yeech – losing your comments. That hadda hurt.

  6. 6 JSaw March 31, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    I wonder if that’s something with celebrities that live in NYC (not celbu-tards like Paris Hilton, but real stars). There’s an Oscar-nominated actress or two that live in my neighborhood and they are the most humble non-divas that even say hello in a neighborly way.

    As opposed to when I lived in LA and the ones who lived there always made sure you knew who they were.


  7. 7 scribbler50 April 1, 2010 at 12:25 am

    Interesting point, JSaw, but not in this case. This couple lives in L.A., they were here for a shoot. Exceptions to every rule!

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