Wednesday, December 20, 2006

What am I?!?

OK guys, say it loud and clear: "You are a Dork." Yes. I am. I know, you're thinking.... "But you're so cool, how could that be?!?" Allow me to explain:

Yesterday evening I met my sister at The Walter Reade Theater in Lincoln Center to see a showing of Little Miss Sunshine and a Q&A with Alan Arkin - who stars in the film.

Now, I love, love, love Alan Arkin - but mostly from his work as singer in the children's folk group The Babysitters. I grew up listening to it, and actually found a CD of their greatest hits on EBay that I got soon after Max was born. I played it to death.

So, the whole time during the Q&A my mind is frantically working... how, how, how could I ask him about The Babysitters? And really, what do I want to ask? I don't have a question... it's more like a "thank-you." More like a "wow, you're the guy." More like "I really feel like I want you to know how much those records meant to me as a child." And it's funny, now that I'm thinking about it - because why would I want him to know that? And why would I think he would care? Although isn't being an actor all about positive affirmation?
So, anyhow, no - I do not get my nerve up. I can't do it. I don't really know the words to say, and also... well... public speaking - not my thing.
So, Q&A ends, my sister & I go out to the bathroom. I start buttoning up to leave & she goes back in to see the movie (I left before the movie. My parents were exhausted & they were staying w/the kids. I wanted to give them a break.) I look up & who is there... but... ALAN ARKIN. Before I know it I walk up to him and say: "It took me all night to get up my nerve, but I have to tell you - I grew up with The Babysitters Records. I love them. I play the songs for my kids." He looks at me like this is the last thing in the WORLD he wants to talk about. Do I stop? No, I do not. He says "You can still get the records?" I say "Oh yes, I got a CD on EBay." (Wrong, wrong WRONG thing to say!!) I'm kind of touching my heart and I say something like "I just want you to know how much I enjoyed it." And he says (still looking like he just wants this to be over with) "Well thank you - and thank you for getting up the nerve." And bright red, I walk away.
I walk out and play the conversation over and over in my head, and as I'm walking down the street I realize that I'm making facial contortions and actually WINCING to myself. (Well, not really to myself, people could see - my face screwed up in the pain of embarrassment!) Oy. You know that feeling, when you hash and rehash something and you just can't even bear to think about it because the embarrassment is too painful. Yup.
Today I woke up and was like well... maybe he just doen't like to be approached by people in general so that was the painful part for him -not necessarily The Babysitters part. So I'm a bit more... settled with it. So I guess I can save the Dork lable for another time - which I'm sure will present itself...


Gwen said...

You know, it's also possible that that you filtered his reactions through your own biases about how you were feeling. Maybe he was honored; maybe it made his night. I think you should assume the best instead of the worst ....

Just sayin'

ALM said...

I suppose... but the look on his face wasn't really "I'm honored" it was more like..."leave me alone."

I'm thinking that he might really be a shy guy... and that the person I saw at the Q&A was his actor self & when I got his personal self he really *did* just want to be left alone...

Bet said...

Hi! First time reading you, but when I saw a link to your story, I had to read on. You did what I've LONGED for anyone to do who goes to these question and answer things - get an answer from Mr A on something other than, "What's your favorite role," or any other acting question.

So buck up - I'm sure you weren't a dork at all.