Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Turn On A Dime

I did some acting tonight (more on that later) where I needed to be slipping in and out of character at high speed. Frankly, I wasn't great. I was OK but not anything to write the internet about. Tonight it wasn't so much about me, though, so I could take it as a learning experience and move on.

Interestingly enough I had a lot more lessons about changing character at the drop of a hat on my way home. I took the subway to the bus. Thought I'd wait for the bus since my feet didn't feel great and it was cold and the bus was supposed to come soon. It did not so I called mom to have a longer conversation. Talking to your mom you get to be all kinds of people. I got to be concerned and parental, childlike and needy and plain old friendly me. Then I finally got on the bus but since it was so late it was super crowded. I got on and put on my full body shield. You want to be polite but firm, like a very strict teacher in a flexible plastic bubble. One stop later, though, and a nutjob got on. She was ranting because we weren't moving into the bus (there was no room) refusing to get off the bus, though she was riding in the wheel well, simultaneously calling us all cunts and praising the "MTA Limousine Service" that the rest of us clearly didn't appreciate. I became invisible, immediately invisible. You do not want someone like that to pick you out of a crowd and I am a master of the cloak of invisibility in those situations. That woman stirred up trouble for 3 agonizingly slow stops. Inside my cloak I hardened into the Commuter Bitch. My mantra was "I should have walked, I should have walked, I should have walked." Gratefully I pushed the tape for my stop and tried to ease myself, my bulky coat and my crammed-full back around to face the door without touching anyone. This is impossible but it's good to have goals. When I got three quarters of the way around the woman next to me smiled. She looked so kind and beleaguered and she asked, "Getting off?" Right there, in a breath, I turned into the comedienne to see if I could get another smile out of her. "I hope so." I replied, with a rimshot in my tone. Not only did I get a laugh from her but from most of the folks in the front third of the bus. Notably not a twitch from the Nutjob Lady so it was like winning a freaking Oscar. Then it was my stop and there were, honestly, 12 people between me and the door 5 feet away, time to turn on Deferent Neighborhood Newcomer. "Excuse me, Pardon, So sorry, Thanks very much, Getting off, Thank you, appreciate it..." And down the street I strode all Mary Tyler Moore without the hat.

Now if only I could maneuver with such ease when the cameras were pointed at me.


  1. Anonymous10:40 PM

    Wonderful description of the bus ride! I can so imagine it. Sorry about the nutjob. Just what you need at the end of a long day.

    It was great to see you - I'm sure you did a great job tonight - you're always too hard on yourself.

  2. Anonymous5:00 AM

    miflohny's right - you are too hard on yourself. You and (what's his screen name?) were both terrific, and putting up with all the tech problems was annoying and frustrating (at least for me, and I was the video director) but neither of you let it bother you on camera, at least.

    I watched the two takes we made before the clock ran out as they were being transferred to tape and they are pretty good. I'm sure miflohny and I can cut them together into an exciting video that all your readers will want to see, if you let them.

  3. We just call him Mark, he's all over the internet by his given name.

    Thanks you guys. It was a good time, good to see you both. Well, all three!