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Saturday, April 24, 2010

I'm on the Broadway

For a lot of people, living in New York City and being a waiter means one thing. Actor. Of course it's a stereotype, but over the years I have come to believe that many stereotypes are based on some hint of truth. It may not be an easy thing to accept, but it does seem to be true. I live in New York City. I am a waiter. Does that mean that I fall under that auspicious umbrella of unemployed actor? Darn tootin' it does. I am one extremely talented and extremely out of work actor. And so are most of the people I work with. It's a fact of life.

When I was working in Times Square's Houlihan's, all I ever served were tourists who were on their way to see Cats or Phantom of the Opera. Tourists are known for being wide-eyed and eager to know about the people who live here so a lot of them would pepper me with questions. "Where do you live?" Where are you from?" "Is the hamburger really $15?" But there was one question I got asked more than any other.

TOURIST: Are you an actor?
ME: Yes.
TOURIST: Oh, how exciting!
ME: Well, not really that exciting.
TOURIST: Have I ever seem you in anything?
ME: Well I dunno, are you accustomed to seeing theater that happens in basements in Brooklyn?
ME: Then, no.
TOURIST: Have you been in any movies?
ME: Yes.
TOURIST: Oh, how exciting! Which ones?
ME: Did you see Across The Universe?
TOURIST: Yes! Were you in that?? Oh my God!
ME: I was in the riot scene. There were 300 of us. I'm the one in the very back about 150 yards from the camera. I had on fake sideburns so that's probably why you don't recognize me.
TOURIST: Oh my God! And are you on Broadway?

Okay. It is Thursday night at 7:20. Every Broadway show is about to start within 45 minutes. Obviously, I am not there. I am here. Holding a tray with dirty dishes and empty glasses on it.

ME: Yes, I am currently starring in Houlihan's the Musical. Right now. You're in too. It's your line.

People asked me that all the time. Like if I was in Chicago or Grease, I would want to keep a few shifts a week at good old Houlihan's just to remember what it was like to wait tables. Bitch, please. Hell, no I ain't on Broadway. I'm a fucking waiter who has to get up at 6:00 AM so I can go get in line at 7:00 to go audition at 9:30 so I can get to the restaurant to cut the fucking lemons by 10:30. I guess, technically I was on Broadway. It just happens that Houlihan's was on 49th and Broadway. Look ma, I made it! I'm on Broadway. How would you like your burger cooked?


Anonymous said...

真正仁慈的人,會忘記他們做過的善行,他們全心投入現在的工作,過去的事已被遺忘。 ..................................................

Anonymous said...

獨居時,要反省自己的過錯;在社會大眾之間,則要忘卻別人的過失。 ..................................................

megaphon said...

You know what bugs me most?

"Hey, didn't I see you on TV? I loved it!!"

And then they stiff me. Seriously. As if I was a super rich celebrity waiting tables for fun!!

Paulie said...

I was the "bad guy/robber" in an old ADT (Home Security System) TV spot that ran on Long Island and in the suburbs. Once someone said "you look much less threatening in person." Another, the winner of the contest, actually asked me if I "really hit the old man over the head." (No, I didn't "hit" anyone over the head; also in the commercial was an old guy having a heart attack and pressing the PANIC button. I feel your pain.

ICSillyPeople said...

How long have you been in NYC?

My daughter has been there over a year now trying to get on Broadway too. Although, she does not wait tables her place of employment is on/near Broadway so technically she made it .....

Way too expensive to live there.