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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Miracle of Miracles

Ever have one of those blasts from the past that take you by surprise? Maybe your brain filed something away a very long time ago and then something happens that opens up that compartment and you are flooded with memories. It's weird when it happens. The brain is funny that way. I got an email today from someone and she wanted to let me know that someone we knew had died last week. His name was Lee. I met Lee when I was about twelve years old doing a community theater production of Fiddler on the Roof in Victoria, Texas. He played Motel the tailor and I loved watching him sing "Miracle of Miracles." He was seven years older than me but to a twelve year old, nineteen is a total grown up, no doubt about it. The last time I saw him was in 1984 when he directed me in Annie. (I was the dog catcher.) We were never really friends seeing he was so much older than me. I moved away from Victoria to pursue my acting career and the next thing you know almost thirty years have passed and I find out he died at the age of 51.

So what does this have to do with The Bitchy Waiter? I'll tell you. When I did my first community theater production, I knew I had found what I wanted to do with my life. I saw people like Lee and Cynthia and Mike and Mr. Trowbridge and realized, "Hey, they're grown ups and they get to play? This is cool, I wanna do this when I grow up." I continued doing community theater and when I graduated high school I went to college to get a degree in theater. Yes, it is possible to have a degree and wait tables. When it came time to move to New York City, I needed a job that would pay me good money in a short amount of time and give me the flexibility to audition and do shows and pursue my real dream. Waiting tables is a means to an end. I have heard this a lot in my life:

The reason I don't get another job is because this is what I do. I wait tables and when I get a show, I go do it. If I was a teacher, I can't imagine the school district being cool with me saying, "So hey, I got this show and I'm going to Maryland for six weeks. I'll see you then. The students will be fine." And I write about it because I like writing and if my words can make people laugh or smile or think, then maybe I am making a difference in someone's day in some small way.

When I heard that Lee died, I thought back to the summer of 1980 and how much all those adults in Fiddler inspired me. I watched Lee sing every night. Cynthia was so funny as Yente and when that girl who played Chava cried as her father walked away disowning her for marrying outside their faith, I was so blown away by the fact that she could cry real tears. That production shaped my whole life and Lee was a huge part of it. I can't imagine that any of them ever think of that 12 year old boy who didn't have any lines in that play they did thirty years ago, but little do they know, I think of them. They made me want to be an actor.

And that is why I don't get another job. I already have one. I am an actor. And a writer. Thank you Lee and I hope wherever you are, you are singing;

Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles-
God took the tailor by the hand
Turned him around and- miracle of miracles-

Led him to the promised land.

Follow your dreams, people. Even if it means you have to wait tables to do it.

(By the way, the lady who told me to get another job is named Kate and she is actually very sweet. Just sayin'.)

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Tempy said...

Great post, bitchy. Gosh, that woman gets me. That would have been amazing if you said, "If you don't want people complaining about your kid, then why do you have one?"

Sidenote - I've seen Bitchy perform onstage more than once and he is ridiculously talented.

shanananana said...

I effing love your hair! On a non-vanity related note, I give you a lot of credit for doing the show. From what I've seen, you handled yourself beautifully in that den of snakes!

Chunky Mama said...

You know, Bitchy, just when I think I can't love you any more than I already do, you post stuff like this.

Cat M said...

If she doesn't want people complaining about her kid then teach the kid to BEHAVE!

ChiTown Girl said...

I've been pissed off for a while now because I missed that show. Thanks for the clip. It makes me want to slap the shit out of those women even more than I did before!

Sorry for the lose of your friend. It's nice that you have such fond memories of that time in your life.

Anonymous said...

You are definitely making a difference.

I'm a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa and I read this blog to keep my spirits up (it's hilarious).

This post was also inspiring. Thank you.

Miranda said...

You are so inspiring! There is nothing more to say but that you inspire me. And that makes a goddamn difference.

Aquarili said...

I am sorry for your loss, Bitchy; te acompa~no en tus sentimientos. I love your blog, and you make a positive difference in my world, daily! :)

Practical Parsimony said...

Making people laugh with your writing is very important because laughter is healing to body, mind, and soul. People inspired me when I was a child that have no idea that they made such a good and positive impression on me, so I understan. I am so sorry about the death of your friend. I need a laugh every day. No, I need several and I depend on your humor.

SkippyMom said...

I grow weary of people saying to servers "Get another job." How about the woman waving her hands around on stage get a diet? Seriously.

We aren't allowed to pick on fat people [and she is] because that is politically incorrect, but what is the mindset that it is okay to tell someone to get another job. Someone please post a job that is SO wonderful and WITHOUT fault that they relish every.single.moment.

Stop defending yourself BW. They are close minded, self entitled cows. And I don't mean cows in the fat sense. I mean it in the sense that cows are one of the stupidest animals in the kingdom.

You're fine. They need to get over themselves.

Anonymous said...

I hate it when entitled people tell waiters that they should get another job if they don't like them not tipping/watching serenely as their cuntspawn throws everything on the table under it in the middle of a massive dinner rush/insist on seating themselves/exc. It's like telling nurses to get another job if they don't like hepatitis patients biting them.

The problem isn't that the server finds their behavior unacceptable, the problem is that the behavior is unacceptable. That bitch clearly needs to get over herself.

the well being said...

that's really beautiful bitchy. made me happy in that happy sad way :)

Ewa said...

Thanks so much for this. I'm in a constant conflict with my parents over my career choices. They want me to keep doing what I'm doing, which is something I hate, while I want to do something that makes me happy. I don't quite know what that is yet, but I certainly know that it's not what I'm doing now. Thanks again!

Margaret said...

Your show was pre-empted here by the tennis match. I hope to catch it on the reruns. :-(

Why do folks tell everyone who complains about stuff in their jobs to get another one? It's just venting. Doesn't everyone do this sometimes?

I love your writing.

Sincerely, Margaret

Noelle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Noelle said...

Sorry for your loss.

You were very brave those women wanted stuff you with chicken strips and throw you to the lions.

Christin Joyful said...

Aw, what a great post! Keep following your dreams...the naysayers gave up on thier dreams long ago, and that's why they find fault in you.

dirtydisher said...

Is the whole episode on You Tube? I can't find it and I want to see more of our Bitchy.

Modest Goddess said...

Reading your post is one of the highlights of my day. I have a job some people would consider me lucky to have and a decent pay but I hate it. Nobody tells me get another job because most people have bought into this fallacy of what constitutes a "good" job and what doesn't. Great post Bitchy, as always. You have a very real talent and those bitches are too wrapped up in themselves to see or appreciate that.

sally said...

You are a lovely person.

Anonymous said...

God bless you for following your dreams and doing whatever you have to do to achieve them.

Jessica in Montclair, NJ