Several days ago I mentioned an encounter with an actor who is consistently working in film and television in Los Angeles. I found myself in the same elevator so the poor man had no choice but to endure my conversation. At the time I didn’t realize who he was as I wasn’t the target demo for the shows he’s previously been on, I thought he was a sports anchor on a station I’d previously sold. Anywho, he most graciously put up with my request to pick his brain and answered my questions for about an hour and a half. The topics were all over the board from what he felt when a series was cancelled to are there any normal people in Hollywood and how do you tell if they like you for you and not for what you can do for them? It was truly one of most seminal moments in my career to date. The information he shared, the inside tips and the encouragement were early Christmas presents delivered at a time when I needed to receive them. I had a smile on my face the remainder of the day that no lack of sleep from a red-eye flight could erase.
I don’t know if someone had done this for him early in his career or if he was just in a good mood and felt like talking. I’m sure when he left to catch his plane back to LA he had no idea of the impact he’d left on me and of the ripple effect his words would produce. I’m sure once he hit the terminal floor our encounter was forgotten as he moved into getting home mode. But I didn’t forget and I won’t forget. I’ll think back to that conversation many times over the next weeks and months as I go forward. And that’s the way it should be. There is a saying that when the student is ready the teacher will appear. I learned many lessons that early morning and am most grateful for the generosity and kindness shown to me by a fellow actor. It was pretty amazing.