(54 years ago)

news&updates

Jan
13

the layer

It’s one of those “Is it just me?” things that she’ll never be able to ask anyone else about.

She has a layer that sits on top of reality. A layer where everybody she knows is a famous actor or musician. She just finds people much more interesting when they’re famous. She originally got the idea from a line in Almost Famous.

So she sits across from an old friend from college at the coffee shop and thinks to herself how grounded he is, despite being the biggest box office draw in the world.

Same conversation that’s happening in the real world, just better.

Her parents switch back and forth being actors and musicians. It makes their advice much more poignant.

It doesn’t matter how old or attractive people are, there’s a role for everyone. Not everyone has to be an A list celebrity. The character actors that we all know from countless films but don’t know their names, they populate the diners, business parks and malls in her area. Blending in without bringing any undue attention to themselves. “Remember what Constantin Stanislavski said” she would remind herself, “There are no small parts, only small actors.” As it turn out, particularly with musicians, the ones that are lesser known have cooler perspectives.

Even when talking about the latest political scandal or the weather.

The stories they could tell but don’t. Respectful of her simple life.

The things they’ve seen. The experiences they’ve had. And now they walk around and pretend that they’re just like everyone else.

It’s their humility that she finds compelling.

That’s why she never asks for their autograph or to take a picture with them. She respects them too much. That and the fact that they would think she was crazy.

That might endanger the layer.

She can’t have that.

When she was younger her parents and siblings were superheroes. The family was a sort of super team. When anyone was out of the house, they were battling evil foes. When they arrived home they did their best to hide the bumps and bruises they no doubt accumulated during the day.

But now they are just rich and famous, magazines and talk shows hanging on their every word.

And she gets to eat dinner with them any night she wants.

It was at one of these dinners that she came the closest to giving away her secret. The exact details of what proceeded her comment are fuzzy, but she offered up, quite unprovoked, a quote from Sanford Mesiner; “Acting is behaving truthfully under imaginary circumstances.”

She froze. Her fork hung in the air, the potatoes and a lone pea clinging to it for all they were worth.

She had put the layer in great peril.

Luckily both her mom and dad were so engrossed in a conversation about getting the lawn treated for weeds that they completely missed it.

She thought up a quick excuse and fled the house before she made another such misstep.

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