#journey to the #center and seeee / venture to the depths of your heart and bleeed. #ThingsToBaronMind #bmeddVideoStore
This is not band practice; this is more like, pand bractice. One could even label it, The BranDan Dance. @brandonlem @drmendz08 #GeneWilderness
(originally written 26 January 2010)
See the coincidental part about it all is that I had just recently re-watched Hook; and I had just recently seen his face in the spectator seats as some friends were watching a basketball game on the tube; and I had just recently watched Conan O’Brien’s second-to-last episode of The Tonight Show in which Robin Williams went boisterous with his high-energy.
And then, as I was dusting off action figures — my fourth day working at this comic book shop in San Francisco (Cards and Comics Central, Inner Richmond) — I heard a very familiar, distinct voice (Right ? His voice is very particular .. ) ask if the shop carried Vertigo Comics’ title DMZ.
When I looked up, I gasped ! (in my head). I double glanced to make sure that underneath all that face fuzz was Peter Pan and Mork from Mindy and Mrs. Doubtfire and the creepy guy from One Hour Photo and all the other iconic characters we’ve seen him play as we were growing up during childhood. It was him ! With my cool collected, I replied and showed him the way.
He was calm, reserved, dressed-down, and un-commanding of his celebrity. His voice was low-volume and his tone was modest. In that moment, I found myself respecting that: his Dr-Jekyll-Mr-Hyde humbleness. I mean, he’s so .. rambunctious in front of a camera ! And here was this timid man asking me if we carried a certain comic book. He bought a hundred dollars’ worth of DMZ.
And so I just re-watched that Conan episode again right now on Hulu, and he mentioned that in a week he’s going to Australia to do some voice recordings for the Happy Feet sequel. Now I sort of wonder: was he picking up some reading material for the trip ? Ha.
And it’s not like I’m in Hollywood: It’s San Francisco, the same city in which I practically grew up, a place not particularly defined for its famous faces. Sure, we know that he lives in the city; but one doesn’t expect to run into the actor. Surely I had never expected to run into thee guy, from one of my favorite kid movies (Pete Pan).
(I would soon encounter him again a second time, a year later while still working at that same comic book shop, an instance just as bewitching as the first experience, albeit with more composure on my end. I didn’t mess up his credit card transaction the second time ‘round. haha)
And so I often wonder what it means to encounter a person in one instance — to never see that person again. Is it just for fun ? Is it a waste of time ? What do we learn from these one-shot encounters with strangers ? How do we benefit from random convo’s with people at dive bars; or from one-minute dialog exchanges with people at the grocery store ? Do we gain a potential network, or simply a dead end ? Will it be advantageous to continue to know this person ? Should I get the person’s name/number/email ? Was it a casual small talk or something more substantial ? Is the universe trying to nudge us in one direction, or another ?
On my train ride home tonight, I’ve only been pondering what it meant to encounter Robin Williams. And one conclusion I’ve arrived at is the matter of identity, how we’re different people to different people. To most, Robin Williams was a Hollywood A-Lister, a celebrity, a famous person, a clamorous comedian, a childhood icon. But in that comic book shop, as he stood in line to buy a pile of printed graphics, he was just a hairy dude in a zippered winter coat.
It certainly made human my fantastic glimpse of a megastar. heh
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