When you live in the L.A. area, sometimes you see folks you recognize, just walking down the street. And it is some sort of cheap inner thrill… but you kind of got to feel for those folks, because you know that some people don’t keep it an inner thrill.
I took Saturday as an afternoon/evening off from daddying and headed into the city. Went to see The Prestige at the Arclight Dome complex (which some might know as the Cineramadome). The movie wasn’t showing in the dome itself – that had Happy Feet. But even the smaller screens are big, serious (stadium seating with reserved seats), and expensive ($11 for an off-peak adult ticket). The movie was okay, well made but I saw the twists coming well in advance. It’s the curse of being a writer, I suppose; you know how the gears work on these things.
And then, on my way back to the parking garage (“only” $2 because I saw a movie there), I saw the guy who plays Monk’s psychiatrist on Monk. He’s an easy guy to recognize, so you gotta reckon that there’s a fair number of people who do so whenever he goes out in public. And while most of us probably just do an eye-registration (“hey, that’s someone I’m not expecting to see in public context!” the brain says), there’s got to be a frequent cry of “hey, you’re that guy!” But where can it go from there? Odds are they don’t know his name, or the name of his character, or any of the more than 100 other roles he’s done (I know I’d seen him in many other things, but I couldn’t actually name any without looking them up.) He always does a respectable job – seeing him in a show is a mark of someone trying to cast well, but I suspect there isn’t some major subculture of Stanley Kamel fans (although you never know; I certainly know plenty of folks who are nuts for one supporting actor or aother, and I wouldn’t know if he had a substantial stage career). So that sort of recognition is apt to come with, at best, an honest appreciation for a show that he is but a small part of. I reckon that would be irritating after a while, being recognizable enough that you can never do anything truly private, but not getting the real benefits of fame.