Humiliating Moment #5,126

Categories: Theater

Jon_Robin_Baitz.jpg

I was recently seated at the theater, about to see a show, when down the aisle came another patron, who stopped to greet me.

"Thank you for liking my play," he said, graciously.

Oh! Um. Well. Er. Um. Huh?

My mind went blanker than my dance card at a German beer hall.

I could have gone the phony "My pleasure, dear sir" route and tried to figure it out later, but dissembling isn't my best acting trait.

"What play was that?" I asked, with a dire sense of honesty.

"Other Desert Cities," he replied, plainly.

Oh! Only the play of the year! Written by the person standing in front of me -- Jon Robin Baitz, world-famous for dramaturgy as well as for creating TV's Brothers & Sisters!

I wanted to crawl under the nearest boulder and die, but to be honest, he was wearing a beret and scarf and I hadn't seen him in a while.

"Oh, yes," I chirped to cover my tracks. "Congrats on the play. I saw it the night of that blizzard and ..."

But I'd lost him.

Baitz was already talking to another critic -- who totally recognized him!


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13 comments
Abel
Abel

Goodness, Michael, this happens to everyone.  I have a really bad time with names even though I do remember faces well.  Don't beat yourself up.

F. Packer
F. Packer

Michael: No one could possibly know who the fuck this guy is...he's no one...the star of the old MCTV 970-TWAT commercials is infinitely more recognizable.

RC61Austin
RC61Austin

He was dreamy in "Last Summer In The Hamptons." 

Savannah Montgomery
Savannah Montgomery

I know the feeling...seeing people "out of place"...is the social "think fast" moment because the context is "wrong".

Lost Weekend
Lost Weekend

About the only playwright I'd recognize is Larry Kramer, and he'd be screaming mad if I didn't say Hello to him first!

Troofire
Troofire

When he reads this or hears about this from friends, will he call you and apologize?

Musto
Musto

He should not apologize. He was not being a dick at all. He was being very gracious, as I wrote. I was the one who was thrown off and didn't immediately register who he was. I do know him. But he was wearing a beret and scarf and I'm not always good at the immediate association. This is  story about my own embarrassment so let's not change it around.

Gregorama
Gregorama

Yeah, I'm more with the side that says you shouldn't be expected to recognize someone whose fame comes from being "behind the scenes," as it were, whether it's as director, producer, writer, etc., unless you have a personal acquaintance with them.  Though it's thoughtful of you to be "humiliated," I'd say you hardly did anything wrong.  Perhaps it taught him some humility in realizing that it's presumptuous to think he's necessarily a recognizable eminence.

Honks
Honks

The only playwrights I would recognize are Albee, Shepard....Mamet.  He has been in the press lately though, not only for Desert  Cities..but for what an arrogant a-hole he was in Hollywood! Great talent doesn't always translate to great person. UNLIKE YOU MM!!!

MSpeer
MSpeer

He was being a dick. He should've said, "Hi, Michael, I'm Jon Baitz. You saw and enjoyed my play, Other Desert Cities, and I really appreciate your kind words!"

Replace the humiliation with indignation. Did he think he would be instantly recognizable???? He was baiting and screw him.

Melinda9
Melinda9

I have the same problem. And it must be so much worse for you because you see so many people. I usually just go along, hoping to get clues to who they are.

Hy
Hy

Everyone should wear a Wal Mart  sticker on their lapel: "Hello, my name is.."

Sanders
Sanders

You're not alone. When people come up to me and don't introduce themselves, I usually have no idea who they are!

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