Monday, July 07, 2003

Misguided earnestness and other stories:
If you, like me, think the most interesting journalism is about "ordinary' people and their everyday lives, not the speeches and strategies of government leaders, you must enjoy the NY Times' Metropolitan Diary, as I do. My favorite entry from this week's column:

I was playing a homeless man in a film being shot in the fountain area in front of the Plaza Hotel. I had a scraggly beard, a filthy face, tattered clothes and a shopping wagon filled with junk. A film crew always attracts a crowd, which now watched as the camera moved across the area to my bench. A bystander boomed out: "What the hell are you doing? Leave the poor guy alone!"

The nonplused crew stared at him.
A second man called out, "What are you taking advantage of this guy for?"
Another angry voice asked, "Did you at least give him a couple of bucks?"
Finally the director found her voice and shouted, "He's an actor!"
And the first man said, "Yeah, and I'm Donald Trump."
He moved in and put a hand on my shoulder. "Come on, pal," he said. "I'll get you out of here."
The director shouted: "Wait a minute! He's a professional actor! He's in a costume, you nitwit."

The crowd looked at me. I looked at the crowd. The crowd raised a questioning eyebrow. I nodded yes. And the film continued.

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