There are unconscious actors among them and involuntary actors; the genuine are always rare, especially genuine actors.
– Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Any artist [person] who goes in for being famous in our society must know that it is not he who will become famous, but someone else under his name, someone who will eventually escape him and perhaps someday will kill the true artist [person] in him.
– Albert Camus, “Create Dangerously”
It ain’t me you’re lookin for, babe.
– Bob Dylan, “It Ain’t Me, Babe:, Another Side of Bob Dylan, 1964
The set was real but illusionary: A legendary old New England hotel dressed festively for Christmas and the holiday season. Norman Rockwell’s magical realism. The lobby full with merriment, the cozy fire dancing to the sweet sound of violin and piano Christmas music mixed with a subtle alcoholic fragrance. Main Street U.S.A. Snow on the street and the classic strains of “White Christmas” in the inner air. A mythic setting for meeting a legendary actor.
But as I entered the dimly lit set, the legend was nowhere to be seen. I approached the spot where the musicians were playing and didn’t see him in the room opposite. Then, as I was greeting two actors with bit parts that I knew (unconscious actors, I should add), out of the shadows came a laughing Russian spy obviously dressed as a Russian spy, one red star on his hat, walking stick in hand. He and I were there to have a…