A customer came up to me at my survival job, she was buying Entertainment Weekly with Michael Keaton on the cover. His new movie Birdman is coming out and getting a lot of buzz for him. Sometimes, when a cover intrigues me, I might blurt out a comment. I did.
“Oh wow, Michael Keaton. What’s he been up to? Haven’t heard that name in a while.”
“He has a new movie coming out. How do you know about Michael Keaton? You seem really young to know that name.”
“Haha. I guess. I’m an actor, I do my research. Plus, he scared the crap outta me in Beetlejuice when I was 4.”
“You do comedy, right? Stand-up and acting? I think we talked about this before. How’s that going?”
“Um, good. Thank You.”
“I think it’s really great that you’re pursuing it. You’re funny.”
“Thank you so much.”
And with that, the woman took off her sunglasses, and asked me, “What’s your name?”
“I’m Stephanie Gould. Nice to meet you.”
She extended her hand, and said, “So nice to meet you. I’m Debra Winger.”
“Um, THE Debra Winger?” I asked.
“Well, there’s no ‘THE’ on my driver’s license, but yes,” she said with a laugh.
“Oh my goodness”
Now, at this point, I was blushing, but I kept my cool I think. I mean, it’s DEBRA WINGER…from Terms of Endearment for cryin’ out loud. But, as we continued talking, she asked me how things were really going with my career, and what I was up to next. I told her I’m studying improv, and auditioning a lot. She told me that she’d be on the lookout for me and that she’d make sure to come by and say, “Hello” to me at my day job. She told me to keep going, and not give up. She told me that the butterflies in your stomach at an audition or performance never really go away. She was a bright spot in my day, encouraging and kind, and I am grateful that I had yet another meeting with a truly talented individual whom I have admired as a performer for years. So Debra Winger, if you are reading this, Thank You. I think our meeting was the universe’s way of saying that things will work out.
As a side note: A friend of mine were at an event a while back, she had a great piece of advise for me. She said, “Don’t get starstruck, they [celebrities] are artists and we’re artists. We do what they do. and they do what we do. Act.”