For me, this was an exciting week to be alive, well, and auditioning in New York City! Just as I’d think I was done for the week, my manager would call to send me out again. Great stuff, no complaints! Walking the streets of New York this week, I captured so much inspiration. If New York City cannot deliver some inspiration, you must not have your filter open – it truly is everywhere. For me, it gave birth to at least two blogs and a possible book.
After I finished my last audition on Saturday, I was walking down 5th Avenue, headed to Penn Station for the train back to Baltimore. As I reached the intersection of 5th and 23rd, I glanced to my left –there, amongst thousands of tourist and natives, sat a homeless man, probably in his early sixties, not in full view of the passers-by. As I looked at him with his baseball cap, grey hair and sign that said something like, “Homeless Please Help,” I noticed he appeared to be crying, holding a handkerchief up to his face.
Perhaps it was his resemblance to my deceased father, who passed away in 1991 when I was 31 years old and the father of two young children, but something about him struck a nerve in me. This man undoubtedly has a story, a family, a past, and, however bleak, a future! He may be someone’s father, brother, uncle, ex-husband, former CEO, doctor, lawyer, minister – take your pick! What we know for sure is he’s someone’s son. Although he has no voice, no identity, no vote, no “horse in the race” or “skin in
the game,” what he has is a story! I just want to know his story and the stories of countless other millions like him on the street, on a park bench, at the mission for a hot meal and a good night’s sleep!
You see, when I was 31 and had those two small kids, my dad was homeless – my dad lived on that park bench. He died shortly after I did all I could to help. My dad had a story!