"Is that the one I know?" asked the friendly black lady at the post office. "I'm sorry?" (Me, struggling to balance an oversized envelope on the post office scales). "Is that the one?" she insisted, pointing at the address label. "Who?" "That one!"
She was holding 5 envelopes which I had just handed over to her. They were the last of a mail out of over 100... I peered over the counter at the label. It read "Pierce Brosnan". The fog cleared."Yes," I replied, "he is the one." She looked suitably impressed: "some famous friends you've got there!" What on earth did she think I was sending? Oversized invitations to a tea party?
I could have left it at that, and basked in the reflection of her admiration. The thing is, I don't know Pierce Brosnan (although he studied at the Drama Centre at the same time as my acting teacher - so I can claim one degree of separation). He happens to own a production company and I was writing to him in relation to that. What's the equivalent of cold calling for letters? Cold writing? So in the spirit of truth and humility, I told her."Ah... you're a film maker!" There was still a strong note of admiration in her tone. "No. I'm an actress." "Oh...."
Was it disappointment? At what? That I was an actress rather than a filmmaker? That I was obviously not famous enough for her to recognise me? That I was too old or ugly to fit her idea of what an actress should look like? These thoughts raced through my mind as I put my debit card back into my wallet along with the receipt that she handed me. Then I walked out into the sunshine.
And that - as they say - was that!