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    Herman’s Fifty-seventh Birthday a Month Ago

    Yes, it’s true, Herman turned 57! That’s up there with my parent’s age! No, I take that back. My folks are both in their late 70’s, I just keep thinking of them as being younger. And of course, I think of myself as being younger too.

    Did you guys happen to see the article Jim McGuire did about me in the Sunday Gazette? It was in the December 26th edition and you can visit it on the web at http://www.dailygazette.net/Repository/ml.asp?Issue=SCH/2004/12/26&ID=Ar01100&Mode=Gif&Locale=english-skin-custom Well, not that you’d want to type all that into your computer. Better yet, email me at spira@nycap.rr.com and I’ll send you the link so you can “click” on it and read the article if you like.

    There’s a picture of me in the article from my acting days of about 20 years ago. In my mind’s eye, that’s how I still see myself, big hair and all. Oh, the 80’s! My sister, Debbie, who is quoted in the article, stated I looked like I was into the “Flashdance” mode, with shirt off my shoulder and all. It was a promotional or “head shot” as they say in the business.

    What happened was, my agent would send out my picture with a resume stapled on the back trying to get me an audition for a particular part. I was turned down for a lot of famous parts, like Elaine on Seinfeld amongst many others I can’t bring to mind right now. It was all a blur. But I went on a lot of auditions during what is called “Pilot Season.” That’s when all the fall pilots are being shot. This is a big time of year for all the actors. Each one of us was hoping for a part in one of these many pilots, only a few of which would go into production.

    Herman was watching an interview with Clint Eastwood on PBS where the actor talked about all the other actors competing for the same few parts, and how actually getting a part was like getting the brass ring at the amusement park. If you actually got the part, as Eastwood did, of course, you were so amazed that you went on holding on for dear life and became a workaholic in acting, always afraid to turn any part down because you were only as good as your last part. In later life, Eastwood said he realized that family and friends were more important than all that. They are the real brass ring.

    So as Herman was turning 57, I got thinking about aging and what got us here and how family and friends are more important than any career success or fame. As someone once said, 10 per cent of the people will love you no matter what, 10 per cent won’t like you no matter what, and 80 per cent of the people don’t care. It’s the 10 per cent who care that I care about.

    Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com