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Brushes with Fame

OK, so I finally got sucked into Lost about halfway through the season, and I’m getting all worked up as the season finale approaches. I was feeding the frenzy by reading through this post over at my favorite TV blog, thinking how much I agree with the idea that Yunjin Kim has turned out to be one of my favorites on the show. So I follow that link to her bio, and it all clicks into place: Staten Island, the High School of Performing Arts, Boston University.

Yup, I knew her in high school, when my pal Scott and I started hanging out with her and some of her friends on the ferry. And went to college with her, too, although I never realized that even though we would have spent every day in the same building with one another for about three years.

Me and Yunjin, circa 1985

So there's yet another brush with Hollywood fame to add to my collection: Yunjin, Eddie, Gwyneth, Queer as Folk's Peter Paige (same scholarship program at the same college), and a handful of others who've ascended to varying degrees of success in the Biz.

And then we have Joel and Paul with their published works (that goddamn Eddie once published a book, too), and an assortment of other good friends who have gone on to do interesting, productive, and often successful things. Jerks.

I’m not bragging about what fab-u-luxe, glamorous people I know. (I do, but that’s all beside the point, and their charms owe nothing to me.) No, I’ve just been feeling for a while now that I’ve really squandered a lot of my potential. I haven't done all that much with all the imagination I’ve nurtured or skill I’ve amassed. I haven't produced all that much or achieved all that much, even though there are all sorts of things I do well. I’ve cut myself off at the pass a number of times, and those decisions have been weighing on me. I’ve done things of which I’m proud, but they've been more modest than I would have liked, or than they could have been. Maybe the trouble is that I’ve been more modest than I would have liked, and have neglected to push myself along the way I might have. Maybe sliding into relative poverty for the next year or so will give me a good kick in the pants. The frustration could be just what I need.

Unless it paralyzes me with misery. We'll see, eh?

Bonus Photo! Yunjin and her friends Marjorie and Jennifer. I totally had a crush on Marjorie, who coincidentally had gone to middle school with Eddie.

Yunjin and friends, circa 1985

Comments (7)

1) Joe Stern: Geez Dan, I think of you as starting the personal publishing revolution. I give you credit for getting me into blogging, and I know there are others who feel the same way. I read blogs a LOT more than I watch television! (May 20, 2005 6:23 PM)

2) Sparky: Yeah, but where are the endorsement deals? The health insurance? The groupies? The honorary degrees? The lecture tours? (May 20, 2005 6:27 PM)

3) Tin Man: I can't give you health insurance but I will immediately sign up to be your groupie. And you certainly have a lot of achievements under your belt. Just because you haven't been published doesn't mean you haven't achieved anything. (May 20, 2005 8:06 PM)

4) Lee: Well, you were the first blog I read regularly and I'll join Jeff as a groupie! I've also had a few "brushes with future Hollywood fame" via high school and college as well, come to think of it. (May 21, 2005 7:26 AM)

5) david z.: Honestly? You have produced a lot. Look at your portfolio, or the WYSIWYG shows, or Culturebot. Or the site you designed when you mobilized the people in your neighborhood to keep from getting evicted from your lofts.

I think the issue is the area in which you work, and how conducive (or not) that is to endorsement deals. Sure, you could have kept acting after Damn Yankees and made that your focus for the last 20 years or so...but would that have been as fulfilling to you as the design work or the writing? Would you have been as talented an actor as you are a designer and writer?

I have no doubt that you could be as huge to the rest of the world as you are on the inter-web (or to me, for that matter). It's just a matter of hitting on that one idea that will point your strengths in the right direction at the right time. Maybe you just need to hook up with the right partner, an "idea guy" of some sort who could take what you've got and run with it....and no, I'm not volunteering. Application of theory is one thing I'm particulary bad at these days, but I know you know people who have great instincts for that stuff.

Find your angle, and then throw everything you've got at it until you get where you want to be. No question in my mind that you'll succeed.

(May 21, 2005 7:30 PM)

6) j.go: I'm so giddy you read Too Much Free Time and I'm even more giddy about that picture. You are so my hero, sir. (May 22, 2005 6:25 AM)

7) camilo: i just did a search for majorie silvernail and found out that she passed away, it saddens me. when i lived in the new york area i used to visit her often in DC it was nice to see a photo of her havin fun with her friends sincerely, camilo viveiros (Jan 5, 2006 7:48 PM)

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