james earl jones, @yrservice

today, a friend reminded me of a lesson i've learned while cruising through this world of acting.
goes like this.

many, many months ago, i had the honor of being a featured vocalist at an annual fundraiser for Paul Newman's Westport Country Playhouse. thanks to the incomparable Q Smith, i was onstage with amazingness:
(mm-hm. Julia Roberts.)
after the event, all the performers and guests were invited to a catered dinner.
there was a buzz at my table: 
James Earl Jones was at the table next to us.
a beat non-skipped, i went over to introduce myself and have a brief chat. took a photo:

and that was that.
J.E.J. and me.
sitting side by side.

sharing in the same celebration.

two weeks later, i was on a catering job.

if you've read earlier blogs (see
this one), you know i quit that craziness.

i was in the kitchen before the guests arrived. my captain brought word there wer
e a couple of early guests and i should go pour them water.
ugh. even the action of pouring someone else water got to me.

i walked out with the water.
saw them sitting with their backs to me.
walked over.

it was J.E.J. and his wife.

i wrestled with what to say, but before i could say anything, he recognized me.
i joked about catering and being an actor, poured their water, and went back into the kitchen.

the rest of the night, i couldn't shake the feeling of humility and revelation.

dining with him one day, serving him the next.

jesus washing the disciples feet.
.......vanilla ice hosting a home improvement show.

i was reminded to respect any and every one that crossed my path.
those serving me.
we are all on equal ground. no matter the pomp and circumstance that may momentarily ride our coattails.

shoot. i betchu, sometime next year, J.E.J. will be pouring me water...?