Are You Somebody?

Long essay by Tara Ison about dating an unnamed relatively famous actor in LA: “Are you Somebody?” Very much worth the read.

His is an awkward level of fame. A mid-level, ambiguous, tenuous degree of famousness, dependent on whether or not you’ve seen his recurring guest spot on a hit network legal drama, the late-night cable showing of the cult film he burst on the scene with thirty years ago, the recent movie by an obscure German director that played at your local art house for two weeks and won him obscure critical acclaim, the repeat of the sci-fi blockbuster from two summers ago on TNT, in which he was fourth-billed. He’s familiar as a longtime close friend whom you’d spot instantly in a crowd but whose face you’ve stopped studying or even really noticing, until there’s a shift, suddenly, and that familiar face is shown in a new role or new light and you realize your friend has aged a bit, or looks entirely different with that hair cut, or is revealing by that unfamiliar expression an aspect of character you’ve never before seen, and you’re startled by the wave of affection and closeness and comfort you feel on seeing him all over again, anew.

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