Wednesday, August 7, 2013

If you look a little weird, it doesn't matter if there's a chance you made somebody smile.

I think the best compliments are the random ones, the ones that aren't coming from people who love you or anybody trying to be polite. Once, I was at church and I felt like I looked a mess, and this woman behind me told me I was really pretty. She didn't have to say that, so it was nice to hear. A few weeks ago, I had a new play premiere and on one particular night, the audience had many people close to me in it, as well as close relatives of the stars. After curtain call, a young woman approached me and said, "Are you the playwright? That play was AMAZING."

I thanked her (several times), asked her her name, and asked who she knew in the show...because, let's face it, if she didn't know me, she must have known somebody in the cast, because why else on earth would she be there?

She didn't know a single person in that show! She wasn't watching anybody she loved on stage!

She had no reason to think the show was amazing!

Her compliment truly meant the world to me.

The other day, I went to see a community production of The Diary of Anne Frank. (It was dessert theatre, which is a little weird. I mean, why do I get to sit there and eat cake while those people are on stage hiding for their lives and starving? So, so wrong.)

I am a The Diary of Anne Frank expert...I have seen my share of productions of The Diary of Anne Frank! This production was the first time I have ever walked-out going, "That actress who played Miep was FANTASTIC!"

(Who ever leaves The Diary of Anne Frank raving about Miep? I never have before. But this girl was REALLY GREAT!)

I sent this girl an email to tell her just that.

She sent me a lovely response, and I like to think that after she said to herself, "Wow, what a weirdo"...it made her very happy to hear how much I enjoyed her performance...because, seriously, who on earth DOES ever care about Miep? She has about 20 lines in the whole play.

I'm friends with a high school classmate on Facebook. I haven't seen him in years. I do not know his wife. But every time they post photos of their son, I have to "like" and comment because he has got to be one of the CUTEST kids I have ever seen in my life. I just want to squish him. He is a beautiful little boy and seems like he has the personality to match.

And, so, of course, I sent my old classmate's wife a message to tell her just that, and to comment on how lovely and happy her family looks.

Once again...I'm sure there was a moment of, "Okay, this girl's a little weird", but then I hope that it made her smile to get kind, unwarranted words from a stranger.

It's nice to do this. I think it's noticed. I think it's remembered. I want to do it more often.

Diana Rissetto

Saturday, August 3, 2013

On being a protective friend and hating Anne Hathaway

Around Oscar season, my friend and I were discussing Anne Hathaway and he pulled-out his phone to show me just how many things come-up if you Google something along the lines of "I hate Anne Hathaway."

So much came-up.

He explained to me why everybody hated Anne Hathaway. I don't even remember what he said...but there were plenty of scientific reasons. And he's a smart guy who works in the industry so I am sure he's right, but I've found that most people cannot even tell you why they hate Anne Hathaway...it just IS.

A few weeks ago, I was asked to write a short play for a Shakespeare festival, and what I ended-up pumping-out in about an hour is perhaps the dumbest thing I have ever written (or perhaps it is supposed to be the dumbest thing I have ever written) about the two Anne Hathaways (the one everyone apparently hates and the one that was married to Shakespeare.)

Some kind of a segue here...

Last week, a friend of mine that I just absolutely love and think the world of who is also a relatively known actor was all over the news for an unhappy reason.

With this news came numerous anonymous posts from people who don't even know him (and a lot of them even admitted they didn't even know who he was as an actor) attacking him, saying vicious, cruel things about him, starting rumors, making speculations that weren't true...and, for some reason, I took this backlash that wasn't even aimed at me oddly to heart and wanted to yell at all of them.

I had to back away anything resembling a gossip site (yes, I do check UsMagazine.com several times a day) and fully admit to posting a comment on People.com's article on the situation because so much of the commentary was just so hateful and vile that I HAD TO SAY SOMETHING.

I mean, don't they realize this is the guy I refer to as "my boy" and people automatically know who I am talking about??? This is somebody I met when he was a "nobody" (although I feel nobody is ever a nobody...) when he was new to New York and my "kindred spirit radar" (and, yes, my "kindred spirit radar" is quite fantastic!) went-off wildly, and it was SO right!

He's my buddy, I really care about him and want to protect him as much as I can being his wholesome, innocent little non-Hollywood pal.

Some acquaintances asked me for dirt on the situation, to which I snapped, said I was not his publicist and that it was none of my business.

I left a brief message with this friend along the lines of, "Love you, am praying for you and regarding all those stupid people saying judgmental things about you...eff 'em all" and tried to make it stop bothering me...but it really was oddly bothering me. I often boast about how my years in difficult situations here and there has left me a thick skin...but I guess I still have a really thin skin.

And the I realized something.

Anne Hathaway has friends that can go online and read nasty things people post about her, too.

Anne Hathaway also has people that love her that are getting upset and don't quite understand why it's bothering them so much because it's not even about them.

Anne Hathaway is a person. And it's not nice to hate somebody (whether you know them or not!) and say hateful things about them...online or anywhere.

I'm still bothered by everything that went-on with my friend, and People.com actually just posted another update and I refuse to read it, refuse to see any of those comments, and will do nothing besides send my good thoughts and wishes for peace for all involved.

Be kind to everybody. If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all (even if it's about Anne Hathaway.)

Diana Rissetto