A few years ago, on a random day back in 2007 if my memory serves me correct, I was on the NYC subway, one of the yellow line trains, going up to the 57th street stop to hang out with a friend who lived in Midtown. I was reading something that day — what it was exactly I don’t recall and frankly isn’t really of any significance — and whatever it was I was reading initiated a conversation between me and the girl sitting next to me after she asked a question about it.
We talked for a few minutes, then both happened to be getting off at the same stop, so we walked a few blocks and talked some more, until finally one of us had to go in another direction. In that conversation I learned that she had just graduated from the University of Wisconsin and moved to New York a couple of weeks prior to chase her crazy dreams of becoming an actress.
However, before going our separate ways, we exchanged contact info and talked about maybe getting together some time down the road. Over the course of the next few months, both of us made attempts to get together with the other, but it never worked out for one reason or another. I remember her inviting me to a house party she and her roommate were throwing and also inviting me to see a play she was cast in, and I remember inviting her to see a Broadway show a friend of mine was in, but life always seemed to get in the way, and we lost touch, aside from an occasional Facebook exchange or whatnot.
Fast forward to last night when, after a truly weird day in which I was retweeted by the largely forgotten actor who was once James Bond and later had an encounter in with John Cusack in a restaurant (a delightful story for another day, perhaps), I came home to find not one, but two episodes of Louis on my DVR for me to devour. I watched the second episode first, since it guest-starred Doug Stanhope, one of my favorite comedians, and was just about to fall asleep as the other episode was starting, when suddenly I was jolted wide awake by the face I saw splashed across the screen — it was Liz Holtan, the aspiring actress I’d met on the subway some four years ago.
I sat on my sofa and watched the whole episode with a goofy “HOLY CRAP SHE MADE IT!” grin plastered across my face, giddy over the fact that this person I’d met — out of the thousands who make the pilgrimage each year to places like New York and L.A. to try to become working actors and actresses — was apparently achieving some measure of success. I can’t look you you or anyone else in the eye and say that I knew she’d make it, that I sensed she had “it” in the short time we spent together, but I can say with absolute certainly that I’m not at all surprised.
With all of that said, obviously I’m biased, but I thought she did an amazing job and was utterly believable and likeable as Ellen Farber, the insane Christian, anti-masturbation virgin on Fox News’ Red Eye opposite Louis C.K.’s chronic masturbator. So late last night, I dropped Liz a note on Facebook to let her know how proud I am of her — the fresh-off-the-boat girl from Wisconsin with big aspirations I’d met randomly on the train a few years ago.
I’ve railed against Facebook in the past, specifically about how it enables people you’d like to leave in the rearview mirror to remain in your life, but I have to say, in this instance, it felt great to be able to post a note on Liz’s wall to express how seeing her on one of my favorite shows made me feel. And it sure as hell felt great to be reminded that dreams do indeed still come true. Couldn’t happen to a sweeter girl.