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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

PopPop gets a treat

A couple weeks ago, I saw a notice on a WSU Facebook page about Jeffrey Tambor speaking at convocation. I told Kev about it and he couldn't believe it. And then we did something we never do; we made plans to attend.

With Kev's work schedule the last two+ years, we rarely make plans like this, let alone in the middle of a work day! It felt awesome to even just consider going. Once I asked dear, sweet SueAnn to babysit Aspen, it was officially a GO.

I wasn't sure what this funny guy would speak about, and I wondered if it would be self-promotion for his new show (Transparent), or a lot of Q&A or reminiscing about Arrested Development.

As it turns out, Tambor speaks at colleges quite often. He believes in education and its importance and he spoke to us on "Performing Your Life." He put a lot of emphasis on overcoming whatever your story is, and making life better. He spoke of the importance of taking risks and making mistakes, and gaining courage through action.

I stood in the back at the beginning with Lincoln wrapped in my arms, sleeping. I swayed with him and laughed while Tambor spoke and interacted with the audience. When I finally crept back to my seat, Tambor called out to me and asked if I'd like to sit down with my beautiful baby. He joked that I was breaking his heart, standing in the back all by myself.

Jeffrey Tambor talked to meeeee!!

Later in his presentation, he told us about going to the hospital to adopt his son. The doctors informed Tambor that the baby was a tough one and may have some challenges throughout his life. Tambor said he wanted to see my face as he told the next part and he moved on the stage to look at me. He said any parent knows that new babies reflexively do two things with their parents' fingers- one is suck on it, the other is grab it. I made the motion along with Tambor and he said I got it. And when his son grabbed on to his finger that day in the hospital, he knew they were taking him home no matter what.

Tambor also shared what he's overcome in his life- being the son of an alcoholic, being an alcoholic himself, losing his brother to alcoholism, and even losing every penny he had. He hit rock bottom being a people-pleaser, and he knows his life is so much better when he only tries to just do his best.

When he started acting, he felt out of place. But one day he noticed other actors doing a scene, then breaking it down, then doing it again. Only better. And he realized that he could get better. He had found his calling. He encouraged all of us to respond to our call in life. He said something that really struck me:

"Dreams are not interests. Interests are not dreams. Dreams grab you by the throat. Shake you. And you go, 'OH NO. I'm going to have to disappoint someone.'"

It made me think about what I want to do with my life, and what my dream is. I have a little something in the back of my mind that I want to pursue, and unfortunately right now just isn't the time. But I think about it every day, and how I can make it happen.

His advice for making your life happen? Be obnoxious. Be a pain in someone's @$$. So what did Kev and I do after Tambor was done speaking and his agent was trying to scoot him about of the ballroom? We sidled right up to him with our fat baby and asked for a photo anyway. When he saw my baby he waved us right over and happily obliged.

That guy is a piece of work. He was so genuine and so heartfelt as he spoke about his passions. I am so grateful Kev and I were able to have this adventure together to see an actor we love.

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1 comment:

  1. This is so awesome! He seems like such a cool guy!


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