I should begin today’s ramblings (which will be short because I’m SOOOO exhausted from my 10 hour work day and still hungover from yesterday’s drama) by saying that my grandfather’s story about Issac Stern’s experience backstage was actually told to him by my uncle. I’ve been told that my grandfather wasn’t actually there– (although, by the size of his smile when he tells it, he might as well have been–) 😉
Today’s amazing moment fell into my lap without any prompting. For the last 8 months or so, I have been working on and off again for the US Census Bureau. More than just some extra cash to support my acting addiction, working for the census has turned out to be one of the most educational and interesting things that I have ever done. Everyday, I meet dozens of new people, and every day, I am more and more impressed with the people that live in this city. I am also just overwhelmed by how weird, accomplished, and wonderful people really are. To date, working for the Census, I have worked with the former Director of Marketing at MasterCard, the Manager of Election Day Polling at the Associated Press, the past VP of Marketing at Nickelodeon and then MTV, the Supervising Producer of Guiding Light (she was nominated for 5 daytime Emmys and worked for me– Unbelievable), a Fashion Distributor with offices in over 15 countries, an opera singer at the Met, a world class Flutist, and dozens of other incredible people with incredible stories to tell.
Today, I was working a 10 hour marathon day with a man who I have known for weeks, but have never gotten a chance to really sit down and talk to. We had even been out for drinks with a bunch of co-workers—. I’m not sure how, but at some point we got to talking about our “real lives” and once he started talking, I was totally mesmerized. First of all, I’d like to point out that this 30-something smiley African-American man with all sorts of ghetto fabulousness is Jewish. Which, as much as I hate to admit it, totally threw me for a loop. His family is completely descended from Ethiopian Jews. His grandfather was a rabbi, and he was Bar-Mitzvah’d. (SO cool!!!)
Even more surprising– Reggie, the adorable goofball that has been hanging around with me at the Census office for the last few weeks, has a Hip Hop album Ghettonometry that was on the charts at in the United States and #1 in Canada for 15 straight weeks. Not to mention that he was awarded a US Congressional Medal of Honor (the first Hip Hop artist ever) for his contribution to Hip Hop music and the Bronx community with his song ‘BX‘. Now I don’t know much about Hip Hop and Rap, but when someone has worked with Jay Z, Lil’ Kim, Wyclef, and Tupac… um… that’s pretty darn awesome coffee talk for my little circle of census takers… It’s amazing what people will do when they have some free time—
This is my new friend Reggie the Congressional Award Winning Ethiopian Jewish Rapper:
Get to know the people in your life.
~Jenny J Bean