Bobby in the below post mentioned the Greeks and what does a Greek do when they hear the word “Greek”? GO BONKERS!! Or in case you don’t know what that means…we flock like wild birds with large open drooling mouths blurting out all kinds of things about Greece, us Greeks, GREEEEEEEEEEEEEEECE!!!
Yup, we go bonkers.
Because us Greeks have this very weird “thing” about us – we are drawn to Greeks, eat at Greek restaurants even if we live in Greece but are somewhere else travelling, acknowledge a word being said that comes from Greek (which is everything!!), mention that person’s name sounds Greek – pretty much we go bonkers with ANYTHING and EVERYTHING GREEK….we can’t help but bring it to the attention of others around us (or even to ourselves if we are alone) that whatever we just saw, heard, witnessed is/was Greek!!!!!!!!
And, I used to laugh at my family when they did this….all the time….and it’s even funnier that my mother who is Australian now does it more often than my father (but won't fully admit it)….and what’s even funnier is that now I DO IT ALL THE TIME!! Although, to be honest, I always used to do it too – I just was never the first to get it out among the family in time, or I would secretly congratulate myself that I was thinking that too, but I did/do it.
The fact that I am writing a blog in response to seeing a mere reference to Greeks in Bobby’s blog might give you a perfect example! :)
I know the world knows about all this from such references like the film “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” or all kinds of Greek sketch comedy geniuses on YouTube at the moment, and it’s funny to anyone because it’s absurd, right? But, I’m telling you, to a Greek, it’s REAL LIFE!! And, we laugh at it because we get the inside joke of watching reality right in front of us and thus can relate…not that the material of the humor IS actually absurd, embarrassingly so. We are just simply proud to be on the map if you know what I mean! We look at it like we must be important to be mentioned, to be acknowledged – whether Greeks know that the joke is on us, I’m not entirely sure, but I don’t even think that matters.
It’s like we play the “Greek Card” so to speak.
On the flip side though, regardless of all this and also how proud to be Greek I am and why, there is an element of this absurd behavior that even though laughed at, can be an asset to a Greek artist. There is such a strong community feeling in general in Greece, amongst Greeks…we stick together, we support each other – the island I am from called Spetses is like a huge extension of my family – it’s beautiful to be a part of that. They all genuinely care about me and my welfare and my success as an actor. Maybe they want me to be the next Jennifer Aniston, Olympia Dukakis, Tina Fey because they want another Greek up there to take over the business, and shine a light on Greece in the headlines…and if you read into that as selfish or nationalist then you are wrong – but, regardless, all their attention is on me and helping me get there – who wouldn’t love that!!
Which is why I felt so lucky, and emotional, to receive two emails today from my godson’s mother in Greece listing contact info of potential connections to NY Greek Acting communities…and then also of course have Bobby mention Greece in his blog…all in one day!! Ummm….it’s a friggin’ great day!! (even though its friggin’ freezing outside!!)
If Greeks flock to Greeks (I’ve seen my father get new best friends all over the place just having that common thread of being Greek to talk about), and want to help fellow Greeks accomplish their dreams, then it truly IS something to be thankful for and not just pure mock-able behavior.
I do play the I-Am-Greek-Card all the time (apologies to those who are close to me and not Greek and get an earful) but I like the idea that as an actor it’s on a different level, an almost important level, an acceptable level, an encouraged level…a level that can bring me one step closer.