Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I sing of the unsung hero.

Those who help others without expecting an award are truly kind.

Sung Ch'ang-Hsing
Hello Aytos, Bulgaria
One summer evening, when I lived on the second floor, I was sitting by an open window looking down at the street below. My neighbor was sitting in the drivers seat of her car with the door open. A commercial van came speeding down the street, crashed into the open door, knocking completely the wrong way, and kept going.

The girl screamed. I didn't know whether she was hurt or not but I immediately picked up the phone and dialed 911. I told them what I had seen, described the van, gave them the address and said I would stay by the phone if they wanted to call me again.

Because of the commotion other people came out to the sidewalk to see what happened. A man from the building next door went back into his house and came out a moment later to tell her he had called 911. Within seconds the police arrived. She thanked the neighbor and gave him a big hug.

I resisted the temptation to rush downstairs to say "Wait a minute. I'm the one who called 911. That's why they got here so fast. I'm the one who should be getting the hug." Instead I just sat back and watched, glad to know she wasn't hurt, just frightened.

Harry Truman once said that you can get a lot of things accomplished if you don't mind who gets the credit. Recognition for a good deed should be one of the rewards for doing good, but, alas, it is not always that way.

In my life and my career I have seen many examples of people who have solved things, fixed things and improved things without getting the proper credit for them. Indeed it has happened to me many times.

In the acting trade the supporting player is usually one who never receives the credit he deserves, particularly in comedy. A good supporting player is the one who sets up the scene, the speech or the laugh line for the principle player. It is very tricky work and requires a master actor to do it properly. But a supporting player never gets the recognition or applause he deserves. The good ones know that and live comfortably with it. And any star worth the name knows and appreciates the work his supporting actors do.

One of the famous supporting players was Francis Courtney Wemyss, (1797–1859). In his autobiography,Twenty‐Six Years of the Life of an Actor and Manager (1847), Wemyss talks about working with some of the major stars of his day. He became a wealthy man because he was sought after by them.

I once watched Maurice Breslau, in an ancient Greek tragedy, perform a character who had no dialogue whatsoever. He played the friend of the principle male role and he filled out every scene completely. He didn't follow, he accompanied.

In the music business a piano accompanist is a person of immeasurable value. Singers and instrumentalists rely so much on a good accompanist, who never gets the congratulations from the audience, that they are willing to pay the price for that musicians artistry.

One of the most popular accompanists was the beloved Gerald Moore (1899 - 1987). Moore accompanied all the great performers of his day. He wrote "The accompanist who 'follows' but does not anticipate is a dull, pedestrian sort of fellow, without electricity, a fallen arch in the march of time."

There will always be someone in the shadow of greatness adding his or her own greatness to the event. When you notice such a one, intensely supporting the star who is tearing up the stage with drama and music, and realize how much that person is adding to the experience, sing a silent hymn of praise for the unsung hero.

DB - The Vagabond
Never give up.

(This is not a contest)

NASA has planned to send a two man mission on an 18 month trip to the planet Mars. It would take 6 months for the astronauts to get there and after 6 months of exploration another 6 months to return.

Should they do it and why, and if not, why not?

6 answers so far

I eagerly await your answer.


1 comment:

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Credit is not all it is cracked up to be, I prefer to fly under the radar.