Cindi and I lived on the west side of Los Angeles for a number of years.  We had occasion to meet some very famous actors and actresses.  In some cases, we got to known them a little more than casually.  We learned some valuable lessons; these little stories will help you see why.
Harvey Korman sat next to us in a theatre in Westwood.  He laughed all the way through the movie – An Officer and A Gentleman.  It was not a comedy.  It was easy to see why he and Carol Burnett lost it so often on the show with the help of Tim Conway.
Billy Crystal held the door open for us when we went into Nate and Al’s.  Truly a gentleman.
I helped Ted Knight break into his car when he locked the keys inside.  He was a goofball in person and on the screen. 
We passed Sidney Poitier in the hall one evening when we were staying at the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Niguel for our anniversary celebration.  He was wearing this gorgeous silk suit and looked like the classy person we knew from the screen.
Cloris Leachman and Cindi were in a ballet class together in Santa Monica.  On screen she often portrayed a mean person.  See her as Frau Blucher in Young Frankenstein.  She was so demanding in the class that the other eight women voted successfully to throw her out. 
I almost backed over Walter Matthau in the hardware store parking lot.  He gave me the same look he gave Jack Lemmon in Grumpy Old Men.
At the Westin Bonaventure Hotel I checked in Muhammad Ali and Will Geer.
With rare exceptions, all the actors and actresses we knew were the same on screen as they were in person.   There were others like Muhammad Ali.   Oh yeah, he was definitely an actor.  He was really nice and even seemed humble in person.  Ken Kercheval from Dallas, the TV series, and Jerry Stiller from Seinfeld both played loud, obnoxious guys on screen but both of them were gentle and funny in person. 
My point is that many of these actors, did not need to act.  Their characters and their personalities were a match, and the casting directors knew it. 
Your character and the role you play in life are a match too.  EE Cummings said, “To be nobody-but-yourself, in a world that is trying to make you everybody else, is the hardest fight you can have.”  And David Jeremiah said, “God made you special.  Thank Him for your gifts and talents . . . and offer them to Him for His use.”  Be the best you.  Be yourself.  

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