My Name

y name, much like my visage, is easily forgotten. Not self deprecating. Objective. There’s something strikingly forgettable about me. In college I was known as the other guy. I could easily hide in a portrait. And oddly, though not an uncommon name, when affixed to me my name is often forgotten, mispronounced or changed altogether.

The most recent incident was while working with a film crew. Waiting for this writing gig to start paying the big bucks, I still pick up whatever work I can in whatever semblance of the industry I can find. So I found myself on a film working with the director. A pretty notable director flown in from LA that I would do well to impress.

Handshake at the top of the meeting. Introduced myself. Heard my name beaconed back to me. Good good. But later came a quicker slurring of my name. That’s alright. No problem. Fast thoughts, fast talk. Until, by the end of the first meeting, he was calling me by another name altogether. And so it went. For the rest of the week.

I didn’t correct him. I debated it to myself. On the one hand, I couldn’t care less what you call me. Do you know why there are surnames like Baker, Fisher, Smith and so on? Because once upon a time people didn’t have names. They weren’t entitled to them, at any rate. You were named what you did. If you were are carpenter, you were called Carpenter. So call me “hey you, Writer” – I couldn’t care less as long as the check clears. On the other hand we’re not living in the middle ages and if I want to get called back for another gig or referred to someone else branding is pretty much everything. But was it worth me correcting a notable director during a production who’s got a lot more on his plate than recollecting my personal name brand? Was it worth embarrassing him, no matter how trivial.

I decided it wasn’t.

Instead, as I parted with the crew – my task having been completed – I mentioned the mistake to an associate producer. Said, not that it matters, but if my work happens to come up, please make sure the director is reminded of my actual name.

The associate producer waved a hand and said; “I’ve been working for him for four years, and he still gets mine wrong. He’ll never remember your name but he’ll remember your work.”

I’m glad I didn’t corrected him. That would have been my pride butting heads with his process. As it turns out he did love my work. And that’s all he needs to remember me.



Filed under Misadventures

107 responses to “My Name

  1. I can soo relate on the whole name thing. I used to have to repeat my name constantly and then go into full origin background and all that. I’m now at the point whereby I say my name once (or twice for clarification) and then tell them oh but you can call me by my nickname. Haha I did enjoy reading this though :)

  2. Your responses to the comments were as good as your post!

    “I never visualize my characters with facial characteristics of any kind. Not even hair colour.” So true… Yet I still hate it when they make a film based on a book I love because the actors they choose never resemble the faceless people in my head. :)

    Now I have to go check out your other posts to see if you always use people’s names in your responses, or if it was just for the sake of this post.
    I shorten my name to avoid having people mispronounce it. However, they instist on calling me by my full name… even though they don’t know it and get it wrong all together.

    Love your style.

    • T

      I tend to use people’s screen names (or shortened versions of them) in my replies. Always have – even beyond this (quite new) blog. I think I started doing it as a kind of snarky you-asked-for-it response to a lot questionable choices people made about screen names in the early days of the internet. Before Facebook got all real-namy on us. I used to moderate a message board where a regular member chose to call himself FartFace. I made sure to address FartFace by name as often as possible; if for nothing else, the self-satisfaction of reminding him of the choice he’d made.

      Thanks for reading, Chrisanthemum.

  3. Some people’s initial response is to correct people automatically! Especially since it could seem pretty trivial. Smart!

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