I often spend time catching up on my favorite shows like Being Human, Revenge, Nikita, Pretty Little Liars, The OC and Gossip Girl when I’m designing book covers for clients. Having graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology I can’t help but to wonder if the characters are really as human or down to earth as some make it seem or if they are annoyed by the constant intrusion on their life.
It was early afternoon when my mother, brother and I casually stepped into a quaint little restaurant in Studio City, California to grab lunch. It was the first time I’d been there but my brother swore that the menu would satisfy my discriminating palette. Mom quickly agreed. After ordering lunch, we sat down at a table on the left side of the restaurant, closer to the back patio. We had just finished a taping on The Talk and leisurely bumped into Dan Bucatinsky, from Scandal, who kindly indulged in a little conversation with us. Then, Sheryl Underwood made time to say hello after a fun exchange between her and my brother, Aaron. The day was beautiful. Mom and I live in Ohio so every time we visit California for business, we make it a point to have fun. This trip wasn’t any different.
The server kindly came over to our table and placed Aaron’s Chai Tea in front of him along with a large slice of chocolate cake, a slice of lemon cheesecake for Mom and a large chocolate chip cookie for me.
Mom politely said, “I’m sorry, I ordered two cookies.”
Without hesitation the server smiled and said, “No problem. I’ll be right back,” before disappearing around the corner. Mom reached into her purse and eyed the receipt to make sure, then she smiled and said, “Lyss, I don’t see two cookies.” My face lit up as my brother started laughing.
“I didn’t pay for it,” she continued. Just then, the server dropped yet another large chocolate chip cookie in front of her and disappeared again before Mom could say anything. “Well, I can’t take this. I thought I paid for it, but I didn’t,” she admitted with a look of guilt on her face.
“That’s okay, I’ll take care of it. I’ll just go pay for it and explain what happened.”
“But what’s the big deal? It’s a cookie,” my brother teased, “It was a mistake.”
“Yes, one that I can fix because you know how Karma is.” I started to walk away and Mom insisted I take her credit card. “I’ve got it Mom,” I said smiling, watching my brother indulge in his chocolate cake.
I went back to the cashier to get in line and there were two guys in the front and a small group of people behind them. I have a habit of taking in my surroundings wherever I go and for some reason, one of the guys caught my attention. It was his skin tone. I know, it sounds a bit odd, but the guy played a vampire on Being Human. I caught a side view of the gorgeous Sam Witwer and instantly knew it was him before seeing his full face.
His friend caught my stunned reaction and said, “Oh, you’re looking at him? He’s my best friend. Go ahead,” he said motioning for me to approach Sam.
He tapped Sam on the shoulder and when he turned around, my heart raced as I managed to say the same thing he’s probably heard countless times, “I’m a big fan of Being Human.”
Without hesitation, Sam closed the menu, stepped out of line, and told the people behind him to go ahead. “Oh, thank you. I’m Sam,” he said, extending his hand.
“I’m Alyssa,” I said shaking his hand.” Then he lightly clasped his hands together and gave me his full attention, looking directly in my eyes (as his character on Being Human did when he hypnotized people) and so did his stunning friend. At that moment, I didn’t feel like a fan, I felt like a friend, too.
Sam said, “Thank you. How’s your day going?”
I told him about us being on The Talk and with sincere interest, Sam asked, who was on the show. It felt like nearly ten minutes before I asked to take a picture and he replied, “Sure. Of course.”
His friend said, “Here, I’ll take it for you.” And then his friend smiled and added, “I’ll take two for good measure.”
I glanced at the picture and Sam asked if he could see it too. “That one’s a little blurry, do you want to take it again?” Sam asked.
I swiped to the next picture and said, “Oh, this one’s perfect!” I thanked Sam and his friend, and told them both it was nice meeting them.
He returned to the counter to order and I stood behind him before another cashier said, “I can help you down here.” When I explained to the cashier what happened, she said, “Thank you for your honesty but I would have just eaten it.” We both laughed.
But this was one of those little things that Mom taught me a long time ago about Karma. I started to walk away and then I spun around and touched Sam on his arm. “Thank you for taking the time.”
“You’re welcome,” he said with an incredibly authentic smile and caring tone. My mouth fell agape as I floated back to the table.
By the time I sat down, Mom said, “What’s wrong with my baby girl?” noticing my eyes were filled with tears. Okay, well the tears were falling. I recanted what had just transpired and told her that Sam was exactly the way I thought he would be as his character seemed to be a true representation of him. I told her that it’s nice to meet people that are larger than life in their profession and they sometimes draw us into buying or believing their character is who they really are, and at times, we simply want to believe they are like that. Okay, obviously Sam isn’t a vampire but his character is kind at heart and tried to blend in and be more human. It was a reprieve to see that Sam was human and treated me more like a friend than a fan. And his friend, oh my goodness! I knew him and I knew him well as I was a fan of his too. Being on such an incredibly high cloud from meeting Sam, I couldn’t gather my thoughts together to ask him for a picture and tell him how much I love his character. He was more interested in me meeting Sam after seeing my reaction towards him then feeling disregarded. He was extremely kind and had a warm air of sophistication about him. He was none other than the guy you can’t help but love, Jack from Revenge, Nick Wechsler! He too was being human. When they walked past our table, Nick nodded and smiled. Sam gently touched my shoulder as if to comfort me from my unbelievable encounter.
There’s nothing wrong with being human and revealing your compassionate side towards others regardless of what’s going on in your life. Showing people you care is a beautiful way of inspiring others.