A Bloodhound in New York City


My daughter is a very worldly person. This past week she got on a train and headed to New London, Connecticut from Manhattan to watch "I know This Much is True," a live screening with Mark Ruffalo.

Mark is the Avenger's Incredible Hulk and a world-class actor.

Taylor's been, we'll just say a fan, of Mark for many years and has seen just about everything he's ever done.

Ruffalo used to bartend prior to his acting career and had a special drink he called a Mark-arita. That's how much Taylor has studied this man. Her life seems to be emulating his, but without yet the grandiose career.

On Thursday night after the screening, she walked up to a meet-and-greet in the theater and talked with an usher who quickly ushered her up to the Golden Globe Award winner.

He shared a four-minute conversation with my her. Now I don't know how much can be shared in a four-minute conversation because I leave voice messages longer than that, but this conversation she is keeping to herself because of its insightfulness, she said.

"He was more engaged with me than he was with anyone else. He put his hand on the wall and leaned in to talk to me and I was like, - Oh My God." she told me afterwards.

She then found her way to a church stoop where she sat and cried with a friend.

I've always found Taylor to be very courageous, and just a bit quirky. She's studied to be an actress and is living that storied struggling actor life.

Tending bar - waiting tables.

Every now and then she sends us an audition reel with nothing but a white screen behind her. Usually it's less than seven minutes and we thinks it's Oscar worthy.

We've seen such audition reels more lately as she gets more and more serious about wanting to become an actress. She did land a role in a student-produced film and has done some small group stuff.

In trying to pay the astronomical rent that comes with Manhattan, she works 40 to 50 hours a week at an Irish sports bar. We've been there, and the people are fantastic. But it's afforded her special opportunities - not just working that bar, but going to and fro on the cluttered streets of the Big Apple.

She's had her share of  brushes with famous people - Andre 3000, Michael Cera, Chris Hayes of All-in-With Chris Hayes. She served Benjamin Bratt a shot of tequila.

"Are you THE Benjamin Bratt," she said after looking at his vaccination card which was required at the time, "and he said 'Sometimes' and I walked away to get his drink."

On one morning, Taylor was looking down at her phone, which isn't uncommon in New York City and almost collided with Sandra Bullock who had just come out of a building along the street.

Darren Chris from Glee was at Taylor's station at another restaurant she worked at, but she was taking a menu test and didn't get to wait on him.

Her brushes with greatness are great stories for long phone conversations.

She's been auditioning a lot and spoke with the director of Ruffalo's production. She said it was a mess of a conversation. She managed to get out how much she enjoyed and related to the story and shared her name - she forgot to add her last name. Hope there aren't too many Taylor's out there looking for acting work.

My ambition for her is to make it onto the screen at some point. I've joked that I'm buying a bill board when she gets her first role. Not really sure I'm joking about that.

The director asked her what she did and she very reluctantly said she was an actress and did some screen writing. He pushed for more information and she then said she bartended.

Bartending, it would seem, is some kind of seasoning for really good actors. I think my daughter is wonderful and beautiful, but apparently God thinks maybe she needs a bit more seasoning.

Either way, a brush with Ruffalo isn't something by chance, it was a moment she created. I can't wait to see what other moments she creates - but that's Beside the Point.

Chuck Vandenberg is editor and co-owner of Pen City Current and can be reached at

Beside the Point, Pen City Current, editorial, Sunday, opinion, daughter, New York City, Chuck Vandenberg,


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