An American in Scotland

Monday, October 16, 2006

One Degree of Separation

Living in a city with lots going on all the time, I tend to forget how small the U.K. really is. One thing that highlights this fact is that, relative to the U.S., the artistic talent pool is small as well, so you see the same faces and hear the same names over and over again. As a result, I’ve developed a feeling of familiarity bordering on intimacy with complete strangers that I’d never experienced in the U.S.

The other night I was watching a television program - a panel show comprised of six comedians and a comedic host engaged in comedic banter about current events (a popular format here) - when I realized that I had spoken face-to-face with two of the seven people on the program. Being a token American at the stand-up shows I had attended at the Edinburgh Fringe, I had obliged Dara O’Briain and Ian Stone when they had asked the fatal question: “Are there any Americans in the audience tonight?” And now, here they were, staring at me from my T.V. screen. I bet this sort of thing happens a lot - it probably explains Brits’ laissez-faire attitude toward famous people.


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