I'm not an actor reciting other people's words.
My lines are my own, and my character is not learned by rote.
There are no footlights to blind me to the audience.
No director prompts me to display more feelings or less,
and everyone of my ers or ahs is unrehearsed.
I'm not paid to play another's life;
my fee is that I play myself.
Like the Marx Brothers I've thrown the prepared script away
and just ad lib.
I needn't thumb through the morning paper to read my review,
for I concoct my own notice even if no one notices me.
My performance is always Tony award caliber,
even if in certain scenes I cast myself as an extra.
And when I give my acceptance speech,
I'll thank my mom and dad and all you lovely people,
even the waiter at the corner greasy spoon
who gives me free extra coffee each morning
though it's part of the breakfast special.
And if he ever asks, I'll give him my autograph
on something other than a credit card receipt.

Richard Fein