Sometimes it's hard to make it up and out of the house for Sunday morning yoga, thanks to Saturday night events like the one I attended last night: Cirque Berzerk, the amazing alternative circus/theatre piece held this weekend in a big top set up in the middle of downtown (created by LA-ers, performed for LA-ers, thank you very much, although hopefully they'll tour).
But when I do get out for a few downward dogs, I can't help but be struck by one of the tattoos I see on a guy in my class: a Pennsylvania license plate that reads "RE-AL 1."
That's not it. But I can't exactly whip out my cameraphone and take a photo of this guy 's tat in the middle of flow class -- those are the kind of shenanigans that land me right in the paddywagon in my films.
I don't know this guy personally, and he seems nice enough, but I can't help wondering about the circumstances that would lead to a tattoo proclaiming your realness. Would he otherwise be confused for an apparition? He definitely takes up a mat in class, so he can't be that. In fact, I've kind of gleaned that he's either an actor or acting student who moved to LA within the past couple of years, presumably from Pennsylvania... which leads me to a bad feeling about the reasons for the tattoo.
This is pure speculation on my part, but there's one explanation that fits so perfectly into the above scenario: That REAL-1 was preparing to follow his dream and make the big move from his Pennsylvania hometown, where people are real, to Los Angeles, where he had been told everyone was fake. And as a reminder to never ever stop being the REAL-1, he had it emblazoned onto his body forever.
Poor REAL-1, with a permanent reminder of how he bought into a stereotype! He seems to have plenty of friends at yoga, so I hope he now understands Los Angeles a little better, freeing up his next tattoo to be of a star like everyone else in Silver Lake.