In September of 1984, the movie Amadeus told the story of young genius in a deeply human way. The next year it was nominated for eleven Academy Awards winning eight of them. The two male leads were both nominated for Best Actor. Tom Hulce portrayed Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The same guy who was the nervous pledge from Animal House was now the ever-laughing, young prodigy never willing to genuflect to tradition.
In September of 1984, I entered The Rhode Island School of Design as a nervous freshman. And while I was surrounded by art geniuses (or so I thought), something odd happened. It was to be the first of many episodes in the last 34 years. It’s not an uncommon experience but we all don’t hear the same thing.
Someone proclaimed that I was a dead ringer for Amadeus. He was so certain of this finding than no one within earshot could mistake his conviction.
My back straightened a little and I felt a warm glow inside of my chest. It had never occurred to me that I might have a doppelganger, much less a famous actor. One who captivated a world with cackles under a powdered wig. I did the best thing one could do at the time. Smile graciously, look down at the floor and never speak of it again.