The Doppelganger Effect
16th July 2007
In the past, I've encountered some members of the public who have obviously remembered CP as the one sole distinguishing feature of someone they've previously encountered. Sadly, this then seems to render them incapable of comprehending the notion that there just might be more than one of us in the world. Instead, they tend to become insistent - swearing that I'm really some actor with CP they've read about or seen recently; usually Robert Softley, Jamie Beddard or "the bloke who was in that film with Derek Jacobi". (His name's Steve Varden - Ed).
What's also quite disturbing is when even our own family can't tell us apart. My two-year-old son Tom instantly took to Robert when we met up last year - almost like he'd discovered a second, Scottish daddy!
Worse still, one night a few years ago, whilst Robert and I were appearing at the same theatre, a close relative of his was in the foyer enthusiastically telling people how proud he'd made her. Unfortunately, she was simultaneously gesturing to a poster for my show, which happened to feature a photo of me stark naked with an effigy of children's puppet entertainer Sooty wedged firmly between my legs. You would have thought this might have made her look twice, wouldn't you? It didn't, though - and eventually the front of house manager had to tactfully whisper in her ear that she'd got completely the wrong person.
So is this just a CP thing, or do disabled people with other impairments find this happening a lot to them too? Fellow Ouch readers, please satisfy my curiosity ...
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