Manhattan is chock full of actors. Some are international superstars, slumming it in off-Broadway productions to convince their peers that their desire for artistic recognition has in no way been dimmed by their multimillion dollar paycheck earned for a leading role in 'Saving Private Jaws from the Lord of the Rings VII'. Some are honest journeymen and women, earning a crust twice a day in the chorus line of whichever copycat musical is popular with the tourists that month. Others are genuinely talented individuals, whom the Gnome admires for their ability to suspend his belief for the 90 minutes of a well written play.
But there is another category. A large category. Let us call them the 'almost-actors'. Often, at parties or other social gatherings, the Gnome will meet someone who proclaims themself to be an actor, but when asked to elaborate they become defensive and explain they have yet to be given the break. That their undoubted talents have yet to be discovered. That they remain, as yet, an 'almost-actor'.
Interestingly, this admission is always followed up with the statement 'but I've been to loads of auditions', delivered in a perky and up beat fashion. Somehow the 'almost-actors' feel as if that justifies their chosen path. But if the Gnome went to 'loads of job interviews' for a specific career and didn't get offered a position, he would rapidly come to the conclusion that he was... well... crap...
Never one to miss an opportunity for irony, when asked about his work by an 'almost-actor' (presuming they stop talking about themselves long enough to do so), the Gnome tells them he is an astronaut. An astronaut who has admittedly yet to go into space per se, but (and this is delivered in his most perky and upbeat voice) has been along to loads of mission control briefings.