I really miss the days when being a starving artist was more romantic, when it looked much more like living in a walk-up in Manhattan and being a kept man like Paul Varjak and less like eating cereal multiple times a day in an uncomfortably warm studio in the Valley. If you ask me, Hollywood was better back in the days when the sign still had “Land” at the end and Mickey Rooney could play an Asian in an Oscar-nominated movie and nobody batted an eye. Ahhh, simpler times…
Alas, things have become a bit more complicated, especially for those of us who have landed in Tinseltown and found ourselves beset by two rather large handicaps known as “talent” and “morals.” Usually the very talented eventually make it, or they escape to the Midwest in defeat, or worse yet, they become the bitter agent/acting coach/modeling scout who will browbeat hopeful newcomers into participating in doomed showcases. But enough about people in Hollywood who are actually good at something. I’m far more concerned about those of us with a conscious, as I fall into that category and it has become painfully clear that it will indeed be my downfall.
A couple days ago I wound up at the friend of a friend’s house, or should I say, the house in the hills that he lives in rent free, courtesy of a benevolent sugar daddy. For the millionth time this year, I realized that I’m doing life wrong, as my activities include far too much auditioning and submitting, and not nearly enough “lip service” (all double entendres welcome here). After talking to this marvelously opportunistic young man, it occurred to me that I might benefit from behaving less like Acerbic Writer in a Coffee Shop Barbie and more like Super Slutty Starlet Barbie *With an extra large mouth, batteries for handjobs not included* Not to say that this individual wasn’t attractive and talented, but it doesn’t hurt to have a doting older man arranging photo shots with Bruce Weber or shoving wads of cash in your hands when you bat your eyes at him.
I really think it’s high time I considered strategic sex with industry heavyweights as a viable option because apparently, a little shrewdly executed whoring improves not only your career and your living conditions, but gives you a far more interesting circle of friends. I know this because said friend of friend got a little bored and casually whisked us away to the even more fabulous house of an acquaintance, where I found myself nonchalantly chatting with Mark Ronson… and he wasn’t even the most famous person there. That was a laid back Saturday night for this guy!
So let’s review: using what you have to get what you want is clearly the most economically sound career choice, while having scruples… well let’s just say I didn’t come home with any promises of walk-on roles or even screen tests for being the “nice girl.” I was also one of the few women there without implants and I’m pretty sure I was breaking some law about entering the Thirty Mile Zone without first undergoing breast enhancement surgery. So basically I’m fucked, except I’m actually not, because if I was, the evidence of my efforts would be equally awesome living arrangements and a budding career.
I can’t say that particular compromise isn’t tempting, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. Besides, with my luck I’d end up naked on camera in some sketchy apartment with a guy who isn’t a producer at all, like Coco in the original Fame, and no amount of singing The Body Electric or 80s dance montages can wash that away. It’s okay though, things like booking pilots and having air conditioning are overrated anyway…
Venue: 5 (Who has a house with an arcade? Who does that?)
Alcohol Situation: 5
Actual Beneficial Networking Achieved: N/A (That’s yet to be determined.)
Personal Victory/Dignity Retained: 5 (Although I’m not sure if that should’ve been the goal in this case.)