written by Zycho32
Many people would say that it's normal to have very high beliefs that you'll make it in the big businesses. I simply say that's a result of the, ever growing, human ego. But, even I have to face the music that I too have an ego, and it's larger than I think it is. Just about the only thing that I have that's bigger than my ego is my bad luck. But that's getting ahead in the story.
I heard a knock on the door. I opened it, and in came Danny. He usually smiled whenever I saw him, but this time, his smile seemed even larger. He was carrying two envelopes, neither opened. He handed me one. "Why didn't you open yours first?" I asked.
"No reason." He simply replied.
"Okay, but you're going first." I said.
He did, and he got a message saying he got a role. "Now it's your turn." He said.
Here's what mine said:
We regret to inform you, that despite your good acting abilities, you did not get a role in the movie you auditioned for. However, we would like you to come back next week, and we'll see if any of our other movies fit your style better.
I sighed. Of all the rotten luck! 3 roles to try out for, and I just missed one of them! "Well, that was a nice try." I said, showing quite a bit of sarcasm that I didn't even want to disguise.
"You sound like you're treating that like it was your life." This came from Sawyer, who had just arrived and was eavesdropping on this conversation through the open door.
I figured there was no sense in denial. "I know......it's a rather hard disappointment."
"Jake, we’ve all been through disappointments.....you just have to tough it out and wait for the next opportunity." She said.
I just had to chuckle. "Sawyer, right now, I just have to wait a week for that next opportunity."
"I know, but it's still very sound advice." She shot back. You just can't get the upper hand in a conversation with Sawyer, no matter what the topic is.
"Well, I can probably guess you got a role, Sawyer." I said.
"As a matter of fact, yes, I did." She said. I could see she had a look of pride on her face.
"Then what I’m wondering is, why aren't you two hurrying to the studios?" I asked.
Now it was their turn to chuckle. "Jake, it's not like a 9 to 5 job." Danny replied.
"Very well," I said, "but I do have some important business to do."
"And what's that?" I heard them say in unison as I walked down the hall.
"I gotta get a job!" I hollered, more for comic effect, than for dramatic effect, because I said it like someone who was sobbing like an idiot. I could hear some laughter from those two as I went down the stairs.
Pop quiz. You've only got $3.50 and your rent is almost due. You don't have a job, and the nearest chance of getting one was still a week away. What do you do??
Anything more than crying and pouting would be the right answer, except for attempting robbery.
Today, I wasn't expecting anything to come up in the ads (The hotel usually got weekly additions) so I followed Danny and Sawyer to Mammoth studios. I was starting to collect doubts halfway there.
"Um, are you sure this is all right?" I asked.
"Of course Jake!" That was Sawyer. Was she having a bad day? "Why wouldn't it be?"
"I'd start, but I’d fall asleep halfway through it." I shot back. Pretty dumb move at that time. Most men don't think women are very aggressive at all, but they are. Cats are very aggressive. You could see the situation I was putting myself in. Sawyer was pretty aggressive, even for a cat. Not only that, she was a decade older than me. If it weren't for the fact that she could easily cool herself down, I’d be a literal scratching post.....(ouch!)
"Never mind." She simply said. I did my main duty to protect my own hide by shutting up for the rest of the walk. It's been a brilliant maneuver for quite a long time, just staying silent. I marveled at how it always worked.....and at the same time thanking god that I wasn't dead meat right about now.
Why was I coming along? Not only was it something to do...(I should have brought some of my belongings from my hometown) I also wanted to check out how people acted in this town. That would be very helpful.
When we got to the place where they were shooting, I had noticed the director was unbelievably comical in appearance (don't all of us humans have that kind of look?) and looked more like one of those co-stars in a B-rated movie than the director. I figured he'd raise heck about having people watch behind the scenes.
The director wasn't sore at all about people seeing the movie taking place, just as long as I didn't cause any commotion. I was fine with this. You don't want to get thrown out of the studio just before getting a chance to be a part of it.
I heard the director say,” Lights!......Camera!.......Action!"
Danny and Sawyer were very good actors, when it came to playing roles, speaking them out, and such. Unfortunately, their roles didn't really give them a chance to perform their best strengths, which according to my brother, were signing and dancing, like in musicals. He said that when they danced, especially together, it felt like an explosion of some sort. I guessed I would have to wait another day.
The whole thing had taken about 5 hours of make-up work, stage setting, and shooting. I had no idea it was so much work. I had expected this to be fun. Who knows, maybe it is, and just doesn't look like it.
After the day was done, the director wanted to speak to me. "Hey kid," he said, which immediately set me off. I HATE being called 'kid'! "I've got a job. I was wondering if you'd take it."
All of a sudden, I changed from 'getting ready to tear this guy's head off', to 'becoming a full-time brown-noser'. "Really?" I asked, showing a very large smile.
"Yes, but it's construction and props." The smile evaporated just as fast as it came up.
Now, I’m 16 years old, and kids still want to do fun things, and avoid work whenever possible. But right now, I was almost ready to hitch a ride home, and now I've got to do work to earn enough money to stick around. Sounds like an easy decision, right? WRONG! Kids don't like to work!
However, I knew what I wanted to do, and nothing, I repeat NOTHING was going to stop me now. "I'll do it. What's the pay?" I just had to ask, and you couldn't blame me.
"10 dollars a day." Came the reply. Great! That meant I could pay off the rent and have enough left to get a decent meal for a change, and without having someone pay for it either.
I met up with the designer, and he showed me the plan for the set. It was a U.S. Senator's room. An expensive looking desk, several plaques, a bookshelf with plenty of books, and a potted plant were the extra details I had to put in. It seemed easy enough.
That was the least of my worries. Halfway through the day, a fairly old goat, walked in and started looking at the set. I was working on part of the wall at the time. I recognized the goat, for he had a role in the movie too.
Apparently he played one of the senators. You could tell by the suit and tie that he wore. Also, senators were usually old, and this goat was old!
"Nice set." He said.
"Thanks." I replied. That’s when he left.
Later on, just before I finished my days work, Danny and Sawyer entered.
"Hi guys." I said.
"Hi Jake." Danny said.
"What are you doing?" Sawyer asked.
"Just a temporary job." I said. "I should be able to finish this within 5-6 days, enabling me to appear for that acting opportunity."
"Is this a paying job?" Danny asked.
"Of course." I replied. "You think I’m that dumb to work for free?"
"I don't know, you were dumb enough to ask for doughnuts at a classic diner." Sawyer said, with a big smirk on her face.
"Geez, do you have to remind me?" I asked. It was at this point that I tossed a hammer behind my back (a VERY stupid thing to do), and hit somebody. When I turned around, I noticed that the person I had hit was BIG! And I had hit him right on the head! He had been watching me work, so he KNEW that I had thrown the hammer.
"Um.....gee...I uh, um.....I'D BETTER GET OUT OF HERE!" I screamed, throwing myself into a very fast run, with the big guy chasing me.
Boy was I in pain when I got back to the apartment. It's natural when you've just been beaten black and blue by a thug, and with a hammer. Ouch!
"Oh my god.....I'M LATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
If there's one thing that can get your adrenaline flowing like a river right away in the morning, is being late for your first time. I quickly got dressed, totally forgot breakfast (That meant not going for hot dogs) and just dashed myself to the studios. Along the way, something happened that I don't know if I should regret, or cherish the moment.
A cat was walking the opposite way. Color-wise....she appeared to be a reddish color, as for the rest of her body...do NOT get me started on that. She was just wearing a simple T-shirt and pants.
I was just turning a corner at top speed at the same time she approached it.
We had made contact, head first, which caused her to fall right into a stack of fruit. Me? I was the unfortunate lucky guy to meet a huge pole head-first.
I didn't know whether to hold my head or my nose. "I tbhink I brobe by nobe." I said, which meant that I thought I had broken my nose.
The female cat got up, rubbing her head, and she was TICKED!!!! From the start, it definitely looked like she had an even more aggressive manner than Sawyer, and that meant I should just be writing my will right that moment. You should have seen how shocked I was at her response.
"Watch it, you jerk!" She said. That's ALL she said. Then she left.
I decided to get to the studios, but not in as much of a hurry as I was in. I ran into Sawyer on the way in. Not literally thank goodness. One cat a day is enough for me.
"Hi Jake. Something happen to you?" She asked.
"That's an understatement." I responded. "I was late, so I hauled my own sorry butt down here, but I ran into severe trouble along the way."
"That would explain the real bad bruises on your head and face." She added. I wasn't in the mood to smile.
"Yes, and I had to run into a cat who looked to be much more aggressive than you." I said.
"Let me guess....you probably ran into Alyssa Henderson." She said.
"Is she a reddish cat with a bad attitude?" I asked.
"I wouldn't go so far as to call her attitude bad. However, I do believe she should cool down." She replied. I had noticed something when she spoke, like she had some sort of distaste for Alyssa. I figured that if I wanted to get through the day with my skin still intact, I wouldn't elaborate further on the subject, so I was going to walk away........
"What do you think about her? You did run into her after all." She said.
I was silent for a good 10 minutes thinking this over. What did I think about her? I had only seen her for a good 12 seconds, not including the brief half-second before I crashed into her. She only said a few words, I sure as heck didn't say a thing.
"From what I know? I'm not sure yet." It was an honest reply. I didn't have a clue as to who she was. So, I just walked away, and began to do some serious work.
Alyssa Henderson........doesn't sound too bad at all.....
Well, the last few days were dull, but at least I was being paid. I had already paid the rent on Wednesday, so I wouldn't have to worry about that for a while. I hadn't seen anything of Danny, or Sawyer. Not even Alyssa.
The room (it was a large square) had been done, and all the extra props were in place, including an extra. The 'extra' prop was a hot dog, half eaten, and had just ketchup, because I do not like mustard.
Anyways, the goat came in when I had just finished. I was admiring what I had done so I didn't notice his presence.
"Hey kid, is this hot dog part of the stage?" He asked, which sparked me with both surprise and anger.
"No it's not Mr........." I did my very best to hold off my anger.
"Cranston Goat. And you are......?"
"Ah.....Danny had told a few of us about you." He said.
This wasn't surprising me. Why? Well, I definitely know that friends come into your life after you move somewhere else. And besides, I had been here for a total of 2 weeks, so there was plenty of time for Danny to tell someone.
Nevertheless, I smiled. "That's good to know Cranston."
"Out of curiosity Jake, what did you want to do in Hollywood?" He seemed real curious.
"Well, most likely a supporting role. I really hate publicity, which I figure I won't get much of in that kind of role." I did hate publicity, but I wasn't too sure that a supporting role would help out at all.
He just left after that. I went back to my apartment, thinking about the meeting tomorrow.
Ever have a day where you're so nervous, you can’t trust yourself with anything for fear that it will blow up? I did. I was so nervous, I felt that a piece of paper would blow up like a big fat bomb in my hand.
I was waiting in one of the main director's rooms at Mammoth Studios. I was STILL wearing my yellow sweater, blue jeans, and white shoes. Hardly professional, but then again, how many new-timers ARE professional?
The director, who I had seen quite a few days ago, walked in. He wasn't wearing shades, the directors hat, or that silly clothing directors usually wear. Just a simple sweater (green), jeans and shoes.
At least professionalism isn't based on outside looks.
"You must be Mr. Anderson." He said. "I'm curious, you were doing construction a while ago. Why?"
Like he HAD to ask. "Simple. I needed money to stick around and, to coin a term, 'start walking on my own feet'." I didn't feel offended, not at all.
With that question out of the way, he began going through some files. "Let's see......I suppose you'd like to know why you weren't selected?"
"Actually, that did cross my mind." I replied. Of course it did! That was the main reason why I was here!
"Well, don't get me wrong Mr. Anderson..."
"Jake. Call me Jake. Makes me feel more human." I interrupted.
"Well, Jake, don't get me wrong. You ARE very good at acting, especially for a beginner, but....... when I heard you rehearse, you didn't seem to have....the knack of playing a completely serious role." What he had said seemed to move me. It wasn't a 'you're too young' type of response, not even a 'someone was better' response.
"That's why? I thought it would be something like my age." I was now curious about why age wasn't a concern.
"Age is easy to control in the movies. We could have given you a gray wig, and added wrinkles to your face, we could have even taught you to speak like a 70-year old man." Now this was surprising to me. I always figured that people played their exact ages.
"Jake, let's get to the real point." Sounded great. "What kind of acting do you like?"
I didn't wait to answer, not one dang second. "Well, I’m a big fan of comedy, so I’d like that kind of role. Second, I’d just like a supporting role." This caused him to look up.
"Supporting?" He had a look that showed some disbelief.
"Of course. You want me to give you the reasons?" I think he was starting to get into an awkward situation.
"Sure." Just a small reply.
This wasn't going to be easy, so I just took my time. "Well, for starters, I don't like publicity very much. I guess if I just took supporting roles, I’d stay out of the spotlight mostly. Second, most of the time, the supporting actor gets the funny role. And I like funny roles."
He was going through more files. "I don't know how to say this Jake, but..."
"Let me guess, no films that need a supporting actor in a funny role. Am I correct?" I felt and sounded like a veteran.
"Yes, I’m afraid so." Well, he wasn't going to dodge that question. I had to admire that.
"Ok......" I was, in a way, devastated. Why wouldn't I be? Still, I was hoping there was something else. "Out of curiosity, did you have anything open? Something to do?"
"Well, let's see....." He got a different file from his desk. "You could try testing comedy props..."
"Sounds great. I’ll take it." That was the line I wish I had NEVER said.
He was trying to hold back a laugh. "Excuse me?"
"You heard me." Now that was a line I’d regret too.
Maybe I should have just suspected something the minute he started laughing on the floor. "Are you absolutely SURE you want that job?" He said, still trying to hold back some more laughs.
"Of course!" By now, you could just shoot me. I had started walking the path, and you can't turn back after that.
That look of disbelief was starting to worry me. " OK then......there's one little requirement."
"What's that?" I asked.
"You see, when someone wants to test comedy props, we usually create a small apartment room, and set up dozens of stuff in that room. Then we move the person into that room." He explained.
"And what would the benefits be?" I asked.
"Well, for starters, it would save us the trouble of ripping your place apart. And you wouldn't have to pay damage insurance. And we also pay for health insurance on the person." I don't believe I was listening on that last sentence. I had still agreed to this, but only because I wouldn't be paying for any damage. I had therefore terminated any chance of getting health insurance. AND THAT WAS A STUPID THING TO DO!!!!!!!!!!!!
A few hours later, I visited Danny.
"Hi Danny." I said, giving him a real smile this time.
"Hi Jake." He replied. "So, how did it go?"
"Not as good as I had hoped. There wasn't a suitable role for me." I said, shrugging.
"So what are you going to do?" He asked.
I didn't get the chance to answer, because then we heard some knocking. "I'll get it." I said.
"Hel...." I said, opening the door and finding no one there, until I looked down. There was this little penguin down there, he looked to be just a kid. "Hi Pudge." I heard Danny say.
"Hi Danny." He replied. Then he looked up at me. "Who is this?" He asked.
"Oh, this is Jake." He said, walking up to me and Pudge. "He's the one I’ve been telling you and the others about."
We all showed smiles. "Anyway Jake, what job did you say you had?" Danny asked.
"Testing some props for some comedy movies." I replied.
"That job?" Pudge asked. "Why that job?"
"I'm rather desperate at this point. 2 weeks here, and I have to have a job or I’m out of my room." I replied.
"You're already going to be out of your room, for at least 2 days." Danny said. "Where are you going to sleep?"
"In the apartment they are making for me to test those props." I replied.
"Even if you're hanging by a thread, testing comedy props is NOT a good idea." Pudge said.
"Hey, what's the worst that can happen?" I asked, self-confidentially.
I promptly walked out of the room from that one, figuring I was the wiser.
I was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO wrong.
Well, me and my big mouth.
I just moved into that apartment, and already I was bombarded! Every time I would open a cupboard, or the fridge, I’d get a pie in the face. Every time I prepared some food to eat, just about all of it kept blowing up in my face (except for the soup, which constantly set my mouth on fire...literally!!). And every time I opened the closet, I’d get a boxing glove right in the face.
Things were only going to get worse as the doorbell rang. I went to open the door, but as I touched the doorknob, a heavy and thick boot suddenly kicked me in the..........YOU KNOW WHERE!!!!!!!!!
I was on the ground in an instant, my eyes severely crossed, and I hurt like heck! Fortunately, whoever it was that was at the door decided to open it, and to my surprise, it was Danny and Sawyer.
"Hi guys." I said, discovering that I now had a squeaky and high-pitched voice.
I could just barely see that they had some rather shocked looks on their faces. Using all the dignity and strength I could muster, I got up, and stepped out the door.
"I knew this was going to happen." Sawyer said.
"You mean exactly like this?" Danny asked.
"No, not exactly like this," Sawyer shot back. "but somewhere along the line."
I decided to say something, but I still had that squeaking voice. "Where the heck is that form? I'm very sure I wound up testing every little trick in that blasted room."
"I think it's over there." Danny said, pointing to some kind of form on the outside wall of the room.
"Oh, thanks." I replied, stumbling my way towards the forms. I instantly regretted that as a huge sledgehammer came right through the wall and smacked me right on the head, HARD! About two seconds later, I had totally blacked out, crashing to the floor.
After what seemed like quite a while, I woke up, but my vision was VERY blurred. I’m talking about a foggy day in Scotland type of blur. Therefore, I couldn't see where I was. My ears weren't damaged, so I was able to hear what was going on within the room.
"He's coming to." came a voice. I recognized it as Sawyer's. "4 whole hours........that's a long time."
"I've heard of longer lasting ones." Came another voice. That one I recognized as Danny's. "Like for as long as twelve hours."
"I've heard of those too, Danny." She replied, apparently cutting him off since she figured he had already made his point.
My eyes were fully open now. I slowly got up, figuring I’d puke if I got up too fast. "Whathahekhapahd?" I asked, feeling VERY groggy.
"You got hit in the head with a sledgehammer." Danny said.
"That explains my bad eyesight.....I think." I said. "I believe I’m going to need glasses."
At about this time, my eyesight had come back to normal. "Then again, maybe not."
Now I was getting frustrated. A few days over a week ago, I thought I was going to actually make a hit in Hollywood, but now I was reduced to rubble by confusing situations. "What can I do?" I asked hopelessly, and to no one in particular.
"Opportunity is bound to happen sooner or later. You just have to get it when it comes." Danny said.
"He's right Jake." Sawyer added. "You just have to overlook the bad things that happen to you."
"You do have a point." I said, heaving a long sigh. "I guess I’m going to sleep this off."
"Goodnight Jake." They said in unison.
"Goodnight guys." I replied.
Moments later, I was in bed, silently thinking about this turn of events over the past 10 days. Let's see, first I was trying to find my brother, then I was trying for an acting job, then I was trying to stay in one piece in order to earn a living. And all in 10 days. I think my problem was I had tried to handle absolutely everything when it came up. I needed to just handle one thing at a time. But what is it I wanted to do?
I could ask either Danny, Sawyer, or even both of them. They've been here for a while, and they seem rather wise for their ages. But then again, I don't have the same interests as any of them. I don't even KNOW what stuff in Hollywood interests me.
So I drifted off to sleep, determined to fight through this all, and achieve what I had set out to do, and then some.
Geez, I’m STILL hurting from that boot in the..........oh, you know what I’m talking about.
TO BE CONTINUED................
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