by Larry Brody
NOTE FROM LB:
I’m back in Hollywood here, livin’ the life and playin’ the game! Oh joy! Oh Rapture! Oh…shit? This could be the most important thing any aspiring showbiz type will read. But if you’re a real aspirant, you’ll ignore it – like me:
Kid Hollywood Produces
Kid Hollywood sits at a desk wider than
Cleopatra’s barge. The sign on his door says,
“Producer,” and he makes more money each
Week than his father made in a year. He looks
Around at his paneled walls, and he sighs, “It
Kid Hollywood is all of twenty-nine, and his first
Casting session is about to begin. The director
Sits at Kid Hollywood’s side. “I want somebody
Who isn’t just acting the part,” the director explains.
“I want him to be the part.” A psycho killer? Kid
Hollywood doesn’t know if he wants to meet the
Right actor, after all.
But he tries. They come in, and go out, come
In and leave some more, and no one is a psycho
Killer, because everyone is scared.
In Kid Hollywood’s new office, fear is a character
All by itself. Every actor brings in a new aspect,
And leaves it to grow. There’s the silent terror,
And the shaky panic,
And the rage.
There’s the arrogant denial,
And the meek acquiescence,
And the rage.
The tremulous lip,
The quavering voice,
The “How do you want it?”
“Is this okay?”
“Anything in particular I ought to know?”
The fear takes tangible form. Kid Hollywood
Hears it first, a whisper of uncertain hate.
Then he smells it, the sweat of fallen self-respect.
Then he sees it, the psycho killer, exactly as
Written, but not played. Finally, Kid Hollywood
Has to stop. He needs time to give the fear
In the corner a break, a chance to dissipate,
To dissolve, and leave the new office born-again
“Let’s go over to the Blue Room, have something
To eat,” says the director, and Kid Hollywood rises.
“Let’s,” he says.
Let’s away! Away! Before it’s too late!
The voice in the Kid’s mind is shrill.
You’re not yet thirty! Let’s find another place!
Kid Hollywood and the director eat in the Blue Room,
Charge the meal to the show. They return to the
Office, and the actors, and the readings,
And in the corner the Kid’s new roommate
Not only hangs on, but continues to grow.
It grows for the rest of the season,
Coming not just from the actors,
But from everyone who walks in the door.
Even Kid Hollywood no longer is immune,
His too the sound, the smell, and the sight.
Still, his desk is longer
Than Marc Antony’s trireme,
And the paneling is dark and burnished,
Real wood not veneer.
And all the job requires
Is that the Kid share his space with the fear.
Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. Although the book whose cover you see above is for sale on Kindle, he is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, “As the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out to me, ‘Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you compromise your artistic vision by trying to please those who are paying. If you don’t accept money, you can be yourself. Like your art, you too are free.’” Actually, she said it much shorter.