Life in Hollywood, below-the-line

Life in Hollywood, below-the-line
Work gloves at the end of the 2006/2007 television season (photo by Richard Blair)

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Just for the Hell of It -- Episode 42

                                   One of the Set Dec crew on my last show...

Rain surrendered to sun which in turn gave way to rain again this week all over California, even here in the drought-plagued urban desert of Los Angeles, where water falling from the skies is such a rare occurrence that it generates panic -- and some of the worst driving you'll ever see on the roads and freeways of Southern California. With three down days bookended by Monday and Friday work days, I focused on the Herculean task of sorting wheat from chaff in preparation for departure.  

Then again, Hercules had it comparatively easy in mucking out the Augean Stables -- all he had to do was dig a ditch to re-route a river that carried the mess away, and his job was done. As one who knows from first-hand experience just how unpleasant it is to shovel large quantities of animal dung from a barn, I find the ordeal of cleaning out my apartment considerably more daunting. A lot of crap piles up over the course of four decades, much of it laced with emotional land mines -- photos and notes from ex-girlfriends, matchbooks from restaurants picked up on distant locations, call sheets and crew lists from jobs twenty or thirty years ago, letters written by old friends back in the era before e-mail, and a few hand-written missives from my deceased father and senility-ravaged mother back when both were in full possession of their faculties.  

Just as music takes me back, so did these relics of another time, another place... another me. Some of those memories were good, others pierced my heart like an arrow, but all carried a knee-buckling load of bittersweet emotion. Packing up is one thing, but sorting through the detritus of the past is a very different and infinitely more taxing heavy lift. 

To prevent myself from drowning in this emotional quicksand, I kept the radio humming with music and a few podcasts. Here are a few selections from that playlist.

First up, a conversation with Jeff Bridges, discussing -- among many other things -- his new film Hell or High Water, some of his experiences filming The Big Lebowski and The Last Picture Show, and how his famous father schooled him in the fine art of screen acting at a very young age. This is a good one, so just sit back and soak it in. 

Next, an article from The Hollywood Reporter about Ben Foster, one of the stars of Hell or High Water, who tells how he purposely broke one of his front teeth for the role... a tooth the production company then had capped prior to filming. Hey, you have to admire the man's enthusiasm and commitment, if not his sense of priorities.

Here's another Martini Shot commentary from veteran writer/producer and sometimes director Rob Long, on the lure of the familiar in Hollywood and why "new" isn't always what viewers are looking for.  

Last, an industry Facebook group I belong to posted a link other day to one of those suggestively creative nom de plumes typically employed by people who work in the seamy world of porn -- but this one came from a legitimate movie, more or less.

And so ladies and gentlemen -- drumroll, please -- I present to you Mr. Haywood Jablomi.

Truth or fiction?  

You make the call... 

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