Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Manager

I received an email from Ms. Blonde that her manager was interested in meeting me. She wrote:

"She is new as a manager though has acted in LA and NY.  I've heard that sometimes when people are new to the biz they are more pro-active and hungry due to being new."

I called the manager and she said, "I managed my own career for so long, I thought I should be doing it for other people. One of my clients got a speaking role on television on one of the first auditions I sent him on. He is a professional race car driver. And I got [Ms. Blonde] the role in Reservoir Bitches."

Yikes. That uh . . . is not something she should be bragging about.

She said, "I kind of got a spiritual thing from you. You were really good and you have that thing, some kind of spiritual resonance.  I also do hypnotherapy since actors have such a hard time keeping their morale up. And I help a lot of people who want to kill themselves. Especially now with the economy."

Too good to pass up on a meeting, right?

So we met in Santa Monica at Barney's Beanery. She asked me if it was too early to drink. I said, "Its never too early to drink but I am broke, so I can watch you drink."

She laughed and said she would buy me one.

We met. She has a thin face with intense eyes, kind of like Rosanna Arquette or Rachel Griffiths . Its almost like her eyes were two dark pin holes with just the slightest light spinning behind them like a pinwheel. Her demeanor was sweetened by a slightly faded Texas accent and a very low cut shirt with a red crystal resting on her breasts. She was nice and jumped right into things. Oh . . . not my career.

"So, that client I told you about, who I got the speaking role from, he is actually my ex-boyfriend. I mean, he is 25 and I am much older (20 yrs older) and I just felt that spiritual thing about him. We definitely knew each other in past lives. Do you believe in past lives?"

I said, "Yeah. I think energy recycles itself and can retain information like electric pulses through the internet."

She said, "Right? So we just clicked and it was primal. I mean the sexual energy was unlike anything I have ever experienced before and he moved in."

Just making sure you know, this was in the first 15 minutes of meeting her. I said as politely as possible, "You shouldn't sleep with your clients."

She said, "Oh, well . . . we have known each other in many lives before. Its our job to fix our problems in this life. So things disintegrated between us and got really ugly. He is addicted to pot. I think that stuff is disgusting, I am a totally pure person. There are no toxins in my system, not in my food, no pills, nothing chemical."

The waitress, "May I take your order?"

Manager, "Do you have potato gin?"

Waitress, "Uh ... no."

Manager, "I'll just have a lemon drop then, thank you." (back to me) "Anyway, we started arguing all the time. He screamed, 'You're a child molester.' That's what he said to me." Again, she gets into character and points at me, "'You're a child molester.' I said, 'Well you want to fuck your mother.' You know what you say awful things like that it has to be love. So he moved out into the neighbor's apartment next door. And I started dating. He would just watch me come in and out, it was kind of creepy.

Anyway, his car was broken and he didn't have food so I let him move back in with me. We are not fooling around, we are just playing it straight. The sexual tension is really strong. Man, we share a bathroom and I just do my thing but I can feel it between us."

Here is the boring part of the story where I told her that her home is her sanctuary and that she shouldn't be inviting any kind of unresolved tension into her home, including someone who snaps into a bad temper. Walking on eggshells is very stressful and no way to live. Worst year of my life.

She said, "Oh, its no big deal. I just do yoga in my bedroom."

This conversation went on for about 45 minutes and we covered mostly this relationship, touched on her family back in Texas and how they don't really accept or embrace her life choices, how she got out of a 9 yr. relationship and was bored out of her mind sexually (probably why she gravitated to a 25 yr old race car driver) and then we sipped our drinks in a moment of silence, she pulled out her credit card to pay the bill and she asked me what I wanted for my career.

I told her I enjoyed doing comedy. She was surprised by that, actually. She said, "Ok" as the sand bag of thought juggled from one hand to the other.

I emphasized that I don't want to do anything for free anymore unless its really interesting. I told her about my B-horror movie I shot last spring, where I met Abe. She asked if I could get a copy.

After three months of driving back and forth to Orange County, shelling out for dog walkers and gas, working til all our hours of the night, that PRICK of a Director refuses to send me a copy. WHY? Because I slept with the Director of Photography instead of him.

So, can I get a copy? I said I would try.

She said, "I also do the hypnotherapy, past-life regression. I am not saying I am going to hypnotize you, but I can help you with things. A lot of people want to kill themselves right now and one of my clients is a clown. He is losing his house and the recession is making it difficult for him to work at all. He forces himself to make it to children's parties. Anyway, I am helping him. Then I represent my ex and [Ms. Blonde]. That's it so far so . . . (inhale) what do you think?"

I asked, "What's the difference between a manager and an agent again?"

She said, "A manager spends more time molding your career."

I said, "I see. Do you look at the trades a lot, and review upcoming productions." I do have 5 years experience in the film industry. Trades are Variety and Hollywood Reporter, two daily and weekly periodicals with industry news. It is essential for keeping in the game.

She said, "No . . . I don't have a subscription. I don't really look at those." Again, she was measuring me with her eyes. "Its free on-line though."

I said, "I know." OK, wow, I just sighed in real life as I wrote that . . . um . . . this chick isn't the most "professional" or polished person I have ever met, but seeing as my agent is this all business, straight forward Japanese businessman- maybe this is what I need to create balance. Someone who works out of chaos. It might bring a weird karmic charm to my career.

My agent is about as professional as a human being can possibly get before turning into a calculator. This would be a little madness for the method.

And its not like people are kicking down my door. So I said yes.

I took a couple days to get back to her. I was incredibly busy and with the Abe shit going down, I just was having a hard time focusing.

Seeing as I have some connections in the industry, I asked a friend who owns a small distribution house to contact Director Dickhead and feign interest in my B-Horror movie so he would send him a copy, then hand it over to me.  My friend warned me that he could make the connection via Facebook and how would he know how he got his contact details? The movie's website doesn't have any contact information on it. GENIUS!

I said, "Don't worry. He's not that smart."

One day later, my friend emailed me:

"He took the bite and is sending the screener soon.


Of course he did. Don't fuck with actors who are smarter than you.

My manager texted me asking for a phone meeting.

I called. She said, "Hey, I will go through your headshots with you now on the phone. I was also going to ask you, my birthday is this Friday and my sister was going to come out but she backed out and I have these reservations at the Chateau Marmont . . . would you be interested in joining me for a birthday dinner with another one of my friends."

I said, "I work until 10pm but I have always wanted to go to the Chateau Marmont."

She said, "Its very exclusive. Its hard to get into and there will be people there you should meet."

Yeah, that's the kind of manager I'M talking about.

She said, "And with my sister backing out and my mom going into rehab, my plans are kind of changing. But we can make the most of it."

I said, "Did you say your mom was going into rehab? (delicately) That's great."

She said, "Yeah, but the week of my birthday she decides to go into rehab. THANKS MOM!"

I said, "Well life keeps happening no matter what day it is. I had to go to my grandpa's funeral on my 10th birthday. It sucked but . . . not his fault obviously."

She said, "Oh . . . yeah, ok. So you think you can come?"

Maybe I should emphasize the greatness of the Chateau Marmont: I first heard about it when reading up on Keanu Reeves in high school. Obviously, I made a note since I was planning on driving down there and meeting him. Now forgive me for copying and pasting off Wikipedia but whatever:

-Jim Morrison used up what he called "the eighth of my nine lives" after he hurt his back here while dangling from a drain pipe and falling onto a shed while trying to swing from the roof into the window of his hotel room.

-In 1982, John Belushi died of a drug overdose in one of its garden bungalows.

-James Dean hopped in through a window to audition with Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo for Rebel Without a Cause.

-Greta Garbo loved to stay in the Chateau Marmont for weeks during her infamous seclusion period and would not leave her room for days.

-Judy Garland sang by the lobby's grand piano.

-Vivien Leigh, estranged from her husband Laurence Olivier, nevertheless had every surface space in her suite, 5D, covered with photographs of the great actor. In the bedroom, however, she displayed only one: on a side table near her pillow was a photograph of she and Olivier together during happier times.

-Hunter S. Thompson was often a guest at the hotel.

-F. Scott Fitzgerald suffered a heart attack in Chateau Marmont.

-The Eagles song "Hotel California" has been thought to have been written about Chateau Marmont.

 . . .

Can I come? What a silly question. I said, "Of course."

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