You Don’t Own Me
“In a happy world, there would be no art. I retreat too often into my imagination. In a happy world, the experience of reality would be enough.”
…Billie was hunched on a stool at the breakfast bar playing with the bouncy rubberized cord of the telephone, listening to Polly with the earpiece clutched to her head when the kitchen door swung open and in walked Dave Taylor and Earvin Effay Johnson, Jr. (Commonly know as Magic.) She didn’t mean to but she squealed into the phone, “Polly, I gotta go! See you tomorrow!” Harvard had a basketball team, but they were a joke. Here was the point guard from Michigan State, just two years older than she was, already a college legend and now playing for the Lakers.
Please note Billie’s response. Magic was about seven feet tall, had muscles for days, and the most beautiful smile imaginable. He looked like a cherub on growth hormones. Dave Taylor was surveying Billie from a much lesser height with a funny cockeyed smile. In comparison he looked like a dwarf.
“Billie, Magic. Magic, Billie,” he introduced the pair.
Billie’s hand disappeared into Magic’s. “Hi, Billie.”
“Hi, Magic.” She felt warm all over. Billie glanced over at her boss and felt something, something odd: it was pity. Yes — hard to feel sorry for a movie star. And, on that surging wave of Magic’s charisma Billie got dumped out, water stinging up her nose, chin scraping on sand, right on Dave Taylor’s sorry little beach. It was her first encounter with sympathy as an aphrodisiac.
It’s not common knowledge, but most leading men are short. They have big heads in relation to their slight bodies, large symmetrical features, especially eyes, and straight expertly manscaped brows. They photograph well. The camera loves them and in order to make them appear tall in the frame they often emote perched up on a flat wooden platform called an apple box, a leftover term from the silent era when California’s main export was produce and anything on hand — like a shipping crate — was incorporated as a movie tool.
Dave Taylor was listed as five feet ten inches tall on the page of measurements his agents distributed to costume designers, but in reality he was more like five six. That’s not to say most leading men aren’t riveting, but being blown up to movie-screen size usually does more than increase the world’s perception of your stature, it usually has strange effects on your ego as well. Okay. Let’s not generalize. Dave Taylor, specifically, was strangely influenced by his screen presence. He constantly had to prove he deserved his fame and he was an untidy mix of bombast and self-doubt…
© Vickie Lester and Beguiling Hollywood, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Vickie Lester and Beguiling Hollywood with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.