I’m feeling celebratory, so there will be three chapters of Hollywood & Mine going up this weekend. This is episode 18 (chapter 16, for those of you keeping track) and it starts with a quote from good old Greta Garbo:
If only those who dream about Hollywood knew how difficult it all is.
During the era in which I was climbing the greasy pole there were no smartphones, email was a few years in the future, and executives carried fat, expensively bound, loose-leaf notebooks in which they memorialized and organized day-to-day events. As noted previously, I liked to write things down, and my $300 Day Runner® was a lot more elegant looking than a pile of yellow legal pads. My notebook came with a key, just like an old fashioned diary, but it was open on the desk and this is what I had scrawled across the entry for Monday:
Hi Bloviating Lazy Head of Production,
Great conversation five minutes ago! Just to be clear: you want me to include seven new scenes on this opus without any increase in budget/personnel/schedule?
That is fabulous! I admire how you shot down my tedious list of facts and figures with gaseous platitudes. Just hearing them has elevated and inspired me! “Think outside the box. Just make it work. I don’t care about your problems, I’m late for my Pilates/lunch/massage.”
Wow! I’m on it boss! What leadership!
I shut the notebook and thought of the head of production, James Ellis. According to my old friend, Patsy Morris, he had been a notorious, vaguely musical, lothario in the 1970s. He had wooed the unwary with cocktails at Yamashiro’s, an old bar in the Hollywood Hills with killer views that was walking distance to his once glitzy home. The house itself was kind of famous, having been the aerie of a silent film star — before his appendix exploded — and then had passed through two generations more of male offspring: from movie star, to the movie star’s son, to the head of production (who was then answering phones for the higher and mightier, and sleeping on a futon in a room half chewed away by termites).
Hello again. I’m in such a good mood the comments are open. It’s a fiddly new format I’ve adopted to accommodate the podcast, my apologies, and I will try to remember to open them more frequently if you’d like to chat or ask me questions about the book.
Cheers to you lovely readers and listeners!