Okay, a few years back, I lived near Hollywood. I was broke as shit and slept on the floor in a dive in the SF valley. Now, I never had aspirations to be an actor. I’m not handsome by any means. However, if I was to be an actor, I could probably pull off the role of some grizly ex-boxer, who got into some bad shit or maybe the guy who got kicked outta some band before the big break and 10 years later, the needle or the booze only inflamed the bitterness. Yeah, somehow I think I could play those kinds of guys well. But the reality was I never really tried to be an actor unlike everyone else in that horrid place. I remember seeing an ad “$$$become an extra$$$.” I guess it was as shady as a bandit sign. It was a flyer taped to a public phone (remember those?)
I don’t know if it was boredom, or desperation, or living someone else’s dream (“I gotta get in the film industry.”) But I called the number. One sunny Saturday morning, I drove out to some shady place in Van Nuys where porn films were likely being made next door and stashes of drugs were probably being distributed across the country from the near by airport. It was, what is known in the entertainment industry as a “cattle call.” There were people from all walks of life. Venice beach street performers, bored college kids and down and out wino’s. To be honest, I probably filled some weird niche between the wino’s and college kids. Heck, if I was more white looking, I woulda probably been a proto-hipster, except a bit more gruff and the metal Tee wasn’t “ironic.” After a 2 hour wait, my “audition” included describing my work at a haunted house, telling a joke, demonstrating a martial arts move and a fall. Okay, all good so far. I was waiting for them to tell me if there were any roles I might be good for. Instead, they went into a high pressure sales pitch about needing a $300 “headshot package” from their studio. I asked if I could get it done cheaper. They said I could contact some starving art students but no one would ever take me seriously with a headshot from an art student. They told me it was their way or the highway. Dejected, I left and never looked back.
So, basically, my limited experience with Hollyweird is that it is a cesspool of exploitation. I’m not gonna compare wasting a Saturday and being pressured into buying a photo package as the same as the allegations against this Weinstein dude. However, that experience did give this song a bunch of new meaning for me:
There’s an old saying, don’t hate the player, hate the game. Everyone knew this sort of thing was going on, let’s call it an open secret. It’s allot like jokes about priest’s and alter boys. I could imagine someone like Matt Forney. “Hey Matt, what do you want to be when you grow up?”
“A film producer.”
“Why not an actor?”
“Well, let’s be honest, I ain’t exactly great looking, and besides, an actor might get to marry Angela Jolie, but…”
“Have you ever heard of the casting couch? Who wants to marry Jolie after she’s auditioned for a hundred roles. I want to be the first guy to cast her and a hundred broads like her. Fresh meat.”
Locker room talk. 99% fake bravado and macho boasting. About 1% a mirror into the unsavory truth.
Now I’m not gonna go into the ethics of this, I will say that I don’t feel some kind of “collective guilt” for simply being a male.
You can read a condescending feminist’s finger wagging:
“While some women may not (fair enough), I do want your apology. I do want you to say something now, because now is better than never. I do want you to tell your brother that what he did is unacceptable. I do want you to criticize your 40 year-old friend who preys on drunk 20 year-old girls. I want you to admit that you have participated in all of this, despite the risks to your reputation. I want you to understand that your behaviour (or apathy) hurt women. I want you too apologize for paying for sex in 1999, because it was your birthday and your friends were all doing it.”
Is every fucking goddamned German and Japanese person collectively guilty for WW2?
I guess by Megan Murphy’s “logic” that’s a yes…
Sorry, feminist’s, time to get your head outta your asses, you are sounding allot like those alt-right creeps with their cries of “white genocide.”
Oh, and if ya didn’t know, the title was a re-branding of a lynryd skynyrd lyric….