Monday, October 9, 2017

Why This LA Native Never Became an Actor

UPDATE: Still needed. 

Back in 1994, when I exited active duty USAF and returned here to my native Los Angeles, I thought about acting. I was 33, reasonably attractive and, though I was starting to curve out a bit even then, I figured that a little diet and exercise would fix that. (Even now, at age 56, though my out-curving is steeper, whenever I put forth a moderate amount of effort in both areas, I achieve good results. Problem: keeping up the effort.)

I took a couple of acting classes – lots of fun and very available here. I even had a non-speaking extra role in The Truth About Cats and Dogs -- beach scene, playing volleyball, though it probably ended up on the cutting room floor. I don’t know, since I’ve never seen it. It was a background scene for which they had me change my bathing suit because they said I was too distracting from the main scene, so it’s likely been reshot. Yes, I'm bragging about what a hot mama I was back then.

Anyway, I decided not to pursue acting for a singular reason: I would likely have to sleep with people not of my taste in order to make a real living. Even back then, the existence of the Casting Couch was commonly known and no one pretended that most actors – especially female ones -- didn’t have to spend at least one occasion on their backs, or on their knees.

I wasn’t a Christian then, so it wasn’t a matter of morals, but a matter of willingness. I was not willing to sleep with repulsive men or with any women for any reason, and, praise be to God, I have never had anyone force themselves upon me.

For Los Angeles natives, rumors about what goes on in Hollywood are part of the culture. Movie and TV shots in various neighborhoods are commonplace; there was one on my present block a few months ago. And the exchange of sex for money/fame is nearly as indigenous here as  earthquakes.

When I made my decision, there wasn’t any specific example I had in mind. I just knew what I’d have to do and I said “no.”

An acquaintance makes her living here as an actress in small speaking parts and commercials. She's been at it a long time, but has never been in a series or a movie role. A beautiful woman, she's told of countless Casting Couch offers, but she won't yield, so she's relegated to the minor leagues. 

So, when the antics of one Harvey Weinstein became news in the past few days, it was no surprise. Even Bill Cosby's bent wasn't all that shocking.

I suspect that Weinstein -- and Cosby -- angered someone more powerful than he, because his Casting Couch has been in existence for decades, long before I made my choice or even knew that Weinstein existed. Others like him were part of Hollywood's foundation.
Harvey Weinstein. I suspect that owning this face is great motivation to become rich. But his heart is uglier.
This probably sounds like blaming his victims; it is and it isn’t. I don’t know whether many people outside of the LA culture know that much about this before they get here. But they surely do after the deal is proposed and, outside of rape, they either close the deal or they don’t.

And I’m sure that Washington operates similarly. 

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