The Cost of Fame

My thoughts on the flight from Los Angeles to New Orleans is solely on being home.  I enjoy the visits to my hometown.  It is great having people who know and care for the real me. Not the me that millions see in movies. I am a working actor. Not a day goes by that I don’t understand how fortunate I am. However, it is so different from what I imagined.

Even if it’s only a few days, I am happy to escape the rapid pace life of Los Angeles.  Agents. Publicist. Managers. Photographers. They don’t know me nor do they care to.  I am not shit to them unless I am making them money!  That is all this city is about.  Money.  I got sick of fame very quickly.  Sure, at first it’s wonderful. You buy into the hype that is Hollywood.  The balance of your bank account.  The nice cars and luxurious homes. Everyone telling you how great you are. That all fades when you realize your life is an act.  You are not you.  You are someone they want you to be.  I miss being me.

At home I don’t dwell on Hollywood. I relish all the family gatherings during my visit.  My family welcomes the real me home.  They hug me with feeling.  They smile when they say great to see you. I don’t feel so alone amongst those who know me best. Sure they are curious about “fame” and I understand.  However, it’s no different from asking cousin Monty about how his accounting firm job is working out. It’s a genuine interest in my career and my path in this life.  It is with family I feel loved.

I know this is my last visit home.  It will be my biggest acting challenge yet. To act happy. I look around the town. I feel the memories flow through me.  How wonderful it is to be a long way from Hollywood. Unfortunately I will return there.  The acting will end.

This is fiction.  It was written for Trifecta Week sixty-four.  Write using the following word:

Please remember:
  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response.
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.
  • Only one entry per writer.
  • Trifecta is open to everyone.  Please join us.

Top Ten Movie Quotes

I didn’t feel like writing today but I found this fun list from The Good Life.  Top Ten Movie quotes or moments.  Since I love movies, I thought I would join the fun.  It was hard to pick just one quote from some of these movies.  Here is my list, in no particular order

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I could find many quotes from Shawshank..but in his letter to Red Andy says;  “Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”  VIEW HERE

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From City Slickers.  I love this scene.  This is when Mitch, Phil, and Ed talk about their best day and bad day.  Love this.  Billy Chrystal tells about seeing yankee stadium in color for the first time (true story of his).  But it’s Bruno Kirby’s character Ed’s story that I can relate to.  It’s great.  VIEW HERE 

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From Philadelphia  This is Joe Miller’s (Denzel)  response to the judge’s statement which I added as well.

Judge Garrett: In this courtroom, Mr.Miller, justice is blind to matters of race, creed, color, religion, and sexual orientation.
Joe Miller: With all due respect, your honor, we don’t live in this courtroom, do we?  NO LINK FOUND

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From Driving Miss Daisy  Hoke as he pulls next to Miss Daisy walking and his response to her saying “What are you doing?”  “I’m trying to drive you to the store.”  VIEW ON TRAILER

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From Stand By Me.  Gordie (Wil Wheaton) to Ace (Kiefer Sutherland) “Suck my fat one, you cheap dime store hood.”  VIEW HERE

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A River Runs Through It  Norman’s letter/poem to Jessie.  So beautiful.  VIEW HERE

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A League of Their Own.  This is Jimmy Dugan’s response to Dotty saying “It just got too hard” “Its suppose to be hard. If it wasn’t hard everyone would do it.  Its the hard that makes it great!”  VIEW HERE

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Juno.  There are so many great quotes from this movie.  The dialog is so well written.  This is the clerk at the grocery store reacting to Juno’s positive pregnancy test “That aint no Etch-a-Sketch. This is one doodle that can’t be undid home skillet.”  VIEW ON TRAILER

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Bull Duhram:  Crash (Kevin Costner) to Nuke (Tim Robbins) at the mound after a batter hits a homer breaking his 2 hit shutout.  “Man that ball got outta here in a hurry. Anything traveling that far ought to have a damn stewardess on it don’t you think!”  VIEW HERE

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I chose YOU Rob Reiner

Ok, its been a long and grueling process but one that I have enjoyed.  It took me over two years to write my first movie script.  Why did it take so long?  It only took me fifteen minutes to write my Best Original Screenplay Oscar speech which I am certain to receive.  It took so long cause  I am undisciplined.  Many days I just stared blankly at a paper or a computer screen.  There were days I wanted to write something else that came to mind.  Or I wanted to walk.  Doubt crept in on a daily basis.  How can I even begin to think I am a writer?  Why would anyone ever want to buy the words of a man who has no professional training in writing?  It was a constant battle.  Somehow, the characters that occupied my mind fell out onto paper and it caught the attention of people who believed.  I finished.  That story has exited my mind.  Writing my script was rewarding, frustrating, enlightening and daunting.   It is now done.

Now its time to hand it off to someone else, who will take those words off the page and give to the actors to become my characters.  Who he will direct my movie?  Who will give the audience a movie that hopefully will bring attention to issues that me, the screenwriter, believe need to be addressed.  The actors will become my characters.  And I emphasize MY.  They will take whatever method they chose and bring my characters to life.   That is what the audiences will see.  It’s so very scary.  It won’t be mine any longer, it will belong to a host of professionals.  Professionals I have to believe in and trust. 

After months of meetings, offers, counter offers, rejections, complicated language,  and financial considerations, I along with advice of my lawyer (my school friend) and agent have come to a decision of who will direct my script.  After long consideration of some very capable directors we have chosen YOU,  Rob Reiner,  to take my story of two young boys growing up in a southern town divided by racism during the early seventies and bring it to the big screen.  George Clooney wanted it along with his business partner Grant Heslov.  I like his work, he is an indy guy who often works for scale.  Heck, he even flew me and my lawyer to his home in Italy to make his pitch.  Spike Lee wanted it and that was intriguing to me.   I love his movies, his style and “Do the Right Thing” is brilliantly shot and written!  Easily one of my favorites.  He’s to some controversial, to me he is being himself in his beliefs that I admire.  He is using his platform to bring public awareness to what he believes are injustices in our society.  But it was ultimately your work with kids in “Stand by Me” Mr Reiner, that won us over. 

Now I must say we didn’t just give it away.  There were some considerations on our part that Hollywood had to agree upon.  Location was priority.  I wanted it shot in my hometown since that where in my mind it belonged.  The economic opportunities can only help a depressed area.  Not to mention the attention it will bring to such a historical and beautiful south Louisiana town.  Money too was a consideration.  At the time of writing my script, I was an unemployed man living on minimal savings long after my benefits ran out.  I am a lifetime flop professionally.   I don’t want to labor any longer.  I want to write.  And selling my script will certainly give me the luxury to continue writing.  My last consideration was to be the writer to edit the script in production.  Hey, its my story!  Why should anyone else do the re-writes other than the actors themselves with the approval of Mr. Reiner.  

Being a screen writer is like being an offensive lineman in football.  Faceless.  You get no glory.  As soon as you sell it, the director is the man.  As well as the actors.  Other than Sylvester Stallone and Matt Damon/Ben Affleck, who acted as well as wrote their first movie, no other first time screen writers are really well known.   I have no desire to act.  I am a storyteller.  Anyways back to my point.  Can you name the screen writer of “The King’s Speech”?  Didn’t think so.  So as I sign my name on the dotted line(s) I become a nobody again.  I have given my dream away.  It’s an odd feeling.  Sure I will win an academy award and hopefully selling my next project will be easier.  That along with the excitement that someone liked and believed in my story, it comes with lots of sadness.  Maybe that will change when I hear my words on the screen.  Or when someone says “our” movie moved them or made them think about something they never considered before.  Or maybe it was their story never told.   Movies can bring out a lot in those who view them.  I hope mine will.  It was intended to. 

Till Opening Night.  Good Day.

Ok this story is fiction.  I have no idea why I wrote it other than I was drawing a blank this morning and I have no qualifications to write a screen play and wanted to dream.  But as a writer-want-to-be it’s easy to write a dream.   I am done procrastinating, now time to write.

Daily Prompt Circle of Five

A writer once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” If this is true, which five people would you like to spend your time with?

I know I am a day behind but I really wanted to do this one!  Who would I spend my time with? So so many choices.  I’ll give it a shot.

 The great Freddie Mercury.  My understanding is he died unhappy.  How could it be?  He gave so much to the music world.  He is easily the one person I’d give anything to talk to.

Conan O’brien.   The funniest guy alive.  His humor is intelligent yet simply written and to me just unbelievably funny. His commencement speech to the Darmouth Class of 2011 is historical.  You tube it, it is so funny yet you can see how affected he was about his issues with NBC.

Walter Cronkite.  Growing up as a young kid in the 70’s, he was the news.  He came across that screen to me as humble, honest and trustworthy.  He is one I would love to pick his brain cause he reported on so much.  I remember him ending the news with the total number of Americans lost in Viet Nam.  Great man.

The great Morgan Freeman.  He has always come across as someone you could easily sit down with and have a beer.  Fame doesn’t seem to make a difference to him.  His acting is incredible, I am surprised he only has one Oscar.  Not to mention his voice is so soothing. I wish he would live forever.

Vincent “Bo” Jackson.  What more do I need to say then Bo.  Easily my favorite athlete of all time. 

It’s hard to make a list of just five.  I’d love to meet my mom and dad again.  My Uncle Charles.  My grandmother who was the quintessential southern belle. 

Till we meet again.  Good day.

Mind of Shoo