As a young kid, Marty and his mama spent weekend nights in rural southern bars listening to dad play with his band. As a teen he learned to play under countless hours of alcohol-induced instruction and degrading comments from his dad.
The family went through financial hardship. There was no playing catch in the back yard. No family nights huddled by the radio. Divorce left young Marty alone with his dad in a run down shack on the edge of town. Through it all, music bonded the two of them like chords and lyrics do a song.
Marty went on to become a successful musician. He played on stages around the world. It brought him financial stability. However, his greatest joy was playing alongside his dad in the smokey bars back home.
This is where I grew up. The house, once holding victims of alcoholism, now the victim of age and the elements. Once an entanglement of chaos, violence and alcohol is now overrun with tangled vines and other plant life. The exterior splintered as if it can no longer hold the secrets that once were within its walls. Heartache and fear have burst through the siding like the screams years before. The home a tattered reminder that those closest to your heart never understood your suffering. The white picket fence, a symbol of an all American home to many, a symbol of imprisonment to me. A symbol of a family lost.
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.