In our last episode, you may recall the tale of this writer seeking a job on Los Angeles a generation or so ago. I, at the time, through it would be best to move upward and onward climbing up the corporate latter to bigger and better things. And I found the first opportunity to do so, or so I thought.
I found an opportunity by way of a classified ad posted in The Hollywood Reporter for a position in a start up cable TV channel called Movie Time, a twenty four hour channel devoted to movie related news. Its programming was going to feature celebrity interviews, coverage of Hollywood type events taking place you-know-where, and feature trailers on new movie releases, all coming to that multiplex near you!
To apply for this position, I had sent a copy of my resume along with a gushy cover letter stating the usual stuff one would place on a cover letter mostly to say “I want the job” or its equivalent, stuffed the letter in an envelope, and mailed it to an address located on the 6600 block of Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood (90038). Once sent, the ad, along with the job offer was rather forgotten about.
That is, until I received a phone call about two weeks later.
The call came in around late morning. I was getting to take off somewhere now long forgotten. When the phone rang, I though it was going to be a junk call as I tended to receive them around that part of the day. So I would take the call, say “Not now–later” or something to that effect, hang up, and move on.
I can’t necessarily recall the entire phone conversation, but I’ll attempt to recreate a portion of that call for dramatic purposes, as well as adding some creative license for good measure.
“Hello?” I said, answering the phone.
“Good morning. This is (name of person) from Movie Time, and I’m responding to the resume you sent to us” said the other party whose name I have since forgotten.
“Oh, yes! The resume” I replied, not recalling that I sent an application to these folks, as I never kept a record of what job I applied for and to whose offering the position. So I played along with these folks, giving them the idea that I remembered everything when in reality, I didn’t.
“We want to know if you can come in for an interview at our offices?” said the other person.
“Uh…sure! OK? Where are you located and when can we meet”? I asked, first thinking that this job was located nearby. Although I did desire to move out of the area I lived in, I wasn’t necessarily limited to such, so where this “Movie Time” company was based was a mystery to me.
“We’re on Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood, near Wilcox”
Wilcox? I didn’t know what “Wilcox” was. Santa Monica Blvd.? It’s a street, but not of one that was nearby. Hollywood? Uh…that’s in Los Angeles–California. These thoughts were rushing through my head, then to realize that this ad I answered came form The Hollywood Reporter.
“Oh Yes”. I said to mystery man on the phone, giving him the idea that I knew what he was taking about. “I recall!”
“We wanted to know when you can come down for an interview..”
Within a second or two, I realized that this job interview was going to take place some 1800 to the west, farthest than I would ever imagine that such an offer would originate.
Binding my time, I pretended to look at my schedule since i really couldn’t say “How about tomorrow?” or something like that. It just wasn’t possible for me to head on over within a day in the same way I could drive there and show up johnny on the spot.
“Could I call you tomorrow once I know when I’ll be available?” I asked the man on the other end.
“Yes you can” said the man with more or less words spoken.
Upon getting off the phone, the reality of what just occurred started to slowly sink in. Some big company was interested in me for a job performing some task that I was capable of. And they were not some two bit fly by night company. This was a new cable TV company, and they were located in Hollywood, California. I’m sure that others applied for this same job, yet they have chosen me as a candidate, even though they could have picked somebody from the neighborhood. But they thought I was good enough to be in the running, even if that running was going to stretch nearly two thirds of the nation’s length.
The next day, I came over to my current job and I asked my supervisor named Robyn if I should accept this offer to be interviewed.
Robyn, a person I had known for some time, was very helpful in getting my career going. Although she would be sad to see me leave the group I was with, she wanted to have me find my success, even if I had to travel a far distance to do it.
She just gave me her opinion in a short and simple method. “Go for it!” was her reply.
The next day, I called mystery man in LA, giving him a date that was a little over two weeks away. I needed this time to get my trip off and running, as well as the time to finish in what I was doing at the moment. Mystery man said that the day and time was OK, and he gave me the address to where I would conduct the interview.
Upon that notion, I was all set. I was going to meet with mystery man at Movie Time to interview me for a job that was located in Hollywood, the place where TV shows are created, and movies are shot. I would be within an arm’s reach to all of that glitz and glamor, something that I wasn’t finding within my neighborhood of southern Illinois. On my block, there wasn’t anything near to what could be found in Tinsletown. The only TV going on was whatever one can pick up on their aerials or what the local cable company TCI had to offer for $32.00 a month. The only movies made available was only found at the multiplexes, or at the Blockbuster Video outlet where one can rent new releases for $1.99 a night (or for a 24 hour period), while catalog titles go for a dollar.
So this was an opportunity for the moment, and something like that may not come for a while–if at all!
Yes, I did journey “out west” for the interview. And how did that incident result? You’re going to have to stay tuned for the next exciting chapter of this serial, presented right here next week! See you then!
NEWS AND REVIEWS
The Road Theater Company of North Hollywood presents the Los Angeles premier of Sharr White’s THE OTHER PLACE, a drama about one woman’s emotional journey that falls between a physical reality and a virtual association relating between her solid career and a jointed family life.
Taylor Gilbert portrays Juliana Smithton, an gifted scientist based in Boston who co-created a unique neurological drug, and doubles as a spokesperson for this substance on behalf of the pharmaceutical company that further developed it. She holds a rather controlling personality who’s always keeps herself in charge. Within her personal life, things are starting to fall beyond control. Her spouse Ian (Sam Anderson) is in the process of ending their marriage, and her twentysomething daughter (Danielle Stephens) is involved with a man some fifteen years her elder. But Juliana faces another situation beyond her domestic life. While attending a neurological convention at a resort in the Virgin Islands, she experiences a circumstance that blurs her sense of what is and what isn’t. She gains the intent of her daughter becoming distant in terms of emotional and physical aspects, as well as throwing blame upon her ex-spouse over his infidelity along with his cold-heartedness. Over these senses, there’s a location she referrers as “the other place” a home located off Cape Cod that had been in her family for generations. This place was once a regular stay for her since her childhood. But her thinking may be related to a brain tumor, a trait that’s compounded through her hereditary linkage. Juliana will discover what is the cause toward her personal non conformities through the people in her life, as well as the drug she’s currently selling to professionals within the medial field; A drug that could possibly assist her in coping.
This single act play tells the story of strong hearted woman who doesn’t know how flustered she is through both substantial nature and emotional consequence. The story structure is told within a semi linear pattern, moving between scenes that blend between a sense of now and what is or what if. The people within her province are not mean spirited per se where they could be attempting to get at her, such as the case of her ex giving up on her, or facing a daughter falling into a rebelling stand. It personates more toward an enhanced melodrama where a state of emotional disorder is taking its toll upon an expert within an industry of drug development, winding up as a targeted end user of the same medication. Taylor Gilbert as Juliana plays her role more of a woman of importance that becomes apart from who or what he is. Sam Anderson as Ian is a body that keep near to her while holding on to his distance. Danielle Stephens, along with Dirk Etchison, play multiple roles (only billed as “The Woman” and “The Man” respectfully) that become minor characters through Juliana’s susceptible excursion from her leader of her pack to a trailing end. This stated virtual junket lulls within its somber side, although the real meaning toward Juliana’s falling is connected to a vision she notices while pitching her drug at a meeting attended by an all male cliental. (It has to do with a young woman donning a yellow bikini outfit attending the convention that mostly likely wasn’t worn by somebody who was involved in neurological studies!)
The stage setting as designed by Kaitlyn Pietras is at its minimal, consisting of a few pieces of furnishings that include a danish modern lounge chair and matching ottoman (the “star” set dressing) that doubles between the convention site, a psychologist office, as well as the mysterious “other space”. Kaitlyn Pietras also designed the projection pieces that serve as a virtual backdrop to much of the stage action, in addition to a Power Point-esk slide show that totes the drug Juliana’s plugging! Pablo Santiago provides the lighting that adds toward the mood swings this program presents itself.
Directed by Andre Barron, THE OTHER PLACE is a play that crosses the lines between being somber and being surreal without the weirdness associated with surrealism. It goes to show that one must tread lightly when selling a new product. One may just fall victim towards it–or not!
THE OTHER PLACE, presented by The Road Theatre Company, and performs at The Road on Magnolia, 10747 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood, until April 11th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM. For further information as well as for ticket reservations, call (818) 761-8838, or via online at http://www.RoadTheatre.org
Good People Theatre Company presents the cabaret show CLOSER THAN EVER, a musical review featuring the songs of David Shire and Richard Maltby Jr. that speak for the intimate yet finer things in life, and currently performs at Hollywood Piano in Burbank.
A team of four vocalists consisting of Gabriel Kalomas, Sara Stuckey, Jessie Withers, and David Zack, present melodies that cover those important elements that make life just what it is. They sing about finding love, keeping love, losing love, friendships, secrets that that are secret and not so secret, as well as the joys of the powers of yes–with a minute touch of “no” added only as flavor! The song selections as themselves are witty, clever, too real for words (thanks to Richard M. Jr’s spin for pronouncements and phrases) and perhaps the best description, charming and appealing! This quartet not only brings the harmonies out, but act themselves as well, akin to a big time musical sans the outrageous backgrounds, lavish costuming, and bigger for its size stage setting. It’s within a short reach for those that desire to captivate the music and presentations that go along with the package.
Coreny Hirch provides the piano arrangements (playing on a nine and a half foot long baby grand) with Brenton Kassak (alternating with Jordon Lamaureux) on bass that highlight the tight set of performers, all under the stage direction and musical staging by Janet Miller. Placed within an imitate 99 seat theater setting, this background itself is ideal for the audience to take part of, being nearly up close and personal to the fine and talented cast and what they have to crow about.
Of course, the theater itself is not a traditional theater per se, but placed with the confines of Hollywood Piano, a retail outlet that specializes in the said musical instrument. Generally speaking, the show takes place within a music shop, but set aside from the actual showroom itself.
Musical reviews such as this piece as presented by the Good People Theatre Company can be rather hard to locate. CLOSER THAN EVER as as close as one can be to discover some of the more seasoned blends of appealing words set to music. How do they do it? With style, humor, and spiteful grace–that’s how!
CLOSER THAN EVER, presented by the Good People Theatre Company, performs at the Irwin & Rhonda Trebitz Memorial Hall, located within Hollywood Piano, 323 North Front Street, Burbank, until March 15th. Showtimes are Saturdays at 3:00 and 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 3:00 PM. For tickets and for more information, visit the web site at http://www.GoodPeopleTheatreCo.org
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