The Over 40 Death March
This week has been a major effort. I went with her to edit her new "speed reel," a one minute video extravaganza of lots of different TV shows Mom worked on. The problem with her new reel is that all the shows on it have been canceled. She spent money that I made on my book deal editing snippets of shows that were all dumped by network TV.
Hollywood is a harsh town. You're only as good as what you're working on right now. Even if you were working on something a month ago, that's old news and if you're not actually working on a show today, you're like a stray dog in Tijuana, covered in the stink of loserdom.
Since we got back from Nice, France, Europe, Mom has spent nearly all of my book deal advance on color head shots, DVDs and internet streaming video services so that Hollywood producers can click on her and watch her in action on canceled shows.
But they're not clicking on Mom. They're clicking on me. I've got a web page on Myspace.com now and hundreds of people are adding me as their friend. Myspace is a place on the Internet where a hundred million people and dogs are hooking up and making "friends." These so-called friends are kind of like Hollywood friends. They don't actually act like they know you unless you're rich and famous.
Mom is six and a half in dog years and that's old in Hollywood. Even when there is a role for a six and a half-year old actress like today on Heather Locklear's new show, "Women of a Certain Age," Mom can't catch a break. She studied her lines all night and this morning, she spent hours rehearsing and doing her hair when her manager called.
Mom's Manager: "Honey, they cut the role from the script. I'm sorry."
Mom: "What?! I was just leaving for Disney in Burbank!"
Then Mom just stood there, motionless in the garden-- in disbelief, hands in the air like an Iraqi bomb victim.
For old actresses, Hollywood is a war zone, like Bahgdad. Unseen forces are always trying to kill your career and every audition is a road-side bomb.