HOLLYWOOD'S PROLETARIAT
by Johnny John



“I’m fucked.” The words drool out of my mouth with a gloomy gloom. “Fuck’n sucks man.” Sean, my friend and roommate, says. Flump. The bartender sets a beer in front of me. “On the house,” she says. No one ever gave me a beer on the house before. I suppose I really am fucked.

The guy at the end of the bar asks why I get the free beer. He missed the short version of the sad story I gave to the bartender. So I give him the long one.

Two months earlier my college buddies (Sean and Todd), myself and this guy, Phil, made the 34 hour drive from the heartland of Illinois and into the heart of Los Angeles. Four would-be film makers excited to get their jump on the industry. We didn’t have things like connections, experience, jobs, or money, but we did have something important… we had credit cards. Everyone but me had credit cards. Either way, we were determined to become recognized and make it big.

Two weeks later, I was unemployed and confused why no one had called back about the resumes I had sent out. Todd and Sean both settled for unpaid internships, but not me. While they were answering phones, getting producers coffee and

running scripts around town, I was in my pajamas eating cereal on the couch watching VH1’s “Where are They Now”. I was holding out for a paid gig.

One day I was driving in the valley, with the horrible thought that I’d have to start waiting tables, when I got a call on my cell phone. It was a producer! She was making an “important film” and was looking for a “quick learner and high achiever” (those words were printed on MY resume!) to be her personal assistant. She asks if we could meet for breakfast. I told her that I’d have to check my schedule, pretending like I was really busy, but I told her it would probably be fine.

So there I was in my best (only) suit with a cup of coffee in front of me when a 30 something T-shirt and blue jeans wearing Bonnie sat down opposite me. “You must be John,” she says. “Yeah, how did you know?” I say. “You’re the only one wearing a suit”, she says.

Bonnie cut to the chase. She was producing an independent film called The Big ‘O’, a documentary following three women in search of their orgasms. “Are you interested?” Hmmmmm, I wanted to do more Hollywood feature film stuff, but I was broke and needed a job. “How much can you pay?” I ask. “I can’t pay you, but I can give you a copy of the film when it’s completed.” Hmmmmm, not really a Hollywood feature film and she can’t pay me. That didn’t sound too good, but maybe I’d just have to face the fact that everyone has to start out at the bottom.