Tag Archives: Hollywood

I miss LA [aka culture and where are my pills, NY?]

Where are my fuckin' Pills, NY?!

Where are my fuckin' Pills, NY?!

Yes, sometimes when your author is blandly killing time in a CVS listening to popular music over the speakers that she would never admit liking… she feels a sort of longing for Los Angeles. There is a version of quiet in LA that is unique. Somehow, all of the sudden, one desires being in this slow, visually saturated, lonely Wong Kar Wai town. Laconic and alone, soothing self-introspection blended in via comforting and song-like voice over. To be clear, we use “Wong Kar Wai” as an adjective here. Somehow, one just wants to be there. Its a strange subtly self-effacing desire. Probably not much different from what I’ve felt before about living in Manhattan and effectively being a cog in a larger world. There is a difference, though. In Manhattan, there is no separation between person and city… it’s like one becomes a charcoal drawing who’s arm can with an accidental swipe of the artist’s hand, slowly disappear into the atmosphere… shading out. The mood can reach similar heights in both cities… the weight and/or cohesive, singular solidity of an individual will always remain on opposite spheres. One is definitively a separate entity in Los Angeles. …which makes a moody, lonely night with very little breeze and perfect temperature all-the-more striking… all-the-more alienating in a comforting manner.

I mean, as a good friend once said to a young author yet to experience Los Angeles, “Its everything that everyone says… it’s a place that one does not need to experience to  really know what it is”… or something like that. Great weather, vapid Hollywood stuff, you have to drive, blonde chicks, blahblahblah. This is all true. But there is longing for what I can only describe as a desire for true loneliness that one can only understand after experiencing it.

So there is that.

Now Los Angeles has also been known for its desperation. But it’s a desperation that lives just beneath the surface of the entire town. Quietly but solidly rumbling away. This is what happens when the weather is so comfortable and people smile all the time. Now, New York is also know for desperation. New York desperation is visible and tangible. Everything is just more difficult here. More difficult, more expensive, more extreme, more uncomfortable in a physical sense. Basically, you really have to want to live here. And this creates a city of very passionate people. Intense. But, man, sometimes you just want to chill for a second, even.

…and maybe you want to get an Rx for pills that are basically entitled to you in Los Angeles. And this story goes:

Part of this comes down to culture. There’s no one thats really “Old School” in LA. LA is the land of the eternally young. Regardless of if one is young or not, one aspires to appear youthful and relevant. You know, health and jogging and plastic surgery and yoga and whatever is the ‘new’ thing. This obsession with the ‘new’ probably contributes to what others attribute as a flatness to the place. The card-board cut-out-ness of it all. It almost destroys time up until this point (even though that is impossible).

Thus, there are no real old guys that have been, say a dentist, forever and therefore have that “in my day…” attitude.

Fixing everything with a pill and quick fixes are relatively new things. As such, they are things that this city [LA] has subscribed to with much gusto.

The theoretical Old School NY dentist (with possibly a stereotypical bit of east coast attitude) would subscribe to the notion of pain with a ‘tough it out’ sort of philosophy. Unimpressed or just unaware of the ‘quick fix’ as an option. Nothing needs to be fixed… it’s just pain.

This equals no pills.

No pills = boo!

Theoretical case in point: One goes to the multitude of dentists in LA (most, in my experience, East Indian… and some, of course, extremely fit and relatively good-looking) and for anything even minutely interpretively painful, one is almost expected an Rx for something recreationally abusable. A basic tooth extraction is guaranteed some vikes (I mean as it should be. Basic or not this is the ‘pulling teeth’ of actually pulling teeth). Even the suggestion of pain and small request gets an LA dentist pulling out his prescription pad. This author can tell you that she was novicained and nitroused up for a cleaning. A cleaning. A fuckin’ cleaning!!! Why does anyone need nitrous for a cleaning? Who the fuck cares?

One goes to the proverbial dentist in say… Queens, NY… one gets a basic wisdom tooth extraction (of an otherwise normal though cavity laden wisdom tooth… not impacted the root is not infected). Basic extraction, yes… but you are pulling a bony structure from inside a socket in one’s mouth. Yes, it didn’t really hurt, what with the novacaine and all.

“It may start to hurt when the novacaine wears off. If that happens just take 3 Advil.” – Dentist.

Trying not to sound like a drug seeking individual, “What if it really hurts?” – author.

I proceed to gently prod him in the direction of an opioid pill Rx. I leave with nothing except one less tooth and bloody gauze in my mouth. I give it a few for the novacaine to wear off (and it does hurt… on a scale of 1 to 10, I would say, 2?… but it does hurt), I call the office…

“It really really hurts… I didn’t know that it would hurt THIS much” – author.

The receptionist tells me to give it time and let the Advil take effect… if it still really hurts in a few hours, then call us back.

A few hours pass, I call. This time NY dentist gets on the phone. I, in no uncertain terms, describe the “pain that is radiating in my eyeball and head”.

“Take more Advil. I’m surprised that it hurts at all… You know, because these Tylenol with Codeine won’t even… [Won’t even WHAT?!]… no, Your best bet if the Advil doesn’t work is to take extra strength Tylenol.” -Dentist.

Okay, apparently, you don’t like my liver. I wasn’t even talking about Tylenol 3 which is a bullshit high.

So, drug-seeking-behaviour-seeming or not, someone’s gotta say it: “What about Vicodin?” – author.

“No, that wouldn’t even do anything for this sort of pain.” -Dentist.

What?!

Um, I’m sorry, yes it would.

You don’t need a degree in dentistry, in medicine, you don’t even need to know how to read…. you just need to have taken Vicodin one time in the past.

Stunned into silence, I hear myself utter, “Are you sure?”.

“Yeah…” -Dentist (as he goes back to his extra strength Tylenol stance).

Lies!!! And thus a HUGE piece of me wants to be back in LA where the weather is warm, pilot season is a-brewin’ and I don’t have to go thru this bullshit to obtain a valid prescription for valid pain for a mildly narcotic pill that I don’t end up getting anyway. All that I need to do is ask… and have a dental procedure.

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Life after Hollywood (powerhouse agent to drug & alcohol counselor)

So, yeah, for a ‘drug blog’ 23rd Street has traipsed a bit in the entertainment business arena possibly more than its demographic would prefer… but here is a little token of a lovely half and half bastard love child of both (kinda like the Tiger Woods of links… or like his children… because its best when trickled down a further generation mixmixmix!!!!):

Hollywood Agent Lisa Hallerman Makes Life Change: Leaving WME to Help Addicts (DHD)

That’s it, man.

Well, no, that’s not it. I actually didn’t read the article until just now. The whole thing sounds fuckin’ fine… but a bit too Dr. Drew to me.

Eh, whatever…

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Hollywood ASST

So, again, the author here is going crazy posting semi-off-topic things. I am not trying to alienate. But, to be honest, roughly one-third of my time I was tweaked and wined-calm was on a desk of a Hollywood exec. Which, now, that I think about it is not that uncommon in Hollywood. Maybe a bit uncommon for an assistant. But my most mild, ‘controlled’ and last hurrah was on a desk talking to a client of one of three bosses I had at the time on Mid-Wilshire. Lest we not forget the long ago and faraway “…this took a bit more planning” (which incidentally has been updated with a small time and space thing and makes it a total !must-read!). Well, then, there was that interim thing that I had shortly after.

Why am I telling you any of this? Well, it’s possible to carry-on as a functional human being… furthermore, excel at the human being/efficiency stuff while on meth and 2 buck chuck at 8AM in the morning. And long hours, man. You gotta love what you are doing. Tweaked and balanced-down, I was happy as a clam. Also, gregarious-enough and insightful and able to bring it back around to the parts of the business that related to the parts of art in film. And because I’m going to post this video. You see, even though I am once again, in the city that never sleeps, I will always miss my years in the city that never cares. It was quite serendipitous.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/3265420]

This is a relatively old video, but the folks at 23rd Street love the occasional reminiscing. We promise that we will get back on track with the self-loathing after-drug stuff soon.

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Hollywood Shadows (The New Yorker)

Yes, this is primarily a drug blog. 23rd Street doesn’t really have to do with Hollywood beyond the fact that 1/3 of my drug experiences have taken place there. So, we will find ourselves there once and a while. But there is an interconnection between drug abuse/use/addiction and therapy and the all elusive ‘writer’ that this author may or may not be.

That being said:

Hollywood Shadows (The New Yorker)

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“how much do I owe you?”

“don’t worry about it… just pay me in drugs“.

I would love to regale you with the following little story.

Just around the time this little blog was born, one could describe me as grey… exceedingly grey. The meth was gone, my head a cloud of dead synapses… um… just grey.

But because I am a jack of many trades within my given realm of interest, along-side my job-job… I decided to edit demo reels… for actors. A demo reel or show reel, for those of you who do not know, is basically a visual video resume. It may seem like a no-brainer or an unartistic venture, but the assembling of said reels takes a bit of skill and talent. Because I was drowning in the sea of name-dropping and kissing ass that is Hollywood, I thought why not inject myself with a bit of creativity? (pun intended) I thought ‘who knows actors better than an actor‘. No, you haven’t heard of me. ‘Who knows how to edit better than someone that understands narrative and flow? Someone that has made films’. …still haven’t heard of me. ‘Who would be able to showcase talent in  a visual manner better than a talent manager-ish’.

And so, even in my exceeding haze, I was able to, compile great reels in a casual manner.

What does any of this have to do with dysfunction and/or drugs? So, I’m working very closely with Actor A in order to compile a demo reel. It was alot of work… but I didn’t mind it. It is always, for me atleast, more interesting to have so many great scenes to work with and have to do more work consequently than to try to create something out of nothing (ie, actors with no material that want a reel). I’ll do either, I’m just saying.

Then, Actor A’s reel: done! My first, I would have to say, quality/professional job. It was great shit. And we both new it. And so, we come full circle:

“how much do I owe you?”

At the time, I didn’t even know. Again, grey/barely able to focus on one thing/this whole art and commerce dissident I’ve had forever. And so, “whatever” is what came out of my mouth.

“Whatever” is not what comes out of my mouth now, however.

Now, I, in fact was actually able to focus on more than one thing. Editing and during editing sessions, sort of softly directing conversation… ever so softly.

You see, Actor A and your author, here, have in common certain past experiences, allegedly. My job was to make Mr or Ms A aware of a general vibe of the aforementioned certain past experiences in your author’s experience. Now, “A” is a client, not only of mine now, but of the company for which I work, and though our policy on certain things are much more lax than anywhere that functions at this level… I still had to be careful.

It didn’t start out this way, but the idea slowly began snowballing a bit inside my head. What idea? Um… “…the just pay me in drugs”-idea. What I did have going for me was that “A”, at the time, did sell pot to one of my bosses regularly. This was no secret. Atleast among my boss and I and “A”.

Anyway, done! We were done. Ahhhh!!! Okay, I just had to do it. I had brought it to a nice awareness point… and in a joking manner, I say something to the effect of, “if you can get me some meth, it’s totally free…. ha ha ha ha…” sigh… Then, it was more like, “no, really.”

You must understand that I didn’t quit using meth the second time strictly because I was ‘over-it’…. though I must say that I was…. but because, for one reason or another, I no longer had a dealer. If I hadn’t been ‘over-it’, I would have gone and gotten one. Like I did the time before and the time before that. I believe that I must have had 5 or so different meth dealers in CA in two years. NY was only one, baby!… he still brings a smile to my face. Baby digressions aside, there is a strange sort of mini-high that comes along deciding that you are over meth and just won’t do it really. This strange sort of very very very mini-high lasts all of a few days, at the most. Now, you have to understand that this was just short of a year after “I’m over it”.

grey as hell and no end in sight. A bag of meth would have been nice.

And it was.

to be continued.

I must say that I might be impressed. This post is a throw-back to the beginning… you know, proper posts, when I wrote stories (semi-autobiographical, at that)… rather than stumbling around on the interwebs and re-posting interesting drug links. yeaaaaaayyyyahhhhh!!!

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Drugs.

Drugs (Land Of Mind)

Hmm… all of these “negatives” are fun. I mean, where’s the drama?… how would Jerry Stahl, Hollywood, Mafias, Narcotic divisions of Law Enforcement, etc, etc and so forth… make a living without these negatives? What would Republicans complain about?

My 2 cents: if one cannot get drugs (in this day and age), one isn’t trying hard enough. And if one isn’t trying hard enough… one shouldn’t deserve and/or actually get to do them.

Just another reactionary post written while completely sober (I know, right!?) by the folks at 23rd street.

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Cancer is Funny

It really is.

Watch this. “The Big C”, they call it now… Showtime renamed it from “The C Word” (What it was originally titled in the version they showed to the network)… and appropriately so. I know this, of course, because this is the kind of stuff that I just happen to know…. like carpenters know how to hang stuff up on walls. ..don’t know if I’d call this a perk, but living and working in the location and business of Hollywood for five and a half years, one has to retain something.

The Big C on Showtime

It’s also different in tone from the unaired pilot. (…that I happen to have on my person… if by person, one means computer). The doctor is older and British for one and like a completely different actor (this class, is what we call re-casting the role; ‘going in a different direction’.)

In addition, the recasting brings to the forefront, to an even larger degree, Laura Linney’s subtle MILFiousity. Which would explode the cap off of a certain friend’s MILF-ecta*

*specific category of “Trifecta”… “Trifecta” itself, short, or an informal version, of “Ultimate Trifecta (Top 3) Chicks to Fuck”… though, to be honest, I may have taken liberty there with the completed, formal title of the informal Trifecta. eh… I tend to do that.

You’ll see the difference when and if I decide to post it. I’ll decide to post it, when and if, someone reads this and decides that this what they would like to have happen. I’ll never know unless someone comments, though. …which may never happen because no one reads this. Then, class, we can have a discussion.

Thank you, drive thru.

What does this have to do with drug addiction?

like… everything.

P.S. okay, no one reads this thing, so: The Big C (pre-air)

discuss…

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StoryTime! …yay!

Its as straight-forward as it sounds. Story Time = a Time for a Story.

On with the show.

02 June 2007…
I don’t know if I’m tired. But I find myself on a cousin of the vinyl/plastic-y comfort of the mats that line all high school gymnasiums. In a certain New York suburban abyss, they were orange; here, I believe they are some sort of navy…. With my scratchy fiber-glass “blanket” that I am instructed to take from one in a series of garbage cans that hold things like scratchy blankets and useless sheets… And so, I feel absolutely exquisite!!!

…if not for the fact that I just ruined my entire life and/or the fact that I now share quarters with crack-addict middle-aged women felons in the felony tank somewhere in Van Nuys. I don’t even know where Van Nuys is. I understand that it is in ‘The Valley” though. A place where, unless required to by a work commitment, or a medical emergency, one really has no reason to be. No reason to travel over the wondrous Hollywood Hills to Burbank or Sherman Oaks. It’s like living in Manhattan and going into Brooklyn or Staten Island . Useless and time consuming.

But for not better, and much much worse, I find myself in the Van Nuys prison. I must side-track a second here and say that I was looking pretty kick-ass. My hair was still passable as awesome [growing out, but still boyish short and adorable at that] and I was wearing this totally unconv-trendy-like almost sea foam green Diesel t-shirt/dress-like, though sweat-shirt material ensem; completely off-the shoulder, it wrapped around just under my collar bone… with black capri leggings; lace at the bottom and ballet flats [this will become useful later].

After a myriad of finger printing and confiscating of bag complete with searching through and itemizing; counting of my cash; removal of all jewelry [rings, earrings, toe-ring, necklace… some of which I never take off]. I am sent to this random room then to holding cell; where I’m first introduced to bed-cots with aforementioned high school gym-mat mattresses while cold cold air blows on me. It is June in California , there is no reason that cold, cold air should blow on anyone. Though it is the valley, I suppose.

I am allowed to keep my jacket. In the holding cell, there are no scratchy blankets or useless sheets; and my exposed shoulders and bottom of legs POP with goosebumps. There is this one other chick in there when I get in. Sort of young like me watching some mind rotting reality-something on this television that is blaring it’s sound from the ceiling with it’s friend the cold, cold air. It’s like I’m on an ecstacy trip gone bad wherein all of my senses are hyper-aware of all that is uncomfortable in my immediate experience of the world and rendered unavoidable. [this is theoretical, mind you, I was not on ecstacy]. And this is also when I stop receiving information about what is presently and will happen to me.

I was arrested in West Hollywood probably a quarter of a mile from my house. The arresting cops were really nice. I dug them. And asked them a lot of questions about themselves. I mean, I was freaking out a bit, this was not part of the night’s plans or anything, but why not make it fun? There was this one rookie cop that was totally fresh off cop academy or whatever. I asked the other guy, seasoned and such if he’d ever killed anyone. He had not.

TO BE CONTINUED.

heh… I always say that.

It’s not a lie unless I die without continuing…

p.s. the fact that I got caught was surprising to me. kiko is above the law, you see. I mean, the rules never applied to me before this relatively ultimately debacle.

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a minor detail

So, I have this minor lingering ‘thing’ (that would probably be addressed if I had ever gone to rehab or NA… but then, this blog wouldn’t exist, atleast in this manifestation, if I had) that plagues me and prevents me, in part, from easily sliding back into the human race.

Like, what the fuck do people do? As leisure and all of that?

The way I see it, this issue has developed and built upon itself in a slightly exponential manner via a few channels.

a. Relative sobriety, for me, meant that I needed to find substitute behaviour. The aforementioned substitute behaviour would have been work. Work for work’s sake. Very ‘meth’, if you will. Meth behaviour without methamphetamine. This, in itself, is very suspect. Though I might add the physical quitting of the actual using of the meth is far and away the largest step in the correct direction. …or atleast, that’s what common sense seems to dictate. And furthermore, I just need to add, I am naturally very inclined toward repetitive, action-oriented meth-like behavior in general. Some might classify this as slight OCD, I might (read: do) classify these people as retarded.

Okay, back to why this is suspect… I began working at a new place, but continued doing things that I’d been doing my entire professional time in Hollywood. …things that I could do with my eyes closed, both-hands tied behind my back …oh, and high on meth and drunk on white wine. For more detail, see: ‘this took a bit more planning…’ And this may seem a bit backward, but I had been doing these Hollywood assistant-type things, at this point for about two years high and drunk. Yeah, there were about two years before that where I wasn’t. But I wasn’t very good, either: shy, learning and really just unaware of everything. And so, I was sincerely afraid that I wouldn’t be able to continue to do these things in the way that I’d finally learned to do them (communicate on the phone, blahblahblah) if I wasn’t. …high and drunk. So, it became a very focused effort to get to work on time and do my job as well as I could. Plus, one thing at a time, man… I mean, I didn’t even know that I’d be able to function in any sort of human capacity in general without the glory of intoxication.

And it may strike a longer sympathetic chord when I remind one of the fact that Hollywood is Hollywood (behind the scenes business-ness or not)… meth makes you skinny with minimal effort. When one’s only expenses are meth and 2 buck chuck… the money that would have gone to food now goes to cute, funky clothing and highlights. And not to digress too much, but the alcohol drops one’s normal filter and heightens one’s warmth and humanity and certain degree of no-holds-barred honesty while meth acts as a strange but directed filter on the ‘normal’ filter that alcohol dropped. Then meth brings forth the stagnant ideas floating around the brain while the alcohol soothes the anxiety that the meth ideas bring forth. It all balances out in a way that, on paper, seems like, “why bother doing any of this?”.

I can’t say anything to this other than “try it”.

So, in the end, I was obviously able to do my job. And because obsession is rooted in fear and I am me… it, like most things, became a highly ritualized no-brainer. But a highly ritualized no-brainer that I lived and died by. I came in early (imagine that) and stayed late. I did nothing else. …well, except for the court-ordered weekly DUI alcohol program that wasted my money and ate my soul for three months. But after this, it was seriously almost three years of nothing but work, weekend hibernation, work… you get it.

Toward the end of my Hollywood tenure, I did become more comfortable in my own skin and thus went out just a bit; slightly dipping a toe here and there back into the land of eating disorders not-otherwise-specified… oh, and drinking half a bottle of white wine a night, after work. All mild stuff (not excusing any of the behaviour)… but it is what it is. I was milder in my self-destruction and older in my time-line. So, as it goes, the intoxication became less absolute, dramatic and spiky… and more the equivilent of a bud light or something absolutely… slow and exquisitely mundane.

…to be continued. (I mean, because you can’t just have an a.) that way).

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How Do You Plea…?

I claim that I drove (instead of fly) across the country because I wanted to ‘appreciate the physical distance between these two places’ bypassing any cognitive miser-dom associated with LAX > board plane; and viola!, 6 hours later, JFK > exit plane. I oftentimes don’t ‘get it’ you see. This ‘it’ varies from situation to situation. Sometimes it’s a general central idea; at other times, its a wide-scoping, long range truth that I’ve been one of the only people unable to ‘get’. I guess the latter can specifically be attached to certain periods of hardcore drug usage and things of that nature’s lovely cocktail that I’d created with a quart of denial and equal part glee. The former (general, central idea) is less dramatic, more incidental and I’d suppose easily attributed to not paying attention.

I also suppose that this could be correct… though too general and very easily submerged into a sea of ADHD or Dyslexia. …wherein schedule II stimulants are forced upon blahblahblah… I believe I’ve made my psychological diagnostics argument many-a-time before. In short, I believe I may not completely pay attention because I’m just a careless listener, whom, at this point has become easily bored (due to past illicit and current less-illicit/dr prescribed drug-usage coupled with my most current years spent listening to people that love to hear the sound of their own voice ie. Hollywood agents, managers, actors and producers… and their mini-me’s in the form of assistants). …not that I don’t miss Hollywood, the west coast or the business. But I digress.

And so, I felt that it might be better, quality-of-life-wise, if I did it this way. Drive instead of plane-ing it, I mean. It is a grandiose, dramatic and, most importantly, typical move for me, yes. Much harder than need be, possibly impossible, and interpretively unneccessary. But the experience was not for experience’s sake. It’s great to be able to tell a good story… which this could be given the state of my car (which, itself, is yet another story… and has possibly been accounted for, in fragmented bits-and-pieces on this very blog ….oh how meta-). Right there, I have two possibly interesting stories. So, that argument can be made, Mr. Lawyer for the Plaintiff. …which, I guess would be the notion of experience for experience’s sake and a good story. Or my car?

I also have motive. As a sometimes practicing former writer, this sort of thing is probably always bubbling, however muffled or forgotten beneath the surface. This, I suppose would be akin to the genetics argument.

But I plea, not guilty, to these charges. And my reason? Again, I needed something this big to ‘get it’. Because, I knew that I may not.




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