My cousin, Susan, has been in town this week and we met her for dinner at Gus’s Barbeque (sic) in South Pasadena tonight. She has a 7am flight back to Kansas City tomorrow morning so this was our chance to get to see her this trip. We drove up from Anaheim.. I drove, Mr Pie slept most of the way. I had to wake him up to see the statue of Liberty in front of the library in El Monte, but he was awake when a flock of green Amazon parrots in South Pasadena descended on a loquat tree beside our car when we were stopped for a red light. The light was poor, so we have no photos of this amusing event.
We met my sister, Kathy, and her daughter, Susan, who is named for our cousin, Susan, and ate ribs and chicken and told stories about Hollywood and in-laws and exes, and laughed. Cousin Susan suggested that Kathy start a blog called “My Life With Tony”, about her ex, and then blackmail him, now that he might actually start getting a regular paycheck.
Not really. Tony has offered to assist my youngest if she wants to look for an agent. He has some connections and can tell her where to get good headshots and what to put down for a resume.
l to r: Susan, Susan, Kathy, and me.
Tony has worked as an extra in Hollywood for about 15 years. If you saw “Men in Black”, in the scene where Will Smith touches the little ball and causes it to fly all around the building, at the end of its flight it flies through a doughnut hole and hits some guy on the butt. That butt belongs to my sister’s ex, Tony. He is currently working as Norman the Doorman on Disney’s “The Suite Life of Cody and … somebody”. A little part, but steady, and he gets lines sometimes. He played the devil in a print ad for beer, he played a general who gets blown up in “Spiderman”, and at the very end of “Million Dollar Baby”, that very last scene with Clint Eastwood… that’s not Clint. Clint wanted to direct that scene, and that’s Tony. He used to look like an ad for Arrow shirts, now he looks enough like Clint Eastwood that he can double for him.
My niece, Susan, and her sister used to work in Hollywood when they were kids. They were not stars, nobody you’d recognize; they were extras, sometimes with a line but usually not. They were members of SAG, they took classes and met people like Diane Keaton. Both girls are in college now and have little interest in the industry these days.
Cousin Susan’s son’s girlfriend has just been signed by an agency, and her specialty is voiceovers. She hasn’t gotten hired yet, but the agency has sent her on several auditions in the past two days, since they signed her. At dinner tonight it must have sounded like everyone in Southern California works in the industry.
We asked her when she was moving to California. We should have asked her when she would start looking for an agent. Susan is charismatic and pretty (this photo doesn’t do her justice) and could probably find work. Mr Pie joked about wanting to play the dead guy on a show like “Bones” or “CSI”, and she encouraged him. We know the reality of the “overnight success”: it takes 10 to 15 years. We knew a child who worked regularly, was in movies and print ads and on tv fairly often, and did voiceovers, but was never famous. Her mother figured out that, on average, she got every 23rd job. That was an awful lot of time spent on the freeway and not in school or playing. She read for Aaron Spelling, she read for parts in “Quantum Leap” and “Married with Children” and “V”.
It’s really hard work becoming an overnight success.