A tale of two Garths. Chapter 34. It’s time to get naked.
Back in LA, Garth’s coke habit got worse. As did mine. The difference between us was mine was recreational. I could take it or leave it. His was a way of life. It was really beginning to affect his mood. His anger began to show through. What had once been a very sweet, caring man had now turned into an angry, self-absorbed human being. His mere presence at work with me made me so nervous I had a hard time enjoying myself. He couldn’t even wait tables without a riding the white line highway. I knew what was happening but what was I going to do? Get him fired? Hummmm. Maybe I should get him fired. I thought to myself as he went into the small single employee bathroom to snort yet another line.
The night went on like this. He would disappear behind the small white door and then reappear as if he had been shocked by some electrical current. With every line he snorted his energy increased to the point I wanted to walk outside just to get some air. Just to get away from him, even if it was just for a small moment in time. I did my best to ignore him and stay away from him, focusing my energy and attention on my own tables. But it was inevitable. When I entered the small employee bathroom myself to actually use it for its intended purpose, I saw the hole that was punched in the wall with the invisible writing that said, “Garth’s been here.” I wanted to hide, to pretend it wasn’t happening. My boyfriend wasn’t capable of this. But he was. And I did hide. From reality. I hid from the truth. I hid from myself.
Garth ended up quitting which was probably a good thing considering I’m pretty sure he was on his way to being fired. He quickly found himself a job in the commercial industry building sets for various production companies. I was free. Our time at home together improved and my time at work was much improved. I could now successfully work my job in peace. It was wonderful!
With a spring back in my step I must have sent off some sort of vibe because others picked up on it. My happiness was contagious. I was making good money, my manager was sending me out on more and more auditions that I still wasn’t booking, and I had finally landed a role in a play. I was so excited! I loved my role. I played a strong, aggressive woman who knew what she wanted and went after it with a passion. During our first rehearsal I threw my scene partner down on the couch without abandon. I crawled on top of him and proclaimed my love and passion for him as he squirmed away in utter fear. Our chemistry was great from the start and we nailed the scene every time. But right before I left for home on the first night of rehearsals I heard whispers from other members of the cast.
“Did you hear? We’re doing the whole play in our underwear?” a woman from another scene whispered to one of her scene partners. What?! Why would we all be in our underwear? My character is unsuccessfully trying to seduce her object of affection. He turns her down. Why would he be in his underwear? This is some sort of joke right? But I had to find out for myself.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to eavesdrop. But did you say we would all be doing the play in our underwear? I asked her.
“Yes. I found out from the stage manager earlier this evening when I asked about costumes.” She replied. Now acting is a vicious trade and she may have just been trying to get rid of me. For all you potential actors out there, TRUST NO ONE! Except your representation and still watch them with a close eye. I had to find out for myself. So I sat back and watched the other actors rehearse their scenes right up until almost midnight. As we all grabbed our bags and made our way outside, I was finally able to push my way through the director’s adoring, ass kissing admirers (there are always a few ass kissers) and sidle up beside him.
“Um…Mr. Director Sir. Is it true that we are going to be performing the entire play in our underwear?”
“Yes. It’s true.” He told me matter of factly like it was no big deal.
“Yeeeaaaaa…. I’m sorry, but I’m don’t see how this play translates to us all wearing our underwear. I mean there aren’t even any sex scenes in it.”
“It’s a creative choice,” he informed me.
“Will you be wearing your underwear during our performances?”
“No,” he snapped, clearly irritated with my logic.
“Then I don’t think I can do this play. I’m sorry, but if there was a reason we were in our underwear I could see doing it. But it seems like you’re making us all wear our underwear for no reason at all except to see us half nude and I’m not cool with that.”
“You’re really quitting?”
“But you’re my first choice for the part.”
“I’m sorry. I really am. But it’s only been one rehearsal. I’m sure your second choice would be more than happy to take the part. But I would be up front about the underwear thing this time.”
I drove home that night feeling very confident in my choice. I mean who the hell was going to take a play seriously where people were running around in their undies just for the hell of it?
Roughly two months later I’m sitting on my couch reading the theater and movie reviews and guess what I came across? Yes, you guessed it. The underwear play. It was a hit! FUCK ME! Critics loved it. They thought the fact the entire play was done nearly nude was “Innovative,” and “Daring!” I want to hit myself in the head with a blunt object right now! I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I was so mad at myself. My pride and fear of disrobing probably cost me future roles. It wasn’t like I was fat, or disfigured in any way either. Hell if I had the body now that I did back then, I swear I would never wear clothes. Drive my daughter to school? I’d be naked. Strip the wallpaper in my dining room? Naked. Grocery shopping? Naked.
“Ma’am would you like paper or plastic?”
“Does it really matter? Have you seen my ass? It’s perfect!” But NOOOOOOO. I had the best body of my life and I chose to keep it covered. I was so fucking stupid.
After the play incident I decided that I wasn’t going to let some clothing and modesty get in my way anymore. As long as I didn’t show nipple or crotch, I was stripping for any one and everyone who asked. Within reason of course.
My stripping addiction started off small enough. I had an audition my friend, mentor, and new acting coach Dennis Berkley hooked me up with. He managed to pull his weight and get me into see his TV/Movie agent. Considering Dennis was an Oscar nominee and has worked steadily in film and TV for many years, I needed this opportunity. I needed it badly. Of course they weren’t interested at first because I didn’t have anything except some student films on tape, but he got me in the door anyway.
“I got you in. The rest is up to you. You can do this.” he assured me with his big bearded smile and cuddly bear demeanor.
I knew what I had to do. I had to go in there and show them I wasn’t like every other pretty girl in Hollywood. I was special. I wasn’t just relying on my looks to get by; I had chops too. So I picked a monologue that had always been done by a man. It was Jeff’s monologue from the movie Suburbia. The one where he takes all his clothes off. The three agents called me into one tiny office and sat across a desk from me. There were two men and one woman, and all three of them were going to have to agree for me to get to sign on the precious dotted line. This was not a small agency either. This was one of the big players. I wanted this. I wanted this bad. So after a small interview I began my monologue. This is Jeff’s /my monologue.
” You know? It used to scare me so much that I didn’t know what was coming in my life. You know, like, like, I would always think, uh, you know, what if I make the wrong move? But maybe there isn’t any right move. You know? I mean look at us. You know, we all dress the same, we all talk the same, we all fuck the same, we all watch the same TV. Nobody’s really different, even if they think they’re different. Oh boy, look at my new tattoo, you know? And see that’s what makes me a freak. Because I can do anything I want, as long as I don’t care about the result.”
*Stacy begins removing articles of her clothing*
“Anything is possible. It is night on planet earth and I’m alive! And someday I’ll be dead. Someday I’ll just be bones in a box, but right now, I’m not. And anything is possible. And that’s why I can go to New York with Snooze because each moment can be just what it is. There’s no failure, there’s no mistake. I just…I just go there and live there and what happens, happens. And so right now I’m getting naked and I’m not afraid. You know? I don’t…I don’t need money man. I don’t, I don’t…I don’t even need a future. I, I could knock all my teeth out with a hammer. So what? You know, I could poke my eyes out. I’d still be alive, you know? At least I’d know that I was doing something real for two or three seconds, you know? It’s all about fear and I’m not afraid anymore, man. Fuck it. FUCK FEAR!!!”
And there I was, standing in their office large as life, in my underwear. I had put it all out there. I had not only done a man’s monologue, but I had taken off practically every piece of clothing I had worn in.
“Thank you. We’ll let you know,” the female agent told me. While both male agents sat back in their chairs mouths hanging open.
“Thank you,” I said as I gathered up my clothes and headed for the door. I put my clothes back on in their lobby while other actors watched me and left with my head held high. I fucking nailed it! Now THAT’S how you do a monologue bitches!
I drove straight over to Dennis’s house to tell him how it went. He was beaming with pride.
“I bet you blew their minds,” he said laughing. Then we sat there waiting. And waiting. And waiting. Almost and hour later the phone finally rang. As he answered it he motioned to me that it was them on the phone. He listened to what they had to say and a huge grin spread across his face. Bust just as fast as his grin had come, it vanished again.
“That’s ridiculous. You can see she’s obviously talented, you said so yourself,” he protested into the phone. But his protests were in vain. They didn’t take me. The male agents said yes. The female said no. The decision had to be unanimous. There was nothing Dennis or I could do to change that fact. Without her, I wouldn’t be signing any contracts or going on any auditions. Not with them at least.
“That’s bullshit!” Dennis said to me as he gave me a big hug. It hurt, sure. But it didn’t matter. It just didn’t work out. But I did finally get naked. And just like eating potato chips, once you get naked for people, you can’t help but do it again.
To be continued….