I’m caking dark-purple eye shadow all over my eyelids and then using a softer, slightly rounder brush to spread some color upwards, toward my brow bone. I’m trying to look cheap. Then I draw liquid-black eyeliner across the lid of my eye, past the eye crease, giving that “cat eye” appearance. After a few failed attempts at applying false eyelashes, they stick. Finally. I hate these silly lashes. Women don’t really wear these, do they?
I’m preparing to act in the short film my boyfriend and I wrote where I play a woman of the night, or should I say, prostitute. The scene we’re to film is me walking down Hollywood Boulevard and getting picked up by a man driving a Porsche; forgive me: Porsche-a — the correct pronunciation.
My phone rings.
“The ibuprofen isn’t working,” my friend Anna whispers as she’s keeled over in pain, tightening her body into a compact little ball. Streams of tears run down her cheeks; I can tell by her whimpers.
“How many have you taken?” I ask.
“I don’t know, seven?” she cries.
“I’ll be right there,” I say.
And in a matter of seconds I’ve thrown the leopard miniskirt, four inch heels, and short fur coat (fake, of course) — my costume for the shot — into a large bag, I explain to Jon, who directs the change in plan, and run to my car.
I get to Anna’s apartment. I take one look at her.
“I’m taking you to the Emergency Room,” I order.
“Don’t you have to film?” she musters out, barely audible.
“Filming can wait.”
Anna’s having some sort of reaction to something – what, we don’t know — but she’s turning blue and unable to move. She barely has enough energy to speak. I zoom through traffic lanes, receive several jarring honks, and blow a red light, but we make it in time for Anna to be whisked away in a wheel chair.
I don’t realize anything’s odd until I stick the visitor’s mug shot- style photo they made me take to my pants. My make-up! No wonder everyone keeps staring at me. In this fluorescent lighting I really do look like a hooker who’s ended up in the ER!
I’m escorted to Anna’s room by an accommodating nurse where the doctor assures me that Anna will be just fine, even though she’s hooked to an IV — she’ll be fine to go home tonight. It was an allergic reaction to something she ate. They’re doing tests.
As soon as her boyfriend arrives I zoom over to Hollywood Boulevard to meet Jon and the crew. It’s midnight and I have to work in the morning, but I’ll be darned if we don’t get this shot. Parked on the side of the road I inch lower in my seat and quickly change into the leopard miniskirt and heels. I strut down Hollywood Boulevard like I know exactly what I’m doing. Unaware filming is taking place, a few men start talking to me, and I stay in character. A few police officers drive past and I turn my head the other way as if shifting my head will suddenly make me disappear, but it works. We get the shot. Just as planned. Emergency room, purple eye shadow, police officers and all….
What a night.
Alice can be reached at AliceActress@yahoo.com.