Hollywood Boulevard

The radio station that comes in clear in the Valley isn’t working quite the same in Hollywood, so I turn it. Just a little, hoping if I move the dial up a notch, Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” will blast smoothly— without fuzz— and I can feel nostalgic and indulge in this brooding artist moment I’m trying to have. But there’s only more static. Then I start to curse myself out for being the only one on planet earth who doesn’t have an iPod yet.

Whatever. It could be worse.

I lean back in the driver’s seat and allow the calming warm wind to sweep across my face like a silk blanket. The tiny hairs on the back of my neck stand up and for this minute I’m completely present. I’m not replaying should have said this moments or worrying about future acting jobs. I’ve forgotten all about iPods. I’m just here. At a red light. On Hollywood Boulevard.

HONK! HONK!

The man with a white beard in the car next to me is excitedly motioning me to roll down my window.

At first I hesitate. But now he’s leaning half way out his door trying to hand me something while his friend wearing a plaid shirt looks over at me, grinning big.

“Yes?” I ask.

“I’m a producer! Take my card.” He shouts over the Hollywood sound effects including a woman yelping happily on her cell phone, a collection of car music (probably from iPods) meshing together and ambulances on missions.

In order for me to reach this man’s puffy hands I need to lean over, quite a bit, to get this card. I put the car in park, stick my body half way out the window, extend my arm further than I thought possible and grab it. I’m pretty flexible. Who knew!

The bearded man notices I’m unimpressed (I’ve had one too many of these and it shows, no doubt). He shouts again, “We cast all our own films!”

The card is thin, as though he’s printed it from home. It’s got HOLLYWOOD written across the top in large, bold lettering for decoration, and it says: Cell phone…

Just like that. No number, just several dots and a Web site address. I’m admitting that way deep down, in a place I’d never tell anyone, I have that secret hope that maybe these people work for Woody Allen and this is my lucky day… but when I check out their website later that evening I’m disappointed to see it’s, well, definitely not Woody Allen’s people. The site is one page and full of photographs of people in board meetings. Was I being Punk’d?

Oh well.

Later that evening I finally get my brooding artist’s moment while blasting “Landslide” in my studio. If I can’t have it in my car, I can sure listen to Stevie Nicks at home.

Alice can be reached at AliceActress@yahoo.com.

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