Balthus in Hollywoodland: Yet Another Cautionary Tale

5 Jan

“So, one of the Barrymores turns to me and says –Balthus, you simply must come to Hollywood. It would be such fun.”

“I like a jolly-jolly as much as the next fellow so the following day I found myself winging westward. On the aeroship, I confess instead of getting some rest I stayed up all night downing champagne and kippers with Lord and Lady Somebody or other.”

“So, it was that I plopped down on the left edge of the New World a bit sloshed and sleepless.”

“As outposts go it was no Katmandu. But it did have its charms. Lots of fru fru and young impossibly pretty people who always seemed to be headed either in or out of their pools if they weren’t deep in conversation with their remodeling minions.”

“Somehow, and remember I was a bit befogged, an hour off the plane I found myself directing a talkie.”

“Damn if I can recall how or why but there were these gaffers and best boys and wardrobe individuals waiting around for me to yell — Go for it or Action! or something of that ilk.”

“And I did and they did. Before you could say –LaBrea Tarpits — I had shot a movie.”

“But then they pushed me too far. I exited on the next plane. The buggers wanted me to join The Directors Guild.”

SHUDDER. That is one thing I will not do.”

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