“If anyone wants to use my brain for free, take me to good parties”. That one line
that I started saying in my talks a little while ago has unlocked more experiences
than I can put in print.
Luckily for me, Naomi Grossman (best known for playing “Pepper” in American Horror Story)
put her hand up at my talk, so here we are, doing the whole Hollywood party thing.
First up, an exclusive-ass club off the gold star walk in Hollywood.
We walk to the front of the VIP line and she bumps into a guy, mid-forties looking, who is deeply embarrassed.
Naomi barks at the bouncers: “Don’t you know who he is?” I’m like “OH SHIT! People still
say that! I’m in real L.A. now!”
“He was in…(whispers in his ear) wait, what were you in again?”
“Charmed” he replies, quietly.
He was the lead actor!
Well, here is Hollywood, in one moment.
If you’re in a hot TV show, bouncers pull back the rope for you.
If it’s been a few years since you’re last hit, you can’t even get in the building.
Or you have the right connections, like I did.
This totally isn’t why me and Naomi are friends, but the first rule of Hollywood is:
Hang out with people who are more famous than you.
So now we’re in a bar full of Hollywood faces and Naomi points some guy out:
“Check him out! He did the 69 scene with Borat! The best scene in any movie ever”
I remember the shit in a bag scene, but not that one.
I wonder if that actor will go to his grave best known for that?
Next: I notice a very, very attractive girl who is taller than me.
She has everything in it’s right place, to quote Radiohead.
I wonder at what point I’ll become de-sensitized to the way people look here, or will I just get sucked into it.
Most of the guys I’ve met/hung with since I’ve been here have somehow dropped into the conversation
how many girls they’re sleeping with.
I’m thinking “You made it all the way to the best city on earth with the best opportunities on earth, and you spend half your time chasing your compulsions?
Wow, big deal guys”.
I always struggle with what to talk about with models. What I want to hear is the fucked up stories,
the abuse, the dark stuff (that’s generally all I want to hear from anyone in the entertainment industry)
but getting her to admit that is also her admitting that she is going through that, which she won’t want to admit to herself.
She goes from saying “I’m totally happy modeling” to “The agents treat me like a piece of meat and the girls are really catty” in about three minutes. Her blood is my gold, just as y’all like to read about my insecurities and sexual frustrations right here on Facebook 😉
Things are just getting good but I can feel myself getting sucked into a black hole so I take her Instagram (that’s what you do in L.A.- no phone numbers, no Facebook. I gotta get my IG game back on fleet) and rejoin Naomi and we continue working the room.
I’m seeing every cliche of Hollywood come to life in front of me- The old men holding hands with the young girls, mugging off for the cameras on the red carpet (see the pic below ha), everyone not even pretending that we’re not starfuckers.
There’s a rush to surround someone and I hear the cameraman say “Tupac’s over there!”
I want to reply “You mean he’s not living on an island with Biggie Smalls?” but it wouldn’t have got a laugh 🙁
This was the guy playing Tupac in the new Tupac biopic (I presume, he was getting mobbed so I couldn’t see him).
Hollywood seethes into your very being.
If you’ve never had a “hit” or been “someone” you look around and think “I want that”
Y’all do it everyday when you log into Instagram and envy other peoples’ lives.
Despite what the mental health people say, it’s just some shit on a screen, not that different to watching TV or Movies has been these past 50 years.
That shit is right there in front of you.
You’re going to meet people with a lot of money.
Literally everyone is fit.
Cosmetic surgery raising the bar for everyone.
I’ve hung out with more famous people in the first week than I have done in the past year.
So if you feel insecure? This shit is in 3D and coming at you from all angles.
I can see how you could move here and become someone you’re not trying to be one of these people.
Thing is: Most people are driven by either sex or money, and there’s boatloads of both happening here.
A girl we’re out with suggests we go somewhere where she “always gets free drinks”.
You know I have to ask:
“Why do you get free drinks?”
And you can guess what answer is coming next…
“Oh, I sleep with the barman sometimes”.
You can get what you want with sex, you can get it through money, you can get it through connections,
but you best find a way to get it, ‘cos this is America, and it’s no place for losers.
America’s the best place in the world for opportunity, but if you fall off the wrong side…I ain’t even gonna dwell…
My view of human nature is famously cynical (it’s driven most of my marketing/business success, that people will be their worst selves and can be predictable if you approach everything from an amoral perspective) and I’m very interested in the social dynamics that exist between humans, so LA is fucking interesting to me.
The whole town exists on this crooked, awful, pay-to-play power dynamic which is brutal, and challenging.
We head to a club called “No Vacancy” where one of our crew knows the bouncers.
The two guys who try to come in behind us are told “We’re full unless you’re paying for a table”
The second rule of Hollywood:
You best find a way…
The club itself has a novel concept. Kinda like a hotel.
You enter then choose a random door.
The girls know what’s about to happen so send me in first
I’m now in a girls’ bedroom and she is sitting on the bed in lingerie.
The setup is, well, like a brothel from the Wild West, like, highly sexually suggestive.
In situations that are deliberately setup to fuck with you, I find attack is the best form of defense,
so I roll out the Bart Simpson line I use almost every time I go out:
“I’m Vin Clancy, who the hell are you?”
She smiles and says:
“I am Lola. Welcome. Where you from, kiddo?”
“London, England, Ma’am. This is my first week here.”
“Well, you’re gonna have a good time tonight”
Then something happens that leaves me stunned. She says:
“This room is not an exit. Don’t come back here. Welcome to No Vacancy. Please go down the stairs”
And the bed MOVES ACROSS THE DAMN ROOM IN ONE SWIFT MOVEMENT LIKE MECHANICS OR SOME SHIT revealing a staircase down into the bar
We walk down and the place is rocking.
I ruin the group dynamic when I discover one of the girls is into Emo music and we geek out on bands.
Emo was, and will be, the last youth subculture in human history, before internet became the only subculture.
Since Emo died off (2009) there has not been a single musical movement with it’s own dress sense, musical movement, youth culture feeling.
Dubstep was the musical movement which followed, but it had no particular dress sense.
Since then? Nothing.
I’ve been all over the world and the only main stream “vibe” of new music is EDM, which can hardly be called subversive (though it is amazing live).
We geek out a bit more but the nights nearly over so we’re walking back to our cars (Uber is my car but still) and we’re talking about how people break into Hollywood.
I wish I had some secret sauce to report back to y’all
It’s a strangely old fashioned “be seen at the right parties” as a major key to success.
If a publicist can get you on the red carpet at multiple events in one night, you’re doing really well.
Layer on networking with the right people, and the opportunities start to come to you.
It’s the total opposite of everything I’ve ever been taught about success – work hard on your thing, build a great product/service, don’t party or waste a single minute.
But guess what?
Old-fashioned industries are there to be disrupted.
If they’re partying, me and just a few others will be working.
I’m toying with a new project right now, which will have a deadly affect on the top level of people this town worships.
My heart beats for the eye candy, my ego wants the praise, but my brain is focused on what I need to do.
But every kid with a dream and a good haircut says that when they get here.
I guess check in with me in a year and see how I did 😉
What’s the third rule of Hollywood?
Don’t get sucked in…
Bye for now