Thursday, February 24, 2005

S told me he got frantic calls from EM all day asking for help to deal with her computer viruses. And since he has a big career networking event coming up tomorrow, he just couldn't deal with it. I feel bad for EM, but I guess it'll just have to wait.

Let me tell you about EM. She is probably the prettiest woman of my acquaintance. Not surprising, considering the fact that she's an actress. She grew up in Greece, and got bitten by the acting bug in school. Later she joined theatre school, did professional theatre, hated it (according to S) and set her sights on TV. She acted in two long-running daytime soaps in Greece and her character became immensely popular and she was a star. Next thing you know she packs her bags and heads off to Hollywood to act in movies. When she arrived in LA, she only knew a single person, a Greek-American gentleman who had been a family friend. She had also been given S's email address by his friend, who had a holiday home next to EM's in Greece.

To cut a very long story (with way too many characters) short, nearly 7-8 months later, EM had more acquaintances in LA than we did after more than 4 years of living here. She had also gotten herself an agent, a lawyer, taken additional acting classes and became widely known in the Greek community here. Her energy is truly infectious and she is truly one of those persons who can light up a room by their presence.

Recently, at a networking event organized by our local Greek Orthodox Church, one of the speakers was a very famous director. Not naming names, but he's nominated for an Oscar this year, and is Greek-American, so that's not too hard to figure out. We thought it was a great opportunity for EM to make a really great Hollywood contact, and she did get his email address, but refuses to ask to meet him professioinally and audition or request referrals to other producers and directors. EM's usually a dazzler socially, but in this case, for some reason she's turned painfully shy. She does not want Mr. Director to think that she is like countless other struggling actresses who hassle him to cast them in his movies. Besides she doesn't want him to think that she's attracted to him. Which he can justifiably assume, because he is a very attractive man. But given the ad hoc nature of everything in Hollywood, I don't know how else EM can get a foothold here.

At times I wonder if it is essential for people who are trying to get a break in Hollywood to transform themselves from the wonderful person they are into utterly neurotic, driven, extremely ambitious persons who ruthlessly trample on people on their way up. Most film students I've met at University have been utterly obnoxious, Astrid and Todd being very fine exceptions. I was reading recently about what a terrible person Quentin Tarantino is, and it seems that his utter callouosness is somehow a big part of his success. That's a sad thought. But then not too different from stories I heard in India of successful musicians and dancers who were utter pricks. There are exceptions of course, and the same Salon story spoke well of Steven Soderbergh. The refined and dignified deserve their chances, so Mr. Director, if you ever happen to read this (and you know who you are), please, please write to EM.


Blogger tablemannered said...

I quite understand your friend EM's shyness... pride is a greater force than ambition.

5:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

are you greek orthodox?

9:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

are you greek orthodox?

9:48 PM  
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