Register Saturday | December 7 | 2019

Down and Out in Beverly Hills

"Holy shit is it hot here in LA."

I know in my very first blog I promised I would never mention the weather again, but holy shit is it hot here in LA. I’m not sure what happened, but somebody “upstairs” must have forgot to pay the air conditioning bill and now this place is sweltering.

I spent Labor Day weekend like most Americans, doing nothing labor-related whatsoever. Two of my good friends rented a room for the night at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills, even though they live in LA. They do this from time to time, as a kind of mini-vacation in their own city, something any of us can find a little bit silly until you actually are invited to partake in the luxury and phenomenal service that make the Four Seasons what it is. We spent the whole weekend by the pool and… Oh my god does this place make you want to be rich. We’re talking cabanas with TVs, waiters serving chilled grapes and cold towels on trays, and a pristine pool deck overlooking all of LA.

Everybody there looked rich, like they belonged there, and I wondered if I was as convincing. Who knows? That Simon guy from “American Idol” was there, turning a deeper shade of pink over the two days he sat in his lounge chair and read magazines. I got a little carried away and made the mistake of ordering a Pina Colada, which turned out to be twelve bucks. Then I got hungry and ordered some chips and salsa… eight bucks. Then I didn’t feel so rich anymore. Especially when it was all over and I walked out of the hotel, past several Bentleys and Mercedes, and across the street to my beat up Mazda (what? you thought I was going to pay for parking?), then drove home to my dingy, tiny pad that has no view of anything and no orchids in the hallways and no fresh, crisp, clean 350 thread count sheets.

Now the weekend is over and it’s back to reality. The producers of the TV show I shot this summer sent me my check late and it will take a week to clear at the bank because it was an out of state check, so I was not able to pay my rent this month. That’s the first time I’ve ever been late, and let me tell you, when you get that nasty letter on your door from the super telling you that if you don’t pay in three days you will have to vacate, it is NOT fun. Don’t they know I’m good for it? Hell, I spent the weekend at the Four Seasons, for crying out loud.

The theory in LA is that after Labor Day, everything in Hollywood “picks back up.” The executives are back from wherever they go - Bali or Belize or something - and with their fresh outlook they are ready to buy some projects and make things happen. Unfortunately, I don’t think I have anything for them right now, except for maybe my supernatural thriller project, which my writing partner gave to a producer to “shop around” at the cable networks. We figure maybe there’s a TV movie in their somewhere, and neither of us really care if it ends up on cable as long as it ends up somewhere and we can collect a check for our efforts. You can’t worry about selling out too much when you write a supernatural thriller. And hey, I'm gonna need money to support my Pina Colada habit at the Four Seasons and those suckers ain't cheap.

In the meantime, I’ve still got a little more to do with this damn short film. We need to find a composer to replace all the fake temp music we put in our temporary mix in order to make the Sundance deadline. Now we need someone to come up with similar stuff so we don’t get sued later if we try to sell the film. So that’s the next step in that process. And I’ve got to get back to writing. My latest script was flopping around with me on my trip across America but now it lies still on my desk, like a dead fish. I need to hook up a literary defibrillator and zap it a few times, hopefully bring it back to life.