When I first arrived in Los Angeles, years ago, a talent manager invited me to dinner under the pretense of discussing my future. I declined the after-dinner invitation to have sex with him. He slithered away and was never heard from again. I was down one talent manager and no farther ahead with my career. I never should have agreed to dinner. I was young and naïve. Now I am neither.
I recently attended several gifting lounges for the 63rd Annual Emmys where dozens of starlets—looking more like porn stars than actresses—paraded around with predatory producer types who have neither credentials nor business cards. One such producer offered to introduce me to the head of a major network to help turn my novel into a TV show. Sounds enticing to the naïve Hollywood outsider. In reality, a seasoned Angelino such as myself knows that one does not bypass agents and attorneys and set up meetings without having a) read the material or b) constructed a well-rehearsed pitch. Our correspondence went something like this:
PRODUCER: You are sooooo beautiful…reading your book now…your just so AMAZING in person. Let’s do lunch.
ME: Thank you, but I’m too busy for lunch right now. I’m in and out of town a lot.
PRODUCER: OK, Then I will just cancel my HBO meeting… chow
Was he seriously interested in my work or seriously interested in having sex with me? I don’t know or care. He was unprofessional and rude. There was no meeting set up. And if there was, he had no authority to set it up without consulting with me. I can’t decide if it’s audacity or sheer stupidity to think he could latch onto my project without going through proper channels. I’m not wet behind the ears, I’m not desperate, and I’m pretty well connected. I have my project being presented through the proper channels, and in due time we will determine whether or not there is a TV show or movie to be made. I also know well enough that approaching things the wrong way does more damage than good.
I closed my thoughts with this:
ME: I believe you meant “ciao” not “chow” which is a noun, definition: 1) food 2) a dog of sturdy Chinese breed with a broad muzzle, a tail curled over the back, a bluish-black tongue, and typically a dense thick coat. Whereas, “ciao” is the Italian exclamation used as a greeting for meeting or parting (hello/goodbye).
As an attractive woman in Hollywood, I’m always a little cautious. I don’t discredit those who have slept their way to the top in Hollywood, but that has never been my MO. If I knew it would pay off, maybe I’d try, but I would only sleep with people at the top, not those in the middle or on the bottom. There are a lot of women in Hollywood who would do anything (or anyone) for a chance at success. I feel they are just sleeping their way sideways.