America's Fools Gold

June 27, 2013
By Kfoley23 SILVER, Los Altos, California
Kfoley23 SILVER, Los Altos, California
6 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Standing straight up, reciting as if reading a speech. The setting is an interview, but it’s set up like the character is onstage. She stands up straight, breaths evenly, gives off the job interview performance. Props are a chair and a desk.
So I know I’m supposed to tell you about myself. To dig deep, honestly evaluate myself for those traits that make me indispensible. But if you give a s*** about me, then none of us should be here, because we’re in the wrong business. So you know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna tell you why we ARE here. Okay?
Pose becomes far more relaxed. Body language is more confident, with hand gestures becoming more frantic as she speaks and her presence taking over the stage.
Here's the thing about LA. We call it the City of Angels for two reasons. Partly to be ironic, of course, given the scandal and corruption hiding in plain sight all over my city. And partly because it is like an angel. It has the shine, the glow, the beauty that leaves our jaws dropped and our eyes glistening.
Runs out to front of the stage and sits down, cross-legged. Her voice drops to a stage whisper, making sure that her audience has to lean forward to hear it.
It’s like… gold.
Even hiding in the underbelly of Hollywood I loved LA. But I admit, loving it lended itself perfectly to my becoming a naïve intern. It was the reason why I fetched coffee for two years. It was the reason why my promised promotion involved no writing, no interviewing. Simply trading secrets for crisp dollar bills, or, if that didn't work, a whispered name that struck fear in every heart.
Get up, excited again. There’s a pen on the desk. Pick it up and start waving it at the audience.
And it took three more years of this job before I stood up from my tiny cubicle, marched into Victoria's golden office, and told her off for being the b**** that she was.
Pause. Tuck the pen behind her ear. Change her mind, take it out, and point it at the audience.
Which is why I'm searching for a job, now.
Put the pen down and grab the chair. Sit in it, leaning back like you’re in an easy conversation.
But. My point. The thing about Los Angeles. All that glitz and glamour, corruption and scandal, they tell a story. They ARE a story. They're the fronts that so many actors and actresses put on for our benefit. Tom and Katie get a divorce and we devour the stories of who gets the favorite vase and why he’s crying in the bathroom. You would think-
Get up.
And we do.
Go behind the chair and lean on it.
That one of these stars, about five marriages in, would realize that this divorce should probably be the last one. I mean, we keep saying that, giving their glowing pictures sorry looks in grocery stores. We comment on their lives and really do wish, just for that moment, that they would settle down, find a nice girl, have a family with only one person.
Now I’m going to tell you something you already know. You know it because you’re still in business, just like Victoria the Golden B****. It’s bullshit. It's not that Los Angeles is fake, it's that these are actors. Being someone else is their JOB, and it doesn't stop when the camera does.
Sweep stuff off the desk and sit on it.
If they don't put on the expected show their audience gets bored. There is no such thing as bad press because the bad press is the good press. And I know it, because I AM the press. I’m the master of dirty little secrets, that’s why I’m here, that’s why you want me on your team.
I've (gesture with pen) been to the darkest corners of the secret lives of these people and I can tell you the worst things about them, the drama, the dirt that Victoria loves to plaster all over her perfect pretty pages. She would just as soon write a fluff piece about a starlet as an expose about her secret dalliances with cross-dressing primates. Believe me, I've seen her do it. There is something so honestly fake about Hollywood, and Victoria has become its dealer, selling sex and scandal like it’s crack. And I’m her quiet little crony, I’m faceless and nameless because in this business you don’t need my face or my name, my personality, you just need my bullshit. (Stab the air continually for emphasis. Possibility that you’re imagining it’s Victoria)
So I guess I should get to my point. I know it's confusing. I know I make it sound like I really do think that Los Angeles is the fakest place on Earth. But I live here. I follow its rules. I know I can’t throw myself in its spotlight, partly because I wear department store clothes (gesture to shirt) but also because I’m too busy with my real life, watching Conan O’Brien religiously, planning diligently for the apocalypse, stealing supplies from my boss’s assistant to drive her crazy. I’m not trying to shape your impression of me. I don’t care what it is, I’m not here to make an impression. With this I’m just being…
Back up, close eyes, spit out the word like it’s heresy.
Look up and grin. Grab the chair again, turn it around, and sit in it. Take your time before speaking again, so that they think the interview is over.
I’ll write about the glitz and the glamour like no one you’ve ever seen, because I want to believe it more than anyone. I want to interview stars so I can pit them against one another, stir up controversy, and LIE about them. Because that's the thing. No matter how much that b**** Victoria just flat out lied, no matter how much her articles contradicted one another, no one believed it more than she did. We don’t work here because we want to write about real people. If we wanted that we’d all quit here and now, pack up and move to Minnesota. We’re the tabloids. We suck. The stars hate us. But they need us.
Wait so that they’re ready to hear your last line.

Hire me and I promise not to be honest. All you’ll see out of my stories is gold. Glittery, glamorous, beautifully counterfeit gold. You won’t even notice the difference.

The author's comments:
I wrote this as a monologue that includes stage directions

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