I have only myself to blame for hating excessive self promotion yet remaining in a town where it's as prevalent as traffic or bisexuals.
You'd think person after person after person would catch on to the fact that we're all relatively self-involved individuals and not as interested in someone else's tedious life details. But no.
Meet Dane, a 50-something star of (local) stage and (the computer) screen. Dane teaches an actor's boot camp at a park in the northeastern San Fernando Valley, so you know he's got room to talk!
Dane's nephew, a recent college graduate, accompanied him in hopes of gleaning all sorts of show biz wisdom. In turn, Dane made sure to project his voice so that all within earshot could benefit from his vast knowledge.
"Oh man are you going to learn a lot from me," Dane told his nephew with a chuckle. "I know everything there is to know about Hollywood."
Except how to make it.
I set down the chips and salsa, fully aware yet not acknowledging that Dane was staring at me in an effort to reel me into his world of Fascinating Tales and Accomplishments.
"They should write a book about me, they really should," Dale said to all.
"And to drink?" I asked.
Acting as I'd just said "Let me give away all my tables and pull up a chair," Dale persevered with his monologue. In lieu of answering me, within minutes his nephew and I learned more about his "award-winning" actor's boot camp, his lunches with "big-big time producer" Gene Hart (Who? Exactly.), almost bedding Tanya Roberts, and being a stand-in for Luke Perry on a pilot that was produced but never aired, 12 years ago.
They first ordered some drinks, and then two plates of fish tacos. Once the entrees arrived, Dane summoned me with a loud, vaguely British impersonation from some show or movie with which I wasn't even vaguely familiar.
"EXCUSE ME, SAH!" he said, chuckling.
My face was a beautiful blank slate of indifference.
"You know, from...[mumbles name of reference]?"
Cut to me, still a blank slate.
"Did you need anything?" I asked.
"Well, it's just, eeeeeeek," he stammered, pretending that complaining was really tearing him apart. "These fish tacos taste...fishy."
"As opposed to tasting like Death By Chocolate?" I asked.
"Any fish back there that doesn't taste so fishy?" he inquired.
Well earlier when I licked each individual fish I recall them tasting great, you fist-fucking idiot.
"Why don't we try a different entree altogether?" I asked.
Dane's nephew was perfectly content with his fish tacos, but Dane requested a plate of carnitas instead.
Eventually, after an additional 90 minutes spent jib-jabbering in my section, Dane left, bestowing upon me a 15% tip *and* a glossy postcard for his class.
Not that I'd ever take the class, but I can picture every bad collegiate level acting technique imaginable, except in a public park. I picture Dane wearing a needless sweatband, doling out his delusion turds to a gullible audience of brow-beaten dreamers. I picture his poor nephew, guided only by ass-backwards advice.
And then I picture myself taking a flask to this park, incognito, and just laughing my ass off. End scene.