Sunday, February 21, 2010

Dead in Hollywood

I could write an entire book on the adventures that we had in California. In some respects, California seems like its own country within our country, there is so much diversity within the state in terms of lifestyle. I’ll keep today’s entry quick though, confining my comments to the time that we spent in Hollywood.
I’ve got to admit, that the trip to Hollywood was really more about satisfying my own curiosity. What would America be without Hollywood? I really didn’t expect to find a very big undead population there, and I was right. I mean, the Sunset Strip was loaded with zombies, but only at night, and most of them were doing their best to blend in with the rest of humanity. If, that is, you consider them to be a part of humanity.
We didn’t stay long. Not because we pelted with rocks or driven to the edge of town by angry villagers or anything like that, but I’m not sure that any of us felt less comfortable in a place than we did during our trip to Hollywood. I was talking about it with Christie in the van when we driving away, heading east. It wasn’t that the beautiful people there were hostile, or even curious. It was more like they were completely indifferent to us—like we didn’t even show up on their radar. Like they were so inside themselves and their own concerns that they didn’t even notice we were dead.
I’ve got to tell you, in some ways I found that even more terrifying than the guy who pulled a gun on us outside a gas station in Utah.
We didn’t stay very long. The police kept us moving along and didn’t really give us a chance to talk to anyone. They weren’t violent—actually they were probably the most polite of any of the cops we’ve dealt with thus far, but they kept us moving, like we were trash they would like to see swept out of town.
The only thing that even came close to a normal human interaction was when a bearded guy stopped Christie and I and told us really liked our “look”. We were too stunned to speak, at first. He went on to tell us that he was a filmmaker and that he’d really be interested in having us do a screen test. I don’t even think he was aware that we were dead, not at first. He was sort of a heavy-set guy, which set him apart slightly from most of the people we saw in that town, and when he looked at us he seemed to be staring right through us; I felt like he was staring at something that wasn’t even there.
I told him no, thanks. After I spoke he looked at me like he could see me, the real me, for the first time.
“Why not? Really? You really wouldn’t want to get some screen time? I’m shocked. I’m really shocked that you would say that.”
I started to reply, but he kept going. For such a large guy he moved around a lot, shifting from side to side and punctuating his words with his waving arms. Christie would tell me later that his sneakers cost upwards of $500 dollars.
“Look, you people need to get some screen time. Images. Image management. All that newsreel stuff, it doesn’t do you any good. I’m talking positive images, film, documentary. Images people can relate to. Beauty. You’re beautiful. That will translate.”
I remember turning towards Christie in the exact moment that she turned towards me. Whatever it was that would translate, it wasn’t anything the bearded man was saying.
“Look,” he said. “I know. You’re busy. I understand this. You have things to accomplish. But I think we’ve got something hear. Death as attractive. In the right light, makeup, some slice of life, I think we could really make a statement. Do you have a card?”
“A card?” I said.
“Here’s mine,” he said, and fished one out of his jeans, which Christie said were the least expensive thing the man was wearing.
I took his card, which was creased and torn at one corner. It had his name and a phone number, nothing else.
“Kid, call me,” he said. “When you are ready, call me. You can’t get anything done in this country without Hollywood.”
His Bluetooth lit up and he pressed a stubby finger to his ear.
“Yeah?” he said, and, turning, started walking away without another word to us, this hands fluttering and making forms in the air that would remain unseen to whoever he was speaking with.
Christie and I had a long talk about this encounter. Had he understood? Was he offering us something real? Some of the things he said made it sound as though he knew who we were, and what we needed. But most of what he said left of feeling like he had no clue at all.
I kept his card, though.
Actually, we had one other interesting encounter just before we left, again at a gas station. A girl and a boy about our age, beating hearts, walked over to Christie and I as we stood outside the van. They were so tanned and healthy looking; it was hard not to think of them as the our living reflections, the image of what we’d be if we were truly alive. The girl asked if she could add a slogan to the van, and Christie found her a can of blue paint.
“Death, to zombies…” the girl wrote, and a thin drip of blue paint slid down her bare leg, “…is an endless sunset.”
She drew a big blue smiley face, and then she stood up and gave Christie a big hug. Weirdly—or I thought it was weird anyhow—the boy hugged me as well.
“Good luck,” he said, and then he took the girl’s hand and off they went.
I left as confused as ever. Maybe some day I’ll come back to Hollywood, someday when I have the time to figure things out.

38 comments:

misaki said...

Lol. Wow he really wanted you in a zcreen zhot. Hope you have more interezting adventurez zoon....unlezz you don't want interezting adventurez...but you alwayz have interezting adventurez....I really don't know if there iz a point to thiz comment anymore XP
~Mizaki, Ben, Clementine, Jozhua, Ivy, Kaitlyn....etc....

Bear15 said...

Wow. Iam sure you would make a great actor Tommy,you would make Brad Pitt look like a amuture.

Chermauth said...

I'm not sure of screen time would help or not, but it does seem like people are starting to treat you guys better. Is the world actually changing? Or are some places better than others?
Is your road trip actually having an effect already?
So many questions... And soon I suppose we'll know the answer.
Sincerely,
Chermauth (chair-moth, thank you much. Not charm-eth, as in Charmauth.)

second chances said...

i think the trads were being nice however i must question wether death is really and endless sunset


- second chances(imago and kattlyn)

second chances said...

oh and whats with 'the beating hearts' i thought that was something tak sed ;)

bookworm said...

i really like the endless sunset part :) thought i would mention that......

undead_skater said...

wow. at leact they were nice. you should head up north to a podunk little town called Burney. its where im from. alot of my friends would totally love to meet you. and everyone here is really nice... if you dont count the drunks.

Anonymous said...

Wow. glad ur ok!

Oh I wish I was an alien... said...

well at least they didnt try to kill you. Maybe people are finally starting to accept, um, zombie-ness in their own way.

Paris said...

Ah, yes, the glorious land of Hollywood. I myself was approached when I was five. They wanted me to do a commercial for Disneyland. I said no.
I think that filmmaker knew who you were.. I mean, he did say 'documentary'. Why would he wan to make a documentary on two random teenagers that 'looked' dead?

That boy and girl sound really sweet :) I hope you encounter more people like that.
-Paris

Axel said...

wow, those two kids are definitely an idol for how I wish the beating hearts were. People who don't treat us like crap, and actually appreciate what you and the others are trying to do.
Can't wait to see you guys when you come to Georgia.

surfergirl1 said...

Hey, Tommy. It's great to hear from you again. Hollywood sounds pretty nice. I especially liked the part with the girl and the guy. Even though you and Christie are dead, they didn't care and wanted to add another slogan to the van. Great for them. I'm at my library right now and people are whispering about me. Well, off to homework. Talk to you later!

-Bree

Aliaa said...

I feel like the film would be a risky idea. Screen time could get you killed by those darn white truck radicals. It'd be like putting a big sign up saying "come kill me...again." Then again it'd be making a pretty big statement. It could unite some zombies into thinking "Hey, if Tommy can do it so can we." It'd definitely be a topic of controversy, but isn't that what Tommy's trying to do? Present another side of the argument so Zombies actually have a choice? I think it could be worth it if Tommy's careful. Good luck, Tommy!

Katie K said...

wow tommy that is sooo cool! You should soo do the screen shot. Thats such a good slogan to write gor death to zombies! I wish i thought of that. Well stay safe!! I dont want anyone to get hurt.

-Katie

[Ryan] said...

Wow how I'd love to go. Your journey sounds great and the whole movie part sounds really cool. Now the question is will you take the job? Just kidding. It doesn't suprise me though that you can find even the nicest people in the one of the most vain states. Sorry if that sounds kind mean.

Anonymous said...

why would u decline the screen time isn't that what u want? to get awareness for zombies???
???
???
not getting it anymore?????/????????

EmoGirl#55X said...

i really hope that guy was serious. you guys dont have time to deal with crap like that if he was just going to exploit you viciously. Anyway, i thought it was so cool about the boy and the girl. what the girl wrote was really touching. I showed it to my dead friend and she loved it. keep updating, Tommy, we love hearing about your adventures!!

BeautyQueen xoxo said...

Wow talk about an adventure LOL.

Anonymous said...

man it would be kool to get sum screen tym. tht way ppl wouldnt feel tha way they do. u should cum 2 Sapulpa,OK. tha ppl here r real nice. : ) -tabor.

Anonymous said...

man it would be kool to get sum screen tym. tht way ppl wouldnt feel tha way they do. u should cum 2 Sapulpa,OK. tha ppl here r real nice. : ) -tabor.

Anonymous said...

man it would be kool to get sum screen tym. tht way ppl wouldnt feel tha way they do. u should cum 2 Sapulpa,OK. tha ppl here r real nice. : ) -tabor.

Unheard Of said...

someone pulled a gun on you in Utah?

[::.Sweet-Sacrafieces.::] said...

I've always really wanted to go to Hollywood, I mean- being two states above it I love pretty close..

But, I guess without a license and 0 gas money it kind of proves difficult..

Though I'm sure if I walked it'd be quiet the adventure- a speratic teenage girl working her way to Hollywood?

...Naw I'm sure your adventures are much, MUCH more interesting compared to what I would experience. I'll just stick to my small town and odd friends.

Can't wait till you come to my state! Haha.

LunaTehNox said...

aw. you should have gotten yourself some screen time...

kirsten said...

I think that the guy who wanted you to do the documentary knew who you where... and i am glad that those to kids where so nice to you!! Glad to hear your okay and good luck!!

sophie said...

hi
i just finished the book Generation Dead and loveloveloveloved it!!!
it makes me thnk about alot of people who are "different" and shunned by the rest of the "normal" school population.
i'm only a &th grader, but i still wonder alot....think about it. get back to me
redpenny12@gmail.com
(p.s-tommy, u r an absolutly aazing writer!!!)

natalie & seth said...

It's amusing that you guys weren't a big deal in hollywood. maybe it's because all the botox makes them about as dead and expressionless as DB's are nowadays. anyways, its interesting.
as for the documentary, i say go for it. if it turns out to be something lame you can still back out but it would still give you the chance to portray the DB world the way we see it. kind of like "a day in the life of a zombie" or "Through undead eyes."
anyways, seth and i send our love! stay safe :)

tiamat100 said...

That was interesting. That movie guy...Well, he might have been bogus, or trying to help. Who knows?
The boy and the girl you mentioned sound cool, though. I like the girls addition to the van.

tiamat100 said...

That was interesting. That movie guy...Well, he might have been bogus, or trying to help. Who knows?
The boy and the girl you mentioned sound cool, though. I like the girls addition to the van.

PhoebeKendall said...

Hi everybody!

Tommy says "thanks" for all the feedback, especially about his decision not to appear on camera when in Hollywood. He said that he certainly was tempted, when the man was making his offer, to go after that "screen time" right away--the lure of the camera is a very tempting one indeed. He's still thinking about it (he kept the guy's card, after all), but he told me that as much as everyone thinks that they are going to use the camera, in the end the camera always ends up using them.

He really stirs my brain up, sometimes.

He's probably right. But if his caravan of the living and the dead keeps growing, I can't imagine that he'll stay off-camera for long...

Love and Rockets,
Phoebe

stephkittyundead said...

keep going tommy. :)

death_by_books66 said...

i've heard that to people coming from other countries new york is the stereotype for the entire USA. is it that way w/ db peeps?

Anonymous said...

U know, screen time might actually help. U could go up on TV and make a big statement, or something. Try and combat all the evil stuff Rev. Mathers is saying. I think the beating hearts were being really nice, and alot more people are supportive to the zombie cause then u think.

Anonymous said...

Why would the trads write that? I mean, it's poetic, but coudld easily be taken the wrong way!

Anonymous said...

well tommy i really love you for your bravery and courage to make all these things possible

that girl said...

tommy i think u should come 2 chicago mabe will bump in2 each other good luck safe journes


sally

Anonymous said...

Yaaaaaay my state us Cali kids are sooo mellow lol I'm totally reading this backwards like I'm moving back in time by blogs lol love Fizza

Anonymous said...

Omg, my friend is in Cali, but she would most likly write a whole book on the van. And Tommy, don't be freaked out when some one gives you a hug, it means that they at least support you, just like all of us here. And please just don't listen to the crazy guy that gave you the card, you never know what people like that are really up to. Sorry if that seems unfair, I just have trust issues with people like that. Have a safe trip, and stay way from gas sations where people pull guns out, please.

Love,
KayKat