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Wonderfully Awful: Hollywood Superheroes


a blogumn by Robin Rosenzweig

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Our wonderful Kalimba is on sabbatical in Austin until February. Til then, “Wonderfully Awful” will be moving into her “Inspirational Monday” spot, so be super-nice to Robin.]

As I write this, I am on the set of what appears to be a big budget major network television show. I did not take the usual path to arrive here; a hobby I participate in regularly is the backdrop of an episode of a sitcom, so they came to the organization to which I belong to participate. Otherwise, it’s quite likely that I wouldn’t be here at all.

I moved to Los Angeles about six years ago in an effort to get out of a smaller city that I lived in far longer than I ever expected. I didn’t come here to become an actor, director, producer, actor-director, director-producer or any other variety of the Hollywood combo platter.  I just came here for something new and different, and it was clear that I was going to find just that in L.A.

hollywoodsuperheroesLos Angeles is large and spread out, and has pockets that feel like pretty much any other city. But just when I feel like I live somewhere normal, I experience something that, good or bad, can only be described as an “only in L.A.” moment. It’s the one place that I know of where I can drive through a seedy neighborhood late at night, only to stumble across a photo shoot of a skateboarder doing tricks against a graffiti-covered backdrop that suddenly makes what was gritty look cool and edgy. It’s the only city I know of where people dress up as super heroes and movie stars and essentially panhandle on a street and it’s considered part of the city’s colorful backdrop. It’s the only place I can think of where I can witness what appears to be police activity at a local liquor store, only to see that same police standoff and that same liquor store on an episode of Alias a few months later.

Even though I am not actively seeking out a life under the lights, camera and hurry-up-and-wait action of Hollywood, it has had a funny way of finding its way to me just by the very nature of me being here.

Courtesy of the aforementioned hobby, I have been on 3, count ’em, 3 MTV dating shows – including Date My Mom (I was not the dater on any of them, thank heavens). I enjoy gambling – playing craps in particular – and so less than a year after I moved to L.A. I found myself participating in a gambling game show for the Travel Channel. And even just today, although I am not an actor and will likely never be one, I stumbled my way into a small speaking part on what appears to be a big budget major network sitcom. And after being whisked through hair and makeup to fix what a 14 hour day on set does to a person, I had to say those lines in a large yet quiet room in front of the watchful eyes of the cast, crew and approximately 300 extras.

Although I go back to my regular life tomorrow, for a few brief moments today (after the sheer terror wore off, that is), I was a star…or at least felt like one. Only in L.A., right?
. photo credit: San Sharma