Lofty First Amendment Ideas

In writing class today, I was challenged to draw what I was thinking about.

I produced this:

And then I had to write about it.

My title is: “Tiger on the Loose”

I love Hollywood. I love being on set. I love walking around movie studios. I love meeting people in the business. I love extra work and hanging out at the crafts services table. I remember the excitement of auditions and call-backs. I remember reading books on how to be a working actor. I remember the seriousness of my pursuit. I was so dedicated that many people I encountered were sure I was going to make it. Yet I knew that the odds were against acting working out financially for me. I knew that my time in Hollywood was a sexy break from reality. That I would soon tire of being homeless and that I would find myself one day and set up shop in an in between world — not acting but not life insurance either. My gift was writing and I was good enough at it to earn a respectable living.

I looked at my time in Hollywood as I looked at my time in construction — as interesting deviations from my inevitable life before the keyboard. I could rebel against my life mission and that was fine because I would always circle around to writing again. Explorations and flirtations with the outside world would only deepen my understanding of life for those inevitable decades when I’d largely wall myself away from other people and just write.

And then there were all the pretty girls in acting class. I could do scenes with them and touch them and we could rehearse privately and it was the easiest way in the world to sleep with a lot of attractive young women and to stretch creatively as I entered those different worlds, even if for just five minutes at a time.

I could watch the predatory behavior of the big beasts in the Hollywood jungle and marvel at the girls exchanging their vitality for illusory opportunity and I could wonder if one day I too would turn into a tiger.

PS. I’ll be reading a story along with the rest of my class at Beyond Baroque at 681 Venice Blvd, 90291, on June 19 at 7:30 pm. Admission is $8. More info here.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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