I pitched my easel on the corner of Hollywood Blvd. and Western Ave. to seek the lost and paint en plein air. The place I painted from was the Red Line tram stop. Most people seemed to be in a hurry to catch a tram, transfer to or from a bus, or just to get to their destination on foot as soon as possible. I didn’t have any meaningful conversations with anyone this day, but did pass out many Talent Search tracts.
Out of Character
Have you ever met someone who looks a certain way on the outside only to discover that what came out of them was altogether different from their appearance? There is an actor whose role in a popular television show was that of a single father raising his young son. In this role, he played a wholesome, thoughtful character that would endear him to a mother whose daughter he was courting. The show was eventually canceled (as they all are) after a long, successful run. He moved on to play the role of a courtroom attorney some years later. I suppose I made the mistake of transferring his actor’s character as a loving father onto his real persona.
I had an encounter with this actor on the set when I worked on his courtroom show. He came by our work area one day and began to tell some sexist, off-color jokes. It seemed that many of the workers were uncomfortable with his gutter humor, especially the one female among us. Everyone laughed at the sick punch line except me. He scanned the set, savoring his popularity. Then his eyes met mine. We both stared at each other for a moment until he snickered and walked out of the room. My supervisor saw this standoff and it appeared that he was going to reprimand me, but I think he had second thoughts because he was having an affair with the female employee while his wife was about to give birth to their second child. I had tried to reason with him about the mistake he was making, but he wouldn’t listen. He didn’t say anything that day, but did lay me off several days later.
The corner food stand in this painting is a typical Tinseltown scene; one that reminded me of the actor. To look at this eatery, one would expect that the cooks would be ‘frank’ with you. Surprise! This is a tai food joint.
There’s an old cliché that we should not judge a book by its cover. Certainly that would include judging an actor by her stage roles and a restaurant by its marquis. While I agree, I wouldn’t expect a follower of Christ to always walk around with a disagreeable attitude that doesn’t represent the One living inside them.