L.A. Affairs: How I knew I didn’t stand a chance with her

The first scene we shot was the bed scene. No, not that type of bed scene, though it was a scene, it did just take place in mattress and it was my 1st Hollywood monitor kiss.

Thankfully, I had kissed women of all ages before in serious life, so I understood how it was completed. Even though, to be trustworthy, I wasn’t confident if the kiss referred to as for in the script actually qualified as an genuine kiss. It could have been more of a peck on the lips, I suppose. After all, the figures ended up meant to be married.

The film, “Off the Streets,” was a promotional movie for a youth corporation about an idealistic young Army vet — my character, Dan — seeking to steer wayward and neglected youths towards a perception of neighborhood and self-value. (Really do not hassle seeking for it in IMDb you won’t come across it, and it was numerous several years back.) In the initially scene we shot, Dan is asleep in bed with his spouse when the mobile phone rings. It is one particular of the teenagers who needs to be part of the youth club Dan is putting collectively. His brother has been arrested, and wants Dan’s aid. The youngster has no 1 else to simply call.

I experienced met the actress actively playing my wife a 7 days before when we got with each other so the director could phase a “wedding” photograph of us. She was quite quite and appeared sweet, and I was immediately taken with her.

At this position, I had been in Hollywood about a month. I moved out from Lynchburg, Va., to go after performing. And it appeared issues have been breaking for me. I experienced joined a theater group in Glendale, and 1 of the members hosted a spouse and children hen meal at her home each and every Sunday evening, which aided choose the edge off the homesickness.

Profession-clever all people in the group seemed on his or her way. Our hostess was appearing in a doggy foodstuff business. A pair of some others had been picked to seem as contestants on a Television game exhibit, and our most thriving member experienced just arrive off an out of doors journey film for which he had been given an “introducing” credit rating. I experienced just landed the lead position in this Display Actors Guild-sanctioned marketing movie.

Matters of the coronary heart, nevertheless, hadn’t been likely as effectively for me. My college girlfriend and I, each speech and drama majors, experienced ended factors a year earlier with a separation scene so intensive you would have considered we have been auditioning. I’d been cautious of interactions ever since.

But issues felt distinct now. I was starting a new lifestyle in a new position with new good friends, new chances and a full new outlook. Moreover, you cannot be an actor with out being a bit of a romantic, can you?

But sufficient of the flashback. Permit us return to the scene.

It opens in the dim with a ringing cellphone. A gentle goes on and we see a near-up of the bedside table, Dan’s hand nonetheless on the switch of the desk lamp. As the hand pulls absent, the digicam follows, revealing the marriage ceremony picture standing in a smaller frame and then the cellular phone as it is lifted off its cradle.

We then reduce to a medium shot of me sitting down at the edge of the mattress, holding the cellular phone to my ear with 1 hand and rubbing the slumber from my eyes with the other. I drowsily say “Hello” and learn who is on the other finish (the actor’s voice to be dubbed in afterwards, of program). I dangle up and we cut to a large shot hunting up at the two of us from the bottom of the bed.

Wife: What was that about?

DAN: 1 of the boys is in a very little problems. I’m heading to see what I can do.

Then I lean in excess of and we kiss. I imply … peck.

Spouse: Be very careful.

DAN gets up to go. She watches him leave.

You’d have to be blind not to see our rapport. Our prompt chemistry. And that kiss! What a kiss!

I mean … peck.

What? We have to do yet another acquire? Oh, perfectly, that’s way too terrible, is not it?

The crew ultimately bought the scene and, in the greatest custom of on-set romance, I was thinking possibly I’d get a day out of this.

Because this was the actress’ only scene in the film, I realized it was now or never ever as we wrapped for the working day and she geared up to leave. So I walked her to her car or truck — actually, it was additional like I was walking in the very same path she was walking, so we walked jointly. I built modest chat, making an attempt to arrive up with the ideal way to phrase my invitation to … what? Dinner? A movie? Nearly anything.

And that is when we stopped by a smooth black Mercedes-Benz roadster and she pulled out her keys.

Thinking of the income I continue to owed on the battered clunker I drove, I was suitably impressed.

“This is yours?” I asked. “Nice!”

“Thanks,” she mentioned with a smile. “My boyfriend gave it to me for my birthday.”

My mouth hung open up but no words and phrases were being coming out.

And listed here we will use that handiest of Hollywood conventions as we mercifully and none way too little by little …


The author does voice-overs, wrote the reserve “Stop It. You’re Scaring Me,” and helps make academic and rehabilitative films for the California Section of Corrections and Rehabilitation. He is on the web at vimeo.com/jonathanmumm.

L.A. Affairs chronicles the research for romantic really like in all its glorious expressions in the L.A. space, and we want to listen to your real tale. We pay back $300 for a released essay. Email LAAffairs@latimes.com. You can find submission pointers in this article.

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