Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hollywood Rat Race by Ed Wood

Hollywood Rat Race
by Ed Wood
written 196?, first published by Four Walls Eight Windows, 1998

I was a titch disappointed to find that this was mostly a straightforward advice piece rather than an exploitation novel, but I got over it and enjoyed the rest of the read.  I was rewarded at the end with a heartwarming vignette about Bela Lugosi's personal appearance tour.

There's a small, tame bit warning about casting couch producers, but for the most part it's pretty sensible advice - print your agent's phone number on the back of your headshots, develop your craft in regional theater rather than heading straight to Hollywood, etc.  The main point, driven home over and over, is that nobody cares how great you thought you were in your school plays.

There are a handful of anecdotes of the actors Wood has worked with, and some of the saddest name-dropping ever.  The best he manages is to say he met the Three Stooges.  Mid 60s Three Stooges.

Wood's patented delusions of adequacy are in full force here as he presents himself as a full and successful member of the Hollywood elite.  This was after Orgy of the Dead (which is NOT exploitation, Wood assures us) when Wood was being paid in whiskey for porn scripts.

Good for Wood completists or those that are more interested in the man than his works.

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