In the novel, “Palm Avenue,” the protagonist, Ashley ends up in a Hollywood acting class, where she discovers some disturbing truths about herself. Nearly all aspiring actors in Los Angeles take acting classes at some point. There are various instructors who are considered gurus, and it is somewhat of a status symbol for actors to say they are a member of one class or another. There are the dozens of acting instructors who teach beginners, intermediates, and working actors, and then there are the top tier acting coaches, who work primarily with A-listers.
In many Hollywood acting classes, you have to “audition” to get in. Of course, many people get into such classes, not based on their talent, but their looks. Ashley, arrives to her acting class audition completely high and fumbles through her scene. The acting instructor, Jeremy Bone, accepts her into the class anyway, because he recognizes something unique about her: Jeremy Bone watched her closely. She was obviously high on something he thought. Maybe crystal meth, and that was strange because she didn’t look the type. There was something, something unique about her, Bone thought. He wasn’t really paying attention to her acting, but was instead fascinated by her face. She had some kind of compelling quality that he couldn’t quite put his finger on, kind of a girl next door with smoldering sexuality lurking underneath.
Hollywood acting instructors want to “create” the next breakout star, which of course will make their stock rise. He sees some quality in Ashley, and thinks that he has picked a winner. Many Hollywood acting instructors feel that they need to break their students down and get them to completely release their inhibitions, and then create some kind of bond, much like a kidnapper has with his victim.
Jeremy Bone, the character in the book, is flamboyantly gay and uses the class as a convenient way to seduce attractive young men. Many straight acting instructors do the same thing with their female students, and vice versa. In Hollywood, the constant stream of fresh and attractive newcomers is a powerful draw for predators. Not to say that there aren’t many very effective and ethical acting coaches in LA.
The Hollywood acting class is also a place where many actors meet lifelong friends, meet their nemesis, and make love connections. Of course, all “love connections” have the potential for drama. After all, who loves drama more than actors? When Ashley hooks up with one of the students in her acting class and the relationship goes south, Jeremy Bone has to decide who has to leave the class, creating another casualty in Ashley’s pursuit of fame. Purchase the “Palm Avenue” ebook for $1.99.