there is a phenomenon unique to los angeles. i call it the 'wall of nobodies.'
many local business are decorated with black and white head shots of wannabe actors. dry cleaners, taco bells, liquor stores, etc... these are people trying to make it and i can almost guarn-damn-tee you that you have never seen 99% of these people, ever. occasionally, one might look vaugely familiar. "hey, was shane mccampbell there in that episode of 'saved by the bell' where zach tries to scam mr. belding, but then gets caught, but then zach charms his way out of it in the end?"
now, don't be scared of that 'saved by bell' reference. i don't actually watch the show, but am just a victim of syndication. every american has seen at least three complete episodes whether they ever wanted to or not. go bayside!
anyway, i was in a restaurant today and with the exception of a few local news anchors, every single headshot was of a child actor. it was what i imagine michael jackson's secret bunker in neverland looks like.
these kid's headshots have three basic themes:
1.) straightforward head shot, big smile. BOR-ING!
2.) THE POSE. kid sits on chair. one leg is propped up on an ottoman type thingy, elbow resting on knee, chin resting in palm of hand. most pics fall into this category.
3.) then there is my personal fave. the "I HAVE SO MUCH SPUNK AND ENERGY THAT MY HEAD EXPLODED SIX SECONDS AFTER THIS PIC WAS TAKEN!!!!" shot. oh, dimples poppin', kids a leapin', and the hair's a flyin'. these are the kids whose parents refuse to put them on ritalin just in case they ever have to go to a last minute audition. can't risk little dakota being anything less than PERKY.
i have never understood the reasoning of the business owners that hang this crap in their establishments. i may not know a lot about decorating, but i am pretty sure the queer eye guys never approved "losers in black and white" as an acceptable motif.
and the actors (or stage moms) that hand these pics over to be displayed. do they really think that some casting director is going to be in line waiting for his Enchirito, his eyes will wander and he will suddenly spot their precious bailey and shout, "yes, that's her! she, and only she, will be the star of my 'home alone' remake!"
and what happens five or ten years down the road? the kid that never made it. puberty hit and was not kind. he's now a lanky, pimply 17 year old drama geek. he wanders into a liqour store to buy cigarettes and looks up only to be faced with all of his broken dreams and dashed hopes. oh, the shame he must feel.
god, i would love to be there for that moment.