Glamazona’s Travels: Hollywood
Looking back at my decision to leave my home land of the Libyan Amazons I am strangely perplexed at how easy it was for me to leave everything I knew since birth to brave the unknown. I had no plan and was low on the spoils of our latest conquests. I didn’t know right away that beautification was my calling. All I knew was that I was drawn as a chameleon warrior but fighting to survive was not a way of life for me. I may be wild by nature but at my core I seek peace and happiness for everyone. I took hold of my bow and arrow and headed to the only place I heard that people were free to become whatever they wished to become. My eyes were set on America and Libya was in my rear view.
After a year or so of wondering around I settled on Hollywood. The weather was a lot like home but I had a hard time adjusting to my new environment. Although I didn’t want to live the brutish warrior lifestyle, I soon realized it was a lot easier to take what you wanted rather than earn it the right way. My brash way got me into a lot of trouble at first and I still felt more at ease with a tougher crowd. I eventually got my act together and spent several years making a modest living using my gift of body stamping. In America they called me a tattoo artist. I perfected my craft and learned many new skills from the Americans. I was very comfortable until a client of mine came into the parlor I worked from and changed my world. She was a young artist who had just landed a position in the special effects crew of a sci-fi film. They saw her new tattoo and decided that that was the look they wanted for their leading female vixen former pin-up girl turned actress Claudia Couture.
I was reluctant at first. I considered my tattooing a real art. What would the snobs in Hollywood know about what I do. They would probably want me to stamp her with butterflies and fairy dust. But my client assured me that they wouldn’t water down my art. She also sold me on the paycheck and the fact that it would open doors that could lead me out of the rough neighborhood I lived in. Claudia Couture was not only the most successful, top earning pin-up illustration but the top grossing model period! She had graced the cover of every major publication and is now trying her hand in acting. They gave her the nick name the Quiet Storm because was the strong silent type. She explained that basically I was going to live the dream every college boy hyped up on hormones and heineken who had her plastered on their dorm room wall. I was offered the burden of painting my art on her bare naked body for a major Hollywood film.
I wanted to make a good first impression so that she would be comfortable with me placing temporary stamps on her body. Tattooing is already a very intimate art form.
“Hello Ms. Couture! It is a pleasure to meet you. I am Glamazona Glitz artist assigned to put on your body tattoo for Act 1 scene 4!” I said as I entered her trailer.
I reached out my hand for her to shake it. She gave me the once over before she shook it. She seemed a bit upset. I wasn’t too good with dealing with people with attitudes but I didn’t want to start off on a bad note.
“Is this a bad time? I was told to be here at 7am.” I said with concern.
She put down her script and took a deep breath to relieve herself from her irritation. “You are new aren’t you?”
“No Ms. Couture. I am well trained. I have been doing body stamping since I was a fresh illustration. You can trust me to be professional and do great work.” I replied
“No, not at tattooing. To the industry. This is your big break, no?”
“Yes. This is my first Hollywood gig.” I responded.
Claudia was very frustrated. “Exactement ce que je pensais! It only makes what I have to do harder!”
I was very confused. “If you need a few minutes to yourself, I work fast so I could possibly give you 10 minutes or so but it is going to take a considerable amount to of time and…
“I knew the answer before you arrived. I was glad to hear that you were a fellow illustration. I felt that maybe you would understand.” She explained. “Every one of us fashion illustrations that where brought to life was created with some sort of artistic gift to used to help us navigate this world. Part of our journey is to find out what that gift is. Your gift looks like tattoo art.”
I really didn’t understand what our life’s journey had to do with anything but I agreed and allowed her to explain. “Yes! This is why I left my home of Libya. I knew that there was more for me.”
Claudia looked at me very sternly. “Well, prancing around in my panties or in this case practically nude is not for me. I was drawn by Jean Louis a very important costume designer. I always knew that I was to follow in his foot steps and be a costume designer. I never aspired to be a pin-up girl or an actress I just fell in to it. It was expected of me because of the women my illustrator designed for; Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth the list goes on. Anyway, my agent thinks it is a joke. Every time I tell him I want to get from in front of the camera he laughs or books me in some high paying gig thinking the money will distract me. Of course he would try to talk me out of it. I don’t just put food on his families table I put a Rolls-Royce in his garage with this body…”
As she was complaining about her career I realized that Hollywood was her Libya. I had traveled all this way in search of freedom and purpose and realized that people in America deal with the same things I was dealing with at home. At the end of the day we both wanted to live as our authentic selves and not a life that we were forced into. I was drawn as a warrior and she was drawn as a boy toy so to the world that is how we are supposed to behave.
“Sounds like you should stop all the complaining and stick it to em. Your agent works for you not the other way around. Am I right?” I asked
Claudia gave me a sly smile. “Glitz I think we will get along just fine. How are you with make-up?”
“It is just like painting I guess. I do my own all the time.” I replied.
“Great. You will do my make-up because I designed my own costumes for the film and if they try to stop me I simply will not do the picture. Are you with me?” Claudia asked.
“I never heard of a better idea. Rrrrraaaahhh!” I said cunningly.
When her wardrobe was revealed my jaw dropped. It was absolutely amazing work. Perfect for her space racer character. She was created to be a costume designer and when she shows up to set there will be no doubt of this. I applied her make-up and helped her to put her new clothing on.
I stood back to see what we had done. “Wow. Claudia you are absolutely striking! They would be idiots to want to exchange this for tattoos. You have done them a favor and if they don’t see it that way they know nothing about about their jobs.”
“Well Glam, here goes nothing.” Claudia said as we headed to set.
Claudia meant business. She walked in long strides with her head held high. She was on a mission and yes was the only thing she wanted to hear. It was a closed set because they were expecting her to be nude. I wasn’t allowed on but I stood near by to listen in. Claudia walked in and stood on her mark. The whole crew including the director looked confused.
“Claudia, we are shooting Act 1, Scene 4. Where is your wardrobe?” The director asked. “You should be covered in tattoo art.”
“It was not in my original contract that I be nude for the role of Ne Qua. I decided this would be a better fit.” Claudia explained. “As a costume designer myself, I feel it is more stylish, futuristic and makes a lot more sense than my being nude.”
“Oh you decided to design the wardrobe yourself?” The director asked sarcastically. “This is what you think the character Ne Qua should look like?”
Claudia stood firm without breaking eye contact. “Yes I do.”
The director was clearly upset but kept his composure. The set was quiet so they wouldn’t miss a single moment of the confrontation. “And what were you expecting from pulling a stunt like this?”
“That you would see the courage of my convictions and a award worthy wardrobe. I am a lot more than a pretty face and someone who is willing to bare her body. I have actual skills and a brain that I intend to use.”
The director walked over to Claudia and stood face to face. “Claudia, you have wasted my time and my money. Pack up your things and leave my set immediately.”
Claudia nodded her head and exited the set.
“Claudia what happened in there?” I asked.
Claudia continued to walk to her trailer to remove her things. “I was asked to leave.”
I stormed back on set to give that director a piece of my mind. “Do you really want to be known as the director who passed on Claudia Couture after her costumes become world famous?”
The director paused and thought about it. “Yes” the director said as he signaled for security.
I thought about pulling out my bow and arrow but decided it wasn’t worth it. Instead, I exited the set and met Claudia in her trailer. She was on the phone in a heated conversation with her agent. She explained to him what happened and he was obviously upset. She told him she no longer wanted his representation and hung up the phone.
“Glam, have you ever been to New York?” She asked me.
“Well, that is where I am headed and as soon as you can you should pack a suit case and pay me a visit. I know someone who can help us there.” She handed me an envelop full of hundred dollar bills. “This is for your troubles. Au revoir pour le moment.”
To Be Continued…
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