I started writing this blog two years ago. (TWO!) My first post was a quote from Lucille Ball, from her autobiography I had just started reading. I recently finished her book. (I’m no speed reader. I like to savour words and look at pictures. For years…) Also, through some practiced nighttime ritual, I’ve trained myself to fall asleep after a few pages, unless I’m standing up.
Well, I decided that I LOVE-love Lucy. If you’ve ever seen I Love Lucy on TV, you already know her. Her brilliant comedy, her charm and her…well, her balls. Over her lifetime, she went from broke cigarette model in NYC, living off stolen diner coffee and donuts, to Beverly Hills mega-millionaire, production company owner, legendary actress, mother, wife.
She learned to act in the studio system. Back in the day when actors were hired to work at a place like Universal Studios, and were cast in film after film. They apprenticed under teachers and better actors, and found their way. I wish things were still like that. I wish there were still room for learning. Lately, it seems like you’re shitouttaluck if you weren’t born with a trust fund and an Uncle in the biz.
There are SO many bits of wisdom in this book. Just reading about her life. And her thoughts. And the rough spots (there were plenty). Hers is an inspiring story.
I would LOVE to play her someday. By the time I get popular in the LA scene, I’ll be playing the part of “Elderly Lucille Ball, recollecting stories on her deathbed”.
The book is filled with these fabulous photos of her, growing up, with family, Ricky, these amazing parties, fur coats and beautiful homes. One of her houses was on 1000 N Roxbury Drive, Beverly Hills. One day while I was working my delivery job in the ‘hood, I got a bug up my ass to go find it! A perk to living in LA!
Here it is:Well, they changed the bushes. And now there’s a sign out front that says “No Subway under BHHS” (BHHS is the high school. And the rich people don’t want the hoodlums easily hitching rides from Watts to Rodeo Drive). I wonder if the people who live at this address, even realize the history of the house. Or care. Maybe they’re Persians who could give a damn. Do they sit in the living room thinking “OMG, I Love Lucy was in this very room!” as they transfer gold bullion into offshore accounts? (I imagine this is what wealthy people do all day).
Wait a minute. EVERYONE knows about this! I just Googled it and Roxbury Drive is FULL of famous homes. Lucy’s old neighbors included Jimmy Stewart, Rick Schroder (uh, different decade), Jack Benny, Peter “Columbo” Falk, Rosemary Clooney (who lived in George Gershwin’s old place), Lionnel Barrymore, Maureen O’Sullivan…
I guess I forgot where I live. Whatever! I stick by my DIY Celebrity House Tour. We do one at a time and it’s also a book club. I don’t want my viewers to be uneducated idiots.
Here’s that quote I love so much. It’s nice to re-read anytime you’re feeling like stuff’s just not happening in the timeframe you expected. I like to think that whatever my little brain has planned out for myself, is nothing compared to the brilliance of what’s actually going to happen…
“Here’s what I advise any young struggling actress today: The important thing is to develop as a woman first, and a performer second. You wouldn’t prostitute yourself to get a part, not if you’re in your right mind. You won’t be happy, whatever you do, unless you’re comfortable with your own conscience. Keep your head up, keep your shoulders back, keep your self-respect, be nice, be smart. And remember that there are practically no “overnight” successes. Before that brilliant hit performance came ten, fifteen, sometimes twenty years in the salt mines, sweating it out.” – Lucille Ball
Signing off from the salt mines…