Monday, August 2, 2010

The Saga of Jimmy Stark PT 2

Merri was standing in an office, there was a desk, and the walls were covered over with fake plywood. With Merri was an older looking gentleman wearing a golf shirt and sansabelt pants in some bad pastel color. He looked like he'd just come in from the golf course, or the clubhouse, I imagined that just off camera smoldered a cigar one end chewed, I could almost smell the tobacco on his breath. At the bottom of the screen it read, Max Springfield, "we're here with Jimmy Stark's agent of thirty years," Merri said, "Max Springfield. Max, you're the one who discovered Jimmy Stark, and have stuck with him through the years."
"Well," he said, with a bit of wet lisp, "that's because of Jimmy himself, he's a very special person. I remember when his mother first brought him into my office I think she had him dressed like one of The Beatle's in a Sgt. Peppers era costume. I wasn't that interested, but as I was talking with him I saw something. I convinced his mother to stop dressing him in costumes, which was a lot harder than it should have been and we sent him out to auditions. And the rest you know, as they say, is history."
“How did Jimmy get the role on Family Muse?”
“That’s almost as legendary as Lana Turner being discovered at Schwabs Drugstore. One of the producers saw him on a commercial, and at the time I was one of the two or three biggest agents, and I was the first call he made.”
"After Family Muse Jimmy's career hit a snag."
"Jimmy hit the wall most child actors do when suddenly they have to have a talent other than looking cute. If he were coming to us today, there's so much more we could do with him, but in those days we were pretty much limited to the cute kid or the precocious kid roles. Luckily, Jimmy could play both."
"Jimmy developed a reputation as a party animal early in his career."
"He loved to play!" Max exclaimed, "he thought acting was playing, that’s why he was so good, he was just playing. So when he discovered what he took to be adult playing, he was a natural at it."
"It seemed at one point Jimmy was deliberately trying to sabotage his career?"
"That was later, in his twenties. Nevertheless, I got him some very good roles, roles that still hold up. Tender Fury comes to mind, of course, for which he got a best actor nomination."
"We've been trying to track Jimmy down to let his fans know how he is. Have you been in contact with him?" Merri asked.
"Of course, hardly a month goes by that I don't hear from him."
“Could you put us in touch with him?”
“Well, I haven’t heard from him in a while, but when I do, I’ll be in touch.”
"Thank you Max, for setting the record straight." He nodded his head, and then they cut back to Roger Hudson in the studio, I turned the TV off.

(The Last Stage is available on Kindle, Nook Books, or if you would like a signed copy of The Last Stage they're available from my website (only $20!) at Jymsbooks via Paypal (, please don't forget your mailing address!)

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