April 2010


Photo by Matt O'Callaghan

Blacktress is meeting her friend Shante Shannon for dinner at The Village Idiot, a gastro-pub on Melrose.  For the first time in history, Blacktress is on time for a social outing.  Shante calls to say she is stuck in traffic coming from the west side, and is going to be late.  Go figure.

While Blacktress waits at the bar for her friend to arrive, she catches the eye of Brandon Henry, a thirty something in a button down and jeans.  She buys his line.  He buys her a Lemon drop martini.  They engage in casual flirtatious banter.

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Photo by Miles Feld

Blacktress is heading into the Intelligencia at Sunset Junction when she bumps into Seema Reddy, a brilliant actress she co-starred with in the 12 minute short: Bollyhood.  They hug and tell each other they look well.  Then Seema asks Blacktress the question all actors with agents in the valley feel the need to ask each other.

“So, are you getting out much?”

Blacktress plays up the co-star she booked last month on Angeltown but glosses over the fact that she hasn’t had a single theatrical audition in two and a half weeks.  Seema on the other hand lays her miserable truth right out there.

“I’m not getting out at all.  It’s so fucking discouraging.  There are so few parts for me.  And no good ones. ”

Her negativity catches like wildfire.  Blacktress is burned.

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Photo by Miles Orion Feldsott

Each year throngs of actors relocate to the wild wild west to take part in what could be known as the modern day Gold Rush:  the pursuit of golden statues and golden stars on Hollywood Blvd.  If they are at least half as lucky as they are talented, they’ll have a shot in hell.  But leaning on a good smile and a BFA will have the weak clicking their heels back home before their studio apartment lease expires. Successfully navigating the journey requires adapting a skill set rarely taught in theater school.  It’s a business.  It’s a game.  It’s a jungle out there.    Go hard or go home.  But on the road to Oscar there’s a lot of down time.  Be bold.  Be brave.  Be Blessed.  And good luck!   Photographer Miles Feld and actress Diarra Kilpatrick take to Griffith Park to learn how the strong survive…

Click more to see the rest of this photo story…

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Photo by Matt O'Callaghan for Blacktress World

Blacktress is meeting Nirvana, her flakey, hippie friend (everybody has one), at a house party in Koreatown.  Blacktress has circled the block about 10 times already looking for parking.  And this is her # 10 reason why LA is complete bullshit.  Looking for parking is all too often a nightmare, she thinks. But just before Blacktress is about to get pissy about having to make her 11th rotation, she remembers something…

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Call is 11am. Blacktress arrives on the set of Angeltown, a gritty crime drama, told from the POV of the cops, who protect the mean streets of LA. These cops seem to cover a territory that spans from south central to Santa Monica.  This is perplexing to Blacktress and other actual Angelinos.  But these are the kinds of details that don’t seem to bother the staff writers or viewers who live in other parts of the country.   Blacktress has won the coveted role of, “Angry Crip girl in the Landromat.”  She sits in the make-up chair next to Scott Oats, a devastatingly handsome and well known Blacktor.  She steals glances of him as often as possible making the make-up lady’s job more difficult.

“Up, up, up. Keep your eyes looking up.  ” Barb says for the third time as she attempts to coat her lashes.

Blacktress complies . But seconds later her eyes dart back over.  Barb huffs.

Blacktress makes note of Scott Oats’ stubby legs dangling off the side of his swivel chair.

He’s such a tiny little man, she thinks.  Aren’t objects supposed to appear larger up close?

“All the A-listers are midgets.  The A actually stands for apple box,”  Blacktress once overheard a woman telling her date in line for a Tom Cruise movie at the Grove.

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