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.

“I know what you’re saying. They try to act like its getting better but its not.  It’s like it would kill them to pop off a new brown face every now and then.”

“Or at all,” Seema snaps.

“The good news for me is, if I hang in there for 20 years, I’ll be old enough to play the black judge.  Then I’ll be going out every week!”

“What do I have to look forward to?  At least you have Tyler Perry.”

Blacktress is silent.

A week later Seema calls Blacktress to invite her over for a drink.  By the time they finish a second bottle of “2 Buck Chuck,” Seema is ready to make her confession:  She was getting out after all.

“I think I’m moving back to Tampa,” she says quickly.

Blacktress tries to talk her off the ledge.

“No, you’re too talented for that, Seema. If you do, you’ll regret it. ”

Seema is silent.

When Blacktress gets home she calls her friend, Ilanya Howard, to mourn the loss of her friend Seema Reddy, the fallen Angelino.

“I can’t believe she would just quit on her dream and go home like that,” she laments.

“Who gives a shit?  I like to hear people say they’re going home,” Iyanla confesses.  “LA is littered with twenty-something wanna-bees.  Buzzing around and taking up space.  The more of them who tire out and take their asses home, the better.  That way, by the time we get in our thirties, the playing field won’t be so over-crowded. ”

Blacktress is stunned by her lack of compassion.  She dramatically rolls her eyes into the phone and adopts a judging tone.

“You are cold blooded, Iyanla.  Cold Bloo- -”

Her thought halts mid sentence and then swerves.

“…Seema has a nice place though.  I wonder how much the rent is.”

Iyanla chuckles and adds, “  This shit is survival of the fittest.”