Going Down in La-La Land

 

 

 

Going Down in La-La Land

 

A Novel

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andy Zeffer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

www.goingdowninlalaland.com

 

Copyright 2011 Andy Zeffer

 

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

 

All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.

Acclaim for Going Down in La-La Land

 

 

“I can’t believe Andy Zeffer made up the people in this book, because I know each and every one of them. They exist on that fault line that separates Hollywood from WeHo (West Hollywood) and fantasy from reality, a fault line that rumbles every day. Everybody is for sale and the goal is to get gift wrapped for life before you get marked down. Shrewdly observed, this is a terrific WeHo novel with a deep soul where the fluff usually is.”

Bruce Vilanch, Writer/Actor

 

 

 

 

“A racy romp through the dark and funny sides of Hollywood, porn, drugs, and the closet.”

Michael Musto,
Village Voice

 

 

 


Going Down in La-La Land
is Perezcious! This sexified tale of drugs, sex, power, sex, money, sex and sex would make a Hilton blush. And that’s saying something! This is one of the most brazilliant books-gay or straight of bi or curious-of the year. A must-read!”

Perez Hilton, Gossip Gangsta

 

 

 

“Andy Zeffer has written perhaps the first ‘I was there’ book about the backstage sex life of Hollywood that rings bitingly true. At last a hard-edged report with no glitter, no glamour. I loved it!”

David Leddick, Author of
The Millionaire in Love

 

 

 


Going Down in La-La Land
takes a concise, unflinching look at the seamier side of Hollywood. Andy Zeffer manages to make the absurdity of Tinseltown funny without being insulting. As sunny and juicy as endless groves of oranges and avocados,
Going Down in La-La
Land
is a great read!”

Ben Patrick Johnson, Author of
In and Out of Hollywood

 

 

 

“The pages were so hot they burnt my fingers. I closed my eyes and visualized one of my movies!”

Chi Chi LaRue, Adult Film Director and Drag Delight

 

The land of sunshine and oranges? Once there they discover that sunshine isn’t enough. They get tired of oranges, even of avocado pears and passion fruit. Nothing happens. They don’t know what to do with their time. They haven’t the mental equipment for leisure, the money nor the physical equipment for pleasure…Their boredom becomes more and more terrible. They realize that they’ve been tricked and burn with resentment…The sun is a joke. Oranges can’t titillate their jaded palates. Nothing can ever be violent enough to make taut their slack minds and bodies. They have been cheated and betrayed. They have slaved and saved for nothing.

 

Nathanael West, The Day of the Locust

 

Candy Girl
 

 

“Maybe we’ll run into one of the gay guys from my alcohol and drug education program,” Candy commented out of the blue as she raced her Benz north along Robertson. She was in a fifteen-week court-ordered class after being pulled over intoxicated one night racing her diabetic cat to the twenty-four-hour emergency pet clinic.

“Isn’t the whole point of dragging your ass there that you people are supposed to stay away from bars and clubs?” I asked wryly.

“Yeah.” Candy sighed apathetically. “I always see this one guy in particular. Our conversation is always the same—I won’t tell if you won’t. Oh, I don’t care. Me neither. So, how’s it going?”

I pushed the seat back and stretched a little as she pressed the pedal to the metal. As with everything else in her life, when driving she was a wild woman.

“Anyways, I’ve never been arrested so many times in my life until I got here!” she laughed.

I looked over at her glossed lips puckered together at the side of her mouth the way she did when in thought. My zany friend. I always gravitated toward characters that aren’t all together there. A little left of center, you could say, maybe missing a link or two. I tried not to think about this tendency too often, because God only knows what it reflected in me.

Candy zoomed her way in and out of the dense traffic heading east on Santa Monica Boulevard. I was amazed at how well she maneuvered the road, considering there was construction and gridlock on every other block. It seemed the streets yearned for more pedestrians and less cars, and I’d wondered if I’d done the right thing by coming out here.
Would I, Adam Zeller, find the fame and fortune that eluded me in New York? Would I become a star instead of a half-starved waif endlessly pounding the pavement for chances and golden opportunities?

For now it was just a relief not to be behind the wheel after making the five-hour drive from Vegas to LA. I always hated that drive, because it was just plain ugly. It seemed an endless voyage, hot and dusty with a stretch through San Bernardino that never seemed to end.

Candy insisted we hit West Hollywood so she could give me a quick tour of the neighborhood and then have dinner at a gay bar and restaurant called The Abbey.

“Over there are Mickey’s and Rage,” she pointed with a perfectly lacquered nail, the soft pink polish glistening under the street lights. “I’ll drive up a ways towards Fairfax just so you get an idea of the neighborhood. Oh! Look! Isn’t that place with the neon dog cute? I get my cat food there!”

Candy rambled on as I struggled to keep up with her. My blood sugar was low. I was zonked from the drive and still stunned by being here. I really needed to eat.

“Let’s just eat. I feel like I’m gonna pass out,” I finally broke in.

“Okay!” Candy chirped in her girlish way.

Then she proceeded to bring the car to a screeching U-turn and just missed slamming into oncoming traffic by a matter of a few seconds.

I hated when she did that.

I had met Candy three years earlier in Manhattan while making a no-budget independent horror film called
Sect of Lucifer.
Both of us answered an ad in
Backstage
looking for actors. She landed the plum role of Morgana Sateen, the vampire woman, while I bagged the choice part of Tor the zombie. Sharon Stone and Johnny Depp, look out! I was so proud to have been chosen for my role. Surely Bela Lugosi was just green with envy in his grave. After all, there are tons of hungry actors in the city competing for parts. These were our first starring roles, the beginning of what we hoped would lead us to successful acting careers.

Yes, I was that naive back then. For a month and a half in the sweltering summer humidity the job consisted of parading around in gauze bandages, a cheap latex mask a half an inch thick, oily stage makeup, and a heavy black robe. I lost about ten pounds through the whole ordeal, which was not a good thing, as keeping weight on my lean frame has always been a challenge for me. The first night of shooting took place at the filmmaker’s home on Long Island, which was catered with every conceivable junk food imaginable from chips to doughnuts to greasy pizza. Candy showed up forty-five minutes late in a brown suede minidress, complete with a long blonde hairpiece right out of
Barbarella,
and carrying White Castle hamburgers for everyone there.

Boy, is this one a piece of work,
I thought after first laying eyes on her. Blonde, blue-eyed, with a great body, not to mention breasts almost falling out of her dress, she was a sight to behold. A pretty face with nice bone structure, she looked like a St. Pauli Girl advertisement.

Immediately the rest of the crew smirked and joked when this brassy hurricane left the room. But I just looked at her quizzically, thinking I had met a modern-day Jayne Mansfield. While the other cast members discussed one cast member’s lactose intolerance, Candy and I stood side by side and giggled.

“If I have one piece of that pizza I’ll be knocking down the bathroom door to get to that toilet!”

As filming progressed, both of us laughed uncontrollably as we, along with the other characters, were expected to fall down around a pentagram made with lime powder on the filmmaker’s backyard lawn. While this was happening, it was like the Halloween amateur hour. The neighborhood children taunted us over the back fence.

“Ohhh, monsters! I’m so scared!” they yelled in teasing voices as we just stood there stupidly.

Before the night was over, it was obvious we were right up each other’s alley. We fell down on the ground a total of fifteen times with the rest of the haphazard cast before landing at the same time like we were supposed to. A cheap contraption coughed up puny puffs of smoke while fake tombstones fit for a house decked out for trick-or-treaters dotted the yard.

The filmmaker, Vinnie, was a full-time transit worker with a beer gut who wore his hair in a mullet. His other pursuit besides film was organizing Renaissance fairs. Vinnie’s fat, cross-eyed best friend split whenever he spoke and played the mad professor. The best friend already resembled a monster, therefore requiring no makeup whatsoever.

Early that first evening, Candy flashed the whole cast by revealing she wore no panties under her skirt, giving the oddball men there a bigger thrill than they could remember in years.

The female lead was a catering waitress named Darlene who was already busy psychoanalyzing everyone else present, and it was only the first night of filming. The guy who played the sea monster was riding the high of his life because he had landed a spot in a Snapple commercial after writing a letter to the company informing them how much he loved their iced tea.

Overall, the whole cast appeared to have escaped from a mental institution. This was hardly the filming of
Gone with the Wind.
More like
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
with a good dose of
Ed Wood
thrown in.

Throughout the next few months that the two of us dedicated ourselves to this cinematic masterpiece, I hitched rides with Candy back and forth from locations. Her company made me look forward to the tedious treks to various shoots on Long Island and a shitty neighborhood in Queens, where the filmmakers had rented a suffocating room to film interiors. It was in a dark and filthy industrial building that made you feel as though you were going to be mugged, beaten, and raped the moment you stepped inside.

“Are you all making a porno?” a bunch of big black guys who had a makeshift recording studio down the hall kept asking us.

If it weren’t for the amusement Candy provided, and the fact that the guys behind the project were pretty nice people, the whole thing would have been unbearable.

After
Sect of Lucifer
was in the can, I continued to hang out with my former costar. Candy’s life read like something from a wacky television show, and I was like an appreciative viewer who tuned in each week to witness her latest adventures and travails. She had two boyfriends, the wealthy and older Frank and the young, good-looking, but basically useless moron, Dean. Most of her time was spent shopping, and every salesperson at the city’s finer boutiques knew her well.

When we first met she lived in an Upper East Side high-rise (care of her boyfriend Frank), and later moved into Beekman Place before eventually leaving Manhattan. The latter address was a spot any gay man would appreciate. It gave Candy a spectacular view of an old brick building across the East River that when illuminated at night looked like a castle.

Being a fan of the movie
Auntie Mame,
I was thrilled when hearing the news Candy was moving into Beekman Place. And just like Mame, she herself was a larger-than-life character, so you couldn’t find a more appropriate address for her to live. You couldn’t get much more glamorous in my eyes.

Candy was no dummy, just quirky and eccentric. She grew up in Connecticut and held a business degree from what was widely considered a public Ivy League university. It also happened to be rated the number four party school by
Playboy Magazine
her senior year, a fact she was more proud of. After being bored to tears with her pharmaceutical sales job, Candy decided to pursue a career as an actress. Eventually the job came to an end when a two-faced co-worker informed her superiors Candy was leaving work at four p.m. on Fridays to take classes at the Actors Studio and writing off the parking as a company expense.

She was promptly fired.

By that time, Frank came into her life along with the Mercedes, the apartment, and a showcase closet of Versace, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Pamela Dennis, Vera Wang, Richard Tyler, with a few Fendi furs thrown in for good measure.

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