Read Secrets of My Hollywood Life Online

Authors: Jen Calonita

Tags: #Juvenile Fiction, #Business; Careers; Occupations, #Social Issues, #Adolescence, #Love & Romance

Secrets of My Hollywood Life


Secrets of my Hollywood Life (Secrets of My Hollywood Life #1)

Jen Calonita


To my boys, Mike and Tyler.


Scene One
, Take One

I'm going to let you in on a little HOLLYWOOD SECRET: Movie stars don't always get along. It's true. You can't believe everything you hear during interviews on
Access Hollywood
. When a star is asked about her costar, she'll gush about how the two are best buds who go to the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf every Saturday morning after Ashtanga yoga for a fat-free vanilla Ice Blended. The truth is they probably haven't seen each other outside work in six months. Celebrities will say anything for good publicity.

How do I know? You've probably already guessed. I'm one of
. One of
Teen Peoples
"25 Hottest Stars Under 25." Number six on
Entertainment Weekly's
"It List." And, unfortunately, I'm as guilty as anyone of the secret I just shared. What can I say? My publicist, Laney Peters, says talking honestly about Sky Mackenzie would be bad for my image.

"You're America's newest sweetheart," she explains with a flip of her $300 honey-highlighted hair during one of our notoriously long lunch meetings at The Ivy. "You don't bash people -- especially your costars. The Kaitlin Burke the public loves would never do such a thing."

Yeah, well, the real me is having a tough time sticking to that motto. Sky and I have
been friends and we've worked together since we were four, when we were cast to play fraternal twins on the nighttime soap
Family Affair
. I should have known we would have a volatile relationship from our first scene together. Seconds before the director yelled "action," Sky clocked me over the head with her pink Barbie Corvette. We delayed filming for a week -- while we waited for the large bump on my head to go down.

Just like real life, our characters are polar opposites. Sky plays Sara, the scheming bad seed in our TV family. This season alone Sara has crashed our dad's Hummer, slept with his boss, and been in rehab for her rum and Coke addiction. My character, Samantha, is a bit of a goody two-shoes. In one episode, Sam skipped the winter formal to run a food drive for a local orphanage. Kind of makes you want to gag, doesn't it?

After twelve seasons, I've become a pro at ignoring Sky's comments. ( "Nice zit, K," she said the other morning in makeup. "Ever hear of Clearasil?") I've even learned to tune out the tantrums she throws when she thinks I have more lines than her in an episode.

But this time Sky's gone too far. It all started when
Tome voted me the most popular teen in prime time. Sky was so beside herself she trashed her dressing room and refused to work for days, saying she was suffering from "exhaustion." Personally, I think Sky was just mad that she ranked number eight.

It was right after those rumors about me began popping up in the tabloids. I'm not talking silly stuff like,
"Family Affair's
Kaitlin Burkeis an alien!" That I could deal with. These were cruel stories -- ones that my mom feels compelled to read (she reads all my press) and show me. The stories said I threw a fit when FAs new hottie, Trevor Wainright, asked Sky out instead of me. They said my parents were control freaks. They said I was thinking of leaving the show. This week, Mom showed me a cover story
Hollywood Nation
ran on my supposed downfall: "Is Kaitlin Burke No Longer TV's Good Girl?" the headline blared. I'm convinced Sky is behind the tabloid frenzy, which is why I marched into her dressing room yesterday to confront her.

"Skylar," I began, because I know she hates being called by her full name, "Did you see the new issue of
TV Tome?"

"Hey, K," Sky cooed. She was lounging on her reuphol--stered zebra-print couch, which sits in front of her new leopard-skin rug. Her African safari-themed dressing room is very un-PC. "No, I haven't."

"I have it here." I shoved the worn magazine under her nose. "There's a story about

"So?" She snapped the red Kabbalah rubber band she had on, acting all uninterested. "What does it say?"

" 'Sky Mackenzie,
Family Affairs
favorite bad girl, is heart broken over rumors that her TV sis, played by Kaitlin Burke, might be killed off," I read calmly. "'Sources say Kaitlin's lovable character, Sam, may be stricken with a fatal disease, leaving her twin, Sara, an only child. "I don't know what I'll do without Katie around," Sky said sadly when asked about the rumors. "The two of us are really like sisters!"'"

"I was
when I heard that." Sky didn't look upset to me. Actually she stood up and yawned -- keeping one hand on her Lucky jeans so they wouldn't fall off her bony hips -- and walked over to her bamboo dressing mirror. "I had to take two Midol and lie down for a while," she added. "But not to worry, K -- I asked the writers and they said it's not true."

"Of course it's not true! You made it up!" I was getting visibly upset despite my actor training telling me not to.

"I don't know what you're talking about," Sky replied as she examined her long raven hair and overtanned complexion in the mirror.

"So you don't know where
Celeb Insider
got that crazy story about me reshooting a kissing scene with Trevor to make you jealous either, huh?" I asked. "What did it say again? Oh, that's right. 'Kaitlin Burke made Sky Mackenzie fly off the set in tears."

"Someone must
not like you around here, K." She squinted her big brown eyes at me. "Come to think of it, I just read another story about you. Online. Something about your mom being a total Hollywood wannabe."

That was the last straw
. I wanted to lunge at her. I pictured an insane catfight like Paige and Krystal always get into on our show (you know the type -- someone always winds up pushed into a pool wearing an evening gown), but then I remembered Laney's plea. So instead, I turned on my heels and slammed the dressing room door.

"Don't be a stranger, K!" Sky called out in a singsong voice.


I love my job, but between us, times like this make me want to buy a one-way ticket out of Los Angeles. I feel like everyone I know lives and breathes Hollywood 365 days a year. Whatever happened to a little downtime? You know, talking about something
than movies, curling up with a good book or going to the beach? Laney and my parents don't know it yet, but I've been thinking about making some serious changes when
Family Affair
wraps for the season. Like finding a remote island and clearing my head for a while....

Who am I kidding? When your face is on TV every Sunday night at 9 PM, how do you disappear without people noticing?

On the 101

"Kates. Katie? KAITLIN! Get up!" Nadine's muffled voice calls as I lay motionless beneath my heavenly 600-thread-count comforter. "You're supposed to be at the shoot at eight-thirty, and it's already seven AM."

I hear Nadine frantically searching through piles of my unread magazines and clothes, looking for my cell phone. "You know how bad the traffic is on the 101. Get up!"

"Alright, alright," I groan as I throw back my
Star Wars
bed sheets. "It's just that we wrapped
late last night."

"At least you didn't have an hour drive home at one AM," she says with a yawn. I watch groggily as Nadine finds my cell lying on top of a still-packed suitcase I took to New York for a press junket last weekend.

I feel bad for Nadine, but the person I really feel sorry for is my makeup artist, Shelly. She's going to have a tough time covering my dark undereye circles for today's
Teen People

"Throw these on." Nadine tosses me my favorite pair of worn boot-cut faded denim jeans. "Paul and Shelly are going to do your hair and makeup when you get there, so don't worry about that," she adds sharply. "Just wash your face."

I nod. I'm more concerned with finding my Sidekick, which has everything I need: my overbooked calendar, friends' digits, and e-mail to help me stay in touch even when I'm on location in remote Kauai. I scan the top of my cluttered dresser, then drop down on the cherry-wood floor and look under my custom-designed canopy bed. "Gee, you're in a great mood!" I yell. "Any chance it has something to do with my mom?" I spot my green bejeweled Sidekick peeking out from under my Dodgers cap and grab it. I pull myself out and stand up to face Nadine. Her pale white face turns as red as her pixie-length hair at the mention of Mom's name. She folds her lanky arms across her chest, which bears the words WILL WORK FOR FOOD across her army green Urban Outfitters t-shirt. "Forget I brought it up," I say quickly.

Last night Mom claimed she had a fever and bailed the
set at seven, leaving Nadine to play chaperone. (Since I'm only sixteen, I need a guardian on set with me at all times. Not that I ever really think of Nadine as a guardian. She's only 23 herself.) I have a sneaking suspicion that Mom slipped out so she could go to that John Travolta dinner at the Beverly Hills Hilton, but if I tell Nadine that, she'll blow her top. She already thinks my mom is "vicariously living through her daughter's good fortune." She tells me this whenever we catch Mom flirting with my male costars in one of her PB&J Couture suits.

"Why are you up so early anyway? I thought Mom was taking me today," I ask as I race into my bathroom to brush my teeth with my Han Solo toothbrush.

"Your mom forgot about her tennis lesson," Nadine says wearily. "Rodney picked me up on the way. Thankfully I printed out your itinerary when I got home last night."

I spit out the toothpaste and dash over to my walk-in closet to find something to wear. I'm totally a jeans-and-t-shirt kind of girl when I'm not working, but since today is a business thing, I settle on my vintage tweed blazer and green suede size 9 Pumas. I think they make my feet look smaller. Which is a good thing since my younger brother Matt calls me "Bigfoot."

As I tie my shoes, I watch Nadine whip today's itinerary out of her brown leather binder. Nadine calls it her "bible." She keeps a list of my bra size, favorite designers, food likes (pork fried rice and veggie dumplings from Chow Mein's in Santa Monica) and dislikes (the smell of tuna makes me gag) and DVD must-haves for downtime on the set
(Star Wars
box set? Check.
Legally Blonde?
Check), plus a phone list of casting agents, talk show producers, and studio heads that I might need to call at any given moment. Basically Nadine likes any excuse to use a spreadsheet.

"Okay, so the shoot is supposed to end at two, and then you have that fitting at So Chic at two-thirty for the
premiere," Nadine tells me as she pins her thick red hair back with a Hello Kitty barrette. "On the car ride over you have two phone interviews. One with E! and one with
Weekly Entertainment."

"Is that all?" I joke. I grab my Sidekick and shove it in my denim messenger bag. Several green jewels pop off the unit and fall to the floor. Next time I should just have my Sidekick bejeweled professionally, instead of attempting to Bedazzle it myself.

Nadine ushers me out the bedroom door and down the spiral staircase, into our family room. "Don't blame me," she mutters. "Your mom is your manager. She's the one who sets your schedule." Nadine opens her mouth to say something else, but stops. Mom's entered the room in her tennis whites and a pink PB&J Couture hoodie.

"Sweetie, you're up. I was just going to wake you," she says, giving me a quick peck on the cheek. My mom's birth certificate says she's forty, but looking at her, you wouldn't think she's a day over thirty-five. Platinum blond (kudos to Sergi, her colorist), bronzed (thanks to Fergie at Mystic Tanning), and in fantastic shape (daily training with Logan), she sometimes gets mistaken for my older sister. She
when that happens.

"I was thinking," my mom begins, towering over me. (I inherited Mom's emerald green eyes, but not her statuesque height.) She grabs a clump of my naturally honey blond hair. "When Paul does your hair today, tell him not to pull it back," she says, eyeing the strands closely. "It should be down and curly, like Mina Burrows in this month's
I hate when your hair is pulled back. Your head looks too small."

Nadine mumbles something under her breath.

"I also want you to promise me you'll at least
on some couture stuff," Mom continues. "It makes you look more grown up and sophisticated. That's how you get the older roles, sweetie. Look older."

"I'm sixteen," I say as I untangle myself from her and make my way into our spacious kitchen. I open the Sub-zero fridge and toss Nadine a water, then grab a cinnamon raisin bagel for myself. "I like looking my age. I hate how Sky's always trying to be twenty-five instead of sixteen. She looks ridiculous."

"You may think so, honey, but Sky's going for an image. We've got to take yours to the next level too if you want bigger and better roles." Mom raises her eyebrow at me -- never a good sign -- and grabs the bagel out of my hand. She hands me a peach instead.

I know I could be grounded for life for saying this, but sometimes I wish my mom could be a lot more like my TV one. Paige Stevens always lets Sam cry on her shoulder. There was this one episode when Sam lost out on homecoming queen to the foreign exchange student from Bosnia. Paige canceled her business trip to Paris and consoled Sam by baking a double batch of brownies and renting
The Notebook
to watch together.

If I lost a movie role to Sky, I don't think my mom would be baking me brownies. I don't think she even knows how to turn on the oven.

"We should go. Rodney is going to have a fit if we make him wait any longer," Nadine announces.

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