The first film I starred in, apart from home movies, was a cheesy low-budget Rebel Without a Cause knockoff called Eden Cried. And by starred in I mean, of course, that I was an extra. I’d just gotten out of 8th grade, but looked older (see photo below), so I was cast as various teens and 20-somethings. This was it! After my stage debut the previous year, I was hooked on applause. If I could just get a close-up I’d be a star by Christmas!
We were filming at a SoCal beach when the director said, “I need a close-up of a couple making out.” I lurched forward and smiled rakishly. Amazingly, he pointed at me and a voluptuous teeny-bikinied blonde and said, “Those two.” We were hurried into position on a beach blanket and told to “get passionate.” I was excited. And a little freaked-out. So I whispered in the blonde’s ear, “This is my first time, actually.” “Doing a close-up?” she asked. “No, kissing,” I replied.
She jerked away as if suddenly realizing I was made out of jellied eels. “Wait. How old are you?”
I whispered the answer as cavalierly as I could.
“Ew!” she shrieked as she jumped to her feet. “I’m 25!”
“So what?” the director shouted, annoyed at the interruption.
“He’s 13!” she screamed.
“No, no!” I snorted dismissively. “I turned 14 last week!”
Installation of my star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was immediately delayed.
A year later, after I’d become a sophisticated grown-up, I gave the shortcut to fame another try by I auditioning for The Dating Game. To my delight, I received a call the next day! Because I could do “funny voices,” they said I’d be perfect for an episode with three eligible bachelorettes who didn’t realize I was someone they’d gone out with before!
“I like it!” I said, delighting them with my much-sought-after approval.
“Great!” they replied. “Get back to us with the names and numbers of a dozen women you’ve dated.”
“Oh, uh…” I fumbled.
“Well, I… I’ve never actually been on a date.”
“Wait. How old are you?” There it was again, that Walk of Fame-cancelling question.
“Uh…15, but almost 16, and I really feel I’m ready to start dating!”
Once again, installation of my star was delayed.