We all know what Hollywood is; it’s the place of dreams and wonder, of glimmer and shine. At the same time, we know that behind the glittering façade, there’s a rotten waste that must be isolated and cut out like a cancer, so the fantasy can be maintained. Those surgeons who deal with Hollywood’s malignant backstage are known as ”the behind guys.” They’re a secretive bunch, obviously, and my father was one of them.
To become one of the “Guys”, you must know or be related to one. My father always told me that those who have had a decent life and a balance of everything can truly rest in peace when his or her time comes, but those who have had too much of a good thing can never truly rest in peace. My father always told me to not be deceived by the gleaming veneer of the front stage that I so often see in cinema and television, and wherever else Hollywood’s seeking tendrils have exerted their dark influence; he always told me that on the inside, it isn’t like that at all. He knew quite a bit of Hollywood’s history, even back to Hollywood’s Golden Age. He told me that from then until now, actors, directors, producers and other Hollywood luminaries have made a custom of communing with demons and spirits for influence and inspiration. Especially actors, though; they’re the worst (at least to us behind guys). There are numerous instances of stars and starlets holding séances in order to provoke possession by the spirit of someone who really was the character that they were playing in a period piece for instance, to give a more realistic performance. (Ever wonder why so and so got their Oscar for such and such?) Others, like directors, producers and writers, they did it mainly to get ideas.
Hard to believe, I know. The one time my father let me go to his work place, he took me to his base and introduced to me to his colleagues. I enjoyed hanging out with the guys who keep Hollywood clean. There was this dark, descending stairway that stretched a long way into blackness. My father caught me gawking at the opening and told me not to go down there, but still I stood staring, mesmerized by I don’t know what. After a while, some guys who’d been working down there emerged to go on their break. When they were gone, I heard a voice.
“Hello hello,” it said, sounding guttural and depraved.
“Hello?” I replied.
The voice said, “Little boy! Awww, so cute. Come down here please.”
“My father said for me not to go down there,” I answered.
The voice begged. “Please come down,” it said, and I did.
As I went down the steps, I looked around for a light switch, but couldn’t find one. The stairs seemed to go down forever. When I finally reached the ground, this figure touched me and said “Please give me some attention. Please love me. I am famous I want attention please give me attention,” it said, over and over. Then a light flashed at thing that was touching me, exposing it and causing it to shrink away as my father grabbed me and hauled me away. Before he pulled me out of that basement, I saw it with my very own eyes.
It was Marylyn Monroe. Not the beautiful Monroe as we know her, but, she was this disfigured and demonic wraith of a creature. I screamed and fell to the ground. My father rushed in and shouted at her, “Get back! Get back now!”
She obeyed, and he took me back upstairs. Then he sat me down and explained to me what I had seen.
“Son, remember when I told you how some people who have too much can never really rest in peace? Well, these Hollywood folks with all their fame and glory can never let it go.” He could tell how shaken I was, and put a steady hand on my shoulder. “And do you remember when I told you how they use demons and spirits to get ahead? Well, too much of it will lead to what you saw downstairs. That’s what happens when the things they conjure take them over.”
My father hugged me, and took me home. For the next couple of days I couldn’t sleep. At school, when I had to describe what my father’s work is like, well… obviously I couldn’t tell them all of this. So I lied. Told them he’s an office worker.
There are more stories about what my father and the other behind guys deal with. This is just a taste of what goes on, of the twisted blackness behind Hollywood’s glimmer and shine.