the prot��project

Ive mentioned Chuck here before. Hes the kid that grew up reading Crimewave, and now, at twenty years old, is preparing to follow my advice and head out to California. Well, Chuck, and the friends who will be accompanying him on this trip out west, have started a blog to chronicle their adventures as they try to worm their ways into the film industry like tiny worms into a dogs heart. Heres a sample quotation from their blog. This entry is from Chuck:

I’m moving to California and my parents aren’t happy about it. I won’t have health insurance, a job, a place to stay, or even that much start-up money, but at least I’ll be there. I’ll be in Hollywood, where every day is sunny and warm and I can forget there are cold places in the world.

It was three degrees outside today. I’m sure it’s been this cold just about every year around this time, but it seems even colder now. I just keep thinking “you’ll never have to worry about this again”. You might be poor, your job might suck, you might spend 20 years trying to break into an industry akin to a high school popularity contest… but at least you’ll be warm… and at least you’ll be with your friends… and at least you tried. That’s more than most of them can say.

I don’t have anyone to bail me out this time, so I don’t have any reason to come back. I keep telling myself there are people in the world that didn’t have parents to bail them out in the first place, and I’m sure they made it fine.

We’re going to be ok. Things are going to work out.

If possible, Id like to ask that you check in on Chuck, Mike and the girl every month or so just to see how theyre doing. The last time I visited their site, the only people leaving comments for them were Mikes mom and me. That made me sad. More people, I think, need to care about them. If this is going to work, more people need to be pulling for them.

I wish Id had the balls to strike out for Hollywood when I was 20, when I still had energy and potential when I still had marketable ideas.

I suppose you could look at this and interpret it as though Im sending these kids out west to live my dreams, without much consideration of their wellbeing. You might be right about that. I suppose I should feel worse, but I kind of like the idea that Im getting it out of my system now, before my own child is born. I like that I can saddle Chuck with my dreams, like an asshole ex-jock father might with his kid, and, in the process, spare this baby that Linette and I will be bringing into the world.

So, with that, I send the Sacrificial Chuck out into the world. If he is successful, he promises to give me roles in all of his films. And, if, god forbid, he gets hooked on crank and starts hustling handjobs in Studio City, I will just erase all mention of him from this archive and forget he ever existed.

Good luck, Chuck.

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