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BEGUILING HOLLYWOOD

Want crotch shots? Go to TMZ. If you want a little historical perspective you're home.

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Episode 32. It’s said in Hollywood that you should always... because you never know when you’ll have to work with them.

All through life, instinctively or intellectually, we adapt to survive. Even insects have some boss strategies, for example, the formation of a chitinous exoskeleton, which is the somewhat see-th...

https://vickielester.com/2020/12/27/episode-32-its-said-in-hollywood-that-you-should-always-forgive-your-enemies-because-you-never-know-when-youll-have-to-work-with-them/

Episode 30. Every star I know in Hollywood acknowledges the...imb. Without it, your brakes don’t work even when you coast.

For a few short days after Antoine’s crisis I was more aware of the rhythms and mechanisms of filmmaking and its twitchy straitlaced cousin finance than I had ever been. Much like how time can ...

https://vickielester.com/2020/12/19/episode-30-every-star-i-know-in-hollywood-acknowledges-the-same-fact-with-luck-you-can-climb-without-it-your-brakes-dont-work-even-when-you-coast/

Episode 27 is introduced by Mabel Normand, who said, “Act...vies is like a cold — you get used to both after a while.”

Gifted with a glib tongue he moved quickly from never-featured actor, to production assistant, to assistant director, and rapidly ascended the dating scale (as he saw it) from the cute craft serv...

https://vickielester.com/2020/12/13/episode-27-is-introduced-by-mabel-normand-who-said-acting-in-the-movies-is-like-a-cold-you-get-used-to-both-after-a-while/

Episode 23. Hollywood is apt to make one lose perspective o...es a steady hand to keep your sense of balance… Luise Ranier

  We are all the lead character in our personal narrative yet this bothered me. Behind the scenes was my forté, I wasn’t ready for a starring role, never had been. Why was that? And why could...

https://vickielester.com/2020/11/28/episode-23-hollywood-is-apt-to-make-one-lose-perspective-on-life-it-takes-a-steady-hand-to-keep-your-sense-of-balance-luise-ranier/

Episode 18. Under an engineer’s iron guidance the silent ...ecutive in a ticky-tacky enclave for millionaires off the 405.

I’m feeling celebratory, so there will be three chapters of Hollywood & Mine going up this weekend. This is episode 18 (chapter 16, for those of you keeping track) and it starts with a quote fr...

https://vickielester.com/2020/11/13/episode-18-under-an-engineers-iron-guidance-the-silent-film-stars-aerie-was-remodeled-stripped-of-original-architectural-character-and-sold-for-enough-cabbage-to-deposit-engineer/

we are waiting for animal rescue to come pick up a large he...a broken front paw — there’s a metaphor in there somewhere

Usually I put up chapters on the weekend but today I thought I’d give it a rest. A friend wrote last night and asked how I was feeling. This is my reply. I feel like we escaped a fate my father...

https://vickielester.com/2020/11/08/we-are-waiting-for-animal-rescue-to-come-pick-up-a-large-healthy-looking-coyote-from-our-back-yard-whos-got-a-broken-front-paw-theres-a-metaphor-in-there-somewhere/

“All creative people should be required to leave California for three months every year.” Good advice from Gloria Swanson

WALLACE: Let’s go back to the Hollywood that you knew. I would like your opinion….. SWANSON: Oh, it was a fabulous….fabulous …fabulous… WALLACE: Well…… SWANSON: But we were all youn...

https://vickielester.com/2019/07/11/all-creative-people-should-be-required-to-leave-california-for-three-months-every-year-good-advice-from-gloria-swanson/

Clifford Coffin took this photograph in an age when sitting...e was a beneficial, or at least benign, experience. Stay cool.

The heatwave broke yesterday and I finished the first draft of the manuscript. I was expecting some kind of elation, but instead I took a nap. Recharging for the revisions to come? Perhaps. I’v...

https://vickielester.com/2018/08/11/clifford-coffin-took-this-photograph-in-an-age-when-sitting-on-a-california-sand-dune-was-a-beneficial-or-at-least-benign-experience-stay-cool/

This is a purely fanciful tale, a little nightmare produced by the unaccustomed high living of a brief visit to Hollywood.

I have a thing about how Los Angeles is portrayed on film and in books. An author who makes me laugh, perhaps because of his dour satiric streak, is Evelyn Waugh. He visited Hollywood in 1947 to ...

https://vickielester.com/2018/03/28/this-is-a-purely-fanciful-tale-a-little-nightmare-produced-by-the-unaccustomed-high-living-of-a-brief-visit-to-hollywood/

“Art may spill over from creating a world of language int...erous and forbidden task of trying to create a human being.”

INTERVIEWER There’s a passage in one of your books in which you and Auden are on a train, and you’re savagely attacking religion, and he says: “Be careful, my dear, if you carry on like tha...

https://vickielester.com/2018/02/26/art-may-spill-over-from-creating-a-world-of-language-into-the-dangerous-and-forbidden-task-of-trying-to-create-a-human-being/

My agent had told me that he was going to make me the Janet Gaynor of England – I was going to play all the sweet roles…

Whereupon, at the tender age of thirteen, I set upon the path of playing nothing but hookers. Ida Lupino Is it any wonder she turned to directing? In an era, I might add, when that was a nearly i...

https://vickielester.com/2018/01/23/my-agent-had-told-me-that-he-was-going-to-make-me-the-janet-gaynor-of-england-i-was-going-to-play-all-the-sweet-roles/

On Writing a Hollywood Novel: Finding Yourself Tap Dancing ...t Aware Was There, Or When Fun Fiction Meets an Uglier Reality

Something has been troubling me recently, and as the New Year is approaching I decided to clear my mind. Little did I know that when I thinly disguised two (secondary) characters in my first nove...

https://vickielester.com/2017/12/29/on-writing-a-hollywood-novel-finding-yourself-tap-dancing-on-a-minefield-you-werent-aware-was-there-or-when-fun-fiction-meets-an-uglier-reality/

“Don’t f#ck with me, fellas. This cowgirl has been to t...e.” Joan Crawford, without doubt, knew how to flame broil…

Joan Crawford looking very festive. Her recipe for Broiled Steak with Roquefort Cheese — a-okay for a carnivore’s Christmas — is below. Serve with crispy roast potatoes and a green salad an...

https://vickielester.com/2017/12/11/dont-fck-with-me-fellas-this-cowgirl-has-been-to-the-rodeo-before-joan-crawford-without-doubt-knew-how-to-flame-broil/

“It was her love of life that carried her through everyth...d her. She wanted the pinnacle of excitement.” Liza Minnelli

I think a lot of us have mothers that once upon a time could be referred to as “forces of nature.” I think Judy Garland was one such force. Perhaps a loving whirlwind? I wouldn’t know, she ...

https://vickielester.com/2017/10/27/it-was-her-love-of-life-that-carried-her-through-everything-the-middle-of-the-road-was-never-for-her-it-bored-her-she-wanted-the-pinnacle-of-excitement-liza-minnelli/

“Let conversation cease. Let laughter flee. This is the p...to help the living.” Giovanni Morgagni, an 18th c. physician

On this overcast day in Southern California I wasn’t going to post anything in reference to 9/11 — more eloquent voices than mine have noted the passage of 16 years. I will just say this, a f...

https://vickielester.com/2017/09/11/let-conversation-cease-let-laughter-flee-this-is-the-place-where-death-rejoices-to-help-the-living-giovanni-morgagni-an-18th-c-physician/

“No form of art goes beyond ordinary consciousness as fil... of the soul.” Ingrid Bergman, wait, nope, make that Ingmar!

Oh my heavens, did I screw up or what? And thanks to an astute comment the author of this quote is revealed: Here’s the complete quote from Irene: “Film as dream, film as music. No form of ar...

https://vickielester.com/2017/08/31/no-form-of-art-goes-beyond-ordinary-consciousness-as-film-does-straight-to-our-emotions-deep-into-the-twilight-of-the-soul-ingrid-bergman/

“There is something about the literary life that repels m...esperate building of castles on cobwebs…” Raymond Chandler

“By the way, would you convey my compliments to the purist who reads your proofs and tell him or her that I write in a sort of broken-down patois which is something like the way a Swiss-waiter ...

https://vickielester.com/2017/07/28/there-is-something-about-the-literary-life-that-repels-me-all-this-desperate-building-of-castles-on-cobwebs-raymond-chandler/

Friends

I have a friend I met when we were nine. This picture of Mary Pickford reminds me of her, the solid gaze, the bold spirit, and the curls. She’s the only person I’ve ever known whose hair fell...

https://vickielester.com/2017/04/08/friends/

“Incredible speech by an incredible woman. Couldn’t be ...o have her as FLOTUS. I love you, Michelle.” President Obama

Thank you all. Thank you so much. You know, it’s hard to believe that it has been eight years since I first came to this convention to talk with you about why I thought my husband should be pre...

https://vickielester.com/2016/07/26/incredible-speech-by-an-incredible-woman-couldnt-be-more-proud-our-country-has-been-blessed-to-have-her-as-flotus-i-love-you-michelle-president-obama/

“…he never alarms you with his knowledge, yet brings it...offhand and entertaining way.” Cecil Beaton on Aldous Huxley

“If, oddly enough, he has chosen California for his home, the products of his pen are still respectfully and enthusiastically received on both sides of the Atlantic. In short, he is an acknowle...

https://vickielester.com/2016/07/22/he-never-alarms-you-with-his-knowledge-yet-brings-it-out-in-the-most-offhand-and-entertaining-way-cecil-beaton-on-aldous-huxley/

“Independence …. is loyalty to one’s best self and pr...en disloyalty to the general idols and fetishes.” Mark Twain

I love the fourth of July, but this year I am obsessed with what’s going on in the country that we got our independence from… “It comes from a very ancient democracy, you see….” “You ...

https://vickielester.com/2016/07/04/independence-is-loyalty-to-ones-best-self-and-principles-and-this-is-often-disloyalty-to-the-general-idols-and-fetishes-mark-twain/

Carmel Snow, high society gal with an eye for genius, becam... Harper’s Bazaar, after a stint with Condé Nast at Vogue…

Snow’s genius came from cultivating the best people. Her first big find was art director Alexey Brodovitch, who innovated Bazaar‘s iconic Didot logo. Brodovitch is perhaps best known for his ...

https://vickielester.com/2016/07/03/carmel-snow-high-society-gal-with-an-eye-for-genius-became-editor-of-harpers-bazaar-after-a-stint-with-conde-nast-at-vogue/

What’s the world coming to… A post for the British frie... the dearest, George Kaplan, Sarah Vernon, and Pippa Rathborne

What’s the world coming to when two men with improbable hair (?) — one born to the elite, one shockingly elitist — both having deeply dysfunctional relationships with the truth, manipulate ...

https://vickielester.com/2016/06/24/whats-the-world-coming-to-a-post-for-the-british-friends-of-beguiling-especially-the-dearest-george-kaplan-sarah-vernon-and-pippa-rathborne/

“He gave up dealing (well, mostly), lied about his age, a...orget the bowtie) at Studio 54.” #itsinhiskissbyvickielester

Feel like dancing? James Johnson loved Manhattan. He loved Juilliard. Most of all he loved shedding all the tiresome, uncool parental pressure, but not his monthly allowance, which he supplemente...

https://vickielester.com/2016/02/04/he-gave-up-dealing-well-mostly-lied-about-his-age-and-got-a-job-slinging-drinks-topless-okay-lets-not-forget-the-bowtie-at-studio-54-itsinhiskissbyvickielester/

Winter storm shuts down Manhattan… The Flatiron Building, the first skyscraper in NY under a blanket of white, 1905

The storm — blustery in some places, blinding in others — was a swirling, sprawling mass with a reach of nearly 1,000 miles. It had already largely immobilized Washington, Baltimore and Phila...

https://vickielester.com/2016/01/23/noreaster-bearing-down-on-manhattan-possibly-bringing-record-snowfall-the-flatiron-building-the-first-skyscraper-in-ny-under-a-blanket-of-white-1905/

“Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what nex...ng, but we take leap after leap in the dark.” Agnes de Mille

Agnes de Mille, daughter of William de Mille, was an American choreographer most well know for three works, Rodeo, Fall River Legend, and Oklahoma! As a youngster she lived here, in a Hollywood t...

https://vickielester.com/2016/01/17/living-is-a-form-of-not-being-sure-not-knowing-what-next-or-howwe-guess-we-may-be-wrong-but-we-take-leap-after-leap-in-the-dark-agnes-de-mille/

#itsinhiskissbyvickielester, navigating behind the scenes i...ywood can be deadly, chapter 4, read to you by Pippa Rathborne

“Is what a big deal?” he countered, chewing on his pipe stem. “An agent being on set.” “Let’s just say there’s always a natural antagonism between management types and creative type...

https://vickielester.com/2016/01/15/itsinhiskissbyvickielester-navigating-behind-the-scenes-in-hollywood-can-be-deadly-chapter-4-read-to-you-by-pippa-rathborne/

“I’ve been waltzing through the doors of perception mor...live.” Things I’ve heard that have ended up in my novel…

If you want to know the truth, just about every novel written — on some level — is a roman à clef. You may think you’re writing noir fiction, or something picaresque, but in the end everyt...

https://vickielester.com/2016/01/12/ive-been-waltzing-through-the-doors-of-perception-more-years-than-youve-been-alive-things-ive-heard-that-have-ended-up-in-my-novel-2/