My First Job on a Studio Movie

Warren Beatty’s Reds.

Wearing my one sports jacket, I journeyed to W. 57th St from the provinces in response to a query for people with info on John Reed (the subject of some college research) for a film (my dream). A bored doorman (my first) barely looked up, elevator ride, long hall, door slightly ajar leading into an apartment facing South. Winter sun blasting through the window. An empty apartment, the only furniture was a desk that I could barely see positioned directly between me and the sun. Maybe a man is sitting there facing the door. A woman appears from an adjacent room, grabs my arm, leads me into an adjoining room. I crane my neck, definitely a man, but impossible to see his face for the sun. One desk and two chairs in the (dining?) room where I am to be interviewed. The passage to the adjoining room is open, but I can’t see the man. The woman begins asking me questions in a very loud voice. It becomes apparent that I am to speak loudly for the benefit of the man (listening?) in the next room. My inquisitor is Dede Allen. The man in the other room, whom I will eventually meet on another day, is never mentioned. Later, when I leave, the man is no longer at the desk. No idea how long Beatty (for it was he) listened or where he went. When I’m eventually hired, never mention the interview. Hope, one day, to meet him again so I can ask if he spent the afternoon dragging the desk across the floor, so that the sun had precisely the same awe-inspiring effect for everyone who entered?

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