8:56 a.m. I agreed to meet “Alex L.” at a donut shop near MacArthur Park. As instructed, I purchased two small coffees and two apple fritters and waited by the lone handicapped parking space. It couldn’t have been more than a few seconds. “Meet me at the boat house.” I bequeathed one coffee and one fritter, and watched as he dashed through the crosswalk and disappeared into the park.
“Alex L.” is an actor. He contacted me last week, attempting to confirm the long swirling rumors of a play based on the life of Assemblyman Mike Gatto. He insisted we meet in person, so as not to leave any electronic records of our conversation. He insisted we meet in a crowded public place, as he seems to believe the play’s secretive producers may be keeping tabs on him. I’ve brought with me a pad, a pen and five pre-approved questions. I’d usually never agree to such rigid constraints, but I want the interview. And I want to determine — once and for all — if “Alex L.” is full of shit.
1. How did you first learn about the play?
At the Silverlake library. They’d posted a flier on the community bulletin board about their show, and how they were looking for a few actors. They described it as a true-life political tragedy, and there was a picture of this really handsome dude who I later Googled and learned was Mike Gatto.
2. What can you tell us about the author’s portrayal of Mike Gatto?
That’s a tricky question to answer because we didn’t get to read the entire play during the audition. The producers are extremely guarded about the project. I was only allowed to read isolated lines from heavily redacted pages. But from what I can tell, Mike Gatto seems to be a pretty sweet dude. I know that he goes on to become Mayor of Los Angeles, and everyone says he has a big, fat horse cock. He’s cool and charming, but he has a temper and he doesn’t take shit off anybody. Kinda like Sonny Corleone in the Godfather. Oh yeah, it’s called “The Rise and Fall of Mike Gatto,” so there’s probably some scandalous ending to the whole thing.
3. Which role will you be playing?
I haven’t actually been cast yet. I took turns reading for a few different parts. I read for Mike Gatto, which was fun because he has this great speech where he tells everyone to fuck off and suck his dick. I also read a few scenes as the campaign manager, “Rudy Glasscock.” It seems like a pretty juicy part too. I have a call-back next week, so keep your fingers crossed!
4. When will the play open?
One of the first questions they asked me was whether or not my schedule would be open in late September. Producers usually ask you that at an audition to make sure you’ll be available around the time they’re considering for their film, TV show or theatrical production. So yeah, I don’t know, I guess some time in late September.
5. Are you fucking lying to me asshole?
I’m an asshole? Fuck you, man! I never even heard of Mike Gatto ’til I saw that stupid flier! I thought I was doing you guys a favor by emailing you, but Jesus fucking Christ! Chill out! You got your interview, okay? Stop fucking emailing me.