The Bizarro World is a fictional planet in the DC Comics universe where all the characters and situations are the opposite of what they should be. So black is white. Up is down. And the Bizarro version of Batman is the world’s worst crime fighter.
Growing up, I never enjoyed those stories because they didn’t ring true. I was able to accept that a man could fly with no visible means of propulsion, but the Bizarro World was a nonstarter. It always felt like a one-joke premise made up by writers who had run out of ideas.
But now I feel differently about those stories. And it’s not because quantum physics has taught us that multiple universes are a possibility. No, it’s because I myself entered a Bizarro World version of Hollywood, and the experience is one I’ll never forget.
It all started a few weeks ago when L.A. was hit by a freak lightning storm. The next morning, I walked into my office and found Brad Pitt there waiting for me. (I work at a boutique agency, so his presence was a total shock.)
Brad explained that he was tired of being represented by a huge company where he was surrounded by a hundred other movie stars. It was time for a more personal approach, and he wanted to know if I’d consider working with him. Speechless, I nodded my head like a crazed woodpecker. Then we shook hands, and Brad promised to drop off some headshots.
The day got stranger when my assistant walked in and handed me the monthly commission statement. I saw that our accounting department had taken a 90 percent commission on all the bookings. The clients were only keeping 10 percent. This made sense to me, but I was still a little confused. When had the rules changed?
By the time noon rolled around, I was surprised that none of my clients had called in about running late for an audition. What the hell? This was a first.
And that’s the straw that made the camel sit up and listen. This was definitely not my reality. Somehow, some way—I had entered another dimension, one that was the Bizarro version of Hollywood.
My assistant reminded me that I had a one o’clock lunch with a manager, so I hopped in my Chevy Volt and hurried over to the all-you-can-eat French Fry Diner. It was raining hard, but I managed to make it there just in time.
As we enjoyed our greasy meal, the manager explained that he wanted me to make all the important decisions for the client we shared. When I asked why, the manager confessed that he was dropped at birth and wasn’t able to think clearly. A few minutes later, he picked up the check and paid for lunch.
The rest of the day continued to surprise me. I had a meeting with a humble actor. A casting director set up every actor I submitted. And all the articles on Deadline Hollywood had a positive spin.
The day ended at exactly seven o’clock, and I headed over to a workshop where all the scenes were winners. The actors were so impressive that I used my $150 fee to take everyone out for drinks. We had a blast, and I promised to sign every single one of them.
On the way home, L.A. was hit by another freak lightning storm, and when I woke up the next day, the world was back to normal. Brad Pitt wouldn’t take my calls, and Deadline Hollywood was back in snarky mode. Sigh…
The next time I see dark clouds forming, I’m going to run outside with metal rods in my hands. And then I’m going to pray for some lightning to carry me back to a wonderful place, a place I call Bizarro Hollywood.