…..In rebellion there's sparkle of truth.
Don't just stand there, do what you got to do....
When they grow up, most of the boys want to become police officers, firemen, astronauts or pilots . But Jai Bradford had different dreams. Only one, actually-to be an actor just like his favorite one-J.J. Alexander.
Jai was very talented. Firstly, his parents noticed Jai's acting talent. Unstoppably the boy played monologues and skits. A bit later, when there were festivals and celebrations at his school, Jai played the lead role at every theatrical performance. Playing a tree or a bush was never his intention or destiny, simply because parents and teachers said the boy was an acting genius.
J.J. Alexander was the biggest male star in Hollywood-the land of dreams. Jai's favorite movie with J.J. Alexander was ''Twist of fate'' where J.J. played the detective who saved the royal princess of being murdered. At home, Jai played the movie over and over in his DVD- player. Beside''Twist of fate'', Jai had a collection of all J.J. Alexander' s movies. The actor was an enormous inspiration for the young Jai.
Jai's family lived in Maryland. In their home town Germantown, only at age of 14, Jai joined the local drama circle. The other children there,together with the drama teacher, Mr. Kline, were all amazed by Jai's acting abilities. It can be say that Jai never act as an amateur in the drama circle. When the other participants there heard him how masterfully he recited ''Othello'' by Shakespeare , they everybody felt hypnotized:
My noble father,
I do perceive here a divided duty.
To you I am bound for life and education.
My life and education both do learn me
How to respect you. You are the lord of my duty,
I am hitherto your daughter. But here’s my husband,
And so much duty as my mother showed
To you, preferring you before her father,
So much I challenge that I may profess
Due to the Moor my lord. (I.iii.179–188).....
Jai spoke on and on and on.....
I am glad I have found this napkin.
This was her first remembrance from the Moor,
My wayward husband hath a hundred times
Wooed me to steal it, but she so loves the token—
For he conjured her she should ever keep it—
That she reserves it evermore about her
To kiss and talk to. I’ll ha’ the work ta’en out,
And give’t Iago. What he will do with it,
Heaven knows, not I.
I nothing, but to please his fantasy. (III.iii.294–303)
The recital ended with standing ovations and after that Mr. Kline predicted that one day Jai will become an exceptional world-famous actor.
-I'd like your autograph right now, Jai because when you become famous, you'll forget about us-asked the teacher ruefully.
- I surely will not forget all of you, guys!-replied humbly Jai.
. . .
Lots of Hollywood actors possess talent, but not many of them could recite Shakespeare in original. Jai had that rare gift and this is what made him exceptional, different and significant.
He was only 14 but so determined to leave Maryland and really become great actor.
When Jai hears the word''Hollywood'', it gives him thrill and excitement.
-The first thing what I will do when I go there, is to find J.J. Alexander and tell him how much I admire him and his work-promised Jai to himself.
-Maybe we will become best buddies one day, who knows!
. . .
In his town in Maryland, Jai acted in many school plays as well as in all theatrical performances in the local drama circle. The boy already felt the time for moving forward has come and was just about time to pack his bags and fly to California with pocketful of dreams in his head.
. . .
One day at Jai's school there was an announcement that a film crew from Hollywood arrived yesterday in Rockville, Maryland and the director of a new major film production, starring J.J. Alexander and Lucy James, is preparing an audition for boys in that city who to play the prodigal son of the characters of J.J. and Lucy.
-A-a-a-a. I can't believe it!!!0exclaimed Jai.
-No time to lose! Gotta go to Rockville. It's my chance!
After this flood of thoughts in Jai's head, he rushed out the school like crazy
. . .
-You receive the role of the son, young man!-said the director to the ambitious Jai.
-I am impressed by you, Jai! You'll have a great future in Hollywood,son. It awaits for you!
-Thank you, sir!-politely replied Jai and felt so proud with himself. Couldn't wait more and called his parents to tell them the great news.
. . .
The movie will be filmed in one of the biggest film studios in Hollywood. This means that Jai has to finally leave the family nest and to become the second best movie star after J.J. Alexander.
. . .
The premiere night of ''The son of the falcon'' was held half an year after finishing the last scene of the movie where J.J. Alexander's character gives all his powers to his prodigal son.
At the very start, Jai thought he was dreaming and had to pinch himself every time J.J. Alexander approaches to him in the movie set. But it turned out that the movie legend is capricious and demanded all his fads to be implemented by his numerous assistants in no time. J.J. Alexander often yelled and commanded to the film crew what to do and how exactly the job to be done.
After the last scene being filmed, Jai was seeing his all time movie hero with different eyes. J.J. Alexander had no halo no more around him for Jai. The talented boy was appalled. Jai even wanted to cry and to forget the moments when he admired the actor and wished to be just like him. The image of J.J. Alexander and the illusions around him collapsed in the once believing eyes of the young boy who had no strength to go on watching the cinema legend no more.
Did the Hollywood machinery change the people who work for it?
Is Hollywood only the land of glamor and fame?
Jai just took a little glimpse of the murky world of Hollywood and felt so damn disappointed. Even betrayed.
-It should be called''Freak wood''-said so angrily the boy to his mom one night on the phone.
. . .
Needless to say''The son of the falcon'' was a huge success. A total box-office hit. After the movie first night, tons of people knew about Jai from Maryland.
During the next months, agents and PR experts dictated the boy's life. They were greedy and phony but remarkably mastering the art of friendliness and politeness. These subversive people told Jai what to do, where to go and where not, what to say or not, in which meeting to go, which cover for magazines to shoot. For a while the talented boy lost control over his life. The Hollywood machinery grabbed him and wanted to suck him up.
Late one night, Jai had suicidal thoughts. He was devastated to realize how much cruelness, perfidiousness and lack of real friendship exists in this mini-society.
Most of the actors and actresses Jai meets were either drug addicts or sectarians. Or total lunatic persons.
Jai wanted just to erase everything from Hollywood in his head. He wanted to wakeup from this nightmare. The price for the newly-quired fame of his was too high for the young boy to pay it. And he refused to play no more this wicked game.
Jai wanted to turn back his good old and free self again and with no much explanations just left Hollywood-the promised land for many ordinary folks..........forever.
. . .
Now Jai is a father of two daughters. He has beautiful family in Germantown, Maryland and felt more blessed than ever with his wife, children, relatives , parents and friends.
Ja's short-lived experience with Hollywood learned him that sometimes some dreams are not worth becoming real because sometimes this new reality may kill your free spirit. Jai was the first rebellion against the ''sanctuary of stars, fame and fortune''-Holly/Freak/ wood!
The sound Jai's soul has no false notes.
...You'll find it so compelling with everyone yelling,
'cos your soul you're not selling,
'cos you're rebellion.