Christopher Paul Meyer writes noir and nonfiction. He is a former bouncer, comic, soldier, firefighter, actor and prison chaplain. In addition to Icarus Falling, he has written five screenplays, three of which were optioned and/or commissioned. When not writing, he enjoys Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, improv comedy and political rants delivered in an angry mumble at his reflection in the bathroom mirror.
Author Links -
Twitter: ChristopherPaulMeyer @TheLoadedPen
Book Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services/CreateSpace
Release Date: 12/22/14
Buy Link(s): http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=icarus+falling
The true story of a failed actor, who - still tantalized by the promise of LA - reinvents himself as a nightclub bouncer. Working both downtown and on the Sunset Strip, he is thrust into the bloodstream of LA. Amidst the unending parade of strung-out transients, shimmering miniskirts, enraged gangbangers and unhinged party people, he avenges his history of cowardice, atones for his past infidelities and tries to become something better than another Hollywood casualty.
I followed George up an escalator to a plush mezzanine area with subdued lighting. George took a long minute, studying my resume. I acted like I didn't care. I gazed vacantly at the escalator, watching the parade of bodies step off the moving stairway and veer towards what was labeled the "Rooftop Elevator." There were nine-to-fivers in khakis and Polo shirts. There were packs of Armenians, their gold chains, 8 o'clock shadow and swagger outpacing their blazers and t-shirts. There were Silverlake-type hipsters, with po' boy caps, vintage shirts and tight jeans. There were black dudes in FuBu and meatheads in TapOut. In a city as self-segregated as LA, this seemed to be one of the few spots where you could find all 31 flavors of the city.
George finally looked up from my resume. "Why do you think we're called Guest Relations?"
Because when people come to diddle themselves in a place with overstuffed couches, subdued lighting and models walking the lobby, they don't want to be told what to do. "Because great security starts with caring about your guests."
George nodded. "That's exactly right." He seemed impressed. Hey, I could spit flowery bullshit for hours. Especially if it was going to keep me around this place. "Sorry for keeping you waiting."
"Not a problem." Fake tan, perky tits and nice legs could take the edge off any wait.
"You're very patient." Seemed like George was reading a lot into it. It made me wonder if he'd kept me waiting on purpose. "Is that from being a prison chaplain?" I wasn't surprised he went there. It's the kind of thing that tends to stand out on a resume. "That must have been a hard job."
Yeah, right. I wasn't telling the inmates where to sit, sleep, shower or eat. I wasn't breaking up fights. Now that's a hard job. I only had to talk to men who wanted to talk to me. "It's easy to talk to people at the bottom. It's the ones in the Hamptons that don't wanna listen."
George nodded. I got the feeling this wasn't the typical interview for him. He seemed intrigued. Well, I hoped he seemed intrigued. "You know you may need to get physical here though."
"I got no problem with that."
George was a great listener. He gauged my reactions, read my mannerisms. He kept the questions sparse, letting me fill in the blanks.
Fortunately for George, I love to talk.
Yes, I was looking for as many hours as possible. No, I had no other work commitments. Yeah, I'd played a lot of judo and rugby. No, I wasn’t gonna be some MMA thug. Yes, I was religious. No, I wasn't a Puritan. I had no problem working with people that were high, drunk or naked. I didn’t tell him how much I was actually looking forward to it.
By the end of the interview, George and I had clicked. We had a few things in common. We were both college grads. We were both walk-ons at NCAA Division I teams -- him for Clemson's basketball team, me for William and Mary's football team. I mean, we weren't BFF's spray-painting hearts and our initials on freeway underpasses or anything. But we seemed to understand each other.
George put down his list of questions. "You ever been called a fucking whiteboy?"
“Or cracker?” George’s voice was low and calm. “What if I called your mom a whore?” His eyes drilled into me. “What if I told you to suck my dick?”
I could see the hypothetical looming behind his poker face, so I didn’t bite.
George smiled. "Be ready. You’re gonna hear all of that. And more. There's a lot of nights you're gonna go home angry." I didn't doubt it. "You're gonna wanna take it out on your girl."
That was an easy fix. "I don't have one."
A bemused smile wafted across his face. "You're gonna wanna keep it that way. Relationships are…" He searched for the right words. "...difficult here." One of the models strutted past us. "You know what I mean?" He smiled knowingly at me.
Being told to stay single? "I'm OK with that."
George extended his hand. "I think you will be." I hoped he was right.
"So, you wanna take a look at the place?"
I wasn't sure if that meant I had the gig or not. But either way, the answer was yes.
Guest Post: 5 Fun Books I'll Never Forget
In the face of brutal criticism, Mickey Spillane once said “Those bigshot writers could never dig the fact that there are more salted peanuts consumed than caviar.” I’ve rarely been that guy in the black turtleneck reading James Joyce with a tear in my eye. More often, I’m mercilessly, ruthlessly in search of a compelling, fun read that I can’t put down. As a reader, I respect caviar, but I these are the peanuts I just gotta have.
The Kid Stays in the Picture by Robert Evans. I read it during the summer before I moved fulltime to Los Angeles. I didn’t know how prophetic it would become for me. I was too busy smirking at the one-liners, shaking my head at the stories and developing my own crush on Ali McGraw. I hated that the book had to end.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. This was a high school assignment that I couldn’t believe I liked. It’s horrifying, moving and gripping, but you know all that. My favorite part? The narrator. Something about this objective third party finding himself trapped in the story always intrigued me.
Hells Angels: Into the Abyss by Yves Lavigne. I read this during my acting days while I was on a national tour. We traveled by bus, crisscrossing the Dakotas, Minnesota, Texas, West Virginia, staying for, at most, two nights in any one place. Reading about the exploits of the FBI’s first confidential informant in the Hells Angels, while crossing paths with bikers on the highway made the book 3-D for me. A fascinating character study that I’ve never forgotten. When the author lives on an isolated farm due to death threats and the protagonist lives in motels and sleeps in the bathtub with a shotgun to avoid retaliation, you know it’s going to be one hell of a ride.
I, the Jury by Mickey Spillane. My dad bought this for me, since he had loved reading Mickey Spillane as a kid. I loved it. Sure, the characters and plot are almost stereotypical now, but that’s what happens when you set the bar for your time.
Ghost Wars by Steve Coll. OK, it’s not your average fun, summertime read. It’s a monstrous 736 pages. I read it in four days. I had just landed in LA, I was unemployed and on the verge of homelessness. Burying myself in a nonfiction account of spy games during the Cold War might have been the most useless thing I could do. I still did it.
June 23 - Reviewed at Virtual Hobby Store And Coffee Haus
June 29 - Guest Blogging at Bellevue Book Reviews
July 2 - Guest Blogging at Infinite House Of Books