I arrived in town, a fresh ingénue, written
into a script, a bit part, by a friend who told me,
“Hollywood is where you want to be Glowworm.”
It was a romantic scene between Popeye
and Olive Oyl. They’re sitting on the sofa, he
turns off the light, she turns on the glow worm.
A standard gag I admit, but that was all it took.
I was bit by the same bug all the characters in this
account share. I would have gladly given a leg
to be Minnie or Daisy when I came to Hollywood.
Now I know the price that’s paid, the stars,
the dreamers, everyone who agreed to be part
of these portraits, now I’ve heard their stories,
I realize, I’m not so sure; perhaps dreams denied
are denied for the best reasons. If I’ve exposed
a culture of stardom no one knew, that’s because
I wanted everyone to know the lives that animated
these characters; in other words, what are the thoughts
and feelings of the faces we know so well? Once, I began
this project, I realized, how many voices, ambitions,
wait to be recorded, other than the stories of the stars,
the characters we feel are part of our families. Strands of
gossamer and fairy dust — failed dreams — led me to
the land of fame denied. The characters that chased
the will ‘o the wisp, and were ignored, perhaps looked over,
required equal time, if not more. Because they’re all stars,
cartoon characters in their own right, each with a compelling
story, great jokes, open hearts and the fellowship every
thespian dreams of finding in the theatre. That they took me
into their confidence means more to me than I can describe.

I was never meant to be part of this; I wanted
to create snapshots of the famous juxtaposed against
those who were not. I had no idea I would become
part of the story. All I can say is the record
of these interviews, the players and subsequent events
will hopefully say more than I ever could in my defence.

<Glamorous’ portrait copyright Lianne Côté. You can visit Lianne at https://cotedesign.net/play_01.html. Thank you Lianne! Who knew Glamorous smoked a cheroot? wm>