After 27 years as an actor—ten of them on the stage, the rest on the big screen—Gil Shades was suddenly unable to muster an appropriate tone of outrage. He had wept for Strasberg, sweated for Adler, and yet now he was incapable of delivering even the slightest inflection of disgust upon hearing the news from his agent, Morty Mortenson.
“They’re giving the lead to another talent,” Morty had said. “But being grounded individuals, we’re going to assess our collective gifts and embrace the potential of the future, right?” Morty had recently returned from an empowerment retreat with a mouthful of new catch phrases.
“Who is it? Clooney? Pitt? Don’t tell me it’s Depp.”
“They were a little vague on the details.”
“You never settle for vague. That’s why you’re my agent.”
“Some unknown. I told them they were really rolling the dice here. Said we’d be interested if they had a change of heart.”
“Don’t snow me, Morty. You can recall who got points on pictures you didn’t even see fifteen years ago. Is it Hanks? Hanks I could live with.”
“You’re focusing on negative polarities. All things seek light—”
“A name. That’s all I’m asking.”
“The steak sauce?”
Morty sighed. “The actor. Actually, their people referred to it as a 3D CGT—computer-generated talent...”
To be continued