David Cooper, a 38 year old Caucasian male of Irish descent, woke from his six hour sleep like clockwork. A man of many disciplines, he took exactly 15 seconds to gather his thoughts before he rose from his bed. He was alone. He preferred it that way. He was a confirmed bachelor, and owned little in the way of worldly possessions. He traveled light. He had no family, no close friends to speak of and no pets. He disliked animals. He was highly intelligent with an IQ of 160. But, as David rose from his bed on a hot morning in August in Los Angeles, he was not a happy man. Last night’s job had not gone as planned. The subject he’d been tailing had managed to lose him in the traffic on the Hollywood Freeway. She drove her mini cooper like she was on a race track. It was unexpected. He did not like the unexpected. He would have to try again tonight.
Later that afternoon, in West Hollywood in a small theater off Sunset Blvd, 24 year old Dylan was clenching her dog eared script in frustration. Her coaching sessions were not going well and the shoot started in two days. Once again she was embroiled in a disagreement with her private acting coach. She did not agree with his direction or choice on her character’s motivation. But, she also knew she was blocking herself. The character was hitting too close to home. She was afraid.
“Damn it Dylan!” he hollered at her from his seat high up in the theater. “How can you not get this character?”
“Well,” she yelled back defensively into the darkness, getting angrier by the minute, “Maybe because I’ve never murdered anybody!”
Dylan’s eyes began to burn with the sudden rush of overflowing tears. She was exhausted. They’d been rehearsing for over three hours, and she was operating on very little sleep. A throbbing sensation began behind her already twitching left eye. She hoped it was not the beginning of another migraine that would send her to bed with an ice pack. Dylan rubbed her forehead.
“Good!” boomed Rick, as he came down the stairs towards her. “You’re crying – use it! Look,” he said in a calmer tone pulling her aside. “You’re fighting for your life. Dig deep. Find something that enrages you, or a time that scared the absolute shit out of you and use it. That’s all you need to do – the rest will come. You’ve got the tools and the talent. You just need to open up and let it out. Now start again.”
Dylan did not want to “open up and let it out.” She did not want to go that deep for her character. There was too much pain, too much anger. She had shut that door long ago and had worked too long on feeling “safe.” Dylan began to feel trapped, and with it came overwhelming panic. It poured into her veins and through her body, making the floor beneath her unsteady and the stage walls tilt crazily. She felt cold. She felt herself slipping back into her past as the door to her ugly memories began to crack open. She saw him and the rage within her rose.