MEETING LINDA (Part one)
I was advised, by so many of my coworkers, and the men in the casting offices alike to let my hair grow long. The mere thought of having to tackle my thick, wavy mane every day was a fate worse than death. But, I was told that women with long hair get more work. So thus began the chore of cultivating long tresses. I owe a lot to those who gave me that advice, for it was because of my long locks, that I was to have a very special meeting. The show was the television version of “The Long Hot Summer.”
The call was given out from central casting for us to be dressed for a dance party, in cocktail attire. The next day in the predawn hours, I was dressing in after five clothes, and battling my hair for a hairdo piled up, and barrel curls, atop my head. About a pound of hairpins went into the effort. My arms were exhausted when I finally won the skirmish, thanks to the half a can of hairspray it took to accomplish this tour de force. There, perched atop my head, was a stiff mass of curls, to rival any coiffeur Mme. Pompadour ever sported.
At daybreak, there I was clad in party clothes, and barely able to fit inside my Mustang. Every time I move my head, I could hear the top curls scraping the headliner. Before I ever got over the Hollywood Hills, on my way to MGM, hairpins were beginning to burrow their way into my scalp. Oh, what price beauty?
Once on the set, the director told us to, “really look like you’re having fun, kids.” The playback started, the music was no less than the latest dance craze… the watusi. This dance involves all sorts of wild gyrations of the arms and hips, and of all things the head. Without using your head the dance just lacked the proper motion. However, the first jerk of my noggin was an eight on the Richter scale to my hairdo. It was shaken from the very foundation of the bobby pins that I had so carefully toiled over. With each shake I could feel my work being undone under the stress.
It was not too long before hairpins had come loose and were becoming projectiles across the crowded dance floor. I had no sooner felt the beginnings of total destruction, when I was pelted by several misguided hairpins, and they were not mine! Looking about to see who shared in my dilemma, I saw an understanding smile on the face of one who would become, in time, my best friend. When the director yelled, “cut,” over the din, we immediately came to one another, laughing over our mutual plight, tendrils hanging in disrepair from each of our hairdos. I introduced myself, and she came back with, and I’m “Linda Ezzell.”
That was the beginning of a very long-standing friendship, and some of the funniest times of my life. Wonderful times shared both on and off the sets of Hollywood, and such were some to inspire the writing of this tome. I should have known on that fateful day, of our first meeting, to have said to myself, “Brace yourself, Sharon, it’s going to be a wild ride!” And indeed it was!!
Our meeting was an instant success, and the beginning of a fond friendship, and we were inseparable the rest of the day. We had a love of laughter that was evident right away. Both of us possess a very hearty laughs, and the stories we regaled one another with kept the mirth flowing at a steady pace. We felt as though we had known one another all of our lives. At one point during the day’s shooting, the director asked who was a good laugher. Linda pointed to me immediately. I was cast. Then he asked who could faint. I pointed to Linda. She was cast. We were both to receive a silent bit for our jobs, and teased one another that we would take ten percent agent’s fees for getting each of us a job.
(continued next month)