I'm in Hollywood - Chapter 52

[Updated at: 2021-01-11 10:13:35]
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Kapoor Sid gave his consent, and the two men began discussing the agency\'s future. In Eric\'s opinion, the only valuable person in the Sid Agency was Kapoor Sid himself.


Although Kapoor wasn\'t one of the CAA\'s founding team of five, his ability certainly didn\'t fall short. In the firm, about seven to eight agents remained, as well as twenty mediocre actors with basically no value. Well, at least that was the case until Eric acquired the place.


Sid Agency had never handled any first-class celebrity, but because of Michael Ovitz’s influence, even the several well-known actors who had been here for awhile, had no choice but to leave. Those who had stayed did so for two reasons; first, they had no alternative, and second, Kapoor was a very capable person.


"Eric, a million dollars, I find it hard to accept…." Kapoor expressed his dissatisfaction at Eric\'s offer. When he was still in the CAA, he\'s annual income alone was more than that.


Eric calmly said: "Kapoor, your agency has only around twenty contracted actors, not to mention that mediocre talents like them are a dime a dozen, I could find as many as I\'d like by just walking down the streets if I wanted to."


Kapoor retorted: "Eric, they are all very good actors, I\'ve been an agent for many years, and my eyes have never deceived me, they simply lack an opportunity."


"All Hollywood aspiring actors are struggling because they lack opportunities, Kapoor. Just count that million dollar as my gift to you, my real offer is a 10% share of the agency, I believe that in a few years you\'ll find yourself having struck the greatest deal of your life. As for those actors, I can bestow upon them the opportunities they dream of."


Kapoor knew that what Eric said made sense, he sighed and nodded slightly.


Since the matter had been settled, the ownership contract was transferred to Eric and put under his name. As they had also decided to modify its appellation, Eric unscrupulously changed it to "United Talent Agency". In his past, alongside the CAA and WMA, the UTA had been one of Hollywood\'s top 5 agencies, and was founded in 1991.


They busied themselves until noon, had lunch, and Eric then followed Kapoor Sid to the agency located in Burbank. The place looked very shabby.


The office was unexpectedly full of people, apparently they also knew that today was a special day.


Eric saw all these agents and actors, and suddenly thought of something. He nodded at the crowd, then took Jeffrey and Kapoor into a separate office and asked: "Kapoor, how much of a commission are we getting for each artists ?"


"Six %."


"So little ?" Eric was taken aback: "Shouldn\'t it at least be 10% ?"


Jeffrey interrupted: "Eric, that was in the past."


Kapoor followed with an explanation: "In order to be able to stay afloat in front of the CAA, most of the agencies out there didn\'t have a choice put to lower their demands, especially the small ones like us, asking for 10% would be ridiculous. The only ones who would ask for that kind or percentage are only the CAA and the WMA."


Eric thought for a moment, and said: "Change it to 10% from now on."


"Eric, isn\'t it asking for too much ?" Kapoor stayed silent, and Jeffrey couldn\'t help but opine.


Eric explained: "If we don\'t modify it now, once the agency gets momentum, it\'ll be harder to do it. So…. who\'s gonna break it to them ?"


Jeffrey and Kapoor looked at each other, then simultaneously turned towards Eric.


"Sigh, alright, I\'ll be the bad guy."


……


"I won\'t introduce myself as I\'m sure you all know who I am. I have the pleasure to announce to you that I\'m now officially this agency\'s - whose name has been changed to United Talent Agency – new owner. I will start filming my next movie after the New Year, and as long as you succeed during an audition, you will be given priority to the role. You\'re all aware that, thanks to Home Alone, the originally nameless Stuart Runkle and Matthew Perry, have now become hot celebrities. Matthew used to only play in supporting roles on TV, but thanks to Home Alone, he was successfully able to make his way to the big screen."


Noticing the faces of the crowd glowing with undisguised joy, Eric thought he had eased them into it enough and changed the subject: "However, I am a capitalist, not a philanthropist. I\'ll give you the opportunity that you\'ve longed for, but you also need to know to give back. The artists\' contracts will be modified, and we will be asking for a 10% commission instead of the previous 6. If anyone finds that difficult to accept, you can choose to leave and terminate your contract."


Eric finished and went back to the office. He believed that even if these people\'s IQ wasn\'t in the 99.9th percentile, they would still be able to make a rational decision.


When he entered the room, Jeffrey and Kapoor were discussing the preparations for Pretty Woman.


"Eric, Jeffrey said that you wanted to invite the actress Sophie Marceau, is it still the case ?" Kapoor asked.


Eric nodded: "Yeah. Why, is there a problem ?"


Kapoor said: "If you want to start filming by the New Year, I advise you to go to Europe. Since Jeffrey told me about the fact that you wanted to cast her, I started checking news about her, and she\'s apparently scheduled to appear in Andrzej Żuławski\'s new movie. Even if you were to change your schedule by aligning with hers, I doubt that director will let her do it since it\'ll probably tire the woman out."


Eric recalled that, indeed, according to his memories, Sophie must\'ve just been about to shoot My Night Are More Beautiful Than Your Days.


"Then we will go with Julia Roberts. Right, Kapoor, I hope you can personally become her agent."


Jeffrey advised again: "Eric, you know you can\'t afford to screw this movie up, many people are waiting for you to make a joke out of yourself, they still…."


"Jeffrey, I know what you\'re getting at." Eric smiled and said: "You\'ve seen the newspapers, right ? Right now my first two movies are still a hot topic, so even if the new one I shot was poop, we would still be able to earn money. As long as the quality is good, it would be difficult to fail even if we wanted to, so why not make use of this to endorse one of our own actresses ?"


"What if that Julia Roberts\' acting is really bad ?"


Eric\'s lips curved into a smile that was not quite a smile, "Rest assured, I will personally teach her."


……


Just like Eric anticipated, none of the actors chose to leave, instead all readily accepting the new contract terms.


Once he was done with everything, Eric was planning to drive home when Jeffrey got into the passenger\'s seat: "I sent my car to maintenance, you mind giving me a ride ?"


"No at all."


On the road, Jeffrey asked with concern: "Eric, you and Drew….. in the end, what happened ? I think I saw in the newspaper today that she came to see you yesterday, and that her mother also swung by."


Eric didn\'t have anything to hide, and earnestly told Jeffrey about everything that had happened yesterday.


"Alright, I admit Drew is a talented actress, but do you have to let her stay at your house ? You don\'t have any blood relationship with her, coupled with the media and public\'s speculations, even if Drew\'s mother doesn\'t come to find trouble, those associations protecting children\'s rights will definitely not let you off. Drew\'s only thirteen after all."


"Don\'t worry, I know all that, I was planning on sending the lass to a boarding school."


"That\'s good then." Jeffrey nodded, "Eric, you…. you really don\'t have any feelings towards that… lolita*, right ?"


Eric unconsciously stepped on the brake pedal, and almost hit the Chevrolet behind him, warranting him the cursing and swearing of the fat guy who was driving it.


Startled, Eric looked at his friend: "Jeffrey, you think Drew resembles a lolita ?"


That girl was obviously a goblin ! Ah, and one with at least five hundred years of practice at that.


"Anyways, you should pay attention to propriety." Jeffrey seemed to have thoroughly labeled Eric as a lolicon.


_ _ _ _


* lolita: a sexually precocious young girl.



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