FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Kato Kaelin Finally Speaks

Kato Kaelin, O.J. Simpson’s former friend, minion, and rent-free tenant, made news a couple days ago by admitting that he always believed O.J. Simpson had, in fact, brutally murdered those two people—Simpson’s ex-wife Nicole and her friend, Ronald Goldman.

Kaelin said he’d been “too afraid” to speak the truth, even as a witness in Simpson’s murder trial.  So why did he wait until now to tell us?  According to Kaelin, he wanted to make sure the statute of limitations had expired.  Unless I’m mistaken, there is no statute of limitations on homicides.  In any event, Simpson has already been tried and acquitted on the charge.  He can’t be retried.

Seeing Kato’s name in the news brought back memories.  In the mid-1990s, a play I had written was being performed at a tiny theater in Hollywood, and the director and I got the cockamamie idea that, as a way of attracting a larger audience, we should offer the male lead to Kato Kaelin, whose bio said he was an aspiring actor.  Although the part wasn’t exactly suited for him (he was too young) we believed his name on the marquee would fill the house.

But before we got around to contacting him we lost our nerve.  The script was a very wordy 103 pages long.  This play was going to require a tremendous amount of memorization, and neither of us knew if Kato, bless his heart, would be up to the task.

While the movie business allows you to get away with uttering a few words and having the director cut and re-shoot from where you left off, in live theater there’s no such thing as editing.  The actors are trapeze artists performing without a net.  If you blow your lines, you not only embarrass yourself, you murder the other actors by not providing them with their cues.  Nobody knows where the hell you’re at.  It’s a nightmare.

So we abandoned the idea.  Even if Kato were willing to accept the part, we couldn’t bring ourselves to put the whole production in the hands of an unknown quantity.  Still, because we were greedy, we also couldn’t bring ourselves to abandon the idea of a “name” actor appearing on the marquee.  So we phoned Corey Feldman’s agent.  The director had his number  Although Feldman, like Kaelin, wasn’t a perfect fit (he was too young), we felt his name on the marquee would draw a crowd.

The agent was a cool guy—very hip, very professional, who seemed genuinely interested in the project until he found out how little Corey Feldman would be paid. Even though this was a union play, it was covered by an Equity 99-Seat Waiver contract, which meant that Corey, like the rest of the cast, would be paid just a few dollars a show.  That pretty much ended the discussion.

The story has a happy ending.  Even without a recognizable name on the marquee, we managed to get a fair turnout.  But more importantly, the cast we finally landed (through the standard audition process) turned out to be magnificent.  These prodigiously talented actors took a decent, presentable script and turned it into a work of art.  I couldn’t have been more grateful.

We’ll never know what effect Kato’s name on the marquee would have had on the box office, and we’ll never know how well he might have performed in the lead role.  He might have surprised everyone by being terrific; and his performance might have led to other acting offers.  As anyone in Hollywood will tell you, all it takes is one big break.  This might have been Kato’s.  Alas, we’ll never know.

David Macaray, a Los Angeles playwright and author (“It’s Never Been Easy:  Essays on Modern Labor”), was a former labor union rep.  He can be reached at dmacaray@earthlink.net

 

More articles by:

David Macaray is a playwright and author. His newest book is How To Win Friends and Avoid Sacred Cows.  He can be reached at dmacaray@gmail.com

Weekend Edition
August 17, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Daniel Wolff
The Aretha Dialogue
Nick Pemberton
Donald Trump and the Rise of Patriotism 
Joseph Natoli
First Amendment Rights and the Court of Popular Opinion
Andrew Levine
Midterms 2018: What’s There to Hope For?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Running Out of Fools
Ajamu Baraka
Opposing Bipartisan Warmongering is Defending Human Rights of the Poor and Working Class
Paul Street
Corporate Media: the Enemy of the People
David Macaray
Trump and the Sex Tape
CJ Hopkins
Where Have All the Nazis Gone?
Daniel Falcone
The Future of NATO: an Interview With Richard Falk
Robert Hunziker
Hothouse Earth
Cesar Chelala
The Historic Responsibility of the Catholic Church
Ron Jacobs
The Barbarism of US Immigration Policy
Kenneth Surin
In Shanghai
William Camacaro - Frederick B. Mills
The Military Option Against Venezuela in the “Year of the Americas”
Nancy Kurshan
The Whole World Was Watching: Chicago ’68, Revisited
Robert Fantina
Yemeni and Palestinian Children
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Orcas and Other-Than-Human Grief
Shoshana Fine – Thomas Lindemann
Migrants Deaths: European Democracies and the Right to Not Protect?
Paul Edwards
Totally Irrusianal
Thomas Knapp
Murphy’s Law: Big Tech Must Serve as Censorship Subcontractors
Mark Ashwill
More Demons Unleashed After Fulbright University Vietnam Official Drops Rhetorical Bombshells
Ralph Nader
Going Fundamental Eludes Congressional Progressives
Hans-Armin Ohlmann
My Longest Day: How World War II Ended for My Family
Matthew Funke
The Nordic Countries Aren’t Socialist
Daniel Warner
Tiger Woods, Donald Trump and Crime and Punishment
Dave Lindorff
Mainstream Media Hypocrisy on Display
Jeff Cohen
Democrats Gather in Chicago: Elite Party or Party of the People?
Victor Grossman
Stand Up With New Hope in Germany?
Christopher Brauchli
A Family Affair
Jill Richardson
Profiting From Poison
Patrick Bobilin
Moving the Margins
Alison Barros
Dear White American
Celia Bottger
If Ireland Can Reject Fossil Fuels, Your Town Can Too
Ian Scott Horst
Less Voting, More Revolution
Peter Certo
Trump Snubbed McCain, Then the Media Snubbed the Rest of Us
Dan Ritzman
Drilling ANWR: One of Our Last Links to the Wild World is in Danger
Brandon Do
The World and Palestine, Palestine and the World
Negin Owliaei
Toys R Us May be Gone, But Its Workers’ Struggle Continues
Chris Wright
An Updated and Improved Marxism
Daryan Rezazad
Iran and the Doomsday Machine
Patrick Bond
Africa’s Pioneering Marxist Political Economist, Samir Amin (1931-2018)
Louis Proyect
Memoir From the Underground
Binoy Kampmark
Meaningless Titles and Liveable Cities: Melbourne Loses to Vienna
Andrew Stewart
Blackkklansman: Spike Lee Delivers a Masterpiece
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail