Paul V. Coates -- Confidential File, Aug. 13, 1959
August 13, 2009 | 2:00 pm
Aug. 13, 1959: Did Miss Japan have plastic surgery?
Here's How to Con Yourself on Failure
She was a pretty little girl with natural blond hair and baby-blue eyes with stars in them.
Like a lot of other pretty little girls, she got her high school diploma, took a few courses in business college, and landed herself a low-salaried job in an office.
That, back home, was her life.
But then came the local beauty contest, and at the mild urging of a girl friend, she entered. And won.
And here was the first turning point in her life.
With a crown on her head and her 18th birthday barely behind her, she decided that she was a child of destiny.
Buoyed with confidence that only innocence can supply, she packed her suitcase, kissed her parents good-by, and bought a one-way Greyhound bus ticket to Hollywood.
That was a little more than a year ago.
And now -- because you're a wise guy -- you're going to tell me that you've heard this story before.
You think that she met a producer or two with big promises and small minds. Now, you say, she's working the late, late shift at a drive-in restaurant, hopping cars.
But you're wrong. That's the old innocent-girl-comes-to-Hollywood story. Scripts, like times, have changed.
This young lady was smarter than the average small-town girl.
When she hit the big town, her first move was to find herself a job in an office -- something that would pay the rent and the market bills until she became acclimated.
She'd read enough confession magazines to know that hunger had forced hundreds of young girls with ideals just as lofty as hers into tragic compromise. Hollywood was that kind of town.
Gradually, our heroine worked her way into the film set. She met a few of the right people. She got offers -- lots of them. But not the kind of offers a nice girl would accept.
Offending no one, she moved from one Hollywood crowd to another. She kept hoping that there would be someone who would take an interest in her career, rather than in her personal charms.
But the more she looked, the more convinced she became that Hollywood didn't care what happened to a little girl who had invested her last dollar on a bus ticket west.
It grew into a real obsession with her.
She let it spread until she was convinced that everybody was against her. Everybody was wrong. Society was a dull octopus, intent on destroying her dream, her individuality.
Her job bored her. Her friends began to get on her nerves. They were no better than the rest of the sick, groping mob.
She began a search for new friends -- friends who would listen when she told them the story of how she had been betrayed by society.
She found them. They were understanding people -- young and intelligent. They confided freely to her that they, too, had been betrayed.
It was a stimulated experience to meet them, to know them, to share their inner thoughts. Their society, their world was the first one she had encountered which made any sense.
One Twist for Another
A few months ago, she quit her job. And, at the invitation of some of her new friends, she moved to Venice West. She had enough money for a couple of weeks' rent.
Since then, as she tells it today:
"I've been leeching. Hopping from pad to pad. And, man, like it's way out."
So that's the new Hollywood story.
It's not the tale of a youngster who goes from starry-eyed hopeful to foot-weary carhop to disillusioned, faded blond, suffering silent remorse.
These days, when they can't make it, they join the growing legion of professional failures who defensively sneer at success. And who call themselves "The Beats."