The third segment of my series (Interview) featured actress Kathi Carey in the role of Marilyn Howell-Becker, reputedly the richest madame in the world with maisons closes in Beverly Hills, New York, Paris and London. The houses earned her substantial amounts of money which she re-invested under the tutelage of her husband Jeffrey Becker, a principal in a successful investment brokerage. The title of her book, "Circle of Influence", pointed to the fact that she attracted political and industry leaders as clients and friends creating a protective bubble around her and her enterprise in addition to providing a resource pool for inside information in aid of her stock trading.
The story tracked Marilyn's rise to prominence and wealth which suddenly halted when the son of a British Member of Parliament committed suicide in her London establishment--an event that brought public focus on Marilyn and her enterprise in a way that law enforcement could no longer ignore. The upshot of the young man's tragic end was that Marilyn spent two years in Her Majesty's prison system. During her incarceration, Lisa Thompkins, Marilyn's right-hand and long-time friend, took over the running of the enterprise but lacked Marilyn's skill and finesse. Ultimately, Lisa absconded with five million dollars of Marilyn's money.
The segment produced a great many phone calls and inquiries as it was a sensational story with some intriguing, on-going loose ends and Kathi's performance, which offered a mix of cool arrogance and troubled underlying regret, was as compelling as it was credible. One of the phone calls I received was from an individual who introduced himself to me by saying, "I am an old friend of Ms Howell-Becker and would like to get back in touch with her." Since MH-B was a fictional character, I found his introduction intriguing. He had not seen or understood why there was an actor's credit "Marilyn Howell-Becker was played by Kathi Carey" at the end of the program before my phone number appeared and, like many others, assumed he had been watching a real interview. Whenever a viewer made this mistake, I always spoke up quickly to point out that the interview was fictional. However, since the gentleman's first words to me alleged a personal friendship with Marilyn, I stood silent on the occasion.
I gave the caller an address and told him that if he were to write a letter to Ms Howell-Becker, I would pass it on to her. I didn't think it would go any further. It did. Within a few days, the letter arrived and its content explained the writer's motive for making contact. The framed letter has hung on the wall of Kathi's office since that day as one of many mementos of our long association and a scan is presented here below. Though we never followed up with the gentlemen, many have advised us, perhaps not so tongue-in-cheek, that we should have put him on the job in the hope that he might have recovered the five million dollars. Would that he could...
The letter and relevant portions of the interview can be seen here below.
How to Shoot a Feature Film in 15 Days (And Survive to See Profits)
Click to buy on Amazon
Click to view on Amazon
Examples of Responsive Reactions
Click photo to see example clips from Stephen's movies
Action/ReAction at Stella Adler
Point of Departure
A Series of ONE...
Stephen and Dragonuk
Stephen Mitchell webinar for Stage 32
Ferrari GTO 3987 at speed by Yan denes
Ray D. Shosay's Journal
Dispatches from a (junior) suite in Paris
Ray D. Shosay's Journal (excerpt)
"Saturday, January 27, 2007
They say you can fool some of the people all of the time. Accordingly, I think we should concentrate on this group initially. We can move on to the people you can only fool some of the time at a later date if we deem it necessary. I hope to hear back from my agent about this as soon as he's out of rehab, as I don't think my messages have been getting through."
Ignorance is Bliss by Stephen Mitchell
Kindle or Paperback versions
Exerpt from Ignorance is Bliss
"Out of the corner of his eye, Martin saw Martha shift in her seat. She leaned forward, as though something was about to be decided. This caused her breasts to push up against the neckline of her dress in a way that couldn't be fully appreciated out of the corner of one’s eye. So, Martin turned his head to look directly into the abyss of her cleavage. He was vaguely aware that Murray was talking again."
Carrera Panamericana (1950-54)
Click on poster to buy the poster and DVD
Ferrari GTO 3987
Elysée Wednesday: Drive!
Click photo to watch on Amazon Direct Video
“You ought to meet Steve. The two of you have the same kind of Ferrari.”
Ferrari Berlinetta Lusso
One evening, I was enjoying a John le Carré novel and a glass of Bordeaux...
L'art de l'automobile
My first Lusso prior to restoration
It was only after Sinatra was gone...
Once upon a time...
Meeting Enzo Ferrari
I came across this on a late night stroll in Paris near the Louvre.
I bought Bentleys in England and Ferraris & Maseratis in Italy to re-sell in Los Angeles as a teenager. I met Enzo Ferrari, Juan Fangio and Steve McQueen. I 'grew up' on the set of Mission: Impossible and other episodic TV series of the era. For a few years, I owned a Ferrari GTO that is owned by Ralph Lauren today and valued at approximately $52M. I began my film career by writing, producing and directing Montmartre in Paris in French. I founded and ran a repertory company for film & TV for 20 years in Los Angeles. I created a TV series which had fans that included Marlon Brando. I authored the first new acting technique--Action/ReAction--that was not based on Stanislavski's Method. I am currently writing my third novel and shooting my spy thriller Exigence. If you can't make movies, live your life as though you were in one...