The Actress

pages The Actress

by Kirby Wright

Published in Issue No. 216 ~ May, 2015
Artwork by Blake Herman

Artwork by Blake Herman

ANGEL JUST HIT 42. It feels like a crash. She’s been acting thirty years and fears the bloom is off the rose. The A-movie offers have dried up like a riverbed in a decade-long drought. She still gets B-movie pitches from green pea directors and fledgling producers, but these roles are mostly mothers-gone-wild and cougars on the prowl. She checks out the pre-movie posters: most suggest porn, with models hinting ménage à trios action and she-devil lust. She knows B-movies are traps. Few get funding and the ones that do usually flop.

Her husband drives out to the morning country and snaps Angel posing in minis, cowgirl hats, black fishnet stockings, and stiletto boots. Dilapidated barns and ramshackle shanties melt in the prairie backgrounds. She wants to portray the seductress in a deconstructing land, a contrast she prays makes her fresh and alluring. There are A-movie directors hunting down femme fatales. A whip cracks. Angel plays dominatrix while lusting for red carpets, her husband crying in the shadows at dusk.

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Kirby Wright was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is a graduate of Punahou School in Honolulu and the University of California at San Diego. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. Wright has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and is a past recipient of the Jodi Stutz Memorial Prize in Poetry, the Ann Fields Poetry Prize, the Academy of American Poets Award, the Robert Browning Award for Dramatic Monologue, and Arts Council Silicon Valley Fellowships in Poetry and The Novel. BEFORE THE CITY, his first poetry collection, took First Place at the 2003 San Diego Book Awards. Wright is also the author of the companion novels PUNAHOU BLUES and MOLOKA’I NUI AHINA, both set in Hawaii. He was a Visiting Fellow at the 2009 International Writers Conference in Hong Kong, where he represented the Pacific Rim region of Hawaii. He was also a Visiting Writer at the 2010 Martha’s Vineyard Residency in Edgartown, Mass., and the 2011 Artist in Residence at Milkwood International, Czech Republic. His futuristic novel THE END, MY FRIEND was published in 2013. He published SQUARE DANCING AT THE ASYLUM, a collection of flash fiction, in 2014.