Monday, January 15, 2007

Timothy Leary was alive and well and living in Laguna in 1969

Timothy Leary was alive and well in Laguna in 1969

Sometimes when HAIR! had intermission and I lived in the apartment that backed right up to the backstage entrance of the Aquarius Theater I would wander to the theater and mingle with the audience members. Then when the “intermission is over” lights blinked, I’d just wander into the theater with the audience, and find an empty seat. There was always at least one empty seat after the play had run for a year or so.

I got to know a lot of cast members and during the last number I sometimes was on stage with them belting out “Let The Sun Shine,” and I’d join the cast during the part where we ran all through the audience singing “Glibby glop glooby nibby nobby newbie, lalalalalala.”

Well, you had to be there.

Such spontaneous audience participation was alive and well in a Broadway musical only during that small period of time when HAIR! was happening. I’m sure there were other hippie kids who would get up and run around the theater with the cast during that song and then get on the stage, I wasn’t the only one. The point is the last line of the musical HAIR! is “answer for Timothy Leary, dearie. Let the sun shine, let the sun shine. . . .” I was still searching for religion and I found it here.

I had Timothy Leary prayer and mystical books in my little one room apartment on Leland Way and as my acting career was self-destructing I was using another maniacal behavior mechanism that ties in with child molestation and the resulting effects on a person’s life, today known as PTSD.

I ran away. I put it behind me and embraced something else with so much passion and fanaticism that I couldn’t stop to think about what really had just happened.

But God and those special agents he’d dispatched were there all the time. As I was hitchhiking on an onramp somewhere along what was then called the Santa Ana Freeway a guy in a big old van picked me up and as it turned out he was part of the Timothy Leary “brotherhood” that was populating the hills that were then Laguna Canyon.

Laguna was all canyons and untouched beaches back then, beautiful rustic canyons, from about six blocks in from the beach all the way to the Santa Ana Freeway, winding canyon roads, so beautiful, so destroyed today, but I digress.

I found a population of people in Laguna Canyon and blended in.

I want to write here about the Mystic Arts Bookstore. A lot of the brotherhood activity went in and out of the back rooms of this part bookstore, part organic grocery outlet. As you drove through Laguna Beach on the coast highway in what was then the north part of town about midway up one of the hills, was the Mystic Arts, on the east side of the street. You could easily find it because of the beautiful paintings on the walls outside and the daily growing number of outrageously looking hippie freaks who were showing up there. The Timothy Leary brotherhood was pretty much headquartered there.

Since I rode into town with this bearded angel who knew Leary, I ended up getting to live in the brotherhood’s commune, where he dropped me off. It was this street off Laguna Canyon Road, a little street that about half mile in became more of a foot path. There were some ordinary looking middle class houses on the street but as you got farther back it was more like little huts where hermits lived. You could actually go hiking up the canyons and find people living in tree houses, going back miles into the canyons. Somewhere in there was at least one chemical manufacturing hut where they were making LSD. Most of the LSD coming out of Laguna then was called orange sunshine and it was really potent, even too potent for me. I’d take a tiny little nibble at it like Alice in Wonderland. . .

We tripped almost every day there. I’d wake up walk outside, run into people, go with them or stay where they were, someone would hand me a pipe with hash in it, or someone else, always someone else would have some kind of acid to hand out. Or mescaline. A lot of the guys at the Mystic Arts only took mescaline because it was organic. . . .

This made sense back then. It was the times. In fact Timothy Leary was even running for governor of California in a kind of imitation of life campaign to take attention off his legal defense problems, or maybe to raise money for its fund. Actually that's the reason I ended up getting to know Leary a little bit, because one time in this house in town when he was there and we were all sitting on the floor passing a hash pipe, I said.

“Why don’t we start a cara-van? I mean, you know how all the freaks ride around in vans all the time, and pick each other up, and there’s already vans going up and down Highway One every day full of freaks. Why not organize a cara-van for Tim Leary for Governor? We'll get a long line of freak vans all painted up and drive all over the state campaigning for Timothy Leary.”

Leary listened, thought a moment, and said, “Yeah. Why not?”

So I took my duffel bag with the little portable typewriter and wandered through the town of Laguna Beach up into the hills just in from the coast, those beautiful homes, and found a house with a real estate for sale sign. It looked like no one had been around the house for a while, it looked neglected. So I found a way to get in through an open back window, moved into the furniture-bare master bedroom, set up my typewriter, hash pipes and joints, little bottles of pills, and my sleeping bag.

And I began sending out press releases for the Timothy Leary for Governor Campaign Cara-Van project typing on my little portable typewriter on the floor of the house for sale in Laguna Beach -- I even got mail delivered there, from the HAIR! production offices as a matter of fact, saying they might be able to put together a band from among the cast members to join the cara-van.

One morning about a week or so later, maybe longer, I woke up and took a tab of acid, as that is what I did most days, then went into the master bedroom shower, as I usually did, and got ready for my day. The acid was just coming on as I got out of the shower and unfortunately I also heard the sounds of people coming into the house. What was apparently the real estate lady with a potential buyer was coming in the back door and I could hear them saying things like, What? Has someone been in here?

I grabbed my duffel bag and stuff and high tailed it out the front door, down the hill, and out of sight, and never went back. I wonder what the future residents thought when they later got mail addressed to the Timothy Leary for Governor Campaign?

Again, like I said, this really happened.

Thing is there is a tie-in here with the priest rape and my resulting maniacal behavior for more than 40 years. First, I was certain that LSD and Leary’s interpretation of the trip were part of man’s destiny to expand consciousness and yada yada yada. . . .

Wait. I don’t dismiss it totally today. I think some of the sensitivities I have, some of the spiritual passion I still have, is tied to this time I spent with Tim Leary and his brotherhood.

For example the Mystic Arts Bookstore.

In the back room way down a long corridor, past several signs that said, “Employees Only” etcetera, none of which ever stopped me -- Little Annie Fannie barreling through on a Mission from God, you know -- way in the back you went through an empty office, through another door, and you were in the prayer room.

It was dark, there was a fountain with continuous water flowing to mellow the sound, and a large Buddha statue on an altar spanning one whole side of the room. It was an elaborate altar, the fountain, sometimes music, the plants, the sculptures, the incense burners.

And in the room almost every time I came in, there would be three or seven people sitting legs crossed, eyes closed, in deep meditation. Some would stop to smoke on a hash pipe then call out “Om” and go back into a trance.

Me being on my mission from God I walked right in and took my seat cross legged on the floor and assumed their personae and pretty much wormed my way in with them. I had to get to Timothy Leary, and believe me I was screwing a lot of the men there along the way.

Enough about that.

There’s always that confusion of sexuality with spirituality. These weeks in Laguna Canyon with Tim Leary’s crew of people were only the beginning.

It was the times. It’ll never be like that again, I don't think. One day out of the blue as all these people kept pouring and pouring into Laguna and just living on the streets and in the canyons, the fall of ’69, we all just merged and formed a crowd at the Mystic Arts one day. There was something real tense happening in the news that day too, having to do with the Vietnam War, I’m sure, and these passionate hippie drop-out people were just trying to find each other and find some sense of order somewhere. . . it’s hard to explain.

The crowd just got larger and larger. It started was inside Mystic Arts store and it poured out into the streets. I started singing, “All we are saying is give peace a chance.” I started it, and the rest of the people there started singing it and soon all those hundreds of people were all chanting “All we are saying is give peace a chance.”

On that particular day the huge “Om” painting in the main room of the Mystic Arts Bookstore was pushed aside so all could see the meditation room and the Buddha fountain behind it, and from inside the store to the outside hundreds of people meditated for peace together there.

We all chanted, “All we are saying is give peace a chance.”

Like I said I started the chant, and maybe that was my mission from God or maybe after that I’d just taken too much acid even for me. One day I was standing in the middle of the street, Laguna Canyon Road, which could be a very quiet street on a winter weekday back then, and I was near the intersection that led into the brotherhood commune. Cops as always were parked outside the entrance. I stood in the middle of the street and starting going around and around and around and around in circles because I had no idea where to go or what to do from there, and this guy who was with me and on leave from the Navy, said, “Why don’t you go home.” He hitchhiked with me to my parents’ little house in Temple City.

For a long time I could not eat with a metal fork or be near anything metallic -- my nervous system was so fried from all those psychedelics that I was electrified and almost put out sparks.

But I recovered

and moved into Integral Yoga Institute in their ashram for the stars in Burbank.

I left a part out, I need to put it in. This is me, Kay, writing in April 2008. At one point I was almost hired for the cast of HAIR!, almost. It was to me like my destiny, and a lot of the cast members I'd gotten to know felt that way too. I just kind of joined the cast and since I lived right behind the theater they'd come often sometimes. . . Then when I actually talked to "her" this Virgo power wad in smart feminine suits, who actually hired the cast, she said "No." She said, It doesn't matter how talented you are. "You are supposed to perform the lifestyle in HAIR!, not actually live it."

It was a crushing blow. I thought it was a given. I was already doing chorus scenes with the show. Then I was shut out.

That had a lot to do with me ending up in porn, as well. The disappointment that there was something wrong with me, keeping me from doing what I otherwise could do. . .

To be continued. . .


My Acting Career

In me the phenomenon of being raped by a priest at age five made me highly skilled at turning myself into totally different people. Totally.

Psychologists today call this dissociation and it’s pretty common among child molest and abuse survivors. I think that's what I did. Back in the 1950s people didn’t know about child abuse and how it affects kids or I would have been put in foster care and therapy within months of my earliest behavior.

Instead I learned to deal with the total irreality of everything by turning myself into different people.

As a result I had this uncanny ability as an actress, so from high school through college it was just a given that I was going to be an actress when I got out and I went to Pasadena Playhouse for College one year and at age 19 I was in my own apartment in Echo Park, the one I rented for 20 dollars a month.

It’s too painful to write this chapter in any detail now except to get past it.

It was 1969. I had the lead in a play in Burbank, a musical, where I sang, no wait, let me put this differently.

Jesica had the lead in Charlie Was A Lady, a very amateurish production of the Burbank Community Theater, a part she’d taken against the advice of her agent-manager. But it turned out to be a good move as both Reporter and Variety came out and panned the play but pointed out Jesica’s performance. As I said before, she really was talented. In fact it was a song, “Solitaire,” which she had convinced the director to let her sing as a blues song and it killed ---

Opening night Patricia, the older sister who was also raped by Father Horne age 5 to age 9 or so, sat with a couple friends in the front row of the audience. They then came backstage to the green room where all were celebrating. Trish came up to Jesica at her dressing table and talked a while then Trish said something to the effect of:

“I don't know why you even bother doing things like this considering who we are.”

Jesica was stunned, but went again into that remote state, what I think of now often as my Little Annie Fannie state, where I just start doing things by rote, like I’m getting my instructions from somewhere other-worldly.

She went home and next day called the director and told him to let the understudy finish the run. Then Jesica opened that same newspaper Daily Variety or maybe it was Hollywood Reporter, or both, to the classifieds where she’d found the ad for the Miss Soul Queen Los Angeles contest a few months early. This time she answered the ad for Pretty Girl International modeling agency.

By rote, like Little Annie Fannie with brains, Jesica walked into photo shoots, took off her clothes, simulated sex, had cum all over her. . . and carried on a six months or so porn movie and magazine modeling career in 1969.

Wait, I have to point out that at that point the X rating was either brand new or had not yet come about. The porn movies were all simulated sex and so I just didn't see anything wrong or weird about doing it, in fact somehow having cameras around made sense --

Yes, I was Jesica.

I don't want to go into details about all the shoots, except there were hundreds of them in those six months. Then the X rating came out or got more advanced and the photo shoots started to change. It wasn’t simulated sex any more they were starting to do it for real.

I was at a studio near Sunset and Gower and we were shooting this ridiculous orgy scene for some producers trying to be like Guccionne but not even that good. Wearing this pseudo Greek costume I jumped into this pile of people and we pointed our orifices at the camera and did all those gynechological shots that you see in porn all the time. But then as I was pretending to do something with my hands up top all of a sudden there was a guy trying to insert his real penis into my real body and I jumped up and shouted and got out of the group of people.

I shouted, “What the hell are you doing? This is supposed to be simulated sex.” And he said something like hey girl, get with it, we're doing it for real now. And he was right. In the next weeks it got so every shoot was for real sex, no more simulated sex.

I decided to pay more attention then to my real acting career. Through someone, I landed an appointment with a real agent who could get me real work, and I showed up with my little leather folder full of 11 x 14 pictures. They wanted to sign me up. They were impressed. I was going to get some real work.

Then he said, “Of course if you've been doing any of this X-rated stuff, this new magazine, 35 mm film nude stuff, we’d have to know that.”

I gulped.

He continued. “It’s no big deal. I mean if you've done a few of those jobs all you have to do is give us the names of the photographers and we'll contact them, buy the negatives. We've been doing that for a lot of ‘em coming in. . . “

He noticed that my face was getting weird.

“You have done some of the nude modeling stuff?”

I nodded.

He sent me away with instructions to bring him the names of the photographers etc but as I said earlier, there had been hundreds. Little Annie Fannie suddenly turned into Kathy-Jesica again.

I walked home that day up Vine Street and a man walked past me. The way he looked at me I knew he’d seen me in some movie, some magazine. Then everywhere I went anyone who looked at me I knew they’d seen me in one, and I freaked.

It was okay though, I found someplace to go.

Timothy Leary had a ranch in Laguna Hills/Riverside County area and a whole lot of people were going to Laguna Beach to be near him and live the life they sang about in HAIR!

I left all my clothes, and all my stuff, in this guy’s garage and packed a duffel bag with a typewriter and birth enough control pills for six months and hitchhiked to Laguna Beach to find Timothy Leary.

To be continued. . .


Teenage years add-on

Posted on survivors' message board:

Re: abuse in confession
yes, sacrament abuse on top of the sexualization... I was in another state 2000 miles away a age 8, moved from small town Illinois to big city Los Angeles and went to confession with a new priest. When I talked to him the way Father Horne had taught me to fantasize and talk in confession the new priest ran out of the confessional with his eyes bugging out of his head and pointed at me going, "Gah, gah, gah," and I didn't know I'd done anything wrong...

It is going to make a good scene in my movie.

kay in l.a.

There was one other incident from teen years in the early 1960s that should be in this story. Because I did act out after being raped by the priest -- green lipstick, overdosing on vitamins, anorexia before anyone even knew there was anorexia -- even though by teen years I didn't even know any more what I was acting out about.

But one day in a period when my parents were once again trying to be Catholics, I was about 13-14, and I was playing outside on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

Slowly up the suburban side street pulls my mom, trolling the yards, where is Kathy. She’s going to make me stop playing and go to church. I huff and pout but have to ride in the hot sun in her slow moving car across Temple City where we now lived. (Hmm, we weren’t as rich any more, maybe that's why we started getting religious again.)

So I arrived at the church all covered with sweat and dirt, and mom pulled away, she’d done her duty and gone to Mass in the morning. Instead of going into the church I went around the back where I knew there was a girls’ bathroom near the schoolyard.

And I trashed the place like I was possessed by a demon. Angry 13 year old full of ingrained burning anger and confusion at the church --

It started with lipstick I took out of my pocket. I scrawled “Hypocrites” on the mirror, but that wasn’t enough. So I scrawled “Hypocrites, Catholics are hypocrites,” all over the walls until the lipstick got crushed to nothing. Then I went into the stalls and pulled out all the toilet paper and threw it all over the little concrete girls’ room, but that wasn’t enough.

So then I took the long cloth hand-drying thing like they used to have in rest rooms and pulled on it and pulled on it so the many-feet long towel was twisted and spread out all over the room with the toilet paper. Besides the noise of things being torn apart I had started with a simper but it soon built up into a scream and holler -- I was down there on the floor tearing at the TP and the cloth towel and moisture.

Then the room darkened. In the doorway stood a nun in full habit and since the sun was behind her she was a silhouette like the virgin herself (or a Shi’ite woman) anyway she was this silhouette with the sun beaming behind her.

And I stopped. Relaxed, stopped screaming, stopped tearing things apart. That was the end of the incident. I don't even remember what happened, I don't think I got into trouble. I do know I never was forced to go to church again after that.

To be continued