A promising young actor becomes a bouncer at the Standard Hotel in downtown Los Angeles in this debut memoir.
Taking his talent agent’s advice, Meyer, a former prison chaplain, auditioned for a part in a television pilot—only to discover that he disliked his leaden female co-star. Rejected, freshly single from a long-term but stultifying East Coast romance, and utterly broke, he drifted out of the acting business and into the violent, hierarchical world of security at an LA hotel. He started by manning the elevators at closing time, gathering drunk partygoers and transporting them down to the lobby. He eventually graduated to a supervisory position, but along the way, he had to log hours on the pool deck in the hot afternoon sun, interrupt couples midcoitus in their rooms to “keep the noise down” for other guests, and weather gorgeous partygoers who were either trying to dodge him or sleep with him for kicks. But the party had to stop sometime, and as Meyer explains, “scanning the strung-out, greased-up Caligulas on the rooftop, I realized I’d just found my limit.” Although this memoir lacks any kind of cohesive narrative structure, it’s a fascinating, punchily written chronicle of fights, boozing, and the author’s often cold and lonely search for love. Meyer keeps the numerous brawls from becoming repetitive with his humorous language: “Now Nacho Libre was cracking my skull with everything he had—and he had the salt shakers….[M]y noggin was getting both tenderized and lightly seasoned.” His engaging style and nuanced character portraits make this book a fast and loose Canterbury Tales for weary hospitality workers. Reader will enjoy this insider’s glimpse of the boozed-up wee hours of a major city.
A memoir with humor, compassion, and a sharp eye for detail that vividly depicts the rigors and pleasures of working security at a metropolitan hotel.