Sam Shepard showed up in Hollywood to show the town that he doesn’t care about Hollywood.
Reading from his works Monday at the Geffen Playhouse, the iconoclastic playwright-actor said right off the bat that he refuses to live in L.A. To emphasize the point that he does not fit the L.A. mold, he said that he does not use e-mail, a cell phone, fax machine or any other high-tech accouterments so common to the Hollywood types sitting in rapt attention before him.
Bowing his head to his texts, Shepard read from “Winging It,” a piece in his new collection of essays, “Cruising Paradise,” which skewers a high-pitched director’s wildly inconsistent directions to an actor (presumably Shepard himself) who likes to follow his own impulses.
From his two-act play “Angel City,” first produced in 1976, Shepard quoted his self-absorbed character Miss Scoons, saying, “I am the star in the movie. For days I am the star, and I’m not me. I’m me being the star. … I hate my life not being a movie. I hate my life not being a star.”
The audience, which included Randy Quaid and T. Bone Burnett, lapped it up. By the end of the hourlong show, the sold-out house was on its feet, shouting for more. But Shepard, in blue jeans, black jacket and cowboy boots, was done — proving once again the old adage, Never give ’em what they want, and they’ll love ya for it.