Key Grip: A Memoir of Endless Consequences

Key Grip: A Memoir of Endless Consequences

English | June 1st, 2018 | ISBN: 054705369X | 180 Pages | EPUB | 0.63 MB

An award-winning memoir of an adventurous and winding journey through life: “A nonstop pleasure” (Susan Isaacs).

A key grip, Dustin Beall Smith explains, is the person on a film set who supervises the rigging of lights, set wall construction, dolly shots, stunt preparation, and more. Smith worked in the film industry throughout the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. But for him, “fame by association”-with iconic stars including Sylvester Stallone, Susan Sarandon, and Robert De Niro-was just one of the seductive drugs fueling his high-octane days on the set.

The intertwined reminiscences in Key Grip reveal Smith’s long, reckless journey to manhood-in reaction to his father’s impossibly ordered life. Its trajectory includes an early stint as a sport-parachuting instructor-a job that taught Smith how to hide sheer animal fear behind male bravado. Much later, as an unredeemed seeker in his fifties, Smith lights out cross-country for what turns out to be a brave, existentially failed-and very funny-attempt at a Lakota vision quest.

Winner of a Bakeless Prize for nonfiction, Key Grip is a fascinating record of the fault lines of one man’s life.