More establishing shots of Los Angeles as we hear Ja Rule play. Traffic. The Beverly Hills Hotel. A quick jaunt down the Walk of Fame (ignoring the homeless people and real, live people feces that decorate the road). Ashley driving through the Valley looking for Howard Fine (I think it might be on Melrose or Fairfax), a rip-off acting coach who's preyed on the weakest actors in La-La Land since Poopsy Carmichael took her historic plunge off the Hollywood Sign. And that ain't just whistling "Dixie," kid. I said to her, I said, "Poopsie! What keeps ya so young?" She said to me, she said, "I'm twelve!" That's the Hollywood voice we use when we're getting "so L.A." Like a Hollywood Gangsta. I shouldn't recap after midnight. Makes me loopy.
The Howard Fine Acting Studio is a basement blackbox place that is full of shit. This entire scene is full of shit. I hope Howard Fine has trouble sleeping at night. He's wearing a purple sweatshirt and his hair is spiked. Ashley and Howard take chairs on the "stage" and get down to business. Ashley basically reads from the sides to tell Howard the character description. It's a "pied piper" of parties. "That he's charming, impish. Attention is like oxygen to him." Yeah, Ashley's reading this. Howard tells Ashley that the first thing "we" do is to stop talking in the third person. This impish, oxygenated piper is Ashley, so Ashley must refer to him as "I," or even "me." "Because I'm Michael," Ashley ever-so-slowly starts to understand. Howard says that every scene is a tug-of-war, and to illustrate that fact, Ashley and Howard will read the lines while pulling on each other's hands. Howard, I understand. I'd find a way to hold Ashley's hand and have him pull me close, too. No matter how lame it might be. But yours really takes the Lame Cake. "We're not gonna use very much pressure at all," Howard says, which is my favorite line of the episode. Ashley has a hard time pulling while reading. Howard practically pulls Ashley's mouth to his crotch. Ashley probably figured that's the first rule in Hollywood and was surprised to see Howard pushing back into his arms. Howard's screaming, "Let it go!" but Ashley can't read so he's all stilted and it's horrible to watch and I can't believe this is Ashley's life. Ashley, come over here and I'll give you some free acting lessons. We'll do Method. We'll do some Emotional Recall. We'll do some Alexander Technique. I'll have you equating your father's lack of love and emotion to the mating call of a meerkat to the "Oh, that this too, too solid flesh would melt" speech in no time. Howard's pleased. Ashley sums it up: "I'm like, 'Wow.'" Ashley tells Howard that it's tough to do that when he's got to read the words off the page. Howard says that Ashley's got the script right there, so nothing could go wrong. This guy is such a hack. Ashley -- everything will go wrong. You've got a day with the script. Learn the six lines on the side, you lazy shit. Man, I have to stop recapping this late. I'm pissy. Ashley tells us that there's a lot of work involved in becoming an actor. Yeah, I watched The It Factor. That's a reality show about actors trying to make it in New York. Kind of like Making the Band, but instead of music it's...wait. I guess it is exactly like Making the Band now. And you're about as talented as that Kevin guy is. Ashley says that using this for his days off is totally worth it to him. Sorry, Mom and Shelli. Ashley's got no time for hos. Howard doesn't want to work with Ashley anymore, and instead of doing the full hour he's getting paid for, asks Ashley to come back later tonight to sit in on his "Master" class, which is a room full of people whose parents still pay for them to live in Hollywood.