A Brief Look into the Life and Achievements of Edward (Ed) Anderson

By Nic Lowery

Early Life: 1973-1990

Ed, short for Eddy, short for Edward, Anderson was born on October 14th, a Saturday, in the year 1973. His parents, Tracy and Lonnie Anderson, had Ed when they were 19 and 21, respectively. He was what most would call, an accident. Tracy and Lonnie decided they would grow up quickly, working and striving to create an opportunistic future for their child. Once Ed was born, Lonnie Anderson started work at a paper mill down by the Tennessee River. Tracy picked up a part time job at the grocery store, just to make some extra cash. Ed, who was insatiably curious, was a handful for the young couple. Lonnie grew tired and defensive towards Tracy after working long, strenuous hours – sometimes up to 80 hours in a given week. Tracy felt she was owed more because she was working and taking care of Ed at the same time. As the two titans of Ed’s world clashed, they separated more and more from him. He was forced to grow up alone and turned to the one thing that could keep him company: television.

Lonnie had purchased the Phillips G22K550 color television for Tracy on their first anniversary (which happened to correspond closely with Ed’s first birthday). Ed was infatuated with the television since then, so, when Tracy and Lonnie started to move apart, his solace was found in that screen. Ed would later note in an interview with CBS, “my lifeline was that television. All I remember from those years was cold school lunches, foggy mornings, and anything and everything that came on the television. I would act out scenes from The Deliverance, recite lines word for word from A Clockwork Orange, I was obsessed. I viewed everything as a story, a narrative, an act. The films I watched were just recordings of reality. Nothing was authentic, there was always a script. I was convinced that I was the sole exception to that rule. It shaped the way I saw film, and life – as one and the same.”

When Ed was twelve years old, Lonnie left. Ed didn’t remember much from that except the yelling and the crying and the quiet. Tracy had to start working full time to keep hold of the bills. So, she would leave Ed at home, not being able to afford any type of service for him, with some snacks and TV dinners. And, of course, the TV itself. Ed would often skip school to stay home and watch movies. By now, they had upgraded to a larger box tv that sat on the ground. It was Lonnie’s gift for Ed on his twelfth birthday, his last gift. Tracy never really enforced any regulations on Ed since she was so busy. She didn’t want to restrict Ed from using the one thing that distracted him.

In his last few formative years, Ed began writing a screenplay of his own. It was never produced, at least formally, and never disclosed to the public. He referred to it as his “manifesto of sorts,” claiming that it was the birthplace and outline of his ambitions. Not much is known of this document except that it had great influence on Ed all the way through his life. Some Andersonians have conjectured it was a sort of religious sacrament to Ed. Others claim it was just a shitty first draft of something made by a high schooler. The truth is as hidden as Ed intended it to be.

Ed graduated from high school with a C- average. Tracy was proud, prouder than she had ever been before. When Ed told his mother that he would be promptly moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the film industry, her tears of joy turned to tears of sorrow. Ed knew that she would miss him, but he knew, deep down, she wanted him to go. Not because she wanted him to pursue a dream, but because she wanted to be alone.

Early Career: 1991-2005

Ed booked a Greyhound bus from Chattanooga to Los Angeles, using money he had gathered through odd jobs (Note: not much is known about these jobs, or if they ever existed. No formal notice of Edward Anderson being an employee anywhere in the Chattanooga area has been found. Documentation requirements were less obstructive than they are today, so it could have been that he worked for cash or for such a short time he was never recorded in an employment system. Nonetheless, Ed acquired enough money to get him to California). Ed managed to find a place to live for almost no money at all. Shortly after his arrival, Ed started to audition for parts in movies. Small ones at first, but once he was in front of the right people, he began to slowly rise the ranks. He had studied film, lived film, for his entire life. This career was second nature to Ed.

Ed appeared as an extra in several large films in his first few years in Hollywood. He then made his way to some supporting roles in lower-tier films, but, after a few of them were showcased in the Sundance Film Festival, Ed started to receive a lot of attention. Although he did not care much about his appearance or demeanor, Ed was naturally attractive, funny, and charismatically bashful. His personality was mirrored from some of his favorite characters.

Ed starred in his first main role at the age of twenty-five. It won best picture. Ed was officially famous.

Every studio in Hollywood wanted their hands on Edward Anderson. He starred in romcoms, action movies, dramas, romance, horror, any genre one could imagine. His filmography boasted 23 films by major studios all before he reached the age of 30. He was, by all accounts, a superstar. He had gone from a nobody to the most famous man in America ,and maybe the world, in a decade. Ed had reached a peak that could not be surpassed, his rising action had finally led to a beautiful, successful climax. Ed, however, had plans to continue his life in the spotlight. This is best illustrated by a monologue that Ed went on while appearing on The Tonight Show, his last public appearance for some time. When he was asked “what’s next?”, Ed responded:

“Oh, well, this is merely the First Act. I didn’t come all this way just to stop now. I plan to make impacts far greater than that of just an actor. I want to change the way that film is perceived. I want to change the way it’s made, the way it’s watched, the way it is experienced. I sat in front of a television for 20 years and have now lived inside of that television for another 10. I realized something about those years. They weren’t so different. So, I plan to keep acting, keep playing parts, but not in any more blockbusters. No, I plan to act as myself: Edward Anderson.”

This cryptic message left the nation stumped. Many people claimed that Ed had “gone off the rails” or that he “couldn’t accept that his time of stardom was over.” Others started coining themselves “Andersonians” and attempted to adopt this ideology to the point of spirituality. Ed’s perspective on life was not entirely new, yet his mysterious, calculated nature made it seem that his grand plan truly would change the world of film.

Hiatus: 2005-2010

After his captivating assent to the spotlight, and subsequent disappearance from the spotlight, not much was known about the whereabouts of Ed. He was the number one headline in the year 2005, but after that he slowly dwindled into an afterthought. A few thousand people still clung to their titles of Andersonians, hoping they would be righteously rewarded when Ed eventually returned. They were right, though the reward was likely not what they expected.

The world would later find out that Ed had spent most of these 5 years back at his home in Chattanooga. He lived with his mother, Tracy, and spent almost all his time writing scripts. Tracy reported that Ed would travel sometimes, but never told much of what he did. He was seen in Washington D. C., Los Angeles, and New York. All of which he was seen wearing formal clothes, as if going to meetings. It wasn’t until the year 2010, the year Ed returned to the limelight, that all the mysteries were answered.

The Great Rewrite: 2010-2012

Exactly twenty-five years later, to the day, that Lonnie Anderson left his family, Edward Anderson returned to the eyes of the people.

His critics awaited, pens ready, to tear down his every move. His fans gathered to celebrate his second coming.

Edward was broadcast across the globe for his speech coined “The Great Rewrite”, his first appearance for half a decade. Although a very brief speech, it is debatable that it may outweigh any speech given before in all of history in terms of its larger impact. The transcript of the speech is documented below, in its entirety:

“Hello all. Today I come to you as Edward Anderson. I have spent the last handful of years contemplating, designing, and planning a system of goals that will finally be implemented. I present to you, the Second Act. First, let me thank all my loyal followers that have stuck with and supported my vision from its inception. I will have need of you all shortly. For those who have opposed my image, thank you, I could not ask for a better motivator.

“I have always drawn comparison between life and film, film and life. I even went so far as to pursue my acting career inwardly. Some of you took that action metaphorically, others took it ironically, but I took it very literally. We are all in a movie of sorts. One in which characters have roles and plots move because of them. Some people have big parts, and some small.

“My only issue is that we seem to lose a bit of authenticity when watching films. We watch and then we go about our day. Are they similar? Yes. Are they the same? No, and that is why I am here. I plan to lead a reformation of film to draw it closer to life, to the extent of creating indistinguishable differences between the two. I will be the great director that changes the way life and film interact.

“My ‘be-ers’ (since they will no longer act, merely be) will wage wars, they will murder, they will hurt. They will love, they will hate. They will starve, and they will feast. Why do we hide behind this vail of safety when the world aches anyway? It is time to stop acting, and start being. I plan to start auditions very, very soon. I hope to see my followers there, as they should understand the importance of their place in this. Be a device for change. Become real.”

And thus, The Great Rewrite was born. All of Ed’s time spent in big cities while on hiatus proved to be meetings with some of the most powerful people in the country. He had managed to acquire the backing from every major source of governmental, political, religious, and ideological power that existed. Hollywood had already begun preparing sets and spots for the films he had written. An influx of thousands, if not millions, of people flooded to Los Angeles to be a part of this reformation. Many people still opposed Ed’s plan, but with the major forces of the country working with Ed, the opposition was silenced or talked over. No one seemed to understand why they agreed with Ed, just that it seemed right to take control and stop faking. To tear down a system is ecstasy, to reinstate one is torture. Ed had accomplished both simultaneously with the only stipulation of unquivering support.

The First Shot: 2013

On Ed’s 40th birthday, the first shot of his first film was taken. Many news teams were live broadcasting the day, but no one really understood what it was that Ed intended to do until it was too late.

The scene was simple, a man robs an old lady on the street. The simplicity lends itself to the message that Ed intended to send. The recently instated Personnel Department was on standby, and the scene began:

“Give me your purse!” the man yelled, despite being quite capable of taking it by force. “Or I’ll be forced to shoot.”

“O-Okay just take it” the old lady shook. It was the best acting she had ever done. She was a true Andersonian.

“But, now you’ve seen my face,” said the robber, “So I have to kill you.”

Then he shot her. She fell, screaming and crying, choking and swearing, clawing for breath, and then silent.

“Cut!” yelled Ed from behind the camera. “Let’s try it again, this time look a little more troubled by your decision” he said to the robber.

Then the Personnel Department brought in a body bag, loaded up the old lady, wiped the set, and brought in another old lady.

The name they marked on the body bag was Tracy.

The Last Shot: 2022

It was nearing the ten-year mark of the new and improved Hollywood. All major studios had taken up Ed’s method. Major news sources deemed it “groundbreaking” and “remarkable” and most other people deemed it “entertaining” and “sport-like.” Some have gone so far as to compare its splendor to that of the Roman Coliseum in its prime, or the Shakespeare theatre.

As more and more budgets were dumped into this style of film, more and more expectations were placed on the “reality” of the film. Ed’s rule was – “If it is in the script, do it.”

Ed continued to produce films all over the world, with the help of thousands and thousands of be-ers. Nothing could stop this stampede of ideas that came from his mind. He recreated entire wars, he made a very graphic film about serial killers, a romantic comedy starring an old Meg Ryan and old Tom Hanks, and many more.

All of which ended abruptly. He was filming a scene for his newest movie. People were lined up out the door hoping to be the victim that made the final cut. The cast type was a middle-aged man, with a little weight and attractive face. The scene involved a noose and a stool.

Bystanders reported that Ed stood, and said, “I guess I might as well try it,” walked over, and did the scene. It was as quick as this explanation of it.

Nothing is known about why he did it, or for what purpose. Some people think that he was under the impression that he was immortal. Others thought that Ed wanted to die but didn’t know how. Maybe he just wanted to be alone.

What is known, is that the film in question was titled The Third Act, and Ed’s scene made the final cut.


Red Rook Press