Moving to Hollywood was the biggest and best decision Rose had made in her life... her new life anyway. She pondered on this thought as she sat in her home one summer evening in 1941, stroking her pet Dalmatian, Samuel.
They moved there in the Summer of 1926, and the Summer of 1926 was an eventful year indeed for Rose Dawson, newly dubbed Rose Calvert as she became a wife. She was in her first movie, a black noir about a female detective who follows the man she believes murdered her lover, soon to find out it was her husband, who then kills her. Going from stage to screen was a huge transition for Rose, but she loved it, and the pay was unbelievably generous, compared to previous pay packets that is. She enjoyed being "touched up" by the make-up artist and hair stylist, both of who were always on hand, standing by the Director's side(Richard in this case) obeying his every whim. She loved the script of course, seeing as it was written by her husband, and she loved her leading role. Martha Newman was feisty, driven, energetic and forceful. Everything Rose loved to be, and liked to think she was most of the time.
However, the one part of working on screen rather than stage that didn't appeal to her so much was the lack of substance. It was very structured and rigid. Film this. Film it again from this angle. Film it again with that strand of hair out of the way. Film it with dimmer lighting. Film it with brighter lighting. It seemed rather laborious at times. Not feeling the rush of the audience as they applauded, cried, laughed and gasped in reaction to the actor's performances took away from it all somewhat. The audience is what made it enjoyable for Rose, but now she was being stared at by a lifeless camera. On stage, you HAD to know your lines, and the adrenaline rush and feeling of accomplishment after remembering every line can never be replaced with acting for the camera. You can stop at any time to read your script, or get a prompt from the sidelines. On the stage you're on your own, relying solely on your memory, Rose had a marvellous memory thankfully. In the movies, you're being guided by the hand through the process. It was no hard feat. But nonetheless, she did enjoy it.
"The Dead Read Head" finished filming in 1927, and stayed in editing until late 1928, but due to lack of funds, and a growing depression in the economy, the film went unreleased and gathered dust in a box for several years. Richard was not pleased, and locked himself away in his office to wallow in self pity, scribbling ideas for new plays and movies. Rose tried her best to console him, telling him that things would get better.
Sadly, things didn't get better.
The Wall Street crash in October of 1929 hit everyone's interests, businesses and industries hard, and soon the economic disease spread worldwide. Big budget movies either wrapped up altogether, cut down their budget considerably, or went on hiatus for a while. People thought that it would pass, like a storm cloud. It would threaten to rain on everyone's parade, when in truth it was simply on a stroll, casting a brief shadow, soon to reveal the shining sun on the other side. Oh how wrong they were. It was so bad in its first year that one day, as Rose was reading the morning newspaper, she spotted a familiar face in a photograph, and as she dropped her glass of orange juice to the floor in shock, she read the article headline, "CALEDON HOCKLEY, STEEL TYCOON, SHOOTS SELF IN MOUTH AFTER THE OVERNIGHT COLLAPSE OF HIS STEEL BUSINESS. WIFE AND CHILDREN LEFT DESTITUTE AND DISTRAUGHT!"
Richard asked if she knew him, and she made up a quick lie about how shocked she was to see that people were actually taking their lives due to The Depression. It wasn't entirely false, but she was hardly going to tell him that she was once betrothed to the suicide victim.
In the meantime, Rose and Richard spent their time trying to enjoy themselves, take their minds off the situation. They were better off than most people at this time, and enjoyed going on weekend breaks, or month long vacations if they so wished. They had nothing holding them down in Hollywood.
One request from Rose was to go to the pier in Santa Monica, a place she had always wanted to go, but never had the means to until now. Married life was making her think of lost loves and ghosts from her past, and Richard was more than happy to take his radiant wife there when she asked. They spent the week there in a nearby hotel, spent nights in The La Monica Ballroom on the edge of the pier, dancing the night away, riding the rollercoaster until eventually Richard threw up, and of course, horse riding on the beach, right in the surf. Richard owned a camera, a wedding present from his father, and as Rose sat upon her dark, sturdy stallion he set up on the sand, is trousers rolled up to his knees, and he took a photograph of his wife, smiling widely, a puffy white shirt, a pony tail blowing in the wind, and one leg on each side. After the ride, Rose insisted they got a beverage to cool themselves down, but not the expensive wine that Richard offered to buy. No... Rose wanted cheap beer, and reluctantly, her husband agreed.
She loved the week she spent there, and it seemed to bring the two closer together, in the bedroom especially. Clearly months of tension being built up had ultimately lead to this. There was just something about the whole week... being on that beach... riding that horse... being out in the surf as the sun set over the pier... riding the rollercoaster... drinking cheap beer... the odd thing about it, funnily enough, was being with Richard. Almost 2 decades earlier, she had promised a young, penniless traveller that she would run away with him and visit this pier, and do all the things that she had done with Richard on the pier at Santa Monica, where Jack done portraits for 10 cents apiece. She felt almost guilty for going there without Jack, and living out their fun filled day with another man, as if he was watching down from above feeling left out and alone. It sounded absurd, and Rose tried to shake it off, but the more she tried to ignore it, the more it ate away at her... he was dead... she had to forget about him... maybe going there wasn't such a good idea after all.
The day they left, Rose took one last stroll down the pier, shoes in hand, wind in her hair, feeling the same air that Jack had breathed into his smoke filled lungs twenty years ago. Hearing the chattering and laughter and seagulls that he had heard back then. It was almost eerie, yet comforting. She got to the sand on the beach, and using a stick, she wrote the words, 'I STILL LOVE YOU, JACK' in the sand. She left it there, on the beach he loved so much. No doubt that with time, the footsteps of tourists and the rising tide had faded the message into nothingness, but doing it felt right. Hopefully he saw her write it, because it was true. He wanted her to move on after the sinking, and she had. Surely he'd be proud.
Richard still didn't know of Jack, and as far as Rose was concerned, he didn't need to. There was no need to talk about him. He had asked about her childhood, and she made up some story that she soon forgot. Luckily, it didn't interest him enough for him to ask again in years to follow. Truth be told, he didn't even know that she was a survivor of the Titanic disaster. It had never been brought up in conversation, and Rose wasn't exactly going to mention it. Too many memories... painful memories... memories that she wished she could go back to, but then had to pinch herself. She sometimes had to remind Rose Calvert how good life was nowadays, and tell Rose DeWitt Bukater to shut up and rest in peace. Rose DeWitt Bukater was dead, and Rose Calvert intended to keep it that way.
Throughout the rest of the 1930's, the Great Depression continued to grow and spread, like a cancerous tumour on the face of not only America, but the world, crippling anything it touched. There was no money circulating anymore, so men were fired from their jobs, since they couldn't be paid. It was fair enough, but then as unemployment rose, and the number of available jobs decreased, it basically meant that everyone was "stuck in the shitter" As Roses' friend Emmanuelle liked to say. She was a cabaret dancer in a Hollywood bar, and she too was slowly rising to fame, beginning to tour the USA, on a cheap budget of course, but less money meant fewer clothes, and the fewer clothes she wore during her performances, the better.
For a good ten years, Rose and Richard lived happily, as happily as they could anyway, in their little suburban home. Rose even managed to pop out two kids during this time. She had always wanted kids. She had a little girl first, in the Spring of 1932. She named her Ruth, a name that Rose explained, "I have always loved." She didn't dare tell him the truth. She was in fact, by this point in her life, as she was beginning to start her own family, thinking about her mother much more often. But these were thoughts that she had to put aside. In the winter of 1935, Rose and Richard were overjoyed when she gave birth to their second child, a boy, whom they agreed to name Jack. Yet again, another name chosen at "random", but one she loved. "I really love that name... Jack... I love that name."
The family of 4, including their pet Dalmatian, got by rather well despite the economic crisis that surrounded them. Rose had attained enough money as a waitress, and then as an actress, to support herself and the children, and Richard too had made a bomb in his life writing stage productions and screenplays. Before Rose gave birth to her red headed beauty, Ruth, she had done several Cabaret shows with Emmanuelle. The thrill of it all appealed to Rose greatly, and her perfectly formed physique at the glamorous age of 36 proved popular with the men in the front row who threw roses and dollar bills on stage as Rose bent over backwards, sitting on a chair as she did so, slowly removing her tights. This secret hobby soon came to a standstill when Richard found out. It stopped altogether when he coincidently got her pregnant. As far as he was concerned, if she couldn't act in his plays or films, she couldn't act for any other show, cabaret or not. He wasn't a cruel man at all, but he was quite easily jealous, and never liked it when things didn't go his way. "No one's going to pay to see a mother of two with stretch marks and tired eyes acting like a whore, are they?" was the sentence he would calmly state most often when Rose even mentioned Cabaret around him.
She had her children later in life, but she was pleased with this. It meant that she had a lifetime of experiences under her belt to share with her babies. Jack was a round faced little boy, with little green buttons for eyes, rosy cheeks and a dark crown of brown hair. He was the double of his father. Ruth was just like Rose as a child. Pale, pink cheeks, pink nose, enormous blue eyes that sparkled like diamonds, and of course, a swirling mass of ginger hair that could be seen from a mile away. She gave her children everything, and even though the Depression continued, she didn't let it affect her or her family. She was the happiest she had ever been. Sometimes, she wished she could just pick up the phone and call her Mother, or send a postcard to her... what would her mother think of her now? Wealthy AND happy!
This Great Depression did not end until America entered WW2. Entering the War helped the USA to get out of the seemingly never-ending economic crisis, as it took men from the work force and put them in the military, causing the rest of the U.S to enter the job market. Then, they would mass produce products needed by the soldiers and the lonely women left at home, causing the economy to boom. It was a shame that it took a World War to help make money once again, but it did.
Richard didn't go to fight. He stayed behind, claiming he was too old to fight. By now he was reaching his fifties. It was true, he wasn't as fit as he sued to be, and he was letting himself go. He began running plays and beginning new film projects, his target audience of course being two very different ends of the scale: The men who were away fighting for their country, and the women they had left behind.
He had a brilliant love story lined up that would have every women crying their hearts out and paying to watch it again. And he also had a raunchy, humorous, cabaret inspired film already written, that would be sure to arouse the lonely men who sat in foreign lands with their helmets and camouflage. He wanted a blonde to play the role for both films however, and asked Rose if she would be willing to die her trademark hair to achieve his image. Of course, his still beautiful wife was more than glad to die her hair and take on these roles after being out of the business for what seemed like a lifetime.
She had done a lot in that time though. Richard paid for her to have flying lessons, and they had friends in high places who owned two planes AND an empty air field up in California. She loved being up in the air, like a bug on a bird, looking down at everything from such a height. Worries were so small and freedom was unparalleled up there when she was flying. She loved flying. She had always and would always love flying. Moving to Hollywood was the biggest and best decision Rose had made in her life... her new life anyway. She pondered on this thought as she sat in her home one summer evening in 1941, stroking her pet Dalmatian, Samuel.
That same evening, Jack Dawson was sitting in a nervously silent bus, on an uncomfortable bumpy road, being taken headed to Official Army Headquarters in New York. Early the next morning, he would be on the first ship to France, where the Germans were slaughtering the British and U.S soldiers like ragdolls. Rumours were circulating that mustard gas was being used by the Huns, and Jack prayed to God that these were only rumours. The stories of how men died after inhaling the yellow gas were just too much to comprehend, and the recruitment video he and every other man on the bus had been forced to watch was even worse. Right now Jack, Jack was scared of the world... this new, barbaric world anyway.