Exit, Stage Left

James Pope, Jr.

James is the heir to the Pope family fortune, which is considerable: it's said that the assets of the Californian Popes rival those of the Catholic ones. That's a gross exaggeration, of course; there are several families, even on the West Coast, as wealthy than the Popes, but they hold their own. Much has been made about the disparity in personality between James and his father: whereas the senior James is a self-made multi-millionaire as a result of some forward thinking in the field of electronics, James Jr. has never earned a cent. Not that he hasn't tried, although his father might say otherwise: he studied art and film at USC for a while--it was here where he met Eric Chiang and Gail Hoffman--but never graduated. At his father's urging, he went back to school--art school, where he met and fell for April Lawler, giving his father yet another opportunity to fume.

James hasn't yet sold any of his work, which got a little press due to the fame of his family, but was consistently dismissed as "immature" or "derivative", much like James himself. He is sure, though, that his new piece, Exit, Stage Left, will be his big break, and has invited noted critic Brendan Murphy to review its unveiling.