The Ebb and Flow of Life

“Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one.”Stella Adler, and she was absolutely right on that one.

If I could add anything to that phrase, it would be the word “still” after the word “that”.  Isn’t it odd that we can go through so much–both good and bad and the artists are the ones that motivate us or evoke tears?  When I say “artist” do you think I mean someone with a paint brush or a camera?  Then you are only partially correct. I’m referring to those who can create worlds with their pens as well–or the actor or actress that can allow a character to come through them like a shaman allows the spirits to breathe through them.

All of these can move us to tears, inspire us, make us angry as hell or even, for some strange reason depending on what is put out there, can cause us to tell the world to go screw itself for a day.  I love a good psychological roller coaster ride when I watch a film which is why a lot of the 80’s flicks for the teens didn’t impress me too much. However there are two exceptions: “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” and “The Breakfast Club“.

Now what happens when the artists go through such crap that they don’t want to create?  It is not that hard to answer. Those closest to them and those who support them should rally around them and send them love. Yeah, that’s right–LOVE.   You know, that word society likes to associate with the “f” word a lot?  However it means so much more than that.  For those of us who love putting the word to paper, writer’s block is what happens to us if we fear not measuring up, or something has happened that has mummified our muse.

They key to the cure is to encourage the writer to keep writing, the painter to keep painting, the photographer to keep snapping pictures, the actor or actress to keep  acting and the singer/songwriter to keep on singing and composing.  Let them know what they have done for you and how they have inspired you.  Sometimes those who tell them their work is crap are nothing more than corporate “yes” men. If we are the ones buying the work, we should be dropping lines on occasion.

When they inspire us, they also do remind us that we STILL possess a soul as well, do they not?

A few of my friends are really going through some crap right now. They are always on my mind and in my thoughts. If I could reach out across the distance and hug them or let them simply be free to vent, I would.   I’ve been in places where nobody else would want to tread, that is for sure.  Instead of hardening me, I have become more empathetic  about many things. Given what I have survived and come out of, I would say that is a good thing because I could have easily become anything BUT empathetic toward my fellow-man/woman.

Some people have seen a few snippets of my life.  Some were there and watched me go through it.  I often get asked how I survived it all and kept my marbles.  The answer a simple. I grew up in an age where it was one thing to wish those who hurt you into the “cornfield” as depicted by the “Twilight Zone“.  It was (and is) quite another to send them there. No individual is worth the creature one would turn into if they actually carried out such thoughts–but then again, thoughts can become “things”, right?

Well they nearly did when I was 12–and the scenario was NOT a good one. Therefore I’ll save it for another story with another vile creature of a villain that will either get killed off in a horrible way and/or will learn what it was like for his/her victim to suffer.  There is nothing like the pen to describe these ebbs and flows in our life cycle–but it is so much more  fun to carry out our fantasies in fiction.

If your life feels more like it is ebbing than flowing, then maybe it is  time to pull out the pen again or the brush and go for it!  Have a good evening!

 

The Changing Tide of Movie Viewing

If you read my earlier post, you know why I support the actors/actresses that I do and why I do NOT read a critic‘s review of a film on them.  It is simple. It is not the critic who will decide the success or failure of an actor/actress but the viewing audience.  The viewing audience is the performer’s harshest critic, but there are times when after gaining some knowledge that they realize the performer is only as good as the director(s)  and/or the screenwriter(s).

In general, the critic truly speaks for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).  While they are dedicated to the advancement of motion pictures and boasts a membership of over 6,000 members, they do not represent the viewing audience–who buys the majority of the tickets. In short, their usefulness is in question since times have now changed.

More and more, bloggers and independent websites are promoting the independent films and the actors and actresses willing to support those.  There are many reasons for this, but a lot of people in the “real world of the working class underdog” are really sick and tired of the fact that the movie industry in Hollywood is so entrenched in politics that it has lost the meaning of what it is to make entertaining films for the most part.

Lately the viewing audience has been bombarded with remakes, prequels, sequels and such–but very few pictures with new plots and original story lines.  The actor or actress may be playing a good role, but predicting what an audience expects has to be hell.  Well, the audiences are tired of the same old politically charged, status quo.  They are tired of remakes, chick flicks and the saturation of movies for the teen market.  It’s time for these marketers and CEO’s to grow up and it’s time for directors and producers to read ONE book…If nothing else they should read “9 Indispensable Ingredients” (that are ALWAYS present in every hit film but always absent in failures) by Tom Laughlin…Here’s a link to the site:

http://billyjack.com/

The topics covered in here hit the nail on the head as to what AUDIENCE expectations are…The critics do NOT represent the audience any longer and by ignoring that fact, that is where Hollywood is screwing up.  This is a fact that should be clear since they are  marketing and making so many crappy movies that flop.  For those of you who are screenwriters, it’s a godsend.

There was a time when an audience held the critic’s word almost as gospel.  That is now changing.  Audiences now want to decide for themselves rather than rely on some else to give a view as if speaking on their behalf when their reviews only truly garner the attention of the Academy now.  I’ve been told that even VOD and DVD sales aren’t exactly great but part of it has to do with the economy.

These marketers and CEO”s that have invaded the entertainment industry are part of the reason I left my band years ago…The music industry and it’s critics aren’t different–they just deal with another aspect of show business. Again, the assumption is that they can sway an audience to support or not to support and with the advent of modern technology, they cannot. Viewers can decide for themselves what they wish and it has given them the power to make or break any actor, musician, screenwriter and/or songwriter.  However a lot of viewers do realize the actor has to do as the script and director demand…That is why viewers tend to judge an actor/actress on one thing alone: BELIEVABILITY.  After that it is the story that is judged, and the actors and actresses on a film are NOT the ones to be held accountable for trashy script writing in this day and age.  The 50’s and 60’s are over. The blame has now shifted for the most part and the crap trickles up the ladder at the major studios now–not down.  They can’t threaten the audiences by saying “IF X does well we’ll do this with the classic version…” either and YES this did happen recently.

The public is not easily manipulated and fooled anymore.  It is time for the CEO’s to wake up and realize it. Many have and have moved to the indie market which will flourish in the next 10 years. I do believe that in my lifetime, if things keep going the way that they are, that Hollywood will one day be known as the place that USED to be the film capital of this country and the world.
I also want to point out that many of  the older actors and actresses tend to do a better job than the younger ones. They come from different schools of thought and approach their characters differently, it seems.  A good actor/actress allows that character to come to life through him/her–regardless of how the script itself was written.  If that actor/actress can evoke strong emotion of some sort as the character comes through them, then (in my opinion) they have done THEIR job correctly. That being said, I invite you to discuss your favorite actors and actresses here, your favorite movies and what you think of the trends in Hollywood now.  Here is the link:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/354427947959295/

There are rules but the main one is, don’t get upset and start getting out of control in there….Trust me.  It’s okay for everyone to have their favorites and others not to agree, but there isn’t any reason to fuss over it because different performers reach different people in different ways.

Another Actor to Watch…Part II

I don’t post about actors and actresses a lot, but when I do it is because I see something in how they bring a character to life that warrants that they get more attention for how they do so.  The actor I am writing about now is a young man by the name of Gary Cairns II.  You might know him from films such as “Hero Wanted“,  “Mad World“, The FX series “Justified” and the soon to be released film “Lost in a Crowd”.  Now he is working on a new movie called “Monumental” which you can learn more about at the link below.  You an also be a part of this project!

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/monumental?website_name=Monumentalthemovie

Also here is the Facebook fan page for it!  https://www.facebook.com/monumentalmoviepage  Please do click like and share this! It is going to be a good film!

When I watch an actor, I watch for the gestures, the voice inflections and eye expressions.  If an actor can make a character believable, then I take notice.  I am going to put a link to his actor’s reel up here.  Please go watch this:

http://vimeo.com/25730110

I would definitely say this actor is going to go places.  If you’d like to talk to him feel free to go to his Facebook page! He does answer his fans!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gary-Cairns-II/33836534032

Have a great week!