Normalizing Celebrity ~ On the beauty of being vs. the glamour of fame.

If Madonna were just like normal people

If Madonna were just like normal people

A fellow film colleague posted a link to a set of celebrity images. Some of those images had been photoshopped by Danny Evans to give his “artist’s impression” of what these celebrities might have looked like without makeup, hair stylists, fashion stylists, diets, personal trainers, botox and a battery of cosmetic surgery.

The only thing that matters about celebrities to me is what kind of human being they choose to be when I work with them in the films and TV we create together. Everything else I know about them individually comes through a filter of gossip, their personal PR reps and a media hungry to cash in on their stories. Half truths and fabrications, mostly, outright lies often. I don’t pay much attention to celebrity media, so most of what I know about them is through personal interaction.

It’s nice when a celeb can act, or sing, or create things of beauty. But, really, their greatest contribution in this world is no different from any one else’s: how much better they make the lives of the people they live with and work with.

I’ve been fortunate to work with some of the most beautiful human beings who also happen to be famous and, more fortunately, just a few unfortunate beings of moderate and great talent who make just being near them a trying experience.

What they’ve done, what they look like, what they might look like had they not been driven by the cult of celebrity to maintain a certain manner of appearance… none of that matters so much as how they treat me and my colleagues.

If power corrupts while absolute power corrupts absolutely, I wonder what absolute celebrity does to the character of a being who might otherwise have done better with their personal life?

Because this society we live in creates these people out of its collective need. We want them to be glamorous; we want to be intoxicated by the fairy tale their lives are. And then we want them to be just like us, sometimes, so we can sneer at them a little for the trite fact of their fame relative to our… plainness. My god, what a burden we give them.

I mark the films and tv I’ve worked largely by the character of the people I’ve worked with… and I’m just as likely to mark them for the PAs — Production Assistants — who have the hardest, most unheralded and least financially rewarding job in filmmaking, as I am the actors who star in them.

There’s a Key PA on the show I’m currently working… she makes me smile all day long, mostly because she’s smiling … all day long, for 15 hours. (GEEZE Louise!) That’s much more rewarding than seeing a star without her makeup. Much more rewarding.

Buddha ~ Only Three Things Matter: love, gentleness and grace.

Buddha ~ Only Three Things Matter: love, gentleness and grace.

Moments after initially posting this article, another friend posted an image on FB featuring a Buddha insight.

In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.
~ Buddha

Yes, that pretty much sums it up, in a nutshell.