Hollywood: 10,000 Exhibitionists, and No One Watching
First of all, if you left me a "Happy 50th Birthday!" message, I want to sincerely thank you. If you didn't leave me such a message, I want to sincerly ask you what your problem is. How often does someone turn 50?
Luckily for you, part of being so old you begin forgetting to chew before you swallow is that you learn the graceful, benevolent art of living and letting live. So I'm going to let you live. But don't let it happen again. And you know who you are, too. And you know that I know who you are. And I know that you know that I know that you know that I know who's on first?
Um. So don't fail to let that be a lesson to you.
Hollywood! We were there for my Big Fat 50th Birthday, staying in the so-chic-it's-basically-functionless Roosevelt Hotel, which is right across the street from Grauman's Chinese Theatre, which is famous throughout the world for being the place exploited Chinese of 1920's Los Angeles figured out how to make fun of big-time Hollywood stars by somehow convincing them it was cool to jam their hands and feet into wet cement.
Ahh, Hollywood. Is anyone there not addled by the conviction that they're only one Power Lunch away from starring in a TV show based upon how cool they look? It's an entire culture convulsing on the conviction that acting like a star and being a star are the same thing.
Hollywood is 10,000 media-addled exhibitionists struggling to keep themselves deluded that somehow, somewhere, they're on camera. Everyone's blinded by the spotlight they're crazed to get in. Everyone's got a project in development, a script they're reading, a friend or a relative who's a producer who's putting together a package with these guys who used to be with The WB.
Anyway. If you've ever been to Hollywood, you know. If not, then ... then next time you're alone, put your favorite song on the stereo, turn off all the lights, place a flashlight so it shines in your face, and sing that song like you're on stage in front of an auditorium packed with screaming fans delirious to be so near you. If anytime during the course of performing that song you slip into that deliriously heady moment when you think you really are the focus of all the world's most rabid adulation and love, stop. Now imagine an entire culture based on the idea that it's wrong to ever let that feeling fade.
And there's Hollywood!
Now that I've done the Grumpy Rant, do let me say that I madly love (and in fact was raised around) theater. I've got good friends knee-deep in Hollywood show business. I think I love actors and the whole Theater Universe more than I do any other ... Group o' Humans doing stuff.
I myself am about halfway through a play I'm writing. I'm hoping to get said play produced in Los Angeles.
Proving, yet again, that more often than not God arranges it so that, one way or another, we end up wanting, loving and needing at least some aspect of the very thing about which we are convinced we feel the most disdain.
Make your own desperate grab for fickle fame (or just leave a comment) here.