Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Memorable Words on Fame

My actress daughter and I were discussing the desperate behavior of some teary-eyed fans who appeared at the window of a set she worked on last week. "There she is! Hi, Victoria! Look over here!" they shrieked at the 17-year-old star of the show. My daughter called the gawkers "freakish" and told me that Victoria showed more tolerance for the crazed fans than they deserved.

"After all," my daughter explained, "even Victoria doesn't think of herself as being in some higher class than others. She talked to me like one high school girl to another. And I liked her because she was really friendly and fun to talk to, not because she has her own TV show. If I met her at school, and not on a set, I'd want to be her friend. Some of the other extras on set with me only cared about getting a picture of themselves with her, while I wanted to know her."

I replied, "You want to know her because you want to know her. The star-struck fans want to know her so that they can SAY they know her. That's one of the difficulties of fame: knowing who really admires you versus who wants to use you."

My daughter described Victoria's demeanor as one that says to others, "Hey, I'm just like you, except I have my own TV show, rather than, Hey, I'm just like you...only better!" The latter type are usually in the business of seeking fame, not artistic achievement, and most often, they are the "wannabes," not the successful. "I can't stand it when an acting teacher asks our class why we want to act and some of my classmates say, 'To be famous.' That's not a reason to act."

Remember this the next time you meet a "star": He or she is just a person whose achievements have brought not only admiration from others, but public visibility as well. Most "stars" don't think of themselves as some higher class of human; fans put them in that awkward position. Imagine their point-of-view, being more visible as a persona than as a person. Sounds as lonely as it is exhilarating.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

On Tolerance

"Tolerance" doesn't guarantee "acceptance" any more than "legal" guarantees "ethical." I see "tolerance" as a smile over gritted teeth, while "acceptance" is a relaxed smile and a nod. I see "tolerance" as a euphemism for "I'll pretend to like you if you pretend to like me." I see "acceptance" as a heartfelt "It's so nice to know you and learn from you."

To tolerate someone is to put up with them. To accept them is to connect with them.

We need to abandon "tolerance" as a loosely disguised term for politically correct civility; a phony, self-righteous word for people who wish to appear open-minded and loving to their fellow human beings; and an erroneous synonym for acceptance. We need to use words honestly.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Lyrics from My Newest Song, "Breathe"

A song by Susan L. Lipson, Copyright September 2010

Some days every stranger seems familiar
And yet when I smile at you, I get a blank stare in return.
You see walls between us,
Such illusions, such delusions, such intrusions
That prevent us from connecting.
And yet when you think about us scientifically,
How can we be strangers when we share the air we breathe?

I breathe you
So to deceive you
Is like lying to myself.
I breathe you
So to relieve you
is like comforting myself.
I breathe you
So to conceive of you
as one with me is true…

For how can we be strangers
When we intimately share
The air that we both breathe;
Exchanging each breath from birth to death,
So what are ‘strangers’ when we all share air….

I breathe you
So to believe you
Is like trusting in myself.
I breathe you
So to retrieve you
Is like rescuing myself.
I breathe you
So to receive from you
Is giving back as well….

BRIDGE REPEATS, followed by an instrumental, bringing it down to opening melody:

Walls dissolve between us when we really wish to see;
How can we be strangers when we share the air we breathe?

Please let me know if you like the lyrics. I've recorded this a capella on an mp3, but I plan record to add instrumental accompaniment soon, once I can lure my accompanists back from their college lives for a school break. If you want to hear it when it's done, let me know....