Showing posts with label Celebrities. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Celebrities. Show all posts

Friday, November 18, 2011

Prologue of Shuttered Vision from the Series Life Goes On


 She was surrounded by flowers.  They ranged in fragrance and hue.  Some were lilac, some daisies, lavender, roses, orchids, hyacinths.  It was the colors that captured one's attention.  Unlike any she'd ever seen.  They were vivid, vibrant shades of sun orange, amethyst purple, sapphire blue, ruby red with amazing emerald greens.  Some shown in multiple colors like red and green for bloodstones. Dark carnelian red, smoky iridescent quartz. She stared into her sky; it always looked like sunset with vivid blues and purples mixing with reds and oranges. Cloudy enough to make a lovely image, but never so cloudy that it seemed gloomy.

She inhaled deeply as she lay in the field of flowers understanding the message she was being given as the scent of white sage floated laced with the fragrance of the flowers. Eyes closed she pushed deeper into herself.  From her field she could determine all she needed to know.  She needed to find who was calling her, had been calling her for months now. But always lingered the thought, this one is a stranger and doesn't want to be found. She felt the pressure of a hand. It was larger than hers, firm and rough.  The breath on the back of her neck was steady and calm.  He lay right behind her, right under her, right beside her.  In this place he was practically a part of her.

She tried to turn around to face him, but was stopped. The sensation was odd for her, these things were always under her control.  No one got to make choices for her here yet here he was stopping her. She pressed harder and was met with more force. Abruptly she turned and the world pitched to black.  She was falling through her field.  The flower base being ripped away as her nose was assaulted by burning flesh.  Her eyes flew open and she saw the petals smoldering beside her as they all fell.  She looked down to see herself falling towards pits of lava, banked flaming mounds of earth and oceans of burning water sizzling away, salting the air with it's demise. Creatures colored with flame and smelt snapped their jaws at her ready to devour her.  Flame winged imps and demons swarmed above them taunting them with the kill they couldn't have whipping them into a frenzy.  Sea leviathans with several heads and tails swam freely in the burning oceans eating all that crossed their path. Stubby, stumpy moss covered beasts resembling jackals roamed the flaming mounds unheaded.  There was peril at every stop.

She threw her hands in front of her face to shield what was coming her way.  Then suddenly she stopped falling.  An arm secured her at the waist as strong arms pulled her around and she pressed her now tearstained cheeks to his neck.

"Who are you and why have you brought me here?" she asked.

"I'm sorry. You were never meant to be here. I like your field," a deep masculine voice replied.

"What hell are you from?"

"The worst kind, the one of my own making."

She vaguely noticed that they were moving upward.  And within moments she was as she was before on her back in her field his presence there but not intrusive.

"How did you get here?" she asked him knowing that if she tried to face him again she would be dumped into his hell.

"I don't know. I've been trying to figure it out.  But I'm selfish enough to not mind if it doesn't bother you."

"You need my help."

"I have all the help from you I need.  Right here in your field."

"It's more than that.  You don't understand what I am, what I do.  No one shows up here that I don't already know."

"I should go --"

"No wait --"

"See ya next time Flower girl."

 Fiona awoke from a dead sleep with the stranger's voice still clear in her head. She clutched her head and doubled over in her bed for a moment.  She straightened and with a deep sigh reached for her journal and started cataloging the points of her dream so that she could analyze it when morning came.  She lay back on her headrest when she was done shaken.  Who was that man haunting her dreams?  He had been there for months now.  And over the course of time his presence had gotten stronger as he felt more comfortable with her. 

At first it had been just a brief but untimely intrusion.  She hadn’t even really noticed anyone was there.  Almost like an itch that was easily scratched.  She had determined it was nothing and it became so.  A brief irritation she had swiftly evicted.  But somehow he had found other ways in and had made her sanctuary his safe haven. 

Fiona lay back down and sighed willing herself to go back to sleep.  Maybe by the light of a new day she would be able to make sense of this chaos.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Celebrity Crisis

I feel like I need to start this blog with a disclaimer because I'm going to talk about things that need to be clearly identified as not belonging to each other.  They are the differences between confidence and self-absorption. I am all about confidence.  Everyone should have it and everyone should display it.  I've been told I'm in fact much too modest.  Trust me I do this on purpose because the megalomaniacal beast that I hold at bay daily is no cake walk I assure you.  I try to channel that through my characters.  Let them be larger than life and I can just be me. 

I suppose I find myself wondering about the state of wealth and celebrity.  The wealthy are pretty obscure.  Very few people even know the names of the wealthiest people in the world.  They couldn't pick them out in a crowd, and can't easily identify their names in print or vocalized.  However celebrity is all the rage.  People can identify a celebrity without even trying, thus they become the image that is often associated with the wealthy.  Even pop cultural anarchists like myself can tell you a few basic tenets of modern pop culturalization. 

The best way to get press is to get caught doing something amoral by 'good' American citizen standards.  As an entertainer it is nearly impossible to not eventually do something that other people disapprove of.  Never underestimate the ability of people to do two things, misunderstand, and then judge what they never understood. The irony is that the best way to keep fame is to then somehow transcend what got people's attention in the first place. Which I believe is that crucial step between confidence and self-absorption. It’s 'I got away with it' syndrome.  It leads to a life of 'getting away with it' and expecting to always do so.  This is when the first inkling of "I'm better than you starts" to really cement itself.

Remember this story? I do!
Self-absorption starts with that one basic idea.  I am better than you.  Every case of it stems from that one primary thought. I've had brief brushes with celebrity and I hated it.  I hated it because this entity of celebrity can somehow prevent and hinder the ability of making true connections. My life has no meaning without true connections to other people.  It was hard for me to tell the difference between the truth as it was, and the truth as it was being presented as.  The biggest favor I ever did for myself was to discover the difference.  From time to time I still slip up.  But with less people involved in the process to snow me over for their own gain, it’s easier than it could've been.

The only aspect of celebrity that I didn't mind was the idea that financial woes would cease for myself and those I loved. However at what point does your financial success when combined with the specter of celebrity make you not see anything beyond yourself.  To be successful in any industry a certain level of personal choice and compliance has to be given up.  To be successful in a performance based industry this is multiplied by 10 because usually you aren't talking about just a job.  You are talking about doing something you are passionately in love with to a degree that it is a part of you.  You need it to exist more than you need breath. Sometimes that peak is very far away. So far in fact that people have to convince themselves beyond what is actually true to reach it.  Which means you have to negate reality as it is and replace it with one of your own (shameless Mythbusters steal).

So I test drove it.  This new reality for me was dark. It was filled with pitfalls and attacks.  An unending landscape of fire pits and terrifying creatures ready to snap your head off for fun.  I explore this idea more in a romance I'm writing featuring a Hollywood movie producer and a grassroots painter. It explores how alike they are yet how their choices made them seem so different from each other. Working on this again made me think about my own peccadilloes with fame, celebrity, and the price that I thought was too high to pay for the promise of money, glory, and popularity.

I've never thought well of celebrities or people who needed and wanted fame.  That is my prejudice developed from people I've met and known in my past in addition to my disgust at the assumption they made that I was in fact just like them. I made assumptions about them based on my value system.  As unfair as that is, I do it because I realize they have done the same. The truth is I am just like them, we all are.  Some of us just channel it differently. But the core that makes someone choose to pursue fame and choose not to are basically identical.  The need to associate, develop, and ultimately belong to something. Always trying to find the formula to a happy fulfilling life. We just make different choices as to how to fulfill our core.

Celebrity Weddings
There were things that I attached to celebrity and fame because the actions others encouraged me to propagate in order to achieve it left very obvious victims. I never wanted to believe it was okay to look down on people.  I never wanted to think that some people just deserve less because I was able to achieve something considered 'more'.  I never wanted to be able to justify making ridiculous amounts of money and not starting a charity.  I never wanted my need to express my talent to mean more than human decency, kindness, and empathy.

The point is I never wanted to be able to ignore another person because I thought I was better than them.  I always think about the people who I know now that I most likely would not have met had I chosen a different path and what a grave loss that would be in my life.  Most importantly I never wanted to wrap myself in that cynical cocoon I was developing that didn't even allow grace in.  I wanted to remain human enough to understand the importance of humility. To ultimately keep the magic of meeting special people that the world for whatever reason ignores.  That feeling of discovering this perfect meadow that has somehow remained untainted by the filth of the world.

Yes this is that car
When I see that some rapper has blown $370,000 to destroy a car in a music video I cringe at what I could've become.  When a musician refuses to do a charity concert because they aren't getting paid I wonder why do they need more money.  They already have more than they need to live well. When I see music, art, dance leaving schools and very few of the people who benefitted from these programs care enough to do something about it, I wonder how can they claim to love what they do if they don't care enough to make sure that it always exists.  You can hear it in everything they do. I am better than you. And all I can think is I no longer care about anything you do.

Why does celebrity lead to this 'us versus them' mentality no matter what type of fame it is? This 'I as a celebrity cannot be bothered by you a regular person' nonsense.  I've meet people that aren't like that, but the majority abide by and prefer this separation that is in essence contributing to the class war that the wealthy is waging.  The extremely wealthy are using celebrity as their front line fodder. Celebrities bear the brunt of the criticisms for overt wealth and wealth flaunting practices. If celebrities would take a moment, and just be with 'regular' people they would be moved to discuss their plight and be less villianized.  But in this country our celebrities are sometimes even worse than our politicians.  Because for entertainment careers being a savvy politician is necessary for success.

Love word clouds
The question I could never answer, and was too afraid of losing myself to confront was this.  Is it even possible to retain any empathy, compassion, or reality when fame is your reality?  What would lead a character who is being victimized by his own fame into understanding the plight of a person on the other end of life?  In this case I choose magic.  A witch to be exact.  I wonder how their story will end?  Coming soon. . . .

Confidence courtesy of:

Word Cloud courtesy of:

Celebrity Weddings courtesy of: