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The Hollywood Blog
by Adam Margolis
Living and working in Los Angeles is seen as a dream-come-true to many people. At one point in time, it was all I could think about. Folks travel from all over the globe to share a piece of the sunshine and easy-going attitude of Southern California. This “lax” attitude is just an act though. Stop any person under the age of 30 on the street, and chances are they are a stressed actor, writer or director (or waiter, depending on what time of day they are asked). Los Angeles, Hollywood in most cases, is a city that reflects the sentiments of it’s in habitants. Everyone wants to appear relaxed, confident and successful, when the reality is that this town forces the weak-willed to alter themselves for an often emotionally unrewarding lifestyle. Appear cool, but be busy, pissed or stressed. This is the true Hollywood Lifestyle.
The drive consumes people and many are lost forever in the tidal wave of Hollywood absurdity. Some can ride the wave while maintaining healthy perspectives, but will these people make it? In the world of television, it almost seems habitual for people to start their own fires so that either they can heroically save the day or so that others will come to the rescue, thus confirming the fire-starter’s social status as an authority. On a daily basis, I witness people, producers, directors, writers, audio guys, etc…losing their tempers, minds and/or jobs over the most insignificant of issues. Sometimes, I want to tell these people to check out the global news on the BBC website if they want to see some real problems and put their s#%t into perspective.
The problem is absolutely the media. Stars, Starlets and Wannabes are constantly under the lurking eye of the paparazzi. However there is a catch 22 in this situation. While the celebrities may complain about the constant attention and lack of privacy, it is in fact the only thing that is keeping (or placing) some of these celebrities in the spotlight at all. A Crotch-Shot is a term that referring to a picture of a celebrities exposed crotch. These pictures not only go for thousands and thousands of dollars but also guarantee the celebrity’s photos in every popular Hollywood magazine. Any press is good press, right?
I believe that there is a twisted symbiotic relationship going on between the “celebrity world” and the public. Since the birth of Hollywood, screen actors have been viewed as god-like beings. Larger than life, mysterious, talented, beautiful…people have long been fantasizing about a celebrity life-style. Everyone wants social acceptance in one form or another and many celebrities seem to have unconditional love from their pubic. As a people, we are subconsciously jealous of the status of life these celebrities are able to achieve (sometimes with very little effort). Though their positive behavior is sometimes inspiring it can be devilishly rewarding to watch them mess up and fail. It humanizes them. It knocks them off their pedestal a bit. Sometimes we are willing to give celebrities second chances and we can be quick to forgive them for otherwise abhorrent behavior. But this has a underlying benefit…it’s so much fun to watch them fall off that pedestal again, and again, and again….
Celebrities like Lindsay Lohan have admitted that they would feel unpopular or unimportant if the paparazzi stopped following them. So, what is the solution? For celebrities who feel like they are slipping from the spotlight, there is nothing better than a drug or sex tape scandal. The higher the pedestal, the bigger the ego, the harder they fall and the more we enjoy watching it.
So, young men and women flock to Los Angeles on a daily basis with an impression of celebrities that is painted by US Weekly and TMZ.com. The mentality that one has to be camera ready at all times comes with them and also an urgency to sell oneself. That’s the nature of this city. “Prove to me that you’re worth my time, and MAYBE I’ll let you into my circle.” People are so quick to drop, hide or change who they GENUINELY are, in order to present themselves as marketable to some sleazy producer, agent or scout who might be sitting at the corner table of Le Deux (A Trendy Hollywood Hot Spot). And the saddest part is, that this behavior starts to bleed into their everyday behavior and routines, until one day they become a shell of the person they once were. And that is what Hollywood is, shells of loads of pretty (and not pretty), talented (and not talented) people looking for someone to buy them and get them on the Cover of US Weekly.
If only we could get the public to be as interested in politicians or world issues as they are with Britney Spears’ latest fuck up or which rehab facility has the best swimming pool. I suppose if everyone was more informed and there wasn’t the disastrous, circus-world of young celebrities to distract us, then the corporations and government might not be able to get away with so much behind a voluntarily blind public’s back.
Adam Margolis is a freelance camera operator and director living in Los Angeles.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.