Thursday, November 25, 2004

The Thanksgiving Day....what??

Welcome Ladies and Gentlemen, One and all, to the 78th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day......BACKDROP!

Once again, it's that time of year when we can all experience the glorious American tradition where thousands of talented people spend hundreds of hours rehearsing, practising, making costumes and building sets, then travel great distances without complaint or reimbursment, simply to be a part of this annual spectacular.....All of which NBC then promptly ignores as they blithely use the entire event as little more than the Technicolor background for a thinly-veiled and deeply self-serving three-hour infomercial to promote an endless litany of mediocre has-beens with NBC contracts and no perceptible talent, whose shows are currently attracting audiences so insignificant they wouldn't fill a phone booth.

I'm British. To me, as to most other people who do not share the gift of American citizenship, this is not merely a parade, it's a celebration of all the wonderful things that make this country the amazing experience it truly is. And for NBC to exploit the hard work of the performers, and the event itself, and to do this so obviously with the single motivation of acquiring more profit for themselves is an insult to the Actors and the Audience.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Yahoo! UK & Ireland News - Bruce sues studio for physical pain

Yahoo! UK & Ireland News - Bruce sues studio for physical pain

"Action hero Bruce Willis is suing a film studio, alleging he suffered 'mental, physical and emotional pain' when a stunt went wrong. Willis said he was struck in the forehead by a 'projectile' when filming 'Tears of the Sun' at Revolution Studios in October 2002. In the lawsuit, Willis said he suffered 'extreme mental, physical and emotional pain and suffering' as a result of the injury. The suit does not specify how much Willis is claiming. "

Welcome, dear reader, to Whiny World. This is the happy, sun-soaked alternate universe where a fortunate few who collect $10m for doing little more than getting out of bed devote their ample free time and (questionable) gifts to crying and whinging over mishaps so insignificant they would defy any attempts at measurement by a grown-up...And all in the fullest possible glare of publicity, of course.

But heaven forbid we should think that sympathy and attention were motivating factors.

Not long ago this man, like many of his peers, was an unknown. A struggling Actor, desperately trying to secure an outlet for the creative compulsion that had consumed his entire being like a carnivorous bacteria since the day he was first capable of sentient thought. Now, transfigured by minor success into what would appear to be an overdeveloped two-year old with designer stubble, he seems driven not by the passion to act that was the obsession of his earlier, less narcissistic years, but by some ego-salving need to blame ~ and profit from ~ an unintentional mischance suffered by those whose skills and diligence facilitate his brief ~ and apparently unwelcome ~ sojourn in the spotlight.

And as his cries of torment assail the Hollywood hills, around him swirls a city suffused with people whose existence is dominated by the dream of securing even a small percentage of the success he has already enjoyed. They practice their beloved craft, attend endless auditions and face constant disappointment and rejection; all the while maintaining unfulfilling, low-paid jobs and patiently awaiting the glorious day when they reach that distant summit and sample the heady wine of admiration, bestowed upon them by the appreciative audience they have so long deserved.

Yet where is their lawsuit? Where are their protests of such (genuine) hardship??

For someone whose every conscious moment is consumed with the need to perform and create, a life such as this is anguish, pain and suffering beyond the comprehension of ordinairy people. It clearly surpasses the cognitive powers of the Plaintiff ~ And most of his contemporaries.

This magnificent country is blessed with a rich and currently uncharted reservoir of people whose boundless talent and dedication to their craft makes them more than capable of assuming any role for which Mr. Willis might be considered, with no negative results whatsoever.

It is time they were given that chance.












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Saturday, November 20, 2004

Yahoo! News - Trump Fires a Contestant, Then Another

Yahoo! News - Trump Fires a Contestant, Then Another
Sat Nov 20, 2004.

Perhaps it's me but this is arguably the first sensible thing to happen on this inane parody of intellectual discourse in recent memory. Now, if The Donald could just organize himself a good hair day and fire the remaining, desparate wannabees we'd finally have space in NBC's Thursday schedule for a show that required an I.Q. in excess of room temperature.

It's not his fault, I know, but how anyone can take this show seriously beggars belief: The man is worth well over a billion dollars ~ yet he sports a 'do' that looks like he pushed an anorexic hamster through a badly blunted Cuisinart then stuck it to his head with thumb tacks! As far as I'm concerned, any sentient being who can look at the result for more than 30 seconds without giggling should be hired on the spot!

Friday, November 19, 2004

Yahoo! News - Gibson Taking Oscar High Road for 'The Passion'

Yahoo! News - Gibson Taking Oscar High Road for 'The Passion': "

"Breaking with a growing Hollywood practice of heavy-handed pre-Oscar marketing, Gibson and his Icon Productions partner Bruce Davey have vowed not to spend a cent on television, radio or print ads hawking "Passion" for Academy Award consideration, a spokesman said on Friday. "

I'm not a great fan of the Gentleman's movie, but this is genius. By not joining the herd and running yet another of those ghastly 'For Your Consideration...' ads that infest the trade papers at this time of year the splendid Mr. Gibson will garner more publicity than if he'd spent ten million dollars! This is a new, bold and brave idea, and in a culture as morally and and intellectually bankrupt as Hollywood, that is a very rare occurence. Bravo!

FOXNews.com - U.S. & World - Diplomats: Iran Doing Last-Minute Nuke Processing

FOXNews.com - U.S. & World - Diplomats: Iran Doing Last-Minute Nuke Processing

"VIENNA, Austria — Raising doubts about its commitment to dispel international distrust, Iran (search) is producing significant quantities of a gas that can be used to make nuclear arms just days before it must stop all work related to uranium enrichment, diplomats said Friday."

So it seems Iran are preparing to annihilate the world. Now, where have we heard that song before?...

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

I'm an Actor -- Exploit Me!

I don't know about you, dear reader, but I'm beginning to despair of the modern obsession with commercialism:

Over the last few months I joined several newsletters and discussion groups whose major focus was to give Actors a venue in which to discuss their craft and its many challenges. Once in a while a message with commercial overtones would appear.

That, sadly, is no longer the case...

The experience of receiving an email whose content is *not* a commercial hard-sell is becoming rarer by the week.

I'm not an Actor I'm a producer, but I believe that to follow the siren's call to a career in Acting is already an almost *Herculean* challenge and suffused with the risk of exploitation. These groups should be a haven where those brave souls who possess the boundless courage to pursue their dream can come to seek rest, reassurance and advice...*Not* mortgages, loans and supplements.

Am I alone in this...or is there *anyone* left out there who agrees?


Oh, for sense and some consideration

11-17-04.

A quote from today's Variety:
"Negotiations with producers are just weeks away, and SAG CEO Bob
Pisano is still facing a lawsuit calling for his ouster as the union's Chief Negotiator -- but he won't be facing it alone.

Hinting the guild itself has more to lose than Pisano does should he lose his job; the union has asked to be named a co-defendant in the conflict-of-interest lawsuit brought against the CEO by two members of the guild."

One of the numerous discussion groups to which I have become attached has another member by the name of Jack Rooney. I don't know the gentleman personally, but he's clearly well-blessed with I.Q. - His solution was simple: "Just call for "decertification. Actors voted SAG into existence, Actors can vote it _out_ of existence."

That is an idea as appropriate as it is brilliant. Threaten to take their toys away from them and like most petulant two-year olds they will learn to behave. Either that, or fade into obscurity. Finally! Something SAG's inconsiderate despot would actually have *earned* ;)

IMHO, what we need is a viral campaign of some kind ~ A rising swell of discord, eminating from SAG members and affiliates and organized through some kind of cyber-word of mouth. If Mr. Pisano's behaviour
is as repugnant as people seem to consider it to be, the collective noise would soon be intolerable! SAG would be faced with a clear and simple choice - Rid themselves of this turbulent priest or risk losing their *very* well paid jobs and all the countless perks and privileges that come from being a virtual monopoly in the industry.

Not exactly a hard choice, I think we'd find.