Thursday, April 17, 2014

Success Is Weird

I never thought I would get this far
Success is weird

I once worried about every step in my life
It all means nothing now
Success is weird

They told me I would never be good enough
I have won and they have been forgotten
Success is weird

To see some people live without a clue
But some buffoons have prospered too
Success is weird

I have suffered, and I have seen my enemies suffer worse
Sometimes it's cake, sometimes it's a kick in the head first
Success is weird

I am having the greatest and worst year of my life
Heaven is my Hell, Purgatory my residence
Success is weird

Failure is in proportion to success, and I plan accordingly
Success is weird

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Unresolved Plotlines From My Life

There's a bunch of weird stuff in my life that just sort of happened without explanation.

Like, I need closure for some things.

For example,

In the fourth grade, this kid said his mom took him to a play where some guy stabbed himself in the eyes.

Now, I'm pretty sure that was Oedipus, but I need to get that confirmed. Because if it wasn't, that would be weird. Kids randomly going to plays where people kill themselves.

What was that?

I also remember in the third grade when I had to go this weird class that other kids did not get to go to. It was this place where we talked about moral issues.

What was that?

Back in the sixth grade, this guy entered our class one day with a clipboard. He said he was from Nickelodeon. He then said to the class "raise your hand if I have your attention".

Everyone raised their hand.

He then said something about how we wasn't from Nickelodeon, and that he monitored children. The teacher was in full attendance, so this couldn't have been some random goof.

Who is going around to random classrooms lying about working for Nickelodeon?

When I was a kid, my mother said that they made the video game Doom into a horror movie. Now, this was before the 2005 film with the Rock, and I swore I saw a commercial of Doom with a guy in the role of a space marine. So I spent a large portion of my life thinking there was this Doom movie that I was missing out on.

My mother also said that she saw some version of the Exorcist where the demon lives and conquers the world. I always wanted to watch that film, but that movie does not exist. Elements from this nihilistic-project-that-does-not-exist show up in my work from time to time. Like, I think subconsciously, I'm trying to make that movie.

Now, English is my mother's second language, but there's a lot of confusion going on. But I've got to say, it's effected me in an odd way.

You ever have some weird stuff from your life that continues to creep in the back of your mind?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Gwyneth Paltrow, Overgrown Child Stars, And Defining The Difficulty Of Working In Hollywood


Divorces change how you see yourself.

It's like watching your friends break up. No, it's weirder than that.

It's like watching your enemies break up.

You ever see two people that you hate? Two people that diss you and think they're better than you? And those two people break up, and the two people that hate you now spend the time hating each other?

That's a weird relationship to have with someone. I have issues with you, but I also have issues with the person you don't like, so there's this weird symmetry going on with the whole thing.

But anyways...

Divorce is a nasty thing.

A long time ago, I was waiting in the parking lot trying to pick up my sister from school. I had my Game Boy Advance SP, doing my thing, where I hear this psychotic screaming. I thought someone was pissed off about a parking job.

I look over. My windows are up. The car a couple rows down has its windows up. And there's a guy. And he's screaming to his friend in the passenger seat. At first, I thought an altercation was about to take place. But, then I heard minor references to "paying for her, and she doesn't do anything" and "completely unfair".

This guy was losing his mind over his divorce.

It was more passionate than any Screamo song I've ever heard. A lot of those death metal guys are trying too hard. If you want to make the music of angst, try to sing like a man losing money over child support and alimony. That's true pain. That's true artistic suffering.

That's why I'm afraid of starting a family. That and figuring out immunization shots.

Seriously, I think I'll have to have a minor certificate/degree in the medical field before I have kids. I either have to deal with autism or tuberculosis.

Domestic life looks like someone taped Maury Povich over an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond.

Splitting a couple is like splitting an atom.

You see a part of people that you never thought you would see before. People say things out of passion that have no logical sense.

This increases incrementally with celebrity divorces.

OJ Simpson. Mel Gibson.

And it feels comical when it happens to Hollywood royalty.

Gwyneth Paltrow.

Shakespeare in Love?

Nah, Shakespeare in a custody battle.

Gonna be a Titus Andronicus up in this.

And so, we have gotten to this little piece of soundbite foolishness that is Gwyneth Paltrow saying that she works harder than a single mom. Gasp, *coughing*. I coughed trying to gasp is what I'm getting at.

This mirrors Tom Cruise's (or his lawyer's, to be specific) statement that Tom's acting career is harder than working in the military.

This of course, made a lot of people angry.

But, does the fact that this person makes a lot of money doing what they do take away from the fact that their job is hard?

Now, let's be honest, these statements, made in the desperation of obtaining a child's custody, have opened up these celebrities in a way that they did not want to be seen.

Law #30

Edwin Neal was a Vietnam Veteran who received a Bronze Star for his service in the military. When Edwin Neal came home, he was cast as The Hitchhiker in the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

When asked about his experience filming the movie in the Texas heat, Neal responded that Vietnam was easier than shooting the movie.

Now, Neal can say that. He's done both. He can compare.

For all we know, Tom Cruise might have had military advisers on sets that have said the same thing about their experiences. And they can say that.

Tom Cruise's lawyer might even be right. There might be some Afghanistan veterans who feel that way about acting. But even though they might be right, for the purposes of etiquette and respect, a celebrity should not compare his work to those of the armed services. Especially if that celebrity makes more money than most people see in a lifetime.

Because filmmaking is hard. Even when you're brilliant, it's difficult. Even when you're lucky, it's aggravating. Even when you've analyzed all your past mistakes and apply it to what you're doing now, it can break you.

Harvard Graduates losing their minds in production meetings, and having all of their intellect reduced to a Baby Geniuses sequel.

And it needs to be difficult. Do you know how many people want to get into filmmaking? Especially those that do it for the wrong reasons? The industry destroys those people, cause there's a never-ending line of them jumping in everyday.

In Do The Work, Steven Pressfield has a chapter where he talks about the difficulty of writing versus the difficulty of being a Navy SEAL.

Pressfield states: "There's a difference between Navy SEAL training and what you and I are facing now. Our ordeal is harder. Because we're alone. We've got no trainers over us, shouting in our ears or kicking our butts to keep us going. We've got no friends, no fellow sufferers, no externally imposed structure".

There's no due date for a writer working on their novel. They could take the day off if they truly wanted to. Too much freedom can mess with a person.

It isn't that it's more difficult, it's that it's a different kind of difficult. This lack of autonomy might be one of the reasons why a lot of veterans find themselves homeless. Self motivation is needed on the job hunt. Comedians have a little too much time on their hands. It's easy for them to be self-destructive.

Busy is good. Productive is better.

It's this complex nature of work that causes a lot of child stars to lose their minds.

A lot of people wonder why some child stars self-implode while others go on to have wonderful careers.

The answer is simple.

Every child star that wanted to be an actor became successful. This is what they love.

Leonardo DiCaprio. Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

This is what they want to do. As much as there are moments where you think about quitting, there's something about it that keeps you in orbit. Every time you push, it pushes you away, but before you decide to leave, something pulls you back in.

You try to quit, and some producer calls you and asks you to look over something.

Now, you have to imagine how difficult it must be for someone who never cared for acting to act because their parents wanted them to. They don't feel anything click when they're on stage. But they're forced into it because someone in their family didn't have the balls to do it themselves.

There's a bunch of people that work at a job they don't like to fuel whatever addiction they have. Washed up stars are the same way. Corey Feldman and Farrah Abraham are blindly smacking their head against anything in the hopes that it will keep them in the public eye. And it's sad.

There's that old saying/statistic about how most people would rather die than go into public speaking. So when you see that old tape of Amanda Bynes doing her father's comedy routine at nine years old, it's amazing she did not implode earlier. It's a lifetime of fear and rejection. A lifetime of doing your best to keep it together.

It doesn't help if the projects you're getting are not up to caliber.

Amanda Bynes always wanted to be in a film like Mystic River. Instead, she got Love Wrecked. And when you do Love Wrecked, people want you to do more projects like Love Wrecked.

Now, as an outsider, I can fully say that, Amanda should have taken the active role of being a content creator in her life and made a dark twisted webseries that would show off her sensibilities. Unfortunately, she was brought up in a time when digital content was seen as being below a celebrity. Sometimes in life, you have to abandon this disposable public consciousness, and go for what you believe in.

And give yourself room to fail. It might save your sanity. You could even make your silly romantic comedies if you wanted to.

But honestly, there really is no genre that is more artificial than the romantic comedy. Real relationships do not work out that way. You are portraying something that does not exist to make the masses forget about the horrible nature of their own lives.

When you're forced to take on a film you didn't want to do, and then suffer criticism from a lot of people over it, you too will go crazy. It's like being called a murderer when you didn't kill anybody. It's not who you are, and you suffer for it.

When Miley Cyrus was told by Radiohead that she wasn't cool enough, and received criticisms from her family over an image they dictated to her, of course she went insane.

Remember when she covered "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and everyone was like "Eww, you ruined it"?

You try to please people, and they boo you. Why not go full kitsch and make everyone angry?

No teenager in this day and place acts like a Disney child star persona.

In the next twenty years, there's going to be a cultural shift. There's too much stuff on the Internet. We know you're lying. Society is going to be forced to be honest with itself.

We have to realize that people in the public persona are still people. We look at fame and a money amount, and we think it justifies criticizing them.

It's scary when you think about college sports, and you think about all those players who go on their Twitter and they see a thousand random people, some of them their own fans, chewing them out for no apparent reason. My heart goes out to those guys.

People take themselves too seriously in something that they themselves do not participate in.