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The Paradigms of Instability

During the heavy promotion of the <a href="http://www.et20.com/">E.T.</a> remake, we watched how Henry Thomas (the child star who acted as Elliot) got his job. Spielberg gave him the scenario of losing a make-believe friend and waited to see his portrayal of such a scene.
Elliot's eyes welled up with tears. He wept, softly first, then uncontrollably. His pleas for the intruders to leave his friend alone made everyone forget that he was acting out of nothing at all. An amazing feat, even if an older actor had performed.
Much as I admire the skill needed to bring forth any message with such great emotion, I am sure that the task of separating one's true self from the created is nothing short of gargantuan. How does one be so involved yet stay detached? The great yearning for the stage still runs in my blood can cries out to me from time to time, but I know that forcibly manipulating my emotions would eventually result in a rupturing of truth's fragile fabric. Who would I be? Would I still be me? Would me still be me? I dare not risk my self.
I applaud the players who work long and hard to give us insight into lives we may never live. I wish we could treat them like the normal people they are. It is so much more than the burden of stardom we have placed on those who love the art.
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