It Ain’t Over Until the Slim Lady Sings


Viikko 21


Motion: THB that youth today should be told the truth about celebrity culture, so that they stopped dreaming about it
Role: Minister (govt.)

Celebrity Culture case study: Acting

I want to talk a little bit about actors. Are they beacons in our lives? Why do we follow up on what they are doing in their lives?

Let us first define what makes an actor. This is a tentative list, but I think there is some grain of truth to it. You may add your own bullet list by standing up to offer a POI. The following characteristics or should I say qualities or skills define an actor/actress:
(S)he can
a) dance
b) sing
c) cry on demand (and twist one’s mouth in expressions of grief).

As I see it, these are the human qualities that come up on a number of random occasions in the lives of a lot of people, and so they have to be mastered in order to be able to act in a certain role according to the script. Namely, anything/everything else can be catered for by the effects (FX), costumes, props, set designers and stunt (wo)men. They are more than happy to help on a number of ”impossible” situations that turn into sleights of hand. It’s easier, for example, for an actor to dress up as an airline pilot (only clothes make the man) and pretend flying an aircraft (in a simulator) than playing a realer human being in a realer situation, even though the actor would know nothing of flying an actual plane. I’m talking here about general acting qualities that cover everything from musicals to horror to Westerns to absurdist plays. Naturally, one can specialize in roles that do not require e.g. singing at all at any time.

People who can’t do easily the aforementioned three things should cease applying to drama schools once they get once rejected in entrance exams. We have too many bad actors. Once actors get their schooling behind them or miss their education @ their school of choice, they become creatures who are always hungry for another string of these three things: attention, bread on the table and cinematic opportunities — as if off an assembly line. They do not care whom they will play, because they can act as anyone thanks to the aforementioned faculties. They only thing they need is remembering their lines and briefing themselves into the right mood.

A case in point of this is Robert De Niro, who has acted in far too many roles for his own good. He has diluted his iconic reputation by starring in a lot of half-baked, clichéd, stereotypical junk entertainment. Voluntarily.

We should see actors and actresses for who they are rather than some ideal incarnations of ourselves, our love interests or interesting human beings in general. Actors are people who were born with the right genes, good motoric skills, a bit of luck, and not much more. Their movies would never be made without the lever-pullers and key players behind the scenes. The latter shoot, cast, set up, paint, visualize and finance all those films. Actors contribute 10 %, but they attract 90 % of the buzz, attention, discussion and love in the air.

If one wants to go to Hollywood, Pinewood Studios, Madrid or Trollywood (in Trollhättan, Sweden), a better motive than being an actor is to want to contribute as a screenwriter, musician, financier, cameraman or set designer. Those real jobs make the movies and develop the character (of a human being) a whole lot more in the long run than acting, which is a narcissist’s choice.

Puheen kesto: 4 min 54 sek
Arvio: * * * ½. Olen nyt vaihtanut puhujaroolia ja samalla siirtynyt ensimmäisten rooleista toisiin. Ideana on puhua hieman vähemmän laveasti mutta kenties kiinnostavammin ja konkreettisemmin. Tässä näitä edustaa keskittyminen vain yhteen ammattiryhmään. Puhe piiskaa ryhmää, jota yleensä vain idolisoidaan.



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