Thursday, December 3, 2009

How to be a movie star (or at least think like one)

I just read a book called How To Be A Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood by William J. Mann. This was not the first book I’ve read about this subject – for an escape-starved girl, Ms. Taylor’s saga of movies, marriages, and money was one of the greatest ever told. This new book, however, is not the conventional Hollywood bio.

It’s the story of how Ms. Taylor (and the entourage around her) grew, nurtured, and fought for that invisible but knockout-punch-powerful quality called stardom – fighting (and winning!) against the patriarchal studio system, vindictive gossip columnists, and the suffocating moral conservatism of Middle America.

I have new admiration for Ms. Taylor after reading Mr. Mann’s book. Of course, my fantasies have evolved over the years – I don’t want eight husbands, diamonds the size of golf balls, or cigarette holders that go with my dress and my tablecloth. (But I would be happy to take two candlelit baths a day.)

The greatest legacy of Ms. Taylor is her “fuck-you” attitude towards the obstacles of life. I, too, seek greater independence in my work life, being able to pick and choose worthy projects instead of being tied down to the rules and needs of just one company. I want to no longer care about pleasing people who wouldn’t extend the same toward me. I want to say, “This is what I’m going to do, and you’re just going to have to wait.” I want to be strong without degenerating into bitchiness. (I don’t care what anybody says – “bitch” is not a good thing to be.) I want to enjoy life without reservations.

Read the book, and learn more than you ever imagined.

(P.S. From this post on, I’m only going to capitalize the first word of a blog entry, unless there are given names involved. It got too tiresome to figure out which short words to capitalize or not. As much as I am a stickler for grammar, I’d rather concentrate on expressing my thoughts than worrying about capitalization minutae!)

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