Thursday, October 22, 2009

Day 72

I got a kick out of these "Get Ripped in Four Weeks" ads. Really? Ripped like Gerard Butler in 300? Even Gerard Butler couldn't do it in 4 weeks. And why do I need any products for it? It's really quite simple: you take in more protein, cut the carb, and work out. All those supplements may help a bit, but it's really down to the basic. To me, these ads offer either steroids or snake oil and unless you live in the gym (Butler spent 6 hours a day to get this Spartan abs), don't believe the hype, especially ones that promise results without a whole lot of work.

Capitalism is all fine and great, but capitalism based on pure lies is simply corrupt. Do we, as a society, value honesty anymore? And are we really so gullible and desperate to believe anything?

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Being a writer is kind of an interesting thing, as far as attention is concerned. I see an internal conflict there: on one hand, writers want to be heard, read, and admired. They want their bylines. To say writers don't want attention is like saying astronauts don't want to go to space. At the same time, I know many writers who despise being in the spotlight. They'd rather die than to have a book signing or be interviewed. Some of them would rather hide behind a pseudonym, or ghostwrite someone else's books. They clearly say they don't want any fame (just the money would be fine).

It's a very interesting conflict.

Being an actor, too, I have a strange perspective, kind of stuck between two extremes. As a writer, of course I want to be appreciated, but I also don't want the limelight. The thought of being on Oprah (if it ever happened) frightens me. On the other hand, as an actor, I like the attention. I like the applause. I like to see my face 15 feet wide on a movie screen. At the same time, I value my privacy. I don't ever want anyone to mix my professional life with my private one.

As soon as I went on stage, I wanted to do nothing else with my life but act. I always liked the attention that playing sports had brought, but acting fulfilled that need even better.
-- Ed Harris

Being both an actor and writer allows me to move back and forth. I enjoy the occasional work in front of the camera but also appreciate the downtime, the lack of "fame." I enjoy being a writer, which by default is a lonely, private profession, but also like the occasion limelight at book signings, conferences, etc. Am I being inconsistent? I think everyone kind of fluctuates between wanting attention and not wanting it -- most people don't want it, especially from strangers. But I'm not sure if there's anyone who truly deplore attention, or else we'd be finding them in a shed out in the woods somewhere making bombs (I actually know a friend of a friend who does that). To me, it's all a matter of balance.

I'm grateful to have the opportunities, and I'm grateful to be able to find my balance.

300 words, 26600 words total
293 days and 158900 words to go

2 comments:

Melanie Avila said...

You should see the ads down here. There is zero regulation.

I like attention, but I don't like being in the spotlight. I need a balance.

Ray Wong said...

I like the spotlight sometimes, but rarely. I guess that's why I'm also an actor. But the loss of privacy scares me and I would never want to be a superstar or famous to a point people will stalk me or report on all aspects of my life. That would be very annoying.