imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
Tell the NSA: StopWatching.US

Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

CopWatch LA

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List





IMC Network: www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech
printable version - js reader version - email this article - view hidden posts - tags and related articles
link:

Real Thoughts on Fake Lives

by Charlotte Laws Friday, Mar. 16, 2012 at 6:02 PM
officeofcharlottelaws@yahoo.com

I wondered about those who intentionally live someone else’s life and headed to the 2012 Celebrity Impersonator Convention and Awards in Las Vegas. I wanted to know how “Sean Connery” and “Johnny Cash” felt about being Sean Connery and Johnny Cash. Could they retain a sense of self while playing 007 or a boy named Sue?

“Fake” evokes a number of images: reality TV, brush on tans, social snobs, email solicitations from Nigerian “princes,” and Jim Carrey’s surroundings on "The Truman Show." In the 2011 movie "Albert Nobbs," actress Glenn Close plays a pretend guy, living a pretend existence. She resides in a tiny room with few possessions and a lot of misery. Her life belongs to her employer, although she stashes hope under the floorboards in the form of cash for a someday business.

I’ve felt like Albert Nobbs myself; perhaps everyone has. At age 23, I applied to be a no-day-off nanny at a Beverly Hills estate; but when handed the job, I bolted. I suddenly realized I’d be living someone else’s life, dressing someone else’s kids, and endlessly focusing on someone else’s activities. I figured I’d rather be the main course on a table of hardship rather than a side dish on a smorgasbord of plenty.

Then there were those moments of celebrity suffocation. As an accomplished party-crasher in my younger years, I hobnobbed with the rich and famous at award shows, on movie sets, at VIP parties and backstage at concerts. With most stars, I could breathe just fine; but there were a few who sucked all air from the room. Dr. Drew Pinsky would call them “narcissists,” a term he uses in his 2009 book, "The Mirror Effect," to describe those who engage in unhealthy self-absorption and who strive to attain godlike status. He says the noteworthy rank higher on the narcissism scale than the unknown. As for the underlings and employees of egocentrics, I felt sorry for them; and sensed a deflated demeanor and emptiness in their eyes. I figured they’d lost themselves years prior. Narcissists permit only one balloon at the party: their own.

Apart from those who take jobs unaware of the “soul devouring” consequences, I wondered about those who intentionally live someone else’s life and headed to the 2012 Celebrity Impersonator Convention and Awards in Las Vegas. I wanted to know how “Sean Connery” and “Johnny Cash” felt about being Sean Connery and Johnny Cash. Could they retain a sense of self while playing 007 or a boy named Sue?

The answer seemed to be yes, with some exceptions. “Dolly Parton” told me she was living her own life; but added that in another sense she was living nine lives. “I’m like a cat. I can portray Dolly, Elvira, Charo, Mae West and five other vamps. It’s all about the wig.”

“Michael Jackson,” “Angelina Jolie,” and “Bono” said their essences were intact; and a hippie wearing round sunglasses concurred, “I am living my own life. I just want to make the world better.”

“But you’re playing Ozzy Osbourne,” I said. “Even the real Ozzy Osbourne doesn’t want to make the world better.”

“Bette Midler” said she didn’t feel absorbed in the role of The Divine Miss M., but added, “Of course, some people are delusional.”

“Whitney Houston” agreed. She told me about an “Elvis,” who when off-duty, wore sequined pantsuits and curled his lip like “the King.” He’d break into Kentucky Rain during a downpour; and into Blue Suede Shoes when sliding on his Hush Puppies. “He was living in a time warp,” she said. “It was pathetic.”

There were three Elvises at the Convention; and according to a clearly unreliable Internet source, there are an estimated 85,000 Elvis imitators in the world. This source says that by the year 2019, Elvises will make up one third of the world’s population. Oh, well, I suppose it’s better to have three billion Jailhouse Rockers than continents full of starving kids.

A look-alike booking agent told me about a “Natalie Wood” who suffered from severe depression and who predicted she’d one day drown. And she mentioned a former “Marilyn Monroe” named Kay Kent, who got surgery to look like her idol and who once said “It's almost as though by taking on her appearance I've inherited her troubles." In 1989, this woman committed a copy-cat suicide, dying exactly as the real Marilyn did.

The booking agent also revealed that impersonators who are in high demand are more likely to lose their own identity. “They can get caught up in the character, and don’t know how to snap out of it.”

Due to the economic downturn, few are in high demand these days. There’s less money, but more sanity. Regular nine-to-five jobs keep many impersonators grounded. “Bret Michaels” told me that he worked as a truck driver, and “Dr. Phil” was a manager at Home Depot, advising the lovelorn on power tools. “Barack Obama” earned his living as a materials scientist, and “Tim McGraw” handled loss prevention at K-Mart.

Unfortunately, I was unable to locate “Alice Cooper” for an interview; “Britney Spears” told me he was backstage having a sex change operation. And award nominees “Tom Cruise” and “Will Smith” never showed; they were probably on a mission impossible or saving a planet from aliens.

The Convention taught me that you can impersonate someone else while “living your own life” or you can impersonate yourself while “living someone else’s life.” And it is mostly a matter of perception; it is a subjective and relative enterprise. What is tolerable to one person may be intolerable to another. Although I cringed at the thought of becoming a full-time nanny, others fulfill their dreams in this very field. Although I darted from narcissists, others were surely energized by super-sized personas.

Shakespeare said “all the world’s a stage,” and it is possible Albert Nobbs agreed. Although I deemed her life “miserable,” perhaps she saw it as her own. Perhaps she was disguised as herself, hoping that today’s real Albert could eventually escape and become tomorrow’s real Albert, a freer version of herself.

I left Las Vegas, realizing that it is important to have real thoughts and avoid a fake life. Whatever that may mean to you.
____

Charlotte Laws is an author, weekly contributor on the NBC show “The Filter” and a Greater Valley Glen Councilmember in Southern California. Follow her at http://www.twitter.com/CharlotteLaws
This article first appeared in Huffington Post in March 13, 2012.
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 1 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
blast from the past nobody Sunday, Mar. 18, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Local News

KPFK is in double trouble, credit cards misused, and... A24 3:48PM

WW Broad & The War On Public Education In LA A19 8:05AM

KPFK= more. Tired of the turmoil? we are too. A18 4:22PM

KPFK Work Reductions ....signs of an ending now, so soon ? A18 10:30AM

kPFK under threatening duress - even to it's long-established staff by new Gen'l Mgr A16 8:46PM

Secretive Glonvec weapons manufacturer in town A13 9:21AM

KPFK in MeltDown.NOW. A11 11:31AM

KPFK RADIO is essential to Pacifica, who also umbrellas KPFA that may be falling away A07 7:26PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Unkilled Hack Generator Download Free Solution S04 2:41PM

[BEST] On The Run Hack Free Tool Cheats S04 2:10PM

False Reports of Russian Military Intervention in Syria S04 11:50AM

Western Support for Israeli State Terror S04 11:21AM

Beach Hack Android ioS add diamonds S04 9:09AM

Suppernanny, Jo Frost Tour Casting S04 6:18AM

Bina Warren S04 6:14AM

Israel's Failed Anti-Iranian Nuclear Deal Campaign S04 5:43AM

Dungeon Boss Hack apk cheats ios android S04 4:59AM

Vladimir Putin Straight Talk S04 3:01AM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S04 1:15AM

The Shortwave Report 09/04/15 Listen Globally! S03 5:21PM

Zomon The Path of Heroes Hack iOS Android Cheats S03 2:43PM

League of Angels Fire Raiders Hack Tool Online S03 2:20PM

Western Leaders Snub China's WW II Victory Commemoration S03 11:51AM

Obama's Covert Drone War on Syria S03 11:23AM

Propaganda alert: 6 weeks after nuclear deal: "Israel more ready than ever to strike Iran" S03 9:56AM

Philippines: Bongbong’s whitewashing of Marcos name anathema to 2016 plans S03 5:30AM

Guatemalan President Resigns: Faces Corruption Charges S03 5:11AM

Veto-Proof Senate Margin Achieved for Iran Nuclear Deal S03 12:38AM

La pensée conditionnée S02 11:36PM

The truth of our time S02 7:12PM

Kurt cobains half brother hit and the mom of Kurt brown. Saint ram bone S02 2:09PM

Dollar As World's Reserve Currency Threatened S02 10:43AM

More Lawless US Sanctions on Russia S02 10:20AM

New Israeli Police State Measure S02 3:51AM

Gaza: A Socioeconomic Dead Zone S02 1:46AM

Dream ending for circus lions rescued in South America: Huge airlift to take 33 lions home S01 4:49PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2003 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy