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 - json 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

Freenet/Sone comments box:

This is a comment system called babcom, which is a decentralized, anonymous, encrypted, troll-resistant, comment system that runs atop Freenet. These comments are not stored on this IMC server - they exist in the Freenet cloud, and you must be running Freenet and Sone to see the comments. Install Freenet and try it out.

Use Node:

⚙ Babcom is trying to load the comments ⚙

This textbox will disappear when the comments have been loaded.

If the box below shows an error-page, you need to install Freenet with the Sone-Plugin or set the node-path to your freenet node and click the Reload Comments button (or return).

If you see something like Invalid key: java.net.MalformedURLException: There is no @ in that URI! (Sone/search.html), you need to setup Sone and the Web of Trust

If you had Javascript enabled, you would see comments for this page instead of the Sone page of the sites author.

Note: To make a comment which isn’t a reply visible to others here, include the red link below somewhere in the comment text.

Add this link to the comment:

Local News

New ID Verification Feature on this Site O21 1:06AM

Sierra Club endorses activists for Water Board O20 2:02PM

INDY has been hijacked or sold? to commentators ? O17 9:58AM

Columbus Day Protest, Downtown L.A. O14 4:44PM

Demonstration in Los Angeles: In Solidarity with Kobani O11 12:23PM

Voters Rally Against Proposition 1 Outside the Beverly Hills Mansion of Water Barons O03 5:35AM

The Uber-fication of the Democratic Party O01 2:16AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

New thoughts on capital in the twenty-first century, 21 min O24 5:18AM

The Shortwave Report 12/24/14 Listen Globally! O23 4:40PM

What is the American Left? O23 11:50AM

Ebola Seen In Light Of 1976 Swine Flu Hoax O23 7:09AM

Paraphysique du fait divers O23 12:09AM

US Army Withheld Promise From Germany Not To Weaponize Ebola Samples O22 2:18PM

Beware The Twilight O21 3:18PM

Turkey Murders Press TV Reporter Serena Shim O21 12:57PM

Stop Circus Animal Suffering – Protestors Urge Audiences to Shun the Wild Animal Circus O21 12:13PM

Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel Invested 47 Million In Israel Bonds Without Permission of O21 6:40AM

Fatal encounter: Jennifer Laude meets US Marine Corps O21 4:32AM

Kiev War Crimes O21 3:51AM

S&P 500 Companies Spend 95% of Profits on Buybacks and Payouts O20 6:09PM

Sahaja Samadhi Avastha O20 4:50PM

Sino/Russian Alliance Challenges West O20 1:54PM

Stop Circus Animal Suffering – Protestors Urge Audiences to Shun the Wild Animal Circus O20 12:30PM

Whitewashing Kiev Mass Murder O20 9:36AM

Chief Justice Nathan Hecht, Texecutioner, Is Facing The Voters O20 9:25AM

A Planner Of Saddam Hussein's Illegal Execution Running For North Carolina Supreme Court O20 8:17AM

No Redistribution Without the Social State O20 4:37AM

Ukrainian-Style Democracy O20 3:42AM

L'humain et les artilects O20 2:19AM

Dead-End US/Russian Relations O19 1:21PM

Killers, torturers and the new recommended registry for them O19 12:54PM

The Mysterious Plane Crashes Of Opponents Of Unregulated Capitalism & Republic Candidates O19 11:14AM

We're All Palestinians O19 9:01AM

Russia: On the Right Side of History O19 4:20AM

Shoot the Messenger: Blame the Victim O18 3:19PM

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