Thursday, October 13, 2005

Okay, But It Better Be Really, Really, Really Good

Apparently Selma Blair is publishing a short story in an anthology alongside the likes of Joyce Carol Oates and Dorothy Allison, and, sigh, I want to be open-minded, I do. She’s a fine actress, and if it were someone like Ashlee Simpson I’d have a full-on snit. Instead I’ll just have a half-hearted snit on behalf of the eleventy-billion talented writers who don’t star in indie movies or wear Chanel smartly or marry Zappas and can’t just call people up and say I think I’d like to be a writer today. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that if I knew her, I would encourage her to write if she expressed an interest. I would do that for almost anyone other than Ashlee Simpson. I’m also coming to understand and accept that there are any number of artists who work in more than one form. So why does it seem dicier to me when it’s an actress? Why do my haunches immediately go up? I don’t have haunches. Okay, I know why. It’s partly because I can’t suddenly become an actress just because I feel like it. Which I don’t, but I certainly don’t take it any less seriously as an art form, and if I did want to become an actress, and if it were just as easy to cross over in the other direction, I would expect Selma Blair to say the same thing about me. That Crane better be really, really, really good. I worked really hard, for years, to get to my solid position of moderate recognition, and I didn’t just call someone up, and if Selma Blair isn’t the next Joyce Carol Oates who happened to have taken a wrong turn into acting, well, she better… oh nevermind, I’m probably bitter towards anyone I think has it easy. I wonder if I still have my old therapist’s number…

11 comments:

hutchie said...

when we HANG OUT, in just under a MONTH, (me? nope, not excited, keeping my cool ... ) remind me to tell you the story of the acquaintance we have in common who decided she'd become an actress. like, *poof* "i'm an actress, let's get me in some commercials, because that's where you start."

thanks for the list. and the encouragement.

Teodoro Callate said...

I hear you. If i know someone, I encourage them to do anything artistic...I can expound on the importance of creativity and expression. I can actually be inspiring in such conversations.

But I go to a rock show and I immediately offer the drummer a vengeful stare, assured in my isolated ball of jealousy that I could do a better job and he's just not all that good, and that he should give it up and quit it, you HACK.

And then I realize that that's more than a little silly. Some things just hit too close to home.

Betsy said...

Oh, Hutchie, I can't wait to hear that story in just under a MONTH (no I'm not excited either or anything)! Let me know what you end up reading and what you like and if you need more.
Teo- I have that with half the rock stars in America, and guess what, I could do a better job. Oh no I di-int!

lb said...

Are you sure it's hackles you don't have? Rather than haunches, that is?

I have haunches, and as much as I wish they WOULD go up, they have more of a tendency to kinda sag.

Anonymous said...

Oooh, ooh, I think I have the answer to this one! The reason that you have feelings of apprehension regarding the Blair Kitsch Project has little or nothing to do with resentment of her fame, ability to sell books on her name alone, or her freedom to switch creative realms on a whim.

(You may, in fact, also have these feelings as well. This is perfectly normal. If you keep in mind that Judith Regan and others like her will publish anyone with even a hint of notoriety or fame, you should feel better about your own talents and reasons for your literary career (i.e. you earned yours, baby). If that doesn’t work, take solace in the fact that no one is judging whether or not you are getting older or fatter over a bag of Cheetos on couches across America.)

No, the answer that we are looking for is primal in nature, going back to the dawn of humanity. Let’s welcome Betsy Crane to never-ending battle between writers and performers. Congratulations!! You made it to “The Show”. You are now a real writer. Just wait until you experience your work performed for the first time. Something tells me that it will blow your noodle in a way ten-times as strange as that short story from your first book.

The tension between writers and actors will never end. Actors will always resent being praised for a character or idea which (for the most part) they themselves did not create from scratch. Writers will always anger at the thought that actors are getting undue praise and fame for what is essentially a literary character. Substitute a bit of style and substance and the same thing happens with politicians and television anchors with their writers. The tension and fight is what it is and will continue as long as certain people write, type, scrawl and others read, act, report, or perform.

True Story…..Sometime ago last century, a famous stage actor on a London stage was performing the soliloquy in Hamlet. The actor was drunk and the performance was going badly. The crowd started to boo and hiss the actor’s performance. The actor continued to soldier on for a period of time until the booing got so bad that he turned to audience and said:

“Don’t blame me. I didn’t write this shit.”

DAM said...

Would your nonexistent haunches go up if this were about Mrs. Federline? I thought so.

If you can't find your old therapist's number, Mrs. Federline can refer you to hers. She was quite supportive when Brit (yes, I know her well enough to call her Brit) was writing her shopping list. Not much critical acclaim, but the fans love it.

Daniel Ridges said...

Did you know that when you separate the e and the r by a space in "therapist" it becomes the rapist?

Dean said...

You do too have haunches, unless you've suffered a really terrible accident.

kfoz said...

Where is this story being published?

I used to work with Selma Blair's sister, who was a publicist for a publishing house. But then, I used to work with everyone's sister.

Betsy said...

I dunno, some anthology. I read about it on Gawker.

smussyolay said...

i don't know. i'm not 'officially' either, but i consider myself both a writer and an actor. i was considering myself an actor and a writer, but lately the writing has seemingly taken precedence over the acting. even though i'll have an improv show to perform in every friday in december, the writing seems to be calling, calling.

i think some of us are just creative psychos who need any and every outlet to express.