All performers are broken in some unique, profound, way. They seek to heal their broken minds and bodies by becoming someone else and by believing in something other than their own misery.
Performers are unable to self-heal. They demand and crave the attention of others — but that “look at me and accept me and love me” barter is made in a false exchange and will only die in failure. When young children express a want for fame over substance — we, as a community — must be alarmed and seek to heal the broken psyche.
When a child demands to be the center of attention — we, as a community — must rally around the child’s loneliness and heal the being from within or the child, as an adult, will be left alone without. When a child needs to be known — we, as a community — must foster understanding and teach self-reliance before the child is lost to the stars and the wondering of dreams.
Aren’t performers creative too? Or, it’s a way to put a facade?
Yes, performers are creative — but what void are they trying to fill in their creation?
Are they enlightening the world, or are they merely trying to fill their own holes?
I haven’t thought from this perspective before I guess.
Do they try to fill in any void in their life or express their creativity and entertain others?
People who create art are not the same as performers. The true creators do not care about attention or fame or glory or money. They create because they must.
The performer, however, has an unfulfilled internal need and seeks to be filled by the desire and attention of others. They need to have center stage. They need the spotlight. They demand acquiescence to fame even if they are talentless. Those are the broken people. There are some performers who do that job because it is of them and in them but most performers are not genius enough to be aware of pity and desire beyond the self and so they seek the attention of others for confirmation of the value of the ego.
You are right.
Creators and performers are not the same. The creator is not chased by the urge of fame but a performer is.
I accidentally bumped into a TV show recently about a dance competition where I saw a guy who was participating in it, it was very obvious that he didn’t have the ability to be a dancer, forget about being a star – the judges wanted to make him aware about the reality – but he was furious and so was his mother.
He was simply delusional about his dream but wanted to be in the center stage. Poor guy.
Yes, creators are not, by definition, performers. Performers are more interpreters than creators.
Your example is prime. That dancer needed to have his ego and self-esteem issues dealt with at an early age to avoid this sort of life-crushing reality that he may never accept or learn. His pain is unnecessary.
This explains Paris and Britney and others like them. They could disappear and get out of our face. But they can’t. They want attention.
Exactly – performers are more interpreters than creators.
What surprised me most was this guy’s mother, she was equally enraged about her son being demotivated, she was shouting at the judges – “you can’t rob him of his dream, he has a dream and he will make it a reality!”
I think that pressurized the guy more than his own dream.
Whose dream he was trying to fulfill?
That’s right, arin! There may be a modicum of talent there — but 50 years ago they would’ve been nothing because if you wanted “in” as a performer back then you had to excel on a variety of levels and have no shallow talents whatsoever. Now anyone can be a “star” and grab five minutes of fame — and that need for inappropriate attention is ruining our children and crashing the life of the true performer.
Hi Katha —
Yes, “stage mothers” use their children to fulfill lost meaning in their own lives. They are petty and strident and impeachable.
When you find really young performers — you always find stage mothers behind them pushing them into the limelight — and when the parent says “My child wants this” it is patently untrue because children that young only wish to play and pretend — not perform.
Stage mothers scare me. The child has to fulfill an empty parent.
That’s true, arin, and the children rarely recover from the wounding.
Right David, the urge to perform has to be someone’s own, not some one else’s parents’.
I read an interview of a renowned Indian actor once, who is considered as an Indian Marlon Brando, and still giving his best after spending a couple of decade in Indian film industry.
The interviewer asked him – “don’t you want to stay in bed a couple more hours everyday?”
His answer was – “no, on the contrary, something pushes me out of the bed reminding me I don’t have much time in hand.”
His wife (also a renowned actress, probably more talented than her husband) once said – “everything except work is a second class citizen in my husband’s life”.
Brilliant insight, Katha!
There are those born to perform: Brando, Welles, Fonda, Taylor, Olivier — but they are tortured by the need, not the want, for fame.
The “empty parents” as Arin describes them, have always been quite sad to me.
I grew up with a guy named Bobby who was a talented singer and pianist. His older brother was a high school football star and went on to play for a major Southern college. His father considered Bobby’s brother a chip off the old blockster and wanted Bobby to follow in his footsteps. Bobby tried for awhile, but was so unhappy he never got any peace until he went away to college where he majored in the arts. I thought his father would disown him. It really did shatter his life for awhile, but I always admired his stand up attitude.
He died of AIDS and I always wondered if his father regretted ruining some of the best years of his life.
Hi Donna —
Wow! Now that’s a story! In my experience if one deviates from “The Family Plan” the children doing the deviating are ostracized and cut off from the family. I’m sure there are some families who would blame the acquisition of AIDS as proof of the punishment for deviating from family expectation.
Bobby’s dad did try to ostracize him, but his mom had enough love and devotion and ability to recognize his talents that she was able to keep the father at bay.
I think Bobby’s dad was probably ashamed of the fact his son died of AIDS. I could see him covering up that fact, saying he died from cancer, or something like that, but I have no way of knowing because I lost contact with the family.
I am always deeply saddened by those that might consider AIDS a punishment. I only have pity for their ignorance.
Hi Donna —
I’m glad to know Bobby’s mother stayed strong and in touch with him.
I think you’re right about Bobby’s dad. AIDS is a touchy subject because in adults it is generally a behavioral disease — don’t do the behavior and you won’t acquire — but blood transfusions, hemophilia, lying and pediatric AIDS have all fuzzed that behavioral line a bit now.
We’re all in need of fixing, in one manner or another:
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts, . . . .
As You Like It
That’s a fascinating take, R., thanks!