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Busted Halo
feature: entertainment & lifestyle
April 15th, 2003

American Idle

This Fast Track May Cause You to Stall

 
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There is no question that the American entertainment industry has quite an influence on the American public. People interviewed by Jay Leno during his Jay Walking skit are perfect examples of how someone can know the names of all of the members of N*SYNC and the Back Street Boys but can’t name even one member of the Supreme Court .

The road to fame in Hollywood
The “industry” places an extremely high value on the entertainment world and it is difficult to escape the hype that goes along with the entertainment community. The Kennedy’s have often been referred to as American royalty but the American royalty for our generation seems more to be the members of the Hollywood elite, the A-list celebrities whose stories include tales of moving to Los Angeles with $50 in their pockets and a month later, landing a sitcom pilot. Their rags to riches stories are quite appealing. After all, who wouldn’t be enticed by a life of instant fame and fortune?

Most aspiring actors and musicians however, never find fame and fortune in Hollywood. Most may only receive paychecks from places like restaurants, bars, or temp agencies. And television shows like American Idol prey upon the members of the American public who have starry-eyed envy of the Hollywood lifestyle.

Faster track?
These reality talent competitions seem to be an even faster track to instant fame and fortune than the real life Hollywood rise-to-stardom stories. Hundreds of thousands of people flock to the auditions, regardless if they have talent or not.

What isn’t shown to the viewing audience:

  • The thousands of hours spent at singing and dancing lessons beginning at age 3.
  • The stage moms who have been at their child’s side from the first tap class.
  • Parents trimming the family budget to almost nothing to come up with the thousands of dollars it costs to learn how to become a performer.

These are the people who escape Simon’s scathing commentary in the early rounds and who will be the only ones to make it big from a television show after a lifetime of preparation.

There is nothing wrong with dreaming and setting goals for ourselves. The question that needs to be asked however is, where are these dreams coming from?

Whence our dreams?
God gives every one of us talents. People who have been singing from the time they were born, even as they learned to speak, become professional singers because there is nothing else they could imagine themselves doing. They want to share their talent with the world by doing something they love all the time. People who have a true passion for something are usually happy as long as they are doing what they love to do, regardless if fame and fortune are realized.

Even with all the natural talent in the world, to be really good at something still takes a lot of work. These dreams and goals of fame and fortune (at all costs) implanted in us by the entertainment industry, family, or any source outside of ourselves (and God) can be dangerous. The means to the fame and fortune may not be fulfilling; and, chances are, fame and fortune will never be found by trying to change who we are so drastically.

And happy the day that a ceremony awarding Nobel prizes beats the Oscars in television ratings.

 
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The Author : Katherine Jones
Katherine Jones is the pen name of a Los Angeles writer.
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