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How “Hooray For Hollywood!”
Lost Its “Hooray!







[Recently, I have been visiting a website, “luck-is-a-penny”1 where a young actress, Megan Ketch, who I first saw in the TV series “Blue Bloods”, expresses her opinions of life, and her chosen profession – acting. In witnessing her enthusiasm and disappointments in her articles, I thought that I would write this essay to express my disappointment that true professionals, like Megan, don't get enough chances to show off the true artistry of their profession. Today, they have become tied to the mundane, in a profession, where the “art” is sadly disappearing... ]



Hooray for Hollywood! ??? Or maybe, what has happened to Hollywood – or maybe, the performing arts, in general?

I grew up, just around the time, TV was making its premier on the entertainment stage. My parents bought our first TV, around 1951, when I was still quite young. Both my parents died, before ever seeing “color” on the TV set. A color TV was a real luxury for a family making $5000 - $6000, a year, back then – so, we did without it. I remember, buying the biggest color TV, I could find, back, when I was in the army – when I could, finally, afford one! And, the movies were the way, we made up for this lack of color on the TV set. Every Saturday, in the Summer, I would go down to the local Broadway Theater (once, a Vaudeville Theater), in South Philly, and watch the kids show, they had back then. That was Hollywood back in the “old” days, when that “Hooray!” was real and glorious, because of the actors, singers, dancers and writers, who made it that way – people who were still real artists – still belting out “art” with innovative stories, and a real mastery of what professional entertainment was, and could be.

But today, that “Hooray” has lost its glory! Money has drowned out everything that that glory was about. The innovation is gone; the stories are the same old thing; over and over and over and over... and over again! The “reboot” has made Hollywood mundane and downright drab! Oh... the people – “the Stars” – still know how to act, and innovate; but the stories – the same ones – or even worse: sequels, to sequels, to sequels... ad infinitum! And, TV – reality TV – ugh! Actors, who aren't actors! The lowest of the low, trying to be the highest of the high – ugh... uuuugh!!!

Somehow "the performing arts” has lost its “arts”!

Stories!

That is the problem; where is the story? Yeah, plenty of action – rote action – but, what about the story? There is more story, in a 10 minute music video, today, then there is, in all the feature length films! Films have become nothing, but gaudy action, and “over the top” special effects – but the story – “What Story?”

When Hollywood lost the story, it lost that “Hooray”!

Well, maybe the kids like all that action, and shoot 'em ups; but adults only see this as a misplaced glitter, replacing the real meaning of entertainment, and even acting, itself – a story! Stories that made real actors shine! More than just a man beating the brains out of someone else; or a woman taking off her cloths and jumping into bed with a man. It is real acting: acting, involving emotions expressed; and feelings conveyed right into the souls of the people watching! That is, and will always be what the cinema is really about: the story! Stories: like “Gunga Din”, “Ben Hur”, “Gone With The Wind”, “To Kill A Mockingbird” – stories that wrenched the souls of those, who watched them! Stories that real actors became an integral part of; stories that pulled the emotions out of them, and gave them the real essence of what acting is – making a fantasy into reality! Or, musicals and fantasies that showed song and dance as artistry; and emotional tributes to the beauty that humans can create, like “The Wizard Of Oz” and “The Sound Of Music”. Instead, today, the video game has displaced them, with martial violence and digital killing! Again, the story has disappeared, in the fascination with the “mechanized” story telling technology, centered on digital effects!

But today, even the story is losing its variety! Crime; killings; wars; sex; money! Are these the only things that make stories today? Hollywood seems to think so! Perhaps, Hollywood thinks that people have, indeed, lost that thinking ability, that makes people, people; just like the politicians seem to think today! Pablum for the unthinking masses? Or, maybe, profit for the MASTERS? That's exactly what Hollywood has become, portraying the “story” without the story! If I were an actor, I would be damn mad – mad, that my profession has become so mundane and “unprofessional”; just like the trashy reality actors, who can't sing or act, that have stolen TV; and, even now are trying to steal music videos!

But then, thank God for the young professionals: Taylor Swift; Katy Perry; Justin Timberlake and Megan Ketch (see the intro above)... and the other real entertainers and actors, like them, who can create stories into acting, song and dance, and rekindle the old Hollywood, in a real story, song, or, into a few minutes of music video!

Even in acting, money is taking its toll today. Good stories that actors can show their worth in, are few and far between, as Hollywood becomes ruled by the almighty buck, ever more! Like everything today, even art is a prime commodity, and acting, itself, is sold through the right connections and the good ole' greenbacks. Entrepreneurs and agents are taking the story out of motion pictures, so they can save money, and use what they already have through rebooting it in another sequel – in short, they have drained the talent and artistry from the performing arts; and took that “Hooray!” from the Hollywood moniker!

Will the motion picture industry and TV regain the beauty, they once possessed, through giving actors the chance to perform their art, as an art? Or will the reboot and the death of the “story”, kill that Hooray that Hollywood really grew on, for once and for all time? That is up to the performing artists – for it is up to them to show their benefactors that “Hooray for Hollywood!” was, and always will be, the story telling artistry of their work!




FOOTNOTES

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1 The opinions expressed here, are only the author's (J. A. Macaluso), and do not represent the opinions of anyone else; for instance, the opinions of the author of the above mentioned website, luckisapenny.com.









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Originally Published:

March 5, 2017


Revised:

March 5, 2017