Six months ago, Lindsay Lohan was given community service in a morgue with duties including mopping floors, stocking restrooms, and washing sheets. She was apparently spared cleaning actual crypts where the bodies are stored. If the reality of a fading career was not evident to Lohan at such a lowly point, will her returning for 16 more hours of service at the same morgue have a real impact on her psyche? Lindsay was once a child star with all the possibilities in the world ahead of her, when she’s now struggling to get work in a very tough business. Robert Downey Jr. and Winona Ryder have managed to come back after problems with the law, but in order to do so, they made a deliberate choice to regain focus, energy, and professionalism. And a tried and tested rehabilitation process includes comic appearances in lighthearted films, sitcoms, or satirical shows like Saturday Night Live. Getting back into the public’s favor is doable when you show you have a sense of humor and are in control of your life again.

Speaking of taking control of one’s life, let’s look at another child star, Natalie Portman. Portman burst on the scene at the ripe old age of 12 with a heartfelt and nuanced performance in The Professional. She’s since starred in over 30 films and recently won the Oscar for her blistering performance in Black Swan. Natalie attributes her success to “wanting to be a positive role model.”

Let’s face it, not just anyone has the talent of Natalie Portman, but there are clearly lessons to be learned from such a serious and focused professional; something Lindsay would be wise to open herself to. We’re given only so many opportunities in this life and in this business; here’s to making the most of every opportunity out there—starting with learning life lessons from a morgue. And here’s to Lindsay getting back to work!

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