What Kind of Role Model Do You Want to Be?

September 19, 2013

thYou may just be laying down your roots in the entertainment industry, but it’s possible (if not probable) you’re only a few roles or months away from landing the choice TV, film, or commercial role of your dreams. And then what? The glory of doing quality work, an upgraded agent, the possible need to relocate, and hopefully big fat paychecks could be some of the changes you’ll be adjusting to seemingly all at once. Then comes the moment people begin to call you by your character’s name when you’re waiting in the supermarket line, or maybe the cop that pulls you over for speeding recognizes you from that show. Your public reputation is suddenly something with which you need to concern yourself. Are you prepared to be the kind of role model you aspire to be?

Chances are, you’re probably already are a role model to several people in your life. Maybe it’s a sibling, a coworker, a neighbor or a fellow actor. Having a good idea of who looks up to you and why can help you to tap into your best qualities. Life is certain to present you with many challenges and, with those challenges, you’ll need to make choices which affect both you as well as others. Would you want those you care about to imitate your habits and lifestyle?

Now may be the time to seriously consider how you want to be perceived in the industry and what kind of impact you wish to have on humanity at large. Actors and celebrities are tremendously influential people, even on a local level. Let’s face it, everyone wants to be in the movies and on TV. It’s just the way it is. So, giving some thought to those you might inspire is a tangible concern.

Many people consider award-winning actress, Angelina Jolie to be a positive role model with her ongoing commitment to humanitarian causes, her work as a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador, as well as for making a strong impression on women around the globe by sharing the story of her double mastectomy. But for years, Jolie was vilified in the press as being a marriage wrecker, and a drinker of Billy-Bob blood. The public often credits you when you move on from your “mistakes” and try to set things right by demonstrating a measure of humility and taking responsibility for your actions. On the other hand, Miley Cyrus has been widely praised for her charity work, she’s been in Youth Service America among other philanthropic organizations for years. But it’s not too hard to imagine that many may no longer regard her as a positive role model after her recent controversies. The ball really is in her court–and the same is true for all of us. You earn your reputation every day; every time you audition, every time you step foot on the set, and every time you find yourself in front of a hot mic, you might want to consider the lasting impression you may be making on the folks who look up to you.

So, do you think actors and performers should concern themselves with being good role models? Or do you believe, as does Charles Barkley, that entertainers are not role models and should not be considered as such? And finally, who are your role models and why? Particularly as it concerns the glorious field of acting for the stage and screen.

Enjoy Your Food and Get Auditions

November 25, 2012

Jennifer Lawrence while surfing in Hawaii.

“Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit.” –W. Somerset Maugham

So how was it? You know, the candied yams, creamy mashed potatoes, turkey smothered in thick gravy, two-sticks-of-butter stuffing, crispy bacon, and three different kinds of cheeses! And don’t get me started on the pies of every variety known to mankind. It was awesome, right? And afterwards you fell asleep like an old dog on a sun-drenched porch; absolute intoxicated bliss. Well…shame on you! You’re an actor! Don’t you know a slim, taut body is critical to your success? Do you see Jennifer Anniston or Mark Wahlberg stuffing themselves like swine at the trough?! How about Keira Knightley, Zoe Saldana, or Christian Bale? It could be considered highly irresponsible for your career to gleefully gather together with family and friends, and overindulge on a traditional holiday feast. Or, you just might be living a healthy lifestyle, filled with equal parts of discipline and indiscipline–which is sometimes known as “balance.”

Jennifer Lawrence, star of The Hunger Games, was quoted in the December issue of Elle magazine saying, “In Hollywood, I’m obese. I’m considered a fat actress.” She went on to comment on her toothsome bikini photos currently in hot rotation on the web, “I’m Val Kilmer in that one picture on the beach;” apparently referring to fellow actor Val Kilmer’s once-svelte, now portly physique.

Now, it’s important to note Jennifer is 22-years-old, and her weight is probably relatively easy to maintain. And it’s probably not far off to speculate she has a full-time personal trainer as well as a nutritionist to keep her healthy and fit for her upcoming roles in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and X-Men: Days Of The Future Past. But it’s nonetheless refreshing to hear an A-list Hollywood actress say, “I’m never going to starve myself for a part,” and concerning herself with the messages she’s sending to her young female fan base: “I don’t want little girls to be like, ‘Oh, I want to look like Katniss, so I’m going to skip dinner.’ That’s something that I was really conscious of during training, when you’re trying to get your body to look exactly right. I was trying to get my body to look fit and strong, not thin and underfed.”

Touche, Jennifer for a healthy attitude towards food! And happy holiday eating to all of you!