Friday, April 30, 2010

The Thinking Woman's Crumpet

by carol

Somewhere someone wrote that a man loves the woman he desires but that a woman desires the man she loves.

Sort of a chicken or the egg first analysis, if you think about it.

So while I value brains, honesty and kindness, I am prepared to confess to a bit of shallowness in my standards for male assessment, similar to those usually attributed to men judging women. What I am grateful to report is that I have discovered my prototype has been identified and defined. I seek “the thinking woman’s crumpet.”

thinking woman's/man's crumpet:
a way of describing a man or a woman who is popular with the opposite sex because they are intelligent as well as being physically attractive. (from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)

Example: Alex O’Loughlin is the thinking woman’s crumpet.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Does Alex Like Me Best? A Reality Check

by Pam

When I "met" Alex for the third time last July, I thought for sure he would remember me. I'm the one who interviewed him. We laughed together in that interview! He told me he hated his nose, and that he enjoys shopping. He signed my script at NY Comic Con! How could he forget?! Well, he did. Even after those reminders to jog his memory, and after rethinking the moment, I still think his recollection was vague.

How could I have been so presumptuous to think Alex would remember me? I am merely a representative of a large group. A group of people who Alex sees as one. He didn't see me as an individual, but as fan. We are his fans, each and every one. Not one is more important than the other in his world.

Why do anti-fans hate celebrities?

by carol

I have a pretty clear idea of what being a “fan” is about. Most of us do. Used to be, if you weren't a fan, you were a "non-fan." It seems there is now a third option: being an "anti-fan."

I first became aware of anti-fans when I started looking for information about actor Alex O'Loughlin.

I was and continue to be surprised and shocked by the rabid rants and raves against Alex. He is attacked both professionally and personally. These anti-fans post all over the internet and work hard to convince CBS, other Alex fans, and anyone who will listen that Alex is unattractive, untalented, unworthy, a jinx, and guilty (of something or other).

ABC News did a story exploring this behavior in 2007.
Player Haters
Why Do Anti-Fans Love to Hate Celebrities So Much?

Obsessive haters, or anti-fans, share many of the same traits as obsessive fans, says Stuart Fischoff, a senior editor of the Journal of Media Psychology and a specialist in fan obsessions.

"People need something on which to focus their attention. … The adrenaline gets pumping for hating as much as loving. The hate-love situation are two sides of the same coin," he said.

Being an anti-fan, he said, has one advantage over being a fan: It's more fun.

"A celebrity becomes a star to focus on with the telescope of boredom," Fischoff said.

"Coteries on the net can join together in hating and dissing, and that's much more fun," he said.

If a celebrity is big enough to have a fan club, s/he's probably big enough to have an anti-fan club as well.
The Web is filled with anti-fan sites. More than 1,000 people regularly complain about the cooking-show host Rachael Ray at Rachael Ray Sucks Community on the social-networking site LiveJournal. The first rule for the site is "You must hate Rachael."

In the lead up to last year's new James Bond film Casino Royale starring Daniel Craig, thousands of people flocked to to gripe about letting a blond play the British secret agent.

However, according to Joshua Green, a postdoctoral researcher in the comparative media studies program at MIT, anti-fans are much more motivated by love than hate.

The people, he said, who complained about the Jar Jar Binks character in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace were motivated not by their hatred of the character but by their love of the franchise. They worried he sullied the franchise. Fans were similarly nervous about Craig playing Bond.

So, is it just me or does this smack of wackiness? Talk about going to the dark side! Call me Holly Golightly, but I prefer to focus on the positives of being a fan.

In fact, it's generally healthier and more fun to focus on all life's positives.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

More about storytelling

by carol

I've gone to events which have featured "professional storytellers." It's an interesting experience which I hope you will try if you haven't heard a story told this way before. Your kids might find it difficult to stay interested without explosions and CGI special effects, but it's probably not a bad idea for them to learn how to listen to a story.

What Makes Storytelling Artistic?
by Mary Hamilton *

There are some ideas about storytelling that have concerned me for quite some time. Those ideas are "...the power of storytelling lies with the story itself, and not the storyteller, dramatics, or any of the trappings of theater" and "A good story is a work of art all by itself."

Alex as Storyteller

by carol
Storytelling offers actors a chance to establish a meaningful relationship with an audience. Rather than hiding behind the smokescreen of ‘high culture’, the myth of celebrity, and the cult of ego, the actor can come back to the real world as a real person. Yet this real person still has the ability to transform, to rhapsodize and to mesmerize, but in a new and intimate relationship with an audience.
- David Novak, 1991
In the April 2008 CBS Watch magazine Alex commented:
"I've always been interested in storytelling," Alex O'Loughlin says. "Even as a kid, I've always been the guy spinning a yarn around the campfire. I've always appreciated art and music, different forms of expression," O'Loughlin says. "As an adult, I appreciate the opportunity to tell important stories."

After reading about the history of story tellers, I have a few thoughts about Alex's acting methods and ideas, again, purely speculative on my part.

A story teller has a responsibility to all the characters and all the elements of the story. All must be presented with honesty and belief. Alex knows his character has a place in the story but may or may not BE the story. He sees himself as one part of many that tell the story and that makes him so supportive of his fellow actors, crew, writers, publicists, etc. Alex is the consummate team player (that's the sports analogy for this post!).

NIDA also placed an emphasis on "story telling" and that might be where Alex came to understand that he was a story teller.
A successful actor requires versatility, truthfulness, openness, vulnerability and common sense, intelligence, imagination and industry, generosity, courage, vocal and physical skills and a secure technique. These are the qualities NIDA sets out to develop.
- Tony Knight, Head of Acting, NIDA
 Congratulations, NIDA. You certainly succeeded with Alex O'Loughlin.

Fatherhood and Family

by carol

When a man is able to talk about his love for his children and his family, it can move me to tears. OK, I cry easily ... like when a Kodak commercial is on TV.  But hearing a guy articulate his feelings about anything (besides sports) is great and makes me stop and appreciate that vulnerability and honesty.

Alex O'Loughlin is a father, son, brother and he also happens to act. I think he'll be a famous actor some day.  But based on what he has said below, I already believe he is a great father, son, brother and family man.

“I have my life and I have my family, which mean the world to me."

Saturday, April 24, 2010

... and the call echoes

I have saved this piece of writing for seven years: