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Hell Is for Actors

November 22, 1987

So it's actor-bashing time again!

Just who are they anyway? Is it a number crisis, or an identity crisis top to bottom? Well this "desperate character" of Hollywood can't let Christon's depressing thesis go by without comment.

In the beginning, there was a public hunger to be entertained and a new kind of child was born and they were called Actors and Shakespeare dealt with them back in 1600 (did Shakespeare mention writers? I'm not sure).

In those days they did whatever was necessary--costumes, makeup, simple scenery, publicity, production, anything to please, all by themselves, and they made their living at it.

But then came electric light and somebody had to tell those actors where to move and, of course, soon somebody was telling them how to act.

Next the actor as manager fell by the wayside. Now other minds were brought to bear, and it wasn't long before makeup, wardrobe, hair, scenery and other designers were invented.

Technicians soon moved in, and to make it all fly, the Businessman as God came to be. But he least of all wanted to deal with actors. And so he created the agents and the casting directors, the writer-producers and executive-producers, and, of course, the lawyers followed (Shakespeare certainly mentioned them! ).

And the poor actor? When he can spare the time from his therapist/analyst/publicist/agent/personal manager/teacher/critic/personal assistant/lawyer/broker/business partner/outside job/free theater and other drugs, he might reflect upon who he is, how he started it all, and how other theater-folk couldn't exist without him.

Perhaps then he will stop presenting his rear end to "the system" as certain mammals do in defeat, stand straight and speak proudly in his own voice again. Such an admirable creature might even make a great President. There's always hope, after all.

And meanwhile, that hungry public can watch great scenery.

LYNN REDGRAVE

Topanga

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