Monday, March 5, 2012

Hollywood: Land of Illusion

Let me open today's post by bragging on my big sister, Donna Figueroa! She's an actress in Hollywood and her latest work can be seen in this Poise webisode featuring her as a reporter interviewing Kirstie Alley, the Poise Fairy.

This is an entertaining ad, with the fun illusion of my sister as a reporter and Kirstie Alley as a fairy with a purple poodle.

I think we all love illusion and escape.  Writing, reading and movies are three of my favorite past times, because there's nothing like running away into a world of fantasy!

In my novel, Masquerade, Part II of the Unchained Trilogy (which takes place in the 1880s, and is due out this summer), my main character is Lavinia Taylor.  Lavinia is the product of an interracial union.  Raised in a straitlaced home, she runs away to pursue a life as a stage actress in New York, and passes as white (I'll save "The Tragic Mulatto" post for another time).  Lavinia's parents are devastated by her choices.  She rejects her mother to pass as white, but worse yet, seeks a career as an actress!  Back in those days, actors were considered rather disreputable characters! 

Now, I've been a fan of Hollywood and its illusions ever since my mom took me to see That's Entertainment when I was about ten years old.  After seeing that film, I fell in love with old movies, watched them whenever I could, and admired several of the stars who made all those wonderful, fluffy stories from days gone by come to life.

As I grew older, I read several biographies and tell-alls (like Hollywood Babylon) that shattered  many of my illusions.  A few weeks ago, one hit the market that will probably destroy any that remain. I've already read several reviews, and from them learned lots of shocking revelations, including that two of the greatest love affairs from the twentieth-century were complete shams!  If you're a movie buff, you probably know the book I'm referring to, Full Service by Scotty Bowers.

All the stars mentioned are dead, but their legacies will be forever tarnished.

If you're a movie buff, do you plan on reading Full Service, or are you content to live with your illusions in tact?

Thanks for visiting!


Old Kitty said...

That's your sister!?!? She's lovely and best she's with the beautiful Kirstie Alley - on of my fave actresses! Yay! That's brilliant - fab fun ad!

I sort of know Hollywood stars are riddled with wormholes but I do like some fantasies and illusions intact!

Take care

Intangible Hearts said...

I grew up close to Hollywood and went for an audition at 19 where the director asked me to come back into his private office where he had the proverbial casting couch. Quickly, I determined that the rumors were true and I fled. I've been pretty realistic about Hollywood ever since!

Jennette Marie Powell said...

I remember when I was a little kid, being really disillusioned when I heard about how messed up Judy Garland was on drugs! Since then, I pretty much assume most of them are. It's a life I can't imagine. I'm not a big movie or TV watcher, but when I do watch, I just get into the story. :)

shelly said...

I'm going to have to watch your sister's video now. That is so cool.

Tonya Kappes said...

TOO funny! You and your sister look alike!! I'm a big movie buff and I love to watch them to see the story structure. An author can learn a lot from them.

Maria McKenzie said...

@Old Kitty: Yes, that's my sister and she is lovely;)! I like to keep my illusions, but I'm so curious! I can't have my cake and eat it too, I guess.

@Desert Rocks: So, you've actually experienced it! It's a shame it has to be that way:(.

@Jennette: I felt the same way when I learned about Judy Garland. Her life was tragic. I do love movies, but like you, only for the stories!

@Shelly: Hope you enjoy it! It's a fun ad:).

@Tonya: I've never thought we looked alike, but as we're growing older I can see it a little. You're right about the story structure of the movies, writers can learn a lot!

William Kendall said...

I have little patience for the tell-all sort of book, so I don't bother with them either.

And it's quite realistic of you to mention a century and a quarter ago... that actors were often held in such disrepute.

Carol Riggs said...

How fun to see your sister in that ad! She's beautiful and talented. :) Your novel sounds like it has an interesting premise! Hmm, good question about illusions. Generally I prefer truth, but shattering my illusions can be brutal!

Maria McKenzie said...

@William: From the reviews I've read of Full Service, lots of the actors I admired from the "Golden Age" were rather disreputable!

@Carol: Thank you! I'll make sure to pass those compliments on to her;). I understand your feelings! Sometimes the truth hurts when those illusions shatter!