On Monday night we found a local Redbox, picked up a copy of Warm Bodies and stayed in to watch it. Captain Midnight, Miss V and I caught the film in theaters, but Jenny had never seen it before. I stand by my comment when I first saw the film: for a movie where the protagonist kills a guy and eats his brain, it's surprisingly sweet. But Warm Bodies is only tangentially related to what I want to write about: the problem with "getting discovered" as a career strategy.
|Publicity photo of Isaac Marion by Mark Harrison/Seattle Times|
This is not ordinarily the way writing careers are made. In fact, this story is strongly reminiscent of the legend of actress Lana Turner and the way she was accidentally discovered. One day like any other, she skipped school at Hollywood High to buy a Coke at the local malt shop. The publisher of the Hollywood Reporter was in the shop and happened to catch sight of her, and the next thing she knew she was signed by a talent agent and making movies. Well. Suddenly a whole slew of would-be starlets started spending all their free time hanging out in Hollywood-area corner drugstores and malt shops, hoping to be discovered just like Lana Turner. What they didn't understand was that Ms. Turner's discovery was a fluke -- a one-time-only, irreproducible experience -- and that they were needlessly wasting their youth trying to break into show business the same way she had. It wasn't a valid strategy; it was insane.
|1940s publicity photo of Lana Turner, photographer unknown|