After reading the latest book release by Lauren Weisberger, Last Night at Chateau Marmont, I had a lot of questions popping on my head related to the struggle for fame and the so desired ShowBiz. Here is my opinion about this enjoyable novel.
Lauren Weisberger built for herself a book signature when she debuted The Devil Wears Prada. Her novels have women in the leading roles, they have a strong relationship with New York City, the narrative does a great job making an insight in the characters mind and life, details are everything for the construction of scenes and all the people involved and pop culture have the final touch to make lots of people connect with the situations shown. Oh, let’s not forget all the romantic drama.
With that in mind, I can move on and secure to say that I really like Mrs. Weisberger’s books. They are entertaining masterpieces, and yes they are easy to read, that does what it intends to do: simply entertain. It’s a different purpose than books like The Lord of the Rings, The Life of Pi or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I like to bold this so I can explain that this is a comparison-free environment.
So, the novel tells the story of a woman married with a singer that is looking for his spot in the music industry. Eventually they see the singer’s career rocket-launch and their nightmare as a couple start. They don’t know how to manage their relationship from distance, both pass through lots of changes during the fame period, and although everything should be perfect because of the amazing opportunity the singer is having, and consequently his wife. It turns out that they have to work on that together and learn how to be a successful couple along with successful public personalities.
So what is intriguing in this story? That all the things happening throughout the book can be true for someone, actually lots of people for the matter of fact. And worse, people go after this with in their unstoppable search for fame. There are so many extremely ambitious people looking for their spot under the lights, risking their relationship with their loved ones and losing themselves in the middle of fancy clothes, drugs, alcohol, recognition and money, lots of money.
Of course this by itself is not that bad (except for the drugs and alcohol), and I think it’s healthy for people to always try something better for themselves, no matter in which way, as long as they don’t put their life in risk or other’s. The problem is that everything when is too much turns out to be dangerous, and in the ShowBiz the sentence Too Much seems to make no sense. It’s never too much when the life of a celebrity is on discussion. On the backstage it’s expected for famous people to give up on their families, friends, relationships, small things, privacy and, in some cases, peace.
The book helps the readers understand that all the glitter and glamour expressed in parties, awards ceremonies, performances, fashion shows or whatever falls in this celeb-category, requires real people to do. People that suffer to be there and have to go through really bad moments, despite the happiness of being famous. Dealing with the public life and private life not losing itself and avoiding risking all the things that really matters is one of the messages Last Night at Chateau Marmont gives, and in my opinion is the best given our current society.
For those who think that this whole story of fame life being hard doesn’t matter because it doesn’t affect the whole World’s population, think again. How many common people get involved in trouble because of the pursuit of fame? Most of them don’t even get close to be famous, but they invest their life on it. And this is a lot of people. For them is good to know a little bit more about it to make sure that this is the life they desire. Now, people who doesn’t even get involved directly in this business I recommend the reading anyway for one simples reason: all of us are involved on this business. Everyday we face famous faces, famous voices and famous bodies. We may try to avoid it, but we can’t. They are everywhere. And being human-beings we will discuss about it. We’ll think about the bad looking people, the good actor, the awful player. We’ll judge them. And when we read this novel, is easier to realize that all those famous we talked about are actually people, not only figures.
I do think that this is quite something to think about. Maybe not talk about, because we’re too jealous for not being there. And we all know it’s not good to put it out, right? “Why would someone want to be famous? That’s ridiculous! I have better things in my life…” With this line most of the people will keep thinking the same things and pretending that they don’t care. They will be mean and feed vicious magazines. They will put their hate out on the internet, post funny things on Facebook and judge the mistakes of celebrities as if it would make any difference in their life.
What I mean with this is read the book without prejudice of futile things as some people would say. Think out of the box. Enjoy this novel and get something from it. Think about all those famous and untouchable people and how many of them go through similar things than those in the book. Picture yourself in their place and imagine how hard it would be. I promise this won’t hurt you, and it’ll make you a better person with the understanding that no matter the social status, people have the same vulnerable points. Or at least similar.
Even though I’m not one, here it go: Celebrity Trick 101, Famous or not famous people still go to the bathroom the same way, make sex fairly the same way, and can get hurt because of other people the same way. But more than anything, everyone is important for someone. Famous or not famous.
Hey, it’s Thanksgiving time in the US and at the same Black Conscious in Brazil. Both have different meanings, but the two can be used to develop some ideas and make creativity unleash more. And in this post I’ll talk a little bit about those ideas, and some others.
Drama. Pity. Mercy. And some other characteristics that drive us to feel sorry for the homosexual characters in current literature is the most common kind of mention related to gay issues. With Half of Me (not True Colors anymore) I’m offering a different point of view.
To begin with, the main character is not gay. But he sees himself related to an environment where the freedom of thinking and behaving is encouraged. Not coincidentally he faces himself everyday in challenging situations to the way he views life. This will be developed in a way that I can show how normal it is to have a different sexuality; that it shouldn’t be something abnormal, and in fact it is not.
I decided to put this into focus, because in Brazil the Black Conscious Day (and Week events) are related to the awareness of the influence and culture of black people in Brazil social development. It is a time to praise a fundamental piece in the mixed Brazilian people showing how normal it is to be black, and that racism is irrational. There is no difference between any other ‘race’ and black people, just the characteristics that builds our actions. In other words, what I call Diversity of Influence.
With Half of Me I want to show the Diversity of Influence of ‘gay’ lifestyle in the current way of living. It doesn’t mean that I’ll accentuate the difference. It is the complete opposite. I’ll show that what we don’t consider normal is completely common for other people and we can enrich ourselves living with that and mixing this influence with our past experience and life.
Prejudice is something we are tired to aim as enemy of any developed society. Now it is time to show how to overcome that, and maybe analyse why we think that way. And what makes me think about that is the Feeling of Union that Thanksgiving is all about. Not just be thankful for everything we have, but also be together with people. Be in piece with everyone, no matter what.
Each day my experience in the US turns out as a surprise. I get to know more about me, the others and the World. I stop to think before acting and saying. I understand that life is just one to waste with hate, instead we have to make meaning of our actions. It must worth living. It must be good to live. All of that I’ll work in Half of Me.
Hey World! Here it is one more blog to you! I hope you have space for one more person’s voice! Me. I’m Orlando Braga Jr. Some fast facts: I’m Brazilian. I live in Cedar Rapids, IA. I’m a writer. I like to be polemic. I love to share the word. Specifically my words. I’m not here to be one more. I’m here to be me; Share myself, my life and my work.
So here I go. That’s my first blog in English, so forgive me if make any mistake. I’m not perfect, and actually I don’t like the idea of perfection. The wrong is sexier and healthier to ourselves. It allow us to risk more and more every time. But anyway, I’m not here to talk about mistakes, failure or anything like that. I just want to make sure that YOU, don’t expect from me to be always right and search line by line to find mistakes. I just share my ideas and my point of view, in the most honest way.
This space is my little area in this vast Internet Blogging Environment, and all I want is to share my work with y’all! I’m a writer. A novelist, to be precise. And throughout the year, I’ll be posting texts and news from my projects. But you can also expect from me to say without any edition my opinions to everything that is happening right now in the World.
Those projects I talked above are my novels. I have some of them “under construction”, but all in Portuguese and at this point, stopped. Along with this blog I will also develop my newest project called True Colors. No, it is not related to the song. And no, this is not definite; the title may change.
True Colors is about life. Is the story of a reporter trying to understand an artist. It is set in Chicago and São Paulo. I love artists, and this book is dedicated to all of them. But if you is an artist, tell me more about you and your art. I’ll be more than happy to listen your story.
And that’s the end of my 1st post. I don’t expect you to like my blog, but I really appreciate comments and new ideas. Please don’t hesitate if you want to talk. Feedback means a lot to me, and I guess to every writer too.
In each post you will know a little bit more about me and my work.
As soon as possible, I’ll be back,
Orlando Braga Jr